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!

3/27/17

Meatless Monday: Vegan Eggplant, Red Onion & Crispy Kale Stacks

Are you looking for a fast Meatless Monday lunch or dinner that uses random produce in your refrigerator? I have a versatile recipe for you: Vegan Eggplant, Red Onion & Crispy Kale Stacks.


I know it may seem like I eat a lot of vegetarian meals, which is not really the case, but I do like vegetables and tend to prepare them in simple ways that have a wow factor at the same time.

Friday night before going salsa dancing I wanted to make a quick healthy dinner because I knew the weekend will include a few meals out with boozy beverages.

I had a random eggplant from my Washington's Green Grocer delivery and kale that have seen better days. I've been trying hard not to waste food, and decided to use the two ingredients as inspiration for the meal.

Meatless Monday: Vegan Eggplant, Red Onion & Crispy Kale Stacks
Ingredients
olive oil
eggplant, sliced into 1/4" planks
salt and pepper
red onion, sliced into 1/4" disks
kale leaves, sliced into ribbons
marinara sauce

Directions
1. Grill, broil or saute eggplant and onion (separately) brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. I used a panini maker to grill my vegetables.
2. In a hot cast iron skillet heat a bit of olive oil and saute kale until crispy. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat marinara sauce.
4. Stack your ingredients: eggplant, red onion, marinara and crispy kale. Repeat.

How is this recipe versatile?
1) You can make individual stacks or lasagna.
2) Don't like eggplant? Use zucchini or red peppers.
3) For a non-vegan option, add cheese: feta, mozzarella or goat cheese!
4) Try rolling the eggplant with the other ingredients inside instead of stacking them.

Enjoy!

3/24/17

Weekend Inspiration: Flower Power


3/20/17

Meatless Monday: Fennel & Gigante Beans Robust Salad

I believe in lettuce-free salads. Yes, occasionally I use Romaine or Boston lettuce (or arugula and spinach), but usually my salads rely on other ingredients as their base. In this case, I used fennel and Gigante beans with a few fun additions to make a robust salad that can stand on its own as a meal.


Meatless Monday: Fennel & Gigante Beans Robust Salad
Ingredients
fennel, thinly sliced
Gigante beans {or any other white beans you like}
hearts of Palm, thinly sliced
radishes, thinly sliced
capers
olive oil
Meyer lemon juice
salt & pepper

Directions
1. Mix together the first five ingredients. 
2. Dress the salad with Meyer lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.


This is the perfect salad for Meatless Monday and first day of Spring. I can't wait until it's tomato season though!!

3/13/17

Savory Oatmeal: Put A Soy Sauce Egg On It!


This Savory Oatmeal with Soy Sauce Egg is so good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

There's really no recipe per se. Make oatmeal whichever way you usually cook it (but make sure to leave out sugar!). Add halved soy sauce egg, sliced tomatoes, fresh parsley and thinly sliced shallots and drizzle with olive oil and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Ta da! I much prefer savory oatmeal over the sweet one, and this idea is great for Meatless Monday.

Tell me how you eat oatmeal!

3/10/17

Weekend Inspiration DIY: How To Paint A Modern Canvas For Your Bedroom

Want to do something crafty this chilly weekend that will immediately transform the look of any room in your home? Take an old canvas art piece (unless it's original Van Gogh or something like that) and paint it over! 

WARNING: there is no food involved in this post ;)

Below is a photograph of my bedroom with a canvas from World Market I've had for 6 years. It's pretty, but I've been wanting something modern and graphic for a while.


When I saw the photograph below on West Elm's instagram, I knew what I would need to do. No, not buy the image in the photo...try to recreate it!



Step 1: cover the old canvas with 3 coats of paint making sure to let each coat to dry thoroughly before painting the next one. Depending on the color you choose and the original color of your canvas, you may need more or fewer coats of paint.
Step 2: paint the design of your choice.
Step 3: allow the paint to dry completely.
Step 4: hang your new art piece!


At first I wasn't completely sure what I thought of my new art piece, but after living with it a few days, I really like it!!! And the best part: it cost me nothing because I already had the paint!

Go do something creative this weekend!


3/8/17

Put An Egg On It: Soy Sauce Eggs With Togarashi

Looking for a fun twist on eggs? I've been loving these Soy Sauce Eggs With Togarashi and have made them twice during the last week and a half.


I remember the time when I was against joining instagram. What was I thinking? Why do I have to be such a late convert to new technology? Now people probably wish I stayed off instagram and did not post a zillion photographs...but that's not my problem ;)

One of the reasons I love instagram is that it serves as inspiration for places to visit, books to read, and recipes to make. Recently I saw a photo of Momofuku soy eggs on Laura's instagram and decided I needed to make them as soon as possible! 


The recipe that Laura used and that I used as a template comes from Food52. After reading the comments, however, and using some common sense, I knew I'd have to make several changes.

1) I changed the method for cooking the eggs.
2) I decreased the refrigeration time because a) I did not have the patience to wait the original two hours and b) after 1.5 hours the eggs were plenty salty. I can't imagine what they'd taste like after six hours even if using low sodium soy sauce. Oy.

Soy Sauce Eggs With Togarashi

Ingredients
4 eggs
6 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar {I used 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, but you can use whatever you have on hand}
3/4 cups soy sauce
4 eggs
togarashi {read my previous post about my obsession}
toast
avocado
tomatoes

Directions
1. Place the eggs into a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn off the heat and let stand for 8 minutes.
2. Remove the eggs from the hot water, dunk them into a large bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes and peel after about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in the warm water and whisk in vinegar and soy sauce.
4. I found it best to use a tall container for marinating the eggs. Place the eggs in the tall container, pour over soy sauce mixture and refrigerate for 1.5 hours. I used a small saucer to push down the eggs so they were fully immersed in the solution.
5. Remove the eggs and serve halved or quartered topped with togarashi with a side of toast, avocado and tomatoes.
6. If you aren't going to use all the eggs at once, store the remaining eggs in a separate container from the soy sauce mixture, which you could reuse later!


I LOVED these! The yolk was slightly undercooked, there was no need to add any salt, and the togarashi added great texture and a bit of heat.

Come back to see another way I ate these eggs later this week or next week or go check out my instagram feed ;)

3/6/17

Meatless Monday: Avocado & Mango Toast With Togarashi

If you love avocado toasts as much as I do and are looking to make a few upgrades to this well-deserved food trend, you need to make my Avocado & Mango Toast With Togarashi.


I write about my food obsessions quite a bit. Avocado toast. Savory oatmeal. Halva. Well, add togarashi to that list. Togarashi is a Japanese mix of seven ingredients that includes chili peppers, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, nori and mandarin peel to name a few.

I found a jar of togarashi in my spice cabinet and decided to start experimenting with it. I'm a fan of the bright color, the distinct flavor and the variety of textures packed into one jar.


Meatless Monday: Avocado & Mango Toast With Togarashi

Ingredients
challah, sliced, toasted
avocado, sliced
mango, peeled and sliced
salt 
togarashi

Directions
1. Top challah toast with alternating slices of avocado and mango.
2. Sprinkle the toast with salt and togarashi.


Sweet, savory and spicy: you get it all in one bite!

Stay tuned for another recipe featuring togarashi!

Questions for you: 

1) what's your favorite take on avocado toast? 
2) how do you like to use togarashi?