Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Raw Cauliflower TabboulehThis is not “just another cauliflower recipe”.  Ya gotta trust me on this one and make this ASAP.  I was a bit skeptical as I threw the ingredients together but wowsers folks, even my cauliflower hating husband loved it!  It’s jammed packed with flavor and tasted even better the next day.  This cauliflower-as-grain option is inherently raw, vegan and gluten-free. I served it with some grilled chicken but next time will be pairing it with some falafel and hummus, or wrapped up in little gem lettuce leaves.  YUM!

Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower, stalk removed, processed into rice size bits
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • bunch of chives, chopped
  • 1 big handful of mint, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions (green onions), finely diced
  • ½ cucumber, finely diced
  • 1small pkg cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8-10 radishes, sliced thinly
  • pinch of cumin
  • pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Put the cauliflower florets into a food processor and blitz it until it reaches a couscous-like texture.
  2. Combine cauliflower with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Season well, adding more lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or let sit in refrigerator to soften a bit.

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Lets Have a Proper Catch Up 

 Let's Have A ProperCatch Up
Sounds a bit British eh?  The word “proper” is used constantly here, which I find humorous since it’s never been a word I would use or use to describe myself, ever. (big smile)  In the hustle and bustle of my new city life, I think I’ve gotten away from blogging about my day to day, my expat experiences, pretty flowers I’ve seen on the street and basically a little more about what’s going on in my life.  Since today was “one of those” days, I thought it would be the perfect day to start!  So, grab your drink of choice (mine is a glass of red) and settle in…
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Life in London 
In general, life is good.  We finally feel settled in our new home and are completing a bunch of fun DIY projects on the weekends.  But while we were thrilled to be moving back to a big city, we find ourselves missing the island lifestyle and our friends.  And since I’m being really honest…the lack of sun and the seemingly never-ending rain are starting to get to me.  We have had no Summer, none.
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Frustrations 
I only have one GIANT frustration and that lies with the medical system and my Dr.s office in particular.  I had gone several days ago to have a A1C test, something that in the US takes a second and needs a single drop of blood, but here they need a whole freaking vial and it takes a week for the results.  All that is fine but today during my lunch, I received a call telling me I had to come in immediately to see the Dr. regarding my blood work, which came back abnormal.  At first I tried to explain that of course it would be abnormal because I’m a diabetic but she insisted and that got me worried.  Maybe they ran other tests without telling me, I thought as I walked 2 miles in the pouring rain (totally ridiculous…tried Uber but the guy was an idiot and got lost).  After waiting for 20 minutes, the Dr. congratulated me on my 6.9 A1C score.  WTF?!?!?!? Are you freaking kidding me…I basically had convinced myself that something was very wrong with me and dropped my entire day to make this a priority and I’m fine?!!!  Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled about my score and that I was OK but the whole experience was beyond frustrating.  (thanks for letting me get that out)
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Excitement
Now that I have properly vented, I can get excited!  Tomorrow our awesome friends Jane and Martin are coming up from Poole for the long holiday weekend (last holiday for us until Christmas).  But it gets better, since the last time we visited them, they got a puppy and not just any puppy…a REALLY FREAKING CUTE PUPPY.  Eddie is a Schnoodle and I can’t wait to give hime loads of cuddles!!  And if all that wasn’t fun enough, my MIL is also arriving for the first time on Saturday, staying for the next 2 weeks.  (watch out for a ton of fun, tourist-style Periscope videos)
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In other exciting news, I have been proud of my several times a day headstands, while I’m by a wall for safety, I haven’t needed it once!  #headstandsmakemesmile

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Mr. Ripley 
It seems the Ripster got into something – created a nasty hot spot on the right side of his face and so he is currently a cone head.  He’ll be fine and the vet said we could take it off tomorrow but he already scratched it once this evening and it stated bleeding so cone head he’ll be for a bit. Oh, today is “National” Dog Day so give a dog some love, may it be a furry friend or the edible variety…hee hee
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Running

Like usual, my post race depression set in following my amazing Spitfire Scramble, even when I know it is going to happen, I still can’t prevent it.  I’ve ran a total of 8 miles in 10 days – not good.  I felt weird foot pains earlier this week, so I figured laying off it was best and I was right because today its feeling much better.  I know I have to find my next race ASAP, that always snaps me outta of it…  On the brighter side, I have a long run scheduled for tomorrow morning…even if it rains!  #determined

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Upcoming Travel 
The hubby and I decided we would be staying in this part of the world till 2016.  That doesn’t mean we’re staying out in London though…next month is our wedding anniversary, we decided to wait until October to travel and celebrate.  We are heading to Kefalonia, an island in Greece & I cannot wait for a tan.   But 1st there will be a weekend away coming up soon with the MIL, so that should be fun.

