Thursday, March 14, 2013

Potato Gnocchi with Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The summer after my junior year, by some miracle, I ended up living alone for about a month and a half. I've liked having roommates in the past, but there's something to be said for living alone. For one thing, I could cook big, elaborate meals without worrying about the equally big, elaborate messes they left in the kitchen. That same summer Michael was studying abroad, giving me yet another reason to test out some more involved recipes. If one was a flop, I was the only one who would have to eat the failed dish.

I've forgotten most of the dishes I made during that time living alone and free of culinary inhibitions. But there is one dish that has stuck in my mind. When I made it that summer, it was a roaring success. So much so that I tried to make it again once Michael came home from Europe. Unfortunately, the second time I made it, it was a disaster. The dish was Potato Gnocchi with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce from College Vegetarian Cooking by Megan and Jill Carle.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pot O' Gold Candy Dish

Lately I've gone a bit craft supply crazy. I've scored some amazing deals on paper, punches, glitter, stamps and anything else you could imagine. But as my drawers and shelves quickly filled up, I realized (with more than a little help from Michael) that I was actually going to have to start making some projects.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Berry Special Valentine

So I know I'm a bit late getting this up. Time just got away from me! I whipped up this little valentine using my Cricut, but it could easily be made by hand.

I used the Preserves cartridge for the strawberries/blossoms and the Nursery Rhymes cartridge for all of the message except the word "berry" which is from the Mickey Font cartridge. The basket is woven out of paper strips that I cut by hand. It's had to tell from this picture, but I dotted the solid red strawberries with red glitter glue.

You don't have to wait until next Valentine's Day to make this card. By simply changing the message inside, you could make it for any occasion!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

I love to cook but I hate doing dishes. Luckily, Michael is all too happy to be my live-in dish washer. Unfortunately, when I was growing up my mom wasn't too crazy about filling that role. So, needless to say I didn't get to cook much when I lived at home. Most of the times that I was allowed to cook, I was making my signature dish: chicken and dumpling casserole.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Work in Progress : Starburst Afghan

Being from Southern California, I'm a pretty big winter-weather-wimp. I hate being out in the cold. But one thing I do love about the winter weather is cozy-ing up on the couch with my latest crochet project. As much as I hate to admit it, this is the second winter I've been working on this afghan. We had a pretty warm winter last year, so I'm just going to blame that for my slow progress. Since I'm at about the halfway point, I thought I'd share this work in progress.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Home Ec 101: Homemade Chicken Stock

One of my goals for 2013 is to reduce my kitchen waste. Good for the environment and good for my pocketbook. This means only buying as much food as we can eat before it goes bad (I tend to get a little overzealous when I enter the produce section) and making sure I use every last scrap of that food. On Friday night I made a roast chicken (sorry, no recipe this time!) and after I'd carved it all up, I looked at the carcass and knew it was destined for great things. Yes, that humble pile of bones would be transformed into something magical: a stock. Homemade stock is one of the quickest ways to elevate your favorite recipes to the stuff of legends. Store bought has got nothing on homemade.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Simple Thanks

Even though it's been a month since I finished grad school, my to-do list seems as long as ever. There are so many things around the apartment that had to be put on the back burner so I could focus on finishing my degree. Slowly but surely I'm making my way down the list. One thing I'm finally getting around to is writing some thank-you notes for Christmas gifts. Yes, Christmas was almost three weeks ago. Better late than never, right? Of course, I couldn't just pick up some simple blank note cards. I was itching to use some of the paper crafting supplies I got during my trip home to California for the holidays. I ended up using my new EK Success "Retro Flower" edge punch to create two simple designs.

Simple Thank You Cards

There's no corner for this particular punch, but after a little bit of experimentation it was easy enough to get a nice clean border all around. The card on the left was a snap to make and the bordered one took only slightly longer to put together. The font is from the Elegant Cakes Cricut Cartridge. Now to make some envelopes...