Jun 27, 2011

New Feature: Yummy Mondays! (Carrot Cupcakes)

I'm super excited to introduce a new feature here on Our Little Lentil! Yummy Mondays will spotlight delicious vegetarian recipes, complete with pictures and step-by-step instructions. Since I've been home on maternity leave, I've been cooking a lot more homemade meals and snacks, to be healthy by eating more fresh food, and to also help us save money. If I'm going to be experimenting in the kitchen anyway, I might as well share the good stuff with you all! I hope you enjoy this new feature here on my little blog :)

To kick off Yummy Mondays, here's the how-to for some delicious Carrot Cupcakes (from the june/july 2011 issue of kiwi magazine)!

Carrot Cupcakes
{Makes 12}


1/2 pound carrots
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil


(You may be wondering what the confectioner's sugar and orange are doing in this picture... there was a glaze that didn't work out so well, but the cupcakes are delicious enough that they don't need the glaze!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grate the carrots.

Grating carrots

lots of carrots

Measure the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended.

dry ingredients

Add the grated carrots to the bowl and mix to combine.

add the carrots

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugars, and mix until well combined.

add wet ingredients

Add the oil and mix until smooth.

mix wet ingredients

To this, add the flour and carrot mixture, and mix until well combined.

mix everything

Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill the liners until they are about two-thirds full with the batter.

fill the cupcake tin

Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes.


Take cupcakes out of tin, let cool, then enjoy!

{If you are interested in contributing a recipe to Yummy Mondays, please contact me. The only requirements are that the recipe be vegetarian and yummy. You must also include step by step instructions and lots of pictures!}

Jun 26, 2011

First painting. (Never too young.)

I'm an art teacher and a majorly crafty person. My husband is a graphic designer and a drum builder. It's only natural that Adelaide possesses some of our creative genes (I hope!). I want to make sure that as she grows up, there are art supplies out for her at all times (a craft table just for her?) and at the ready. I envision us sitting down together, mama teaching daughter how to sew, paint, whatever. I really, really can't wait.

So on her 6-month birthday (last Wednesday), I introduced Adelaide to finger paints. Oh my. It was messy but it was wonderful! I went out earlier that day to buy a set of 3 canvas boards for a whopping $3.97 and a set of non-toxic finger paints (4 tubes - red, yellow, blue, green) for $4.97. So essentially, for less than ten bucks, I have enough paint to last for ages, and three canvases for her to experiment on.

I declothed her, even though the paint said "washable." Naked baby = easier transfer to the bathtub. First I gave her the canvas board to explore, but it just went right to her mouth, of course.


I tried using little clamps to hold the canvas to the Bumbo tray, but she ended up too interested in those so I took them off moments later.

Here she is seeing, touching, playing with paint for the first time ever! I only used blue and yellow because I knew they'd mix to a pretty green. If I'd given her all the colors available, they would have mixed together to a muddy brown, and I didn't want that.


I ended up holding the board for her which was great because she went crazy! She loved spreading the paint around and scratching at the board (the canvas board has a little bit of rough texture to it).



Isn't this next picture so darling? It's like she's saying "Hey look Dad! Look what I made! Isn't it great?" She looks so proud. She was definitely having a lot of fun.



Only once did she try to eat the paint. I wasn't worried because it's non-toxic, and she's just learning about the world through her mouth. Just a quick redirection on my part and she was focused on the canvas again.



I love all the little scratches in her painting. Adds some interest, don't you think?


Ta-da! First painting, June 22, 2011.


She had a blast! Look at that happy baby :)


And worn out. It was a big day for Adelaide. First we took her 6-month pictures, then gave her her first taste of solid food (post coming), and then her first painting... whew! Who wouldn't be tired after all that? We then headed to the bath to begin our bedtime routine.


This is just the beginning. I see a lot more paintings in Adelaide's future. This time, we did yellow + blue = green. Next we'll do red + yellow = orange, and finally blue + red = purple, for a set of three that I'll frame and hang somewhere like the proud moma I am.

