Make ahead meals

I have started cooking large amounts of meat in my crockpot and then freezing them and it’s been wonderful. Everything is stored in ziplocks, portioned out by serving. It’s not a new idea and there are plenty of recipes that I haven’t tried in the freezer, but here’s what I’ve been up to, and some links to resources.

Here’s a look at what all I have in my freezer right now. Except the cat. She just likes being in all of my pictures. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day

As per usual, here’s another late holiday post. I had some friends over for St. Pattie’s day and it was a blast. I made cottage pie, as per usual, but Em also asked me to make colcannon. Since it was her birthday that week and I didn’t get her anything, she got it. ^^’ I have never even had colcannon before, let alone made it. Turns out, I love it.

Here’s the menu, as you can see, it needed some revision. Continue reading

Vicious little flowers

I’m brainstorming for a dark Alice in Wonderland themed party. Blame Alice: Madness Returns. Love it! I’ve already decided on giant flowers (How is that dark? Oh you just wait and see.), mismatched tea sets, a torn lace tablecloth, skeleton keys, and as I wandered the internet I was inspired to try making these. (Not sure by what, just…inspired.)

Continue reading

Apartment update

Well, we’ve finally got the apartment cleaned up, which is wonderful since my grandma will be here any moment. ^^’ I had a request for pictures, so here are some. The kitchen organization is an ongoing chore, but it’ll get there. I got some more baking sheets (we only had one) and a very nice small pot at Ross for cheap yesterday, so I’m happy.

Here’s more pictures, including more of our apartment. Some will be not that new if you read my earlier posts, but I got my SLR out, so they’re much better pictures. ❤

Continue reading

Coleslaw

I’ve never made it before. Never, ever made the classic american coleslaw. My mom always just put oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper on cabbage. No mayo, no nothing else. I really liked it because I like vinegar, but tonight I’m making Boy BBQ Shredded Pork and I want real coleslaw to put on my sandwich. I just tried stuff. O.o And I like it.

Mayo
White Wine vinegar
Celery Salt
Pepper
Salt
Grated onion
Sugar
Capers

And I threw some radish and bell pepper because I could. ^^ I’ll let you know how it goes with the BBQ Pork later.

P.S. Look at the amazing dessert from the Pioneer Woman I’m making. It looks wonderful…but I’m doing amaretto instead of grand mariner. ^.~

Beef Stew and Tortillas

I made beef stew a few days ago. I’m SUPPOSED to be taking pictures of my food to make these posts more interesting, but so far no good. My phone is fine for quick pics of the cat, but the pictures it took of my kitchen make me cringe. I need to get my Canon Rebel out. It’s old, over 5 years old, but it does a good job. So, I’ll just have to take pictures next time I make stew. If the weather keeps up like this, that’ll be sooner rather than later.

I have a weird hangup with beef stew. I can’t just chop everything up and throw it in the crock pot. I layer it. O.o I don’t know where I got the idea that it matters (and it probably doesn’t), but I can’t stop myself. Anyways, here is the recipe, in order that I layer them, from the bottom of the pot up.

Stew beef, generously salted and peppered, and doused with Worcestershire sauce

75% of my diced onions, some chopped garlic, and some thinly sliced shallots

Chopped carrots and celery, with some more salt and pepper

The rest of my onions

My potatoes

My herbs and spices

Then I pour in my broth and let it all cook for about 3 hours before I break down and stir it.

I understand layering the ingredients for a crock pot roast or one of those crock pot dinners, but for stew? I’m just crazy, I guess.

Tortillas, however, are crazy good. I made some from scratch for the first time. Oooooh. Ahhhhh. The dough was easy to make. They cooked quickly, but I didn’t burn any. They were tasty, if a little dry. The problem I had? Making a circle. I don’t have a tortilla press and now I really wish I did. It’s a uni-tasker, but one I’d like to use a lot. Fresh tortillas are so good that I want to make a habit of making my own. So I might break down and get one. No idea where I’m going to keep it, though. ><

Lack Side Table

So, I got two Lack side tables from Ikea to use for our bedside tables. They’re simple and plain and that’s fine. But I’m trying to perk up our decor a bit without using stuff. We have a ton of nick knacks and more art for our walls then actual wall space. >< So, why not perk up our furniture? We’re not in a palace to buy better furniture, so we’ll just have to stick with what we have and what we can get cheep. Enter our 10 dollar tables. ^^’ And some wallpaper.

So, I saw this post, where a Lack coffee table was perked up with some wall paper and decorative nails. I loved the idea, but we’re not so big into patterns in general, so I decided to simplify it some. I’m just going to edge the top of the tables with wallpaper.

On a side, but related, note, Ryula and Drauger have decided that I’m becoming a nerdy Martha Stewart. >< Ryula even started sketching out a comic about it. Well, I find it hard to argue with them when I use skills I picked up on online browser games in my decorating. I’ve started using photoshop to try out ideas. Still haven’t decided, though.

