Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Curried lentil soup

In the words that may forever remind me of Joey Tribbiani, Mmm, soup. Hearty, healthy, and with a hint of spice, this curried lentil soup is incredibly satisfying. Make this for dinner tonight!

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried lentil soup, adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped (I used 3 handfuls of baby carrots)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped (about a 2-inch piece)
1 tsp ground fresh Sambal chili paste (I used one by this one by Huy Fong Foods)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
1 quarts low sodium vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 (12-ounce) can coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro stalks, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels (I used frozen)

Curried Lentil Soup

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and 2/3 of the chopped carrots. Cook until sweated down (about 5 minutes).

Curried Lentil Soup

Add garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander. Release their fragrant flavours by mixing for about a minute. Be careful not to burn the spices!

Curried Lentil Soup

Add lentils, vegetable broth, water, bay leaves, and coconut milk. Taste, then mix in soy sauce and brown sugar, and taste again. Such a difference, right? It's incredible how such a small amount of those last two ingredients can enhance all the other flavours!

Next, add cilantro stalks and bring soup to a boil. Cover and let simmer until stock thickens and lentils start to break down (about an hour.) Mix in remaining carrots and corn, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. I like adding carrots at the end of the cooking process to put some crunch into the soup. And adding the corn at the end keeps it nice and sweet.

Curried Lentil Soup

Discard bay leaves, and ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves and think: mmm, soup!

Images copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats' Vegan: Lentil and Coconut Soup with Cilantro-Habañero Gremolata.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

And the design goes to...

After 70 years of holding the names of Oscar winners as presenters fumbled with the seal, the white envelope has been replaced. Designed by Marc Friedland, the LA-based stationer to the stars, this year's envelopes are truly Oscar-worthy.

New Oscar envelope design
Image from here.

Assigned to the project at the start of the month (wow!), Friedland took inspiration from the elegant Hollywood regency feel to this year's Oscar set.

New Oscar envelope design
Image from here.

The new envelope is made of iridescent gold paper watermarked with little images of Oscar. It's lined with shiny red paper embossed with gold Oscars. The winner's name appears on a heavy piece of lacquered red paper inside, with the category listed on front and back. The envelope will be sealed with a shiny red sticker adorned with two strips of red ribbon.

New Oscar envelope design
Image from here.

The completed envelopes were due on February 22, but Friedland still doesn't know who the winners are. Insert cards were prepared for each nominee, and the winning ones will be sealed by the only two people who have access to the results.

See who walks away with one of these shiny envelopes at the 83rd Academy Awards this Sunday, starting at 7pm eastern / 4pm pacific time.

Info from the Associated Press, via here.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Is this a cat blog? Yes. Wishing everyone a wonderfully restful weekend.

Meow Face
Meow Face

Images copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ou la la

Like so many illustrators that I admire, Blanca Gómez is a name I learned by typing it into my phone after ouuing and awwing at a few of her greeting cards while out and about shopping. Her designs seem so simple with their bold blocks of colour. And yet, her use of textures make her work so interesting I can't help but stare at each piece and wonder how she does it.

Beauty is in the street 12 x 16 print
Parisiens set of two prints
Monsieur set of four prints

While a lot of her work seems French-inspired, Blanca Gómez is a designer and illustrator living in Madrid, Spain. Browse through more of her beautiful paper goodies here. Or visit the artist's website for more information. Her website, named cosas mínimas, means tiny things in Spanish. It was first registered for her by old boss who noticed she was always sketching little doodles on post-it notes. What a supportive boss!

Images from Blanca Gómez's Etsy shop.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rain rain go away

Sometimes, you just have a case of the Mondays.

Mickey Eeyore

Image copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday

Wishing everyone a warm and cozy weekend.


Image copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Martha Stewart gets some chow with her fave Chow Chow at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Only the best for Genghis Khan, who later won Best in Breed at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Image from here.

A lot of people think this is weird; I think it's awesome. Also, he's so pouffy!! He looks like a giant teddy bear. Aka, he reminds me of Gus and Mickey.

Chow Chow
Image from here.

Another winner makes me think of Gus and Mickey... For obvious reasons!

Image from here.

They claim he's a Pekingese dog, but I'm pretty sure that's a Himalayan cat who won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Tuesday.

Gus in show
Image copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Best in Fluff goes to Gus and Mickey. Now where should I take them for lunch? Table for three, please. Just kidding. They'd much prefer dinner.

Mickey in show
Image copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Caffeinated birthday wishes to me!

Some great goodies I got over the weekend!

Starbucks Birthday
Starbucks birthday postcard.

Combining two of my favourite things: coffee and snail mail. I love the simple design and gold spot colour of this postcard.

Marc Jacobs Birthday
Crows Toes Quarterly: The Fourteenth Issue.

Full of artwork by my longtime favourite Ayden Gallery artist, Kristian Adam. His paintings are adorable yet wonderfully wacky. I'm pretty much obsessed with his cooky artwork.

Kristian Adam Birthday
Marc by Marc Jacobs purse.

This is what I like to call my first big girl purse. So chic and lovely! Thanks Mitch!

Images copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm fluffy and I know it

In honour of LMFAO being in town tonight: Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, fluff. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, fluff. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, fluff. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. -Gus

Image copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Come pick me up!

Driveway to garage service. Only the best for Gus.

What a Gus
Image copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Get baked

There's something about baking cauliflower that makes the vegetable so savory and delicious! Tossed with a drizzle of olive oil and some spices, the flavours caramelize as they roast together in the oven. Baked cauliflower is perfect on it's own, but it's also wonderful mixed with pasta. Add some goat cheese and the juice of a lemon for a flavourful and oh so satisfying noodle dish.

Baked cauliflower

1/2 head of cauliflower, broken up into florets
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp olive oil, or enough to coat cauliflower
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F (175° C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add ingredients. Mix, and place in the oven. Bake until cauliflower tops are golden brown yet still slightly tender (about 20 minutes, depending on floret sizes). Remove from oven and mix. Enjoy as it, or toss with your favourite pasta dish, like the one below!

Pasta with baked cauliflower and goat cheese
Serves 2

Baked cauliflower
Penne pasta (2 servings)
Fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp goat cheese
2 cup fresh spinach
1 cup fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and pasta (I used about 1 cup dried whole wheat penne). Cook until al dente and drain.

In the meantime, heat pan on medium heat. Add oil and minced garlic, and stir until fragrant (about a minutes). Add lemon juice (and some white wine if you happen to have some laying around!) Mix in cooked pasta, spinach, cilantro, and goat cheese; and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Yum!

Images copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


This comic by Adam@Home made me smile last week, so I thought I'd share.

Adam also has a small obsession with coffee and works from home. He's basically my idol. To read more of the daily comic by Brian Basset and Rob Harrell, visit the Adam@Home page on Go Comics.

Image from Go Comics.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sealed with love

Sealed with a kiss? How passé. This Valentine's Day, why not seal that card to your special someone with a heart...two hearts actually. Visit Martha Stewart Living for instructions on this, and other Valentine's Day card, ideas.

Image from Martha Stewart Living.
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Copyright © 2012/2013 Jasmine Habart