My grandmother would drink a tablespoon of olive oil mixed with milk everyday. She swore by it for healthy skin. If the idea of mixing milk and oil doesn't sound appetizing, or if you are like me, and don't drink milk, I came across this recipe in "nourish & heal" magazine to take before bed each night.
"Lovely Lemon Nightcap"
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
8 oz water
Mix all together
Easy!! (I added some agave nectar to cut down on the sour, and kept stirring as I drank...you know, water and oil DO NOT mix =)
Lemons naturally balance acids in your system brought on from animal protein, sugar, and grains. They also help clear mucus and toxins from your body. Drink nightly for up to 2 weeks and reap the benefits!! =)
So, one thing that I have been wanting to do for many years now, is start a photo journal. I got the idea from Carly Simon in an article I read way, WAY back. She would take one polaroid, (yes polaroid, before they were "nostalgic"), and put it in an album. The photo would represent her day and tell a story visually. This is one of my, uh-hem, resolutions... I went out this morning already, thinking of how I can start the new year and get my 2014 rolling. While driving around, it was very apparent that the world is sleeping today! Then it hit me! Today is a day I can't really do much because almost EVERYTHING is CLOSED! This allows for an awesome day to just sit and meditate on the year to come. Perfect!! Speak to me universe =) Here is my first photo of the year...
2013 flew by...(as the years tend to do). I am not big on New Year's resolutions, but for some reason, this year, I have a lot that I want to improve upon...so, I have begun to write some down. My list is rather long, which makes me wonder if I will be setting myself up. Hmmmm, well, why not shoot for it and see what comes out in the end?? This year, I have devoted all of my energies to MY business. This is a first for me. I am usually running around like a chicken with it's head cut off working multiple jobs or multiple jobs and going to school. Now, this is new territory. I think that is why I am contemplating goals. I need to focus!! Here are the things I want to do: 1. Develop my Interior Design business (and find my niche) 2. Develop Design Tableau (for web design, content, topics, shop...etc) 3. Get organized 4. Do a daily photo journal 5. Have a good eating plan 6. BEGIN to exercise....AGAIN!! 7. Keep up with friend's and family's birthdays (send cards! NOT texts!!) Ok, so, maybe it's just another way to run around like a chicken, but, at least it's MY chicken! (does that even make sense?) THIS is why I need to focus. It's very easy for me to get all over the place when I am thinking of too much. So, I am going to keep track of it here so "YOU" can keep me accountable AND focused! As I look at the list, these all need to be done simultaneously...yikes. Well, let's get started and see how things develop...=) First things first....GET ORGANIZED! Do YOU make New Year's resolutions??? xo Kim
Do you enjoy looking at yourself all the time or know someone who does?? Are you constantly getting something in your eye or food stuck in your teeth??
Then these fun compacts are just what you need!
I have new, 2 3/4" round, flip-open, compact mirrors in stock. They have a standard mirror on one side and a magnifying mirror on the other. Just perfect for the finding that one, eluding, peach-fuzz-of-a-hair-that-can't-be-located-in-your-eyelash times.
And what better time, now that the holidays are upon us??
Aki-Home began in Japan in 1967. Akio Nitori opened a small furniture shop to offer products for the locals. When he took a trip out here to California, in 1972, he saw that we lived and shopped very differently from the Japanese. He brought the idea of spaciousness, quality, convenience, and value back home to Japan and his store took off. It is now one of the largest retailers in Japan. Mr. Nitori has now brought it full-circle and has opened two new stores in Fullerton and Tustin. When I went to their website, I wasn't very impressed, so I decided to go in and have a look around. I was in the Irvine area, so I stumbled into the Tustin location. The employees could not have been nicer and I was pleasantly surprised with the selection and prices they had. I even walked out with a few things =) I can see this as becoming one of my "go-to's". Here are a few things that caught my eye. This coupon offers 25% off and is good through November 24th, so go have a look. I'm sure you'll find something you must have.