Jun 25, 2011

Adelaide {6 months}

Dear Adelaide,

You are 6 months old! (Well, 6 months + 3 days.) Please slow down. I look at you and all of a sudden you are such a big girl. You are sweetly chunky and beautiful and so wiggly active and giggly and funny. Such a big girl. Each month makes my heart fuller and at the same time just a little bit sad. Time is moving so fast. Before I know it I will be going back to work and then I know it will move just that much faster. *sigh* I love, love, love this time home with you! I'm so lucky to have been able to stay home this long, but it's just making me that much more attached to you. The idea of leaving you at day care is akin to the idea of detaching my arm for the day and trying to go about without it.

You are becoming SO MUCH FUN! I've always enjoyed time with you, but you are truly beginning to play with your dad and me! Laughing, screaming, talking in your little baby language. I love it all! You enjoy being pretend dropped - held up high in the air in your daddy's arms and safely "dropped." You squeal and smile really big!

You are also starting to giggle really hard when I tickle you sometimes. It's adorable and always makes me laugh. You are the best part of my day, my life!




Sometimes when your daddy and I go to get you up after a nap, we end up just laying in the bed with you and playing for a long time. You are so active! You squirm all over the bed, lunging forward and grabbing absolutely everything.


And, this is so exciting, you are trying to learn how to crawl! You're not there yet, but I can tell you are working very hard to figure it out. You started by doing the "plank," which looks like you've lifted yourself up to do a push-up. Then you started rocking yourself back onto your knees. That's where we are now, waiting for you to figure out how to move those hands and knees! We can't wait until you're crawling around! Up until now you've had to rely on us to move you around and go new places. When you learn how to crawl, you will be able to move whenever you feel like it! I'm sure we'll be exhausted chasing you around, but it will be so much fun at the same time!



On your 6 month birthday, we gave you your first food! Since birth, you've only had mama's milk, but Wednesday we gave you a banana and you demolished it! By the end, banana was all over you, your clothes, your bumbo seat, and somehow it even made its way underneath you. You didn't make many funny faces or gag much, but you put the banana right in your mouth and started sucking away. It was sooooo adorable and exciting to see my big girl eating! A whole new world of adventures opened up!


Also, on your 6 month birthday, you made your first painting! After cleaning you up from the banana chaos I gave you a canvas board with a little bit of blue and yellow fingerpaint blobs squirted on it. You happily spread the paint around, mixing the colors. The painting turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself. So did your arms, face, chest, and bumbo seat/tray. You even managed to get blue/yellow/green fingerpaint all over my arm as I was trying to help you clean up! It was a lot of fun, and my hope is to have you make a painting every 6 months (at least), so we can see how your artistic eye develops!


Things are changing. I feel it. You're a little person, with her own thoughts and feelings and wishes, and you're learning how to express them. Squeals, screams, different cries. Your daddy and I are working hard to keep up with all your new sounds. And you'll soon be moving around and exploring the world around you in a whole new way. I'll be right behind you, guiding you, always. I love you sweet girl!

Love, Mama

Jun 21, 2011

My birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday! I turned 28, but really I've been having to remind myself for a few months now that I was still 27, because for some reason I've been feeling 28 for a while now. So the day was kind of anti-climatic for me, but still good!

After Kevin got home from work, we took a little trip to the park where I got to wear and try out my new Boba baby carrier! I've had one checked out from my babywearing group that I go to once a month and love it. Kevin got me the Organic Pine since I'm pretty much obsessed with lime green right now. Only a teal version would have topped it, but they don't have any. I love my new Boba, and Adelaide settled right in! She is so calm when she's in the Boba, nestled right up next to me safe and secure. It's super comfy, easy to put on, and really cute!


Kevin also got me a really nice pair of dressmaker's scissors. They're nice and heavy, spring loaded, and super sharp! The best part about this gift? He vowed not to ever touch them! He always snags my scissors to cut stuff, and often dulls them!

birthday scissors

Two other awesome bits about my birthday:

1. I'm down to my pre-pregnancy weight! I lost 47 pounds in Adelaide's first 6 months! I've been lucky with my pregnancy weight pretty much coming off by itself. I've been eating healthy and toting around a heavy baby, but still. Now my goal is to get close to my pre-wedding weight by the end of this year. That's another 10 pounds. We'll see if it happens! I have to actually start working out to be able to meet that goal.

