Shared posts

26 May 15:49

cucumber yogurt raita salad

by deb

cucumber yogurt raita salad

If you needed another reason to add to the list of why you’d probably never want to be cornered at a party with me, I should tell you I’m more than a normal level of fascinated by the intersection of tomatoes and cucumbers in salads around the world. And I want to talk about it.

what you'll need
finely grated garlic

Because, seriously, can we go on a cucumber-tomato salad summer world tour? From the classic Greek salad (horiatiki), to the Palestinian/Arab/Israeli salads in their infinite variations, their close cousins, the shepherd’s salads (shirazi in Iran, çoban salatası in Turkey, shopska in Macedonia and Bulgaria), plus the kachumber in India and all of the variants, like fattoush and I’m going to need one of each. I was particularly struck by what Ottolenghi said in the intro to the fattoush salad in his Jerusalem cookbook, that freshly chopped vegetable salads like this are served with every meal and that friends visiting London often complained of feeling like they ate ‘unhealthily’ because there weren’t fresh salad with each meal.

adding jalapeno, ginger, salt

... Read the rest of cucumber yogurt raita salad on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to cucumber yogurt raita salad | 3 comments to date | see more: Cucumber, Indian, Photo, Picnics, Salad, Summer, Tomatoes, Vegetarian

04 May 20:20

Mid-Scale Prints, Milan

by The Sartorialist

22816milan0248

 

22716milan0051

01 Apr 17:20

nadiacreek: emilydoesthething: 99precincts: that time andy...



nadiacreek:

emilydoesthething:

99precincts:

that time andy samberg was a complete savage re: the guys choice awards

Honestly Andy Samberg is such a treasure.

This is the best interview I have ever seen.

18 May 13:49

Triple Tiki Rum Punch

by A Beautiful Mess

Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)I have realized recently that the light and fruity cocktails are actually my favorite type of drink to order. Put me at the bar at a tropical vacation resort and I will probably like every drink they put in front of me – it's all delicious! Elsie bought me these adorable cat tiki glasses this year, and so I thought it would be fun to make the perfect tiki drink to go along with them for a summer party. I call it a "triple" tiki punch because of the three juices that make up most of the punch, but you could swap out almost any other tropical juice flavor if one of them is not your favorite. Mix and match!

Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)
Triple Tiki Rum Punch, serves one

1 oz white rum
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz grenadine
1-2 oz of club soda or seltzer water
squeeze of lime wedge
pineapple, cherries, oranges, or limes for garnish

Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)     Add the rum, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, grenadine, lime juice, and seltzer into a glass. If you like your drinks a little stronger, add another ounce of rum to the drink. Mix to combine, and pour into a tiki glass filled with ice.

Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)     Add some lime, orange, or grapefruit wedges to a wooden skewer with pineapple and cherries to create some festive garnishes for your punch!

Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)     Add to your drink, and you're ready to start sipping!

Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)
Triple Tiki Rum Punch (click through for recipe)     So, where's the cabana, am I right?? I feel like the best part of tiki drinks is actually eating all the yummy fruit off the skewers, so don't skimp on the good stuff! You can either make these to order or multiply the recipe to keep in a pitcher nearby for self-serve drinks or refills. As if I needed an excuse to drink anything out of a cat glass, this refreshing and fruity tropical drink is perfect for your next summer party (tiki theme or not). xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
 

17 May 19:00

DIY Natural Room Freshener

by A Beautiful Mess

DIY Room FreshenerWhen I try or learn something I love, I can become extremely loyal to it. Hardcore, if you will. ;) And that's my opening line for this blog post about air fresheners. 

Last year I made this pillow mist recipe with natural ingredients, and I've been using it all year. In fact, that bottle is still sitting in my guest bedroom right now. I spritz all the sheets in the house on laundry day and always give it an extra spritz before we have guests. 

I've even used it for general room freshening a couple times. I don't typically buy many air freshener products from the cleaning aisle at the grocery store because they tend to be full of chemicals, which is the opposite of what I want in my home. 

Today I experimented further with my original recipe and came up with some fun (and pretty!) options for natural room sprays using essential oils! You can still use them on sheets, but also so much more! 

Here's how it's done– 

DIY Room Freshener Supplies:
-essential oils (a variety of scents) 
-water 
-witch hazel 
-mini funnel 
-pretty perfume bottles (I found mine on Amazon – this size and this size

DIY Room Freshener  Using a tiny funnel, pour 15-20 drops each of two different essential oils into your bottle. (I'll share my combinations below!) 

DIY Room Freshener   Next, fill the bottle halfway with witch hazel. 

DIY Room Freshener    Then, fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. 

So the recipe is basically – 1 part witch hazel, 1 part water, and 30-40 drops essential oils in any scents you like. 

Last, I used a white paint pen to write a fun (made up) name on each bottle! You can name them anything you want. So fun, since one of my not-so-secret dream jobs is to be someone who gets to name nail polishes and paint colors. :)) 

You can create endless scents using various essential oils, choosing them was my favorite part! Here are three recipes that I really like! 

Cozy VibesCozy Vibes is a combination of white fir and bergamot. My absolute fave! 

Fresh VibesFresh Vibes is a combination of combination of grapefruit and Purify. Very fresh and citrusy! 

Campfire VibesCampfire Vibes is a combination of wild orange and clove. You can really smell both, and it reminds me of the perfect mixture of summer and autumn! 

DIY Room Freshener      The perfume bottles give it a nice touch! You can use any glass bottle, but I went ahead and chose these since they're so beautiful, and you can use them over and over again. 

Two words – GIFT IDEAS! 

DIY Room Freshener         These smell SO good! I am obsessed with how they came out and know I will get plenty of use out of these. It's really too bad you can't reach through the screen and smell each one because if you could, I know you'd be making some right away! They're really nice.

I love knowing that there are no weird chemicals hiding in there, but additionally, they smell so much more REAL than anything you'll find in that grocery store aisle. 

One more note! I like to shake the bottle between each use. Although I have tested it and you don't have to shake it to get the scent. Since it's oil, it never completely combines with the water, but don't worry – it still does the job! 

Thanks so much for reading! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

14 May 21:00

Pasta with Tuna and Arugula

by Elise Bauer
Pasta with Tuna and Arugula

Best use of canned tuna ever! I first read about this classic Italian recipe years ago in the San Francisco Chronicle, and it has since become one of my favorite quick and easy go-to dinners.