One of my all time favorites is Clam Chowder! For this Meatless Monday, I wanted to share an absolutely amazing vegan alternative. I can not express enough how delicious this recipe is...you will think you are in San Francisco sitting at Fisherman's Wharf. Really! No joke!
It comes to us via Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Kitchen. And, funny enough, another recipe from guest Chef Tal Ronnen. See more of Kris' amazing journey and buy her cookbook at kriscarr.com. Shopping list: Cashew Cream 4 cups whole raw cashews (rinse and soak overnight; I put mine in the fridge and soaked that day, around 8 to 9 hrs) Note: This will make waaayyyy more cashew cream than you need but I will share other ways to use it later Kombu Broth 4 pieces kombu seaweed (they are small squares so it is stated to use about 5 by 8 inches; you can find this at Whole Foods or Mother's Market or the like) 2 quarts water Smoked Mushrooms 1 tbsp small hickory chips (this didn't seem like much, so I actually had the bigger chips and used about a cup. Be sure to see how long to soak them and do it ahead of time. You will use these to smoke the mushrooms) 1 heaping cup diced king trumpet mushrooms (these are also known as king oyster mushrooms)
(They look like this =)
**You will also need a roasting pan with a rack if you don't have one. I picked one up at Bed, Bath and Beyond for 15 bucks. Chowder Assembly 1 tbsp canola oil 1 cup diced white onion 1/2 cup diced celery 1 cup peeled and diced baking potato 2 1/2 to 3 cups water (This is to control the consistency of the soup while it is cooking. You will have plenty of the kombu broth left over. I added that instead of plain water) 1 tsp lemon juice, more to taste (I actually used 2 or 3 times more, and served wedges on the side. I love my lemon =) 1/2 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce, more to taste (I used Crystal Hot Sauce) 2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste 1 tsp black pepper, more to taste
To prep: Set the oven to preheat for 450 degrees (for mushrooms) and be sure to soak the hickory chips. (They need to soak for about 25 minutes) Then, I started with the broth first. It takes 40 minutes, so while this was on, I was able to prepare everything else. Broth
Combine the kombu seaweed and the 2 quarts water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 40 minutes. When done, strain through sieve into bowl and set aside. Whatever you don't use in the recipe, you can cover and keep in the fridge for 10 days.
Prep Cashew Cream
While broth is cooking, strain cashews and rinse again. To prepare the cashew cream, place cashews in high-speed blender. (I have a Magic Bullet and it worked great. You will need to do this in batches) Add enough water to cover by an inch and puree until completely smooth. Pour into a sieve and whisk the cream into a separate bowl. This will separate the cream and the nut pulp will be left in the sieve. Keep the cream only and you can toss the pulp. The cream should be like a thick, heavy cream. (if you have a good recipe for the nut pulp, let me know=) Again, you will only be using 1 1/2 cups of the cream, but you can do lots with the left overs. The left-over cream can be kept in the fridge to use later. Dice onion, celery, and potato and put in one bowl. Set aside. Dice mushroom and set aside. Prepare Smoked Mushrooms
Drain hickory chips and place on foil-lined bottom of roasting pan. (The book has you use a stovetop smoker OR a roasting pan. I don't have a smoker, so the pan worked really well in it's place) Place the mushrooms on foil on the rack. Cover pan with foil and roast for about 10 minutes. (The book said 3 to 5 in the smoker, but it wasn't long enough in my oven. Just keep checking so you don't over roast, because the mushrooms will get bitter) Take out and set aside. Combining all the goodness Heat the oil in a medium size pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and potato. (see why you can keep them in the same bowl? huh?? =) Sweat until softened, stirring frequently (8 to 10 minutes) Add 1 1/2 cups EACH of the kombu broth and cashew cream, along with the smoked mushrooms. Reduce the heat and cook over low heat, stirring frequently (about 10 to 15 minutes to let the flavors sing and dance and have a party together) As the cashew cream thickens, add the broth, one cup at a time, as needed, to thin and adjust the consistency. I used only about 2 cups total of the extra broth. It all depends on how thick you want your finished soup. In the book, they said they added about 3 cups. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Season with lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Taste to adjust the seasonings as desired. “How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” Julia Child
So, taste, people, taste!! =)
The book said it makes about 2 quarts of soup to have 12 servings...?? I don't know about that! 12? (They DID add more extra water, though.) However, we split it up into 2 HUGE servings and then had some left over for 1 second helping =) I don't really know how much a "true" serving is, but we couldn't resist to heap it in our bowls ;) Yumm-eh!
