Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spicy Veggies & Rice

Hey everyone! I wanted to share a quick recipe that I threw together for Shabbos dinner last night! I had never made this before, and I was just trying to see what I could come up with with the ingredients that I had on hand. It came out delicious though, and I see myself making it over and over and over again! You'll notice that some of the amounts are uh, less than exact. That's because I was just adding things in until I got the taste that I wanted. Sorry.


Spicy Veggies & Rice

 

  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1 tsp chicken consume 
  • 1 lbs. mixed veggies (I used corn, carrots, beans and peas... frozen)
  • ~1/8 cup Sriracha (Rooster Sauce)
  • ~1/4 cup soy sauce
  • ~1/4 cup honey (possibly less)
  • Powdered ginger (a few good shakes)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (A healthy splash)

Step 1. Prepare the rice with the consume, set aside.

Step 2. Prepare the veggies according to the instructions on the package. Or, if you're feeling fancy, go ahead and chop and steam some fresh veggies. I won't judge you.

Step 3.Make the sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small frying pan (or pot), and heat over medium until everything is integrated. Then add in a slurry of 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tsp water. Bump the heat up a bit until the sauce starts to thicken.

Step 4. This step is really complicated, so pay close attention: Put rice, veggies and sauce in a bowl. Stir.

That's it! You're done! Eat and enjoy! I served this as a side dish with some baked chicken, but I think that it could go nicely with so many delicious dinners (or snacks). I want to try it in burritos, or mixed with chicken and served that way. I've already had a request to bring this to a dinner party, so wish me luck on that.

Anyway, that's all for now, so enjoy! And if you make this recipe, let me know down in the comments! I'd love to see what you guys come up with!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!


Happy New Year's, and Happy 2016! 
I can already tell that this year's going to be great!



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

10 Minute "Grilled" Cheese, With NO Oil!

"Grilled" Cheese, sans OIL

Okay, I'm going to keep this super quick today, because this sandwich is only going to take you 10 minutes to make! Seriously. Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to ~350 degrees, and let's get started!

Gather up your supplies. I like whole-wheat bread and three slices of American cheese, but you can mix and match breads and cheeses, this is not an exact science, after all. You will also need two (2) cookies sheets, and one (1) large piece of aluminum foil (or a silicone baking mat if you have one!).

I love my baking mats, and I highly recommend them!

Assemble your sandwich however you like, and when you're ready, take the second cookie sheet, and go ahead and put it on top of your sandwich. Yes, you read that correctly, on top. Still with me?

Yup, just like that

 Now go ahead and put the whole shebang in your heated oven, and leave it alone for about 10 minutes. That's all it's going to take before you get a beautiful, scrumptious, perfectly toasted "grilled" cheese sandwich, without any OIL!


Your results may vary, but I promise you, it'll be yum. I recommend dipping in ketchup, but that's just me.

Enjoy!
 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chair Rail, Yes It's DIY!

Before I get started telling you guys all about our latest DIY project, I want to share a quick "before" picture with you. That way, at the end of the post, you can really appreciate what a difference a little bit of DIY-TLC can make in a single room.


This is one of the two back bedrooms in our house. Please ignore all of the crap that the seller never bothered cleaning up, and try to concentrate on how boring and ugly the room is.



The right-side "purple" bedroom

When we first saw the house, we had to look past how cluttered and boring everything was to see the true potential of the spaces. We knew right away that we wanted the house, but we also knew that it was going to take some work to really make the spaces look unique and beautiful. Paint and blinds helped, but there was more to be done.

Before we had the house painted, we decided that we wanted to have the two back bedrooms multi-colored, and that we would use a chair-rail to split up the walls. So we picked out colors we thought would look nice together, marked a level pencil-line in each room (with the help of a laser-level gifted to us by my husband's best friend), and told the painter to have at it.
Then, we crossed our fingers and hopped to hell it wouldn't look too weird and messed up. But when we finally saw the results, we couldn't have been happier. It looked amazing!

The left-side "Blue" bedroom



But wait, you say. You had the house painted professionally? That's not DIY! Well, you're right, we didn't DIO. But there's a reason for that. The house needed to get painted before we could move in, and we were on a fairly strict time-line. We needed to be out of our apartment by July 31st, and neither of us really had the time to dedicate to painting. Besides, the professional that we hired not only did the painting, but all of the prep-work too. You know, patching and sanding and mudding and all of that not-so-fun stuff. I was very happy that we hired this particular job out (even though I originally wanted to DIO), and he did an amazing job. As you can see.

I know this blog is about DIY though, and I promise, we're getting to that point. Okay, now that the paint was on the walls, it was time to put up the chair-rail, and at this point, we were committed to the project. Unless we wanted to have that lovely white gap showing between the paint-colors... Uh no. So we picked up some chair-rail, and got started. Te chair-rail was actually a gift from my uncle, a contractor, who had some left-over from a job he had done recently. He was even nice enough to drive it over to our house, since the 16ft lengths wouldn't exactly fit into either of our cars.

Our first priority was getting that stuff cut down to size, so we took some careful measurements, and got started cutting. It was a little tricky, because we had some odd angles to account for, and ended up having to cut some really tiny pieces to fit our unique space. My advise? If you've never done chair-rail before, try to start in a room that's pretty much square, since you're already going to have to cut mitered corners, and compound angles are just going to be confusing at first. We started in the purple bedroom, which was more or less sqaure.

Once we had all of those pieces cut and dry-fitted (we held them up on the walls together to make sure that they would pretty much fit), we moved onto the blue bedroom. It was trickier, but eventually we got everything cut and ready to paint.

See all those tiny pieces?

We then laid everything out in the garage, where it could be painted and dry undisturbed. It's really nice to have spaces (like the garage) to work in. It's a nice change from painting things out on our 3rd floor balcony, and hoping that we didn't drip on the neighbors!

