Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe of the Week, 9/27

Fall is here and I'm fortunate that New England actually goes through an actual autumn season. I grew up in the midwest where the leaves just seemed to change, and in an instant, fell. But in New England, the leaves are just starting to change and it's so much more gradual. I can't wait to go up north and see some of the foliage in the next couple of weeks.

The mainstay of fall is of course pumpkin! And one of my favorite recipes is Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers over at Eating Well.

I altered this recipe slightly by removing the wheat germ and the cheese. Frankly a site that encourages Eating Well shouldn't be adding unnecessary cheese in their recipe and there's something about pumpkin and melted cheese that seems unappealing to me.

I wouldn't recommend making this if you're trying to impress your friends. My patties never stay in their form but taste delicious all the same. I don't have any pictures (sorry) but like I said, it's not a photo friendly meal but it is very delicious.

Since I don't have photos I thought I'd share these adorably delicious pumpkin pancakes that were featured on Design*Sponge

This makes me smile because I tried to make pumpkin pancakes this weekend and ended up setting off the fire alarm in my apartment at 7:30am on a Saturday while my coffee machine ruined an entire pot of coffee. This photograph just reminds me of more beautiful, peaceful times.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

any weekend plans?

I know it's only Thursday, but I thought I'd share my plans and give you some ideas in case you're plan free at this point:

The Smithsonian Institute is having a Museum Day on this Saturday. Go to their website HERE, look at the list of participating museums (there's A LOT), and print a ticket for you and friend.

I love museums and have been itching to go to one recently so I plan on using my free ticket at the Harvard Museum of Art. Then maybe do some shopping in Boston.

Hope this gives you some inspiration for your weekend!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

new look

I decided to change the background of my blog. I love a simple and non-cluttered look (which does not hold true for any of my workspaces) so I tried a redesign that was similar to those values.

And I really wanted to incorporate turquoise. I LOVE this color. It was voted Pantone's color of the year for 2010.

(I realize I'm a dork for knowing that)

I really want to incorporate the color into my apartment somehow. It just makes me happy and reminds me of peaceful, warm weather.

Hope you like the changes, I can't promise I won't grow weary and change it again in a few months!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Recipe of the week, 9/20

I was so in love with my meal last night that I had to brag about it to my mom. I didn’t have a specific recipe (per say), I just worked with a few modified recipes to create my own Crab Cakes!

I was inspired when last Christmas my mom bought me a Blue Crab Bay Co. crab dip kit. It had been sitting there unused for months because none of my friends like crab dip when I decided to at the very least, open up the box. There I found a can of crab meat and crab seasoning.


That’s when it hit me – CRAB CAKES! Oh how I love these morsels of spice. I have family in Maryland and I make sure I get some everytime I go down! And now I’ve finally made my own!

I started with this crew of ingredients


1 egg
2 or 3 green onions, diced
1 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of Worchester sauce (guestimated)
8-9 crackers, crushed (I used flavored because I already had them and didn’t notice a difference)
8 ozs of crab meat
spice pack – you can buy crab cake spice blends or make your own. I originally was going to use garlic powder but opted not to.
oil for frying

I started by adding all of the ingredients together except for the oil. Then I added the oil to my wok – which is a great dish for frying things in because it’s deep and rounded for easy flipping.


Mold the patties and let them fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden (some of mine got a little too brown, but I actually prefer them that way)


Remove from the oil and transfer them to a plate with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

And voila! Delicious, home-made Maryland-style crab cakes.


I paired them with Fresh360’s Moroccan Carrot recipe, (sans walnuts and cilantro because I forgot in my excitement of crab cakes!) which was delicious and I plan on using with sweet potatoes in the near future.

I love fall comfort foods.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to craftin’

Even though I’m up to my neck in graduate school items, I still want, and at this point, need a creative outlet. Sure I should be working on my study guide but fall is here and I want to celebrate it with some apartment decor.

When I first started exploring the arts and crafts of Blogland, I found THIS book wreath tutorial at Living with Lindsay. My favorite DIYs are the ones that find professional crafts that are super pricey and copy it for 2% of the cost, and that’s exactly what this woman did.

The supplies are simple enough:

photo (5)

Styrofoam wreath, hot glue gun, and a trashy, well-aged novel. This book has more life hanging on my door than it would have unread on my shelf.

I started by covering the Styrofoam in a layer of the book. This ensured that if I missed any places that you wouldn’t notice any startling white spots.

photo (4)

I also found that the best technique to apply the pages to the wreath was to fold it up (as you can see above and by fold I don’t mean press it down, let it be fluid) so that the bottom part of the page where you will be applying the glue is visibly layered. I then (actually) folded a small section at the bottom so that the entire bottom page’s layers were showing and applied glue to all of the layers. I found this handy as it made sure the pages stayed in place instead of parts of the pages being unglued.

