February 28, 2013

Polka Dot Fever

when I made my goal of no shopping for 12 weeks, I honestly thought it would be a bit of a breeze. I knew I would have a few bumps here and there but the first 8 weeks have gone by pretty okay; I stay away from malls, shoe stores and the other side of Target. I've been working on shopping my own closet, picking out pieces that I haven't worn in a while, accessorizing with the belts/scarves I already own.

and then spring collections reared their ugly pretty, brightly colored heads. kate spade sales started to pop up everywhere. lauren conrad's adorable spring collection for kohls. colored skinnies and flowy tops and cute sandals. and polka dots. so many ways to rock the good ol' fashioned polka dot. I want to buy everything. I may need to convince Joe to "gift" it to me.

seriously, april 1 cannot come soon enough.
Polka Dot Fever

Top: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 
Bottom: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 

February 26, 2013

February 21, 2013

in this kitchen

in this kitchen, we would eat mac and cheese gnocchi

loving the exposed brick and the pantry space. this kitchen makes me want to paint our new kitchen white and throw in some brick backsplash. hmm... maybe we will!

February 20, 2013

nomnom: fried quinoa

i usually cook up a batch of quinoa on Sunday and sprinkle it in my salads throughout the week (extra protein!). Sometimes at the end of the week, we have some leftover quinoa and have to find creative ways to use it. this is where fried quinoa was born. just like fried rice-- same basic recipe, but instead of using rice we used the protein packed grain QUINOA! it's best to use leftover quinoa (just like leftover rice when making fried rice) but if you don't have any on hand, just boil up some quinoa and use as is. 

Fried Quinoa
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen carrots
1/2 cup baby corn, optional
2 cups cooked and chilled quinoa
1 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce (or to taste)
1/2 sesame oil
black pepper

1. Heat pan or wok over high heat. Pour in vegetable oil and then stir in vegetables; cook about 30 seconds.
2. Add eggs and scramble with vegetables.
3. Add quinoa and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
4. Pour in sauces, sesame oil and add in black pepper. Toss everything together for a min or so.
5. Taste and add more soy sauce, sesame oil, etc... as needed.

I love the flexibility of fried rice/quinoa. Growing up, we always had fried rice when we did leftovers for meals -- typically we ate just white rice. Optional things to throw in could range from meats (ham, shrimp, chinese sausage, chicken) to more veggies (onions, broccoli, mushrooms, etc...). Enjoy!

February 14, 2013

sweet sweet valentine

image via studiodiy

we tend to keep our valentine's day celebrations to a minimal. while i thoroughly enjoy this holiday, between my birthday, christmas, and our anniversary, joe and i are fully wined and dined out. so for the last four years, we spend the night together and cook for each other. no reservations, no jewels, no fancy dresses.  just us, hanging with the wiz, exchanging cards and some chocolate fondue. and likely a walking dead marathon this year. 
seriously, we are hooked. 

happy valentine's day!

February 13, 2013

Treats for any Valentine

Boxes of chocolates have never been my thing. We got two boxes from the holidays over a month ago and still have not finished either. But baking Valentine's Day treats... now that is definitely my thing! And throw in chocolate, fudge, strawberries, etc... now that is definitely everybody's thing! I've rounded up a few Valentine treats that are perfect for celebrating this holiday:

Colorblocked Valentine Brownies from The Proper Pinwheel

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cake from Cook Republic

and a few more here: 

February 12, 2013

in this kitchen

in this kitchen, we would bake smores cupcakes

loving this beautiful rustic kitchen & sweet decadent treats. days when I'm craving fall, these cupcakes would be the perfect solution. 

February 11, 2013

let it snow. and rain. and freeze.

it was a lovely snowy sunday here in minnesota and really one of those days that are meant for netflix, baking cookies and hot chocolate. but being cooped up in a house full of laundry is never any fun so instead we went sledding! we really only had one sled that went down the entire hill (well, i was using one that had been left behind but then the owners came and took it back, boo). so instead we threw snowballs, attempted to build a fort and made snow angels. 

February 6, 2013

be mine

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days.  Maybe it is the hopeless romantic in me, but there is nothing wrong with celebrating love, whether you are single or attached. Boyfriend and I usually celebrate Valentine's Day in with a date night in, drinking wine and cooking up something special (think: fancy seafood & thick steaks). But no matter how you celebrate, here are some of my valentine's day favorites! Now pop some champagne and smell the roses! 


February 1, 2013

Superbowl Snacks

The Superbowl is this weekend and that means plenty of appetizers and finger foods to share with friends! Joe and I invited a few friends over to watch the game (and commercials!) so I wanted to prepare snacks that wouldn't get me stuck in the kitchen during the entire thing. Joe's only request was chicken wings and I'm headed to Costco tonight to buy the big 10 lb bag (jeeez). 

Here is what we'll be serving up this Sunday: