Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Change of Weather



My Friend and I took our dogs for a walk last night in the strange 50 degree weather. It was so nice to not have to bundle up, but a little unsettling to feel Spring like temperatures at the end of January. Instead of spending my time enjoying the warm week, I have been dreading the implications of a late, and freezing Spring. What a waste of my time and energy! I cannot change the temperature, and do realize my resistance to change is not helping anyone...
 Today I will figure out a way to spend some time outside, and to just enjoy the warmth. What about you? Is it warm, cold, windy, sunny, where you are? How much time do you spend talking about the weather?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Can You Define Love?


Have you ever looked up the definition on love? One online source I found breaks down love in five different ways:
noun
1.
a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, asfor a parent, child, or friend.
3.
sexual passion or desire.
4.
a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person;sweetheart.
5.
(used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection,or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?

 Honestly, I think love is one of the hardest words to write a definition for. It invokes such strong emotions in all of us, and encapsulates such an important feeling.  What do you think? Could you sum it up in different words? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mini Twice Baked Potatoes

Don't you agree, these Mini Twice Baked Potatoes with Spinach and White-Bean filling (from So Good and So Tasty) look amazing? My mouth is watering just thinking about these darling potatoes in my belly! 

Friday Word Day

(Credit Unknown, but great picture whomever you are)

Friday is here once again! Time to pick a word for the weekend... now, tell me the truth...does anyone actually like Friday word day, or am I just amusing myself (which I do a lot so it's OK if that's the truth) ?

Until I get some feedback, I think I will keep up the word-sharing! Here is our last word for this January:

Apposite: strikingly appropriate and relevant; beautiful to say; self descriptive. 

*Synonyms: applicable, befitting, suited 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sliding Barn Door


Isn't this sliding barn door a cool idea? It was a DIY project that I found on casasugar, and inspires me to look at objects in a new light... Even the color is amazing. Click here to learn how to make a door similar in your home! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Irish Coffee


Have you ever had a real Irish coffee before? The drink is said to be created in the 1940's by a man named Joe Sheridan. His concoction of sweetened coffee, Irish whiskey and fresh cream, was created to warm up a group of American travelers that were stranded at an Irish airport.  What a tasty drink to sip on while stranded!

Irish Coffee Recipe:
  • 1/4 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups hot strong coffee
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) Irish Whiskey
  1. Whisk whipping cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl, until cream is able to hold firm peaks. (refrigerate for up to a 1/2 hour)
  2. Heat your glasses with hot water. Dry them very quickly.
  3. Immediately, place 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into each glass and pour in hot coffee. Stir until sugar. dissolves, and add 3 tablespoons of whiskey into each glass. 
  4. Spoon on chilled cream and serve! 
*makes two yummy drinks

Extra Tips:

- Use really good Irish Whiskey and strong coffee.
- You want to make it with freshly whipped cream, because it's not tea same without it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Coconut Shrimp

I slipped on black ice and wiped out yesterday. My hands were cut up, and my body was instantly sore, but no real damage to me or my ego... After work, I was still in a lot of pain, so I went grocery shopping with John, made some delicious fajitas (Of course I did... I mean who rests when they feel like crap these days anyways?...) and then made it to bed. 
Before I fell asleep, I started thinking about how yummy my fajitas were, and how I would have loved some Coconut Shrimp to go along side them.
Waking up this morning, I was feeling even worse (that second day curse) and made the decision that I should treat myself after work...What better way than with food, and why not coconut shrimp?
 Below is a recipe I found that looks delicious... It may be cold outside, but that won't stop me from being festive inside...
 I feel like I have talked about coconut shrimp before, but I am going to post it again, because it just makes me happy.





Monday, January 23, 2012

Robert Frost



"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on." Robert Frost 

Great words from a great Author, don't you think? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Word Day

I woke up this morning to NPR's weather report... - 1 below with windchill and up to 8 inches of snow.... it's going to be a bitter, blustery day...
Time to layered up to start the day anyways... that is what we do in colder climate locations, and I do believe we become more appreciative of the beauty in the changing Seasons because of it...but that is neither here nor there...
So far, I have spent my morning thinking about my nice, warm, soon-to-be-in-my-belly coffee and some oh-so yummy hot soup for lunch. Wouldn't vegetarian matzo ball soup hit the "warm and satisfied" spot? Now, I've never had Matzo-ball soup because it is traditionally made with chicken, so this will be my first attempt and introduction! Here is a recipe I have if you want to enjoy it along with me (from the kitchen dot com).
Before I leave, I wanted to share a Friday Word!

