Friday, July 25, 2014

I lied!

I cannot even believe it. Summer is nearly over.  I lied when I said I would be posting more, because clearly I haven't been.   Sometimes life just gets in the way. I am hoping my joy for blogging returns soon, but lately I just haven't found the time or passion to blog.   

In the meantime I have been creeping on other peoples blogs and here are some of the projects on my todo/make list. 

Refridgerator Pickles, um yum, I cannot wait to make these! 

Photo: Erika Sears - A Tiny Rocket

This totally adorable travel bag  for sorting your dirty and clean items while traveling.  Such a great idea! 
Photo: Suzannah - Adventures in Dressmaking

French Onion Pasta, I have already bookmarket this for when the weather starts to cool down (with GF pasta of course!)
Photo: Joy the Baker

Hope you are enjoying your summer! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Baba Ghanoush

Well Hello There, 
As you may have noticed I have been a little bit absent from the blogging world recently. But I am happy to announce this semester has finally come to an end and I plan on sharing a few recipes and home projects this summer. 

To celebrate the end of my many months of hard work,  here is a delicious recipe for baba ghanoush.  I love both hummus and baba ghanoush, but there is just something I like about the baba ghanoush more, maybe its the smoky flavor?  

Its gluten free, vegan, paleo, and just delicious. 

You can serve it with pita bread or veggies, or spread on a wrap or sandwich. 


Adapted from The Shiksa Blog
3 small eggplants
1/2 cup tahini
1 tsp crushed garlic (I was lazy and used the jar variety) 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
salt to taste
couple pinches of cumin

Step 1:
Roast your eggplants.
The best way to do this is to wrap them in foil and place them on a hot grill or BBQ for 45-60ish minutes, turning every 10 minutes so that each side gets to feel the heat. 
Choose medium to small eggplants - I used 3 smaller ones for this recipe and it made about 2.5 cups. 

Step 2: 
One the eggplants are nice and roasted, they should be very squishy when you try and pick them up (with tongs) they are ready.  

Remove the foil and the skin, discard them, and scoop out the pulpy insides and place them in a bowl. They might have some water come out of them. I like to leave the liquid in there because it imparts the nice smoky flavor. 
Place in a bowl to cool, I left mine in the fridge overnight. 

Step 3: 
You can do this either by hand, with a stick blender or a food processor (which is what I used)
Blend together the eggplant pulp, lemon juice, tahini, garlic , cumin and salt.  I added a little more garlic and lemon to suit my taste. 

To serve drizzle with olive oil and paprika. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mini Blogging Hiatus

It has been a while since I have posted, school is making me insane this semester, my classes are very challenging and it is crunch time - only a month left til summer break. 

I anxiously awaiting the end of the semester, especially because I have a ton of house projects I can't wait to get started on and of course blog about. So it will likely be very sparse regarding new posts around here for a bit.  

Happy Spring! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

currently crushing on...

I have a slight Etsy addiction, I am constantly adding things to my cart, here are a few of my  current favorites...

                                                                vintage botanical prints


this adorable Boston terrier figurine


and these adorable bangles

what are your etsy favorites? 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rosemary Roasted Walnuts

I used to hate walnuts. I think it might have to do with my mom never liking them when I was a kid but over the last year or so I have started re tasting foods that I haven't been a fan of.  Suddenly I like black olives on pizza & pickled beets - so I figured it would be time to give walnuts another chance.  You could easily swap in pecans, cashews, or any nut of your choosing,  if walnuts aren't your thing. 

1 bag (4 cups) raw walnuts
2-3 springs fresh rosemary, stems removed. 
1 tsp sea salt to start, then add to taste when they come out 
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix together, rosemary, salt, sugar and olive oil. Toss raw walnuts to coat. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake in 350 degree preheated oven until toasted and brown, stirring periodically, careful not to burn.  Mine took twenty minutes.  Salt to taste. 

