Nov 15, 2013

Themed Weekly Menu {Amy}

 This week, Earl and I decided to restrict our shopping to the Asian Market, and do an all asian-type food week.

(Clockwise from the top left)
Chicken-Peanut Curry Soup {Recipe from Ted Allen off Food Network's Site} I left out the pickle topping, and gave it extra peanut butter!
Lo Mein {Recipe from Rasa Malaysia} Colorful and delicious!
Pad See Ew {Recipe from A Beautiful Mess} Another amazing recipe from those amazing ladies.
Egg Drop Soup {Recipe Below}

Simple Egg Drop Soup

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 chicken breast
1 cup frozen peas
8 ounces noodles {pick your favorite}
2-3 eggs
green onions, thinly sliced into rounds

Slice chicken into thin strips, set aside. In a small bowl, beat eggs, set aside. Bring broth to a boil, add chicken and let boil until chicken is cooked through {this will vary based on how thick/thin you cut your chicken}. Add frozen peas and noodles cook until noodles are soft. Drop {drizzle} eggs into soup a little at a time, stirring between to break up the wispy eggs. Add green onions, serve.

Nov 14, 2013

Holiday Ornament Exchange {Amy}

This weekend, I emailed six friends with a plan for a holiday ornament exchange. The rules are simple. If you're in, I send you an ornament with your Christmas card this year, and you send me one too. It can be hand made, bought, vintage... whatever, so long as it hangs on a tree branch.

I'm leaning toward the hand made type, myself. I made this set of ornaments for the family last year.

And here are some of the ornaments off Pinterest that caught my eye.

Nov 13, 2013

Missing the Coast {Amy}

This time of year, I always miss the coast.
I don't think anywhere will feel as much like home as the coast with the salt in the air and the greenery all around.

Nov 12, 2013

The Problem Corner {Amy}

We have a problem corner.

It’s a part of the apartment that I don’t know what to do with. And so, it’s become a sort of a catch-all?

I’m working on a plan to make it a functional, useable space… perhaps by moving my desk over there?
Here are some of my thoughts and inspirations.

Nov 8, 2013

Winter Tea {Amy}

If you know me at all, you know I LOVE tea. And one of the great things about winter is there's a whole different set of tea waiting to be drank!

Here's what I drink when the weather starts to dip.

 I love trying out new winter tea. The "holiday" specialty teas are always so much fun to experiment with and they often come in these fun tins! Harney & Sons Fine Teas Holiday blend (from Target) and Winter Dream Tea( from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) are the two tins I've gotten for this year so far. They're very similar in flavor, but the winter dream leans a little in the bubble gum direction, so I'm not sure I'd be quick to suggest it.

 And in lieu of the ubiquitous Hot Cocoa, I go for chocolate Tea. I stick with Cocoa Mint Mate (From Tazo)   & Guayusa with Chocolate (from Stash). The Cocoa Mint is like an Andes mint in liquid form, and the guayusa is just plain chocolaty!
And of course, there’s nothing quite like a spicy chai on a cold morning (or evening). The Chai Green Tea (from Stash) is the spiciest of the four, I think the green tea part of it brightens up the background flavor and makes the spices more pronounced. The Chai Black tea (from Fresh & Easy) and the Chai White Tea (from Stash) are both lovely and a bit milder than the chai green. They are a bit heavy on the licorice flavor, so you might want to tread carefully if you’re not a fan of anise. The Golden Chai (from Numi) is new to me this winter (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme), but it’s just as wonderful as the others and is no doubt going to be a staple in the tea rounds!

Nov 7, 2013

Watercolor Bookmarks {Amy}

When I watercolor, I always end up with scraps. They’re usually long and thin, which makes them perfect for bookmarks.

I usually play around with things. They’re small, so there’s not a huge commitment. If I make something that was just… not what I meant to, well, I can toss it and not feel terrible.
Sometimes the resulting water is too pretty not to take a picture of before changing out…

To be honest, sometimes these are the most fun to do… I can get meticulous, or be sloppy, I can play around with combinations… or I can stick to what I know and work on shading… It’s a lot of fun for someone like me – who is playing by ear.

Nov 6, 2013

Allison's Wedding photos!

