Sunday, March 31, 2013

Traditional Food Series ~ Greek Salad & Naan Greek Pizza

Welcome back to our Traditional Food Series!  We are so thrilled to have you here at the Cafe!  Happy Easter to all those who are celebrating!  It's Mary from Sweet Little Bluebird and it's my turn to share a traditional food favorite.  Last week Natalie kicked off this series with her yummy Durban Beef Bunny Chow. For the next 4 weeks, we will each share a dish that comes from our heritage, culture or has a special meaning to us. On the 6th week, we'll be hosting a link party and asking you all to link up your special recipes!

You may have read before, I'm a Greek girl, with a weee little bit of Irish in me, when I shared my Spanakopita Cresent Rolls recipe.  That recipe has feta.  I love FETA cheese. LoVe.  But then again, I'm Greek, I should.  I also love lamb...but I'll focus on lamb another day.   Let's shine the light on Feta today!

For this fun series I am sharing two recipes that have lots and lots of Feta! Greek Salad and my Naan Greek Pizza.   


Romaine lettuce - bite size
Tomatoes - Plum, Cherry, any kind will do, sliced. *seed if you like
Kalamata or Black Olives, Pitted - I used Kalamata
Cucumber - cut to bite size pieces (peeled or unpeeled)
Red Onion - slice to desired size, not too small
Feta Cheese, crumbled  

The amount of ingredients above depends on the size of the salad,
use desired amount of each.  Wash lettuce, tear or cut into bite size pieces. Top with desired amount of veggies, olives and feta, drizzle with favorite dressing. Enjoy!

Some additional toppings that go great on a Greek salad are beets and grilled chicken!

Use your favorite Greek store dressing or make your own.  I use Penzeys' Greek Seasoning dressing recipe - pictured below.  It's a staple in my home.  

Mix 2 Tablespoons of Penzeys' Greek seasoning with 2 Tablespoons of water, let stand for 5 minutes. Add ¼ Cup olive oil, ¼ Cup salad oil, 1/3 Cup red wine vinegar (or ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of water), plus 1 teaspoon of sugar if desired. I love sugar added! has a great Greek House Dressing recipe you can check out too.



2 Pieces of Traditional Naan 
8 Cups of Fresh Spinach (approx 3 large handfuls) - once cooked, divided equally
8 oz Mozzarella - divided equally
1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta - divided equally 
3 Plum Tomatoes Sliced
Kalamata Olives 
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Garlic, minced
Few dashes of Greek Seasoning (I used Penzeys Greek)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place Naan on cookie sheet (or pizza stone) and brush tops with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, divided equally among the 2 pieces.  In a sauce pan, on medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, pour spinach on top and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, constantly turning the spinach.  Remove from heat and evenly top pizzas with spinach.  Next, add 4 oz of mozzarella cheese to each pizza.  Top with sliced plum tomatoes.  Sprinkle pizzas with feta cheese and Kalamata olives.  Lightly sprinkle with Greek seasoning.  Bake for 10-12 minutes on middle rack of oven.  Remove, slice & enjoy!

Thank you so much for visiting the Cafe today!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Weekly Wrap Up 11

Happy Easter !!!!

Hope you have all had a great week, pop on over and catch up with us

Natalie...NorthShore Days
Easy Easter Basket

   How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Heather ...The Beating Hearth
Part 6 - How to pin properly
Perfect Fabric for my Daughter

Danni ...Silo Hill Farm

Looking Down - March Self-Portrait Challenge
Easter Sign Repair

Danni is also co-hosting a BLOGLOVIN' BLOG HOP 
so head on over, add your blog and we can all follow along.

  Wet Your Pants Wednesday #20
300 Giveaway

It was Nat's turn at the Cafe this week, kicking off our new series on recipes from our heritage.  An awesome recipe from South Africa,  Durban Beef Bunny Chow!


If you have an awesome recipe from your heritage, write up a post about it and be sure to come back at the end of this series for Inspiration Cafe's first ever link party!!