All you need is canned tuna (packed in olive oil), garlic, olive oil, chili pepper flakes, baby arugula, and pasta.

Continue reading "Pasta with Tuna and Arugula" »

12 May 19:00

Photo Ledge DIY

by A Beautiful Mess

How to build a photo ledgeToday I am excited to share a simple and very useful DIY with you! 

We all have these walls in our homes that we don't know what to do with, right?  In Jeremy's studio there was one such wall above this small side table. Originally I was planning one large print for this space, but since there is already a big photo in another part of the room, it just didn't feel right. The idea of photo ledges appealed to me because the art could be changed from season to season, and what's even better is it doesn't ALL have to be art. For these photos, I threw a few favorite records up there, but I think some framed sheet music or other personal mementos would also be nice. 

And of course, we printed some special photos as well! 

Canon PrinterThis post is part of our long-running work with the amazing folks at Canon USA, and I used my personal favorite printer, the Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer for the photos you see up there. I love having the large format to print multiple photos on a page. It gives me a little more freedom with the sizing. 

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
- 2.5" x .75" board
- 1" x .75" board
- 1.5" x .5" board (sometimes these only come about 3' long, so you may have to use two if making a long ledge)
- jigsaw, chop saw, or have the nice people at the lumber store cut it to size for you!
- 1" nails
- 1.25" wood screws
- wood glue
- small clamps
- drill
- keyhole hanger
- paint
Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)Measure how long you want your ledge to be and cut all three of your board sizes to that exact length. To create the back and bottom of your photo ledge, glue and clamp the side of the 1" x .75" board to the edge of the 2.5" x .75"  board. Allow the glue to set a few minutes. 

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Use some wood screws to securely attach the smaller board to the larger one through the back of the larger board. This back side is also the back side of your ledge, so the screw heads won't show when done.

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Use more glue and clamps to clamp the edge of the 1.5" x .5" board onto the other open side of the 1" x .75" board. Allow the glue to set for a few minutes.

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Once the glue is set, remove the clamps and drive a few small nails into the edge of the board to keep the front board secure.

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Attach some keyhole hangers onto the back of your ledge for hanging, and paint or stain your boards whatever color you choose. Now you're ready to hang and add your photos!

How to build a photo ledge How to build a photo ledge How to build a photo ledge I love how it turned out! This is a project that can be done in a day, fit to the exact size of YOUR space, and makes a huge impact in the room on a small budget. 

xx! Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Elsie Larson and Laura Gummerman. Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

04 May 12:39

make your own pickled radishes.

by erin
Shh.listen

mmmm make me some please!

make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

I’m not ashamed to admit that there are foods I eat mostly because they’re pretty. This time of year, those foods are called radishes. Red radishes, watermelon radishes, Easter egg radishes in shades of pastel; they all get my heart eyes. I’ve taken about a million photographs of them to prove my to point to you with this post. (Please enjoy.)

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the peppery bite of a springtime radish. (Give me a bit of salty butter and a drizzle of honey to complement it and layer the whole deal onto a slice of fresh bread and I’ll be very happy.) But I appreciate the stark white flesh and bright red skin of a radish even more than the taste. A few thinly sliced radishes on top of a bed of arugula or pea shoots? A taco with a radish confetti dotting the top? A cheese plate with a freshly washed bunch of radishes perched on the edge? Radishes in dainty tea sandwiches? So dang pretty.make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

But here’s the problem: I have a tendency to let a half-bunch of radishes languish in the fridge. I get gung-ho about how beautiful my weekend salad looks with radishes strewn on top, but before I know it it’s midweek and we’re rushing to get anything on the table. No one’s concerned about garnishes.

But a jar of pickled radishes? Now we’ve taken the pretty factor, upped the taste factor, and prolonged the shelf life a bit and it’s a whole new ballgame. For me, the addition of vinegar and spices + heat + time takes the radish from being pleasant enough to straight-up addictive.  make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Radishes, washed.
make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Radishes, sliced.make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

More radishes, sliced.
make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Vinegar and spices, ready to boil. make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Vinegar, ready to pour.
make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Like most quick pickles, the process is simple. No need to devote an afternoon to canning in the kitchen. You can pickle these babies in a few minutes and have them stealing the show by dinnertime. This recipe is a variation on just about every quick pickle recipe out there. Specifically, I consulted the Sunday Suppers’ pickled red onion recipe for vinegar ratio encouragement and then adjusted the seasonings to taste.

make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Pickled Radishes

Here’s what you need:

A bunch of radishes (any sort’ll do)
1.5 cups white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (or honey!)
Spices (I used fennel, coriander, and black pepper)

Here’s what to do:

1. Scrub your radishes and thinly slice them into even rounds. If you’re very fancy and have a mandoline, now is the time to put her to use. Otherwise, flex your knife skills and don’t worry too much if some slices are a little wonky. (Some folks like a thick radish pickle and choose to quarter their little gem babies. I prefer a nice round slice.)

2. In a small non-reactive saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar (or honey), salt, and  your choice of spices to a boil. For spices, I used fennel, coriander, and black pepper—just a little pinch or so of each for a small jar. Experiment! Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove the vinegar from the heat.

3. While the vinegar cools, pack a clean jar with sliced radishes. If you want to add a fresh pepper to the jar for some heat, a few springs of dill, or a clove or four of garlic, now’s your chance.

4. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture (spices included) over your radishes. Seal up the jar and pop ‘er in the fridge. Ideally, let the mixture gel for a day to really infuse those radishes with some tangy goodness. But don’t fret if you’re in a rush. The other night I put together a jar (didn’t even bother heating the vinegar, hey!) in the 15 minutes before dinner was served and the results were still super satisfying. The radishes should stay fresh in the fridge for a few weeks.

Note: Radishes are pungent little guys. The odor when you open your jar will smack you a little hard in the nose, but power through and taste those babies. So good. Also! Your pickles will turn totally pink as they sit in the brine. Pink!

For the curious: my little enamelware pot.make your own pickled radishes | reading my tea leaves

Now your turn: favorite pretty thing to eat?

