Monthly Archives: February 2011

Back on the Horse

Falling in to a slump comes easy sometimes. You don’t even realize it until you feel like something is missing. What’s been missing for me is my love of cooking. It relieves my stress, it makes me happy, and it fills me up! There were some things that happened over the past few weeks where I was not comfortable with my living situations. With being uncomfortable I was not at my place very often, therefore I wasn’t cooking. The slump came abruptly and I’d like to say that I am now back!

I have since moved out of the place that I was living in to my own place. My first place on my own! It’s quite exciting. I really enjoy living by myself. It may not be your cup of tea, but I fully enjoy it. I moved yesterday with the help of my parents and Elliot. It was a nice easy move, believe it or not! I have a kitchen, a living room, a nice large bedroom with a walk-in closet, and a bathroom. I couldn’t be any happier. I am currently sitting on the floor and watching the Oscar’s in my pjs with this little one.

I have much decorating to do! (Notice the couch cover that was left here). I also still have plenty of boxes left to unpack. But more importantly, many new memories to be made here. With memories come my first meal made in my new place. This was not exciting and it had to be quick since I wanted most of my Sunday to be spent unpacking. You know, doing those “important” things that, I guess, need to be done. So this meal was not as exciting and tasty as I wanted it to be, but it was quick, gluten free, garlicy, and it went perfectly with brown rice.

Balsamic Peppers, Onions Chicken in the Crock
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low

1 pound of chicken
1 bag of frozen pepper and onion stir fry
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of salt

Put your chicken in the crock pot first, then the frozen vegetables. Mince your garlic and stir it together with the balsamic, and salt. Pour mixture over your chicken and vegetables and set on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.

Has anything drastic in your life changed recently?

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Filed under Food, Gluten free, Personal Life, Recipes

Interior Trying

Hi all! There has been a reason why I have been so absent, I swear! As of March 1st I will be moving! Yes! I will be staying in the town that I’m currently in, but I will be moving to a much nicer place. It’s a 1 bedroom with a large living room, a bedroom, walk in closet, and a gorgeous spiral staircase. I’m really excited to move and finally be able to afford living on my own. The other thing I am so excited about is that I finally get to have my cat back! For the past 8 months the place I’m currently at will not allow animals. Since most of you know me well enough, you know that I am obsessed with my cat. It’s about time I got that snuggle bug back.

The thing that I am most excited about is designing and decorating my new place. The walls, which were once a dull ivory, will be repainted a dove grey this weekend. And the floors, which have a maroon carpet, will be redone in the summer. For right now, I have to be able to design around this carpet color though. Maroon is a difficult color to work with as a base. It’s so uninviting unless mixed with the right colors. This is my first attempt at decorating from the ground up. Before I would just throw in whatever I had and buy whatever I liked. I like the idea of a strict color palette to work with. Essentially I’d like to work in these few basic colors with different textures and patterns. And this is my first attempt at interior designing.

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Hearts, Sweets, and Steaks

I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day! There are people out there who truly believe that this is a made up holiday, but am not one of them! I love Valentines Day. I love the candy, all the red and pink everywhere, the time spent together, the little things are the things that really matter. It’s not about buying gifts and spending money. It’s merely about taking a day to fully celebrate the person you love. That can be your mom, your significant other, your best friend, the love is endless.

This Valentines Day was very low-key and spent at home, just the way I like it. I made some sweets, I made some steaks, and I made some art. That is all, that is just the way Elliot and I like our holidays. Elliot had already given me my Valentines day present of the Sam Adams Tour (I thought!) but yesterday I received these lovely flowers at work.

Ah! They are so gorgeous and really make my workspace smell amazing. What a guy huh? He also gave me a bag of Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids, my favorite. Last night, as my presents, I made him some homemade whoopie pies and a big steak dinner!

The whoopie pies I made out of a box of cake mix. The trick of making them in to cookies I learned from The Crepes of Wrath. Like I have said many times, I am no baker, and these were easy and they tasted delicious! I put vanilla frosting in between the two cookies and smooshed them together and rolled the edges in red sugar.

Now the steak dinner, oh the steak. I bought two large rib eyes, potatoes, and some red peppers. I made a dry rub for the steaks with seasoning salt and lemon pepper and threw those puppies in a pan with some melted butter. I cooked them on medium low for 5 minutes on each side. This depends on how you like your steak. I like mine medium and Elliot likes his medium rare. The potato recipe is one I have used many times from The Pioneer Woman. These Crash Hot Potatoes are a favorite among everyone I serve them to. The peppers I just roasted on the same pan with the potatoes at the same time. I splashed from EVOO on them and bam!

