28 January 2013

A Fresh Coat of Paint

A couple weeks ago I helped my aunt clean out and paint one of the bedrooms in her house. There's something about hard work and physical labor that is incredibly calming for me. While helping her clear out stuff, I ended up taking some stuff home with me, including a bookshelf. The shelf was old, but sturdy, and since at the time my books were stacked on my bedroom floor, I thought it was perfect. I was not a fan of the baby blue paint job, however. A can of paint and an afternoon later, I had a pretty new home for my (stacks and stacks of) books! 

The original shelf

Pretty teal paint

The finished product!

The color is closer to the color in this photo, rather than
the one above, where it looks more blueish.

15 January 2013

Cupcakes & Pasta

Yesterday was an extra special day. Not only was it my dad's birthday, but it was also the birthday of my grandma (mom's mom). I didn't get to celebrate with my dad this year, but I'll see him in a couple weeks. On Sunday though, we had brunch for my grandma's birthday, and it was great. My aunt Martha made green chile stew, beans, and fried eggs for those who wanted one. We also picked up some delicious Indian bread from a nearby reservation. My contribution was, as always, the dessert. 

My grandma like anything and everything sweet, so it was hard to settle on something. While I was contemplating what to make, I recalled a conversation that my grandma and I had recently about ginger snaps. She was telling me how much she loves the cookies and how her mom used to always keep a bag on hand. The other day on A Beautiful Mess, I saw this idea to add cookie butter to frosting, and I thought that seemed like the perfect match for this occasion. I made a batch of yellow cupcakes, and added a couple of scoops of cookie butter to a basic buttercream recipe. Perfect. Have you ever had cookie butter? It's sold at Trader Joe's, and has a slight gingersnappy flavor, without being overwhelming. I'm not a huge fan of gingersnaps, but I love this cookie butter. (Especially with some honey wheat pretzels.)

Yesterday was Meatless Monday, and I made an especially delicious dish for lunch. I wanted pasta, but in the interest of being healthy, I cut back on the carbs and piled on the veggies. I added goat cheese for a bit of creaminess, just because I had some on hand. You could add chicken or shrimp, if you felt so inclined. Here's the recipe.

(Serves one)
1/4 cup pasta
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup spinach
goat cheese (I used about two tablespoons.)
spices (I used Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning, but you can use whatever you like.)

Boil pasta according to directions. Saute mushrooms in a bit of olive oil. Add tomatoes and spices and cook for two more minutes. Add spinach, pasta and goat cheese.  Enjoy! 

07 January 2013

What I Made Yesterday

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day for me. Mostly, I sat on the couch under a blanket and watched Pretty Little Liars. Have you seen it? I just started it a couple nights ago during a bout of insomnia, and now I'm obsessed. But! Being home all day meant I had time to make and consume some good food.

For lunch, I made a chicken/avocado salad. I used half of a leftover chicken breast (they were huge), one avocado, a tablespoon of miracle whip, and the juice of half a lime. I chopped the chicken and avocado into fairly large chunks, and combined them with the miracle whip and lime juice. I added a bit of salt, to bring out the flavor of avocado, and crushed red pepper, because I like things spicy. I put some on top of a piece of whole wheat toast, and at the rest with a fork. Super simple, right?      

For dinner, I made black eyed peas. My mom always makes black eyed peas on the first of the year for good luck, but I wasn't there to partake in this tradition with my family this year. So, a week late, I made my own black eyed peas, following this recipe. I don't like cumin, so I omitted that, as well as the cinnamon. We didn't have any paprika, so I left that out as well. I added garlic powder, thyme, a bay leaf, and extra chili powder. It came out pretty good! My uncle even praised the dish, and he is not a fan of black eyed peas. I think it was the bacon that won him over. To accompany the peas, I made corn muffins, with a twist. I prepared the mix according to the package directions, but I added 1/4 cup of sharp shredded cheddar, and 1/4 cup chopped green chile. They came out amazing. I ate two.

02 January 2013


Every year I make resolutions that I don't necessarily stick with. One of my more frequent ones has been to stop biting my nails (that's never really happened). This year, I'm going to make a better effort to stick to my goals. I guess that's a goal in itself - to follow through with plans and stick to my goals!

2013 Resolutions

  • To have an adventure every month. This will encourage me to try new things and hopefully include a few things off of my 25 before 26 list.
  • To live a healthier life. This includes working out (at least) three times a week, meatless Mondays/no meat before dinner, and only drinking (in moderation) on the weekends.
Another thing on my list is to take a picture every day of 2013, starting with this challenge. Doing anything for 365 days in a row is a challenge, but I'm going to stick to it this year!

Do you have any resolutions this year?