09 May 15:52

crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto

by deb

crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto

Several years ago, a harebrained idea to make a wedding cake for friends led to me sharing a picture of the cake layers stacked up in my freezer, ready for their big debut. You’d think people would comment on the cake, right? Nope. More like: “You have an empty freezer. You have an empty freezer. How?” “I didn’t know it was possible to empty a freezer.” And I was all “People have full freezers? We just use it for vodka and ice cube trays.” Oh Deb of 2008. Come see your circa-2016 freezer and witness the havoc 8 years and 2 kids have wreaked on it.

... Read the rest of crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto | 101 comments to date | see more: Pasta, Peas, Photo, Quick, Weeknight Favorite

04 May 21:48

Salted Chocolate Avocado Pudding Bowls

by Angela (Oh She Glows)
Shh.listen

wut.

chocolateavocadomoussevegan-02562

With an almost bursting bladder and plenty of nervous anticipation, yesterday we headed off to our anatomy scan ultrasound appointment. I always find that I get anxious for pregnancy ultrasounds in general, but this one especially. I felt a knot in my stomach all morning long. It’s a fairly long ultrasound since they check all of baby’s various body parts while I sit there with 3 big glasses of water in my bladder, unable to see the screen, and worrying like I do. Still, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for this appointment. It’s often when the sex of the baby can be found out; that’s if the parents want to and if the baby cooperates with the proper position! I tell you, we sure wanted to find out! Heck yes!!!

Much to my dismay, the technician informed me near the end of the scan that they have a new policy in place as of 2 months ago: the tech is no longer allowed to tell the parents the sex of the baby at the appointment—you have to wait to get the official report. I had no idea! Eric had come to the appointment especially for the reveal, just like the first time, and we were so excited for this day to finally arrive. Oddly enough, with our first pregnancy we didn’t have much luck finding out the sex either; Adriana was crossing her legs at the time. But since baby #2 was presumably in the perfect position, it was torturing us not being able to find out. The most important thing, though, was that the tech said everything looks good, and our cute little baby has a strong heartbeat and was wiggling all over the place! We are so very thankful for that.

Being the patient one that I am, I called my midwives’ office this morning (despite being told it would take 3 days for the report to arrive…hah), and was elated when they already had the report in their hands! I ran into the other room and told Eric the news, not able to contain my emotions in the slightest. I considered surprising him in some Pinterest-y kind of way, but let’s be real: there was no way I could not tell him immediately! (Secondly, Pinterest-style execution rarely happens in my world.) We’re planning on keeping the news a surprise for friends and family this time (mainly to torture the grandparents!), but time will tell if we can keep a secret that long. The sneaky questions are already coming in fast and furious from friends and family. I don’t know if I can hide this for 5 more months, especially in person. My poker face only functions about 1% of the time. It’s bad.

chocolateavocadomoussevegan-02571

Well, all of this excitement has made me hungry. For chocolate. Chocolate pudding. I can’t get it out of my head lately. If you’re looking for a last-minute, seriously easy treat for Mother’s Day this Sunday, look no further, my friends. Or maybe you simply need an excuse to whip up a decadent-tasting chocolate pudding. This one is a showstopper, but no one will know it’s as easy as throwing things into a food processor! If you want to get wild and crazy, you could even serve this as a part of a Mother’s Day brunch (and maybe layer it into cute parfait glasses). Chocolate and brunch…it should be a thing…it really should.

Avocado pudding is nothing new, of course, but until recently I had yet to nail a recipe for it that really knocked my socks off. (And Eric’s too.) And by knock my socks off, I mean that it has to make my eyes roll back in my head. Previous attempts have left me feeling a bit disappointed, like I was simply eating a healthy pudding that tasted like avocado and cocoa powder. There’s nothing wrong with healthy chocolate puddings (in fact, I have a no-added-sugar version on the blog!), but sometimes I want something that tastes like the real deal. This pudding is rich and decadent like a chocolate pudding should be, but still manages to pack in some nutrition from the avocado, almond butter, cocoa powder, and more. I’ll take it!

Since it’s quite rich, the suggested serving size is pretty light, so I’ve bulked up the bowls with plenty of fresh chopped berries, toasted nuts, and a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream. Not to mention, it’s almost too pretty to eat…almost. By the way, if you have our app this recipe is already in there! It’ll automatically download when you open the app.

chocolateavocadomoussevegan-02563

Salted Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, soy-free

This is my newest favourite chocolate avocado pudding! It's absolutely luxurious, rich, and decadent while packing in healthy fat from the avocado. I love serving this with Coconut Whipped Cream and fresh berries for a lovely spring or summer dessert. This is a small batch making just a few rich portions, so I recommend doubling it if you are serving 3 or more. Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Easy for inspiring this recipe.

Yield
1 1/3 cups (Serves 3)
Freeze time
2 hours
Prep Time
10 Minutes
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time
10 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the pudding:
  • 3/4 cup (140 g) packed avocado (from 1 medium avocado)*
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown rice syrup**
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) natural smooth roasted almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
For serving:

Directions:

  1. Add the avocado, cocoa powder, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, melted coconut oil, milk, almond butter, vanilla, and salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon) into a food processor. Process until super smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
  2. Taste and adjust salt and sweetener, if desired.
  3. Spoon into an airtight container, cover, and chill for 1 to 2 hours, or simply enjoy immediately at room temperature.
  4. Portion into shallow bowls and top with Coconut Whipped Cream, fresh berries, and nuts.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. I prefer the flavour when enjoyed the same day, but it's still good the next day too!

Tips:

  • * Make sure the avocado you use is ripe, but still fresh and without bruises. Bruises can result in a pudding that's bitter or off-tasting.
  • ** Brown rice syrup thickens this pudding while providing a light sweetness that pairs well with the maple.

chocolateavocadomoussevegan-02590

Last but not least, you’ve probably heard that Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow! If you’re looking for some recipes, you might want to check out my Ultimate Green Tacos, Next Level Vegan Enchiladas, DIY Burrito Bowl, and Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole (The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 149).

See you on Friday for Friday FAQs!

© copyright 2016 Oh She Glows. All Rights Reserved.
03 May 17:24

Bowtie Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Arugula

by Elise Bauer
Bowtie Farfalle Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, Arugula

This article is brought to you in partnership with De Cecco and NBCUniversal. All sponsor proceeds from this article go to benefit the non-profit Food Literacy Center.

Do you have a favorite pasta shape? For me it’s sort of a toss-up between angel hair and bowties. I love angel hair for the how delicate the pasta is and how easy it is to eat, and bowties because, well, they’re so cute.