Have a great Easter weekend everyone. 

 Nat, Mary, Heather, Danni and Mel

Inspiration Cafe is looking for guest posters and contributors. If you would like to guest please let us know, we would love to have you. If you would prefer a feature instead, feel free to drop us a line. New or old posts welcome.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Skinny Jeans Tutorial - Mammy Made

 Adele is here from Mammy Made, today...


Hi everyone. I'm Adele and I live in England with my two gorgeous babies, Leyla who is 4 and Naomie who is 2. I am so excited to be contributing to Inspiration Cafe again today!

I usually blog over at Mammy Made. I like to write about crafting, cooking and homeschooling, although I am only homeschooling part time at the minute. I have tons of tutorials on there so come by and say hi, I’d love to see you! 

Today I am going to be showing you how to turn a pair of bootcut jeans into a pair of skinny jeans. I am also going to show you how to do a reverse applique as a patch on your new jeans or wherever you would like.

I had this pair of jeans forever but I hardly ever wore them as they were flared. I prefer skinny jeans so I can wear my boots over them if it is chilly out. I decided to take this pair in on the inside seam so I could wear them more often.

To do so, I just turned them inside out and put them on. I pinned where I wanted my new seam to be (whilst wearing them), then took them off very carefully and drew a line down my new seam line. I did one long line from hem to hem, through the crotch. I stitched along the line with a straight stitch then cut off my excess fabric and ran a zigzag stitch in the allowance. I cut some of the crotch off to make a smoother sewing line but you will want to be careful not to cut too much off or your jeans may be too short in the rise. Luckily, mine are just perfect now.

The jeans also had this little hole just under the knee. I'm not sure how I managed to get a hole there. It seems like a strange place to me hehe. Anyway, I figured that while I was taking them in, I may aswell put a cute reverse applique patch on them to cover the hole.

I very carefully drew and cut out a heart shape around the hole then cut a square of denim to easily fit behind. I pinned it well, made sure the denim was centred as much as possible on the back, then stitched around the heart shape with a zigzag. I used thread the same colour as the stitching on the rest of the jeans so it looks like it was meant to be there. I cut off the excess material at the back and my patch was done :)

Next, I took the hem on the legs up just a little bit. I didn't quite manage to line up my second leg perfectly so the stitching was a bit off. Plus, they were just a tiny bit too long anyways so no biggie. I cut off the original hem, then folded and folded again to make a nice double hem. I stitched it down using my new twin needle originally but didn't like the look so I unpicked it and ran a single line of straight stitch. The twin needle was awesome though! Much easier than I expected!

I love my new jeans :D

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you so much to everyone behind Inspiration Cafe for letting me contribute again. It's been fun!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rothko Inspired Art - Polka Dots and Paisley

Hello Inspiration Cafe readers. I'm Al from Polka Dots and Paisley. Thanks for having me here today to share a project that I posted several days ago.

I'm really thrilled to be here at the Cafe with you today sharing my Rothko Inspired Art. It started when I saw this Rothko Rip Off. I loved the simplicity of it and decided to make some of my own. Please keep in mind I am not an artist nor do I have aspirations of being one. However, I like art and really can’t afford to buy pieces for all my space.

First I took the cardboard from the back of the frame. That’s what I used as my background. While it was apart I spray painted the frame white.

Next I painted the white. I went all the way around and drew a line across each page. I made a point of not having it perfect and left some wonky lines and edges.

The I added my wide rectangles. There was no rhyme or reason. I just went with what I was feeling.

I thought that would be the end but I still felt like I was missing something so I added the few smaller rectangles inside the wider rectangles.

There you have it; cheap and easy artwork that can be customized to match your colours. Feel free to stop by Polka Dots and Paisley and check out some of the other art projects I've made for my house, like my bathroom drip art, orange and blue art, or tree art.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Strong Shoes - The Rusty Pearl

Hey Everyone, Sherry from The Rusty Pearl is here today, sharing an inspirational message.