2. On the way to the park, I turned on the radio at the exact moment the DJ was asking for callers to win tickets to see Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj in Charlotte in August. Caller 6 won the tickets, and guess what? I was caller 6!!! So I have 2 months to get Adelaide used to a sitter (who?) so that Kevin and I can go out on a date! We've been on a Nicki Minaj fix lately so we're really excited!

That's it! I hope 28 is a great year for me. I plan on setting some goals and intentions for the year to make sure I am actively working on making it a good year. Setting my sights on great things and putting it out there. More on that to come!

I hope everyone is having a WONDERFUL day!

Jun 20, 2011

Our weekend : delicious food, market-going, and family time!

Sunday was Kevin's first Father's Day, and today is my 28th birthday, so to celebrate we smashed the two together and treated ourselves to a delicious lunch at a place I've been wanting to try out for quite some time now.

outside of lunas

Luna's Living Kitchen serves raw, vegan, and vegetarian foods made from local, in-season produce! There's a farmer's market right next door and a couple of times during our lunch there on Saturday, I saw someone come in and hand over a bunch of lettuce or other goods to the guys behind Luna's counter. I'm guessing the salads we had came straight from someone's garden that morning (and boy was it yummy!).

I especially liked it because right now I'm going through a mostly vegan phase to try and help Adelaide's tummy problems. I'm always vegetarian but partake in cheese and eggs. But, for the past month, I've cut out ALL dairy, and have recently started cutting out soy, and have drastically lowered my sugar and nut intake. So Luna's, who's menu is mostly vegan and raw, was perfect!


at lunas

with daddy

This little one has turned into "our little monster" as we like to call her now. She's always lunging for everything in reach, grabbing everything, knocking stuff down, scooping stuff up... it's exhausting, but so fun seeing her trying to explore everything. We had a tiny table and had to utilize shelves nearby to keep our waters and other stuff so she wouldn't destroy everything!


kisses from moma

Umm... can we take a moment and recognize how WONDERFUL these next two shots are of my beautiful daughter? I think she looks so grown up in these shots. Maybe because you can actually see her neck? And those dimples! And that smile! *sigh* I love my little family so much!

beautiful baby

big girl

We had Popeye Punch smoothies - spinach, pineapple, mountain apple juice, banana, and hemp protein. So delicious!

popeye punch

yummy healthy smoothie

Adelaide had some of mama's milk!

nursing in public

Tri-Color Hummus: Lemon-parsley sunflower hummus, chipotle sunflower hummus, and curry sunflower hummus. Served with local and organic cranberry-walnut baguette, carrots, and bell pepper slices.

tri-colored hummus

My meal (the furthest away) was the Lunasagna: layers of zuchinni noodles served with sundried tomato sauce, crimini mushrooms and a raw vegan cashew/basil cheese. Served with a local green salad. It was sooooo yummy! There was a hemp oil/cashew dressing on the salad that was awesome too.

Kevin's meal was Gaia's Treasure: Shitake mushrooms, carrots and broccoli tossed in a ginger sesame marinade served over veggie rice and zucchini noodles. Served with a local green salad. I tasted his and it was delicious too!

Both meals were exceptional. I have zero complaints about the food! Luna's Living Kitchen will definitely be our go-to place for special occasions. It's a little pricey for normal weekend nosh.

our lunch


Afterwards, we decided to check out Atherton Market. What an awesome place! I loved all the chalkboard signs, the huge brick walls, and the ginormous ceiling fans! What a beautiful place! I hope to go back sometime and get some more shots of all the pretty things there. We ran into a couple people that we knew too, so that was fun!

atherton market

Adelaide has been looking up a lot lately... here she is checking out those huge ceiling fans.

addie looking up

freshly roasted nuts

handmade soaps

lots of blueberries

And finally, we stopped by Earth Fare on the way home and splurged just a little more. I got some flour and other things to try a homemade bread, and we got one root beer to share. Ahh... a great end to a great day!

root beer splurge