Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recipe Organization Overhaul

A couple of weeks ago I was inspired to finally begin to organize our growing collection of recipes that we've tried, tested, and tweaked to our liking. I currently have THREE different notebooks with recipes we've written all over to achieve our desired results, with absolutely no organizational method. I would just grab and write down whatever was at hand. It was time to fix that.

I still have a long way to go, but this tutorial here on Maia the Bee, laid it all out and got my gears turning...not to finish my 8 different final projects I was supposed to be working on...but to organize recipes. Of equal importance, right?

 I love how they turned out!

I currently have added our most commonly used recipes (typing, formatting, and printing can take awhile), but am working on adding all of our tried and true recipes from the past as well. A time consuming task for sure, but will be well worth it!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Crochet Rug

See this beautiful thing?

Well according to Like A Cup of Tea, it retails for about $700.00.


So I've set out to make my own version for my new place.
I now have an apartment with "hardwood" throughout (with the exception of the bathroom and kitchen) and it seems a little chilly and cold for a bedroom...particularly in a basement suite. I'm a big warm and cozy fan...particularly during our Canadian winters.

I may not finish it for awhile, but it will be so satisfying to make it for under one tenth of the retail cost, and in the colors I want.

If I'm going to stay in on gloom and doom days such as today...I might as well do something productive while I watch Christmas movies! ;)


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Gold and Blue - Sunburst Nails

I had a little bit of fun with my nails for the last wedding we went to in October.
Yay Peep Toe shoes!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Coffee Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese Icing

The week after we celebrated D's birthday I received a text from one of his friends requesting more cupcakes.

I originally got the recipe from The Pioneer Woman about 2 years ago

I have received more compliments on this cake than any other cake before or since I made it the first time.

My cousin who does not like cake likes this cake

Oreo crumbs provided a great coffee-like dusting, without over doing it on the coffee flavour!
D's Birthday Last Year
I was very proud of the texture on this one, although I couldn't get a good enough picture to show it well.

Our friends who don't like coffee, loved this cake (even though it is very coffee-ee-ee)

This year, D requested the cake again. Of course I can't say no and still maintain best girlfriend ever status, so I made it yet again.

This time I was a smart best girlfriend ever, and baked the cupcakes the night before. Yay for planning ahead!

 The next day I iced them

The color contrast wasn't the greatest with the icing...but I was just so tired at this point, and running out of time to get everything done before his party also got a little melty and smushy. 
But still oh-so-DELICIOUS!

Recipe Comments/Tips:

Tip: To make a substitute for buttermilk, pour 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar into a 1/2 cup, and add milk until full; let stand for 5 minutes before incorporating

Yes, it does seem like a lot of liquid for the cake...but I have never once had a problem with it setting. Trust me on this. Its a smashing good caffeine fix.

I follow the recipe as is on her blog, until I get to the icing. Here I make the following changes:
  • I use 3 cups icing sugar
  • add about a 1/4-1/2 cup cream cheese 
  • a squirt or two of lemon juice to cut a bit of the sweetness
  • This time to get the darker, chocolatey icing I added some chocolate syrup from my fridge to a separate bowl the icing, just until it was dark enough for me.
Hope you enjoy this fabulous cake as much as my loved ones have!


Roasted Red Pepper and Quinoa Soup

So far, I'm not doing so well on keeping up with my blog. I have, however been a busy little bee around my home.

I'll be posting some pictures of my new room once I finish de-junking, re-organizing everything (it's an embarrassing disaster zone), and finishing a few projects for it.

While I haven't been doing so good at keeping up with all of my goals I set in my last blog post, I did 
I've been keeping up for the most part with my Kitchen Goals.

I wanted to share with you my take on Easy Eats' - Roasted Red Pepper and Quinoa Soup

I played around with the recipe a bit and this is what I came up with. And I loved it!

Roasted Red Pepper and Quinoa Soup

Roast the following tossed mixture at 375 F for 45 minutes:
3 red peppers, cut into squares
2 Roma tomatoes, wedged
2 large garden tomatoes (I would have subbed for 4 Roma [around 6-7 total]…this is just what I had on hand)
½ medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Sprinkle of basil and oregano and red pepper flakes as desired

Add with Roasted mixture to soup pot:
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Puree with immersion blender until desired consistency

Add and simmer for 15 minutes:
1 cup cooked quinoa
Add 1 c. Cream (or milk for a healthier option)– play with the ratio until it is as you desire
Garnish with a bit of Feta or grated Monterrey Jack cheese and serve!

Tastes even better the next day!

I also have a few other new recipes I've been working on that I'll be sharing with you soon!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Final Back to School

So here it last year of school EVER.

 On my last first day of school (hopefully!) EVER!!!

Now that I have moved into my new place and I have a job serving for the year, I feel like my life is finally settling down. Aside from two more weddings we will be attending this fall, we have nothing big planned for this year which is a relief.

I am looking forward to powering through this semester, and enjoying my practicum the next. Finishing up with two Spring courses to complete my degree.

In preparation for my last year of school ever (...I hope!), I have decided to make a list of things I want to work on and accomplish by the time I graduate. Things that I've been putting off for a long time, or have never been good at sticking with.

Personal Goals:
Work on being a better, more present friend
Spending individual quality time with family members
Be more social - and do it frugally.
Actually do my readings before classes
Attempt to do laundry more regularly - not just relying on my tons of clothes to keep putting it off
Work on building a closet of versatile, quality basics that will last me years
...and cheap, fun, in-style-for-now pieces
Blogging more often...finding things that inspire and challenge me to do so. I have been so neglectful to my budding little blog. I really want to see it grow and develop in the next year.

Health Goals:
Be more physically active - and work doesn't count
Be better about making meals for school/work
Stretch more often

Sewing Goals:
Refashion more of my clothes
Make pillows for the living room
Make curtains for my bedroom
Make a blanket for the couch and across the foot of my bed
Finish sewing a piece of clothing I actually will wear...and like

Downsizing Goals:
Nail polish box
Refashion or get rid of clothes I never wear anymore - I'm usually pretty good at the downsizing...but I should really take the time to alter them into favorite pieces...most of them just need a little tweaking
Go through all of my old school papers and notes that I'll never use or read again...even though I think I will (I really won't!)
The excessive pens and notebooks collection
Jewelry Supplies
Text books - sell 'em!

Kitchen Goals:
Try a new recipe at least every other week
Never show up somewhere empty-handed
Always do the dishes right away

Financial Goals:
Save 10% of all of my income
Work enough so that I don't have to rely on student loans for month-to-month bills
Make Christmas and Birthday gifts for friends instead of buying them

I plan to update this list as the year progresses - adding to it, and crossing off the things I have accomplished at those points in time. Just to see how far I've come by the end of the year. I'm hoping it will be quite far.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Leave of Absence

So due to absolute insanity in my life, including a lot of double shifts...I haven't had time for blogging, or the crafty kind of things I'd like to be spending my summer doing.

I'm hoping to be back sometime in early-mid August.

Thanks to financial issues (working my buns off to make them work!), and moving, and no time even for D it seems, I just can't make things work.

However! I have plans for making my new place quite cute and cozy, and am hoping to have lots of blog-worthy posts stemming from that and my sewing experiments.

Hope to see you in August!

<3 Ern