Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recipe of the week, 7/25 + 8/1

I will be going home next week to celebrate a friend’s wedding, so I thought I’d update with a twofer. (Speaking of “toofer”, I’ve been watching 30 Rock and love that show! I need to get season 3 and 4 before it starts up again.)

So I decided to try out THIS recipe from this blog that I follow fresh365. I love to read this blog, it’s such an inspiration and her pictures are really what draw you in. She doesn’t update that much but when she does, it’s certainly worth the wait.

I was a little hesitant in trying the Strawberry and Gruyere tart because I’m normally not a big cheese and fruit combo person, but I LOVE Gruyere. If I could marry a cheese, this would be who I choose. It’s ultra expensive (as most cheeses can be), but make sure if you buy it that you spend a little more on the “Cave Aged” it sounds pretentious, but it really does make a difference. Needless to say, I only felt compelled to make this recipe because I purchased non-cave aged gruyere and realized it wasn’t worth savoring.

Picture 171It did turn out rather tasty but as I said, I couldn’t handle too much of the cheese/fruit.

However, I really wanted to try the asparagus substitution that was mentioned briefly within this recipe and that turned out delicious! You just substitute asparagus, olive oil and salt+pepper instead of strawberries, honey and mint. Just go easy on the oil because the cheese offers a good amount.

Picture 169

I don’t know if I’d necessarily make this again because the puff pastry quickly turned from delicious to just too much buttery indulgence, but I do love the asparagus and cheese combination. Maybe next time I’ll try a quiche or tart.

See you when I get back from Ohio, which as you can see from the map, is a “a little ways” from my current location. Later!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Recipe of the Week, 7/18

Yesterday I tried my hand at a new recipe: Grilled shrimp teriyaki with pineapple.

I found the recipe HERE from this great blog called, The Pioneer Woman. She has great recipes and the SORDID DETAILS of how her and her husband met, which I stumbled upon one day and ended up reading the story in it's entirety over 2 days. It sucked me in - oh to meet a cultured cowboy.

Anyway, this recipe is super easy. For once I didn't even have to reference a recipe card which is saying something. And it tasted delicious. They were great to wrap up in a tortilla and eat them that way or to just eat them as is. But I was glad that I let the shrimp marinate overnight in the teriyaki sauce or it wouldn't have been nearly as delicious.

So to all of you naysayers who thought that I'd say I was going to do this, do one post about cookies, then forget - you were wrong. Actually I think that was just me, sorry for projecting on you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TV: the free way

When I was getting ready to move into my new place, I did the usual calling to turn on all of the utilities which included HD cable. Then before they came out to install everything, I quickly realized that I could save around $100/month by just not having cable TV. And besides Comedy Central and the Thursday night NBC line-up, I really didn't care for TV all that much. It was the best decision that I made as I was happy just popping in my favorite TV on DVD (the usual suspects being Always Sunny or Arrested Development, in case you were wondering) when I'd sit down to eat or felt like watching something.

Then when my parents came up to visit, I knew that the shows I owned wouldn't cut it with them. They love TV and think that I'm crazy for not having it even though I ensure them that my lack of getting cable is more about my desire to read more and less about being broke.

So I was sharing all of this with a friend of mine when she offered to let me borrow her antenna and HD converter box. Remember those boxes? How in February of last year we were all going to switch from analog TV to HD and the government was giving away vouchers to get the $40something boxes? Remember how you were like, I don't care about this? Yea me too, but low and behold it is of interest to me!

After hooking up the box and antenna I found that I was able to get 8 channels - all the usual suspects (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX), BBC news, PBS, and a couple other random ones. And after a little research into the necessary equipment, as my parents were in love with the idea of me getting this, I found out that the majority of TVs made after 2007 already are equipped with the converter so all you need to buy is an antenna. I ended up going to radioshack and for $30 bought a small, indoor antenna that works great.

