Archive for the ‘Living Simple’ Category

6 rooms into 1: morphing apartment packs 1100 sq ft into 420

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016


In 2010, we met Graham Hill- the founder of and a serial entrepreneur. He had just bought two tiny apartments in a century-old tenement building in Soho and he had plans to turn them into laboratories, and showcases, for tiny living. He’d spent most of the past year living in tiny spaces- “a tiny trailer, a tent, and then a boat” and he was convinced others would love it as much if small spaces could be designed right.

He wanted a tiny space that didn’t sacrifice function, but instead that would expand to provide a wish list including dinner parties for 12, accommodations for 2 overnight guests, a home office and a home theater with digital projector. Not wanting to limit himself to local architects, he crowdsourced the design as a competition and received 300 entries from all over the world. Two Romanian architecture students won with their design “One Size Fits All”.

Completed in 2012, his LifeEdited apartment doesn’t resemble the cramped space we saw in 2010. Today the 420-square-foot space can be expanded to include the functionality of 1,100 square feet: walls, drawers and beds move and unfold to create 6 rooms: living room, dining room, office, guest office, master bedroom and guest bedroom. If you include the kitchen and the bathroom which morphs into a phone booth or meditation room, the apartment includes 10 total rooms.   – From Kristen Dirksen’s YouTube Channel


Big Drinks In A Tiny House | I Want The Vintage Bar Cart & I Will Settle For The Bar Shelf

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016


I would love to have the room to stock a great vintage bar cart in my tiny house.  But with a small space you need to be smart.


Since there is so much flavored bottles out there at the LCBO you might not want to get stuck holding bottles that won’t be used.  It’s smart to just get the basics and build from there.  You can also make your own syrups or flavor infused batches to mix for a certain party or time of the year.


Instead focus on buying base spirits like Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila, Gin and Rum.  Some other tips: Buy baby bottles. 🙂 When you are trying a new recipe with a bunch of new ingredients, buy mini bottles instead of full size. The liquor store I go to has almost every specialty liqueur in cute tiny bottles.  After you’ve tried it, you can decide if you want to invest in a bigger bottle.  Tiny bottles in a tiny house makes sense.


Don’t forget some basic tools and also invest in some good glassware.  All you will need is some peeps to come over and some ice and mix away.  I’ll post some simple drinks that I’ve saved to bookmark.  For me a little spot in the kitchen will have my “tiny house bar shelf”  I will have to ask LMS if she likes to be shaken or stirred.

pasta alla carbonara with kale, brussels sprouts, and bacon | Eat Me Tuesday’s

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


Author: Bojon Gourmet


Pasta Carbonara with Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Duck Eggs

This is easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta; corn and quinoa penne is my current favorite for this dish.

Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a first course

For the sauce:
1/4 cup heavy cream (or ricotta cheese)
2 duck eggs (or extra-large hen’s eggs), at room temperature
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for finishing
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for finishing

For the pasta:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces bacon (preferably thick-cut and smoky), cubed
1 small onion, such as a cipollino, diced
a big pinch red chile flakes
8 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/2 bunch kale (such as lacinato/dino kale)
8 ounces dry pasta (such as penne, strozzapreti, or spaghetti)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Fill a large saucepan with water, salt it generously, and place over high heat to bring to a boil.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the cream, eggs, parmesan, salt, and pepper until well-combined. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about five minutes. Add the onion and chile flakes, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes.

When the water boils, add the brussels sprouts and boil until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, drain, and add to the cooked onion mixture, turning the heat down to very low to keep the vegetables warm.


Strip the kale leaves away from their stems, discard the stems, and add the kale to the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Scoop out the kale with a slotted spoon and let it cool until you can handle it. Squeeze out the excess water, roll it into a bundle, and use a sharp chef’s knife to slice it thinly. Add the kale to the pan with the onions and sprouts.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until done to your liking. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Immediately pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss well for a minute or two until the eggs thicken into a sauce from the heat of the other ingredients. If the mixture seems soupy or undercooked, return the skillet to a low flame and stir until it thickens. (If you want to be extra-safe, stick an instant read thermometer into the pasta and make sure it registers at least 170ºF.)

Serve the pasta immediately, topped with freshly ground pepper, parmesan, and parsley.



