Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chipotle and Pancetta Mac and Cheese

I went to a White Elephant Gift Exchange and Mac and Cheese and Wine Party. If you haven't been to a White Elephant Gift Exchange, then you need to gather up your friends and have one. The gifts given are usually inexpensive, humorous, used or pointless items. If you want the full rules, click over to this Wiki page. I was happy with my gift, it was a Herb Garden made by Chia Pet which I've always wanted a little herb garden... I was actually a bit disappointed that it wasn't a Chia Pet. Others weren't as excited about their gifts, one receiving a car headlight and the other receiving a toilet plunger with anti-diarrhea medicine. Not cool. 

The other part of the party included people bringing in homemade macaroni and cheese. I spent hours scouring the internet for the perfect recipe. Did I want kale? spinach? bacon? Did I want to fry it? and after a while, I gave up and decided I'd come up with my own. Since I've been on a chipotle kick for the past year, I thought that I would include it in my recipe. This mac and cheese is delicious. It's not too spicy, but has enough kick at the end of every bite and the blend of cheeses is perfect... creamy, yet gooey and not too thick. The pancetta gives it that something extra, without being as overwhelming as bacon would be. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures, so the ugly pictures will have to do, but I swear it is DELICIOUS! 
Sean's Desert Mac and Cheese
Sean also thought outside of the box and came up with a desert mac and cheese recipe. His had cinnamon in his cheese, graham cracker topping, grated chocolate and a chocolate cookie. The flavors sounds like they don't go together, but once you take a bite, it was amazing. The flavors of the cheese and cinnamon complemented each other and the combination of sweet and salt (from the cheese) was perfect. I'll post the recipe, if I can get him to remember what exactly he did. For now, I will just share mine...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chicken Arroz Caldo

With the weather getting somewhat colder, it was the first day of a little rain this morning, it means that it is time for something warm and comforting. Arroz Caldo is probably one of my favorite meals, but then again that list is super long. There is just something comforting about a bowl of chicken and rice that I have always loved. When I was younger and I used to eat Top Ramen, I used to add cooked rice to the soup and let it soak up all the broth. The blend of the noodles and rice is something I've always loved. And I think it was because the rice part reminded me of Arroz Caldo.

What exactly is Arroz Caldo? It's a Filipino rice porridge or congee. Rice and chicken slowly cooked in a savory broth until it's thick and topped with hard boiled eggs, scallions, fried garlic and calamansi. Luckily my mom has a calamansi tree in their backyard, so it something that I can easily get my hands on. If you don't have calamansi, lime would be a perfect substitution. Normally Arroz Caldo calls for Fish Sauce, but I'm not a fan of it so I just use a little more salt in mine. 

Sound delicious? Then keep reading...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

It's Fall time and you know what that means! Putting pumpkin in as many things as you can for the next couple months, until Christmas then it's time for Peppermint...Mmmm.... I'm just getting into pumpkin. The only thing I did enjoy with pumpkins was carving them and that was it. But pumpkin has been growing on me. These cookies are super light and fluffy, sugary, have a top lay that is slightly crispy and they have just the right amount of pumpkin. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, or about 20 if you are like me and drop a tray on the floor. I was so devastated when I dropped them because of how delicious these cookies are. Sean opened a pack, only wanting to eat one cookie and ate the entire thing! After he remembered that I dropped a tray, he was just as sad as I was. So do NOT be like me and keep them off the floor. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Strawberry Mint Water

Where have I been? Well it definitely hasn't been any place exciting or interesting. The truth?!? I got a library card! I haven't had one since I was like 10 years old. Yes, I did have one when I was UCSB, but with all the studying and homework, I think I used it once to check out a couple books about the Los Angeles Lakers because I somehow convinced my History TA to let me write about different eras of the Lakers. Which I got an A on :) But that was about it because everything I needed was found online through scholarly articles. Since I got my card, I've been checking out books and getting lost in them. I'm in the middle of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and I have 2 other books following it.

