Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cuban Navy Bean Soup for you!

I promised to share when my I find a winner in my new vegetarian cooking quest.  So, here it is: 

I made soup!  There is an exclamation because it is the first time ever.  And, I've never had navy beans.  I soaked them last night in water (which I've learned you always do for about 8-10 hours with dry beans) and then poor Iris, my 5 year old, was sick today.  So, navy bean soup seemed perfect.  

I made the recipe as listed below but used only about 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.  I didn't have cabbage or saffron threads (What the heck is that anyway?  I had to google) and it still turned out great.  So, I'm sure it's even better with all of the ingredients.

My trick with any dry beans is adding kombu (seaweed which gives LOTS of nutrients and flavor and decreases the bean gas effect so they say) and at least 2 bay leaves.  You take both out before serving.

So, we all had it for dinner.  And, I think it's a vegan winner packed with lots of yummy nutrition.  ENJOY!

Cuban Navy Bean Soup
Total time:  2 hr 15 min
Prep time:  15 min
1 cup navy beans (soaked)
12 qts water
bay leaf
14 cup olive oil
2 cloves clove garlic (chopped)
onion (chopped)
2 cups tomatoes (chopped)
potato (diced)
saffron threads
12 tsp cumin
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup butternut squash (diced)
2 tbsps fresh parsley (chopped)
1Drain beans, combine with water& bay leaf& simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
2Add additional water if necessary.
3In a skillet, heat olive oil& cook garlic& onions 6 minutes.
4Add tomatoes& cook for 10 minutes.
5When beans are tender, add tomato mixture, potato, saffron, salt, pepper, cumin, cabbage& squash& cook for another 30 minutes.
6Add more water and stir as necessary.
7Serve garnished with parsley.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Target (Tar-jay) Chic: La première Partie

So, I hopped on over to Decor Happy, and apparently just about everyone has been inspired by Lizzy's  stylish and high end look of this Target find, a button tufted ottoman which comes in black, sandstone, navy, and French Yellow linen fabric:

I thought, well heck, Tarjay has come a LONG way!  What else do they have that has great style for tight budgets?  

GREAT NEWS! I did the dirty work and spent a lot of time perusing their site to give you the goods with direct links so you can just click and have great instant additions to your home! AND, lots of these pieces are on sale too!

I was surprised most were not MDF but wood construction with cotton or linen fabrics.  There are so many great finds for the dollar that I'm dividing this into a two parter.  

This is La Première Partie:  ottomans, benches, and storage options.  ENJOY!

{Navy Button Tufted Ottoman $280 linen fabric- my favorite!}

{light grey Chevron storage bench or thick black and white Chevron $212}

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Bold or Go Home

I'm feeling a little tired of being so agreeable.  Ready to say what I want and what I need and see how the world shows up for it.  Seems bold to me.  It's not really.  It's just, well, sometimes we all need a dose of boldness once in awhile to keep us in check and true to ourselves.

{Celine from Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise}

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. (I feel a little lucky I once got to audition for Rick) 

I saw Before Sunrise when I was the same age as the characters in 1995 and Before Sunset 10 years later, at the exact ages of the characters. If you are a (gulp) 37 year old girl, THIS is your flick.  Celine is daring, uncompromising, and all soul.  

In fact, I MADE my childhood friend Yvette watch these movies back to back before she made a leap of faith and spent her last dime to travel to London and declare her love to the guy who meant everything to her. And, guess what?  She now is happily married with a baby girl and a 2 year old.  TOTALLY TRUE.

{Juliette Binoche}

As an acting student, I was in awe of Juliette. Nobody is able to access and give all with their emotions like she is.  You have to be unafraid of any judgement to do what Juliette does.

{Lauren Bacall}

As someone said, "Is there any other woman as direct and daring as Lauren?  Just look at her."  This is who I call up when I want to "go for it" with anything in life.

So it is with design and color...and sometimes, it is just time to find something you love and do it.  Do it regardless of whether it will be increase your resell value or be something that a lot of people or even any people like.  Do it if YOU like it.  

No lofty paragraphs needed for the images below.  I LOVE them all.  They are MY bold.

