5/26/17

Boozy Cherry Orange Cocktail: Memorial Day Weekend

Let the 3 day weekend begin! I have zero plans, so why not start day drinking?

Here's a quick boozy beverage that you can make in under a minute in a blender.




Boozy Cherry Orange Cocktail
Serves 1

Ingredients 2 cups ice 
1/2 cup 🍒 juice 
50 ml 🍊 vodka
1 orchid bloom

Directions
1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
2. Pour the cocktail into a pretty glass.
3. Garnish with an orchid bloom in matching or contrasting color.
4. Sip or use a straw.
5. Drink responsibly!

Have a great weekend everyone!

5/23/17

Hostess Gift: Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe

Need a hostess gift idea? Make my Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe!



This past weekend I took the train down to Williamsburg to visit my friend Evi and her husband and daughter. Being raised well (thanks parents!) I wasn't going to show up empty handed. Alas Evi wasn't very helpful in giving me ideas of what I could bring other than myself :/

That's when I had a brilliant idea of checking Evi's Pinterest boards to see if they'll give me ideas. And they did! I found a recipe Evi pinned for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars and decided it'll be a fun treat to bring over.

My store was out of rhubarb unfortunately. Instead, I decided to use blueberries and then switch a few other ingredients and introduce fig balsamic vinegar, basil and black pepper to these bars to make this recipe my own. It was quite successful.




Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour, more if needed
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
optional: powdered sugar

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Line 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, sugar, butter and salt. If the texture feels too wet, add a bit more flour.
4. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Dump the remaining mixture into the baking dish and press to form the bottom layer of the bars.
5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine strawberries, blueberries and vinegar and let stand for about 15 minutes.
6. Strain the berries {you can use the vinegar to make a salad dressing} and mix them with cornstarch, basil and black pepper.
7. Add the berry mixture to the baking dish and top with the remaining half a cup of the crumble mixture.
8. Bake the bars for 35 minutes, allow to cool, then refrigerate before cutting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


These were so easy to make. Think of all the different flavor combinations you can use! These are great for breakfast with coffee or as a mini dessert.

The flavors of fig balsamic vinegar, basil and black pepper did not overwhelm the fruit, but did leave a bit of lingering heat which I liked. These bars weren't too sweet and traveled well. You could eat them cold out of the refrigerator or reheat in the oven. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would not hurt.


5/19/17

Weekend Edition: Tulips And Chives

TGIF! Wishing you an awesome weekend! I'm taking a train south to Williamsburg to visit my friend Evi for the weekend! There'll be food, catching up, a bit of shopping and staying in HarmonAirBnB ;)

I leave you with a bit of flower arrangement I did with white tulips and blooming chives. Don't you love the combination?


5/17/17

Bon Appetit's Burmese Chickpea Tofu with Spicy Dipping Sauce


Sometime last week my friend Naomi tweeted a link to Bon Appetit's Burmese Chickpea Tofu with Spicy Dipping Sauce and told everyone to make it.

It took me a few minutes to understand why tofu wasn't on the list of ingredients. You make tofu!! In this case, you actually use chickpea flour to make tofu which is incredibly easy, flavorful, especially with the addition of turmeric, and the final result is basically chickpea fries.

This dish is vegan, if that's something you care about ;)

I followed the recipe from Bon Appetit to the t, and was very happy with the results. I added a side of broiled asparagus to make a full meal out of this. I'm sure I'll make it again.


What shall I do with the remaining chickpea flour?

5/15/17

Meatless Monday: Creamy Tomato & Fennel Soup With Cheesy Toasts


If your air conditioning is working, or if it's not too hot where you live, my Creamy Tomato & Fennel Soup With Cheesy Toasts would be perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner tonight. 

I love a creamy tomato soup with grilled cheese, but this time decided to switch things up a bit and add a few ingredients to the soup to elevate the flavors. I think you'll really like it.