Is that even a valid reason for liking a pasta shape? They are cute! They make any pasta dish look just a little bit fancy, like the pasta got all dressed up for a show. And each one is a perfect forkful size.

For this bowtie pasta dish, I started with a classic—bowties with peas and prosciutto—but ditched the cream sauce that usually accompanies this dish. Instead, I lightened it up a bit by tossing everything with olive oil, black pepper, and Parmesan and added fresh baby arugula for some peppery greens.

Continue reading "Bowtie Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Arugula" »

03 May 15:48

failproof crêpes + a crêpe party

by deb
Shh.listen

CREPES let's make some

failproof crêpes + a crêpe party

I know what most people think of crêpes — they’re difficult, they require planning ahead, they’re fussy (coughFrench), they rip easily, the first one always goes in the trash — but I respectfully disagree, especially about that last bit (it goes in the nearest mouth). In fact, I think think that a great big stack of crêpes and a few easy fixings are the best thing that can happen to brunch. Hear me out:

... Read the rest of failproof crêpes + a crêpe party on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to failproof crêpes + a crêpe party | 139 comments to date | see more: Breakfast, Pancakes, Photo

29 Apr 16:00

palm springs date shake + monkey flip

by deb

palm springs date shake + monkey flip

It’s been two months since I told you I was California dreaming and I fear it hasn’t passed. I thought maybe I just longed for warmer weather, but spring has more or less arrived and I no less crave avocados that don’t require a week of hovering to capture their narrow window of edibility. I thought maybe I just needed a vacation, but we took a short one and I still found myself looking at photos from a certain large music festival in the Coachella Valley and thinking it looked kind of fun. (WHO AM I.) And last month, I went down a date shake rabbit hole and I haven’t come out since. At least these we can easily make at home.

... Read the rest of palm springs date shake + monkey flip on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to palm springs date shake + monkey flip | 101 comments to date | see more: Dates, Ice Cream/Sorbet, Photo, Summer

21 Apr 19:01

Ikea Restyle: Mid Century TV Stand

by A Beautiful Mess

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)     If you ask me, technology is probably one of the hardest things to integrate into a thoughtful design. Things like TVs, speakers, DVD players... all that stuff that is necessary if you want to enjoy all that movies and Netflix have to offer, but they can easily cramp your design style and become a bit of an eyesore if you let them. Since we have been trying to keep our 60s ranch in the midcentury vein, I wanted to get a TV stand that would be sleek and modern but also have a bit of that classic vintage flair. Since I couldn't find exactly what I wanted,I decided to take a simple Ikea TV stand (the BESTÅ) and add a few tweaks to elevate the look and make it fit in more with our theme.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)                   You can see that it's a great simple shape, but it just needed a bit more personality for it to fit in with our quirky/fun theme. Vintage-inspired gold accents perhaps?!?

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)
All I needed for this restyle was a drill, painter's tape, a ruler, some gold spray paint, these adorable brass starburst plates, and some beautiful brass knobs for the actual pulls.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more) To find the middle of the drawers, I made a cross out of painter's tape on what looked like the middle, and then used the ruler and marker to mark where the middle actually was.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)  I then used the drill to drill a hole the size of the knob hardware screw into the drawer. I usually like to start with a smaller hole and then use bigger and bigger bits until I reach the desired size. Oh, and make sure to take anything out of the drawers first so you don't drill a hole into your Big Lebowski DVD. Very important.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)   Once I had the hole drilled, I put the hardware screw through the back of the hole, attached the starburst plate onto the front, and then screwed the knob on to secure the plate. You could also glue the plate onto the drawer, but if your hardware is tightened well enough, you don't really have to.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)       You can see that I also gave the legs a coat of gold spray paint before assembling the TV stand (much easier to do it before than after it's all put together!). Pretty easy, but it's a nice detail on the finished product.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)              Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)              Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)              Even though they were small and quick changes, I think the added hardware and gold legs give the stand a more unique look that blends in much better with the rest of the decor. The starburst is a classic midcentury shape and the brass coating makes it pop on the clean shiny white surface. Sometimes all you need is a small change to add that something special! xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

26 Apr 21:12

Kimchi Avocado Quesadilla

by Elise Bauer
Kimchi Avocado Quesadillas

What’s your go-to 15-minute make-it-from-what’s-in-the-fridge recipe? Mine is a quesadilla. Any kind of quesadilla. You’ll always find tortillas and cheese in my fridge. It’s my PB&J.

The great thing about quesadillas? They’re so easy to dress up! Whether it’s with chicken and apples, mushrooms, green chiles, or in this case, kimchi—spicy Korean pickled cabbage.

Continue reading "Kimchi Avocado Quesadilla" »

26 Apr 14:35

a new mattress from leesa.

by erin
Shh.listen

chapinnnnn this mattress is nicce

leesa mattress | reading my tea leaves


This post is sponsored by Leesa, a mattress company with the simple goal: “to help people sleep better”.

I try to shy away from hyperbole. So when I say that our recent mattress upgrade was the most significant change we’ve ever made to our home—ever—I hope you trust that I’m telling the truth.

After nearly ten years of sleeping together on a double mattress—and with the addition of a tiny human who very much enjoys snuggling between her two parents in the early morning—we were ready for a little more leg room. Arm room. Elbow room. Everything room.

Our decision to finally upgrade to a Queen came after our trip to Southern California in early March. Vacations have a way of making you look at your house differently, don’t they? It’s practically required that you sleep better on vacation, but when you have the distinct sense that the better sleep is thanks to your ability to roll over without getting jabbed in the ribcage, and then when it dawns on you that you don’t need to move to sunny southern California to sleep better, but you do need to improve your bed at home, you decide to make a change.leesa mattress | reading my tea leaves


And then, of course, the searching begins. It’s crazy out there in mattress-land. There are so many options and some of them sound stellar on paper but come with a price tag that’s out of reach, or they feel great, but are made from materials that make you cringe. Then there’s the idea that you’re supposed to be able to flop onto a mattress with a salesperson hovering above you and know that you’ve found the right fit for you. 

We’ve been on our Leesa mattress for over a month now and we’ve looked forward to climbing into bed every single night.  

