Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Winter Warmer Curry Soup

I just love recipes and home cooking I suppose it's my Polish heritage and all those early years where l would make mud pies and cups of tea for the chickens in the backyard with my old silver Aluminum teapot. I'm a homebody, it's a great day if l have baked or cooked, done something crafty and played with Poppy. I thought it might be fun to share a recipe weekly here at PoppyFox HQ. My mother-in-law shared this soup recipe with me and it's fast becoming a favourite in this cold weather. Easy to prepare, adapt, freeze and reheat.


1 large Carrot

1 large onion
1 bunch of Bok choy
 1 cup of Arborio Rice
1 litre of Chicken Stock

  Olive Oil for cooking onions
 1 Tsp of Keen Curry Powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Coriander to garnish at the end (optional)

How to Make it

Place 2 tbsp of Olive Oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Dice finely one large onion and cook it til golden. Add Curry powder (this could be the traditional Keen powder or any curry powder) to onion and 1 cup of rice, stir til the rice grains are coated. Grate 1 large carrot finely and add it to the saucepan along with 1 litre of chicken stock. For Vegetarians add vegetable stock to soup. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for about 15 mins stirring occasionally. When grains of rice are cooked add the chopped Bok choy to the soup and continue to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Season soup to taste. This might mean an extra pinch of curry powder or some pepper and salt. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander to the soup.

Serve with toasted sourdough. I served mine with some grilled cheese sourdough and the family loved it.

Variations to recipe

For those that are vegetarians or like more veggies. Use Vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Try adding any or all of these peas, corn, small diced potatoes or parsnip, celery, zucchini to the soup. Any short grain rice would work l like Arborio rice as its a short grain rice it's high in starch, absorbs liquid well and stays firm to the bite. If you don't eat rice then try pasta, little shapes or macaroni noodles, or rice noodles. For those that need to be gluten free try quinoa as it would work too. I like using the white Quinoa but you can also buy an organic white, red and black Quinoa. I would cook this separately in stock and then introduce it to the soup at the end to make sure the grains are perfectly cooked. Along with legumes like lentils, chickpeas or kidney beans.  You could serve this with garlic bread, or toasted herb bread, garlic Naan bread, toasted sourdough or even a toasted sandwich or just eat it on it's own.

Freezing the Soup

If you want to freeze the soup l suggest cooking the rice till cooked but firm and leave out the asian greens. When you defrost the soup then add this or any other leafy green or watery vegetable like zucchini in the reheating phase on the stove.

What you have been cooking lately? Feel free to share the recipe with us.
Have a great Wednesday everyone.

x mummafox

Monday, May 28, 2012

Whimsy Monday Link Love

I've been following blogs ever since l got pregnant three years ago and l would say I'm still a relative newwie with my knowledge of what's out there. I've just caught on to Bloglovin and added all my favourite blogs for easy reading late at night when Miss Two is asleep.
It's like realising you have a long lost friend who organises all your reading material and sends you lovely emails to let you know you are in for a treat. l thought l'd share the blogs and things that have inspired me lately and make this a regular post at PoppyFox. I learnt about blogs through friends sharing their knowledge and loves with me and I want to
share the love with you too.

PoppyFox was inspired by a desire to make old new again and reinventing the creative process through using reclaimed upholstery and vintage fabrics into treasures. Dreaming up Reversible Bags, Handmade quilts and clothing to coax the imagination and be something useful, practical everyday and beautiful.
I saw a new book Reinvention and the Anthology magazine that made my heart sing along with a softie at warymeyers that I covet for Miss Two. Themes of nature and bird life in photography, head dress, and fabric inspires me with ideas for some new quilts. All this winter goodness is helping me get into the winter season spirit and want to bake a hot apple pie as the rain comes down. I really want to reinvent my ironing board and fell in love with the new Melody Miller Fabric Ironing Board shown recently at the Quilt Market in America. Oh l want some of this fabric.

I'm in the process of getting a single bed for Poppy as she is growing up so fast and it's got me thinking about how best to create a sanctuary to rest and dream. I was inspired by these sleeping nooks and arty chandeliers. Living in a small house I have to think about creating a space that allows for play, rest and company while being mindful of keeping things simple, colourful and adaptable. It's a bit of a mission to design a toddler bedroom for Miss Two at the moment. Any suggestions about what l should do?
Help us get to 200 likers on Facebook for our first PoppyFox giveaway of a Winter Charlie Sling bag. A Bespoke Individualised Bag for the lucky winner who will be randomly chosen. So share us with your family and friends about our Facebook page and the Poppy Fox blog and lets get this giveaway started.
If you have found any Blogs, articles, DIY crafty projects, books and photos that have inspired you l would love you to share them and comment below.

