Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Window Markers

Okay, I want these!!! They're "Crayola Washable Window Markers". I want to draw photos on all of my windows, mirrors, and any other piece of glass I can get my hands on.

I saw an incredible idea for them also. If you're having a get together, have people write on their glasses with them. That is if you trust your friends enough to give them real glasses. They can write their names or what ever they want. I thought that was a cute idea, especially if you're having some people who don't know each other well.

So I want them. Now to get the husband to buy them for me. :)

Christmas is Coming!

Don't worry I feel your pain. I am a lover of all things Christmas, but it still makes my skin crawl when I begin seeing decorations at the stores. It's the Christmas shopping that looms like a barricade before the exhilaration of Christmas morning. It's not just the money, which of course has to be found somewhere. For me it is mostly the daunting task of attempting to determine what to purchase for each family member and a few select friends. 

So, here is my gigantic question. Do you purchase all of your gifts for the holiday you commemorate or do you make any of them? What do you think about homemade gifts? This is an inner scuffle I have every year. I love to make “things”, pretty things, soft things, tasty things, and…. well you get the picture. But sometimes I stop myself because not everyone enjoys homemade gifts or the things that I find miraculous. I’m not talking about spine-chilling sweaters from your great aunt Bertha. Chic gifts. For example, last year I knitted the members of my family each a pleasant scarf. And they loved them…or so they said. =] This year I would love to make a large amount of the gifts I give, but I feel as though this would somehow be seen as cheap or peculiar.

Cheap? I wish. Let’s take the blanket that I’m currently crocheting my husband. It takes 13 balls of yarn to make. If I were to obtain the yarn at regular price using the type the pattern specifies, then it would cost a total of $103.87. Wow, that could buy a really “cool” blanket at the store. This makes it tricky to, not only spend the money but also, take the time to construct someone a present when they might view it as a less than perfect gift.

Don’t worry; I didn’t spend over $100 on yarn because I’m thrifty. I watch the sales and go purchase the yarn when it’s on sale, so I spent half of that. But the point still remains. Which way do I go? Do I do what I want and make family members presents…crocheted goods (not tacky ones! Ha ha), baked goods, crafts, or whatever else springs to my mind? Or do I print off their well-organized lists and head to the neighborhood mall to join the masses of frazzled out natives?

A homemade hat. =]

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shrimp & Avocado Bowl

I'm surprised I haven't already done this recipe. This is one of our favorites and a regular in our household. I copied it from a fitness magazine a couple of years ago and can't remember which one. My husband loves this! It's really simple and it's very tasty! This serves 4...or 2 really hungry people.

Here is what you will need:

1 lb medium shrimp, thawed
2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl rice wine vinegar
2 eggs (If they're small I often use 3)
1 cup shelled edamame (we often substitute snap peas in their or out of the pod!)
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 1/4 cup short grain brown rice
1 avocado

First things first, throw your rice in to cook according to the directions on the package.

Preheat the broiler and put your edamame or peas in boiling water to warm

Heat a small pan over medium heat and toast your sesame seeds. You can find directions here. Keep your pan handy because you'll need it later.

If you're like me, you purchase frozen shrimp and forget to thaw them. Easy! Put some cold water on a bowl. Put the shrimp in a strainer and set it down in the bowl. They'll thaw out quickly and no one will ever know you weren't prepared! =]

In a medium bowl, combine 1 tsp sesame oil & 1 tsp honey with a pinch (or more!) of cayenne.

Toss the shrimp so that it's completely coated. Set aside.

Combine the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar with the rest of the honey (1/2 teaspoon). We actually like a lot of sauce so we'll often make a double batch. Set the sauce aside.

Grab your avocado and slice it into thin strips lengthwise. Don't forget to take the pit out. =]

Take the shrimp and lay them out flat on a broiler pan or cookie sheet. Broil for about 2 minutes per side. Don't worry if you don't get each shrimp perfectly turned over, you're really just making sure you've cooked them and warmed them.

Grab your small pan again and heat the last teaspoon of sesame oil over medium heat. (I usually do this while the shrimp are cooking.)
Take your eggs and lightly beat them. Put them into the skilled and cook until they are set. About 2 minutes on the first side and a minute on the second one.

Transfer your cooked eggs to a cutting board and cut them into strips.

Now take all of your ingredients and gather them together!

Stir the edamame (or peas) in with the rice and divide the rice among bowls. Top it with the shrimp, eggs, sesame seeds, and avocado. Take your sauce (soy/vinegar) and drizzle it over the top. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pomegranate Feta Salad

This is my new favorite salad. Pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and spinach with an oil & vinegar dressing. And it's super easy to make! Here's what you'll need:

About 1 pound fresh spinach
8 oz feta cheese crumbled
1 cup pomegranate seeds (approximately, I just use the seeds from one good sized fruit)

For the dressing:
3 Tbl Olive Oil
3 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbl Honey
Salt & Pepper

Mix together all of the ingredients, adding salt & pepper to taste. If you want less vinegar taste, then add a little extra olive oil.

Coat the spinach with the dressing and transfer to bowls. Top with feta & pomegranates and enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Real World

Well, it is time to dust off my blog and get back to the real world. Which I've been avoiding for quite awhile now. College started back up and my nose went straight into a book. Mainly because I had to cover three weeks of homework in one....since I was going to Europe for two weeks! So my world became a world of homework and then a world of bliss across the ocean. Now we're back, homework is caught back up and I have run out of excuses for not having freshly baked bread or homemade granola.

Europe though was fabulous!!! We ate fish & chips in a London pub, Wiener schnitzel at an amazing restaurant in Germany on the Rhine River, and crepes at in outdoor cafe underneath the Strasbourg Cathedral. Amazing trip and we did not want to return home! But, alas, we had to and so here I am. Now, to get myself back into the kitchen and work on finishing up some of my craft projects!

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