Potato and Green Garlic Crustless Quiche with Goat Cheese, Gruyère, and Chives {Gluten-Free}

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016


(Author: The Bojon Gourmet)

Feel free to swap out the oat and rice flours here for anything you prefer, such as an all-purpose gluten-free blend, or all-purpose wheat flour. You can make this with all whole milk, all half and half, or with a combination of milk and heavy cream. And feel free to play fast and loose with the fillings based on what you have around; I’ve given several suggestions up top.

Makes 6 moderate servings

12 ounces small, yellow potatoes, scrubbed, sliced 1/4″ thick
salt, as needed
3 stalks green garlic
3 spring onions
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
4 ounces grated gruyère (1 cup), or other nutty melting cheese such as Wagon Wheel
1 bunch chives, chopped or snipped into 1/4″ lengths

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.

Place the sliced potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with cool water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until tender, but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside. (You can save the water to use as stock in another recipe, if you like.)

Meanwhile, slice the green garlic and spring onions into 1/4″ thick rounds. Place in a large bowl, fill with cool water, and separate the rings with your fingers. Let soak for a few minutes, swishing occasionally, to dislodge any sandy dirt that may be clinging between the rings.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10″ oven-proof skillet over a medium flame until it shimmers. Scoop the green garlic and spring onions out of their soaking water, shake off any excess water, and saute until very tender, 10 minutes. Remove the garlic and onions to a bowl, wipe out the pan, and brush the bottom and sides with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Meanwhile, whisk together the oat and rice flours with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs two at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition, then gradually whisk in the milk and half and half. Stir in the green garlic, spring onions, and chives, then fold in the cheeses, leaving the goat cheese in clumps.

Scatter the potatoes over the bottom of the oiled pan, then pour the batter over the top, taking care to distribute the solids evenly. Bake the quiche until puffed and golden all over the top, about 55 minutes. If you peek into the center, you should not see any wet batter. Let the quiche settle for at least 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm. Leftovers store well refrigerated airtight for up to three days; re-heat in an oven or toaster oven.



Golden Milk Overnight Oats {gluten-free, vegan option} | Eat Me Tuesday’s

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

This easy breakfast porridge gets a nourishing update from turmeric, honey, cardamom, and other warming spices. It’s worth waking up for.


I’ve always aspired to be a morning person.


Overnight oats are magic in several ways. First of all, they sound like they would be disgusting – pasty, raw, sodden grains of doom. Au contraire. Rolled oats are not actually raw; the whole groats get steamed in order to soften the hard grains before they are rolled flat. When soaked in liquid overnight, they are a dream. Unlike cooked oatmeal which needs frequent stirring, overnight oats take on a thick, creamy texture without the viscous consistency that stirring creates. They’re just sweet enough with a mild, soothing taste, perfect for mornings or an afternoon snack. They take about 1 minute to prepare the night before, and they keep for several days, so you can make a few jars to have throughout the week.


The other magical thing about overnight oats is that when you wander into the kitchen the next morning, be it 5am or high noon, it’s as though some kind soul has made you breakfast while you were sleeping. Knowing there’s a jar of instant breakfast in the fridge is usually enough to make me drag my tired bones from my cozy bed once the alarm sounds.



Golden milk is kind of like masala chai without the tea: a warming tonic made with inflammation-curing turmeric, honey, and warming spices. It’s delicious on its own, warmed gently and served up in mugs. And when poured into overnight oats, it gives them a brilliant color and adds a bit of pop.


A good dose of chia seeds and hemp hearts give these oats body and add protein to keep you full longer. The floral notes in the honey and nectarines play up the flavors of the spices here, and create something worth getting out of bed for, any time of day.


