Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Zucchini Boats


I love zucchini. I love vegetables in general and when I get a chance I will push myself to come up with new, inspirational and fun recipes to add to any dinner or lunch. I originally saw the recipe over at as the wine cork turns but always knew I wanted to created the zucchini dish my grandma used to make. This comes very close. Best part? It is very easy and you can pretty much do with it whatever you want to do. Oh, yes, excuse the above photo with the potholders underneath the form...felt like they wanted to be part of the whole show here.

Here's what you need:

3 zucchini
mozzarella or/and cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
cream cheese
and whatever topping you'd like to have on it
I used: green onion {thinly sliced}, bacon, and mushroom {literally emptied the fridge}

Here's what you do:

wash zucchini, and cut in two long halves
microwave those halves for about 20/25 seconds so they are slightly softer
take a spoon and scoop out the zucchini guts and set those guts aside in a bowl
place boat like zucchinis in a pyrex or so

add salt and pepper to the bowl
slice the mushrooms however you want {I tried to make it into small cubes}
slice onion or tomatoes or whatever else you have and add to the bowl
slice the bacon {I used applewood, uncooked} and add to the bowl as well
mix it all

add softened cream cheese to the mixture. add just enough to bind it all together.
season to taste {next time I will try curry}
sprinkle some mozarella/cheddar cheese into the mixture and give it another gentle stir

then put the whole mixture onto those zucchini boats
sprinkle with more cheese {I used mozarella only}
put in heated oven at 350F, for about 30minutes

 

There you go.
It's that simple.
Next time I use more bacon, add some curry or paprika powder to it but will keep it simple. I don't want to overload it with ingredients because the boats can only so much, you know?!

Happy trying it out. It will be delicious, and make a good leftover dish, too.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

12 Healthy and Relaxing Bath Ideas

With temperatures dropping the time has come for more bubble baths. During summer I never took a bath. California is known for its constant drought, so why waste extra water just to soak up when it is actually 100 outside? Exactly. When it cools down though, and the state doesn't tell you to preserve water etc, then it is time again. Plus, I am cold all the time I need my warm baths. 


I found this over here on Picklee, and I cannot wait to try some of these out. My favorites are the honey, oil, lavender, and cinnamon. Plus, what's so good about this is that I have all these ingredients at home. I don't have to run to the store and buy anything, nor do I have to add weird soap to the bubble bath. It may not be bubbly, granted, but it will be beneficial to my skin, mind, and probably health. Cannot wait.

What are some of your ways to get into fall, or to keep healthy?

Monday, September 29, 2014

One Month


One month ago I married my best friend.
We are so different, and yet, we are so alike.
We think we are clones, made on different continents at different times and raised to different standards. We get along, we think alike, we laugh alike, and we breathe alike. That should be enough for now. Haha. We differ when it comes to watching TV {after all I am a girl and love my girlie shows}, and we differ when it comes to how much food we consume but other than that, we are ying and yang, the black to the white. Very easy. I cannot believe it has been one month. I also cannot believe I have not shared photos with you. One day, I promise. 

Until then I am drinking some bubbly!!


image via here

Friday, September 26, 2014

All You Need is Gray {or Grey}


Fall has officially arrived. Cooler temperatures in the morning, earlier darker hours, and the smell of apple cinnamon and pumpkin wander through our streets and houses. With fall new colors enter our wardrobes as well. I usually go for gray {or grey}, brown, dark red, and occasional mustard. No matter what I feel gray calms and soothes me. It also refreshes me. Gray makes me feel sophisticated, clean {now, don't get the wrong ideas here, okay?}, makes me comfortable and loved. Weird, I know. It's what it does. This color is powerful.


You can combine gray with every color. Pink in the spring and summer, turquoise in the summer, red, orange and brown in the fall, and black and eggplant in the winter. Everything is possible. I like gray because I am not a huge fan of white {too see-through for me, and too delicate...sometimes I am clumsy when I eat}. Gray fits with everything, goes with everything, and make everything look pretty; even flowers, nails, and mugs. 


