{:mad for: mondays} / apr 16. 2012

no 1- oh joy! labels & stickers: so living in an 800 sq ft apartment requires some creativity when trying to find a place for all of our stuff. our kitchen is especially trying in that the cabinets are tiny, so there really is not much room for anything. in light of this predicament, i bought a lot of stack-able tupperware to put all of my baking accoutrements in. to add some {flavor} to my tupperware, i decided to buy these wonderfully cute labels/stickers from oh joy!. i love.

no 2- camelback waterbottle: my sweet friend ali bought me a camelback waterbottle on amazon two weeks ago, and i have never been so hydrated in my life! i never get thirsty, so i found myself constantly dehydrated and low on energy. ali said that this waterbottle will do the trick, and she was right. i don’t know what it is exactly, but it makes me want to drink more water!

no 3- gourmet popsicles: so these fun-flavored popsicles are apparently the new ‘thing’. being so up on the trends {ha} i finally gave in and bought a popsicle holder and i am loving it! i will do a post on my cocktail-pops, but for now– i would suggest in light of the amazing weather we are having, go out and make yourself some homemade popsicles. {photo cred}

no 4- poppy king j.crew lipstick: ok, i get that this color is way similar to the last one i posted by maybelline, but i am into this color {clearly}. like way into it. what a fun pop of color to add to your summer wardrobe!

no 5- white truffle oil: for those of you who have not joined the truffle bandwagon yet, i think it’s about time you hop on. seriously, i add this stuff to so many of my dishes and it adds a rich, amazing flavor that everyone loves. try it on popcorn with parmesean cheese sprinkled over, or in your homemade mac & cheese! yummmm.


{ curried cauliflower, tofu, and chickpea stew } / mar 27. 2012

so the other day i found this yummy-looking recipe by bitchin’ camero, and i decided to adapt it and make it my own based on the ingredients i had at home in my cabinet. i had a ton of veggies in the fridge and i always keep a lot of curry powder on hand {because curry adds pizazz to anything} so i was set.

turns out, this recipe is super easy and super healthy, to boot! plus, we have a ton of leftovers which bodes well for hubsters at lunchtime! hope you enjoy as much as i did!

curried cauliflower, tofu and chickpea stew

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large potato, diced {skin-on}
6 tsp. hot curry powder
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes, 1 green chili {diced}
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 head cauliflower, florets only
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 container firm tofu

set a large pot over medium heat and heat the olive oil. saute the onions for 5 minutes, or until just soft then add the potatoes, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. give everything a good stir.

add the tomatoes, chickpeas, cauliflower, coconut milk, green chilies, and salt. bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. simmer for about 20 minutes. taste and adjust the salt as needed.

in a separate med/high heated saute pan, place 2 tbs olive oil and 1/2″ cubes of tufu to saute for about 10 minute {or until starting to brown}. flip tofu to brown on other side for 10 more minutes. once browned on both sides, mix in with curry.

serve over jasmine rice.

makes 8 servings.


{ meyer lemon curd } / mar 5. 2012

last week i bought 6 meyer lemons and really wanted to use them in some sort of baking recipe. for those of you who don’t know the difference between a regular lemon and a meyer lemon, a meyer lemon is a true lemon crossed with a mandarin orange. it is a wonderful & delicious hybrid of lemony-sweetness. as i thought and thought some more about how i would use these delectable fruits, they began to go bad. i was determined to preserve them, and what better way than to turn them into a curd? yum! i absolutely love this recipe and i literally have been eating it by the spoonful since last night. it goes great on toast, crackers, cookies, cake, pancakes, waffles– really anything.


Yields 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup sugar
zest from 2 meyer lemons (regular lemons will also work)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, softened


in a double boiler, combine the sugar and lemon zest. mix for about 2 minutes to heat and then whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.

whisking constantly, cook the mixture until it thickens (you should be able to make tracks in the mixture with your whisk). allow the cream to sit for a few minutes off the heat before adding the butter. whisk in the butter and immediate pour into an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour before using.

**note: i like the texture of the zest in the curd, but if you want it perfectly smooth, place in a food processor while still warm and blend until smooth.

adapted from {dessert first}


{ house to home } / mar 2. 2012

can you believe it’s already march? this year is flying by! sooo, i have recently been day dreaming about our future home {if God graces us with one}. i wonder what it will look like? i love to decorate, so i thought in light of my day dreaming and our lack of means to purchase said home just yet, i would put together a :kitchen: inspiration board. these are all fun items i’ve found just browsing some of my favorite online decor spots. i love bright kitchens, so i wanted to incorporate a lot of bright colors. you may think a rainbow exploded in this kitchen, but i think i would be pretty happy in a room filled with this much color!

no. 1- {cage pendant} $134; no. 2- {majestic yellow kitchenaid mixer} $299.95; no. 3- {des fleurs kitchen towel} $14.95; no. 4- {italian ceramic salt jars} $5.99; no. 5- {a real hoot canister} $68; no. 6- {red berry basket) $6.95; no. 7- {savon liquide soap & cream} $27.95; no. 8- {botanique vintage-inspired oven mit} $12.95; no. 9- {ironworker console table} $1250.