Easiest breakfast ever, and brimming with spicy flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric. Serve with the seasonal fruit of your choosing; we like nectarines and berries. You’ll have a little golden milk left over for sipping, or to splash extra on your oats the next morning. The golden milk is also delicious on its own, warmed gently and poured into mugs. If turmeric is a new flavor to you, you may wish to start with half the amount, adding more to taste if you like. To make this vegan, trade in light maple syrup or coconut nectar for the honey.
Golden milk: (Author: The Bonjon Gourmet)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) boiling water
  • 2 cups (475 ml) plant milk (I like coconut almond milk)
  • 1⅓ cups (100 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if intolerant)
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) chia seed
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) hemp hearts
  • 1 ½ cups (355 ml) golden milk (above)
  • fresh fruit and honey, for serving
Golden Milk:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the honey, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, then stir in the boiling water to dissolve the honey. Stir in the plant milk. Taste, adding more honey dissolved in boiling water if you want a sweeter milk.
  1. Combine oats, chia, and hemp seeds in a pint canning jar, stirring or shaking to combine. Pour the golden milk into the jar and stir or shake to combine. Chill overnight or up to 3 days. To serve, top with fresh fruit and honey, if desired.

Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes | Eat Me Tuesday’s

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

The concept is simple:

Baked sweet potatoes – cut in half to shorten cooking time
Seasoned, roasted chickpeas
Garlic-herb sauce
Parsley-tomato salad for garnish

The result is a 30-minute lunch or dinner that’s both satisfying, savory and sweet, and seriously healthy.


This is my new favorite way to do Mediterranean. This dish is:

Seriously healthy
And simple

I love how the sweetness of the sweet potatoes blends perfectly the chickpeas and garlic sauce, and the lemony parsley-tomato salad provides a zesty fresh finish. Friends, I’m in love.


Prep: 5 min | Cook Time: 25 min
Author: The Minimalist Baker
Simple, 30 minute baked sweet potatoes topped with roasted chickpeas, a simple garlic-herb sauce and a parsley-tomato salad. Delicious, fresh, healthy, and naturally vegan and gluten free.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Mediterranean
Serves: 4
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes* (~140 g each)
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika
  • optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) hummus (or tahini)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g)
  • Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
  • optional: Sea salt to taste (I didn’t need any)
TOPPINGS optional
  • 1/4 cup (45 g) cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
  • Chili garlic sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in half length wise. This will speed cooking time. Otherwise leave whole and bake longer (approximately double the time (45 min – 1 hour).
  3. Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or another baking sheet depending on size).
  5. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. I found mine didn’t need anything else.
  6. NOTE: If you don’t have hummus, tahini will make a great base substitution for the sauce – just adjust the seasonings to accommodate the lack of flavor tahini provides.
  7. Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.
  8. Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown – roughly 25 minutes – remove from oven.
  9. For serving, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash down the insides a little bit. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish. Serve immediately.
  10. Additional side ideas might include Hummus, Pita Chips, Baba Ganoush, or Persian Eggplant Dip. Enjoy!
*Adjust number of sweet potatoes per person, and buy organic when possible for best quality and flavor.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl | Eat Me Tuesdays

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016


Author: The Minimalist Baker

A “Buddha Bowl,” as defined by urban dictionary, is, “a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.”


I first heard of Buddha Bowls somewhere within the vegan (& hippy) community and personally understand them as a big bowl of plant-based goodness, which is precisely what this recipe is!

What started off as a mission to make a chickpea breakfast skillet turned into a sweet and savory dish that would satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike.

Plus, it’s simple – requiring just 30 minutes. And it’s ridiculously healthy – loaded with four kinds of vegetables, fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas, and a maple-tahini sauce that’s so good you’ll want to put it on everything.

That’s my kind of dinner. Let’s do this!

It all starts by roasting your vegetables in the oven. While those are baking away, simply sauté your chickpeas to crispy perfection and whisk up your 3-ingredient tahini sauce.

All that’s left to do is put it all together and take your taste buds to flavor town.

This bowl is literally all I’ve been craving since perfecting this recipe. It’s:

Savory + sweet
Subtly spiced
Incredibly satisfying
Seriously healthy
& packed with flavor


Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 30 min


Flavorful, filling, 30-minute Buddha Bowl with roasted sweet potatoes, onion, kale, crispy chickpeas and an AMAZING tahini-maple sauce! A healthy, satisfying plant-based meal.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 Tbsp olive, melted coconut, or grape seed oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced in wedges
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, halved
  • 1 bundle (227 g) broccolini, large stems removed, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls kale, larger stems removed
  • 1/4 tsp each salt + pepper
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) chickpeas, drained, rinsed + patted dry
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp each salt + pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2-4 Tbsp hot water to thin
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccolini. Drizzle broccolini with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.
  4. While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.
  5. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn’t much browning going on, increase heat. I found 10 minutes total at slightly over medium heat was perfect.
  6. Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Prepare sauce by adding tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add hot water until a pourable sauce is formed. Set aside.
  8. To serve: Slice sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Divide vegetables between 3 serving bowls and top with chickpeas + tahini sauce.
  9. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 3 servings with sauce.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger | Eat Me Tuesday’s