Let cool and enjoy! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chocolate Espresso Gluten Free Babka

We went to see Jerry Seinfeld on Friday night here in Portland and it was an excellent show, we laughed the entire time, my cheeks and stomach were both sore from the laughing.   It was a little surreal being that close to Jerry Seinfeld having been a fan of his for a long time. I have the entire box set of the tv show and have probably watched the entire series over 10 times.  His new web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is also pretty hilarious.

With the Seinfeld show coming up and my craving for some sort of sweet bread that was not one of the usual suspects (pumpkin, banana, etc) I flashed back to the Dinner Party episode, where Elaine and Jerry were supposed to pick up a chocolate babka and got stuck with a cinnamon babka.

Having never had a babka I didn’t really know what to expect.  And after looking around online there wasn’t much in the way of gluten free babka recipes out there. 
I used my Gluten Free Cake Flour  because I had a batch mixed up.
Mix together:
¾ cup lukewarm water (I make it a little on the hotter side then the cooler)
1 packet of yeast
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
Let it sit until it gets foamy and has that yeasty smell.
In another bowl mix together 2 eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp of melted butter or oil, until well mixed and fluffy.
Add the egg mix to the yeast blend and set aside.
Blend together 2 ¼ c cups gluten free cake flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt.  Add the egg/yeast blend to the flour, it will be very sticky as most gluten free breads are.
Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and butter/oil it up. Place your sticky dough on the parchment and grease up your hands, press it out until its about ½ inch thick.
Melt 2 tbsp of butter and spread it over the dough. Then sprinkle it with 2 tbsp of espresso powder and top with ½ cup (or a little more) of dark chocolate chips.  Apparently there are a bunch of ways to fold a babka. I went with the easiest, especially with this gluten free dough I didn’t want to make a mess of things.
Fold the babka in thirds lengthwise. Then fold one end in and then the other until its mostly a loaf shape.  This recipe from Brown Eyed Baker gives you a good idea of what you are looking for while folding.  I didn’t do the twist since I didn’t want it to fall apart. Next time I make a babka I think I’ll try it.
Place the babka in the bread pan. It shouldn’t stick  to the sides if it has oil on it but if you are concerned butter or oil the sides of the pan.
Turn the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly cover the babka with a kitchen towel and sit it on top of the stove for 30-45 minutes to give it a chance to proof. Once its puffed up a bit its time to bake.  Brush with an egg wash made with a beaten egg and a little water.
Bake in the 375 degree oven for 15 minutes then turn it down to 350 degrees and bake for another 30. If its browning too much cover it with aluminum foil. My oven runs a little hot, but most of the babka recipes I have seen suggest baking it at 375 the entire time. 
Let it cool, slice and enjoy! 
I should have added more chocolate chips! 

It's not very sweet and would be easy to make with other fillings, sweet or savory. I think it turned out pretty well. Next time I think I might try a savory version, with cheese and herbs. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kitchen Nightmare to Modern Kitchen

This post has been a long time coming… It never felt like the right time to take after shots and after much deliberation I figured let's just pull the trigger already.  I took these photos Sunday since it was so nice and sunny out. 

When we first purchased our home it was in interesting shape. It was a short sale and had more than a few cosmetic issues (it still does) and popcorn ceilings filled with asbestos. We had our work cut out for us. We spent a month working on it before we moved in and we are still working on it today.

We have come a long way baby,  and this is very present in our kitchen. 

Our kitchen’s before pictures: 

Yup totally Brown and icky 1970s kitchen.  The thing I loved about it was there is lots of storage, and the pass through to the dining room is awesome. The brown was really dated and made the room feel so dark. 

Eventually we will remodel the kitchen completely but in the meantime living with this brown hot mess was just not do able.

Here are the steps I took to transform this kitchen.

Painted the lovely brown tile with HOMEX bath and tile epoxy. I did this step before we moved in and it was very stinky.  I had to wear gloves, eye protection and a respirator. I had seen this idea over on this blog.
bye bye brown tile!
It took two coats to do the entire thing.  So far its holding up ok, and it covered the icky grout and tile but I probably will need to do a touchup coat at some point.

