Monday, May 28, 2012

A Peek Into My Craft Corner

So I mentioned before that I had moved (way back at the end of March).  The move resulted in a tiny bit more space, but more importantly, the layout drastically improved in our new apartment.  Well technically it is a condo, not an apartment (what's the difference, anyone know?) but anyway.  In our old apartment the master bedroom was where our bed was and where I had all my stuff as well (the boy used the second bedroom as his office).  I had some bookshelves and an old student desk to work at.  I found the setup inconvenient and I almost never did my crafting at my desk.  Instead I setup TV trays in the living room when I wanted to work on things.  In this place, because the size of the smaller bedroom would make the boy claustrophobic if it was his office and we can't put the bed in the same room with the boy's computer because I can't fall asleep when he's next to me screaming about hoards of zombies in his game, it means that the master bedroom is a dual office.  He gets half the room for his books and computer and I get half for my books and crafts.  Thus I present to you my crafting corner!

As much as I would have liked to buy a nice fancy L or U shaped desk for my new craft zone, I tried to save money and re-purposed things that I already have.  Between my old desk (which I should mention was a Kmart purchase about 15+ years ago) and a table we used in the old kitchen, I got a good L shape going. I use TV trays as needed for extra space.  I also need to do a bit of cleaning but it harshes my mellow man. ;)  I'm really happy with my corkboard to-do thingy.  Provides inspiration in the event that I sit down and don't know what to do.

Despite the abundance of cooking posts I have also been working on my crafts and I will be sharing my progress with you shortly.

Until next time!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cooking Week 21: Crepes

This week's theme is French which I was thrilled about.  I don't know if I've mentioned it before but the boy and I went to Paris a few years ago and I loved everything about it- especially the food!  After I spent most of the week debating what to make I finally settled on Crepes with sugar and butter.

They aren't as good as the ones I had in Paris,  but eating them still reminded me of walking around the streets, taking the metro, and falling face first into the middle of the street because that's just the sort of clutz I am.

Before I share the recipe I suppose I should share what I made for last week's challenge.

Yeah...That's burned rice.  Like really really burned brown rice.  It was going to be the start of a fried rice dish but instead we had takeout that night.  I like to call this dish Fire Rice! and yes the exclamation point is important.  I made brown rice once more since then and undercooked it.  Obviously I need some serious brown rice practice.

Anyway, back to delicious crepes.  I grabbed the recipe from Le Cordon Bleu cookbook (because hey- Le Cordon Bleu) and followed the sweet crepe recipe.

3/4 c. flour, 2 T. sugar and a pinch of salt sifted into a bowl.  My sugar and salt is too coarse so it doesn't really sift well, but the flour is the most important bit.  Make a well in the center and crack 2 eggs into it, add 1/2 t. vanilla, and 1/3 c. milk.

Whisk together until smooth and add 3 T. melted and cooled unsalted butter and 2/3 c. milk.  Whisk together until combined.

Let batter rest 30 minutes at room temp.

When ready to make the crepes brush a crepe pan with melted butter.  I think I used an omelette pan and I melted the butter right in the pan because I was lazy.  Pour some crepe batter in the pan and swirl to cover.  The book says 2T but I was using closer to 1/4 c.   Cook until golden brown on one side and flip and cook the other side.

As you can see my swirling is not always the best.

Butter lightly and sprinkle with sugar then fold in four.  Eat and dream of Paris!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cooking Week 19: 4 Ingredient Spanish Rice

One of my go-to meals fit in perfectly with this week's challenge of 5 ingredients or less.  I love making Spanish rice because its easy and I always have the ingredients in the house.

The 5 ingredients are:

1 lb of ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes (standard size, 15 ounces ish)
1 cup rice (white or brown)

You start by browning the ground beef with the onions (salt and pepper beef as desired, these don't count as ingredients).

Add rice and mix.  Add can of tomatoes.  Add water as directed by package but just a little less to account for liquid in tomatoes.  For my brown rice it was just a little less than 2 cups of water.

Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook as directed by rice package.  For this time it meant my brown rice had to cook for 50 minutes.

Serve and eat!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Cooking Week 18: Quinoa Salad

I DESPISE all dressings.  Either they are of the creamy sort, which I hate, or they have vinegar, which I also hate.  I still love salads though.  The deliciousness of the veggies are plenty for me, I don't need to drown them in some other flavor to enjoy them.  No matter how much I like them, however, it wouldn't be particularly exciting to post a picture of a plain green salad for salad week.  Instead I pulled out the box of Quinoa that's been sitting in my cabinet for at least 6 months waiting for me to work up the courage to try something new and came up with this:

I made the Quinoa according to the box's instructions but used chicken broth instead of water.  When it was cooked, I chilled it then threw in some other things.  I cooked and crumbled a few pieces of bacon, chopped up a tomato, shredded some asiago, drizzled some olive oil, and sprinkled some garlic on.  I shook it all up and ate it chilled and I am now a Quinoa fan.  Delish!!  I'm going to add more tomatoes in before I eat the leftovers, because I thought it could use a bit more.