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016


The Minimalist Baker features things with usually less than 10 ingredients, one bowl and takes about 30 minutes to make.  Can’t say no to this.


On days you really need something to fill the spot.  This is the burger for you.  I’m bookmarking things I would like to cook in my tiny house.  That is pretty easy to make and also very healthy.


This recipe not only fills a veggie burger-shaped hole in my heart since moving out of arm’s reach of Beer Kitchen, it’s also simple, requiring just 10 ingredients and easy-to-master methods. Such as,

  1. Bake sweet potato
  2. Mash
  3. Add rice, black beans, onions + spices
  4. Mix
  5. Mold
  6. Bake

It’s so easy. Are you sensing a pattern here? Simple, delicious, and vegan + gluten free? It’s practically sorcery.


Speaking of sweet, this burger is the business. It’s:

Tender on the inside
Firm on the outside
Naturally sweet
Subtly spiced + smoky
Seriously satisfying




Amazing sweet potato black bean burgers bulked up with brown rice and seasoned with smoky cumin and paprika. Sweet, tender, flavorful and so healthy and delicious.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Main, Burger
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 12
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 1 Hour + 15 min
Total Time: 1.5 hours
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potato (~2 large sweet potatoes – organic when possible)
  • 1 cup cooked salted black beans, rinsed and well drained (if unsalted, add more salt to the burgers)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice* (or sub cooked quinoa with varied results)
  • 1/2 cup walnut or pecan meal (or very finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green onion
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional | for added sweetness)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sprouts, lettuce or parsley
  • Sliced onion
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cut sweet potatoes in half. Rub with olive oil and place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake sweet potatoes until soft and tender to the touch – about 30 minutes – set aside. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F.
  2. While potatoes are baking, cook rice or quinoa (see notes for instructions).
  3. Add black beans to a mixing bowl and mash half of them for texture. Then add sweet potato and lightly mash, then 1 cup rice, green onion, nut meal and spices. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more rice or nut meal if the mixture feels too wet. It should be very moist but moldable.
  4. Lightly grease a baking sheet and line a 1/4 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap.
  5. Fill the lined measuring cup with sweet potato mixture. Scrape down to pack, then lift out and transfer to the baking sheet and gently press down to mash. The thinner you press them, the faster they’ll cook, but no need to go too far. Just a gentle press will do.
  6. Bake burgers for a total 30-45 minutes, carefully flipping 20 minutes in to ensure even cooking. The longer you bake them the firmer and drier they will get – up to preference. I went for around the 35 minute mark.
  7. Serve on slider buns (double stack for more bulk) or atop a salad with sliced avocado, red onion, greens, and ketchup or salsa.
  8. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a few days. Freeze for longer term storage.
* To cook rice: bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add 1 cup very well-rinsed rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until fluffy and tender. You will have leftovers.
* For quinoa: rinse 1 cup quinoa and add to a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes, then add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until tender and fluffy and the water is absorbed.

Living Small | Documentary | 46min

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014


Cool documentary on Living Small.  I enjoy these.  I also like learning about the people doing it and finding out why they are doing it.  What drives them.

Living Small is a documentary project exploring the world of tiny houses, living spaces and the people that inhabit them. It intends to examine the movement from a personal, cultural, environmental and economic standpoint. The goal of this project is to inspire new ways of thinking about living space and to challenge the long-held notion that “bigger is better.”

Living Small from DocumentedWorld on Vimeo.

Jay From Four Lights | Getting Away From Stuff

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Tiny House from gotandem on Vimeo.

It’s really hard to get away from the “want of stuff” because stuff makes us happy, right? Well, maybe not. This is a story about a man who decided to be intentional about what he could live without.  This video is from GOTANDEM