Creamy Tomato & Fennel Soup With Cheesy Toasts
Serves 1-2 depends on how hungry you are

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small fennel bulb, outer layer and core removed, sliced
1/4 white onion, sliced
14.5 oz can Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chile sauce {take a can of chiles in adobo and puree it to make the sauce}
salt & pepper to taste
a splash of half & half
optional: blooming chives
2 slices sourdough bread, toasted
1/3 cup shredded cheese {more or less as you wish}

Directions
1. Heat a soup pot and add olive oil. Saute fennel and onion for about 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, water, chile sauce, salt & pepper, and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or a food processor carefully because it will be really hot. Add half & half and adjust the seasonings. Top with blooming chives.
4. Meanwhile, top toasted slices of bread with shredded cheese and melt the cheese under the broiler making sure not to burn it.


Isn't the color stunning? I ate most of the soup in one sitting and used leftovers the next day for breakfast in a shakshuka.

5/8/17

Meatless Monday: Vegan Red Lentils With Carrots & Tomatoes


Red lentils come to the rescue for those evenings you need a quick healthy meal and have barely any time or groceries!

Meatless Monday: Vegan Red Lentils With Carrots & Tomatoes 

This is more of a guide than a recipe. If you've read my blog for a while, you must be accustomed to this by now ;)

Ingredients
olive oil for sauteing 
2 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1-2 teaspoons turmeric
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
diced fresh tomato
sliced scallions

Directions
1. Heat a shallow pan and add olive oil. Add diced carrot and onion and saute for about 7 minutes.
2. Add garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry powder and saute until fragrant. Be careful not to burn anything.
3. Add lentils and coat with the ingredients already in the pan.
4. Add water, bring to a boil, season with salt & pepper, lower the heat, and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender and falling apart.
5. Adjust the seasonings as needed and serve topped with diced tomato and sliced scallions.

This is a great meal on its own or can be served on top of rice or with steamed vegetables or with a poached egg (although that will no longer count as vegan). The recipe keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

5/3/17

Carrot Oat Muffins With Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts

Who wants a bite of my Carrot Oat Muffins with Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts? They are oil free, quick to make, and are chewy, sweet and have a bit of heat from the crystallized ginger. Pull up a chair and let me tell you how these came about.


Monday I saw a tweet from my friend Liren with a link to her Carrot Oat Muffins. The photos were gorgeous, and having made a few of Liren's recipes before, I knew these would be solid.

And then I went ahead and changed about a zillion things about her original recipe ;)

First, I'm not a fan of cinnamon or nutmeg, so I took those out. I used unsweetened apple sauce instead of canola oil. And then I added some of my favorite ingredients: dates (because god know I'm lacking in the real ones!), orange zest, crystallized ginger and walnuts. 

Ta da!


Carrot Oat Muffins with Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts
Inspired and adapted from KitchenConfidante
Makes 12

Ingredients
2.5 cups grated carrots
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats (plus more for the optional topping)
zest of one orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
10 dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 muffin liners

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl combine the first ten ingredients.
3. In a smaller bowl whisk together the egg with apple sauce, two types of sugar and vanilla.
4. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry and using a scoop divide equally among twelve lined compartments of a muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with extra oats.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out relatively clean.


These aren't the ginormous muffins you'll find in Costco, but they don't need to be because they have so much flavor and sweetness and texture! Don't chop dates or walnuts or crystallized ginger too small: you want to be able to know what you are eating. 

With the oats and the dates and the apple sauce, these are basically a health food ;)

Have one or two of these for breakfast or dessert or a snack. I bet they'll freeze well too!

Thanks Liren for the inspiration!


PS Loving my henna drawing I got at work ;)

5/1/17

Meatless Monday: Spiralized Zucchini With Asparagus, Soy Sauce Egg & Avocado

Are you looking for a quick meal that's satisfying and good for you? Then you need to make my Spiralized Zucchini With Asparagus, Soy Sauce Egg & Avocado.

You don't need a spiralizer for this recipe, although it makes for a fun kitchen tool. You can use a peeler to make ribbons of zucchini or simply dice it. This dish is perfect for a light Meatless Monday lunch or dinner and is a good way to use in season asparagus. Mine came from my weekly Washington's Green Grocer order. 

The soy sauce egg makes an appearance once again...because I'm addicted to it.