{image from Amber Interiors}

{Sofa from Rowe Furniture}

{Ruthie Sommers from Decor Pad}

{Image from Rex Kelly Midcentury}

{image from Bright Bazaar}

{Vintage Kantha Armchair from Ecochic}

{How to get this DIY reclaimed wall step by step here}

 {chair redo from Wild Chairy, House of Fifty Magazine}

{Sofa from Tufted Sofa}

{image from the Glitter Guide}

Now, go for YOUR bold.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I am literally drooling over this recipe

spring green lemon & basil pasta

OH MY LORD!  I am literally drooling over this recipe that Love and Lemons posted today.  I just had to share.  I am SO making this tomorrow night for my family.  Just sounds terrific and for once we have all of the ingredients.  Yippee!!!
serves 3-4
lemon oil inspired by Giada De Laurentis, Everyday Italian
1/2 pound pasta, homemade or store bought – whole wheat, or whatever you like
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil.
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
splash of white wine (1-2 tablespoons – optional)
1 cup chopped asparagus, thin spears, tender parts only
1/2 cup peas (can be frozen)
1-2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped
small handful of basil (about 1/4 cup), chopped
juice and zest of 1 lemon
pinches of salt and pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
grated parmesan or pecorino cheese to go on top (optional)
Make a lemon oil, by pouring 1/4 cup olive oil into a small bowl with the zest of the lemon. Set aside.
Cook pasta until just short of al dente. Drain pasta but reserve some of the pasta water.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add chopped shallot and garlic and cook until shallot is translucent (careful not to burn the garlic), about 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of white wine (if using – or just skip it) and drop in asparagus and peas. Add lemon juice (from the lemon you previously zested), salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Cook for about 2 more minutes until asparagus is tender but still has a nice crunchy bite, and peas are warmed through.
Add cooked pasta to the pan, toss to coat everything. Turn off heat and toss in spinach, letting the heat of the pasta wilt it.
Strain zest out of your reserved lemon oil (or leave it in if you want this extra lemon-ey). Pour lemon oil over the pasta and toss everything again. Add some pasta water if necessary to create your desired consistency. Toss in basil. Taste and adjust seasonings one final time, if necessary. 
Finish with grated cheese and red pepper flake (both optional).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Staircases don't have to be boring

So true....I've been thinking about this lately since down the line we will inevitably move (my heart shatters loudly thinking about leaving my hood, my neighbors, and my house) or add on to our 1941 2-1 1000 square foot bungalow.  There are endless fun, creative ideas for stairs that aren't A) wood stairs or B) carpeting.

Like these:

{rug from Dash and Albert }

Okay, it's carpet.  But, how fun would it be to have this carpet?  Makes me spring for joy just looking at all of the fun colors.  

{image from Justina Blakeney}

These Mexican tile stairs are so fun!  In Texas, we see these types of tiles in restaurants often and I think we kind of forget how truly beautiful they are.

{see how Shawna did this}

These are Shawna's wallpapered stairs - easy idea and a great graphic.

{see how Donna from Funky Junk Interiors did this}

My Omie always says, "You like old things" --- I admit, I love things in my home that have a past.  These stairs are fun and nostalgic at the same time.

{image from Isle of View blog}

Red, bold musical stairs. L-O-V-E them!

{image from Apartment Therapy}

This is my art lover side.  I couldn't get it out of my head.  I even named it "Just interesting" and honestly, my favorite homes are those where the home IS the gallery.

{image from Apartment Therapy on Serena and Lilly cover}

Wallpaper look #2.  I'm over the moon in love with these stairs.  Every pattern makes me giddy and the red in the middle = happiness.

{stairs designed by Sugar City Journal 
and if you click on the link you will find out how to do it!}

I don't know that these stairs would have made it to my all time favorites, but look....The artist added photo families to the detail of each making them heirloom stairs. 

{image from Razmataz}

Love, my Sarah Richardson numbered farmhouse stairs too!  Taking country up two notches.

{image from Apartment Therapy}

And, I have to leave the best for last, in honor of my Iris and her favorite color in the whole, wide universe. Yellow.  I've garnered a whole new admiration for the color which never lets you get in the doldrums, sit in the blues, and ache and bellow.  Yellow = chin up Gus!  Tomorrow WILL be a better day.  It gets us through life one day at a time.  Years ago, I never would have guessed that this would be my choice.  But, for today it is.