With all the reading, I want something nice to drink. Having a coffee, tea or something nice and light just completes that picture-perfect idea of reading a book. Since it isn't really fall here (it's still in the mid 70's-80's), during the day I like drinking Strawberry Mint Water, it's kind of like a faux-jito :). I've been trying to kick the soda habit for a while (Especially Dr. Pepper, I swear there used to be a time where I couldn't function without having one) and although not completely successful, I'm hoping this drink can replace soda.

This water is light, crisp and refreshing. Not to mention it does have flavor, which is always better than just iced water. What's best about this is it doesn't have any additives like those other flavored waters and you can play with the combination using different types of fruits and adjust it to your liking. Try raspberries, melons, lemon and basil with strawberries, cucumbers, oranges, even ginger!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DIY Multi Chain and Pendant Necklace

To go along with the jewelry tray liners from my last post, I decided to post a necklace tutorial. I started initially made a black and silver one with a round black pendant, but I fell in love with it so much that I made two other ones. My favorite one is the peacock one because I've recently been going through a peacock stage where I'm in love with them and those gorgeous feathers. I love these necklaces because you can make them as dressy or as casual as you want depending on the pendant. 

I did list the Tie Pendant Necklace and the Round Black Pendant Necklace on my Etsy shop if you are interested in purchasing it. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DIY Black Jewelry Tray Liners

Over the weekend Sean went out and bought not only Madden 13, but also Grand Theft Auto for his PlayStation. Not only have I completely lost him to 3 fantasy football leagues, but now I've lost him to 2 video games that he absolutely loves. Since he's been either playing games or looking up player news, I've been keeping myself busy by making more pieces of jewelry.

Having to take jewelry back and forth from places, I needed a way to take them around without destroying them because trust me keeping them disorganized in a box and having that box fall broke all of my necklaces and bracelets way too many times. I also didn't want to spend a ton of money on a jewelry tray and then have to spend more money on the liners every time I needed more. I decided to use a Louis Vuitton box that I've have laying around for years (without actually ever owning a Louis Vuitton purse) and create my own Jewelry Tray and Liners. It took me a couple hours start to finish. The best part was that it didn't cost me an arm and a leg because the only thing I had to pay for was the fabric and batting. I got over 10 liners for my box, but it all really depends on the length and width of your box. Don't have jewelry or need new ones to wear, check out how to make your own like my Black Natural Stone with Chain NecklaceYellow Floral NecklaceFloral Pearl Necklace or a Chain and Pearl Necklace.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa

I was asked to post the recipe for the Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa that I made for Sean the other week. After a week of celebrating Sean and mine's anniversary and flying out to Philadelphia for a friends wedding, I am getting to it.

Before I was able to post the recipe, I had to finish Sean's normal anniversary gift. Every year I make a scrap book the things that we did over the past year and I was excited about this one because there were too many pages that I had to move on to a second binder. I simply covered and hot glued fabric over the binder and cut a "frame" out of cardboard, glued fabric over that and then placed it on the center of the binder's cover. Super easy and I loved the way that it came out. As you can see in the photo below, I don't have a Circuit or die-cuts. All of my writing and little drawings are either hand drawn or traced directly onto the page or traced on a different paper, cut out and pasted. I wish I have a Circuit because my life would be easier, but it just goes to show that you can make a beautiful scrapbook without one. 

I also made Sean an "I Love You" pop-up card and the template can be found over at Six in the Suburbs
Here's a quick glimpse into our scrapbook.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DIY Black Natural Stone with Silver Chain Necklace

Just when you think something is going good, there is always something else that gets in the way. There are some areas of my health that I've been struggling with the past few years and just when I think I have it under control, another thing comes up. I'm beginning to realize that even though I am only turning 24 in November and I'm still young, my body is definitely not as young as it used to be. I can't eat the way I used to and there are a lot more things that I need to worry about. I remember when I was in high school, I could eat and drink whatever without it affecting me at all. Nowadays? Forget about it. Well in order to get my mind off things and relieve some stress, I went to creating jewelry and working on other crafts. 

