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Love is in the Air

Valentines day is around the corner…my apartment is starting to look festive with this paper heart garland! Is your home? 

This is a very simple, quick and easy DIY to decorate your desk, home, classroom! 

Did I mention is REALLY CHEAP!  Follow these easy steps…it maybe took me all of 30 minutes! 

IMG 4537

What is needed:

-Red, Pink & White Cardstock or construction paper (atleast 11" in length)

-Stapler

-Scissors or paper cutter

Steps:

1. Cut colored paper into 1" strips (approx. 1"x11")

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2. Fold each strip of paper in half 

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3. Form strip of paper into heart and staple

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4. Link next strip of paper into heart and repeat process, continue to form chain link

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5. That's it!! 

Continue until you reach desired length! 

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Lucky 2016

pig-carly

My New Year’s Eve Mantra:  

New Year’s day is coming---don’t forget to turn your scales back 10 pounds!

My New Year’s Day mantra:

God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do and the eyesight to know the difference---Author Unknown.

New Year's Day Lucky foods and why...

Pork (since they root forward which represents progress and are rotund which symbolizes abundance)

Beans (represent coins/money)

Cooked dark greens (greenà money)

Ring or Round-shaped cake with a trinket baked in (life coming full circle)

Fish (fertility and the scales resemble coins)

Grapes (12 grapes were eaten at midnight for good luck—I suggest the equal number of wine glasses)

Pomegranate (represents the human heart, long life, prosperity and fertility)

Long noodles (long life)

Cornbread (resembles gold)

Unlucky foods and why....

Lobster (because they walk backwards)

Chicken (because they scratch their backs and mean you will dwell in the past)

Fowl (represents good luck flying away)

Plate must have some food left on it insuring a full pantry the whole year

No white foods:  (egg whites, tofu or white cheeses---they represent death in China)

Herbs as gifts:  (if you give herbs as a gift on New Years Day you will ot only be uninvited in the future, but also incur bad luck)

Sidenote

carly pig

My daughter has a pet---it’s a pig.  Not a stuffed animal---not a pig that is deemed hers and raised on a farm.  A PIG THAT LIVES WITH HER.  I will admit that I am not one who ever desired having a farm animal as a pet, but since she is an adult she can do as she pleases.  I suppose this will make her the luckiest girl in 2016.  I did provide her with a list of names that I thought were excellent options, she didn’t’ agree:

Arnold Ziffle (Green Acres—she is too young to remember this one)

Bacon (I would’ve even settled for Kevin Bacon)

Chris P. Bacon (get it---crispy bacon)

Jimmy Dean

Porkchop

Piggy Sue (Got Married)

Wilbur (Charlotte’s Web)

Hammy Davis, Jr. (or Hammy for short)

Sooie

Porky (Th-th-th-that’s all folks)

Here are a few of my recipes that I thought were easy and tasty for this upcoming holiday

to make sure you have the luckiest 2016 possible!!!!

pork updated

Pecan-crusted pork with a fig-jam reduction

Pork tenderloin (usually 2 in a package)

1 cup chopped pecans (or cashews or almonds)

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Pint of heavy whipping cream

Salt/Pepper

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. dried parsley

Small jar of fig jam (you could also use apricot)

2 T. butter

1 cup of chicken stock (or beef stock)

Vegetable oil

Heavily salt and pepper the pork tenderloins and let sit for a half hour at room temperature.

Soak the tenderloins in the heavy cream in a Ziploc bag or deep pan.

Heat some vegetable in a fry pan.  You want it to be about ½ inch in depth to brown the pork on all sides.

Place the breadcrumbs, nuts, thyme and parsley on a cookie sheet so you can roll the pork in them to coat.

Place tenderloins in the pan to brown the outsides of the pork.  Some of the crumbs will fall off---that is fine---reserve them.

Place the pork in an oven that is preheated at 425 degrees and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 140 degrees.

Meanwhile, add the butter and garlic to the pan and scrape up the breadcrumb/nut pieces.  Once the garlic has simmered, add the chicken/beef stock and the fig jam.  Cook until slightly thickened and all ingredients are well incorporated.  Check for the need of additional salt or pepper and pour over the pork and serve. 

