Sunday, March 29, 2015

Succulents

I bought some succulents at Trader Joe's for a shelf in our living room, and I'm quite pleased/think it adds good energy:


Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies Filled with Belgian Chocolate

Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies Filled with Belgian Chocolate are essentially Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, but better.

Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies Filled with Belgian Chocolate
Addictive

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Breakfast Pizza

I finally got to be lazy and sleep in this morning!  After having my coffee in my pajamas, I finally decided to make breakfast around 1 p.m.  I felt inspired to make breakfast pizza.
Owly morning coffee in Nick and Nora PJ's with Anthropologie mug

I sauteed onion and frozen spinach together and lightly baked Trader Joe's pizza dough with olive oil at 400 degrees for about two minutes before using Trader Joe's pizza sauce, a blend of cheeses, oregeno, garlic powder, and spinach blend on pizza.  I then hollowed out three holes in this conglomaration to put three eggs.

Then I put the entire pizza back in the overn for 10 minutes.  After ten minutes, the eggs still weren't cooked so I jacked our crappy oven up to 450 degrees and put the pan at the very back of the oven for three more minutes.  Now we were talking and I took the pizza out, grated parmesan over it and ground some pepper on top, then put it back in the oven at 400 degrees for another couple of minutes.


After removing the pizza and letting it cool for two minutes, we dug in to our delicious breakfast.



Newest Wall Art Addition: Fireworks at Ryogoku by Ando Hiroshige from ART.COM

I mentioned in a previous post that when we were in Washington, D.C. we fell in love with the Japanese artist Kiyochika's work; especially his prints featuring nighttime themes that used beautiful shades of blue.  Unfortunately, there are not good prints of his works available; so I finally gave up and started looking for similar works by other Japanese artists.  I wanted blues, because that is the color we use the most in our bedroom and I think it's a nice relaxing nighttime color.  Fireworks at Ryogoku by Ando Hiroshige was the closest thing I could find to Kiyochika.

Poster's new home in our bedroom

ART.COM was great, the picture was 40% off and considering it included framing, very reasonably priced.  I am super happy with it, and it goes perfectly with the blue lamp we have from Gracious Home.  It also goes well with this adorable owl drawing we already had in the room.

Cute little owl drawing near new Anthropologie carved wooden jewelry box in turquoise* - the blues are starting to pull the room together just in time for us to hopefully move this summer!
 *Whoever the current Anthropologie home section buyer is, you are doing an excellent job; same goes for Urban Outfitters.  I assume they are the same people.  I have spent around $250 in the last month on little house items from both stores.  Keep up the good work!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bits from the Week

Last weekend, I got my first gel manicure ever.  I chose Essie's Amusing Bouche as it is subtle and similar to Madoiselle. 


My nails day 1
A week later, still looking good
I also got my hair cut this week and grabbed a quick dinner at Panera beforehand.

Chicken Caesar salad and broccoli cheddar soup
My wine of choice lately is the 2010 Château Recougne Bordeaux Supérieur, and my husband and I split a couple of bottles over the course of the week to get through these last (hopefully) few days of winter.

Homemade Mexican Pizza

I used leftovers from the tostadas we made to make a homemade Mexican Pizza.




I used two fried tortillas, refried beans chicken for the filling, taco sauce and salsa, a Mexican cheese blend, green onions, black olives (like the Taco Bell Mexician pizza from back in the day), and fresh tomatoes.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chicken Tostadas

I'm setting the goal of cooking more recipes that are outside of my comfort zone.  Tonight was the kick off.  I decided to try making a recipe for chicken tostadas that I found on the Food Network's website:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chicken-tostadas-recipe.html

Chicken Tostadas Ingredients
I fried flour tortillas in about an inch of canola oil in our Le Creuset.
I slathered the tostadas with refried beans (I didn't make the beans from scratch) and Mexican cheeses and then put them under our broiler (my first time using the broiler in the five years I've lived in our apartment!) for 30 seconds.
Tostadas Assemby Line - I made homemade guacamole (avocado, red onion, cumin, lime juice, cilantro [I wish I had a jalopeno to spice it up, but it was good]), the shredded chicken (dressed in olive oil, cilantro, salt & pepper, and lime juice), shredded lettuce, tomato, jarred salsa (I didn't make the salsa cruda), and scallions
My husband's tostada included sour cream
Mine was sans sour cream and delicious.
I highly recommend this recipe.  Frying tortillas was not as hard as I thought it would be and they were so crispy and delicious.  There were a lot of fresh ingredients.  Next time I'll maybe try making the beans and salsa from scratch.  I'll let you know my next cooking adventure soon.

Here's the full recipe in case the link no longer works:

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
Prep:
45 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
6 main course servings


Ingredients


Crispy Tortillas

Vegetable oil for frying
6 white corn tortillas
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Chicken
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander ( cilantro)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tostadas
Refried beans, warm, recipe follows
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced or guacamole, recipe follows
2 cups salsa cruda, recipe follows
1/2 cup sour cream
1 scallion, thinly sliced
12 fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

REFRIED BEANS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-1/2 ounce can pinto beans (with liquid), mashed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

SALSA CRUDA
2 ripe tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions


To make the tortillas: Pour the oil for frying into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches. Place over medium heat and heat to 375 degrees F. Add the tortillas, one at a time, and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

To make the chicken: In a small bowl, mix together the chicken, lime juice, oil, coriander, and salt and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To assemble the tostadas: Preheat the broiler. Spread the beans evenly over one side of each tortilla and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and melted, about 30 seconds. Divide the tortillas among 6 plates.

Evenly mound the chicken on each tortilla and top with the lettuce. Top each tostada with avocado, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with the scallion and garnish the tostada with the coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

Cook's Note:
The tortillas must be fried until very crispy, otherwise they may become rubbery, making them difficult to cut with a knife and fork.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and amber brown in color, about 4 minutes. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste.

SALSA CRUDA
In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, coriander, salt, and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.