Hot Boots of 2019: The Daisy Lace Up Bootie

It’s boot season and let me tell you each year I am always in search for a new boot style to wear during the cold months. I always end up going for the classic black riding boot or taupe color bootie as they always go with everything. This year I did something different and went with another taupe boot, lol! I’m sure some of you can relate, sometimes we just can’t help but get ourselves the same thing. 

This particular bootie is a little different from my regular booties because of the pointy toe. I am a big pointy toe fan but for some reason I always get the round toe style when I get boots. This boot known as the Daisy Lace Up Bootie is from Shoe Dazzle. For those not familiar with Shoe Dazzle, it is a online shoe shopping site for members were you get a new pair each month at ridiculous prices. A shoe membership may sound a little too much, but for shoe fanatics like me who buy shoes regularly this is a no brainer and saves us money. 

What I loved about the Daisy Lace Up Bootie besides the style, is the comfort of the shoe thanks to the chunky heel. I spent the day walking in the cobble stone streets of Beacon Hill which can be nightmare in heels but I survived. I would not recommend wearing them if you are going to be on your feet for a long time but a 2 hour walk in them was fine for me. They come in black, brick and taupe which is perfect and the laces add a simple yet stylish look to them. 

What is your favorite boot style? Where do you buy yours? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below and don’t forget to find me on instagram for more style and foodie content. 

These shoes were given to me for free however I was not obligated to write about them. All opinions and content in this post are completely mine. 

Hearty Vegetable Curry Recipe

This vegetable curry is super simple and awesome for meatless Monday. You can add any veggies you have on hand which is good especially if you are trying to use up vegetables that are getting bad. Initially I wanted to make Aloo Gobi which is an Indian dish with cauliflower and potatoes but realized I did not have enough potatoes so decided to do a mix of cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes. It came out great and was exactly what the doctor ordered for a fall dinner. 

Hearty Vegetable Curry RecipeWhen is comes to vegetarian dishes Indian food has some of the best dishes from saag paneer, Malai kofta to Daal and more. There are just so many options. I have met a few people that do not like curry and I have never understood why as the flavors are amazing. I for one love super flavorful food and Indian food is one of the cuisines at the top of the chain in that regard. The food doesn’t have to be overly spicy and can be cooked to your liking so I recommend trying it.

I was mad at myself for forgetting to add the peas I had in the freezer however I still loved the end result. Some spinach too would have been a great addition but the beauty of this recipe is that you can use any ingredients and it is delicious either way. We served it with herbed basmati rice and the meal lasted the hubby and I 2 days which worked out great for the busy week night. 

Hearty Vegetable Curry Recipe

Hearty Vegetable Curry Recipe
A delicious vegetable curry perfect for a cold fall dinner
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cauliflower head, chopped into large florets
  2. 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into half
  3. 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into large cubes.
  4. 2 large carrots sliced into large pieces
  5. 1 cup frozen green beans chopped
  6. 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  7. 2 medium yellow onions chopped into medium sized pieces
  8. 5 cloves fresh garlic minced
  9. 1 large piece of fresh ginger, about 2 tablespoons minced
  10. 1 lime, juiced and zested
  11. 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  12. 1 tbsp ground coriander
  13. 2 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
  14. 3 tsp curry powder
  15. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  16. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  17. 2 cups chicken broth
  18. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
  2. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic, ginger and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the curry, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne and stir for half a minute. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the chicken broth and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes till potatoes are halfway cooked
  5. Add the remaining vegetables, season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium low. cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked but still firm about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the lime juice and zest; cook for 2 minutes more. Turn heat off, let stand for 5 minutes before serving and garnish with cilantro.
Notes
  1. This dish is perfect served with Basmati rice or naan bread
Spoons and Stilettos http://www.spoonsandstilettos.com/
What are your favorite vegetarian dishes? Do you like curry? I would like to hear from you in the comment sections below!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more inspiration and to get snippets of my ever so fabulous life (just kidding) I love to share recipe ideas and share my various meal experiences on the gram. 

How to shop and take care of flowers

It’s been over a year since we last moved into our home and I am learning new things about myself since becoming a home owner. One of them is that I really love gardening and second is that I have a slight obsession with flowers. I remember watching the Desperate Housewives TV show a while back and admiring the housewives homes. They always had beautiful gardens and pretty flower arrangements in their homes which I loved. Now I always make it a point I have a vase of fresh flowers in the home and today I will be sharing some tricks that I have learned. 