Spiralized Zucchini With Asparagus, Soy Sauce Egg & Avocado
Serves 1

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 zucchini, spiralized
3 asparagus spears, sliced on a diagonal
1 garlic clove, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
1 soy sauce egg
1/2 avocado (or just go ahead and use the whole one!)

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Quickly saute zucchini, asparagus and garlic, seasoning with salt & pepper and red pepper flakes. Don't cook the vegetables to death and don't burn the garlic.
2. Serve the vegetables in a bowl {I made this one in a pottery class!} with a halved egg and avocado slices seasoned with Kosher salt.



Have a twirl of a Monday ;)

4/27/17

A Taste Of Hong Kong In Washington DC: Tiger Fork



There is no end in sight to new restaurants opening in Washington DC. How to even choose where to go? And once you settle on a new place, would it live up to its hype?

In the case of Tiger Fork, the answer is yes! Last night was my second attempt at having dinner at Tiger Fork, and this time there was no wait! I guess sometimes it pays to be patient and also showing up at 6 pm on a Wednesday works better than 7 pm on a Saturday!

Because I've never been to China, I can't attest to the authenticity of Tiger Fork, but I can tell you that the food was fantastic. The cocktail was strong, and the service was top notch.

I chose the seasonal cocktail made with the variety of citrus juices with a bit of bitters. It was almost like drinking punch, but not too sweet and definitely very refreshing. My friends and I also shared a bottle of rose. I was a bit tipsy by the end of the meal. Shocker!!


I knew I would have to try one of the most instagrammable dishes from Tiger Fork: Cheung Fun. It's hard to tell what I liked the most: the rice noodles stuffed with shrimp or the aromatic sauce. I was tempted to tell the waiter not to take the plate away before I could lick the remaining sauce, but managed to control myself. 

Turns out the name Cheung Fun comes from the fact that these noodles look like pig intestines!


Calla, Laetitia and I also shared a side of cucumber salad which offset the heaviness and fattiness (in the best way possible) of Beef Chow Foon: noodles with brisket and bok choy. I could probably eat that dish daily!

Another highlight was an order of beef patties with spicy dipping oil. Meat stuffed in dough and crisped up in a skillet? Yes, please.

We also tried the over the top dessert of two types of ice cream in freshly made waffle bowl. It was quite something ;) Have you ever tried green curry ice cream? I wasn't a fan of the savory and spicy flavor, but did appreciate the playful nature of the dish.

Basically, go get yourself to Tiger Fork! 

4/24/17

Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea & Tomato Salad Recipe

How often do you bookmark a recipe only to never actually make it? I'm trying really hard to change this habit.

Last year I bought a 3 year subscription to Real Simple: I love paging through this magazine, especially when traveling, learning about new products, reading inspirational quotes and stories, and seeing easy to make recipes. I decided I should actually make one of those recipes!


Real Simple's Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad looked like something I'd love especially after I made a few changes. I took out the pasta and added chickpeas and arugula. Instead of oregano I used scallions. I also added whole grain mustard. This is a recipe you can easily customize to your taste buds!


Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea & Tomato Salad
Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 small eggplant diced into 1/2" pieces
15.5 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups arugula
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup halved kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 475F. Drizzle cubed eggplant with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and roast in a single layer for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients. 
3. Add cooled roasted eggplant to the salad. Serve.


I loved all the flavors in this salad. If you happen not to be a fan of eggplant, substitute roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, peppers or zucchini. This salad keeps well as leftovers and I actually had it for breakfast. It'll also be perfect to take on a summer picnic!


What recipe from a magazine have you tried lately?

4/19/17

Ricotta, Potato & Asparagus Pizza Made With Oxo


My Ricotta, Potato & Asparagus Pizza is pretty easy to make, a fun twist on your typical tomato sauce based pizza, and is great as leftovers for lunch.

