Honey & Greek Yogurt Energy Boosting Green Smoothie

December 8, 2015

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I’m taking a super quick break from Christmasy posts to share my current favorite easy green smoothie recipe. Now it might seem random to be sharing a green smoothie today, right in the middle of the indulgent holiday season, but Dave and I are going on a last-minute tropical getaway in less than 2 weeks(!) so I am trying to be as healthy has possible in the next week so that I don’t have to, I don’t know, CRY when I put on a bikini! 😛

Anyways, I’ve tried literally dozens of different variations of green juices and green smoothies and I’ve discovered that I much prefer the thicker, creamier consistency of smoothies over juices. It just feels more fulfilling, goes down easier, and all you need is to add a frozen banana to your mixture for that creamy element without adding fat. And while I did add more than just a banana for this recipe to make my smoothie extra creamy (greek yogurt and almond milk), I will say this smoothie for me has the perfect balance in taste and nutrition. Between the banana, greek yogurt, apple, spinach, and lemon, there are so many antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory agents in this green smoothie and just the perfect amount of subtle sweetness, that you’ll be in a good mood and off the walls with energy for the rest of the day!

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Ingredients:
-Handful of spinach
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice
-1 small apple (I used a gala apple), peeled and cored
-1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
-1 tablespoon of honey
-1-2 tablespoons of greek yogurt
-3/4 cup almond milk

Directions:
Like most smoothies, all the work is in the prep. So once you have all of your ingredients ready, just toss in your spinach first (so they’re close to the blades), yogurt, apple, and banana. Then top everything with your honey, lemon juice, and milk, and blend until smooth! Take a sip and adjust to your liking.

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What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe? I’m gonna stay pretty loyal to this one, but I’m always interested in learning new variations!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Silver & Gold Glitter Holiday Wreath

December 3, 2015

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I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe that it’s already December. Where did 2015 go?? So much has happened this year on a personal and professional level for me and while it’s bittersweet to reach the end of anything, I’m so very excited for the new year and what it has in store. There’s a whole month left of 2015, and I’ll be darned if it doesn’t go out with a bang! 🙂

I will say though, that despite my love of celebrations – I actually haven’t always been a huge holiday decorator over the years. If I had to explain why, it’s probably because practically speaking, decorating means that you tend to have a lot of seasonal items in storage and that goes against my life manifesto to not accumulate too many “things”. But, now that I am getting older and realize how important my surroundings are to my mood, my stance on holiday decorating is really starting to shift. And of course, now that I have this little bloggy space to share my crafts and creative projects, all the more incentive to go all-in on Christmas cheer! 🙂

So to kick off the Christmas craze over here, I’m starting by sharing this easy glitter paper holiday wreath you can make with just a few items you can get from any craft store (paper and wreath ring) and some things you already have (scissors, tape, ribbon)!

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Materials:
12-inch styrofoam wreath flat ring / glitter paper in gold and silver / 2-2.5 inch wide ribbonscissors / tape / hot glue gun

Directions: 

  1. Start by cutting out leaf shapes from your gold and silver glitter paper. Aim for your leaves to be around 2 to 3 inches long by 1.5 to 2 inches wide, but feel free to vary the shapes so that they’re organic, like actual leaves would be!
  2. Once you’ve made about 20-30 leaves of each color, take a couple of leaves and place on your styrofoam wreath. Use tape to temporarily secure the leaves before you glue them down, so that you can take your time arranging your leaves.
  3. After taping down 2-4 leaves to your wreath, place a dab of glue with your glue gun under every other leaf to permanently secure them. You can glue every leaf at this point if you’d like, but gluing every other leaf at the beginning saves you a bit of glue and also allows you to adjust your leaves as you go along.
  4. Alternating randomly between gold and silver leaves, continue to place, tape, and glue your leaves all the way around your wreath, but leaving about 2-3 inches empty at the base where you’ll tie your ribbon later. Go back and add glue anywhere that is loose or needs adjustment.
  5. To ensure there’s no white styrofoam showing through at the base of the wreath, glue down two leaves in the empty space. Then, gently tie your ribbon into a bow over this section.

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Cutting out freeform leaves can be quite therapeutic. Put on some of your favorite music, pour yourself a glass of wine and get crafty!

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Be warned; working with glitter paper will get some on your clothes and hands – but that’s part of the fun!

