Tag Archives: cooking

cooking decor life shopping

4 Crushes & A Confession

This weather is really sucking the motivation out of me.  And I can tell that Ava is getting bored with playing inside.  It has been a long, cold winter and I am totally, completely, 100 percent over it.  I just want to stay at home, walk around in slipper boots (also leggings & a comfy oversized sweater), sip hot coffee, and do absolutely nothing.  Thank goodness Ava keeps me on my toes or I might turn into a hermit.

While I may not have felt like writing any posts this week, I did find the time to lolligag around on the internet looking for vintage area rugs on ebay, searching craigslist for planters and pots, and totally falling for my 4 new crushes…

CRUSH #1:  MOCIUN

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This ring.  I love it sooooo much.

And I think I’ve found a replacement for our scratched white IKEA bowls…

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(eric bonnin kam ice cream bowl @ mociun)

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CRUSH #2:  JERSEY ICE CREAM COMPANY

It was pure luck that I stumbled upon this instagram feed for @jerseyicecreamco .  I was instantly smitten with the beautiful travel pics and curious about the remodeling.

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A visit to their site lead me to some amazing “before & after” shots from their design & build work.  Here are two “afters”:

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The wood wall is gorgeous.  So is the rug.  And the bed.  Love it.

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Again, amazing wood walls … amazing use of wood all around.  This room has such a calming demeanor – like a permanent vacation.  I need to buy a house just to have this team go to work on it!

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CRUSH #3:  CAULIFLOWER SAUCE

Yes, you read that correctly.  I have a crush on cauliflower sauce.  It’s delicious.  My husband had no idea he was eating pasta drenched in cauliflower sauce when I  adapted the “alfredo” recipe from Oh She Glows (I left out the yeast and added a dash of nutmeg).  I can’t wait to try this variation from Pinch of Yum:

cauliflowerPOY

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CRUSH #4:  POLENTA FRIES

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I was inspired to try these when I saw the pics & recipe on Spoon Fork Bacon .  I shortcutted the recipe by using a roll of organic polenta I had in the fridge.  I cut it into fry shapes, rolled them around in a little bit of olive oil on a baking sheet and popped them into a 375 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes (depending on how crispy you want them).  After about 20 mins, I flipped them over.  I finished them off with a dash of salt & cracked pepper and we ate them just like that.  No condiment required.  My daughter did insist on ketchup for hers.  Of course.

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A CONFESSION

Why a confession?  Because they are fun … who doesn’t like hearing a little secret about someone?  So here is my confession (and moms, don’t hate.).  I do not like playing Barbies with my daughter.  Well, not just with my daughter, but in general.  I despise it.  Just hearing the words “Let’s play Barbies” makes me cringe.  Oh, I still do it but we put a time limit on it (if I didn’t, I would have to play Barbies all day.  every day.).  It never used to bother me.  Maybe I have reached my dollhouse limit.  I love doing everything else with the little miss and I’m always full of alternative suggestions, but The Barbies always win.  And why can’t they make pants that actually stay on Ken when he sits down?

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Have a Great Weekend, Everyone!  XO

cooking

Prosciutto Crisps – Yum!

Move over, bacon – these prosciutto crisps are super crispy, extra tasty, and about 30-40 calories LESS per serving.  I got my “bacon” fix at breakfast this morning by popping a few slices of prosciutto in the microwave.

Place slices between 2 paper towels and microwave for about 1-1:30 (or until they look nice and crunchy).  So simple.

I’ll never say goodbye to bacon (impossible), but these are a pretty close stand-in.  I’ve crumbled them over a salad, made a PLT, and put them on a pizza.  I love how super crispy they are – because the slices are so much thinner, you really get a good crunch.  It’s kind of like a potato chip.  Only better.  Try them … seriously.  Do it.

XO

cooking creativity life

Snow Ice Cream & Real Snow Cones

The snow just keeps coming.  I couldn’t even get out of our garage to take Ava to school today (despite my hour of shoveling), so instead we put on our snow gear, had a little fun, and even managed to shovel a bit of the sidewalks.  All that hard work made us hungry (and really cold) so we headed inside for  a nice warm bowl of tomato soup served with toasted peanut butter sandwiches.  Then I remembered all of the posts I’ve been seeing about making ice cream and snow cones out of real snow and so we gave it a try!

This is our MAPLE VANILLA Snow Ice Cream (adapted from the recipe below).  We used vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, and lightly sweetened almond milk.  Instead of stirring it together, I used my milk frother (no idea if that helped anything or not, but I’m just really into frothy milk right now.).  Then we started mixing in the snow and voila – snow ice cream!

Check out some other good snow recipes below!!

CHOCOLATE Snow Ice Cream by Just a Girl

VANILLA MAPLE Snow Ice Cream by Mama Papa Bubba

SNOW Cones by Pastry Affair

MAPLE Snow TAFFY! by Family.com

XO

cooking

Homemade Sloppy Joes

We have been getting pounded with snow and cold here in Chicago, so this saucy sandwich was just what we needed to warm our bellies.  It’s pretty easy to make too (not quite as easy as opening a can, but much better for you!).

INGREDIENTS

- 1 lb. Ground Beef (I think ours was 80 / 20)

-  Jar of Pasta Sauce (Choose something simple like garlic or basil & tomato.  I used a jar of arrabiata, which is basically tomatoes, chili peppers & garlic)

-  1 Diced Bell Pepper (color of your choice)

-  2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

-  1/2 an Onion, diced

-  BBQ Sauce (to taste … about 1/4 cup)

-  Brown Sugar

-  Chili Powder

-  1 to 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

- Salt & Pepper

-  Buns

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat with a little salt and pepper and chili powder (use as much or as little of this as you like.  We use much.).  When there’s just a bit of pink left, add in the peppers, onions, and garlic.

Continue to cook until the onions take on that translucent color, the peppers soften up, and the beef finishes browning.  Next you will remove the mixture from the heat and dump it into a strainer to drain the fat.  DO NOT skip this part.  You will be amazed how much fattiness oozes out.  Gross – you don’t want to eat that.  Return the mixture to the skillet and add in your tomato sauce.  Give it a stir while simmering over low-medium heat.

Stir in the BBQ sauce and brown sugar a little at a time (tasting as you go) until you reach your desired flavor.  Add in a bit more salt, pepper, and chili powder if you need too as well.  Then add the apple cider vinegar – start with 1 tsp, taste and then decide if you want another.  The vinegar just gives the dish a little kick of acid and amps up the flavor.  Let everything simmer for about 5 more minutes and then slap it on some buns and chow down!  (Because that’s the way you do it with a Sloppy Joe).

Enjoy!  XO

cooking

Slow Cooked Chops w/ Apples & Fennel

I’ve really been embracing the ease of a crock pot lately.  Just throw everything into the crock in the early afternoon, let it be, and by dinnertime it’s delicious.

The other day I made this delicious pork dish – so tender and full of flavor and I barely had to do anything.  I sliced up some onion, apples [peeled], celery, and fennel and put it into the crock pot with three thick cut boneless chops [seasoned w/ salt & pepper].  Then I poured a little spiced cider into mix.  I saved some of the fennel tops and placed them on top before putting on the lid and letting it do its thing.

I cranked it up to high and left it alone for the next three hours or so.  I checked on it, added a little more cider, and turned it down to low until we were ready to eat.  There are no pictures of the final dish because we gobbled it up before I remembered to take a photo.  That’s when you know it’s good!  I’ll be making this dish again for sure.

cooking spotlights

Spotlight: Lucid Food Author, Louisa Shafia!

I love cooking, but I rarely follow recipes to the tee.  If I want to find out how to make something, I usually scan the ingredients list, close the cookbook and just wing it.  Last Christmas one of my gifts was Louisa Shafia’s cookbook, Lucid Food.  It is one of the first cookbooks I actually read and actually followed all the directions.  Food is personal and her cookbook tells a story through her appreciation of food.  She has had the honor of cooking at Millenium and Roxanne’s in San Fransisco and Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit in New York City.  Her love for food and eco-friendly practices resulted in the start of her catering business, Lucid Food in 2004. Her cookbook features seasonal recipes that draw from a variety of cuisines.  Indonesian Corn Fritters, Seven Vegetable Miso Soup, Crispy Yuba Rolls, Watermelon/Apple/Lime Shake, Dungesness Crab w/ Fennel & Orange, Poached Quince in Orange Blossom Water … is your mouth watering yet???  A wide range of delicious food peppered with eco-conscious tips and earth friendly alternatives – and it’s all pretty easy to make.  Cooking good food doesn’t have to be complicated and Louisa’s food is a testament to simple & sophisticated dishes.

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After featuring her recipe for Cucumber & Pomegranate Salad on my blog, Louisa sent me a thank you email [much to my surprise] and gladly obliged to answer a few questions for the blog.  Through our email conversations, I learned that she lives in my old home of Williamsburg [Brooklyn] – which made me like her even more!  Here is what she had to say ….

read more »

cooking

Cool Find: www.recipelook.co.uk

While going through my RSS feeds this morning, I happened upon a post from Talk Crafty To Me about one of the coolest recipe sites [Recipe Look] I have ever laid eyes upon.  It is the creation of Artists & Designers, Amelie Labarthe and Tom Ballhatchet and filled with readers’ drawings of recipe instructions.  So clever – and the drawings are pretty amazing.  Many of them would look great as prints to hang in the kitchen …

Risotto alla Milanese by Emilie Boudet

risotto

Roasted Potato Wedges by Rachel Rauch

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cooking

Tasty Cucumber & Pomegranate Salad

I will admit it – before making this recipe I had never eaten a pomegranate.  I have had pomegranate juice, but this was the first time I’ve purchased the whole fruit.  I had Mike open it up and get the seeds out for me [it kind of looked like a pain to me - thank you, honey!].  I popped one in my mouth – a little crunch, a little explosion of deliciousness!   Yum!

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This Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad recipe is adapted from my Lucid Food cookbook by Louisa Shafia.  It’s fairly quick and easy to make and should be devoured immediately.

You will need:

2 Cucumbers [halved, peeled, and seeds removed - or use little Persian cucumbers like I did and just peel and slice]

Seeds of one Pomegranate

2 chopped scallions [original calls for just the greens, but I used the whites too]

Some fresh cilantro

Feta Cheese

Salt & Pepper

Lemon & Sweet Grapefruit [or a Lime]

Olive Oil

Just chunk up the cucumbers and add 3 or 4 tbs of pom seeds, the scallions and cilantro.  The original recipe calls for lime juice, but I didn’t have any around so I used the juice of a sweet grapefruit and a lemon.

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Squeeze the juice in and add a little drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper to taste, and then toss together.  Crumble some feta cheese on top and enjoy!  This salad is super refreshing.  I’m addicted.

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cooking

It’s Wednesday and “I’m Hungry”

I love cooking, but I’m not very good at sticking to a recipe.  I like to just look in the fridge, see what I have on hand and come up with something [hopefully] delicious.  I don’t have time for elaborate dinners or ingredient heavy dishes, so I try to keep meals healthy, flavorful, and most importantly simple.  Today’s recipe is for a refreshing Green Apple Salsa that can be used several different ways.

original recipe

GREEN APPLE SALSA – recipe by Shannon Young
[serves 3-4ppl]
1 green apple
1/2 large red onion
1 cucumber
Handful of fresh chopped cilantro
[salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste]

Dice or lightly food process [you want it to be slightly chunky] ingredients and serve on pita or tortilla chips!

OR

Toss a few spoonfuls back into the processor for a couple more pulses, then mix with a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise for a crisp and tangy sandwich accompaniment!

OR

Mix a few spoonfuls of the salsa into your ground beef, chicken, or turkey [I made it with my turkey burgers last night and it was delicious] to give your burger some flair!

OR

Add about 1 cup of plain yogurt and liquefy for a great springtime chilled soup!  Chop up some fresh dill or mint and toss that in too if you have it handy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Check back every Wednesday for more cooking related features!  Have an original recipe you think my readers or I will like?  Email me!  Bon Apetit!

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