We had a lot of left-over paint from doing the house, and the chair-rail got one coat (it was pre-primed) of the same color that all of our trim was painted. This way everything will be matchey-matchey. Now all that was left to do was to attach it to the wall. In exactly the right spot. And have it all be level, and pretty... No big deal, right? Right...

Out comes the laser-level again, this time to line up exactly where we want the top of the chair-rail to go. We didn't need to mark the wall, since the laser line was plainly visible, and we could just line the top of the rail up with that. Then I held things in place while my husband came along with the nail-gun and did his thing. A few times, I was even brave enough to try my hand at using the nail-gun!




The trickiest bits were those tiny weird corner-pieces, and when it came time to figure them out I was very glad that we got a chance to practice on the big squared corners in the purple room. Don't know that we would have been able to get everything sorted otherwise. But we did, and everything ended up on the wall more or less where it was supposed to go.

We did end up having to fill a couple of gaps, where small pieces didn't quite meet-up. But that's what caulking is for. And to be honest, we had to caulk anyway, to cover-up the nail holes.

And really, that was it! Chair-rail, easy DIY. Okay, maybe not easy, but totally DIY. I promise you, if we could do this, you can do this. It just takes a little bit of patience, and the willingness to end up with something that doesn't necessarily look 100% professional. Because guess what? It's not. You did it yourself! And it'll look beautiful:






Monday, August 31, 2015

Super-Easy Veggie "Chili"

Okay, I was going to write about more home-improvement DIY type projects, but I thought I'd take a little break and talk about food instead, because you know, everybody's got to eat.
So today, rather than regal you with tales of my DIY prowess, I'm going to share a quick, easy and absolutely delicious recipe with you. Because I like food, and I think you probably like food too, and I especially like food that is quick and easy to make.

So, without further ado:

Super-Easy Vegetarian "Chili"

 
 
 
First of all, I'm putting chili in quotes because this is not going to be the type of chili you cook and simmer for hours, so therefore, some people might say it's not "real" chili. I don't care. It's yummy, and I enjoy eating it. So there. Second, YES! this is vegetarian! You could easily add meat though, if you are so inclined. My husband and I are not vegetarians, but we do like to have a lot of meat-free dishes. Why? 1, because meat is expensive, and we can't really afford to be eating it every single night. 2. because we keep kosher, and can't mix milk and meat. So if we want our food to be cheesy, we go vegetarian.
 
Alright, enough chat, on with the recipe! You will need...
 
  • 1 package (~16oz) Morningstar Farms Crumbles (you could substitute any veggie-meat you like, or real meat!)
  • 1/2 can cooked kidney beans
  • 1/2 can cooked cannellini beans
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (if you can get the kind with chilies in them, good!)
  • 1/8 or 1/4 tsp chili powder: depending on how spicy you want it
  • 2-3 tbsp. tomato paste: to thicken it up
 
Now this recipe is really complicated, so pay attention:
 
Step 1: Put everything in a pot, and stir over med-high heat until cooked and delicious.
 
Got it? I know, I know, so much work. But trust me, it's worth it. ;op Seriously though, this is such a quick and easy meal, I can't even tell you how much I love it. Now, if you are using real meat, you might need to cook things a bit longer, to ensure that your meat is cooked through. Since I use veggie-meat, I don't worry as much about this, and really just heat & stir until things are nice and hot.
 
If you want to make your meal extra yum, you can serve it with cornbread. I'm not going to give you my recipe, since I just use the one that comes on the can of corn-meal, and besides, I'm sure Pinterest has one or two recipes you could try.
 
 
Okay, so that's it! My super-easy vegetarian "chili". Feel free to substitute anything you want. More beans, less tomato, more spices, whatever! If you make changes, and it comes out good, let me know here in the comments! I'd love to see what you guys can do with such a basic simple recipe, and I'll try your substitutions if they sound yummy to me!
 
Stay tuned next time for more DIY, and maybe some cooking. We'll see.
 

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Little Paint (and Blinds) Go a Long Way...

It's amazing what a difference a little paint will make on a house. When we first looked at our new house, we tried to see its potential, but it was hard to get past the drab and boring walls. We knew that if we bought it, we were going to have to paint, like, right away.

And we did! And it made a huge difference!

Not only did it transform our walls from drab to fab (sorry, couldn't resist), but it was the first real step towards making this space feel like it actually belongs to us. Our apartment took a very long time to feel like "home" to me; bu despite the fact that we've only lived in the house for 3 weeks (and we were out of town for 10 days of that), and its still full of mess and boxes, it already feels like we've always lived here; and I think a lot of that is because we put our "stamp" on this property right away. That way, by the time we started actually like, moving our furniture in, the place already felt homey and familiar.

So, this won't be a long post, but I just wanted to share a few of the color choice we made, and show you how just a little bit of paint made our house feel so much more like a home.

Living room

Kitchen
Bedroom (converted attic)

I've got two other rooms to show you guys, but I think I'm going to save them for the next post because, well... you'll see!

We also put up blinds before we moved in, so that we could work on the house without passers-by wandering up to our windows and pressing their faces up against the glass for a better look (I'm just kidding, no one did that). And as my husband pointed out "it makes the house look less like a... uh... fishbowl." Always a good thing.
We installed the blinds ourselves, and after a bit of back and forth to Home Depot (3 trips in 1 day!), it was actually fairly cheap, and really easy to do. I'm not going to go over the steps, because blind kits come with instructions, and the whole process was actually super easy. I will show you some pictures though:






And that's about it for today. Stay tuned for more DIY home-improvement projects, and some Pennsic blogging, and general nonsense. You know, the usual.