How to shop and take care of flowers

Flowers are nature’s gift to earth and they are one of the best ways to bring beauty and elegance to a room. There is a notion that flowers are expensive which is partly true but if you shop around you will find some really good prices. Trader Joe’s is my go to for fresh flowers as they always have reasonably priced bouquets as low as $3.99. Whole Foods often has good sales on flowers as well so I would start at these 2 shops. 

Tips for Shopping & Caring for Flowers: 

Always make sure the flowers are still vibrant and none of the petals and leaves are wilted: Do not the make the mistake of picking the first bouquet you find. Sometimes there may be some hidden blooms that are past their prime. It is actually best to pick flowers whose blooms are still opening so they last longer however some shops only sell them when they have fully bloomed. In that case just pick the freshest looking. The Leaves should be green and firm too. Regardless always inspect them before you buy.

How to shop and take care of flowers

  • Check the Stem: Firm stems are a good sign that a flower can still absorb water well. If the stem is too soft, chances are high your flowers will not last long. 
  • Try to buy varieties that last long: I am no flower expert but I have discovered some types that last longer than others. Calla Lillies and Carnations for example seem to last longer than a week in water, they can even reach 3 weeks sometimes. Hydrangeas are one my favorites but they always seem to die on me after a week. If you have a trick to keep these longer, I would love to hear from you. 
  • Trim the stem. This is important to do before you place the flowers in a vase. I recommend using sharp pruners or pair of scissors to trim. I would say about an inch or two of stem trimmed at a 45 degree angle works. Also remember to trim every 3 days or so to allow water to keep going through the stem. I read that cutting them at an angle keeps the stems off the bottom of the vase thus allowing them to absorb water more easily. 

  • Remove leaves and buds in the water line: By removing any leaves or buds in contact with water you will prevent them from rotting and causing bacterial growth. It also looks better if you are using a transparent vase. 
  • Clean your vase: I am very guilty of reusing the same vase without cleaning it before adding new flowers. I have noticed that whenever I wash the vase first the flowers last longer. Something to do with bacteria which affects the length of their freshness. 
  • Use the plant food packet: Most flowers come with a small packet of plant food and they are very  essential. I used to use the whole packet at once until I learned that I need to use little by little whenever I change the water. If you run out you can do your own mix of two drops of bleach and a teaspoon of sugar with a gallon of water.

  • Always check on your flowers every few days. Check if they have enough water, trim the stems and replenish the plant food at least every 3 days. This will result in long lasting flowers. 

How to shop and take care of flowers

Now that you have arranged your flowers neatly in the vase enjoy the beauty and brightness they bring to your home. I love placing them anywhere from the dining table, coffee table, bathroom counter or bedrooms. A home with fresh flowers always looks beautiful and inviting. 

Do you love flowers? What tricks do you have for keeping long lasting flowers? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. 

Easy Meatless ‘Beef’ Empanadas

It’s football season! We just watched our first game recently and as soon as the game started all my sadness about summer ending disappeared. One of the things I love about football season is the game-day gatherings we have with our friends and family at home. I always make it a mission to serve something different and special for our guests to crate an awesome homegating experience. Since we follow a mostly plant based diet, I always serve some meatless options like these Easy Meatless Beef Empanadas made with Gardein Beefless Ground. 

Easy Meatless 'Beef' Empanadas

Meatless options do not have to be boring celery sticks or pretzels. More and more people are eating plant based meals and want options that look and taste like meat; thanks to meatless brands like Gardein it has become very easy to find these options. Gardein has various plant-based entrée and appetizer options including beefless ground, meatless meatballs, crabless cakes and even plant based chicken nuggets which all taste like meat and are perfect for homegating and tailgating 

I use the beefless ground a lot in my cooking and it is great for this awesome meatless empanada recipe. You can use it for so many other recipes including meatless shepherds pie, tacos, spaghetti Bolognese

How to Make Easy Meatless Beef Empanadas: A pictorial guide

Easy Meatless 'Beef' Empanadas

Easy Meatless 'Beef' Empanadas

This recipe is very easy especially if you use the premade pastry. I love puff pastry for this dish as it is light, flaky with a nutty flavor. The recipe yields 20 empanadas which is plenty for a small game-day get together.

