My Home Life

 

Cloche Jewelry Holder

Cloche Jewelry Holder

Cloche Jewelry Holder

What a fabulous way to store jewelry. The decorative glass cloche also helps to keep tarnish at bay.

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Kale Chips that I made yesterday:}

I purchased a juicer even though I already had a Vita Mix blender because I don’t always want a smoothie like consistency to my drinks. I had a ton of Kale in my fridge since I use it as the base for most of my drinks. After talking on Twitter about juicing I was given great advice on how to make Kale Chips so I thought I’d give it a try. I purchased the curly variety and bought 3 bunches of which I used 1 bunch to make my chips with. The recipe that I tried was:

1 bunch of Kale
1 Tbs of Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Paprika

Preheat oven to 350

-Thoroughly wash the leaves to remove any dirt and any pesticides. {I use Environne veggie wash and you’d be amazed at how much stuff comes off of your fruit and vegetables}
-Cut the bitter green stems away from the leaves (I used kitchen scissors and made quick work of them)
-Use a salad spinner to get the leaves completely dry and if needed pat them down with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
-Get a large bowl and combine the oil, salt and paprika (If you’d like) and use your hands to make sure the leaves are fully coated.

Use either parchment paper or a lined baking sheet and lay them down evenly.
Bake for 10-12 minutes carefully watching to make sure the leaves don’t turn brown because those parts will be bitter.

Voila!

When you remove them from the oven and take your first bite, you’ll be amazed at their wonderful crunch. It’s like eating a salty potato chip yet there’s a nice briney, seaweed type back note that floats on the palette. I made two batches and ate the first batch alone. In fact in the photo it looks a bit light because I kept eating them.  My son loved them and thought they were fabulous but my daughter who’s picky only ate a couple before deciding she didn’t like the green flavor, but then again she doesn’t like dark greens so I wasn’t really surprised.

I plan on experimenting and maybe mixing in fresh garlic and maybe a flavored sea salt next time.

Yum.

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So I have a ritual that I partake in every morning, it’s my morning cappuccino. This is the same ritual that thousands of people partake in every morning..some out of habit or some because they seriously need the caffeine. I fall in both categories.

my morning cappuccino {today was caramel, banana with chocolate infused soy}

I am a total grump without my morning coffee and I’ve tested this theory more than once, holding out as long as I can and determining my mood stinks without it. Yes folks, I’m a ray of fricken sunshine without my morning Joe, there I said it. It’s become a habit that I don’t really want to break since I’ve invested so much into creating the perfect coffee cabinet. {I have a tea cabinet but that’s a whole other story}

I have about 18 syrups to create any good or "bad" flavored coffees

I have a lot of different flavored syrups so that I can blend my favorite flavors and through experimentation I’ve learned to stick with combinations that I’d actually consume in real life. My favorite is something I call the Elvis. It’s a blend of Banana and Peanut Butter syrups and it’s yummy. I’ve even started flavoring my Soy Milk that I put into my frother with chocolate sugar, so that the frothy goodness has a hint of flavor. Mmmmmm

The machine that creates my morning magic is my Citiz Nespresso machine and I love this thing. In fact, I love my Nespresso machine so much that I if someone broke into my house I’d threaten them to leave it. I need my coffee fix that bad. This is actually my second machine that I’ve owned and I absolutely love it. When I have guests they always want for me to make them a cappuccino, so at times I feel like a Barista which is pretty cool. It’s not unusual for guests to have two cups while they visit, I make them that good.

So there you have it, I’ve admitted I’m a coffee junkie and that I have a hard time functioning without my once a day morning fix. If any emails are answered before my morning cup, my tone is definitely different so I try to not respond to emails before I’m fully caffeinated.

Cappuccinos = Happy Andrea ☺

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Quinoa

October 27, 2010

in Food/Drink,My Home Life

So I decided to try my hand at making Quinoa {KEEN-wah} today since I’m trying to eat more healthy and want to find better alternatives to rice. I already successfully convinced my kids that Couscous is yummy and they now have no issue eating it. The first time however, when I introduced them to Couscous they complained about the texture every single time I made it. I’ve found with enough chicken broth, anything can be palatable to kids. So I decided to move on to Quinoa.

I guess I didn’t pay enough attention to why you must soak and rinse Quinoa thoroughly but I found out today. My Quinoa came out bitter and even with chicken broth it was hardly worth trying to make the kids eat it. I received a hot tip from one of my twitter pals to pour a little Balsamic Vinegar over the top so I gave it a try and it tasted much better. I’ll have to wait until my next batch to spring my concoction upon my unsuspecting children. Maybe next time I’ll add in bits of cauliflower and broccoli for a bit of crunch and color.

On a good note, I found a fabulous food blog called 101 Cookbooks that had a lot of Quinoa recipes for me to try so I’m hopeful. On a side note..I wonder how many of us could have averted a culinary disaster simply by reading the directions?

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Pasta, Pasta

August 26, 2010

in Food/Drink,My Home Life


So when I’m in a time crunch, I’ll resort to making pasta. It’s fast to make and everyone is always happy with the finished result.

My new love is slices of fresh Parmesan cheese that I now use instead of the grated container variety. My kids even prefer it as well. At first they made faces and didn’t want to try it but they soon caught on and this is the first thing they grab out of the fridge when I yell, “Pasta’s Done!”

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Hydrangeas

August 21, 2010

in My Home Life,Photography

So I have a large collection of gorgeous Hydrangeas that I planted in my garden last year. Some are growing wildly while some are taking their sweet time. Before the season ends I like to go into my garden and get the prettiest pom poms that I can find to bring them in the house to dry. This way I can enjoy them during the winter months when my garden goes bare.

I was taking product photos today and decided to see how one of my dried multi colored Hydrangeas would look in my light studio. After playing around, I like the final results.


This is the normal shade of this particular Hydrangea that I dried.


This is with a color wash..


A black and white vintage version..

See what procrastination can do to a person? Ok, I need to get back to work. :P

hugs,

Andrea

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So I must have coffee every morning. Well, not just “any” coffee, it has to be Nespresso espresso. I’ve become a coffee snob, yes folks a coffee snob. Peet’s and Starbucks just doesn’t cut it anymore. Starbucks cappuccino’s are watered down and Peet’s Coffee is just rocket fuel in a cup, rather unpleasant if you like a nice rich flavored Cappuccino. All of this is my friend’s fault. I blame her for my coffee snobbery. She introduced me to my first heavenly espresso about 3 years ago and ever since then I can’t turn back.

Their espresso’s are rich and have several notes in them depending on the variety that you choose. I always opt for Cappucinno’s or Latte’s because I love my frothy soy goodness mixed with different flavor Torani syrups. Some of my favorite combinations have been peanut butter and blackberry (PBJ), chocolate and coconut (yum) or banana cupcake (double yum). I have about 15 different syrups that I experiment with so every morning I have something different.

Right now I just enjoyed a peanut butter and vanilla cappuccino with a dusting of chocolate powder (image above) and now I’m ready to start my day.

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? Yogurt

July 10, 2010

in Food/Drink,My Home Life

I had a wonderful healthy breakfast this morning using Organic Soy yogurt and Blackberries. I’ve never tried Soy yogurt before so when I found Wholesoy on one of my trips to Whole Foods I decided to give it a try. I bought the plain variety and added my blackberries and sprinkled them with Organic Raw Sugar as well as a little bit of Honey. Very fabulous way to start the day.

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