Like other new disruptor mattress companies, Leesa is selling their mattresses direct-to-consumer in boxes that arrive on your doorstep. It’s a little trippy. The compressed mattresses only need to be unboxed and unfurled and they grow before your eyes.
Leesas
leesa mattress | reading my tea leaves are 10” hybrid foam mattresses made with 3 foam layers: A 2-inch top layer is perforated to keep you cool and provide cushiony bounce while two inches of memory foam make up the middle layer for what folks in the biz call “body contouring.” The mattress core is made from a 6-inch dense foam for durability and edge support.

I’ll admit I had some serious reservations about a foam mattress, but I did a little digging and learned that Leesa‘s doing a lot of things right. The mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified, which means they’re free of ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. There’s no formaldehyde or phthalates. Instead of the chemical flame retardants—something I was particularly adamant about avoiding—the mattress is covered in a fabric sleeve that’s inherently flame resistant, not coated in toxins. And the mattresses have low-VOC emissions. (We didn’t experience any odor at all when we unfurled our mattress.) Added bonus: Every part of the Leesa is made in the USA.leesa mattress | reading my tea leaves

To put it bluntly: We’ve been resting easy. Really easy. Beyond the incredible added advantage of a larger bed, we’ve been just totally pleased with the whole experience. The mattress shipped quickly and was a breeze to set up. The memory foam means that we don’t get bounced around if one person or another shifts in their sleep. The trim, crisp lines and low-profile of the mattress just look better than our old one—and it can be used on a slatted or platform bed without a boxspring.

We’re especially excited for summertime because the Leesa sleeps really noticeably cooler than our old mattress. We actually started sleeping with an extra blanket on our bed because the difference in heat trapping meant we actually had the luxury of sleeping on the cool side for the first time in nearly ten years.

Matters of materials and sleep aside, Leesa’s social impact programs are also impressive. Leesa’s One-Ten Program donates one mattress for every ten that they sell. Since the program began in January 2015, more than 4,000 mattress have been donated to local partners working to find solutions for problems related to homelessness. Their One-Earth Program plants a tree for every single mattress sold. Leesa has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 1 million trees by 2025.
leesa mattress | reading my tea leaves

If you’re interested in giving the Leesa mattress a try, it comes with a 100-day return policy so you can really make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. (And if at the end of 100 days, you’re not satisfied, the company will do their best to make sure that your mattress gets donated to an organization that can put it to use.) Best news: Use the code TEALEAVES to get $75 off your order.

This post was sponsored by Leesa. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Reading My Tea Leaves.

11 Apr 11:30

baby proof: parenthood.

by erin

baby proof: parenthood | reading my tea leaves



I’m a mother, but more importantly, I’m a parent. And I think sometimes we forget to talk about parenthood.

If you’re into shaking up the way we talk about motherhood and fatherhood and parenthood, read on. If you’d rather a daily dose of roses, I don’t blame you. Here’s a lot of that.

To be clear: I don’t think it’s wrong to talk about motherhood. And the topic of balancing work and motherhood? I could talk about it forever. I wish people talked about it more. I just really wish that the conversation more often included both parents. I wish we didn’t still live in a culture that expects certain roles for women and men when those roles are so often fluid. Everyone’s motherhood looks a little different and everyone’s fatherhood looks a little different. But I think that motherhood and fatherhood don’t have to look so very different from each other. 

I guess what I’m trying to get at—and it feels practically sacrilege to say it—is that I don’t feel like my role as mother is significantly different from James’s role as father. We’re Faye’s parents. We’re here to nourish and teach and protect and buoy her. There are things that I’ve done that biology and circumstance mean that James hasn’t done. And yes, I treasure those things: Carrying my child, giving birth to her, nursing her for twenty blissful (and very long) months. But they are also almost besides the point. We all know that biology doesn’t make a mother anyway.

Some of the ways that our parenthood looks similar is deliberate. We’ve made choices that mean that James does things that fathers don’t always do: He woke up with me for almost every single nighttime feeding of her infancy, so that even in those early days I didn’t feel like I was in it by myself. James takes Faye to most of her doctor’s appointments. I put her to sleep at night for the first half of her little life; he’s put her to sleep at night for the second half. Nine mornings out of ten, James wakes up with her in the morning and makes her breakfast. (I watch Faye slurping up oatmeal from my perch in bed; perk number #1838 of life in a tiny apartment.) Once James is off to work, I take Faye to the park. We’ve divvied responsibilities up as well as we can. I signed us up for birth classes. James found Faye a pediatrician (and then another). But more than any of these particulars, the real point is this: James is as adept a parent as I am in nearly every single way and I’m as adept a parent as he is in nearly every single way. 

My experience has been that of a working mother with a husband who also works, and so my view is necessarily limited to what I’ve lived. But whether or not both parents work full-time, I think equality parenting, to coin a phrase, is possible. It just takes some reframing of responsibilities, some challenging of the status quo, some imagining of a different way of doing things and talking about things.

A few examples of things that could use a shake-up: When people ask me what I do for a living—after I tell them—they often follow up the description of my work with their own addendum.  “And on top of that, you’re busy taking care of that baby.” Totally true. I know that this is meant to be kind. I’m sure that they mean to acknowledge the incredible hard work that it is to be a mother. They want to let me know that they’re aware of the sacrifice, the commitment, the heart-rending pain of preparing a child for the wide world when you just want to watch their chest rise and huff the crook of their tiny necks. I know that they mean to be supportive. But sometimes it also feels like a scolding; that the speaker thinks that by omitting my motherhood from my job description, that I’m denying my motherhood. No one follows up James’s job description with a friendly, “…And the whole fatherhood thing.” I wish they did. Because saying it only to me undermines my career. And not saying it to James undermines his parenthood. We’re both working really hard at this whole parenthood thing.