Have Monday everyone.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Snap Shot

A snapshot into the past 2 weeks. For much of it we have been resting from the flu under our patchwork quilts on the couch listening to the rain. My body just took the decision to rest out of my hands. For those that know me l don't fall apart when sick l just plow on through but alas that didn't happen this time. There has been mandatory nanna naps for Poppy and I as still she fights a lingering cough, watching old movies & cartoons, creating Mr Fred food plates for Miss Poppy, eating soup & reading next to the fire, kind friends and most of all my lovely husband coming to the rescue and making sure we don't starve. I'm back in the land of the living it feels like the sun just came out after a storm and there were rainbows. I'm starting to sew although my energy still needs to return and I even managed some play dates, a couple of boxing classes and some housework. 
I was really fortunate to spend time with girlfriends and there amazing kids this week along with attending mother's group and playgroup after what seemed like weeks and it helped lift my spirits. I've been spending time being mindful about my motherhood journey and seeking solace in the quiet and the busy moments to really appreciate how hard and how amazing it all is. 
I read a great blogpost at the other day it made me realise how unique our experiences are of motherhood and how hard it can be to put it into words. As l entered into my 30's marriage and motherhood became part of a new journey and l am still trying to work it out. I was gifted a book during the week A Life's Work On Becoming A Mother by Rachel Cusk and l am amazed at how in tune my best friends are to where l am in my journey and how to inspire me to dive on in and explore it's presence in my life and give it recognition. While another friend gave me the newest edition of Country Style Magazine for a little self indulgence. I enjoyed a wonderful three hours of reading alone in bed the other night with a pot of milky tea. 
During the month of May I have been challenging myself to Be Present, Pay Attention, Listen Deeply, Speak Truthfully and Act Creatively. I've learnt a lot and it's been immensely rewarding to learn to listen to the needs of my body and my Spirit. On the flip side l have had to face ongoing illness and family conflict which has forced me to take notice and think about my little family and my needs no matter the fall out. I wouldn't say l am turning over a new leaf but becoming more at peace with myself. I'm slowly letting go of unfair expectations, stopping to enjoying the simple life and letting the days be what they are.

I'd love to hear what you all have been up to.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The ultimate flu fighter- Asian short soup

I made this soup all last week when I had the flu and then when I put my back out.
There's nothing like tucking into a bowl of hot soup when you're feeling so awful.
I often make this up when we are all tired, needing comfort and a pick me up.
Especially great when your hubby's late home from work and you just need a easy five minute meal. Yep, it's that quick.
Make your own chicken stock or buy it. I make my own + it freezes for up for three months. The veggies are all in season, I just harvest straight from the garden each day. Yum! Give it a go, it's a great recipe for many or for few. Just adjust the qualities of ingredients to feed yourself or the whole tribe.

2 cups of Chicken stock
1 tblsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of Chilli sauce
1/2 cup of snowpeas (10 snowpeas)
1/2 cup of Juliane carrots (2 carrots)
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
1 cup of cooked shredded chicken
Half a Bok choy (oppotional)
1 serve of Vermicelli Rice noodles

How to make
In a bowl of hot water place the dried Vermicelli rice noodles in and let steep for 2-3 mins.

Dice up a cup of shredded chicken I used a roast chicken from Coles.
In a small saucepan place chicken stock, veggies, Chilli, soy sauce in the pot and on medium heat cook for 2-3 mins.

Pour into a deep bowl and eat hot.

Variations to recipe
You could use wontons, tofu, fish balls from the Asian grocers to vary the soup. You could substitute chilli sauce for Yeo's Chilli and Garlic sauce or dried/fresh chilli. For veggie soup you could add vegetable stock, tofu, variety of Asian mushrooms, Bok choy, or choy sum, handful of bean shoots or bean sprouts.


x Mummafox

Monday, May 7, 2012

Taking the time to be creative

Taking the time to be creative sounds easy but l have yet to learn how to juggle motherhood, everyday life and find the time to create and sew up PoppyFox goodness. I know it will happen it just all seems to take time.
 I'm often in awe of how artists and crafters create what is in their mind's eye. You see I'm my worst critic. I love to dream and fall in love with the texture and design of something. I believe in what l create but getting others to know about me, support PoppyFox and get excited alongside me takes a lot of confidence to put oneself out there. I think it's something that is going to take time to build in me. I guess having just started out with a blog and business it's easy to think you will never make it. You wonder if anyone is out there reading your blog but I've been following some wonderful blogs like Naughty Shorts, Onesheepishgirl, Smile and Wave, Abeautifulmess and l see that doing what you love is about putting yourself out there and being authentic in what you say, do and create. I guess that is where my ramblings and blog posts came from- an attempt to share my inner turmoil, excitement, passion and creativity with others. To build community. 
So being mindful this month l am going to take Anni's advice to challenge myself this month to Be Present, Pay Attention, Listen Deeply, Speak Truthfully and Act Creatively. It's going to be a challenge in the face of my busy life but l am looking forward to what l learn. Being part of hosting the Mindful May event I've learnt so much and felt intent to listen to other's, share, and be present. It's been such a blessing and I'm glad to be a part of it. It's an opportunity to face my obstacles and insecurities, to acknowledge and embrace them and know it is the dark side of the soul that allows us to rise to the challenge and become more authentic.

