INGREDIENTS: 15 ounces canned chickpeas 2 tablespoons oil 1/2 large yellow or white onion, diced 1 tablespoon minced garlic 3 large carrots, sliced 3 celery ribs, sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 bay leaf 4 cups vegetable broth 4 cups water (or more vegetable broth) 8 ounces eggless pasta, cooked 1 small bunch dill and/or parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano
DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are tender and translucent. 2. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for another 30 seconds. 3. Add the broth/water, chickpeas and bay leaf. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are easily pierced with a fork. 4. Remove the soup from the heat. Mix in the pasta. 5. If you haven't already, roughly chop the dill and/or parsley. Feel free to use other fresh herbs of your choice. 6. Scoop the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
Courtesy of www.ehow.com
FUN WAYS TO UPCYCLE PLASTIC CONTAINERS We all know we should recycle our plastic containers, but what about upcycling instead? If you’ve never heard of the term, upcycling means taking things that are considered “trash” and turning them into something useable – and cool! One of the most fun ways to reuse your household plastics is to turn them into an oversized game of checkers. Save up various plastic bottles, then paint half of them white and half black. Make a giant checkerboard out of cardboard and let the games begin. For a more practical upcycling project, use your plastic containers to sort things like rubber bands, paperclips, nails and so on. You can either leave them plain or decorate them as you please. Are you a green thumb? Or maybe you’d like to be one? Plastic containers are great for starting seeds. Simply cover the bottom with a shallow layer of rocks for drainage, add your soil and seeds, then place the containers in a sunny windowsill. To make your upcycling extra eco-friendly, make your own cleaning supplies and then store them in old plastic bottles. You can even make cute labels to identify which is which. Lastly, if you’ve got a crafty kid in your house then definitely save up your plastic bottles and containers. Give them a project idea and watch them go to town. Or, hand them the containers, scissors, paint, glue, coloured paper and ribbons and see what they come up with all on their own. DOWNTON ABBEY INTERIOR STYLE
The television series may be long over – and the film is already more than a year old, but the beloved characters and location of Downton Abbey will live on in the hearts of fans forever. So much so that some homeowners want the interior of their homes to imitate the famed castle where it all took place. And while this may sound a little extreme, there are ways to bring the Edwardian style into a modern home that feels both grand and contemporary. White linen tablecloths and a silver tea setting can add charm to a sitting area. Four-posted beds layered with tailored bedding and embroidered pillows dress up the bedroom. And beautiful chandeliers dripping with crystals hang from the ceiling – they don’t have to be real crystal to be lovely. Meanwhile, pay tribute to the loveable servants of Downton with a large, wooden kitchen island and lots of bustling around it.