Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Escaping to the mountains for peace and quiet... and lots of snow!

This is our little Sofia on Christmas Day...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

*she'll laugh at this picture one day*

Is it weird to like Santa pictures where the kid is screaming and crying on Santa's lap?

well, I do. In fact, I find those pictures hilarious!
Even if it is my own child in that picture....

Oh, and I think the kids who don't cry are really weird!!

Someone recently sent me this link...Sketchy Santas
There's some great ones there!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Minestrone

can you spot me in this picture?

This was inspired by a winter minestrone that Giada De Laurentis recently made on her Christmas special...
I used a different variety of vegetables since we are part of a CSA and I like to use what we get rather than run out and buy more vegetables... kind of defeats the purpose of the CSA!

Winter Minestrone
Adapted from this recipe

2 tablespoons EVOO
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped celery stalks
1 chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
kosher salt (I used fresh ground Himalayan salt) & fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb cauliflower florets
1 pound kale
1 cup white corn (had some frozen corn on hand)
32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
~ 2 or 3 cups water
14 1/2 oz. can crushed tomato
sprig of fresh Thyme
1 parmesan cheese rind

Heat EVOO in soup pot.
Saute onion, carrots, celery and garlic
stir and cook for about 10 min.
Add potatoes and cauliflower
salt & pepper
Add broth and water
Add Kale
Add crushed tomatoes
Add fresh thyme and cheese rind
Bring to a boil, add corn, reduce heat and let simmer until kale is wilted and veggies are tender.
Season with more salt & pepper if needed.

Don't forget to serve this with rustic bread, the best part is dipping the bread into the soup!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deck the Halls

I saw an idea similar to this on the Martha Stewart website.... and it's so easy!

I already had everything on hand including the balls so no money was spent on this project!

All I did was cut some kitchen twine, thread it through each ball and then hung them in these frames. I used scotch tape to hold it on the backs of the frames. I'm sure Martha would use something a little more creative, but for me the scotch tape worked perfectly and held really well!

A fun and easy way to brighten up a little corner of the house! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bird Silhouettes

We recently turned one of the rooms in our house into a playroom (for Sofia) / computer area (for mommy & daddy)

While trying to figure out what to fill the walls with, the husband stumbled on this great idea from the Apartment Therapy site.

It was SO easy and fun!

Here's the Apartment Therapy post (by the way, they used old vintage wallpaper for their birds)

Here's our version:

Step 1 - we found silhouettes of birds that we liked (hummingbird, owl, sparrow) through google images, dragged them over to Photoshop, sized them to our liking (husband did that part) and printed them out on plain white paper.

Step 2 - I used some pretty scrapbook paper that I had laying around in my craft closet, taped the printed silhouette of the bird on top and cut along the lines

Step 3 - using some tacky glue diluted with a little bit of water, we laid the bird cutout face down on some paper, and using a foam brush we brushed the glue/water solution all over the bird (making sure to get all the way to the edges).

Step 4 - Found a spot we wanted to place it, rubbed the heck out of it so that it wouldn't get any air bubbles or peel up on the sides.

Voila! Instant wall decor!

The husband even insisted on putting up a rat silhouette... I'll admit, it's cute!

Holiday Vintage

I was admiring some of my MIL's vintage Christmas tree ornaments the other day..
She then took them off the tree and gave them to me.
(don't you just hate when you are put in an awkward situation like this?)

And after going through the obligatory "no, I can't take these from you" (about five times) they ended up on my tree at home.

I won't lie... I love them!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Urban Cowboy

While getting our Christmas tree last weekend we took a little side-drive over to see the horses at a stable nearby.

This guy stuck his head over the fence so that I could capture some really awesome photos.

Thanks horse! You rock!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Traditional Hummus

This is hummus stripped down naked...

So basic.

So good.

~ one 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed/ drained reserving about 1-2 T of liquid
~ 1/3 cup tahini paste (in the middle eastern section of the grocery store)
~ juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons (I used two small meyer lemons from our trees)
~ 2 cloves garlic
~ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
~ freshly ground salt (I use Himalayan salt*)
~ freshly ground black pepper

in a food processor throw in chickpeas, tahini paste, garlic and lemon juice
pulse about 4 or 5 times
slowly add the olive oil
pulse some more
add reserved chickpea liquid
pulse more
add salt & pepper
pulse until creamy
adjust salt/olive oil/lemon juice to your liking


*I've been falling in love with Himalayan salt. It's a lot more forgiving than traditional salt so it's a little harder to 'over-salt' food with it. And it adds such a magical touch to everything I cook.
I found mine at Trader Joe's for under $5.