This weekend l have tried to slowdown and practise being more present. I had the privilege of working on Saturday at home doing some work for my private counselling practise Inner circles. I don't advertise but work comes my way by word of mouth. I provide Sandplay, Creative arts counselling and traditional personal/relationship counselling for any that are interested. I might not work as a social worker in the community health sector anymore but l remain passionate about counselling when l get the opportunity. I've learnt the trick is to always be open to opportunities. You never know when a door will open. I took the time to sit and be still and create my own sandtray before my family returned home. Sitting in the peace and stillness was a blessing I don't get much alone time at home. It makes me appreciate it more when l get those special moments.
I didn't touch my sewing machine this weekend but l focused my energies on the act of creating. I'm lucky to be married to a great guy and cook whom blessed me with dinner and helped in the kitchen. The stock for Matthew Evan's (aka The Gourmet Farmer) Lamb, tomato and yogurt soup is in the fridge ready for stage 2 tomorrow. One of my favourite things l like to do with Poppy is cook or bake. She loves to stir the mixture and is so proud when it comes out of the oven and she gets to eat what we have created. We baked Date, Coconut, Apple and Banana mini cupcakes for Mother's group we had to make double as they were really good with a cuppa or in Poppy's case a warm milk. The smells coming out of the kitchen soothed the soul and made us all snuggle on the couch with the fire and watch Mary Poppins under patchwork quilts.

I washed and bundled up fabrics over the weekend for little woven pinnies with vintage doilies along with several colourful reversible size 0-1 pinnies for the Esty shop. Reclaimed Bunting flags are coming along but trying to find the right mix of fabrics takes time especially when l want them to have a certain feel to them. 
This week I'm finishing my ink design for some colourful Happy Birthday Bunting for the shop just in time for our little ones birthdays. I use ours for all family birthdays to create a birthday atmosphere and it works a treat mixed with vintage bunting. I'm being mindful not to rush the process but to listen to what the fabrics are revealing and how the combination of colours looks athletically. I'd rather take more time on something than sew it and not like what l have created. I have a rule to only make what l like and what l would want for Poppy, my friends and for myself. That way l never get bored sewing and making things and stop enjoying the creative process. I want to build something l am proud and passionate about.

I've been refining a crown pattern and fairy wand design that l think will be a winner with the Little Princess' in our lives. Very Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ. Little Miss Poppy loves hers and l think every little girl should have one. I'm hoping to come up with a version for the boys when l get a moment. The Mixed Rainbow Crayons using re purposed materials are almost ready for the shop. Poppy enjoyed arty projects over the weekend and we have been making playdough monsters and exploring crayon and watercolour on thick card stock and paper.

I bought the new Countrystyle and Frankie magazines and can't wait to explore their pages in the next few days in my breaks from sewing, going to mother's group, playgroup and seeing family. As the Winter's cold sets in l am reminded to care for myself and others and take time to rest and be still. 
I hope you stay in the warmth and find time to rest, read, write, cook and create too.
Let me know what you are up to. I'd love to know. 

Happy Monday everyone.