Glaciate- To freeze; make cold enough to become solid.

*Synonym:  solidify, frost, chill



Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup
serves 6
For the matzo balls:
2 cups matzo meal (I prefer to buy unsalted crackers and pulse in the food processor)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon truffle salt (if you don't have truffle salt, it's okay, just use regular)
4 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter (you could use shmaltz, if you are not vegetarian)
1/4 cup seltzer water
For the soup:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, roughly diced
4 small carrots or 2 large, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sherry or white wine
2 quarts Imagine "No Chicken" broth or homemade vegetable stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried dill
Fresh dill for garnish
Matzo balls:
Pulse the matzo crackers in a food processor until an imperfect powder is formed. A few bigger pieces are fine. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the matzo meal, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and seltzer water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate mixture for about an hour (or up to 6 hours).
Heat a large stockpot of water and bring to a boil. Wet your hands a little and round matzo mixture the size of golf balls. Handle the mixture as little as possible. The lighter the touch, the lighter the matzo ball! The matzo balls will expand as you cook them.
When all matzo balls are formed and water is boiling, carefully drop each one into the boiling water. Cover and do not lift the lid for 25 minutes. (Another matzo tradition is to never check on the dumplings while they're cooking or that will cause them to be tough and heavy.) After 25 minutes, cut one ball in half and make sure it is cooked. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes more, in total 30 minutes with one lifting of the lid.
Soup:
In another soup pot, get your stock going. Heat the olive oil on medium and saute the onions, carrot and celery for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to soften. Add sherry (or white wine) and cook for another 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, garlic, bay leaves, dill and simmer for about 30 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Add matzo balls to the stock about 15 minutes before you're ready to serve, gently warming the soup (the matzo balls will absorb some of the great stock flavor, so don't skimp on this step). Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Love Pillows




These Paper Source  pillows have to be the cutest thing ever! Don't you love them? What a great Valentine gift... that is if you believe in V-day...



Wet Bars

Do you have a wet bar, or serving area in your home? I do not, but have been thinking about creating one...

Wouldn't this be great to roll out when entertaining? Wonder if I could find one on these at a local flee market... 


I would also take this cabinet from Pottery Barn as well...  

Hmmm... I can feel the creativity flowing...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great Tubs

My childhood house in Cleveland, Ohio had an old claw-foot tub that I loved very much. It made me feel sophisticated being in it, and enjoyed how the shower curtain had the freedom to wrap around the whole thing if it felt the urge to do so...such a happy and free tub really...a great place to relax, and take a nice, long bath.
Now, my tub is a crabby oldChicagoapartment tub that has a finicky faucet and boring white tiles... If it wasn't for our beautiful shower curtain, I would never want to get in! Hopefully my next place will have a happy tub again.

Here are some that inspire me...

This one is so homey and inviting...
I think, Copper tub equals awesomeness...
A shower and tub...so yin and yang...
And of course, the claw-tub with candles to ignite a warm and loving mood. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bon Iver



My wonderful friend Angie thoughfully shared a Bon Iver CD with me, and I have had the CD playing on repeat... I am in love with how the music seems to warm me like a great crackling fire, and feel it to be the perfect soundtrack for these long winter nights.
Even their cover songs turn out great... like this take on: I can't make you love me/love in the nick of time... stay warm and enjoy! 



Monday, January 16, 2012

Vintage Plates


Aren't these vintage plates wonderful? The pictures are from one of my favorite blogs, and made me think about the tools we use while eating. 
Some choose to use paper... others use plastic... and then there are ceramics, wood and metals... do you think it makes a difference with what you eat, how much you eat, and how you eat it? 
I personally think it does. Which reminds me of a quote about food that I love...random connection I know, but it's how my beautiful brain works!

"we need to treat the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man as one great subject"
 -Wendell Berry 

Great thought, don't you think? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Avocado Fries


How do you feel about Avocado fries? Hmmm...does the good fat, mixed with the bad fat, knock each other out? I'm going with it.... Check it out

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Easy Pickles


When we were in college, my best friend, Annie and I, spent one summer on my back patio... seriously, we practically lived on it... spending our nights drinking wine, cooking out, and laughing a lot. That summer was one of the best summers of my life, and there are some things that will always bring me right back to those sunny days and warm nights...like the taste of pickles!
Annie loved pickles so much, that she used to hide the pickle jar inside when she knew our other friends were coming over. This still makes me laugh out loud when I think about it! I have never met a person who loves pickles as much as her... I mean, they were even her party favors at her wedding (home-made pickles in mini mason jars!)... now that is true love!