So---yum!!!

black eyed updated

 

Black-eyed pea curry with spinach

 (covers the beans, dark greens and is vegan and gluten-free)

1 can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 bunch of spinach (or collard greens)

1 can of coconut milk

2 T. red curry paste

1 tsp. lemon juice

Dash of Chili powder

Dash of Paprika

3 or 4 green onions diced

Chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Pour the coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the curry paste, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper and stir until fully incorporated.  Add the spinach until they wilt and toss in the green onions and parsley.  Serve with brown rice (white would be unlucky) or quinoa. 

salmon updated

Salmon with beans, bacon and kale

(fish, pork, beans and dark greens)

This knocks off 4 items on the lucky list and you can make it 5 if you have a glass of wine with it.  Feel free to use whatever fish you prefer.

4 salmon filets (6 ounces each)

Salt/pepper

3 or 4 cups of kale

4 garlic cloves, minced

1-cup chicken stock

2 T. butter

2 T. olive oil

½ cup red onion, diced

1 small can of your favorite beans drained and rinsed (chickpea, cannellini, black-eyed)

Fry the bacon in a pan until crispy, drain and reserve.

Take 1 T. olive oil and 2 T. butter and cook the garlic and red onion until softened.  Add the kale and cook until wilted.  Add the bacon and beans.

Rub the olive oil on the salmon and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  Broil the salmon for about 7 to 10 minutes and then place on top of the bacon mixture.

teriyaki updated

Teriyaki Pork with Soba Noodles

(pork, noodles, greens)

1 pound of pork cubed or sliced thin

2 tsp. oil

Small onion chopped

1 cup diced or sliced carrots

1 red pepper, sliced

1 bunch of Bok Choy, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped

For the noodles:

1-cup chicken stock

1 tsp. cornstarch

8 ounces soba noodles

3 T. soy sauce

2 T. honey

Cook the noodles according to instructions and set aside.  Whisk together the cornstarch, chicken stock, soy sauce and honey and set aside. 

Heat the oil in a pan and stir fry the pork—set aside.  In the same pan stir-fry the vegetables in batches to cook al dente and until the Bok Choy is wilted and tender. Remove the vegetables from the pan.  Add the chicken stock mixture to the pan and heat through until it thickens.  Stir the soba noodles into the sauce and then place in a bowl. Toss the pork and vegetables into the remaining sauce in the pan and pour on top of the soba noodles. 

brussel updated

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

(greens, pom, pork)

Add a pomegranate martini and you are assured of a great year!!!!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts (8 ounce bag)

1 pound bacon, fried to crisp

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup candied walnuts (available for purchase in most stores)

½ cup green onions

Pomegranate vinaigrette:

2 cups pomegranate juice

4 T honey or agave

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 T. apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar

1/3 cup to ½ cup olive or grape seed oil

Salt/pepper

Whisk all ingredients together

I don’t bake very well so I suggest you buy a boxed cake, throw it in some round baking pans or make a Bundt cake.   Throw in a silver dollar or a Susan B. Anthony coin as the surprise trinket. 

Ditto on the corn bread---buy it from a local bakery or buy a boxed mix---that’s all I got on that!

Thank you for the images:  fromachefskitchen.com (pork), letsdishrecipes.com (salad), canuckcuisine.com (teriyaki pork),

Finecooking.com (salmon), spiceupthecurry.com (black-eyed peas curry).

Plan a Holiday Party!

Just some ideas for your holiday party! I created a few invitations as well, there is still a bit of time left if you need to order.

Recipes below and link to video tutorial on christmas tree linen napkin folds! 

holiday party post

05b2f75bf81a995bfc61615c29b40219

http://www.today.com/food/4-diy-videos-are-hot-youtube-balloon-chocolate-bowls-side-2D11775076

Holiday party invite1    Holiday party invite2

Holiday party invite3

 

 

martini recipe

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.39.17 AM

Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini

Photo Credit: 

100layercake.com; willcookforfriends.com; harperbazaar.com; heartbeetkitchen.com; kraftcanada.com; howtodecorate.com; realsimple.com; abaday.com