Thursday, October 31, 2013

[ soup's on! ]

THERE'S nothing like a warm, comforting bowl of soup on a cool day. This chicken and rice soup recipe is so easy and you can freeze individual portions so they're ready anytime. Enjoy with a warm slice of homemade bread for the ultimate in comfort food.

lisa's chicken and rice soup

what you need:

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
6 cups chicken stock or broth
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 uncooked boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 tbsp chicken bouillon
1/2 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
2 tbsp light sour cream or plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

how to:

Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add flour and stir around for another minute.

Add chicken broth, water, garlic, celery, brown rice and chicken. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add long grain rice, chicken bouillon, mushrooms and frozen vegetables. Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove chicken breasts from pot and shred with two forks. Return to pot and add sour cream. Add more water if soup seems too thick for your liking. Heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

[ it's that time of year again ]

IT APPEARS that the end of October seems to be when the weather makes a change in Dubai and suddenly it's bearable to go outside...

It's a long 5-6 months of staying cooped up in air conditioning and just when I'm starting to get a major case of cabin fever, along comes relief! And to think it will only get better from here. Sigh... I definitely love winter in Dubai!


Monday, October 21, 2013

[ the aran sweater ]

MY GUY just returned from a business trip to Ireland and brought me back this lovely Aran sweater made from soft 100% merino wool...

so that I can look as cute as this {note the denim shirt underneath}...

It's funny because we lived there for 4 years and I never bought myself one!

Aran sweaters ~ aka fisherman sweaters {or jumpers as they're referred to in Ireland} have been around since the 19th century and originated on the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland at the mouth of Galway Bay. Originally they were handknit by the wives of fisherman from undyed, unscoured wool which retained its natural lanolin oil and made them water resistant. 

The sweaters are distinguished by their complex stitch patterns and each have a significance: the cable is said to be a wish for safety and good luck when fishing, the honeycomb is the symbol of the hard-working bee, the basket stitch represents the hope for a plentiful catch, and the diamond a wish of success, wealth and treasure.

Eventually island women began producing these sweaters not just for their families but as a source of income.

These sweaters have seen a resurgence in popularity and have become a fashion must this year, a true wardrobe classic.

The Aran Sweater Market since 1892 on Inis Mor, the largest of the 
three Aran Islands

Looking for a genuine Aran sweater but no plans to be in Ireland anytime soon? Try the Aran Sweater Market online shop!

Of course you can always try to find an imitation at places like LLBean, JCrew, Brooks Brothers, etc. Either way, you'll still look fashionable...

How about you? Do you own an Aran sweater? Will you be adding one to your fall/winter wardrobe this year?


[via aransweatermarket; LLBean;; nichollvincent.blogspot;;;; swandiamondrose.tumblr; michaelkors;; trendymadness.blogspot]

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

[ another tova ]

WELL, I'm pretty smitten with this Wiksten Tova pattern and I just whipped up another...

This one is a lightweight black cotton with little fuzzy circles...

After wearing my blue one the first time, I immediately knew that sewing only one wouldn't be enough {read about my first Tova top here}. 

It just seems to be that easy to wear, go-to top in my closet. And the possibilities are endless! Hmm... I wonder what colour I should make next?


Friday, October 11, 2013

[ happy weekend, Thanksgiving and Eid ]

TO ALL of my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving weekend! 

{aren't these Lily Pulitzer-inspired pumpkins cute?}

Here in Dubai, we're heading into Eid-al-Adha, otherwise known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honour the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

Eid-al-Adha also marks the end of Hajj - the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca {in Saudi Arabia}, a religious duty that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so at least once in their lifetime. It is the largest gathering of Muslim people in the world every year. The Hajj is a solidarity of the Muslim people and their submission to Allah.

[Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca during Hajj]

The pilgrimage to Mecca {the holiest city in the religion of Islam} is considered to stretch back thousands of years. Processions of muslim people converge simultaneously on Mecca on the week of the Hajj to perform a series of rituals which end with the sacrifice of an animal, whose meat is then given to charity and shipped to poor people around the world. The celebration of Eid-al-Adha then begins.

So whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving, Eid or just the end of a week, have a wonderful one!

[pumpkins via; mosque via flickr]

Monday, October 7, 2013

[ the denim shirt ]

WHETHER you call it a denim shirt, a jean shirt or a chambray shirt, it's pretty much everywhere right now. I remember having one back in the early 90s {along with my overalls} and haven't thought much about them since. But I've been seeing more and more of them in mags and in the shops and they are proving to be a very versatile item...

as a simple shirt with skinnies or pants...

paired with a pretty skirt or dress...

or layered under sweaters and jackets...

and don't be afraid to bling it out...

So whether you are cleaning out the barn or going out for a chic dinner with friends, the denim shirt will take you there! 

I decided to add one to my wardrobe and found this light washed one from Tommy Hilfiger...

I think the light version is the most versatile for me here in Dubai ~ nothing too heavy for our hot climate. So are you adding a denim shirt to your wardrobe this season?


[via; fashforfashion; pinterest; leblogdemok.blogspot; breakfastatfaymes.tumblr; prepfection.tumblr;;; atlantic-pacific.blogspot;; meggielynn.tumblr;; unitedcolorsofbenetton;;;;; stylemeetsy.blogspot; jaimen.tumblr; pinterest; pinterest;;]


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