x Mummafox

Friday, May 4, 2012

Reflections on being a crafter + mother this week

It's been a busy week. Having Poppy and Adam both sick began a time of madness and mayhem not dissimiliar to Alice in Wonderland but the laughter alone was worth it. Attempting the wonderful world of toilet training in the middle of winter. I'm lucky the Poppy finds it great fun to sit on the toilet in a pirate hat singing songs for rewards star stamps on the kitchen calender. 
Overall it's been a creative and interesting week.
 I've been creating twine teepee's when it hasn't been a downpour for my broad bean and snow pea seedlings. Planting out my front yard with veggies hopefully for a bumper winter crop of broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots, leeks and green veg. Trying to keep the ground warm with sugar cane mulch. I unfortunately lost my baby pumpkins to the rain they just couldn't handle all the wet and have begun to get soggy and rot.  Obviously l will be bartering or buying my pumpkins this winter. I dreamt of building some raised beds like Box Hill Community gardens next-door to the exhibition.
I began hosting Mindful May on Facebook and loving the immense love, compassion and sharing that comes from an event like this. Ordering fabric to finish my Winters Nest Quilt as it's getting older and l just can't seem to stay warm at night. Organising fabrics for the Charlie Sling bags and starting the cutting and piecing process to the new collection of bags. Dreaming up a new baby quilt using Lucie Summers screenprinted fabric as shown above. A score from Etsy. I think mixed with linen hot air balloons, bird textile fabrics and some neutral blending fabrics with perhaps a hint of yellow might be an amazing combination. I have made a promise to not start it until the bags and bespoke items are up on the Etsy shop. 
Designing my Etsy shop which l have yet to finish. I'm hoping Ads this weekend gets into his IT mode and helps me work out how to attach buttons to my blogpage and Etsy shop so l can use the thing. And I've been cleaning the house, making a to do list that resembles a book, attacking the loads of washing and trying to keep everything on an even keel.
Last night was a big night with the launch of the Motherhood Unmasked Exhibition. I still find it hard to believe that l had the opportunity to do something for myself and to have seven pieces on show.  It was an incredible privilege to share in sisterhood and our mothering journeys. I hope l get the chance to continue to keep in touch with some of the women in the group. I thought l would share some pictures of my artwork and our fun times at PoppyFox HQ this morning. 
My daily practise in mindfulness today was with each stir of the cupcake batter with my little Miss Poppy and my lovely niece Charlotte I was grateful for their excitement in having a cooking lesson and in the love they out pour on each other. I just love play dates for the wonder and magic of childhood that l get to witness and be a part of.

Back to the cutting table with the fire going and a tea while Poppy enjoys playdough and create. 
What you are up to?

x Mummafox

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Photo Essay of Mindfulness for Wednesday

 Today l kept things simple.
 I reminded myself to stay in the present today and with my little Hipstamatic I began to tell the story of our day at PoppyFox HQ.
Getting crafty, playing and enjoying the rain. 
I was present. I acknowledged each and every act. 
I shared it with my Little Poppy.
 I can't wait to share tomorrow with her and you.

x Mummafox

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My tuesday ramblings

Hello! Hi! What are you doing?

I'm hanging out at home listening to Little Birdy and enjoying a cup of tea. l have two sick people in my little house but in this quiet moment l am downstairs with a clean kitchen bench contemplating finishing my quilt A Winters Nest. I'm about to order my boarder fabric and get it finished for winter it's going to be a great feeling having it on my bed. I had someone ask me for a business card so they could order one for themselves this morning when l was at the quilting shop. All very exciting. It made my day knowing someone had fallen in love with my quilt. I must remember to always carry around my business cards. Important lesson that one. I'm doing the washing. Never a chore l much enjoy. I'm thinking about the best way to blog mobile-like.

I'm hosting the event Mindful May this month if you havn't received an invite and you want to be a part of the event shoot me an email here or on my facebook page ok. I'm being mindful to breathe and consider myself and those around me today with love. I'm enjoying reading a text from Bel who just saw the Motherhood Unmasked Exhibition currently on at Boxhill Community Arts Centre til Sunday this week where l have seven pieces showing. I'm honoured to be a part of this amazing group. I'm thinking l really need to finish cutting the linings for the Charlie Sling Bags sitting on my retro kitchen table looking at me. I'm thinking l have to finish cutting the bunting flags for the reclaimed bunting l am going to put in the Etsy shop. Its made with old school saris.

I'm eating pumpkin seeds and the ears of an easter bunny that l found in my pantry that l just couldn't say no to. I'm working on a boarder photo for the Etsy shop which l have just created and am going to pack the crayon packs today and add them to the shop. I'm thinking l really need to tidy up my kitchen pantry and do the dishes but Little Miss Poppy is asleep. I'm thankful she sleeps right now so i can write. I'm wanting to make gingerbread this afternoon. I think the smell alone would help Adam and Poppy feel better. I desire some hot chicken soup and a cheese toasty. I long for a hot day to wear a dress and not freeze. I wish for some fresh flowers and a freshly painted kitchen.I'm nursing a sore back from lots of cuddles with Poppy yesterday she's growing up way to fast.
I'm dreaming of all the beautiful binding tape and cottons to use on the bunting to give them something special. I'm working on a bunting DIY tutorial for the blog with photos. I'm wearing a Ink and Spindle and cloud badge. I am in bare feet. I loved watching Poppy quilt Adam's back in beautiful fabrics while he rested on the floor.
What are you doing?
Are you doing good things?
I'd love to know.
xx mummafox

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