Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scenes from Vizcaya

On our way back from our trip to Mexico we stopped in Miami for the day and spent time with family... We visited Vizcaya Gardens and Museum... What a beautiful place... Here are some pictures...











We had a fun day hanging out with family in Vizcaya. While in Vizcaya, I also did an engagement photo shoot with my baby cousin and his beautiful bride... The pictures are coming soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Menu for the week

Ribolita/Salad
Spinach and roasted peppers calzone/Salad
Pabellon (rice, balck beans, plantains and shredded beef)
White chicken chilli

Breakdown:

Aldi $25
Kroger $14
Costco $6
Super H $10

I think it is that time again, I need to clean out my pantry/freezer of all those items I stock up when they go on sale. Also, while my mom was in town back in December, she stocked up my freezer with meals I need to use... Lets see how far I can go this time.

This weekend, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a hot pot dinner at our friends house... Doesn't that sound delicious? I will be bringing an appetizer (any suggestions?) I can hardly wait...

See you all on Monday

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Churros

Growing up, my sister and I used to spend the summer breaks with our extended family in Margarita island (Off the coast of Venezuela). Our cousins would take us to eat churros as a treat... We loved them so much we would  beg them to take us all the time. One day my uncle came home with a recipe for churros (he was a great cook... I believe he was trained as a cook when he was in the Navy). I can still remember him making them for us... It was such a treat!

Churros are fried-dough-pastry snacks. Churros are popular in Spain and Latin America although nowadays they can be found anywhere. Depending on the country, you can eat them in many different ways: Sprinkled with granulated sugar (the most commonly known way), with guava, stuffed with dulce de leche, drizzled with chocolate sauce and even savory versions with melted cheese, YUM!
On our trip to Mexico we saw some Churros stands but unfortunately did not get to eat them while we were there :( So I decided to fix that and make some here at home. The recipe is simple... You should give it a try too.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup sugar

Special equipment: Pastry bag and large star tip

Directions

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with water, salt. Bring to a simmer and then slowly whisk in flour. Remove from heat and keep whisking until mixture forms a ball and breaks away from the sides of the pan. Slowly add eggs in thirds. Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Remove batter from refrigerator and slowly squeeze 3-inch long strips of batter into the oil. Fry in batches, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drain churros on paper towels. In a paper bag, add sugar. Once churros have cooled slightly, in batches, toss churros in bag and shake to coat with sugar. Serve warm.

I have to be honest, they were not a good as the ones I used to eat as a kid... But good nonetheless. By the way, churros are best served with hot chocolate...



 Tomorrow I will be sharing some of my favorite hot chocolate recipes from around the web...

Churros recipe adapted from here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lengthening pajama bottoms

Just because...
I like it... Kind of, sort of, the same treatment I did to my skirt

The idea came after I saw these beautiful pajama bottoms. Anything goes, I think. Mix and match fabric, add ribbon, be creative. I think mine turned out really cute.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My craft closet - Reorganized

I am excited to show you my much improved craft closet... Let's look at the before picture one more time.
Remember my challenge was to use things I already owned? I think I did pretty good at that:

I framed a piece a pegboard and hung some items (both the pegboard and the glassless frame were gathering dust in my basement - I did buy some pegboard hooks, total $5)
Tissue and wrapping paper now reside in a document organizer (found at Goodwill for $3)
The drawers contain supplies such as small boxes, bows, Halloween/Valentine's day supplies and other party supplies
An old and beat up paper towel dispenser becomes a ribbon dispenser
An old hamper now holds rolls of wrapping paper
What do you think, friends? Did I get you inspired to get your craft closet organized? I hope so... I love how mine turned out...

Do you want to see some of the other home organization projects I have tackled? Go here for my garage makeover and here for my coat closet makeover

Friday, January 20, 2012

Menu for the week

Stuffed meatloaf/Rice/Salad
Penne with tomato and roasted red pepper sauce/Salad
Shrimp Po'boys/Kale chips
Empanadas Argentinas/Salad

Breakdown:

Aldi $18
Kroger $26
Costco $30

What are you doing this weekend? I hope wherever you are you are not completely covered in snow. We are lacking snow over in this part of the country... Please send us some? This weekend we have a couple of playdates planned and maybe a trip to Ikea... We'll see.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Get crafting...

When one likes crafting, or has kids, or both... One accumulates a considerable amount of crafting supplies. This posting is for you, the one out there buying the 75% markdowns items the day after every holiday. I've seen you at the store... I know you are out there :)

Anyway, I have a closet where I usually pile up all my crafts and gift wrapping supplies... Want to see it?
I decided it needed some fixing, so I started planning how to improve this (awkward) space. The objective was to use what I already owned, without spending any money... Want to see what I did?

The husband painted the walls with some of the paint we already had. He then installed some shelves that we already had but no longer needed:

Now the closet is ready to be organized... Curious to see how it turned out? Come back on Monday for the reveal...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pictures from the weekend - Part II

Crossing John Ross Bridge... Completely pedestrian = Awesome




 We were there during the Crane migrations... Look who we saw...




After a snack break we got in our car for our two hour drive back home... It was a fun and exhausting day. I can't wait to go back soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pictures from the weekend - Part I

This turned out to be a fun filled, surprisingly good weekend... There was an impromptu photo shoot in an unconventional place (more on that soon), a visit to Rock City (which... honoring its name, is a garden around a series of rock formations... I had no idea... Really cool!) a really good southern lunch (at the Urban Spoon, YUM!), a walk around downtown Chattanooga, a hot chocolate break, a visit to the antique store... And all this just on the first day... So many more pictures to share... I will soon, though. Stay tuned for that.
Let's start with the visit to Rock City









Tomorrow... A walk around downtown Chattanooga