My friends at oxo sent me 3 new-to-me products to try and use to make this pizza, but I received no monetary compensation, and as always, all opinions are my own.
  • Non-Stick Pro Pizza Pan features a micro-textured pattern to improve airflow for even baking and rigidity for strength and durability. 
  • Complete Grate & Slice Set includes coarse and medium grating and straight and julienne slicing surfaces. Each can be used over bowls or plates or placed on top of the lid, which doubles as a container for collecting and measuring.
  • 4" Pizza Wheel's clear plastic wheel won't damage non-stick pans, and the slick surface prevents cheese from sticking.

Let's talk about the pizza pan: it has a good weight to it, browns things evenly, and can be easily used for baking cookies, free-form tarts or even roasting potatoes.

I loved the grate & slice set because of the ease of use and because all the components nest into one container!

The pizza wheel worked pretty well, but I did have to apply more pressure than I expected.

Ok, let's talk about the pizza! I need to give thanks to my twin Anna for the ricotta suggestion. The rest of the ingredients/steps were my own ;)

Ricotta, Potato & Asparagus Pizza Made With Oxo
Ingredients
olive oil
1 ball of pizza dough or rolled out dough {I purchased mine from the grocery store}
1 red skinned potato, thinly sliced 
8-10 asparagus spears, sliced lengthwise and then in half
2 ounces dry sausage or salami
1.5 cups ricotta
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan
10 basil leaves, chopped


Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly oiled pizza pan and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the pizza. You want to pre-bake it slightly before adding the rest of the ingredients.
3. Meanwhile, simmer potatoes for 5 minutes in salted water, then add asparagus and continue simmering for another 3 minutes. Drain and cool.
4. Spread ricotta on pre-baked pizza dough and season well with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange potatoes, asparagus and sausage in a fun pattern.
6. Bake pizza for 15 minutes.
7. Top the pizza with red onions, drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
8. Top with fresh basil.




Isn't this a pretty pizza? You can completely leave out the sausage if you want to keep it vegetarian.


4/11/17

Travel Tuesday: 30 Hours In Philadelphia.

If you had 30 hours in Philadelphia, what would you do?

I realize that's a random question, but that's exactly what I got to ponder last month after on a whim I decided to whisk myself to Philadelphia to celebrate my birthday.

My original idea was to get out of DC and see if I could make a reservation at Zahav. I've been obsessed with wanting to go to this well renowned Israeli restaurant for several years after falling in love with its food when Michael Solomonov had a Zahav popup in DC. I called. Surprisingly, I was able to make a 5 pm reservation at Zahav. {Tip: don't go by OpenTable. If they say there are no reservations, pick up the phone and call!}

Next came purchasing Amtrak tickets. Then I booked a hotel stay at Club Quarters. Then my good friend Laura said she'll be able to come and meet me for dinner and my friend Kelly agreed to meet me for lunch the following day. 

And then I filled in the rest of the time with food and walking around and a bit of salsa dancing.

Because this was my 5th time in Philadelphia, I've already toured The Reading Terminal Market, The Liberty Bell, ran up {who am I kidding????} walked up the Rocky steps, etc. This trip was going to be about food.

For lunch I went to Oyster House recommended by an older married Jewish man who tried to pick me up on the train. No, I did not take him up on his invitation to join me for dinner, but I'm really glad I listened to his food related recommendation. These Cape Cod oysters were some of the cleanest, plumpest and delicious I've had. I loved the oyster plates hanging on the walls of the restaurant and the entree of mussels with fries. {You can see all the photos on my instagram with #30HrPhillyBdayTrip.}


Then there was the main event: dinner at Zahav. That's my friend Laura on the left. The restaurant offered us sparkling wine to start our meal and gave me a menu with "Happy Birthday Olga" written on it. The meal was great. I think the little salads at the start of the meal were my favorites: beets, fennel, carrots, etc.  

We also shared a few plates of raw lamb, chicken skewers, Turkish hummus and ended the meal with an assortment of dessert. 

I need to say this: the service and the food were solid, but I wasn't blown away. I don't know if my expectations were too high, or family style pop up in DC was a better way to experience the meal than the tapas style in Philadelphia...I don't regret the meal at all, but like I said...I wasn't blown away.



After hanging out at my hotel for a bit I decided to go and burn a few calories salsa dancing at Brasils. Thanks to all the gentlemen for the leads. 

