Lentils and Rice with Heart

one can of lentils
olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 bay leaves
canned baby onions in a jar (in brine), like 1/2 cup (remove brine)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon Simply Organic brand All Purpose seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
2 small cans or 1 large mushrooms, stems and pieces, liquid dumped
one can of zucchini with tomatoes (has garlic in it, also)
one can of artichoke hearts in brine, remove brine
one cup uncooked rice, whatever variety you like
2 cups water
butter, 2 
parmesan cheese
extra water as needed

First, I put the can of lentils in a pot (deep with lid if possible, like when making soup) and add a generous helping of olive oil (approximately 1+ Tablespoon) and around a cup of chicken broth. Heat on Med High. Add 2 bay leaves. Add onions. Stir. Bring to a boil. Add cumin, all purpose seasoning, salt and pepper and stir until mixed. If the liquid decreases too much, add more water. We’re aiming for mildly liquidy soup. 

Start the rice now, by adding 1 cup dry rice to two parts water. So, if you want more or less rice, adjust accordingly. I like to add in a dollop of butter and a pinch of salt when I cook rice. Stir and bring to a boil on Med High, then turn temperature down to low, put a cover on, and wait the allotted time. (Depending on the rice, it could be between 20-30 minutes.) 

During this time, keep an eye on the lentil mixture and the rice. When the rice starts to look almost done, move on to this next step. 

Remove the bay leaves. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and artichokes to lentil mixture. We don’t want the artichokes or zucchini to get overmushed, so we’re trying to heat them up, make them soft. Stir this every few minutes. 

When the rice is ready, add another Tablespoon of olive oil to the rice OR a Tablespoon of butter and stir completely. Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese to the rice, and mix. 

When the rice is still moist but slightly like a risotto parmesan sauce, and the artichoke and zucchini is warmed, lentils mushy, you can combine the rice with the lentil mixture. Stir well! 

Serve immediately, and enjoy.

Mail from South Africa!

South Africa

This is my first mail from South Africa! I am very excited.

This beautiful postcard came from Derika.

I love the collaging,  the tree branch stamps and cut-outs, the different papers, and the numbers! I love numbers!

Every postcard I have received so far in iHanna’s 2013 DIY Postcard Swap have been fabulous. Each one has contained something meaningful to me. Maybe they are universally meaningful.

As I look at them again and again, I find something new and inspiring. I find something to be grateful for, and something to meditate on. I am so glad that I took a chance and jumped into this swap, even though I was a bit scared. Why scared? Art is sometimes a raw look into one’s soul, and it’s scary to put yourself out there! But it is worth it!

Thank you, Derika!

A thank you to Kelly, Gibson, and Hill’s for chicken jerky!

We received some jerky treats through a blog giveaway, and it’s always polite to say thank you!


“I smell treats!” ~Maddie

Here’s the story!

Skotte and I were dog-parents to a wonderful pembroke welsh corgi named Daisy.


Skotte and Daisy in 2003

Before she passed away (almost two years ago!), I started following several Corgi Blogs. One of my favorites is Corgi Butts!

Gibson is the Corgi Lord and Master over there. His mama hosted a giveaway in February for Hill’s Science Diet Jerky Strips with Real Chicken treats. I almost didn’t send in my info, but thought “Oh, why not?” and I was number 50!

chicken treats

Our bag arrived just before Gus appeared at our door. It was a blessing that we had them, because he was famished and the treat helped reassure him! He was a hungry and thirsty dog!


Kelly mentioned on her blog about the hubbub over chicken treats from China. Many pets have become sick after eating them. I was definitely aware of this because we used to give Daisy some chicken treats, so I have been careful about what I give Maddie.

Good news: These are from the US!

Maddie and Gus both love the jerky treats. In fact, the bag in the picture is a third bag.


Maddie is not a big wheat/bread eater, like her human mama. I end up ripping off a couple one inch chunks to give Maddie.

