Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Lucy Knisely's Mushrooms

IMG_4149I've recently been a little obsessed over this comic book- cookbook hybrid Relish by Lucy Knisley. I'm racking up the fines at the library because I refuse to bring it back (and have run out of renewals) it's soooo good. It pretty much is filled with stories of her food filled life but also has these great illustrated recipes too. The one on how her mom makes mushrooms is my current favourite.
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Lucy Knisely's Mushrooms


Ingredients



  • different kinds of mushrooms (whole or sliced)

  • butter

  • olive oil

  • salt & pepper

  • thyme (optional)


Make It


1) Get your pan nice and hot, add a pat of butter and a good glug of oil to the pan. Add your mushrooms and give them a stir. They will soak up all of the oil but don't add more! Leave them until they start to squeak. They'll start to release their juices soon.

2) Once they start to brown, shake the pan and continue to cook them until they're fragrant and browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and maybe some thyme if you're feeling fancy.IMG_4150

These are ridiculously good. I went out just to buy mushrooms today I wanted them again so bad.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Life Lately

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  1. Gus in trouble

  2. every 10-year-old girls dream car

  3. one of the many neighbourhood watch cats

  4. making blueberry sauce

  5. playing with leaves

  6. picnic treats


Lately we've been spending a lot of time outside going for walks, tossing a football around, and having afternoon picnics. I actually said to my mum "it's a perfect day to play outside today!" without even thinking lol. The summer has turned me into bruised-knees-paint-on-my-chin kid again.

 

 

 

 

Monday, 12 August 2013

(Jamie Oliver's) Sticky Chicken & Asian Watermelon Salad

IMG_3952OMG guys. I know I say this all the time but we actually just made the best meal ever. EVER. The flavour combinations were so weird on paper (I mean watermelon with cilantro?), we almost didn't make it. But we did, and it was amazing. This recipe was from Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals show, so you know that a regular person would be able to cook it for sure, in under 30 minutes. I know the salad especially sounds a bit eccentric, but it's definitely my go to salad from now on. Just try it, and you'll be surprised :) 

Sticky Chicken & Asian Watermelon Salad slightly adapted from here


Ingredients



  • 6 chicken thighs

  • 2 cups cooked vermicelli rice noodles (you can use any skinny noodles really)

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 4 tbsp Chinese 5 spice

  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce

  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 2 cups chopped watermelon

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro and mint

  • 4 small radishes chunked

  • 4 large romaine leafs chopped


Dressing



  • 2 green onions

  • 1/4 cup cilantro

  • thumbsize piece of ginger

  • clove of garlic peeled

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (find it in the Asian section)

  • 1/2 small red chili

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • juice of 2 limes


Make It!



  1. Make the salad dressing first. Just throw all the ingredients for it into the blender and, well, blend it.

  2. Lay your chicken on a plate and sprinkle the 5 spice on both sides of the chicken. Heat up some olive oil on medium heat in a pan and put the chicken in there, flipping them every few minutes or so.

  3. In another pan heat up the sesame oil. Once it's hot, throw in half of the rice noodles and fry them up until they're nice and crispy. Set aside.

  4. Once the chicken is almost cooked all the way through, pour the sweet chili sauce over it and give it a good stir, making sure everything gets nice and coated. Then sprinkle your sesame seeds over it. Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has gotten all sticky pour it on a serving plate.

  5. Make the salad by combing the cooked rice noodles, lettuce, watermelon, cilantro, mint, and radishes. Top it with the crunchy noodles and pour over the dressing.


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You can probably tell from the photo quality that I couldn't wait very long to eat this.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Mellow Curry Meatballs: Freezer Meals

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I made a batch of these the other day for my friend who recently had a baby (and now has much more important things to do than spend an entire afternoon cooking meatballs).  This is one of my favourite one pot meals to make and keep in the freezer. Pull it out, heat it up and pour it over some rice or quinoa and you've got an amazing dinner! Again, this is from my well loved Nigella Express book, which, surprise surprise, I happened to find at a thrift store for $4. Score!

Mellow Curry Meatballs adapted from Nigella Lawson


Ingredients



  • 3 big tablespoons red curry paste

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • box of frozen meatballs

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 big can diced tomatoes

  • 1 can chickpeas (drained)

  • 1 sweet potato chopped

  • 4 small carrots chopped

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  •  ½ cup cilantro (finely chopped)


Make It



  1. Heat the red curry paste and vegetable oil in a large pot; when it starts sizzling, add the meatballs, and coat them in the oil mixture.

  2. Sprinkle the cinnamon and ginger over the meatballs and fry for a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the coconut milk, diced tomatoes and drained chickpeas. Stir in the sweet potato, and carrots, then the stock and honey.

  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft and sauce has thickened slightly. Toss some cilantro on that baby.

  5. Either eat over some rice and quinoa or let it cool, and freeze it for another day. IMG_3846


Trust me, you will definitely thank your past self for making this.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chocolate Mint (Brownie) Cookies

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Today I had a crazy desire to cook and bake. All day. Luckily my parents are out of town so I took over their rather large kitchen. I made 2 quiches, a batch of mellow meatballs for my friend (recipe to come!), 4 mason jars of vanilla rice pudding and these babies. I'M A MACHINE! Anyway these cookies were the easiest thing I made and were probably my favourite. They're a little more dense than a regular cookie, almost like a brownie. But that's always a plus in my book.

