Tamarind Quinoa with Curry Leaves, Cabbage, Tofu and Peanuts

I've always loved this particular Indian rice dish with curry leaves and peanuts, but honestly, I don't even know exactly what it is called. Being the sleuth that I am, I googled some of the ingredients and I'm pretty positive it is a traditional South Indian preparation called "tamarind rice." After comparing a few recipes, I concluded that the ingredients lists and instructions seemed way too complicated and time intensive for a weekday meal, so I made up my own version using quinoa (instead of rice) and threw in some tofu and shredded cabbage to make it a meal. Holy cow pie! It turned out so awesome. I will definitely add this to my weekly repertoire. The only real specialty ingredients you will need are tamarind paste and curry leaves. Both are available at any Indian grocer.

Curry leaves have a nice nutty flavor and is a must for this dish! Try to find them; you'll be glad you did!

Tamarind Quinoa with Curry Leaves, Cabbage, Tofu and Peanuts Recipe (vegan)
serves 2


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 7 ounces firm tofu (I used sprouted tofu from Trader Joe's.)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sea salt
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3-4 cups shredded cabbage
  • coconut oil
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp hing (If you don't have hing, use garlic or onion powder.)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or curry powder)
  • the leaves from one sprig of curry leaves, ripped (You can find these at Indian grocers.)
  • sea salt
  • peanuts for garnish


  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Chop tofu into tiny cubes. Pat dry. In a frying pan, add a bit of oil and add the first set of turmeric and cumin, fry for a second in oil and add tofu. Stir frequently. Once the tofu is browned, add salt to taste. Remove from heat.
  3. When the quinoa is done, stir in tamarind and a dash of sea salt.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add about 1/2 TB of oil, and the remaining spices. Saute until fragrant and then add curry leaves. Fry one more minute. Add shredded cabbage and saute until cabbage begins to wilt but is still a bit of crunchy. Add quinoa to frying pan and stir fry until ingredients are well combined.
  5. To serve, divide into bowls and garnish with salted peanuts.

Recipe: Vegan Cacoa Cherry Vanilla Cashew Cream Smoothie

Do you know what children's book the cashew smoothie is on?

Recently, I bought a delicious "cleanse" type drink at Whole Foods for $6.99. It was really yuumy, filling, but man, so friggin' expensive. The ingredients were simple: cashews, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water. Since I wanted it again, but knew I could make it at home for much less. Being me, I had to put my own twist on it and came up with this smoothie recipe. Still yummy, but a bit thicker and with a smidgen more nutrients in it!

I know lots of people tend to stay away from fats when they diet and I can understand that. Fats are generally loaded with dense amounts of calories, but we really need to consume healthy fats because, well, your body needs fats to function properly. Cashews are a great source of those healthy fats. Among some of the many health benefits of cashews are they have: loads of heart healthy mono-unsaturareted fats, tons of magnesium good for healthy bones, nerves, muscles, lowering blood pressure, and properties which help prevent of gallstones! Phew!

I also added super good for you chia seeds (omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, protein), flax (fiber, ALAs, lowers cholesterol, helps your heart, anti-inflamatory), raw cacoa (minerals, vitamins, mood booster, antioxidant), raisins (fiber, minerals, iron), cinnamon (helps lower insulin, cancer prevention, anti-bacterial) and cherries (vitamins, anti-inflamatory, anti-oxidants). In any case, yes, this smoothie is good for you, but more importantly, it tastes awesome and is very satisfying. What a great way to start the morning!

Vegan Cacoa Cherry Vanilla Cashew Cream Smoothie Recipe
serves 2

  • 1.5 cups water (plus more for thinning out when blending)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/8 cup organic raisins (you could also use 2 medjool dates)
  • 1/8 cup dried cherries (you can use fresh if you have them)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 TB chia seeds
  • 1 TB raw cacoa powder
  • 1 TB ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Overnight, in a glass container, soak all ingredients in water. Place in fridge.
  2. In the morning, blend all ingredients in blender. Thin out with water to your desired thickness. You can also add ice cubes to the blender if you would like to drink it very cold.

Vintage Books: Design, Illustration, & Pattern Inspiration

I have (and am about to) list more vintage books in the SXS Etsy shop. I thought you'd all enjoy some of these cropped detailed shots of the illustrations and patterns from the craft, Better Homes and Gardens, and Singer Sewing books I gathered. I love the very current potato print fabric dress (above) and the linocut patterns! And look how cute that elephant is!