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Experiment with your leaf placement. You can aim to have them line up uniformly or, instead, lay them in a random arrangement.

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Remember to take breaks to step back and view the wreath from a distance. The big picture usually looks slightly different than way up close!

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I used a sheer gold ribbon, but you can also use a ribbon of a contrasting color for a bolder visual statement.

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And now you’re done!

Once finished, you can hang it proudly over a mantel, interior door, or even lean it against the wall on a shelf or bookcase. This wreath adds a subtle, sparkly accent wherever you put it and it costs less to make than most wreaths you could buy at the store (that aren’t as pretty!).

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What are some of your favorite holiday decor pieces? Are you doing anything different this year?

Thanks for stopping by!

Mini Apple Pie Cheesecake Tarts

November 30, 2015

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Since there are a lot of family and potluck dinners on the calendar this and next month, I’ve been thinking of interesting desserts to try and make. I love when desserts are mini and individually-sized and I’ve also always wanted to make my own pie dough, so the first thing I knew I wanted to do is a mini tart. But what would go into these itty bitty tart shells? Part of me wanted to do something decadent and festive, but another part of me just wanted something comforting and familiar, since that’s what holiday treats should be in my opinion. Beside fudgey, chocolatey desserts, two of my all time favorite types of desserts is cheesecake and apple pie, so naturally I thought – why not an apple pie cheesecake??

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I’ve always kind of known that making pie dough from scratch isn’t too hard, but I couldn’t believe how easy it actually is! I found this pie crust recipe from Food.com and it came together so quickly and easily, and I actually didn’t even use a mixer and just mixed it all by hand. It’s going to be my go-to when I make anything pie-related since it bakes beautifully and has the perfect buttery, flakey consistency. Now I’m just wondering what pie I’m going to make next! 🙂

Ingredients:
Pie Crust (from Food.com):
-2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
-1 teaspoon salt
-2⁄3 cup butter or 2⁄3 cup shortening
-5-7 tablespoons cold water
Apple Topping:

-2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cheesecake Filling:
-1 package of cream cheese
-1/4 cup of sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 egg
Extra topping
-1/2 cup crushed walnuts (optional)
-1-2 tablespoons of butter
-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Directions:

Step 1 Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Make the pie crust: Put flour into a mixing bowl with the butter. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour. Add salt and water, and mix until dough is formed.

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Step 2 Roll out your dough on a flat surface and cut out even circles of about 4″-5″.

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Step 3 Place your pie dough rounds into a greased muffin pan. Press the dough into each tin so that they’re generally uniform in shape and thickness.

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Step 4 Make your apple mixture by combining apple, cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside. 

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Step 5 Make your cheesecake filling by mixing together cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until fully combined and smooth.

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Step 6 Fill each of your pie tarts about half way to 2/3 of the way with cheesecake filling.

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Step 7 Top each pie tart with sliced apples, pushing each apple into the cheesecake filling slightly so that there is no space between them. Make your tarts fancy by laying your apple slices gently in a fanned out design.

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Step 8 Finally, sprinkle each pie tart with crushed walnuts, additional cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Bake in your 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until apples are softened.

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And now you can enjoy your mini tarts of holiday deliciousness!

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The walnuts give a perfect extra little bit of crunch and flavor.

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And this is what it looks like in the middle. So. good.

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What are some of your go-to holiday desserts to make?

Thanks for stopping by!

Read & Listen // 01

November 25, 2015

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via my instagram

There is officially less than 24 hours until its time for me to go face to face with about 10 side dishes and some turkey so I wanted to take a moment before it all goes down to wish you all a very happy thanksgiving if you’re also celebrating!! While it’s only Wednesday and I’m still going to put in some work on Friday, it feels nice because the next few days will kinda be like a long weekend in terms of rest, relaxation and family time. 🙂 But whatever the rest of your week looks like, hoping that it’s a warm one filled with love and gratitude!