As promised, here is a post that is NOT a recipe. Although I know, what a terrible name for this necklace! I don't really know what I would call it, so if anyone has any suggestions just leave a comment below or contact me and you will be my favorite person in the world. :) Being in a hurry (because I'm not sure when Coffee Bean will give me the boot off their internet since I've been here for a while) this straight forward title seemed logical.  Making this necklace isn't that difficult, but it does require a lot of jump rings. I used 10 at each end of the beads, except for the ends on the necklace where I used 8. I wish I would have used a few more, but I didn’t want to run out of jump rings in the middle of the necklace. If you are like me and immediately fell in love with this necklace, go grab some supplies and make it for yourself. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mini Meatballs in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

I'm sorry that I haven't posted anything in a while, but I do have a good reason... Well, it's actually multiple reasons.

The main reason that I've been gone was mainly because I left my camera charger over at Sean's and when I went there to get it, I left the cord at my place. It's one thing that I don't like about living so far away from each other. It's not fun dragging things back and forth and forgetting things that I need. You would think after 4 years that I would be used to it.... wrong.

Another excuse reason is this heat. Honestly, this heat is making me not want to do anything. It has been over 100 degrees and we've had few thunderstorms with flash flood & tornado warnings. (Not something I'm in love with). Turning on the oven or standing in front of the stove was definitely not something that I wanted to do. But I did do it the other day when my dad asked me to make him the Mini Meatballs in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce (posted below) and Sean wanted Roasted Tomatillo & Green Olive Salsa (which he took home before I could snap any photos of, so I am not posting the recipe *sad face*) 

As for anything crafty, I was busy sewing away at Ace's seat cover for my car. I decided to make a seat cover that not only covered the seats, but also covered the doors (unlike the ones sold in stores) since Ace has a habit of scratching the fabric when he hangs his head out of the car window. And with it being a new car, I wasn't about to let him destroy the inside with his paws. That project took me a while to complete just because my sewing skills are still developing. (Pictures of the seat cover to come). On top of that, I have been working at finishing up a scrapbook that I do every year for Sean's and mine anniversary.

Towards the end of last week, my dog, Ace, had all these bumps on him and I spent the entire day worrying about them. Apparently he had an allergic reaction to something (I still can't figure out what) and it wasn't fun dealing with him because every time I'd try to pet him or look at his coat to see if they were going down or not he would get angry. I felt so bad, but it went away after about a day and is feeling 100%.

It was also my mom's birthday this past weekend so I attempted to make her an angel food cake (And pretty much failed at) so instead went out and we got an ice cream cake instead and I made a little banner for it.

I promise that I'll post something other than food soon, but for today's post it is going to be the Mini Meatballs in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce that I made for my dad. The meatballs that I made were full of flavor and I loved that it had both ground beef and Italian sausage in it. I also loved how both the meatballs and sauce were super simple to make. The sauce definitely tasted a lot better with fire-roasted tomatoes and the best part was it wasn't expensive to make. These meatballs didn't last long at my parents and was eaten with pasta and as a sandwich.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Pasta Salad

Seriously not having a job and not going to class or being on campus all the time has made the week go by so fast and has left me feeling very unproductive. Although I'm finishing up one last class online which I'm done with next week, I don't like this feeling. It's summer and I've been cooped up inside for a majority of the time. Not fun. So far my weeks consisted of looking for a job, cooking and working on a scrapbook that I update yearly for Sean and mine's anniversary.

Here's one thing that I made this week and really enjoyed. This summer pasta is light and perfect for this summer heat. One reason why I love this summer pasta is the fact that you can use whatever vegetables are in season or are available to you. I used green beans, broccoli, corn and grape tomatoes. I also had fresh basil from my plant which I am honestly surprised is still alive. Ha.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chicken Corn Chili with Corn Bread

It was a long week for me and I was going crazy with the heat. Me and 100+ degree weather no longer get along, especially since I lived in Santa Barbara the past 2 years. So going to LA to see Sean made me feel a little better about the weather. Don't ask why, but maybe the heat is getting to me.... Instead of opting to cook something light and refreshing, I ended up cooking chicken corn chili and corn bread. 