Summery Picnics, Pyrex, Potato Salad, Party Balls, and Pastries

Ready for the warm weather and the parties that will ensue? Well, I just listed several items in the Scissors & Spice Etsy shop to help you out with your quest for fun and sun. Picnic things like the Hoot Mon metal picnic basket, Skotch Kooler cooler & Ingrid Chicago party ball will get you in the part-tay mood. Or, serve your famous Veganaise potato salad in any of these Pyrex bowls along with your equally famous strawberry shortcake cupcakes on a lovely (and unbreakable!) dessert stand at your next backyard barbecue. Keep your eyes peeled for some more fun summery items and gifts for moms and dads (yep, Mother's and Father's Day are coming up too!).

Recipe: Chewy Vegan Chia Chai Apricot Cherry Pepita Granola Bars!

Recently, we had the fortune of having some international cyclistas visit us from the great nation of Finland. It has become an ongoing joke between us that all they eat is granola. Every time they come I buy or make them granola. When they are on their road trips, they eat granola. Even when they are home, they eat granola for breakfast. Granola, granola, granola! But, you have to admit, little ol' granola is a perfect food for when you are traveling. Lot of carbs to give you the power boost to make it over that next hill with a headwind coming right at you.

When they were departing our abode on to their next journey, I wanted to give them some handheld fuel to take with them, so I came up with this recipe for a very European flavored granola bar (with some very healthy additions like chia and coconut oil). They loved them, I loved them, and my seven-year-old gave them a sideways thumbs up (which translates to, "I'd eat them, but I wouldn't ask you to make them again."). Ok, dearest, I'll leave the saffron out next time!

Chewy Vegan Chia Chai Apricot Cherry Pepita Granola Bars 
Tip: To make GF, use GF oats. Replace wheat germ with ground flax seeds.

  • 1/4 cup pepitas 
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds 
  • 1 cup oats 
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ 
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 TB unrefined coconut oil 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt 
  • few strands of saffron (Optional: I know people are sensitive to the taste of saffron, so don't use if you don't dig it. *Cough* *cough*, Mr. Scissors! ) 
  • pinch each: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove (All these are optional, though I would definitely use cinnamon. Tailor it to your taste or experiment.)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped apricots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mejool dates
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried chart cherries

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 a slightly oiled brownie pan (I like the glass variety) with parchment paper and spray the paper lightly with oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix seeds, oats, coconut, and wheat germ. Spread on a baking pan and place in oven for about 15 minutes to toast. Give a shake or a stir every 5 minutes.
  3. In the last five minutes of the dry ingredients toasting, add, to a heavy bottom sauce pan, the brown rice syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and seat salt. Stir frequently and bring just to the point of boiling. Remove from heat and add dried fruit. 
  4. Remove dry mix from oven and add to the wet mixture. Combine all ingredients. Let cool slightly.
  5. Press the mixture into the prepared brownie pan as tightly and evenly as you can pack it. Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove and let cool completely. You can even let it sit, covered, overnight in the fridge.
  6. When granola is completly cooled, cut into bars, and wrap individual pieces (I used wax paper, but you could also use plastic wrap). They will last for about 2 or so (if not longer!) weeks in your fridge! Grab one to go for your next bike trip!

Easy (& Fun!) Vegan Meals for Kids

...all on an Orla Kiely (one of my favorite pattern designers!) plate from Target!

We like to do "snack meals" every now and then 'round these parts. Since the weather is warming up, we spent most of the after school daylight on the playground and when I got home, I didn't want to fire anything up. It was too hot! So, I pulled together one of my famous snack meals for the kids. They love the variety and being able to eat with their hands.

We had a hummus trio tasting party with veggies and mini pitas, cut-up Smart Dogs, kalamata olives and grapes for dessert. Fun and simple (and, yes, healthy!)!

Vegan Beef Tips & Asparagus and Smoky & Sweet Sweet Potatoes

Last night, I really wanted to go light on dinner. Like have a bowl of cereal or just some steamed veggies. But, with nervous energy spiraling through me as I listened and watched the events taking place in my beloved Boston unfold, I felt like I needed to channel that energy into something--cooking!

I sliced sweet potatoes on a mandolin, and coated them with maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, soy sauce, and olive oil and baked them for about 20 minutes at 425 on a cookie sheet.