I’ll kick off this “weekend” with things I’m reading and listening to:

read //
Chrissy Teigen (my ultra girl-crush!)’s Thanksgiving Menu (So Delushious)
14 Thanksgiving Memes to Help You Survive The Holiday With Your Family (Bustle)
This couple hired their dog to film their wedding (so cute!) (MetroUK)
6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People (Forbes)
The Four Stages of Life (Mark Manson)
Becoming a Butterfly: How to Develop Good Entrepreneurial Skills (Observer)
Best Black Friday / Cyber Monday Hotel Deals (USA TODAY)
15 best deals on Black Friday 2015 (USA TODAY & NerdWallet)
Dude makes symmetrical breakfasts for himself and his boyfriend for an entire year (Lost At E Minor via Design Faves)

listen //

Adele – Water Under the Bridge (On The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)

Shawn Mendes & Hailee Steinfeld – Stitches (Acoustic)

Got any great articles or songs you’re reading / listening to? I’d love to hear about them!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Gold Trimmed Chalkboard & Corkboard Organizer

November 20, 2015

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Happy Friday everyone!

I’m back here today with office, and LIFE, organization on my mind. Thanks to my inspiring instagram feed, this Kickstarter that I stumbled upon, and various blogs I’ve been perusing –  like my friend Fran from Fall for DIY’s series on picking the perfect planner – all I’ve been thinking about lately is how to simplify my workspace and add more organization to my life, especially now that 2015 is almost over and the new year is almost here (WHAT??). I’m a super visual person, and I like handwriting notes and lists, drawing out my workflow, and making preliminary sketches of virtually anything that can be sketched, so one thing I’ve specifically been wanting to do is make some sort of office organizer / inspiration board contraption that could help me wrangle in all these post-its and mini notepad papers strewn about my desk!

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What I came up with is literally a cross between a chalkboard wall and a corkboard wall organizer, with a little modern element (in the way of gold trim) to add something extra. What I love about this is that if for some reason I wanted to wipe the slate clean, this wall organizer would look just as cute on the wall empty as it would filled with my brainstorming notes (and grocery lists 🙂 ). The corkboard base I chose here is only one square foot, which is all I need for now, but I can totally see making a few more of these in contrasting colors could be an awesome statement piece on a bigger office wall area – don’t you think?

Learn how to make it below!

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Materials:
12″ x 12″ corkboard square / chalkboard paint /  acrylic paint color of your choice (I chose light portrait pink) / painter’s tape / paint brush / ruler / gold paper fasteners 

Directions:

1. Start by carefully taping off one half of your corkboard diagonally with your painter’s tape.

2. Using your paint color of choice and your paint brush, paint in one half of your corkboard square. Let dry and then remove the tape.

3. When the paint is completely dry, place tape again diagonally across your square along with some protective paper to cover the painted half.

4. Using your chalkboard paint, spray paint the second half of your square with several coats of chalkboard paint until you reach the amount of coverage you like. I painted mine 3 times. (*Remember to only spray paint in a well ventilated area and use protective paper or another type of coverage on and around your painting surface so you can prevent stains!) Once done, let it dry completely and then remove the tape.

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At this point you’ll have yourself a nice two-tone chalkboard and corkboard organizer! If you like how this looks you can go ahead and keep it this way and organize to your heart’s content!  Or, you can go ahead and add the gold trim like I did!

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5. Using your ruler, measure about 1/2 inch in from one corner and place your gold fastener at this point at a placeholder. You can use the pointy end of the fastener to make an indent / marking where you want to place it (you could also use a pen or pencil to make these marks if you want). Do this again on the opposite side.

6. Now that you’ve marked out the two end fasteners of your row, place down the rest of the fasteners evenly on this row between them. I chose to use 5 fasteners on each side of my corkboard square, but you can use as many as you’d like.

7. After you’ve marked out where you want your fasteners to go and they look evenly placed, you can go ahead and poke each fastener through your corkboard square, bending the two prongs on the back of each fastener outwards so they are nice and tightly secured.

8. Finish by repeating Steps 5-7 on the remaining 3 sides of your corkboard square.

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It is now finished!

You can hang your organizer using removable adhesive squares, or you could also tie a string to the prongs of the gold fasteners on the back of the corkboard and hang the entire thing on a single nail or hook.

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Even though cork is not your usual surface to have a chalkboard, it works just as well as any other chalkboard I’ve ever tried! To clean, just gently dab with a lightly dampened rag or towel.

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What are some ways you stay organized in your workspace?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Meatloaf

November 17, 2015

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Can you believe there’s less than 10 days until Thanksgiving? I’m definitely not ready for it just yet. But in honor of the holiday season I thought I’d share my spin on a comfort food favorite, my sweet and spicy honey sriracha meatloaf!