One last thing I did was a little painting. While I love painting, and I’ve shown some of it on here, it’s not my strongest suit. Elliot is really in to traditional tattoos and tattoos in general so I thought that I would paint him a traditional Sailor Jerry inspired painting, again, just inspired. I could never recreate those! So I put this on here with this being a no judgement zone.

I hope every one had a great Valentines day as well. What did you do on that special day? And who is that special someone in your life?

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Filed under Art, DIY, Food, Gluten free, Personal Life, Personal Work

Engagements!

I just want to use this post to boast about my lovely sister, Rachel, getting engaged last night! I could not be any happier for her and my new brother-in-law, David. Congrats to the happy couple!

Check out her blog too! It’s all about her amazing baking (remember how I keep telling you that her and my mother are the bakers in the family? Well she posts all of her recipes!), cooking, and her Weight Watchers accomplishments (she’s lost 50lbs so far!).

I’m also so happy because now I have an excuse to look at wedding blogs and websites. What are your favorites?

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Filed under Personal Life, Uncategorized

Sam Adams Brewery & Mandarin Chicken Broccoli Slaw

For an early Valentines Day present, since I usually work late and Elliot has a class on Monday nights, he set up a surprise for me. What a guy! I had no idea what we were going to do until we pulled in to the parking lot after a 3 hour ride. He took me to the Sam Adam Brewery! We have been talking about doing this for about 2 years now and it was an amazing surprise from an amazing guy.

When you walk in to the brewery they give you a label to define which tour you are in. We got the noon Boston Lager tour. Our tour guide, Dan, was hysterical and extremely knowledgable.

They first take you to the ingredient room. Dan explained to us how each ingredient is used in the beer and why it is used. My favorite part was when they passed around each ingredient. First, the barley. There were three different kinds that he passed around and we got to taste all of them. Then the hops. Don’t eat the hops! But do crush them in your hands and take a good whiff. Ohhh now that’s the smell of beer that I love. Next they take you in to the brewing area. Now, the brewery in Boston is not their main plant, they mostly do their experimenting and tasting there. But Dan did explain how each beer is brewed and how most beers take up to 5 weeks to make from the hop vine to your bottle.

After the ingredient room and the brew room they bring you to the best spot, the tasting room! They hand out pitchers of beer and explain to you what kind you are drinking, and how to tell if it is a good beer. We tried Boston Lager, Noble Pills, and their Chocolate Stout. The Chocolate Stout was obviously my favorite. We got to keep our little tasting glasses too! It was an amazing trip and I would suggest everyone to take a trip up to Boston for the tour. I mean, come on, it’s a free tour with free beer! What’s better than that?

What are you favorite beers and breweries?

After a long day like we had on Saturday, I wanted to do absolutely nothing today. Sundays are the perfect day to relax, clean, cook, eat, and do crafts. And that is exactly what I did all day. This recipe is so quick and easy and good! My mom got the recipe from (I think?) Weight Watchers years ago. When I was living at home for a few months, this quick slaw dish was always in the refrigerator. It’s quick to throw together and one batch will last you a full week (If you don’t eat it all in one sitting!)

Mandarin Chicken Broccoli Slaw

1 pound of cooked chicken
1 bag of broccoli slaw
1 small can of mandarin oranges
1 small can of water chesnuts
1 cup of Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Dressing

Boil your chicken in a pot of water for about 20 minutes. When it is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes before shredding it. I like to do this part with my hands, but it works just as easily with two forks. Take your chicken, broccoli slaw, mandarin oranges, water chesnuts, and dressing and mix them all together in a large bowl. This recipe is best if you let it sit and marinate overnight.

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Filed under Food, Gluten free, Personal Life, Recipes, Uncategorized

Valerie Confections

Valerie Confections out in Los Angeles has not only a lovely identity (pink, brown, and hints of gold?! oh my!) and an amazing website, but they also specialize in all things chocolate. I’m smitten when anything tastes good and comes wrapped in bows and boxes.

The have everything from chocolate bars, to truffles, to petit fours. They even have preserves and galettes! And what’s even better is that most of their chocolate treats can be shipped to us hungry people over here on the east coast!

Cakes too? Oh Valerie Confections you must ease up on the sweets.

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Filed under Food, Gifts

Damn Good Cookies!

The name of these cookies say it all! Chocolate Gourmet out of Chicago makes delicious treats that you can order straight from their website. They have everything from cookies, to truffles, to rugelach! These “Damn Good Cookies” look amazing and come in Chubby Wubby Caramel, Chubby Wubby Chocolate, Chubby Wubby Mint, and Chubby Wubby Raspberry.

What would you get from Chocolate Gourmet? They have some great gift baskets!

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