This chicken corn chili isn't as heavy as a beef chili and doesn't have as much heat as I prefer my chili, but you can of course adjust the heat to however you like it. I love that you can use left over chicken or rotisserie or cook your own chicken for this. I also decided to bake corn bread to go with this chicken corn chili. The corn bread was moist and has corn kernels in it. This is not a sweet corn bread recipe, so if you like your corn bread sweet I would adjust the amount of sugar or use agave or honey instead.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Baked Sriracha Wings

I hope your 4th of July was amazing and filled with family, friends and of course fireworks. This week went by really fast and last weekend I went camping for the first time up in Big Bear. I really loved it and I never would have thought that I would have been ok with being outdoors and around bugs. I loved it so much that Sean and I are going again this weekend. I'm excited to go fishing and hopefully catch a bigger fish than Sean :) 

I'm always down to try new things, like camping, and these Sriracha wings are something new that I was VERY willing to give a try. Sriracha entered my life less than a year ago and I don't know why it took me so long to figure out about it. When I came across this recipe for Sriracha wings, it was definitely the next item on my to do list. These Sriracha wings had some heat to it, but not as much as I thought they would have and I kicked it up by adding some ground habanero powder to it. If you don't have any or are afraid of the heat, I think it would taste just as good without it. If you're like me and have fallen in love with Sriracha, than this is something that you have to make now! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DIY Glittered Vases

I love the fact that with Mod Podge you can glitter just about anything! And who doesn't love glitter?! I made these 3 little glittered vases for under $5 bucks and you can use them for whatever you please. Since I have issues with constantly losing bobby pins, hair ties and chapstick/lipstick, I thought it would be perfect to keep them in. I found the vases over at the dollar tree and thought they would look prettier if they had some personality to them. It was super easy and didn't take a long time at all.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fathers Day Blueberry Pie

Tomorrow is a special day, not only is it Fathers Day, but I am also graduating. My parents are coming up to help me move and I thought that I would make my Dad something he'd like. My Dad loves blueberries. He always lets me know when he is going to go blueberry picking at a small farm by their house. So I thought for Fathers Day, I would make him a blueberry pie, plus I was lucky that blueberries were on sale! I used a pre-made pie crust because it was convenient for me since I was packing as I made the pie. The sweet smell of the blueberry pie filled my little apartment and I was tempted to eat some of it right when I took it out of the oven. BUT of course it would have been awkward when my Dad opened the box and there was a partially eaten pie... oops!...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Garlic and Chile Roasted Rock Crab

Sean and I went to the Farmers Market yesterday. I only wanted to go to buy some almonds, but of course only buying just one thing is impossible when everything just looks so good. What did we end up buying? 3 baskets of strawberries, 2 bags of Chile Limon almonds, 1 bag of Wasabi almonds, Mexican guavas and some crabs.
Sean loves these almonds. They aren't too spicy, but they do have a slight kick to them. They're the kind of spice where it's addicting and you can't just eat one. Seriously! The first time we bought them, Sean ate almost an entire bag in one sitting. I'm not a big almond person, but I could eat these almonds and not share. I actually bought 2 bags of them so Sean could have one and I would save the other bag so he has another one for later, but honestly I highly doubt he's going to see that second bag.
I was excited when I saw guavas. I haven't had them since I was a kid and eating them definitely takes me back to my childhood. I remember my neighbor had a guava tree in their backyard and I would go over there and pick them. These guavas are soft and full of flavor.