I might like stripes. Just a bit. I tried quite a few different wallpaper designs, and these are just the ones I liked. Not sure Boy will be on board with the floral, but I like it enough to ask him about it.

Idea after writing this post: Line the back of my bookcases in the same way? Too busy with the books in there? Hm….

Leftovers Curry

Leftover mayhem continues with more of the pizza leftovers. I actually used the leftover dough and sauce to make pizza last night. Shocking, I know. Today for lunch, however, I did actually try the Canadian bacon and pineapple curry. Oh wow, was it good. I’m a little sad that I don’t have the stuff to make more. 😦 Maybe later this week.

I mixed the Thai curry paste and coconut milk in a wok and added my Canadian bacon and my veggies. You can use anything you like, but I used:

Bell peppers

Thin sliced red onion

Mushrooms

Since that’s what I had on hand. I let them simmer until the veggies were soft before adding some canned pineapple. Make sure to get some of the juice, it compliments the curry and coconut very well. ^^ Then just let it cook long enough to warm back up (the pineapple cools it off quite a bit) and eat. I had mine with couscous since I didn’t think to make rice ahead of time. Basmati rice would be the best though.

I’m running out of leftovers. ^^’ What should I make now?

New kitchen, so far

Well, it’s been 3 full days since the move. We’ve gotten a lot done, but this is taking us quite a while. Everything needs to have a place, because there’s no wiggle room in a place this small. I’ve been focusing on the kitchen a lot, because I’m me. The kitchen is my zone, and cooking is a great source of stress relief for me. I made us breakfast for dinner last night, which wasn’t exactly creative cooking, but it was still nice. I haven’t been able to make much since we packed up the kitchen over a week ago.

I finished putting the kitchen in order earlier tonight, and I wanted to share. I’m waiting on one more thing from Amazon, but I can’t wait to put up pictures (even if they are blurry). I’m rather proud of myself. ^^ So let’s start.

This is the view from the dining area. (Not really a room…) The bottles will go on the table, but it’s still covered in stuff.

My Ikea wall storage and a hanging basket set that you can’t see all that well. >< Top basket will be garlic and shallots, middle will be lemons and limes, and bottom will be onions and potatoes.

Close up of the wall storage. I can’t wait to have herbs right next to my prep area. Just gotta get them to sprout for now, though. I’m notorious for killing plants, but I’m sure I can handle three little pots. > : (  I just always get over ambitious and over whelmed.

Across from where you were just looking is our fridge and my mugs. (And soon, our microwave) See those cabinets above the fridge? They’re empty. I currently don’t have anything to put in them. O.o I should get a picture of the kitchen I moved from so you can understand how awesome this makes me feel.

Our dishes and mixing/serving bowls. Boy’s mom has gotten me mixing bowls for Christmas two years running now. They’re very nice, but I have no idea what I will do if she does it again this year. lol I can’t really get rid of anything I’ve got. The top left set was my grandma’s and they have a lot of sentimental value for me. The bottom left came from Boy’s mom last year and are super cool. They’re oven safe, which is a huge plus. The bottom right set are collapsing bowls from 2010. There’s like seven bowls stacked there. ^^

Blurry pantry for the win. Haha. Awesome bit here is that bottom shelf. Other than the two bins of rice, it’s empty. *dances*

My Ikea Antonius units. They’ve got all my appliances with their bits and bobs, as well as my less commonly used kitchen tools. Two drawers are empty right now, so some of my serving linens might end up there.

Because I love them, here are our wonderful washer and dryer. So far they’ve been just amazing. (Except when the washer was knocking about like it was off balance. Turns out you shouldn’t store tvs on top of washers. Who knew?)

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to the last few days. And now here I am writing a blog post.

Wish me luck! ❤

Leftovers Ramen

Ryula and Drauger were nice enough to bring over pizza fixing on Saturday and make pizza for us as the movers got our furniture into the apartment. They made one with sweet chili sauce, cream cheese, jalapenos, pineapple, and Canadian bacon. Totally didn’t see that one coming, but it was amazing.
I’ll talk more about the move later. Point is, they left all the pizza making goodies over here, and so I’ve started using them. I’m super happy to start cooking again. ^^

Today I took:

Bell peppers
Red onion
Mushrooms
Jalapenos
Shredded chicken

and sauted them with some:

chili powder
salt and pepper
sesame oil

Then I cooked the Ramen noodles in some chicken stock. (Not the packet mix, real chicken stock)

Topped the soup with the veggies and chicken and added some tonkatsu sauce. Little salty, so I think I’ll add some extra water to the broth, but it was tasty!

Thinking that tonight I’ll give Canadian bacon stir fry a try. Or curry? With pineapple? *muses*

The Basics

Cooking, designing, decorating, organizing, gardening, learning. Always learning.

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