While those were doing their thing, I looked in the fridge and saw all the asparagus that we just bought at the farmer's market and a box of Trader Joe's beefless tips. "Aren't beef tips and asparagus a thing?" I googled it. It was! I fried both in olive oil and then deglazed the pan with lemon juice and mustard and then added sea salt. These were really good and something I would buy/make again!

On the side, I served a simple salad of macha with avocado drizzled with a dressing of olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and mustard. So yummy and so simple.

My mind is still on the place I called home during my formative years and all the people involved in the tragic events in some way, shape or form. This kind of occurrence is just becoming the norm and it's just too much for the spirit and mind to handle/comprehend. Love to everyone!

Boston, I Love You.

Looking towards The Fenway from atop our hotel, Dec 2011.

Boston, you will always be home to me. Love to you.

Fun Finds: Pyrex Nesting Bowls, Vera Neumann, Dansk, Cathrineholm

Lots of fun finds this past week! I just toured my storage facility (read "garage") to pull items I will be photographing for the shop in the next few days. This well-loved Cathrineholm lotus bowl will be listed soon and at a great price!

I have been looking for this yellow Pyrex bowl forever! It will now complete a set of primary colored nesting bowls. Yay!

Found a whole set of four of this Butterprint (Amish) Pyrex pattern.

I love pie plates with recipes on them. I normally just photograph them and move on, but this elephant stole my heart.

Red Dansk enameled pan.

Awesome vintage faux cross stitch sampler fabric/bedspread.

Vera Neumann scarf.

Set of four Pyrex Cinderella avocado nesting bowls.

Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch fabric. How cute!

A complete set of Pyrex primary color nesting bowls--just like Grandma used to have--in perfect shape. This was an awesome find!

Keep checking back to the Scissors and Spice shop to see when everything is listed (plus more!) in the next few weeks. Or if you are in a hurry to buy, you could always email me before I list to purchase. Email: lynn ((at)) scissorsandspice ((dot)) com!

Summer Parties Call for Vintage Marimekko

Can you feel it coming? The breezes are getting warmer. People are venturing outside. Kids are on the playgrounds. Summer is almost here! And summertime means backyard parties and backyard parties require ice! Don't just have your ice sitting out in some boring plain bowl! Impress your guests with your stylish sense of entertaining with this vintage Marimekko for Ingrid ice bucket. Guarenteed to increase the festiveness of your gathering by 350%!

You can see more pictures and buy from the Scissors & Spice Etsy shop here: Marimekko Ice Bucket.

Vegan Multigrain Lentil Loaf with Mashed Cauliflower

I know, I know. Lentil loaf is so old school vegetarian. But, you have to admit, it is pure comfort food. I wanted to try something new, so I mixed up the normal addition of rice with oats and it worked perfectly!

Of course, I didn't write down the recipe as I was making it! I do remember, however, that I used one cup of uncooked lentils cooked in 3 cups of vegetable broth. As they were cooking, I added two ribs of chopped celery and two finely chopped carrots to the broth and lentils. Into two cups of salted boiling water, I added 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of rice and then turned down to a simmer and cooked for 20 minutes. When both were done, I combined the lentils and rice and added sage, thyme, oregano (and probably basil), salt, pepper, 1 TB olive oil, 2 TB soy sauce, 3 TB tomato paste and then mixed. The mixture went into a greased loaf pan and then baked at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. I topped it with pasta sauce and served it with mashed cauliflower.

Vintage Craft Books: Applique Stitchery, 1966 (Now in the Shop!)

Applique Stitchery by Jean Ray Laury, Hardcover, 1966

A great resource for crafters, doll or toy makers, or graphic designers looking for pattern design inspiration. Offers how-tos and patterns and tons of creatives ideas to make wall hangings, household items and dolls. Now available for sale in the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop!

Around the House: Cathrineholm, Digsmed, and Finel of Finland

I'm babysitting a couple of items from my shop until they sell: a small yellow enamel lotus bowl by Cathrineholm and tall Danish teak ice bucket by Digsmed. The Finel bowl was a gift from my fabulous sister and the gray and white runner was a gift that my husband bought for me from a trip to Sweden.

It's a Baker's Life!

 The yummiest, moistest sour cream coffee cake!

 Lemon poppy seed muffins!

 Caramel pecan bars!

Vegan chocolate chip donuts with peanut butter chocolate glaze!

Fudge brownies topped with chocolata ganache and marbled with peanut butter frosting!

Recent events like Easter have made it possible for me to return to my love--baking! I'm so happy with the oven on at 350 and so are the others in my life.