But what I was really interested in was this guy right here. I love crab, but I've never been the one to kill it, let alone touch one alive. I would just look at them from a distance and let someone else deal with it. This was my first time and I was baby about it, but making crab was something that I've been wanting to do. I found this simple recipe on FoodNetwork and thought it would be a good starting point. The amount of chile  really depends on your personal taste. I wish I would have put more or I should have used the dried habanero chile flakes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roasted Grapes on Toast

I'll admit that I haven't been eating healthy lately and I feel really bad about it. But I swear I have a good reason! I'm trying not to buy food and just eat whatever is left in my pantry and freezer since I'm moving out in about a week and I don't want to just throw it out. And there is a reason why that stuff if still around and I haven't eaten it in a while. But I finally got sick of it and went to the grocery store so I would at least have salad, I saw that grapes were on sale (YAY! Trust me I was really excited because snacking on junk food while studying was not good either)

When I saw the grapes, I immediately thought of this recipe that I stumbled on a while back. Who would have thought that grapes thrown in the oven would be so good? I didn't. It was kind of like grape jam, but better. Although I'm not 100% on what grape jam or jelly taste like since I don't eat it and I don't like anything grape flavored except grapes themselves. Plus this has goat cheese and if you know me I love cheese.

If you're in study mode or just need something new to eat, try this. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vanilla Bean Mini Doughnuts

I can't believe that tomorrow is the 1st of June! And in 2 weeks I'll finally be done with school! For that I thought this would be a cute post. Although, I'm not a doughnut person at all. Ever since I was a kid I wasn't big on getting doughnuts at a doughnut place or buying a box of them, with the exception of Krispy Kreme because my dad would always buy a couple boxes when we went to Vegas. But if you know me, you know that I have a thing for anything mini. When I saw these over at Sprinkle Bakes, I thought I'd give it a try. They look just like ones from Starbucks, although I couldn't tell you if they taste the same since I've never had Starbucks Birthday Cake Doughnut. I did like these little things better than doughnuts because they were more like a cake.

The mini doughnut pan isn't hard to find anymore. I know Michael's has them and I got mine at Sur La Table, but if you don't have any one of those around you, you can order them online. Sprinkle Bakes suggest using a piping bag to fill the pan, but when I did it I cut the hole to big and it made a mess and I got mad and ended up just spooning a couple spoonfuls into each mold and spreading it. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Whatever Canvas Clock

I had a really amazing weekend, especially since I thought that it wasn't going to be good in the beginning. After compromising with Sean, he agreed to come up this weekend if I found a place that was showing the Chelsea vs Bayern Munich UEFA Championship game. I don't own a TV and since it was the "Superbowl of Soccer" (Sean's words), there was no way that he was going to miss this game. Luckily Roundin Third, a bar by my house, was willing to show the game for us. I was so happy that Sean came because I've been super stressed out lately and Sean was super happy that Chelsea won the championship. I don't think I've ever seen him this happy haha. Here's proof :)

But my weekend didn't stop there. Every year, UCSB has a concert called Extravaganza that's just for students and I was excited that Snoop Dogg was one of the performers. Although I was surrounded by a bunch of sweaty people and getting shoved constantly, seeing Snoop perform live was AMAZING. 
Another thing is that over the weekend I finished my clock that I was making. Target has this Cork Clock for $99 and it inspired me to make my own, but since I didn't like the look of the cork board, I used canvas. Plus I had an extra square canvas on hand which made making this clock even cheaper. 
Here's Targets version...
And here's mine...

Monday, May 14, 2012

DIY Nail Polish with Eyeshadow

I love having different colors of nail polish, especially during the summer I love using BRIGHT colors :) But it can get expensive, especially when I end up painting my nails almost every other day because I chip and pick at them. Have you ladies seen this? I've seen it in the past and never really tried it because there were so may different versions. Some saying to use certain bases and certain pigments, dumping it in the entire bottle and all that. I have a eye shadow palette that has a bunch of different colors and let's face it I'm not going to be using neon green or teal any time soon. I mainly bought it for the different shades of pinks and purples and browns. So I figured this would be a good way to use the colors that I wouldn't normally use.The first time I tried it, I dumped the broken shadow into the bottle, it didn't mix well. It works best if you mix it in a small separate bowl or cup. It does work better if you have a mineral eye shadow because the pigment is finer, but I didn't have any big issue using other shadows.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DIY Quote On Canvas Wall Art

I'm a strong believer of "Everything Happens For A Reason". That the things that we do and live through have a reason behind, whether it's good or bad. And lately with everything that has been going on in life, I'm wondering what that reason is and how I'm going to deal with all the change that's going on. I'm a very planned person, who likes to know what's going on... so I don't know how well I'm going to deal with everything. But it's all happening for a reason right? Things will fall in place.