You will definitely have enough cream and broth left if you need to just cut up more veggies and make another batch. Serve with sourdough bread and Enjoy!
As an Interior Designer, I often look around my apartment and mumble to myself, "Physician, heal thy self!!". This is one of those spaces.
I love to cook and this space is so frustrating to work in!! There is so much wasted space. And, don't get me started on the functionality of it all!! So, I made this my project. As you can see, the check list is lengthy. Dead corner solution, top shelf can't reach wasteland, spices falling on each other where I don't even know what I have until I buy 3 dry mustard jars shelf, tea, cookbooks, fruit, cooking utensils, bowls and gadgets, pasta and beans, and on and on... If I had my druthers, I would rip out every, single cabinet, re-configure them, and do it how I like it. This being a rented apartment, my options are limited, so I set out...and thought I would share what I came up with, so as to help you if you have the same situation.
After trips to Dollar Tree, 99cent Store, Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Home Goods, and The Container Store, this is the result. (thus far!)
Nothing major, but it is MAJORLY different to work in here.
Jars are always a good solution to store your dried goods. You can find them at flea markets, goodwill, dollar store, and anywhere else. Be sure to make a list of what you will fill them with and how many you want to put out on the counter. This will help you when you are shopping for quantity and sizes. Mix them for a little texture.
You can pick up mason jars for a bargain at your local hardware store. I am always shocked when I walk into Ace Hardware. They have some really cool things for cheap, cheap! The "step" spice shelves really help to see the ones hiding in the back.
I found these cute spice jars at the 99 Cent Store for 2 for $1. The shelf is from The Container Store.
P.S.: DO NOT DO THIS!! I thought it would be cute to put the red spice shelf above the range...WRONG! As soon as I made dinner, they were starting to heat up! So, don't put a shallow spice shelf in this space =) I will be moving mine somewhere else today.
I placed some of my cookbooks that I use regularly on a new bread box I got at Target. The others, I put in another room. The little jars are a silent auction item win from the recent All the Arts for All the Kidsannual pin auction. Great "win/win"! (Made by one of our great local teachers. Thank you Rebecca!!=) As you see, I need to keep my daily vitamins out where I can see them so I don't forget ;) The other jar holds hemp seeds for salads.
I put all of my tea bags into their own container as well. I marked the containers that are not glass, so I know what is in them. With the oatmeal placed in a jar, this creates a nice little breakfast station.
How could I leave out the pantry? I picked up these pantry pull-outs at The Container Store. 24" deep pantries are always a pain to reach. You can't "cram" as much stuff in, but you can actually see what you have and then you have to use or throw out items before you buy more! The "Good Grip" suction containers were about 1/2 the price at Home Goods compared to Bed, Bath, and Beyond!! BB&B is actually pretty expensive. So be sure to look around.
Another tip: My Cuisinart hand blender was only $19.99 at Home Goods. The lime green one was about 5 bucks cheaper than the white one. They were the exact same one! So add some color to your world and save money at the same time! ;)
Finals: I am in the process of designing an insert for an upper, dead-corner cabinet. I was hard pressed to find a solution for that! There are plenty of solutions on the market for lower corner cabinets, but nothing for the upper. (I found ONE! But, it did not pass my standards =) To reach the high, high places? Well, I just opted to get a step stool that I can tuck between the cabinet and the fridge. (Again, I got one for $5 cheaper because of the color! Crazy)
If you have any great organizing solutions, please share! I am always trying to see how to make life a little less stressful. =)