I’m grateful when people acknowledge that I’m a hard-working mom. But in surprising ways I encounter people using my motherhood as an excuse for me. They might preface an ask with the acknowledgement that I’m a busy mother. Or excuse a little tardiness for the same reason, even if I haven’t used the excuse myself. It seems kind on the face of it, but I’m frustrated by the assumption that motherhood must necessarily impact my work but that it doesn’t also impact James’s work. Sure: Sometimes an email is delayed because Faye needs dinner now, not ten minutes from now. Sometimes I can’t be on a late phone call because I have a toddler who’s sleeping in the next room. But more often, Faye’s not the reason behind whatever it is that happened at all. When an email is late it’s usually because I had too many emails to respond to in a timely manner. Of course, these are examples of people extending kindnesses. The insinuation for many working mothers is that they’re failing at the dual challenges of career and motherhood. On the flip side: No one talks to James about the fine art of balancing his work and his fatherhood. No one congratulates his being a father in addition to pursuing a career. No one wonders if he feels guilty for working. The idea sounds almost preposterous. The absence of concern for a father’s ability to “do it all” comes from not expecting fathers to even try. I’d love if we could start to acknowledge that parents of all genders perform balancing acts. It would be amazing if we asked working fathers how they’re managing to balance their career and their family. It’d be amazing if no one ever asked James if he was going to “babysit” Faye, or gawk at his ability to change a diaper, or wipe Faye’s nose, or put her hair in an elastic. I’d feel so much better about someone letting me off the hook because of my motherhood if they extended the same generosity to James. But until we live in a world where he could invoke his “baby brain” without getting looked at funny, I don’t want to talk about mine.

Coupled with the idea that my motherhood impairs normal brain function is the idea that it’s all consuming. Babies are distracting as all hell. (Toes! Thighs! Giggles!) But my work gets done in spite of—and because—of this. My work gets done because bills need to be paid and careers need to progress and because despite the extreme deliciousness of baby toes, I like to work. And I need to work. I love baby toes and I love work. And James loves baby toes, too. Sometimes he texts me pictures of them smack-dab in the middle of the work day.

Perhaps the most frustrating example of inequality in the way we talk about parenting has to do with childcare. I’m asked on a regular basis what I do about childcare. I don’t mind the question. I’m really happy to spill the details. I love hearing how other people navigate childcare. It’s tricky! There are so many options! But James never ever gets asked this question and it makes me crazy. The implication is that he’s not much interested in the topic. And far worse: that his work is a sure thing, childcare or not, but that mine is dependent on specially procured childcare for me. The truth is that we’re in this together. I want to talk about parenthood because I’m in this for the teamwork. We don’t have childcare because I work, we have childcare because we both work. After Faye was born we looked long and hard at our resources and schedules and together we worked out a system that felt right for both of us. James asked for a change in his schedule that means he can go to work earlier and leave earlier to relieve our sitter and spend time with Faye. I start and end work later so I can do the morning hand-off and spend time with Faye. We both work more or less the same number of hours in a given week. I think lots of families with two working parents figure out this kind of system. And the more that fathers are able to request changes to accommodate their parenting, the more normal it could become. We’d start to see fewer mothers sacrificing their careers and fewer fathers sacrificing their parenthood. I guess my wish is that if we so choose it, more of us could lean into our parenthood and lean into our careers in equal measure. 

My very greatest hope is that by the time Faye becomes a parent, some of this stuff will finally be sorted. I know it’s a tricky subject. There’s room for parenthood to look different in a million different ways and what works for us might not work for you. But I think that change begins at home. And I think that change begins with hashing out tricky things in public places. And so.

New York State just passed a law that when fully rolled out will provide parents (birthing mothers and otherwise) 12 weeks of paid family leave. It’s a massive step forward. I hope we keep moving in that direction. And in the meantime: I’m gonna try really hard to talk about my parenthood. 

#parentlife?

07 Apr 05:26

One Pot Chicken and Orzo

by Elise Bauer
Skillet Chicken and Orzo

A few months ago my wonderful mother made what I thought was Spanish rice (a favorite around here, basically a rice pilaf with tomato) but instead of browning rice to start the pilaf, she browned orzo pasta.

Brilliant! It was so incredibly good. Silky and savory like our sopa seca de fideo angel hair dish, but with little rice-shaped orzo pasta. The browning of the orzo adds a toasty nutty flavor to the pasta.

Continue reading "One Pot Chicken and Orzo" »

04 Apr 18:59

Cayenne and Flaxseed Hummus

by A Beautiful Mess
Shh.listen

MMMMMMM!

Cayenne and Flax Seed Hummus (via abeautifulmess.com)Hummus is one the BEST snack foods, right? It's creamy, flavorful, good for you (unless you're allergic to chickpeas or something), and it goes so well with my other snack love: chips! 

Cayenne and Flax Seed Hummus (via abeautifulmess.com) This version is sort of a surprise. It looks pretty unassuming. And then the initial first taste is pretty, um, normal too. You taste the creaminess of the chickpeas and oil, and you get a little flavor from the lemon and garlic. But then it hits you: spice! This hummus turns up the heat with a little kick from cayenne, one of my all-time favorite spices. You can adjust this based on how spicy you prefer things, but I totally recommend going to the edge of what you think you might like here as it's kind of what makes this hummus fun. :)

Simple hummus ingredientsCayenne and Flaxseed Hummus

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, mine was quite large so I left it at just one
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne*
1 teaspoon salt
juice from half a lemon (approx. 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup olive oil

*If you aren't sure how spicy you might like it, maybe you tend to like things less spicy, then start with only 3/4 teaspoon cayenne and taste after you've made the hummus. You can always blend more in, but if it gets too spicy for you, then it's pretty impossible to scale it back. I really like this at the 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne, so that's what I've listed in the ingredients. 

No tahini hummusFirst, drain and rinse the chickpeas. I like to remove the skins as it makes the final texture just a little smoother and creamier. But this is not necessary, only an option. 

In a food processor or good blender, add the chickpeas, garlic, flaxseeds, spices, salt, and lemon juice. Give that a good blend, then turn off your processor and scrape down the sides. If you have a processor (or blender) that allows you to leave an opening in the top while it's running, then use this to drizzle the olive oil in while it runs. If not, just add the oil in 2-3 batches. You don't want to add it all at once as it might not blend as well as if you add it slowly. 

Taste and add more salt, cayenne, or even pepper if you think it needs it. 

Cayenne and Flax Seed Hummus (via abeautifulmess.com)    When you're ready to serve, you can drizzle on a little more olive oil or squeeze on the remaining lemon juice. Whatever you don't consume, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Honestly it will probably last longer than a week, but hummus goes fast at our house so we never have it stored longer than this.

I am really into these blue corn tortilla chips right now, but I also enjoyed this with carrot sticks and even a sliced granny smith apple. The sweet and tart apple went surprisingly well with the heat of the hummus. xx. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

03 Apr 17:05

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

by Angela (Oh She Glows)

065A3820

First off, thank you all so much for your excitement and congrats about our news! I really enjoyed reading your comments and stories. I’m also happy to hear my impending loss of sanity should only be temporary. Truthfully, I’m not sure that I ever got it back after our first!