{ thoughts on trials } / feb 20. 2012

i have been reading through the book of deuteronomy over the last month or so and i wanted to share just a few thoughts on some scripture i had read. it encouraged me immensely, and for everyone who is walking through some sort of trial, i hope this is of as great of encouragement to your soul as it was to mine.

i had been reading through deuteronomy 8 {I would encourage you all to read the whole chapter}, but the verses that stood out to me in particular were verses 11-16:

“take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

as I was reading through this verse, it struck me how quick i am to forget the Lord when everything is going ‘well’ for me. after reading this verse, I was praying that i would remember our God as the Great One who has lead me out of slavery to sin, and who is carrying me through the ‘terrifying wilderness’ to do me good in the end. oh what a glorious hope we have! the reality is that all people struggle, whether they know God or not. but we, as Christ-followers, have a hope that the world does not have. in the midst of trials, our hope is in the eternal promise that because God glorified Himself through Christ’s perfect life lived, His death, and His resurrection- He will also glorify and redeem those who are in Christ and those who walk through suffering so that {like Christ} He might do us good in the end.


{ basil gin sparkler } / feb 17. 2012

for valentine’s day 2012, i was placed in charge of drinks & apps for our supper club valentine’s day dinner. here is the drink i made- turned out to be quite a hit for you gin-lovers out there.

{basil gin sparkler}
1.5 oz bombay sapphire Gin
6 oz champagne/sparkling wine
sliced cucumbers
1 tbs simple syrup
2 large basil leaves
splash of lime
candied grapefruit rind for garnish

{directions}: in a cocktail shaker mix all ingredients together and pour over lots of ice into a glass with sliced cucumbers and two basil leaves. finish off with two candied grapefruit rinds and a splash of fresh lime juice. yum.



{ salted chocolate pudding cream tart } / feb 12. 2012

sorry for being super m.i.a this past week. i started a new part-time job at united methodist family services {umfs, for short} as a social worker {yay!}, and i am getting back into the swing of having a tight schedule once again. it was a busy week, but i still had time to experiment in the kitchen a bit. on tuesday night i went over to my friend’s house for an ‘art night’- where we get together and have dinner {with her adorable little girl} and work on art projects, while catching each other up on our lives. i am grateful for friends like this. anyway- i was supposed to bring a dessert, so i decided to experiment with a recipe i had found in my ina garten cookbook, how easy is that?.

i thought it turned out great, and it was super easy. it literally took me about 12 minutes of prep before work one morning, and i let it cool during the day and picked it up before heading over to my friend’s place. i would highly recommend this for you salt & chocolate lovers out there. enjoy!

for the crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (approx. 14 whole crackers crushed)
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick salted butter

for the filling
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 extra-large egg yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 oz good bittersweet chocolate, broken
1/4 stick unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon kahlua liqueur
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
shaved bittersweet chocolate & fleur de sel, for garnish

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
combine the graham crackers, sugar, and butter in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.  lightly press the mixture into an 11-inch metal tart pan with removable sides.  bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
heat the milk in a small saucepan until almost simmering.  in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk into the bowl. pour the mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is very thick.  off the heat, add the chocolate, butter, kahlua, and coffee.  beat with a whisk until smooth and pour into the cooled crust.  place plastic wrap directly on the chocolate filling and chill the tart for 6 hours, until cold.  top with fleur de sel  and shaved chocolate and serve cold. serves 8.
{adapted from ina garten’s ‘chocolate pudding tart’ recipe from How Easy Is That?}

{ house to home } / jan 25. 2012

hello friends. happy wednesday! today’s post is about turning your house into a home. something that the hubsters always reminds me of when i think i am wasting my time decorating our apartment, is that when he comes home from work to our cozy little abode, he always feels at rest. a cozy home takes time to find unique pieces that are both comfortable and affordable, while creating a sense of beauty and peace. today i put together an inspiration board for your :living room:. it is definitely more on the non-affordable side for all you newlyweds, but i created it to give you inspiration of what to look for as you build your home. enjoy!

No.1- Waving Stripes Curtain, $69.95 {here}; No.2- French Script Pillow, $69 {here}; No.3- Ion Glass Side Table, $99.99 {here}; No.4- Atticus Table Lamp, $129 {here}; No.5-  Seneca Sofa, $1,699 {here}, No.6- Mechanic’s Beacon Lamp, $99.95 {here}, No.7- London Map Collage, $19.99 {here}; No.8- Gloria’s Garden Rug, $498 {here}; No.9- Strasbourg Chair, $849 {here}.

:the Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!: ruth 1:9


{ :mad for: mondays } / jan 23. 2012

every monday i am going { to attempt} to post a few things that i have been :mad for: {or used a lot} during the previous week. these will all be items i regularly use, books i’m reading, food i’m eating, clothes i’m wearing, and so on. hope you find these things helpful and inspiring!

:insert lame poem here: { mondays no longer have to be a drag. instead, we can be thankful for the things we have! }


{ engagement story } / jan 17. 2012

so i would love for a big part of this blog to be a compilation of people’s stories of God’s grace in their lives. everyone has a story {or many stories} to share, and i would love to share yours! to kick off this section of the blog, i put together a story about how me and the hubsters were engaged. we also had our friend {and favorite photographer ever} shoot our engagement photos. her name is michelle van tine, and she is amazing. check out her blog here: www.michellevantine.blogspot.com. i will share a few of our engagement photos to go along with our story. please feel free to send me your story along with a picture so i can include it in future STORIES {of grace} posts!