I own my favorite gray nail polish by Essie {ChinChilly}, I even own a light cardigan, but a mug, something cute to decorate the room, or/and a gray fall jacket would be just the perfect addition to my everyday fall life these days. Whatever I come across though I do not like. It feels weird, uncomfortable, or just unfit. If you have suggestions on where to go and to look for gray items, clothes, and whatever please let me know. I don't want to rely on the internet only. I would like to walk into a store and see, feel, and touch those gray items {and yes, this just sounded really weird, I know, sorry}.

Please excuse me while I am putting my old gray sweater on now.

images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Confetti Nails


I while ago I really wanted Confetti Nails.
I was too lazy to do them. I have no patience when it comes to nail. Yet, I want them done correctly. No smudged edges and all. As we all know that is hardly possible. Ever. So I got my Confetti Nails as well as smudged edges and color all over my right thumb. Just what I wanted.

I got this idea from But First, Coffee.
Her directions were simple. All you need is a white base, and colors and a toothpick/bobby pin/paperclip and a topcoat. It's easy, and it doesn't have to be perfect. That is the most fun. Imperfection is key here. Confettis aren't perfect either. They are scattered around, in all colors and sizes.

I think I kind of succeeded. 
I learned that all you need to have fun with this nail art done easy is patience, and lots of nail colors. Fortunately for me I have enough. So I created my own confetti nails. For my first attempt I think I did well. No?


It is fall, so I decided to go for warmer and darker colors with a hint of light pink. After all we are still having temps in the 80s, and lower 90s, so I cannot think of fall as much as I would like to. So, if you are in the mood to change your nail polish and have some fun with it...go for Confetti nails. It's fun, and so easy.

xoxo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Japanese Chicken Egg Dish over Rice


I seriously have to learn to take photos right when I serve a dish. However, to my defense we don't have a serving bowl {it is on my Christmas wishlist} and we usually do self-serve and just spoon it all out directly from the pot. I don't want to have more dishes to clean. So, I won't apologize for some funky looking pot/pan photo...I am poor and need to wait until the holidays. 

Anyways, this dish, known as Oyako-donburi, is one of my favorites. It basically means chicken and egg over rice. If you thought Sushi was the only Japanese dish there is {I am sure you did no such thing} then you were mistaken. There's more to this wonderful cuisine than raw fish, but I digress.

Years ago, and by that I mean like 14 years ago, my friend S. taught me how to make this dish in a few simple steps. Her version, turns out, is slightly different to other people's versions. I believe it depends on where you are from in Japan. She's from Nagasaki, and I learned that those from the Tokyo or even Osaka areas cook it differently. Needless to say, at some point I decided to make it my own way. So, I often refer to this dish as Selmanese. Yup, you read right. Selmanese.

So, here's what you need:

Rice
2 chicken breasts cut in small pieces
2-3 green onions {if you don't like green onions, then just use one}
1 white onion sliced in slices
1 egg per person {so if you are two people, then 2 eggs, etc}
Sugar
Salt
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon or more of mirin {sweet cooking wine}
Water

Here's what you do:

Cook rice separately {in a rice cooker or pot}
brown the chicken in a pot {either with a little oil or none; I use none, yes! no oil}
add white onions as well, cook 5-7 minutes on medium high
add soy sauce, stir
add mirin, stir
add a dash of sugar and salt, stir
let simmer for about 15 minutes
add more soy sauce or mirin to taste
add water if you feel like it just tastes too salty
slightly beat eggs and then pour over the meat-onion dish
let simmer for another 10 minutes or until you think it tastes well
{I usually cover the pot, and have it on medium-low}
sprinkle the green onions on top of everything
let is simmer for another minute or two

Put some rice into a bowl and then take some chicken/egg/onion mix out and put it on top of rice.
Voila.

That is it then. :)

Enjoy!