With that said, I found this quote by Frank Zappa and immediately fell in love with it. "A Mind Is Like A Parachute. It Doesn't Work If It Is Not Open." It's so true in so many ways. And after I came across it, I feel like it's another way that I should look at life. To be open to new ideas and accept change. That I shouldn't be closed minded to any doors that open up my way. If I stay opened minded to change, than I can control it and turn it into something positive.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lime Margarita Jello Shots

Last night me and Sean were up hollowing out limes just to make these little gems for Cinco De Mayo. I've made these over a year ago before and thought that they would be easier the second time around, especially since I had some help. WRONG! As cute as these are, making these are a tedious task since you have to hollow out the limes. I ended up with lime pulp everywhere...even in my hair... and Sean complained about how pruney his hands were. I dragged Sean into helping me and when we were finished he told me "We aren't making these again." I take it he didn't have any fun, even after I rewarded him with a few shots of tequila. But I was happy with the end result and that's all that matters.

I will say that the more limes that I hollowed, the easier it got. Since Sean wasn't having too much fun with this, he ended up just juicing the limes and handing them to me so I could clean them out. Team Work :) Also, we didn't have enough limes for the entire box of Jello, so we made normal Jello shots. We hollowed out 15 limes and I bought the big box of Jello. If you're up for the task of making these cute limes, continue reading....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chipotle Shredded Beef Flautas

I know it's been awhile since I last posted anything, but it's midterms and that means not only am I busy writing papers and studying .... I'm realizing that I have about 6 weeks to figure out what I'm going to do with my life. I even bought my cap, gown and diploma frame today!!! :) To clear my mind, I thought that I'd take the time to write a post about Cinco De Mayo. I originally had 3 different posts, but since I was busy all last week and since Cinco De Mayo is in a couple days.... I won't get the chance to post up everything. Plus Sean didn't really like one of the ideas because 1) it involved me, flammable liquids and fire -even thought I told him it was safe- and 2) he thought it was tacky, since it could only be used on Cinco De Mayo. Can you believe that I've never actually celebrated Cinco De Mayo?!? I've always wanted to, but I usually had school or work and was too tired to do anything. The most I did do one year was grab let over carne asada from a neighbors and went back home to do homework. Lame, I know. So this year I'm super excited that it falls on a Saturday and I finally get to do something... Even though I probably should be studying....

I'm posting a food recipe. Don't worry I have a couple craft ones coming up if they come out decent when I finish. I've never been a fan of taquitos because I don't like corn tortillas much. But flautas I love. I've never made them before. Honestly it just seemed easier to buy the frozen ones and toss those in the oven. But I never realized how easy it was to make my own and the filling I made was better, in my opinion. I found out about Chipotles in Adobo Sauce about a little over a year ago and ever since I discovered these little things I've tried to put them in anything.... Honey Chipotle Chicken, Chipotle Wings & a Chipotle-Tomatillo Salsa. If you haven't used them before I suggest you go out and buy a can of them. I baked my flautas, but if you want you can fry them. They probably crisp up better and taste a lot better with the oil.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chinese Chicken "Salad"

I'm definitely feeling like it's my last quarter here at UCSB. Why? Because I don't want to do any of my school work. I'm exhausted and I don't even want to do anything but sleep. Mmmm Sleeeeep :) That is all that is on my mind. And I'm upset because at the end of last year I took caffeine out of my diet, but with all the reading that I have to do, I've pretty much given back in to caffeine, just not Dr. Pepper so much. 