I never ate meatloaf growing up and though I’d see and hear about the dish all the time, we just never had it at home. It was also rare for me to have dinner at any friends’ houses when I was young, so meatloaf was always that one traditional American food item that was very unfamiliar to me.

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However, when I finally tried a couple updated versions of it sometime after college, I finally understood that meatloaf is just a loaf version of one of the most delicious meaty items you can have – meatballs! I know how to make a pretty good meatball, so there had to be a way to make my own meatloaf. After a few tries at making my own meatloaf, I finally came up with this recipe which is now my go-to when I want to make something hearty, meaty, and different than rice or pasta. I love that there are veggies in it, which lightens it up and also keeps it super moist. I will say that there are definitely asian influences in the sauce due to the ingredients, but the dish definitely doesn’t taste asian – just sweet, spicy, and tender meatiness! 🙂

Meatloaf
– 1 lb lean ground turkey
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
– 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
– 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
– salt and pepper
Sauce:
– 1/4 cup ketchup
– 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons of honey OR brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon of sriracha

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place olive oil in a pan turned to medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and sauté until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, add ground turkey, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and bread crumbs and mix to combine. Gently mix in the cooked onion and bell peppers.
  • Make sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a separate small bowl.
  • Put meatloaf in a loaf pan and cover with sauce, reserving half of the sauce for later. If you prefer a thinner sauce or want more of it, add a tablespoon of any stock.
  • Place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes. (this is a great time to make your sides)
  • Serve along with your favorite side(s), top with remaining sauce and enjoy!

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Just as with any meatloaf recipe, this meatloaf makes a good 4-6 hearty servings. I usually serve mine with garlic mashed potatoes and a vegetable side (like my simple glazed carrots), but you could also make this into a sandwich if you’d like! The sauce gives it a sloppy-joe feeling 🙂

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What are some of your favorite comfort meals?

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Gold Arrows Canvas Wall Art

November 11, 2015

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If there was one home design project that I soo want to eventually do, but am most nervous to tackle, it would be a gallery wall. Ever since I was old enough to start dreaming about my future home, I’d envision huge empty white walls that I’d fill with tons of amazing colorful art – some that i’d collect and most that I’d make. Don’t get me wrong, this would be so much fun but at the same time I feel like I’d experience some type of decision paralysis from so many ideas / choices! Luckily (or not), our condo right now doesn’t have a huge amount of empty wall space so anything that I’ve hung up has had to be singular canvases or practical things like hanging shelving. It’s given me the perfect excuse to hold off this daunting task! 😛

BUT, when I do eventually have the walls (and the cojones!) to design a gallery wall, this gold arrow wall art canvas is going to be one of the first anchoring pieces that’ll go up on it. My design style is contemporary, modern and eclectic, with hints of natural elements, so the arrow motif would be an homage to the eclectic, while the clean white canvas and gold lines give the modern look that I love. With only two materials and some scissors and a ruler, this has got to be one of the easiest and most affordable art pieces you can make yourself with no special skills required!

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Materials:
small stretched canvas (I used an 8” x 8” canvas) / thin gold mylar tape / scissors / ruler (optional)

Directions:

1. Start by eyeballing or using your ruler to measure halfway down your canvas.

2. Make your first (middle) arrow by cutting a strip of gold tape that is about 2/3 the width of your canvas, which for us is between 4” to 5”. Place this strip halfway down your canvas (the spot you measured in Step 1) to create the shaft of your arrow.

3. To make the arrowhead, cut two 1.25” pieces of gold tape and place them perpendicular to each other and with their corners overlapping at one end of the shaft.

4. Now cut four 1.25” pieces of gold tape and place them on the opposite end of the arrow to create the fletching. You’ve made your first arrow! Next, you’ll be making arrows to go above and below your middle arrow.

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5. For the second (top) arrow place a strip of gold tape, about the same length as the shaft of your middle arrow (in Step 2), at the top of your canvas.

6. Create the arrowhead of this arrow the same way you did for the middle arrow (in Step 3). Make sure to place the arrowhead here so that it’s facing the opposite direction of the middle arrow.

7. The fletching of the top arrow will be slightly different than the middle arrow. First, cut about a 1.5” piece of gold tape and then make a diagonal 45 degree cut on each of the opposite corners (top left, bottom right). It should look like a parallelogram. Repeat this step again, except make sure your diagonal cuts on the second 1.5” piece are opposite of the ones you made on the first 1.5” piece (so this time, bottom left, top right). Place these two pieces down to complete your top arrow.

