Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pixel Paper Hearts & The Crafter's Bash

I obviously love all things crafty. So it was a no brainer but to say YES!, when Thuy (of My Paper Pinwheel) asked Pixel Paper Hearts to be a sponsor for The Crafter's Bash!

PPH x The Crafter's Bash

It was so fun putting these goodies together for the event. Totally wish I could be there in person! Road trip to OK anyone?! Thanks again for having us Thuy!

& the pretty pencils are available in the shop! Swoon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Let's Eat Chicken Taco Bowls

My crock pot and I are total BFFs. Though I must admit I don't use her as much as I would like. The main reason is simply because most crock pot recipes feed a family of a lot! And in our home, 90% of the time there's about 2.5 people consuming the dish - that's a whole lot of leftovers. Not that it's a bad thing, but c'mon - variety is the spice of life right??! But I am always intrigued with what I can actually make by dumping ingredients in a pot and letting it do all the work - especially while I go out and ... shop - which is exactly what happened today, lol.

Chicken Taco Bowl
This was 9am this morning - literally 10 mins of prep. Easy peasy.

Chicken Taco
And this was about 430pm ... ready to chow down! I freaking love Pinterest! Recipe slightly modified from Budget Bites.

Chicken Taco Bowls (via crockpot!)
6 bones skinless chicken thighs
1 cup frozen corn
430 ml of your fav salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of chilli flakes
grated cheddar
cubed avocado
lime for garnishing
your fav rice

-Add all ingredients except for the rice, cheese and avocado into the crock pot with 1/4 cup of water. Stir it all up & make sure the chicken is covered with the mixture
-Close with lid & cook on low for 8 hours
-When the chicken taco bowl mixture is almost done, cook some of you favourite rice as per the package directions (or as per your rice cooker, hehe)
 -After 8 hours of cooking, shred the chicken with two forks, this should be super easy.
-Then build your bowls! Rice, chicken taco mix, shredded cheese, some avocado & a squeeze of lime juice! & of course, there's a lot leftover, quesadillas anyone?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Eat Pesto, Kale Style

Yes, my husband is a Sous Chef.
No, he definitely does not cook gourmet meals for us 7 days a week.

He works ... a lot. Even more now that we decided I would be home with the littles. So my gourmet tasting menus are far and few between. Oh but when they come, I am in a state of pure bliss. I have absolutely no problem admitting that he's a better cook than I am :)

But for the most part, I wear the cook hat in home & I try to bust out yummy, semi-healthy, balanced dishes of what we like to eat. I try to cook enough so we have leftovers so I'm not cooking all - the - time. I like cooking, sometimes. But knowing that I must absolutely do it for our kiddies to enjoy a home cooked meal, I do it ... gladly. Thankfully, both of them are not super picky - we give them what we give them and that's that. We do not run a restaurant, we are not short order cooks - this is what is on the menu for today & this is what we are having. Small modifications fine (lol) & you must at least try it, once - that's always been the rule ... if you don't like it, that's okay - we all have our favourites & preferences, right?

Some friends on Instagram have asked me to share recipes of the food I post, so this "let's eat" series will be dedicated to what I feed our little family! I definitely suck at taking photos along the way though - whoops. But I'll try to keep at it! I've never really documented my cooking or followed recipes to a tee (but I do for baking, I know what happens when you try and wing it ... a whole lot of sadness in the trash). I see things I like (usually via Pinterest), mix and match different recipes & sometimes consult Ryan for his expert opinion (lol). & then after "studying" ... I just go for it. I taste along the way & really hope for the best. The dishes that work out, I make again ... those that turn out questionable, I bust out the mac & cheese. I try not to get discouraged with the failures & feel really good when Aiden and Sadie gobble it up! Aiden asked me to make this one twice in a row this week, so that definitely boosted my confidence, LOL.

Let's Eat - Kale Pesto

I was inspired to make kale pesto after seeing a friend post her dinner on IG. You can definitely make this dish with any pasta and any protein you have on hand. When combining pesto with pasta, I tend to use pasta that have little homes (rottini, bowties, penne, shells) so the pesto can "live" within the homes. I find the saltiness of the sausage pairs well with the bitterness of the kale. (I used PC Original Smokies - not the blue menu ones, just the original ones). But I'm sure a chopped chicken breast or sauteed shrimp would be lovely too! Cook your pasta and your protein to your liking. I was taught to toss the cooked pasta into the pan you cooked the protein in. This lets the pasta soak up all of those rendered flavours! Add in the kale pesto (a tbsp at a time, you'll have leftovers I'm sure) and roasted chick peas and toss away! I served this warm, but I think it could work as a pasta salad too! 

Kale Pesto
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup of parm cheese
1 bunch of kale, maybe 3 cups worth
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

-Combine almonds and garlic in a food processor. Pulse under well combined
-Add in parm cheese, kale, salt and pepper, pulse until combined
-With the food processor running low, slowly add in olive oil until you reach your desired consistency
-Adjust seasoning to your taste
-Left overs will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated

Roasted Chick Peas
1 can of chick peas, rinsed & drained
kosher salt
red chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Rinse and drain chick peas. Gently remove the "skins" of each chick pea
-Lay out on some paper towels to help soak up the moisture. Try to get them as dry as possible
-Toss chick peas with salt, pepper, red chilli flakes and olive oil
-Lay evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30-40 mins   


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Mantra: Cultivate a Good Life

Oh my word! It's totally October! Then our birthday month (Ryan & I) and then Christmas & then 6 years of wedding bliss! Time is just zooming by!

I'm scratching weekly mantras / focuses in exchange for monthly ones - just makes more sense. And I love the idea of being able to have a focus, not just for me but something that I can trickle down to our family and day-to-day.

To me, this really means ... being able to create a life that feels good on the inside and not just looks good on the outside. It's so easy to get caught up in material things & even gossip (tsk!) - but I'm striving to focus on what is truly important to me (family, free time & growing my little business) & loose the things the weigh me down. I'd like to think that we're creating memories with our babies. Spending time playing, laughing, enjoying the company. Filling their bellies with home cooked meals, filling their minds with wonder & filling their hearts with complete joy.

The goals are simple this month:
-Eat out less, cook in more
-Spend less on things! - declutter & donate
-On days that allow it, play outside
-Record moments, not only via multimedia, but simple notes with pen & paper
-Pay it forward
-Connect with others who inspire me to grow my business (quit being so shy!, lol)
-Collaborate with inspiration
-Create, even if it's not "good enough" - just keep creating ...

Let's do this October!