Allison’s wedding Photos are up on the Photographer’s blog!
She’ll be back at some point to write up a post on the Gemmers {seriously, two lovely people!} But for now, head over to their blog to check out the post on the wedding!
And here's a picture I took, to maybe get you over there…

Nov 5, 2013

An Accidental Design Element {Amy}

On occasion, design elements happen on accident.
One that happened for me came with the collection of random glassware and baubles for the wedding. With no place to conveniently store them, the first few wound up on top of the bookshelves housing our movies and other such things. And when we looked at them up there, we realized they looked pretty cool.
So we kept adding to the collection – both from necessity, and for aesthetic – and then we tossed a set of LED strip lights up just for the fun of it, and this is what we got!

Nov 4, 2013

What We're Up To

Between a new life as a married woman, finding a home in the town where she’s started a new job cultivating young talents as the high school choir and drama teacher, Allison has been the busiest of bees!

Amy is doing her best to keep up with her own wedding plans, working on putting out a novel, and trying to keep herself from being buried by the never ending tasks on her to-do list. In all, she’d like a vacation – soon – and then a vacation to deal with all the stuff that would pile up because of said vacation!

Oct 30, 2013

Fall = Bright Tights! {Amy}

I love fall for the simple fact of tights. Especially bright ones. I don't have a ton of tights myself.
See, only 7 (and I'll get around to why I include that black pair in a minute).
But I love tights. And living in the middle of a desert, there's no chance you'll catch me wearing hose in the summer, much less tights. So, when the temperature drops - which it blessedly has - I find myself jumping for joy over the prospect of tights.

I've got a pinterest board with some ideas, but I'm definitely going to need to build up my other items of clothing before I have a ton of stuff to flounce about in with my tights.
 And this, is why the one pair of black tights is included. Also - how very Halloween appropriate!

Oct 29, 2013

Decorating for Halloween {Amy}

The last several years, I haven't done much in the way of decorating for Halloween. I think it would be easy to blame that on the fact that we've been in small apartments and not had any reason to go all out. This year wasn't really much different though. We weren't having anyone over for festivities, and it wasn't as though we'd have to worry about trick-or-treaters. But I did manage to do a small display in our front hallway.
Perhaps the funniest thing about this display is that most of the items in it... are out in the house year round. The skull candles are strageically placed about the living room - along with several others that did not get moved. The Plastic eyeballs are actually a part of a character inspiration for one of my novels. And the zombie cookie jar goes next to our other (A black skull - who'd have thought!) on the kitchen cabinets.

The bloody  handprints on the mirror do get put away. They're a bit too sticky to leave out year round.

Oct 28, 2013

October Snapshot {Amy}

This month has been a lot of fun... if entirely hectic for me.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, even though I don't do much for it anymore. I expect I'll love it anew when I have kids to dress up and tout about. But for now, it's still a love of mine for the sheer lunacy of its ever-evolving weirdness.
We're on a quest to find the perfect at-home curry recipe. And of course, I'm also still testing out any and all types of teas. Lu got her hair cut and seems much happier. Overall, the month has been a nice one... hopefully the rest of the year goes as swimmingly!

Oct 25, 2013

Green Chile Cheesecake {Amy}

Okay, I know some of you might have seen the title and immediately thought "EEEEW!" I have gotten that reaction a few times in person. Truth be told,  I myself was not 100% on board with it from the get-go, but Earl really wanted me to make it, and I'm a sucker for the guy. So he brought me a burlap sack of Hatch Chiles. Our friends who own a restaurant mercifully roasted them for us so the apartment didn't' smell spicy for the next six months. And so, I made the long promised cheesecake. It actually turned out SO much better than I expected.

Green Chile Cheesecake

- 1 1/4 Cup Nilla Wafers, pulsed through a food processor
- 1/4 Cup melted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 3 (8oz) Packages Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 (14oz) Can Condensed Milk
- 3 Eggs
- 5-7 Green Chiles, pureed or minced (or both)
- Spring form Pan, Parchment Paper, & Cooking Spray

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

I always prep my spring form by lining the bottom with parchment paper (Depending on your pan, you might also want to use cooking spray for easy removal). Mix your Nilla crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl until crumbs are moist enough to press into the bottom of your spring form pan in an even layer.

Decide what you want to do with your chiles, I like a mixture of both. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add condensed milk slowly, when incorporated, scrape down sides, then add eggs one at a time. Add in green chile and mix only until chiles are mixed throughout.

Pour your batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 40 minutes.

 Remove from oven, let cool on trivet, cover with plastic wrap, chill refridgerator until set.

Remove from Spring Form pan, serve and enjoy!