****

Years ago, my friend told me not to use water. If you look up recipes people use/recommend chicken broth as well. Most of my Japanese friends did never use chicken broth. I guess it all depends on personal taste. I was once told water would do the same. After all soy sauce is already salty, so why add chicken broth? The amount of water I add to the dish depends on my mood. Do I feel like a salty dish or a more watery kind. I like to have some sauce go with my dish. I don't want it dry. I don't want to choke on my chicken or beloved onion...so I made this dish to Selmanese...with a soy sauce sauce so to speak. My favorite person loved it and would not have it any other way!!!!

It is an easy dish, made in less than 30 minutes and fills you up real quick but won't make you feel stuffed!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Excuse my Absence while I watch TV


I so want to be a Gladiator. Maybe I am one. 


Aren't we all living a Modern Family life?!


I am eager to know what this new show is all about.


Bones. Oh Bones.

These are just a few of the shows that will air this week. Some started last week, more to start next week and the week after. I am so excited. While I am working on redefining my life and the permissions, I will have time to watch these shows. I will not be distracted with long reading hours, and the ridiculousness professors want from their students {not saying it's bad, in the end it will always make sense; I learned that much}.  Also, I will have more time to change things on this blog {new URL will follow, maybe even new platform, we shall see}, blog more, and finally share some wedding stuff with you {after all I am sure you wanted that to happen}, and help my lovely guy figure things out with one of his last classes. He cannot stand it but in order to graduate, in order to succeed he needs that class. It is his nightmare this semester. Poor guy. 

But for now...it is catch up time on some of my favorite shows!!!

Happy Monday!!!

images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Notes From Me


It is Friday. Time to quickly look back at this week, and time to look forward to the weekend.
I decided to share my happy and also my unhappy list with you. I feel I need to balance the two and not just focus on the positive. So, I can start working on the negative points. 

Happy
Cooler temperatures (and by that I mean low 90s)
Finally changed my address at DMV
Apple Cinnamon Candle
Thank-You cards delivered to us
New Girl
The 5 Love Languages {great book}
Thoughts to change up this blog here

Unhappy
Unwritten Thank-You cards
Paperwork we both have to work on
No photos of us as a couple {we simply don't like photos taken of us...big problem}
Spiders
Decisions in regards to this blog

My main concern this weekend will be how to change this blog.
I know I will get my own domain {yes, finally, it's long overdue}, and switch a few things. If you have ideas, suggestions, etc please send them my way. Shoot me an email, please. :) Thank you. 

I will also focus on fall cleaning. This will include the regular cleaning {carpet, cabinets, windows, mirrors, floors, and laundry}, and the cleaning of the closet {getting rid of clothes that no longer fit or have not been touched in years!!!} I can already tell that our walk-in closet will look splendid afterwards. It will be phenomenal. We will have space for new items and more colors!!!

xoxo

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Bad Days

Ever had a horrible day? Week? Even month? 
We have all been there. We have all called a certain year one of the worst, even called a decade one of the most horrible ones. It's what we do. Some people even strive to find negativity in order to make their lives feel either better or worse. For a while now, I have been trying to make my life happier, more positive, filled with laughter, smiles, love, good food, and lots of pink and purple {and TV and films, and exciting books}. 


Honestly, since last year in November I have been wondering when my life will be fun, and happy again. My life changed from the moment I learned I couldn't finish my educational plan and it devastated me. Then I decided to go another route and earn money so I could maybe finish it in time. Friends supported me and the guy I had been dating for a while became something steady and permanent. Today I am focusing on the little things that will lead me to more happiness. I still have my bad days. Oh, I do. Ask my favorite person. He keeps saying I wasn't like that a year ago. Probably true. Back then I thought I had all my ducks in a row; straightly lined up and ready to go. 