After checking out of the hotel and storing my bag, I went to Rival Bros for caffeine and food. Below is Daily Bread: toasted thick slices of bread slathered with butter and topped with salt and served with blueberry jam. WOW. I must have gained 2 pounds just by looking at the plate ;)



My plan after breakfast was to walk around the city and photograph some of its many murals. On my way to find the murals I discovered Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and am so happy I walked in. Other than its stunning architecture, there were paintings and sculptures by multiple artists: and it was free!




This is one of my favorite murals. I have about 14 others on my instagram feed ;) You can find a map of the murals here and even take a guided walking tour, which was unfortunately unavailable when I was visiting.




And then it was time for lunch with Kelly. Guess what? We chose Michael Solomonov's restaurant again: Rooster Soup Company. Smoked matzo ball soup and meatball sandwich were great. Chatting with Kelly and being treated to lunch by her were greater. The fact that all profits go to Broad Street Ministry was the greatest.



After lunch I did a bit of shopping and more walking around. It was a perfect Spring day. Of course I snapped photos of doors. #ihavethisthingwithdoors 



And then it was time to head back to the Amtrak station and board the train back to DC. How adorable are the swings next to the station? Dear Union Station, please take note.


But wait!! Before getting on the train, I stopped at Michael Solomonov's third restaurant in Philadelphia, Dizengoff, and picked up a bowl of hummus with brisket, a salad and pita. It was divine. This was probably some of the best hummus I've ever had, and let's not even talk about how tender and flavorful the the brisket was. I bet many of the Amtrak passengers hated me :/



In case any of you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post by Michael Solomonov ;) This was a great treat to myself to take a few days off for my birthday and spend time eating, seeing Philadelphia and catching up with friends.

4/10/17

Meatless Monday: Raw Beet & Cucumber Salad


I love salads. Last week I wanted a light dinner before going dancing and noticed two golden beets in my fridge. I decided to slice them using a mandoline and layer them with sliced cucumbers, and shallots on a bed of Boston lettuce. A simple drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice was the dressing. A bit of salt. Some pepper. Ribbons of basil.

No need to even use a fork: pick up the vegetable disks with your fingers! Imagine all the energy you'll use to chew ;)

Meatless Monday: Raw Beet & Cucumber Salad
Ingredients
Boston lettuce leaves
golden beets, scrubbed well, sliced into thin disks
English cucumber, thinly sliced
shallot, thinly sliced
olive oil
lemon juice
salt & pepper
basil leaves, cut into ribbons {chiffonade}

Directions
1. Layer Boston leaves on a plate. 
2. Make an appealing design with beet and cucumber slices.
3. Scatter shallot slices.
4. Drizzle your creation with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Top with basil.

This salad is pretty. It's perfect for Meatless Monday. It's vegan. It's raw. It's whole30 approved. Best thing? It's really refreshing and delicious.

4/5/17

Passover, Easter Or Mother's Day Menu: Easy Spring Entertaining With Lamb

Whether you are looking for a Passover, Easter Or Mother's Day menu, I have you covered with my Garlic & Za'atar Roasted Leg of Lamb with Harissa Potatoes, Za'atar Carrots and Peas with Shallots and Basil. Entertaining at home doesn't have to be stressful or complicated.


Last week I received a bone-in leg of lamb from Superior Farms and a challenge of creating an easy Spring menu. I decided to invite a few friends over for Sunday lunch and began a mental list of ideas for what to do with the lamb. I thought about using my pressure cooker, but settled on roasting the lamb using the method from Martha Stewart. Martha would not disappoint, right? RIGHT!

For the 3.5 pound bone-in leg of lamb:
1 day before your meal, combine 6 minced garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons za'atar, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil and rub all over the lamb. Cover in aluminum foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.



Every time I opened the refrigerator, the garlic aroma hit me in the face. It was magnificent.

The day of the lunch, make sure to take out the lamb out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before starting the roasting process. Count backwards!