What does any of that have to do with the post?... Absolutely nothing. The recipe I originally found was from Ina Garten on FoodNetwork. There are a few Chefs from Food Network who's recipes I absolutely love and are typically never a fail for me. Ina is one of those Chefs. This recipe I was a little iffy about. The entire peanut butter ingredient threw me off and I wasn't sure if it was going to be good or not. There are those people who LOVE peanut butter, Sean, and those who KIND OF LIKE it, Me. It turns out, it wasn't overwhelming at all. I technically wouldn't call this a salad also. Especially since I found that serving it over brown rice made it even better, but I don't know what else it could be called. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIY Yellow Floral Necklace

It's been super nice out lately... well except for the little storm that came on Friday, but other than that it's been sunny. I really want to go out to the beach and relax especially since I've been stressed lately. Graduating in about 8 weeks is officially freaking me out and looking for a job, fixing my resume and writing cover letters on top of school work and beginning to tutor Junior High students is stressful for me. I'm super lucky that I have an amazing boyfriend who helps me with just about everything, no matter what kind of attitude I throw at him. And I'm lucky to have a beach just minutes away from my place. This necklace was inspired by that beautiful weather and I'm excited for summer to come.

*Update* I did list one of these necklaces on my Etsy shop if you are interested in buying it. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stewed Spicy Chicken with Spinach

This weekend seemed like a super long one. Probably because I spent all day Sunday and all of today either on my couch or in my bed. I started feeling sick on Friday, but with the amazing weather lately, Sean and I decided that going to beach was better than staying in. For that moment it was worth it, but now I wish that I was 100% healthy because the sound of an 8am class tomorrow doesn't sound appealing at all.

Being sick, I made this chicken hoping that all the spice would kill whatever is in my system... along with chugging mint tea with loads of honey and fresh squeezed orange juice. This recipe is originally called Dak Bokkeum with Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken with Spinach), but I couldn't find any Korean chile sauce at the grocery store or at the local Asian market here. Instead, I used something that I have in my fridge... Schug* It's a Yemen chili  that is used like a hot sauce and traditionally served with Yemen foods, such as Malawach (my fav!) and Jachnun. This chili is commonly found in Israeli grocery and super markets or you can make it on your own. There's a red and a green version, I used the red schug. I'm pretty positive that if you used any type of chili paste or sauce, this chicken will turn out really delicious.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fusilli with Caramelized Onions, Peppers and White Wine

One plus about visiting my parents, other than spending time with them, is that they get all the current issues of Food Network Magazine, Cooking Light and a few others. They usually the past few months issues in a pile stacked away waiting, knowing that when I get home that is one of the first places I'll go. Flipping through the pages, I saw this recipe and it was immediately added on my list of things to make.

I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE caramelized onions. When I was younger, I remember my mom used to make them when she made steak and I could each the entire pan if I wanted to. It was do delicious that the steak didn't really matter to me. When I saw this recipe and I saw the onions, it was my next meal. It's really simple and the crunch from the toasted panko bread crumbs is perfect. I had to hold myself back from eating the panko and onions before I started making the sauce and pasta. The original recipe doesn't have bell peppers, but I thought that this dish could use some color so I grabbed my bag of bell peppers out of the freezer and tossed them in last minute.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY Batman Flats

I kept telling myself that I would post this early in the week and then Sunday got pushed to Monday and then to Tuesday. With leaving my parents to unpacking, starting my last quarter of school and then celebrating my friends 21st birthday, my place is a mess and I already have a lot of reading to do. I'm super excited to be finally graduating in June, but I'm even more excited to show you these Batman comic book flats.

Just a warning, these are not made for rain. Sean, I ruined these shoes in the rain. Sean and I went out and he said that we would be inside and not in the rain. Less than an hour later, I was walking in the rain. Ugh!! It totally destroyed them. Luckily I bought the entire first volume instead of just a single comic so they can be fixed. Anyways here's how you can make them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY Floral Pearl Necklace

It's Spring Break for me so I'm excited, I get to spend time with my family this week and get to see my baby, Ace. But while my parents and brother are out working, I do what I normally do and either A) go to Walmart and Target since there isn't one where I live or B) make stuff. While I make things, my dog usually forgets that his Mommy is back and goes and lays in the sun to get his tan on.