I thought I'd share all of this because 1) my mom sent me THIS post which made me feel ahead of the game and 2) because we all need to save money and if you find that you're only watching the Usual Suspects and the rest of the shows on Hulu, you might as well cancel the cable and spend $30 on an antenna. Did I mention all of these channels are in HD? Sure it may cut out during a rain storm (I haven't experienced that yet), but I loooove getting things for free.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Classing up the place

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I was very happy because my parents drove across to come visit me for a few days! We played it pretty cool, staying local except the gigantic antique market in Brimfield, MA. My parents LOVE flea markets and while this place was very cool to walk around in, it was a little too rich for our blood. The funny thing is, none of us purchased anything here although we spent 4 hours walking around the place, but on the way home we saw a roadside junk shop and we all purchased a ton of stuff! I love my family that way.

Now, onto the real reason for the post – and the actual reason for starting this blog in the first place – I did a cool little project for my apartment. I was walking around Kohls when I saw these cute little damask wall decals. Normally, I don’t like Kohls but you really can’t beat the fact that half the store is normally up to 40% off. So for only $10 I did this little project:

photo(5) I began by cutting out each individual design from the roll

photo6 This extra step helps to layout the pattern before you start sticking things everywhere.

photo(3) So once you’ve found a layout that you like, you can start to cut and stick. I decided to be a little more creative with this design by cutting some of the designs and placing them only from the drawers. This step is pretty easy as the designs are really easy to cut, just make sure to make straight cuts.

I even went so far as to cut a hole in one of the designs and place it around one of the knobs. This also was pretty easy and the designs are very forgiving in that they won’t show any blank spaces if you’re careful.

So now the drawer in my hallway that holds all my towels and misc items looks much more interesting!


I even had enough left over that I put some inside the door of my bar. The frosted glass gave it a cool, understated look.


A super easy project for around $10!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bad Ass Embroidery

For my latest project, I had two sources of inspiration that I decided to combine into one kickass project. The first one was THIS neat DIY from Design*Sponge. But I decided to expand on it because I don’t have a color printer and the idea of actually stitching something like this sounded fun. Then I saw THESE prints from Paper Jam Press and the ideas just merged.

So for my first embroidery, I give you:

Back Camera

I just love the mix of homemaker and gangster. It's just my style!

I used the downloaded the needlepoint font from HERE, which I realize is a little redundant since I’m actually using needlepoint, but I really liked the style of it. Then I just purchased the fabric (I used a thick, embroidery fabric for this first project. I’ll probably just purchase regular fabric from now on but it did help to guide my stitches), some thread (like the kind you used to make friendship bracelets out of), a wooden hoop and needle and went to town!

Also, I realize I’m using embroidery and needlepoint interchangeably, which is probably incorrect and I apologize to anyone whom this might be bothering.

I’m rather happy with it for my first attempt. It’s a bit off-center and the fabric needs ironed so badly, but I like it. I’m hoping it will become one of a series so that I can hang all of them on my wall.

Back Camera

If anyone has some great rap lyrics, I’d love some suggestions! I’m thinking “Damn it feels good to be a gangster” is next and possibly making one for my brother as a housewarming gift that says, “Bitches ain’t sh*t”.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Recipe of the week, 7/4

Last night I tried my hand at a new cookie recipe.

Let me give you a little background about my experience with baking cookies: Cookies are my absolute favorite desert. I like ice cream and cannolis are great, but my ultimate go-to desert is the cookie. And I can’t make them. I suck at it. They burn or become flat or just don’t have the right consistency.

So when I found THIS recipe I thought that I’d give it another try and for the first time in my cookie baking history, it was a success!

I got a little worried because I only used 1 banana, thinking that I’d make half a batch with banana and half without, but soon it became very clear to me that the banana mixture is what gives the dough the consistency it needs. Which is probably why this recipe only calls for one stick of butter and why I ultimately decided that these are “healthy” cookies and ate three of them last night. Opps.

For some variety though, I did add chopped walnuts to some and that seemed to compliment the recipe without being just one more ingredient to an already heavy load.


Not the greatest picture, but they are verrry tasty.

The true test of my cookie baking skills will be to cook a fantabulous chocolate chip cookie, eg the Zeus of Cookies. One day… one day.