1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Set a leg of lamb on 3 thick slices of onion in an oiled baking dish. Or you can use a roasting rack.
3. After 20 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350F and insert a thermometer into the lamb without touching the bone. I used one of those thermometers that has a cord that comes out of the oven and is connected to the device that allows you to set the goal temperature.
4. Roast the lamb until the internal temperature reaches 130F {about 50 minutes}, then broil for 5 minutes.
5. Allow the lamb to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

This was a great way to cook a leg of lamb. It was tender and juicy and not overcooked. Next time I think I'll take out the lamb when it has reached 120 or 125 degrees for a more rare result. Note: leftover lamb is great thinly sliced on a salad or a sandwich. Don't reheat it.

For the vegetables
Simmer halved small potatoes and whole carrots until tender while the lamb is in the oven. Brush potatoes with harissa and olive oil mixture. Brush carrots with za'atar and olive oil mixture. Season with salt {I forgot this part}. Once the lamb is out of the oven and resting, roast the vegetables in a single layer at 450F for about 20 minutes.

Saute thinly sliced shallot in a bit of olive oil, add defrosted peas, heat through and add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and basil right before serving.

The whole menu came together perfectly!

Have your friends bring dessert and rose and you'll be all set.


Don't forget the flowers.


What are your suggestions for easy entertainment?

Disclosure: I received leg of lamb as a present from Superior Farms but no other compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

4/3/17

Meatless Monday: Watermelon, Asparagus & Feta Salad


I love a sweet, juicy watermelon for snack or dessert, but also love mixing it into salads. A few weeks ago I was bored out of my mind and made a whimsical salad from watermelon cubes, blanched asparagus, feta and red onions. Drizzle the arranged salad with chili olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Of course you can also mix all of the ingredients together, but why not play with your food?

3/31/17

Spring Cleaning With OXO Containers: Organize Your Pantry & Clean Your Home

Do you dread Spring cleaning? Join the club. I'm not a fan of cleaning, but I do like organizing. Thanks to 3 products from OXO, cleaning and organizing your kitchen, and your home in general, can be less painful and even a bit of fun.

I've been in a relationship {ha!} with OXO for years and was happy to receive a few gifts from them. I wasn't paid for this post and all opinions are my own. Trust me, I've spent plenty of my own $$ to support this company :)

First up, 10-Piece POP Container Set. This is my second set.  I fell in love with these containers a few years ago and have purchased additional individual containers to store everything from panko crumbs to brown sugar. 

POP Containers: Stackable and space-efficient, POP Containers are designed for modular use, so you can organize in any number of height combinations to fit your countertop and pantry. Push-button mechanism creates an airtight seal with just one touch. Corners are shaped for pouring.

I've used this set to streamline my pantry cabinet and also store a few cleaning items such as dish sponges and laundry detergent thingies

One of the things I like the most about this set is how versatile it is. You don't have to use any particular container for a specific ingredient. Finish eating all those almonds? Refill the container with pistachios or sunflower seeds. You get to mix and match and rearrange to your heart's desire. You can see everything you have and know when it's time to refill your staples. 




Moving on. I make coffee in my French Press almost daily but really hate cleaning the metal parts. I usually rinse them and hope for the best. Boy, did I see the difference in cleanliness once I used Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Set. You can see how much cleaner the photo on the right is. 

Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Set: This versatile, compact Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Set features durable nylon brushes and scrapers that can get into your kitchen fixtures and appliances' tight spaces and get unsightly buildup out of them. Tools snap together into clip for storage.


And finally Microfiber Under Appliance Duster. One of the only cleaning tasks I don't mind is vacuuming. I vacuum everything from the rug in my bedroom to hardwood floors throughout my living room and dining room to tiled floors in my bathroom and kitchen. But I've never really thought about all the gross mess that is underneath the refrigerator and oven: you can't really get to that mess with a vacuum cleaner, but you can with this skinny long duster! Luckily I did not find any dead bugs.

Microfiber Under Appliance Duster: Our Slim Duster features a long, flat profile to go where other dusters don't: around and underneath appliances and cabinets. The long, fluffy fibers conform to uneven surfaces to capture dust bunnies. To clean the head, simply unsnap it and wash in cold water, then dry without heat.


So there you go: 3 tools to organize and clean your home. Go get that Spring cleaning done!