I painted the entire Kitchen in Crisp Linen by Sherwin Williams. I had it colour matched to Behr at Home Depot because it was less pricey and it worked just fine. (I don't know if you could tell in the before shots but yellow was the original wall colour in here)

I did use a Benjamin Moore Primer on the cabinets, Stix. And it was fantastic.  I opted to do two different colors; for the top cabinets I used Khaki Shade (color match to Sherwin Williams) and Sandy Ridge (also SW colour match)  for the bottom. Both were semi gloss.

When painting cabinets you really should use paint specifically made for that application, such as  Benjamin Moore Advance Paint, but I spaced this out and bought a bunch of paint at the same time at Home Depot and ended up buying Behr as well for the cabinets.

Fortunately the Behr paint turned out just fine, but it does need a few touchups.  I have to imagine that might be the case with any paint.

I spray painted the mustard coloured hood with high heat spray paint

I swapped out all the hinges for chrome and purchased new door pulls and handles on Amazon. (I even had a few extra pulls to revamp the bathroom pulls) 

We got a new faucet for the sink

It took me a week to do everything (not including the new faucet which my husband did :) and it was a lot of work but I think totally worth it.

Our kitchen light we got at Ikea and I just love it.

 Initially I had planned on adding glass to the missing cabinet doors to give it more of an open feel, but I actually really like the open shelving so for now am leaving it this way.

Eventually we will remodel and take over the family room my husband is using as his "man cave/office" but until we do, these  fairly inexpensive changes and the time spent on it was well worth it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Slide Inn

I may love Brunch now, but it wasn't always this way. When I was a kid I would order chicken caesar salads or grilled cheese sandwiches, but as I have gotten older I have started to appreciate brunch.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to try out a Portland restaurant The Slide Inn, and we made it out just this last weekend. 

Once a month, my family and I try out a new brunch place in town. So far the options for gluten free have been pretty slim at most places we have tried, or on occasion just terrible.

This is not the case with Slide Inn. The owner/chef is Eugene Bingham, who spent a portion of his career in Germany, this is absolutely present in their menu.

The Slide Inn offers brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner. I took a look at all their menus and I have to admit I cannot wait to go back for dinner.  Everything looks delish and most menu items either are or can be made gluten free.  Eugen’s wife Lenor is gluten and dairy free so you can trust that they know what they are doing when it comes to cooking for those with dietary restrictions.

For Brunch we tried a few different options.

My husband got a sausage scramble and my sister got the eggs benedict, she loved every single bite, it was so filling she had to bring some home. 

Both the scramble and the benedict came with a potato rosti – which I would describe as similar to mashed potatoes but fried on the flat top – I stole a bite and basically they are the best hash browns you will ever eat. Creamy and crispy. Yum.

My parents split the salmon hash (the special) and the Pflaumenschmarrnm. My dad raved about it. Sadly I couldn’t try it but it sure looked good. The plums used are locally sourced from a neighbor of the Bingham’s.

I tried the Gluten Free Yam waffle with shaved clove – and I am telling you I don’t know if I have ever had a GF waffled that tasted this good. 
It came with 4 of their house made syrups – chocolate, ginger, hibiscus and lavender.  I even shared a few bites of my precious waffle, and it did not taste gluten free to the gluten eaters of the bunch. 

The D├ęcor of the place is right up my alley. Its very mid century modern, between the sputnik light fixtures, the atomic clocks and the glass ware it has a very cool vibe.

Another total plus about this place – they take reservations – how many Portland brunch places do that? 

For Grimm fans, you may have already seen The Slide Inn featured as Portland Java during Season 2. 
courtesy of The Slide Inn's Facebook page
I can't wait to go back to this place and try the rest of their offerings.  If you are looking for a great dining experience in Portland, gluten free or not, you definitely want to check them out!  

 The Slide Inn is located at 2348 SE Ankeny St. Portland OR 97214