When I saw this easy recipe, it brought me back to those wonderful summer days. You better believe I will be making them... if only to remind me of  happiness and warmth during these cold winter months!

Here is the www.health.com instructions:

Ingredients

  • 6 cupsthinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cupsthinly sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cupswhite vinegar
  • 3/4 cupsugar
  • 3/4 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/2 teaspoonmustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspooncelery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoonground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspooncrushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
  • garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Preparation

Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion.
Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days.
Note: Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Adele Hometown Glory


Is it possible not to like this song? Adele's voice is such an amazing instrument, and when I am feeling  a little blue, I listen to this song for solace... It's hard not to get lost in her beautiful words. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Common Cooking Mistakes


I just stumbled upon this article, and thought it was very informative... as it makes it's way through the most common cooking mistakes, I find myself reliving past disasters! Oh, the Joys of Cooking! 

Feng Shui


Have you Feng Shuied your living space? Click here for tips on How to Feng Shui your home!
Also, this website breaks down the difference color makes...very interesting indeed. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman Wrote this wonderful piece in the New York Times  opinion page, and I wanted to share the article with you. I know some people will think that I am up at the top of my vegetarian high-horse, but I really think this information is important... especially for all you wonderful people who eat meat. If we really are what we eat, we need to know what is happening to our precious food before it reaches our plates, and know what is going into it before it goes into our bodies. If we do not question standards at play, there will never be enough positive change....


Information originally found at www.markbittman.com

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Word Day


We are back around to Friday, and I can feel in my bones the goodness of the day... What are you going to be doing tonight? Anything fun, adventurous or crazy? Yeah, me either...

You want to know what I am going to do? Well, let me spell it out for you with some fun blocks:
Good idea, right? 

John is probably the best "rester" in the entire Universe, and he has really taught me a thing or two about sitting still (if you can believe it!). At this present moment in my life, I can make it through a whole movie, and some times I can even take naps! 

It sounds funny when I write it out like that...I never realized that I never really took time to rest until I started to date a "rester". But, our culture teaches us to go, go, go...and once you're done, go some more. What happened to our siesta?  How many people spend their precious lunch break running errands, making call's, or just working right through? 

Now is the time to make a conscious choice and relearn the art of resting...it will do more than just your body good. 

Quietude- a quiet state; repose

*Synonyms: calmness, peace, restfulness 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Loaded Quinoa Veggie Buger


This Quinoa Burger looks super scrumptious, and I cannot wait to make it! I found from recipe from a website called, can you stay for dinner dot com, and this is the ingredient list and directions they wrote!


Loaded Quinoa Veggie Burgers

adapted from Whole Living
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15 ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.
In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, scallions, garlic, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, salt, and pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
Form mixture into four patties. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned, about 8 minutes per side.
serves 4
Honestly, they seem pretty simple to make, don't you think? 

Cookie Exchange

In the Hast of the Holidays, I have forgotten to put up the pictures of my cookie exchange! We had a lot of fun, and so many different kinds of cookies....

Everybody made a cookie tag to mark their cookies...

Here's Claire and I drinking mimosas and scoping out the sweets...

Some of the yummy cookies!

Somehow, Britt ended up with a cookie stuck to her...

More cookies and tags... Chocolate Chip always makes an appearance...


Ballou was so happy to have her friends, but after, she slept for two days straight to catch up on her missed naps...

Some of the wonderful girls...

At the end we had a raffle, and everyone went home with cookies to share. I cannot wait to have another party next year, and will absolutely make this an annual tradition. The next party on my list is a hot cocoa party! I found the idea on pinterest...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

God has a bigger dream...

I just found this amazing quote from Oprah Winfrey, and I wanted to share it with you:


"god can dream a bigger dream for me, for you, than you could ever dream for yourself...when you have done all that you can do and there's nothing left for you to do... give it up to that thing, that is greater than yourself, and let it then become part of the flow." - Oprah 

Bedrooms


Outside it is 13 degrees. Makes any sane human want to stay in bed, under mounds of warm blankets. 
This bed is an inspiration to me... I love the balance of earthy colors, and the beautiful use of natural wood....


But this blue-theme bed feels like your relaxing in warm water by a beautiful beach....


And then , there is this bed...that I makes me crave a great book, a cup of tea, and John napping next to me. 

Oh, inspiration... you come in so many shapes and sizes. What kind of bed/bedroom are you inspired from? 


(click the picture to take you to their original website if you want to see more!)

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