8. Make your third (bottom) arrow using the same steps as you did to make your top arrow (in Steps 5-7). On our canvas, we made the bottom arrow facing the same way as the middle arrow, but you can place it whichever way you’d like.

9. Press down on all of your gold tape pieces to make sure they’re secure and then you’re all done!

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The charm of this mini canvas art is that it can go anywhere: on a shelf on it’s own with some knick-knacks, or layered and styled with other art pieces:

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Do you have a gallery wall? What helped you choose which pieces to put together? In any case, if you’re as big of a fan of white and gold together as I am, feel free to check out my gold splatter coasters!

Thanks for stopping by!

Geometric Triangles Desktop Wallpaper (Free Download)

November 6, 2015

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Happy Friday all! Oh, and since I haven’t said it yet, happy November too! 🙂

I’ve heard that the west coast and other warmer parts of the country are finally getting a taste of cool fall temps, so good news for you guys is that you can finally break out those cute layers and boots! But as for my neck of the woods up here in the Northeast, it’s actually unseasonably warm today  – like 70 degrees and up! I’m not complaining one bit though, since I’m happy to be able to go a bit longer before I have to turn on the heat or have to wear socks around the house from the cold. 🙂

Anyways, just wanted to drop in today to share this free geometric desktop wallpaper download I made this week. If you know me or any of my past work, you already know that I love color and geometric patterns so that’s exactly what you’re getting with this free wallpaper! I don’t usually have a physical calendar hanging anywhere in my office (I need to get on that), so I often like to have a desktop wallpaper with a calendar right on it just to be able to have a quick glance of where we are in the month. You can download these wallpapers with or without the November 2015 calendar on it.

Scroll down for the download links!

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Desktop Wallpaper: Standard + Standard w/ calendar | Widescreen + Widescreen w/ calendar

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Vertical Ipad Wallpaper: Standard + Standard w/ calendar

If you liked this one, you might also like my last pastel geometric desktop wallpaper too. Enjoy and have a great weekend!!!

One Pot Kielbasa Mushroom Farfalle Pasta

November 3, 2015

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What’s the whole appeal of one-pot meals? The first and most obvious benefit I can think of is, of course, the fewer pots used = fewer pots to clean! I have to say that that is my favorite part of one-pot dinners, since washing dishes is the bane of my existence!!! Okay okay, that might be a bit over-dramatic, but I grew up in a pretty traditional Asian household and, as far as I know, it’s quite common to find that many Asian families that aren’t the first-generation born in the U.S. don’t use a dishwasher. And yes, though its been years since I’ve lived with my parents, the habit has passed on to me and my dishwasher serves as an additional storage rack for tupperware and dishes. 🙂 It’s really only after dinner parties and lazy weeks that I truly wonder why I don’t reconsider this kitchen arrangement, but I guess I can just continue to argue practicality and water-efficiency? 🙂

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Anyways, to me, there’s more to one-pot meals than just “less to clean” argument, especially when you think about your typical pasta dishes where the majority of the flavor is in the sauce. With one-pot pasta dishes, you’re cooking your dry pasta IN the sauce so that every single bite, even the less saucy forkfuls, have flavor packed right into them. To me, that’s the key!  I always wonder when I’m boiling pasta in a big pot of salted water if the pasta is really going to absorb all that savory goodness, or is most of it (except for the ladleful or so that I put in the sauce) being dumped out when I strain it ? That’s one thing I don’t have to think about with this dish.

The highlight of this one-pot meal is kielbasa, which is a household favorite for me and Dave. We both love it (in moderation) and it already is so seasoned and flavorful that any dish you put it in doesn’t need much added to it. It also goes well in so many different types of dishes from rice dishes, casseroles, and of course, pasta! Mushroom is the other star of this dish, since it’s earthy and smooth in flavor enough to hold up nicely against the kielbasa.

Ingredients:

-2 Kielbasa links (14 oz. package), chopped into half circles
-2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
-1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
-2 tablespoon brown sugar
-2.5 cups of beef stock
-1.5 cups of water
-1 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta
-1 cup of baby spinach
-1/3 cup of chives, chopped
-salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Add kielbasa, onions and mushrooms to your pot, season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Once onions start to become translucent add balsamic and half of the brown sugar (1 tablespoon) and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beef stock and water to the pot, season with salt (as you would any pasta boiling liquid), cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta, lower to a medium simmer and let cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until pasta is cooked.
  • In the last couple of minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of brown sugar, baby spinach and chives and mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!