And hopefully the hubby will take that darn driving test soon so we can get a car and take loads of fun trips with Mr. Ripley.  

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Blog Stuff
Well, I signed up and have been doing my thing, sometimes embarrassingly so, on Periscope. (coreylearn)   It has taken me a bit to get used to but it’s fun and being able to interact with people as you film is awesome.  I also signed up with HootSuite (anyone using it?) It was a bit overwhelming at first but the nice folks at HootSuite called me and gave me a one on one training session – awesome.  I think every new tech thingy should come with one of those… I love how you can schedule an Instagram post ahead of time…such a cool feature, especially for me here on the other side of the world, with a 6 hour time zone difference, at least for my US peeps.

THANKS

That felt awesome to vent, chat and catch up with y’all.   I might make this a weekly thing…maybe even host a meet-up?!?    In the meantime, I send you hugs and happiness and wishes for an awesome Thursday ahead.

Are You ON Periscope?

How Can I Find You on Instagram?

I’m @CoreyLearn on both…

My £15 Butcher Block Countertop – Upcycle 2

Part of the deal I made with the hubby when moving into this house was that eventually we would redo the kitchen countertop.  It was old and tiled (who does that?!) and so I had already started to think about what to do with it…

I’ve always loved the look of a butchers block countertop but I figured it would be too expensive.  Then last week, while walking Mr. Ripley, I spotted a house around the corner that was throwing away kitchen cabinets.  I needed handles for another upcycle project (I’ll share later this week) and as I was removing the handles, with permission (of course) the workmen brought out a long, practically perfect kitchen butchers block countertop.  I was literally jumping for joy…so I asked the guy if there was anything wrong with the wood.  He said no, the people just didn’t have time to deal with it and gave me permission to take it.  A friend helped me carry it home (it was uber heavy) and the hubby was shocked when he got home.  We finally took this past Saturday and got to work….

What You Need
Tools
• Sander (I used a sheet sander)
• Sandpaper (will need rough, medium and fine grain)
• Wood Filler
• Circular Saw (the wood was too long)
• White spirits (known as mineral spirits in the US)
• Ronseal Clear Anti-Bacterial Worktop Oil 500ml  £14.83 at B&Q

Instructions
1. After cleaning off the wood, use the rough paper in the sander (going in the direction of the grain) and sand down the surface.  We had a section of mold to get rid of but after picking it off and then sanding it down, you couldn’t even tell anything was wrong with that section.


2.  After measuring our current counter, we marked off the length with pencil and used the (very loud) saw to cut off the extra length.  I absolutely loved the way the ends had a burnt look from the saw…

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3.  Switch in a medium paper and sand everything including the corners and ends.
4. Switch to fine paper and do one more pass. Again, you’re sanding the top and the sides of the top, which also need TLC.  Look for any sharp edges especially.
5.  Wipe down with a clean cloth, make sure the counter fits in the space (important step).


6.  Our counter had 2 small spots that needed to be filled with a wood filler, it takes a second and looks like it part of the wood.
7.  The hubby decided to install a leg on the end of the counter for extra support – he used a old piece of wood found in a nearby neighbors trash bin (loads of construction going on around the neighborhood).
7.  Once the space is clean, the wood is wiped down with a clean lint free cloth and all the debris is vacuumed up, time to start the finishing process…  After a lot of research online, I finally decided to go with Ronseal Clear Anti-Bacterial Worktop Oil.  It requires at least 4 thin coats applied every 24 hours but provides an anti-bacterial and mostly waterproof surface.  But before you start with the Ronseal, you must wipe the entire area down with White Spirits and let dry before starting coat #1 of Ronseal.

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8. Repeat a new coat of Ronseal* every 24 hours 3-4 times.
*The nice thing about the Ronseal is that it’s completely odorless so we were able to leave it in the kitchen while it dried overnight.

BEFORE


AFTER

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I am absolutely thrilled with the finished product and I’m still pinching myself that it’s installed and finished.  Well, now that I have finished 2 Upcycle projects (here’s the first one) and the 3rd is almost done, I am hooked!  Next time you are about to go out and buy something, take a minute and think about an Upcycle project of your own.  It’s not only a money saver and fun BUT it’s very rewarding seeing your finished product in the end!

Do You Have a Butcher’s Block Kitchen Counter?
How Do You Seal and Maintain it?

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