Second of all, I’ve missed you dearly. I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed posting recipes. I love sharing my favourite recipes and stories with you guys. Nothing makes me happier than creating something I adore and thinking about you trying it in your own kitchens! It feels so good to have more energy these days and also to wrap up some other massive projects.

Today’s recipe is most likely the last soup recipe I’ll post until next fall (*sad face*), but boy is it a great one to end on. As my dad likes to say, “It’s a humdinger!” Do you remember my Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup? Well, this soup reminds me a bit of that one, only it’s even better! Turmeric, coconut, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom create an incredibly healing and flavourful broth. I always say the test of a “vault-worthy” soup is whether you want to drink the broth on its own, and this one certainly fits the bill. A generous amount of turmeric makes it feel so healthy and powerful. Knowing that turmeric has so many anti-inflammatory benefits is always an added bonus, too!

065A3817

My inspiration comes from a Whole Foods mason jar soup called “Spiced Lentil” that Eric picked up for me on a whim. Well, this soup blew me away. After glancing at the short ingredient list, I knew I could easily recreate it in my own kitchen. Or so I hoped! I scribbled down a recipe attempt and started cooking. The beauty of this soup is that it’s a “pantry” soup. I had every single ingredient on hand (and still do, which explains why I’ve been making it so much). The first batch turned out darn near perfect (actually, we liked my version more), and the second attempt was even better than the first. Poor Eric only got one bowl from the first batch. You gotta be quick around the pregnant lady! I’ll fight you.

065A3787

If your weather is still cool, snowy, rainy, and dreary in early spring like it is here in Southern Ontario (we’re getting a snowstorm later today…*cries*), I hope you’ll enjoy this comforting soup. Even if it’s not cold where you are, I’d argue that breaking out into a light sweat while eating this is totally worth it!

glowingspicedlentilsoup

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

This soup is so quick and easy because there aren’t many vegetables to chop (just garlic and onion—that’s it!) and it relies mostly on pantry staples. It takes 15 minutes prep time (that includes getting the ingredients out), and then it’s hands off while it cooks. Talk about easy! While this soup contains a lot of spices, it's not what I would call "spicy" or "hot". If you do want a kick of heat feel free to add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Also, feel free to change up the baby spinach for other greens like stemmed kale or chard. This soup is inspired by Whole Foods.

Yield
about 7 cups (1.65 litres)
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook time
20 Minutes
Total Time
35 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.

Tips:

  • * I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.

065A3797

© copyright 2016 Oh She Glows. All Rights Reserved.
29 Mar 18:59

Tempeh Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

by A Beautiful Mess
Shh.listen

MMMMMmmmmm

Tempeh Steaks (via abeautifulmess.com)    Tempeh Steaks (via abeautifulmess.com) If you've never made chimichurri sauce before, you really must—it's so good! It is a classic sauce and certainly not my own invention. I've made a few different versions, and I am always amazed how much flavor it adds to any dish. It's especially great on steak. So I thought why not try some marinated tempeh steaks. 

Tempeh Steaks (via abeautifulmess.com)You could serve this over some steamed rice or alongside a salad. Even if you're on the fence about tempeh, I still would recommend giving this recipe a try as it's pretty delicious and super filling. 

How to marinate tempehTempeh Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce, serves two
Sauce recipe adapted from Epicurious

For the tempeh:
8 oz. tempeh
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For the chimichurri sauce:
1/3 cup parsley
2 tablespoons cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Cut the tempeh into flanks or cubes. In a small bowl or drinking glass, stir together the soy sauce, molasses, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, cumin, and cayenne. Pour a little of the sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish or an oven safe bowl. Add the tempeh. Pour the remaining sauce over the tempeh. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, flipping the tempeh once in the middle of the marinate time. 

ChimichurriBake the tempeh in the same dish, covered with aluminum foil, at 350°F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 18 to 20 minutes.

To make the sauce, you'll need a food processor or good blender. To the processor add the parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper, cumin, and salt. Pulse until well combined. With the processor running (if possible), slowly add the olive oil. 

Tempeh Steaks (via abeautifulmess.com)  Drizzle the sauce over the tempeh steaks and serve with your side of choice. Enjoy — happy healthy dinner to you! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

28 Mar 16:41

Ham Salad

by Elise Bauer
Ham Salad

One of the best reasons to serve a ham for a holiday dinner or family gathering is the prospect of leftover ham, don’t you think? Ham keeps well and can be used for a hearty ham and bean soup, a pasta dish with peas, or for a crowed pleasing ham salad.

It’s one of those feed-a-lot-of-people comfort food salads that makes you look forward to leftovers.

Put it in a sandwich (or a slider bun!), eat it plain, or add it to macaroni. The basic components of our favorite ham salad are ground or finely diced ham, sweet pickle relish (sweet works better than dill for ham, imho), and hard boiled eggs. Then something for crunch (celery and/or bell peppers) and mayo to bind it.

Continue reading "Ham Salad" »

28 Mar 16:00

spring chicken salad toasts

by deb

spring chicken salad toasts

If taking cubes of chicken and other things chosen for their ability to hold up in a deli case and suspending them in a thick dressing of mayo and seasonings is the winter coat of chicken salad, this is the cardigan, which is to say, I hope everyone is as happy to see it as I am. I live for cardigan weather.

... Read the rest of spring chicken salad toasts on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to spring chicken salad toasts | 63 comments to date | see more: Celery, Chicken, Cucumber, Photo, Radishes, Salad

23 Mar 11:44

pastel-colored easter eggs, naturally.

by erin

pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

I’m not usually one to care much about what color Pantone decrees to be color of the year. But when they announced the double whammy favorites of rose quartz and a pale periwinkle blue they’ve dubbed serenity, well, they made my head turn. 

To celebrate the season of eggs and make at least a cursory nod to the rest of the design world, I thought I’d make a dozen eggs in those favored Pantone shades using humble vegetables to create the shades: beets for the rose quartz and red cabbage for the serenity.

Happily, making natural Easter egg dye doesn’t take much more skill than being able to chop up some colorful veg and boil it in water. When opting toward subtle pastel colors like these ones, the process is especially quick. 

Here are my basic notes, in case you’d like to make a dozen of your own.