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Since we used a whole 1b. of pasta (basically a standard box of dry pasta from the store), this dish can heartily serve 4-6 people as a main dish, and even more as a side. It kind of reminds me of beef stroganoff since there’s a lot of warm, beefy flavor from the beef stock, and also, the starch that comes out of cooking the pasta makes the dish very creamy without having added any cream!

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Do you like one-pot meals? What are some of your faves?

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Origami Gift Box

October 29, 2015

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Many years have gone by since my elementary school days, but to this day, I still have fond memories of my favorite class – art class! I remember the long blue worktables, the huge supply cabinet in the back corner of the room, and all of me and my friends’ craft supplies strewn all over the place. And while more specific details of our art projects in those days have escaped my memory (as have the majority of other topics we learned in elementary school :X), for some reason there is one particular art lesson we had that has always stuck with me. Today I’m going to share that with you, and that is a two sided origami box, or what I like to call an origami gift box.

For this project I used some gorgeous metallic paper JamPaper sent me, and I also used some beautiful floral patterned origami paper I brought home from my trip to Japan earlier this year. The great thing about this DIY project is that you can use literally any size and type of paper you’d like, as long as the paper is flexible enough to be folded easily and can be made into a square. The only material that you absolutely need is the paper, though using a ruler, pencil, tape, and scissors can make your box more precise and/or sturdy. I remember as a kid I would simply tear along the creases I’d made, rather than using scissors 🙂

Read on to learn how to make it yourself!

origami-gift-box-diy

Materials: 
Paper (for this post I worked with gold and silver paper from JamPaper and floral origami paper from Japan, you can find similar paper here) / ruler, pencil, scissors, tape – optional

Directions: 

  1. If your paper is not already a square (like mine, which was 8.5″ x 11″) measure and mark your paper and cut it to make it into an even square.
  2. Take two opposite corners of your square and fold them inwards towards each other so that they’re meeting at the center of your square. Then, fold those same two sides of your square into each other once more, allow their straight edges to meet in the center.
  3. Unfold the most recent folds you just made. Using your scissors (or tearing gently), cut along the innermost creases you just made in Step 2 as far up as you can without cutting the folded corners. The uncut area in the center is the bottom of your box, so it should look like a square.
  4. Now, take the bottom half of your square (which is now a diamond, from your perspective), and make a fold as high up as where you made the crease cuts in Step 3. Flip your paper around and do the same fold on the opposite side.
  5. Take the two narrow folded sides and bend them upwards to meet each other to create the sides of your box. While holding the sides together, take one of the large flaps that are remaining and fold it over the box wall and into the inner creases of the box. Do the same on the opposite side to finish the walls of the box. (If your paper is thin or slippery, you can use tape to secure these pieces)
  6. Your first box is done! Repeat these steps again to make the other side of your gift box. To make sure that they can nest into each other, make your second box slightly smaller than the first by folding tighter in Step 2 and cutting your creases further in (by about .25 inch) in Step 3.

origami-paper-gift-box-diy(Step 1) This step is just to make a square. If you’re starting off with square paper, no need to do this!

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(Step 2) You can do this freehand, or with a ruler to make sure your lines are parallel.

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(Step 3) This is probably the trickiest part and the one that will most determine the final shape of your box. The area you leave uncut in the middle will be the bottom of your box, so either eyeball it or use a ruler to ensure it’s a square.

origami-gift-box-diy-3 (Step 4) The important part in this step is to make clean, even folds. You can see your box is starting to come together now!

origami-gift-box-diy-4
(Step 5) Where my fingers are in the first picture here is where you can place a piece of tape to hold the sides of the box together, and it won’t be visible once your box is done. This is a fun step because it’s where you see your box come to life before your eyes!

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And here is the finished product! You can stop here if you’re using this for an open ended container, or you can go ahead and make your second half so that they can nest into each other.

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These are the perfect shape for small trinkets, jewelry, candy, and love notes 🙂

diy-origami-boxes
I made a few…

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They are also cute as holiday decor, sprinkled around the house!

diy-origami-paper-gift-boxes

Do you remember any favorite art lessons from childhood?

how-to-make-an-origami-gift-box

Thanks for stopping by!