If God gives us STONY paths .. He will give us GOOD shoes ....God has no problems ...ONLY plans. .. I read this in a mothers inspirational book today and LOVED it !!! Not to mention was able to use one of my pics for the title picture... YAY !!!

Day 2 Picture ... I found this old shell.... I took pictures of all sides... YOU cant really see it but its very weathered and has little holes in it.  Prompted me to hold it feel it ...TOUCH it and appreciate the textures of it and the edges etc..  I then thought ..WOW wonder where it came from. What journey it had been thru to be now in my hands.. What it survived .. made me feel thankful. So this i will write in my book for Day 2.. I have now placed it at the end of my desk (shell) desk that is a constant project LOL .. BUT it has a home...and FREE 90 FREE cant put a price on that kind of beauty or GIFT from GOD .............The simple things.......

There is my shell desk that I have been working on for awhile.. It is all the shells over the years that i have saved or kids have given to me etc... Special vacations you name it . PRICELESS to me ..

The shell now has a home on my desk for me to admire and ponder where it came from and what JOURNEY it took to get here...............  (knowing full well its a gift from GOD )

Now Little Jelly  - Bean has been part of it all !!!!!!  She is for sure My little gift from GOD !!! OMGOSH who knew she could be such a JOY and bright spot in life .. LOVE little Jelly

She is not RUSTY but she sure is a PEARL (a PEARL to me is all things special)

I will close with this ....

I am ever so near you, hovering over your shoulder, reading every thought . People think that thoughts are fleeting and worthless, but yours are precious to me.  (says the LORD) ..

Isnt that awesome to think about GOD being near us .. I really do feel like I know GOD . I talk to him daily . I do have a relationship with him.  I loved when I read this .. Made me feel accountable for my thoughts and more conscious of my thoughts.. OUT with the YUCKY and only putting positive in sort of thing. ........................Thanks for following along.. HUGS and going to start a paint project this week YAY ................................... GOD bless and have a great rest of the day ...


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Traditional Food Series - Durban Beef Bunny Chow

**Disclaimer: No actual bunnies were harmed in the making of this dish**

Today I'm really excited to be kicking off a new series here at the cafe. For the next 5 weeks we will each share a dish that comes from our heritage, culture or has a special meaning to us. On the 6th week we'll be hosting a link party and asking you all to link up your special recipes.

As you all know I live in New Zealand, but some of you may not know that I grew up in Durban in South Africa. 
So I am sharing a traditional Durban street food called Bunny Chow, which basically consists of curry served in a scooped out loaf of bread. 

As theories go, this dish originated in the early 1900s, when Indian workers would get their curry "to go"  the shopkeepers served the curry in hollowed out loaves of bread. The name "bunny came from the word "banias" which was the term for the Indian shopkeepers at the time. 

The curry used in a bunny chow can be chicken, beef, lamb or vegetable and the level of heat varies... a lot! Now I like a tomato based curry, so mine has tomato in it, but you can make it  without.
 I couldn't decide if I should make a beef or chicken curry, as both are really delicious. Finally I decided to go with a mild beef, I hope you all like it too...

Ingredients I used:

500g cubed beef
2-3 potatoes
1 onion
a clove or 2 of garlic
crushed ginger
a teaspoon of curry powder
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3/4 sachet of Indian simmer sauce ( I used Taste of India)
A loaf of fresh bread (unsliced)
Fry onion, garlic and ginger together with curry powder. Brown the beef.
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and leave on high for 6 hours.

Alternatively you can cook this on the stove top if you prefer. I just like to toss everything together and leave it.

Cut the load of bread into half or quarters. I like mine to be a quarter and hubby likes the half size helping. Hollow out the bread and keep the soft bread aside.

Once the curry is ready, serve immediately into the bread "bowl" and place the chunk of bread on top, this is used to dip into the gravy. The whole meal is eaten by hand, breaking off pieces of the bread and using it to scoop up the curry. 

Be warned though...this can be a pretty messy meal, but really worth it. Yum!

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