Gus however LOVES bread, like his new temp human daddy.


I think these treats will end up being special rewards, as they really do like them!

The Paw of Approval

The Paw of Approval

Thank you to Hill’s for the treats and for Kelly and Gibson for letting us try these jerky treats!

Love, Cori!

Butterflies, Bicycles, and Flowers in Bloom Postcards

I have received four more postcards since I last posted!

(In case you missed it, I signed up for iHanna’s 2013 Spring Postcard Swap.)

( You can read my other posts here and here. )

Let’s take a look!

Spring from Scotland

This touch of Spring comes from Scotland by Ailsa Mackay.

Ailsa’s piece contains many of my favorite things – butterflies, daisies, and music. I love the inclusion of the different flags from all over.  They add a beautiful pop of colour, plus an homage to the international community sending postcards all over.


Titled “Creates,” this piece comes from Tricia in Memphis. We have another appearance of butterflies! I love the rainbow of color throughout, tied together with the tape.

My favorite part is that Tricia writes that this is made from “Acrylic, Tape, Ink, Love.” The best art is heartfelt!

Bicycle and Bread

Violette sent this postcard from Denver. I am truly in awe of her artistic ability. I love the dresses, the sweet faces. Maybe these two are on their way to a picnic. Or are returning from a trip to the local market.

You should check out Violette’s website. Her art is divine! I feel lucky to have my own sweet drawing from her!

Dandy Lions

My last treasure thus far comes from Tina in Maryland. I love the snippets of words highlighted and the layers of blues. The orange sneaks in there, complementary. At the top of the piece are some dribbles of a glossy glue (maybe?) which adds a very interesting effect.  It’s hard to see it on the scan, but it almost looks like rain.

I think the flowers might be dandelions. Our dandelions don’t make an appearance here in Upstate Western New York State, USA, until June. This will have to tide me over until I can see them for myself!

I love heading to the mailbox each day to see if another treasure has arrived.

A special thank you to Ailsa, Tricia, Tina and Violette!

Postcards Given and Received

Yesterday, I talked about signing up for iHanna’s 2013 Spring DIY Postcard Swap.

I received my second postcard today!


This comes from Marrianna from Red Dancer Studio.

It says “Flowers were at my mother’s assisted living Easter party. 3/31/13”

I love it!

I think it’s really special that Marrianna incorporated a treasure from her life into her postcard art. I am reminded of holidays spent with relatives in assisted living and nursing homes. These situations are often bittersweet – which makes these moments all the more precious!

Yellow is one of my favorite colors. The background paper looks like a sort of tribal sun design to me. It complements the roses nicely.

I am so in love with stitching in postcard pieces. The texture is great to touch. I would like to use some stitching in my future pieces.

Thank you so much, Marrianna!


As for what I made:

Here are two of the postcards that I created.

They are inspired by the Lilac Festival we have here in Rochester, NY in May.



I used mixed media paper, acrylic paint, scrapbook paper, washi tape, mod podge, and Uni Ball Vision Elite black pen.

I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Love, Cori!

Postcard Swapping!

I signed up to participate in iHanna’s 2013 DIY Postcard Swap. So much inspiration comes to me from iHanna’s blog and art. I have never participated in a swap before, even though I’ve wanted to for years and years. I just jumped in with both feet!  I will be posting the cards that I made in the next few days.

I received my first postcard a few days ago. It is titled “We Discover” and is made by LS Lee.

We Discover by LS Lee

I am delighted with this postcard.  I love the different textures and papers. I collect stamps, so I love the stamp inclusion. I also used a couple of dragonflies in my postcards, so I think it is neat that LS Lee did, too!

I love colors – these are so peaceful, flowing, and calming. I am also fascinated with the embossed silver design on the right side.

Thank you so much, LS Lee for the wonderful art!

Thank you iHanna for hosting a fantastic postcard swap!

I can’t wait for my other postcards to arrive!

Love, Cori!