Chocolate Mint Cookies (from Nigella)


Ingredients



  • ½ cup soft butter

  • ¾ cup soft light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips ( I used white chocolate)


for the glaze



  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (sieved)

  • 2 tablespoons boiling water*

  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint essence


Make it!

1) Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar together, then add egg and vanilla and beat together.

2) Mix the dry ingredients together and then add to the wet, mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

3) Scoop cookie dough (as big or small as you like) on to a parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 10-12 minutes (I did 10).

4) While cookies are baking combine glaze ingredients in a pot over low heat and stir to combine. Once it`s nice and smooth remove from heat. * I didn't bother boiling the water before mixing it into the glaze and it turned out fine.

5) Once your cookies are out of the oven and on a cooling rack, drizzle them with the glaze.IMG_3839

IMG_3843Enjoy!

Monday, 5 August 2013

3 Simple Goals: August

IMG_1112739Summer is almost done! Ack! Here are a few goals I have for August.

1) Eat at the table.

We recently sanded, stained and re-finished our kitchen table so had been eating elsewhere in the apartment for the past few weeks. I always feel a bit guilty when we don't eat at the table, and I eat without really being mindful of my food. Besides, eating at the table makes food taste better. Now we're back to table set, cloth napkins out, the whole shebang!

2) Carry camera all the time.

This one's a bit trickier as I don't have a good camera case to travel around with me, but I always find that when I'm out and about sans camera I seem to find so many camera-worthy moments that I miss. My XL purse will have to do for now!

3) Bake something every weekend.

I really like the idea of baking bread and a treat for the upcoming week. This would be a great habit to start for back to work.

Do you have any goals this month?

Sunday, 4 August 2013

DIY Stamp Art

IMG_2595Lately I've been covering the walls like mad here. But covering them with prints and art can be expensive so I've been looking into more DIY-type things I can hang up around the apartment. I came across this post and saw the stamp art and suddenly remembered that I had a stamp collection when I was younger! And that maybe it was still lurking somewhere in my parent's attic! So off I went to my parent's and spent an hour or so rummaging through my old room contents when I finally found it:

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Score! Looking through the binder of stamps I suddenly had the realization that I was , well, a pretty big geek. I had pages just of stamps that had horses in them. Oh boy. But I thank past-geeky-Natalie for supplying me with many creative materials for present-less geeky- Natalie.

Anyway, this DIY is super simple. I just took an old $1 frame from Goodwill, painted it with gold spray paint and then made a collage with stamps which I then glued down to the card stock (some stamp enthusiasts may cringe at this). I played around with the placement of the stamps before I glued them down, to make sure they all fit in.

Don't have a large stamp collection to pull from? Ask around! My mum works for a financial company and they get mail from all over the world: read, they get cool stamps! So what she would do (when I was really into stamps) is go to the mail room and ask the guys there to rip off the corners of the envelopes with the stamps on them and save them for her. You'd be surprised how many stamps I would get this way just in a week! My oma would also ask her neighbors to save their stamped envelopes as well.  I clearly have the best family. Removing the stamps from the paper is easy enough too. Here's a how-to if you're interested.

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Now I just need to figure out what else to do with all those stamps...

Happy crafting!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Naan Pizza with Mushrooms

IMG_2583I love pizza as much as the next person, especially homemade pizza. But sometimes I'm lazy and don't feel like making dough. I don't know why I didn't think to use naan bread instead of traditional dough before; it tastes way better (in my opinion) and they come in packs of 4, perfect for dinner! Here's one that I came up with based on what we had in the fridge.

Naan Pizza with Mushrooms


Ingredients

  • naan bread

  • old cheddar (or any cheese really)

  • mushrooms sliced

  • thyme or rosemary, leaves picked

  • chopped parsley

  • canned whole tomatoes (Italian if you can)

  • butter & olive oil

  • salt & pepper


Make It


1) Preheat the oven to 350. Saute your mushrooms up in some butter and olive oil until they're nice and browned, set aside.

2) Scoop out one or two tomatoes from the can and kind of mash it with a spoon on top of the naan, spreading it about. Use as much tomatoes as you want for your sauce. Sprinkle the thyme/rosemary on top. Then add your cheese and mushrooms followed by a generous amount on pepper and a bit of salt.

3) Bake until bottom is mostly firm and cheese is melted (about 15 minutes).  Let the thing cool for a bit and add some chopped parsley.

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So good! Really, this is a fool-proof recipe that you can jazz up as much or as little as you want. Naans also freeze really well, so it might be a good idea to keep a few in the freezer for nights where you need to clear out the fridge or don't feel like cooking.

Enjoy!

Friday, 2 August 2013

The $15 Outfit

IMG_2678I can honestly say I cannot remember the last time I bought something that wasn't previously owned by a stranger. It's a little strange when I put it that way. What I'm trying to say is that I love me some thrifting! This summer I've discovered so many neat thrift and consignment shops downtown, I almost don't want to tell you where they are, they're that good. Here's my new favourite outfit that I put together for a total of $15, shoes and all! Crazy right?!IMG_2670 dress & hat: The Green Door / shoes: StylFrugal


This budget thing really shocked my closet for awhile, but I've learned to pick up more things second-hand while still having enough money left to do fun stuff too.


Do you buy second-hand clothes at all?


Happy thrifting!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Life Lately

LifeLately Just some photos from the week. I spent the better part of last night on PuglyPixel and playing around on Photoshop. I won't tell you how long this collage actually took me, but it looks pretty neat right? On another note, summer is going by so quickly! I can already feel the familiar "back to school" pull of new pencils and warm sweaters.
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