When I feel sad, alone, and see only the negative things in life...I go for food. 
Don't get me wrong. I won't over-eat. I will try to enjoy healthy snacks. Just like the photo above. I go for fruits, fun "healthy" drinks, and whipped cream {cause I can, and want to}. How I do that? I will try to create something at home, but won't run to WholeFoods right away. I will rather try to find a new place to try around here in the city, and explore. So far, I have been very successful. My favorite person and I have not had a bad experience. The research takes a while because I have to make sure that the place offers gluten free items or a menu, but other than that, it has been fun and definitely lightens up the sad darkness.

The food usually gets me motivated, inspired, and happier. Win win!
I get nutrients, enjoy a date with my man, experience a new restaurant, and get happier? Yes, that's a win!

Second, when I feel most down and don't seem to be motivated to work on anything {not event this blog} I try to find happy photos or videos. It is that simple. I know people who get most creative when they are down, and plan projects {change wallpaper, paint, create jewelry, or  go to meet-up meetings}. Some even go to the gym and work off some steam they had built up over the past weeks or months. I do that too, but it doesn't make me feel whole or smiley. Cute photos or videos of animals on the other hand? Yes, they do.




1) Food
2) Cute animal photos or videos


That simple. So far it has worked for me. I don't want to spend money, and I don't want to be negative all the time. Laughter keeps people healthy and happy, and I am trying to find the good in most things. Maybe not on our water heater in our place, and maybe not in this ridiculous heat. Yet, when I see a squirrel jumping from one tree branch to another I get happy. When I see the turkeys look at me in fear because they think I am about to chase them down the road so I will have an early Thanksgiving dinner I get happy. When I find a perfect pair of boots, or a real leather bag for a great price I get happy. When I see puppies, or kittens stumble over nothing because, let's face it, they are clumsy at that stage in their life, I get happy {PetSmart, Petco, and all those other places thank you for having cute little ones available to look at!}. 

It is the little things.
If riding your bike, and cooking elaborate meals is your thing - then kudos to you.
If running, and getting rid of old clothes on a regular basis is your thing - then kudos to you.

Today, I am trying to smile by recycling my wine bottles, cans, and plastic bottles and get money back.
I will also try write down a Christmas list so I know what to get and send away, and then go look at cute animal videos...just the the following one {an old footage but it still makes me laugh}:



What is your remedy to a bad day{s}?

images via 1 | 2

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cold Cucumber Yogurt Dip


Healthy, gluten free, and easy-to-make dishes are my favorite. Living far away from Europe I always try something new and different when I cook. I also want to incorporate dishes I grew up with, or just simply cannot live without. This dip {or sometimes people call it soup} is just one of many of my favorite dishes!

I call this dish Cacik. It's Turkish. You may also know it as Tzatziki which would be the Greek way to call it. Either way, it's pretty much the same dish. Persians use this dish as well, so let's just say it's Mediterranean and Middle Eastern - food brings people together!

Anyways, I make this dish when I need to cool off {literally}, or just for fun when it goes with the dish. My favorite person loves it too. He loves it so much he just eats this by itself, kind of like a snack. I am not complaining, that is for sure.

Here's what you need:

2 - 3 Persian Cucumbers {the little ones}, or half of a regular cucumber 
{look at my homegrown, almost forgotten cucumbers!!! They still worked!}
olive oil
dill
1-2 garlic cloves {pressed}
plain yogurt {Greek or Turkish works, too}
salt {optional}


Here's what you do:

Peel and slice the cucumbers into thin and tiny slices/cubes/triangles
Press the cucumbers either in your clean hand or a strainer or something to get rid of excess water
Put in a bowl
Add yogurt to bowl
Add garlic and mix
Add dill to your liking {I use a lot}
Add olive oil, mix again.
Add a dash of salt {optional, I hardly ever do}
To your liking you can decorate the bowl with mint leaves
{I usually don't have fresh leaves handy so I skip that step}
Put in your fridge and cover until you are ready to taste it {no need, but colder it just tastes better}

That's it.
Very simple.

Pardon my messy looking yellow bowl. I should have cleaned before taking this photo but trust me, five seconds after I took this photo I started eating it.  Really, I am just human and I was lazy...and hungry!



first image via here

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