The Sweetest Pitbull I Know

Since Ace forgot about me, I went online and came across this Kate Spade necklace and decided that I wanted to do my own inspired knock off. This Japanese Floral Pearl Necklace is originally $178, but my version is only about $10. It's not exact, but it's because I ran out of beads and bead caps, so I made it a bit different. Here's the original.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

DIY Chain And Pearl Bracelet

I go through different hobbies really fast, just because I get bored of it for awhile and eventually I'll get back into it. I got bored of painting earlier this year and decided it was time for a new hobby for a little bit. I never tried to make my own jewelry before and figured it would be something different.

I came across Flamingo Toes awhile back and loved her blog. When I saw this tutorial for a knock-ff of David Yurman: Hematite & Pearl Sterling Silver Multi-Row Bracelet, I had to make it also :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY- Grocery Bag Container

Do you have an enormous amount of plastic bags that after grocery shopping, you just toss in a pile? 

I do. I use plastic as a liner for my bathroom and bedroom trash can, I keep some in my car because if you know me, I spend a lot of time in my car and every now and then I have to empty out the trash. I also use them for dirty clothes when I'm staying at someone's house. So I tend to save them whenever I get them. And for a while I've crumpled them up and threw them in a paper bag under my sink. It worked for awhile, until that bag got too full and it eventually took over under my sink so much that I couldn't open the doors without it falling out. 

I saw this idea over at  Midwestern Moms who found it on Tatertots And Jello. I thought that this was an amazing idea. I've heard of it being done with the rectangle baby wipes containers, but I was happy when I found it in a different type of container. And I thought that I'd share with you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

This is probably one of my favorite soups. About a year ago, I discovered kale and how amazing it was. This is a hearty soup and I love making this when I have midterms or finals because I don't have to worry about lunch or dinner for a few days. And since it's the last week of the quarter... it calls for some easy, but filling meals.

The thing that I love about this is you don't have to use sweet potato. I've used potatoes in the past and I'm sure that it would taste just as amazing with quinoa, pasta, or wild rice. The farmers market just happened to have sweet potatoes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

DIY Wooden Heart in Frame

I really should be writing my paper... I mean, like I REALLY should be writing my paper. It's going to be a long two weeks and I needed a break before I started doing my work again. This was my break.

I had a bunch of these wooden sticks lying around that I got from Michael's for a few bucks. I used them to make corn dogs a while back, but after that... I didn't have a use for them. I also had a couple of those $1 unfinished wooden frames from Michael's. I put them together and this is what came out. It's really simple.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Garlic Asiago Cheese Pull Apart Bread

I don't know what caused me to try to make bread of any sort. My last few encounters with bread weren't that great. I made an olive bread before and it was dense... I mean REALLY dense. Apparently the yeast never rose, so it was like eating a flavorful brick with olive pieces... Yum?!.. My last attempt was pizza dough. I wanted it rise so I figured more yeast... more rise in the dough. Wrong! It tasted completely like yeast even after I decided to use it and put a bunch of sauce and toppings on it. 

After these couple failures, I steered clear from anything doughy. But when I saw this recipe, I HAD to try it. I didn't care if I had to re-do the process a million times.. I was making THIS bread!!.... Luckily for me, it only took me two times. I probably would have had it right the first time, if I read the recipe right. I measured the flour with the measurement of water... I was wondering why it was so runny and got frustrated and threw it out. Right when the runny dough hit the trash, I realized I read the ingredients incorrectly. So back to beginning I went. 

Anyways, the end result was delicious! It was moist and cheesey and I could have eaten the entire loaf by myself in one sitting. I liked eating it with marinara sauce, but Sean ate it plain.