Two long telephone conversations later (I love to multitask) and I had my finished product

photo (2)

It’s not perfect, but it is fun and great for a book lover in the fall. Also each wreath depending on your fold will come out differently. Honestly, this was so easy and very rewarding. Also the entire thing cost me $3 glue gun + $1 book + $1 wreath =$5!

I can’t wait to do more fun crafts in the future.

Back Camera

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recipe of the week, 9/13

For me there is no better time to make dinner than in the fall. I love pasta but during the summer I have no desire to cook a big pasta dish unless it involves pesto. But come fall, the comfort foods with the fresh late summer veggies can’t be beat.

My friend gave me a delicious looking squash (and a whole lot of basil!) so I decided to go with vegetable lasagna. I based it off of THIS recipe, but changed a lot of aspects of it. Here were my ingredients:


I don’t have a large pot to boil lasagna noodles in so I saved my self a step by buying no-cook pasta noodles. This recipe calls for goat cheese but since I also purchased some eggplant that I plan on using next week, I went ahead and bought ricotta and mozzarella instead. I also added some fresh spinach because that just seems traditional for me to add to veggie lasagna.

And to prove that I’m not at all a good cook, I’ll share the fact that in my blurred, next-morning-after-drinking, I-don’t-need-coffee slumber, I made the mistake of purchasing 2 cucumbers instead of zucchini. I partially blame the grocer for putting cucumbers right next to the squash but I also blame myself for being dumb.

So since I was planning on using two casserole dishes for this anyway, I made one with squash and eggplant and the other with squash, and yes cucumber.

photo (2)Here’s my finished cucumber squash lasagna. It turned out really good! Cucumbers are like biting into water with a crunch anyway so it just gave it a crunch taste that I liked. Really with a lasagna (and any pasta for that matter) you can just add whatever vegetables look good and chances are it will turn out great!

This dish was really easy to make, tasted great and gave me plenty of leftovers to freeze. It’s like making my own microwaveable dinners for those evenings when I don’t have time nor energy to cook anything.

photo (1)

Yum! Oh and is it just me or does the cool weather make you want to eat like crazy?!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Background change

I’ll start by saying that my attempts to get into grad school are going full force. Meaning I’m studying for (my second) GRE exam, this time the Psychology one, and I’ll be starting to write my statements of purpose (which I loathe) and all of that application-stuff so cooking, crafting and blogging are all sort of going to the wayside. I did start a craft last night that I plan on posting, but at this rate, I’m not sure when I’ll have time again to sit down and work on it. So I’ll let the suspense linger….

With that said, autumn has come to New England and I have a very love/hate relationship with it. I love the smells, the brisk air, the colors and the fact that I get to layer my clothes but it’s also a foreshadowing of winter. BUT I need to get over that, I’m not planning on moving to the tropics anytime soon so winter and I should just learn to get along.

Nothing helps changing attitudes and enjoying the change in season quite like changing your iPhones wallpaper – amiright? No, but just go with me on this. And it’s always irritating that when you google search “iPhone wallpaper” you get all of these women in bikinis. I mean, if I ever open up a guy’s phone and he has the background be a hot girl wearing skimpy clothes, I may just have him the glaring of his life.

So with that said, I found another decent site for wallpapers at (iDesign)*iPhone. They have a lot of different categories, some of which of course contain half naked girlies and I couldn’t even scroll through “paintings” because it was all sci-fi fantasy art, but some of the pictures are pretty cool. Some of my favorites are:

wood pattern iphone wallpaper And more colorful options:

stained glass iphone wallpaper

logosiphone wallpaper 

And this one which I thought was cool and was anxious to try out on my phone:

wooden shelves iphone wallpaper

   Here’s what it looks like in use:photo

And yes, that’s the front screen of my iPhone in case your interested in my organization (of which I put a lot of care into).

I’ll be anxious to get some of these images come Christmas because they do have some cute holiday ones.

Oh and I should mention the blog post that I read over at design*sponge which spurred my interest in the first place. This adorable designer, Cartolina, has designed cute cards that you can text to your friends in case you want to beautiful your warm wishes and/or invites to friends. You can see images HERE. I still haven’t decided if it’s worth the $2.99 only because only two of my friends have iPhones and it’s unclear as to how this will look on regular phones, but it’s a cute idea that I think needs to further developed by others.

Well, until I blog again, enjoy.