+ To make one cup of dye, you’ll need approximately one cup of chopped vegetable and one cup of water. 

+ I find two cups of dye works well for 6 or so eggs, so I made two batches—one for each color—each with two cups of water and two cups of vegetable. (I mostly eyeballed my vegetable measurements. For reference: 1/4 large red cabbage yielded me ~two cups of chopped cabbage. One whole beet plus the peelings and scraps from two beets I used for dinner earlier in the week yielded ~two cups of beets.)

+ In this ratio of two cups vegetable matter to two cups water, bring your vegetable-filled water to boil and then simmer, covered, for ~15 minutes. The water should be richly colored by the time you’re done simmering.

+ Strain the dye from the sodden vegetables and allow time for it to cool. (I strained mine into mason jars and popped the jars onto the window ledge to speed up the cooling process.) 

+ Once cooled, stir in a tablespoon of white vinegar to help the dye set.

+ Submerge hard-boiled eggs into your dye mixture. I found that six eggs perfectly displace two cups of dye in a quart-sized mason jar. 

+ You’ll note that I used white eggs here to achieve the light shades that I was after; brown eggs work too, but the pink will be more maroon and the blue a shade or two muddier.

+ To achieve the pasted-colored eggs you see here, I submerged my beet-colored eggs for only ten minutes. I allowed my cabbage-colored eggs to sit for ~three hours. Once they’d reached a color I like, I removed each egg from the dye and dried it off with a bit of cotton rag. (If you’d likely deeply colored eggs, you’ll need to leave your eggs submerged over night. But the wait is worth is: you’ll get a deep red and cobalt (see also!)!

+ I love the dusty natural look of eggs without a sheen, but if you want to shine ’em up, a little rub with vegetable oil will give your eggs a glossy shine!

pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

Dyes, cooling on the ledge.pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

Hard-boiled eggs waiting to go into their dye baths.
pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

My pink eggs were a dusty rose after just ten minutes in the beet dye.pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

To achieve the light blue that I wanted, I allowed my eggs to sit in the red cabbage dye for a long time after I’d taken out my pinks! The blues stayed in the fridge for approximately three hours. (Don’t be shy about checking on your eggs to get the color that you’re hoping for.)
pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

Pale blue eggs, dried.pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

The end results were exactly the subtle shades I’d hoped for.pastel-colored easter eggs with natural dyes | reading my tea leaves

What about you guys? Onion skin-dyers out there? Turmeric? Other egg dying traditions I should know about?

11 Mar 18:30

Get Psyched for Spring: 15 Inspiring Outdoor Spaces from Our House Tours

by Taryn Williford
Shh.listen

Okay I want our porch to be as pretty as this. I think we need to get rid of the table and get a bench and a chair and a coffee table out there!!!

While my city keeps teetering in and out of wintertime weather, I've got my sights set firmly (and optimistically) on spring. One way to get into that warm-weather state of mind is to think about all of the wonderful things you're going to do once it hits 75° outside. Think about the picnics you'll have and the patios you'll sit on sipping an iced tea.

READ MORE »

09 Mar 14:17

DIY Leather Tassel Keychain

by A Beautiful Mess

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more! Leather is one of the most versatile products to craft with. We love using it in both traditional ways and finding new uses for it. You've probably seen it popping up in a variety of colors, and it's making its way into crafting, home decor, furniture (other than the sofas and upholstery we've seen for decades), clothing, etc. It's obviously been around for a loooong time and been used in just about every way imaginable. We are especially excited about the trend of brightly colored leathers used in home decor and fashion. Today we're super excited to teach you how to make a really simple, cute and inexpensive leather tassel that is perfect for adorning a bag, using as a keychain or even putting on a chain for a cute necklace.

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!  Supplies:
-a 8.5 x11" sheet of leather (We found ours at Michaels that was already cut to size.)
-keychain ring
-scissors
-hot glue and glue gun

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!    First, you'll cut about an inch off of the long (11") side of the sheet.

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!     Then, start cutting long strips on the other end. These are about 1/4" wide. You can totally "eyeball" it, but you could always use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter if you'd like to be exact.

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!       Next, we cut the top in half because we needed a thinner strip of leather to attach the ring. 

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!        Begin rolling your leather, securing with hot glue as you go.

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!        About 1/3 of the way through, stop to add the key ring. We took about a 2" strip and folded it in half over the keyring.  Secure with hot glue. Continue rolling your tassel until it's completely rolled. Secure the end with more hot glue.

Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!          Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!           Love this DIY Leather Tassel Keychain - Click for more!

We love how simple and cute these little guys are! Is it weird that we want to add tassels to everything? We love them! It would be super cute to make as gifts for friends! What color would you make? xoxo -Mallory & Savannah

Credits // Author and Photography: Mallory Nikolaus and Savannah Kokaliares. Photos edited with Celeste from The Fresh Collection.

03 Mar 13:14

Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

by Elise Bauer
Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

Sometimes, especially after a few days of heavy dinners, all you want is a light, good meal. “Light” as in you’re trying to cut back, and “good” as in, can we make it taste good even though it’s light?

This chicken cutlet recipe, with a caper shallot sauce, is just that, flavorful, filling, and won’t weigh you down. You can make it all in one pot, takes about 30 minutes, and it’s gluten-free too.

Continue reading "Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce" »

04 Mar 02:03

As a fan of ridiculously elaborate video game controllers, I am suddenly very excited about Hello, O

by Luke Plunkett

As a fan of ridiculously elaborate video game controllers, I am suddenly very excited about Hello, Operator, a game about juggling (and listening in on) other people’s telephone conversations.

Read more...










03 Mar 16:30

How To Make Brioche — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

by Emma Christensen

You might not know it, but you need brioche in your life. With this one recipe, you have the power to make not only one gorgeous loaf of bread, but also dinner rolls, hamburger buns, hoagie rolls, cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, and a host of other homemade treats. Learn to make brioche, and you're well on your way to turning your kitchen into your very own bakery.

READ MORE »

03 Mar 17:14

churros

by deb

churros with chocolate

Prior to a few months ago, the full extent of my understanding of churros was:
  • They’re long cake dougnuts.
  • They must be very difficult to make or they would be everywhere at all times.
  • They cannot be near me.

... Read the rest of churros on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to churros | 120 comments to date | see more: Chocolate, Doughnut, Photo, Spanish