Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can I get a light?

Here is a unique find I got at a junk shop. I was on the prowl for some silver flatware which, by the way, is the Holy Grail of antique hunting these days. Anyway, I happened to notice this table lighter for $5! Although I don't smoke, I thought it would be a pretty desk accessory that I could use to light candles. It didn't work at first, and it was very tricky to fix. However, after replacing the flint and filling it with butane, I am happy to say that it works quite well and looks like new!



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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Table Makeover

Here is a little DIY project I finished a while ago. I found this table one day at a vintage shop. It was pretty beaten up but, nothing a little sandpaper and some white paint couldn't fix.
Anyway, I think it turned out quite nice and is definitely useful as I have been using it as a desk in my kitchen while I work on my recipe apps.
Here's the before and after shots:


After























Before
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Monday, September 26, 2011

A Simple Breakfast

Sometimes I think we take the simple things for granted. In an effort to "just get things done" it is very easy to miss out on the simple pleasures life has to offer. Sunday morning I got up earlier than everyone else in my family and so I made a breakfast of tea and toast. That's it... nothing else. It looked so pretty on my plate, I decided to take a few photos before enjoying every bite!


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Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Home!

Here is a quick decorating project to consider for the weekend. It is inexpensive and takes so little time it hardly seems like a "project" at all. No matter where you live, your front door makes one of the first impressions for your home. Every time someone comes to visit and every time you come home...it should always feel welcoming. So, whether you live in a condo or a big house, hang a wreath, paint your front door, do something that personalizes it. Just a thought... enjoy your weekend.

By the way, that's my front door and the Boston Terrier is ZuZu, my little dog.
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More Soap!

Just wanted to share another pretty soap!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pitas

Here is a quick dinner idea that I came up with a while ago. I just made it for dinner tonight and everyone really enjoyed it. I thought I would share the recipe with you.






































Recipe

3 pita pockets
3 Chicken breasts cut into small pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 or 6 tiny roma tomatoes , quartered
2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow pepper, julienned
1/2 small onion, sliced very thinly
1/4 cup cajun spice
2 T olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup thick caesar dressing

1. In a medium fry pan sautee peppers and onions with a bit of butter on medium-low heat until soft and brown.
2. In a medium fry pan, cook chicken in olive oil until cooked through.
3. Add 1/4 cup of water with cajun spice and let simmer until all of the water evaporates and chicken is coated.
4. Cut pita bread in half and fill with chicken, peppers and onions. Then top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of caesar dressing to each pita for added flavor.
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Pretty soaps

Gastown is a quaint little part of Vancouver where lots of trendy shops and restaurants are popping up.  Its a great place to find unique gifts and affordable luxuries. This past weekend I made a quick trip and found these handmade soaps that smell so beautiful that I will be saving them to scent my dresser drawers.  I have always found that scented soaps are the best way to add fragrance to a drawer or closet.  All you need to do is open either end of the bar packaging with scissors and place it somewhere like a linen closet.  It's one of those nice surprises; when you get a whiff of perfume unexpectedly going about your daily activities. Try it, I'm sure you will be hooked.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Polkadot Envelopes

There is a place called Daiso in a suburb of Vancouver which is a Japanese version of a dollar store. My daughter had been begging me to go for a while, so we finally made the 45 minute treck and I found some really neat things. This was one of them. They are envelopes with the address on the back so that the front stays pretty. How adorable! The Japanese are very good with papery things.


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Macaron Madness

For the past few weeks I have been working on a little project involving lots of macarons.  They are arguably one of the prettiest desserts but an undisputed tricky one to master.  From lavender macaron shells to rose ganache... I have been testing and tasting alike.  I am nearly finished and will share the finished product in due time. For now I leave you with a few macaron images.








































Recipes

Chocolate Macaron Shells

1/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
egg whites from 2 eggs, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons berry sugar
3-6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.

1.In preparation for making macarons, you must separate the eggs (keeping only the egg whites) and let them rest in the refridgerator over night, then take the eggs out and let them reach room temperature just before you whip them.
2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Sift powdered sugar and almond flour into a large bowl (discard any large
pieces).
4. In an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks begin to form.
Then add berry sugar and continue to beat on high until the eggs are very stiff. At this point add the cocoa and mix well.
5. Pour the beaten egg white mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until the mixture becomes a thick ribbony batter.
6. Fit a piping bag with a #10 tip and fill with batter. Pipe 1 1/2” rounds onto your baking sheet spacing each macaron 1” apart. You can simplify this by making a template to slide under the parchment paper as a guide.
Bake for approximately 10 -12 minutes at 290 ° F.
Once cooled, fill with chocolate ganache and enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache

2 oz dark semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream

1. Place chocolate in a mediun glass bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water stirring with a small spatula.
2. Once chocolate is melted, add cream and stir until smooth and remove from heat.
3. Place in the fridge until chilled.
4. spread over macaron shells when the ganache becomes a soft butter consistency. If the ganache becomes too hard, you can soften it in a double boiler.
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