If you want to eat less meat for a meal, a month, or everyday you will be glad to know every chef-created Gardein recipe is made to give you the most “meaty” tasty, quality, and texture. I for one love their products and recommend them for meatless meals. 

Easy Meatless 'Beef' Empanadas

Easy Meatless 'Beef' Empanadas Recipe
Yields 20
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package Gardein beefless ground
  2. 1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  5. 1 large onion
  6. 3 carrot sticks diced
  7. 3 celery sticks diced
  8. 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  9. 1 large potato diced into small pieces
  10. ½ teaspoon chili powder
  11. 1 teaspoon oregano
  12. 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  13. Empanada Dough or frozen pastry dough, defrosted
Instructions
  1. In frying pan, heat oil and sauté onions, potatoes, carrots, celery and garlic until soft. Add paprika, chili powder and oregano. Add beefless ground and cook for 2 minutes then add the crushed tomatoes and cook until hot.
  2. Set aside to cool a little.
  3. While beefless ground mixture cools prepare the pastry dough and cut into circles.
  4. Place a spoonful of stuffing, topped with cheese on half of each dough circle. Wet the edges with milk, Fold dough over filling and seal with a fork and brush a beaten egg over each empanada.
  5. Bake in a 200°C/400°F oven until cooked and lightly browned.
Spoons and Stilettos http://www.spoonsandstilettos.com/

Experience Montreal: A visual guide

My husband and I recently celebrated our one year wedding anniversary and we decided to start a tradition where we travel somewhere new every anniversary. Our first anniversary trip was in the beautiful city of Montreal, Canada. I immediately fell in love with the city the moment we arrived. There was something very romantic and vibrant about it. 

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal Montreal

Saint Josephs Oratory of Mount Royal: This was one of the places I knew I had to visit in Montreal. It is the Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine on Mount Royals Westmount Summit. It is Canadas biggest church and is pretty impressive. We were unlucky to get there during a time when they were having some construction on site but it still was amazing. Once you get to the top of the building you will see amazing views of the city. Totally worth the visit!

Old Montreal

Old Montreal street

Old Montreal: Beautiful French influenced architecture, cobblestone streets, charming boutique shops and many awesome restaurants is what old Montreal is about. You simply cannot visit Montreal without experiencing old Montreal. It certainly felt like I was in Europe and was one of my favorite places in Montreal. 

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal: This Catholic church was built in 1656 and is Montreal’s oldest. The interior is absolutely stunning with stained glass and well crafted surroundings. We were a little surprised they allowed photographs in the church. With all the tourists and photography going on, it just felt like going to a museum. At the same time I understand that tourism is how they are able to maintain the building so I embraced the opportunity to be in this amazing church. The fee to enter was only $8 and is well worth a visit. 

Downtown Montreal; Where to eat and More : Our hotel was in the heart of downtown Montreal which gave us access to many cool restaurants and sites. The city is clean, well mantained with lots of pretty floral accents around. One of the must visit streets is St Catherine’s street if you are looking for something to eat or shop. If you are a foodie you will love Montreal’s restaurant scene too. One of my favorites was Terrasse William Gray which is a fabulous rooftop restaurant located on the 8th floor of the chic William Gray Hotel. If you want to enjoy a bite or a trendy cocktail with beautiful views, I highly recommend this spot.

If you are looking for a hearty meal and are not concerned about calories, I recommend the highly rated Au Pied de Cochon restaurant. They have one of the most innovative menus I have ever seen, the food is also rich and decadent. If you love Foie Gras and pork, this is definitely the spot to visit. Oh and definitely try the duck in a can, its what they are known for. The can is opened right at your table and out comes a tasty duck stuffed with foie gras. Yes, that’s right!

For the sweets and pastry lovers a cool spot to try is Maison Christian Faure. They have amazing desserts, macaroons and different types of pastries. The interior is very pretty and they bring all sorts of pastries to choose from right at your table. Definitely stop by one of the fresh juice and smoothie spots in Old Montreal as well. 

PLATEAU DE CHARCUTERIES Terrasse William Gray

We had the most amazing time in Montreal and recommend anyone to visit. It is a cosmopolitan city with lots of charm and beauty. I have been telling the hubs that I want to go back already. 

Have you been to Montreal? Would you like to experience Montreal? What were your favorite spots if you have been there? Where do you think we should go for our next trip?  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below.

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