Monday, June 25, 2012

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes in a Sweet Walnut Vinaigrette

I had the most amazing wine tasting experience near Santa Barbara a couple weekends ago. Not only was the wine amazing, but we got a special treat when we went olive oil tasting at this cute little place in Los Olivos, called Global Gardens. Honestly, that was my favorite part! I fell in love with the fig infused balsamic vinegar and all of the first cold pressed artisan olive oils, but my heart belongs to the nutty, savory walnut oil. This stuff is to die for!

When I came home that weekend to find ripe tomatoes in my garden I was excited to start experimenting with the nutty oil and sweet tomatoes! The pairing is perfect, and along with some red wine vinegar it stimulates every taste bud.

Sweet Walnut Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Walnut Oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (if you're nasty...*Janet Jackson reference, not actually nasty)
1 clove garlic
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp thyme

Mix ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar, throw in some tomatoes and let marinade for 1 or more hours, then serve. Oh, how I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE summer.

Check out this tomato from my garden! It's of the Hillbilly heirloom variety. <3

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stank Breath Mater Salad

Introducing: Stank Breath Mater Salad; or if you're fancy: Heirloom cherry tomato and bleu cheese salad with pistachio balsamic pesto dressing. 

I'm baaaaaaaaack in the saddle again! Hate to admit it because I always thought spring was my season, but apparently I'm a just summer kind of girl. Winter and spring just don't get my creative juices flowing. Weirdly, I lose my drive to cook and feel uninspired by food in general in winter. I love being able to go out to my garden, pick out flavors that compliment each other and arrange and prepare them in the kitchen. I imagine it's a pretty weird thing to watch since I rarely follow any sort of recipe and just start grabbing from every direction in the kitchen. Most likely it looks like a primitive idiotic dance...but I'm pretty happy with what the dance yields.

It's latest creation is what I like to call Stank Breath Mater Salad, because it sounds like something my dad would call it. Since my tomatoes are only just beginning to bloom, I had to have some help with grocery store tomatoes. I love intense flavors, so this salad really makes me happy. However, don't eat it by yourself, then go try to socialize! The aftermath isn't pretty for anyone on the receiving end, hence the name. Enjoy!

Stank Breath Mater Salad:
Heirloom cherry tomato and bleu cheese salad with balsamic pistachio pesto dressing

1 7oz container of orange heirloom tomatoes
1/3 cup of crumbled bleu cheese

For the pesto:
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh lemon balm
1/2 tbsp fresh orange mint
(if you don't have lemon balm or orange mint plants, just use basil)
1/2 cup parm cheese
1/3 cup Wonderful pistachio kernels
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic

Put all pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. In a medium size bowl, cut tomatoes in half and mix in bleu cheese and pesto.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Pin It

One day while walking through my home I've had for close to five years now, I suddenly realized the lack of decorating my lazy ass had failed to accomplish. Suddenly, I had a Natalie Dee moment and decided I MUST DECORATE ALL THE THINGS and immediately began brainstorming via Pinterest. Unfortunately, trying to simultaneously decorate every room in the house can be quite daunting so I decided to just pick one room to start with.

My bathroom has been a mish-mash of nautical dark blues, pasty white walls, and the typical beach sand and shell motif I have grown to loathe. So I decided to put a spin on a B-movie theme and do something out of the ordinary. My inspiration was the movie Twenty-thousand Leagues Under The Sea, with a glam twist. What does that look like you say? well, see below:
I started off by perusing Etsy for some ideas, and used the search terms: Squid, octopus, 20k leagues...etc. I found this really great art print of an octopus (granted it's not a squid like the actual movie depicts, but it's still really damn cool.). I went to a local home decor store and picked out some really gnarly silver decorations. My favorite pieces are the tentacle-like vase, the sparkly shower curtain with sequins in a double helix pattern  from Bed Bath and Beyond (fuck yeah), and the crazy looking silver coral that is also quite tentacle-esque.

For the colors scheme I knew I wanted three walls to be iridescent pearl , but the focal wall was a little harder. I went back and forth between lavender and blue-green, but finally chose blue-green which I really love. However, I will NEVER buy iridescent paint for a large surface EVER again. What a pain in the ass. Not only did I have to do two coats of primer, but also three coats of the shiny glaze...five coats altogether; which is still streaky in areas. Even though it's pretty up close, overall the color is a little too taupe for my liking. Eventually, I will  repaint it but for know my stubborn ass is hoping it will grow on me after all that hard work. :)

My absolute favorite elements in this bathroom are the silver painted octopuses...(is this a word, or are they called octopii? haha) and squid. I found these little toys for pretty cheap at Michael's, spray painted them silver, and arranged a few of them in a hurricane vase; which really adds an interesting element to the mix. I had some old frames laying around so I painted them to match my focal wall and hung my Etsy print in one, then took out the glass of the other two frames, hung them on the wall and stuck a scuba diver and octopus to the inside with velcro tape. These are also really cool and definitely add to the story (if bathrooms could tell stories).

Pin It

Monday, February 6, 2012


Like most other women I've been talking to lately, I have been OBSESSED with stupid Pinterest! I say "stupid" because it consumes me, to the point where my brain doesn't create any new recipes, I just cheat and steal other people's ideas...haha! I've been having great success with most recipes I've tried so far, which is why I find it hard to try and come up with recipes on my own. I've posted a few of my favorites below if you're interested. Oh, and feel free to check out my pins first hand if you want to see how obsessed and insane I actually am:
Delicious Barbacoa Tacos
Creme Brulee
OMG Hawaiian Bread Ham and Cheese Sliders...SO GOOD

Even though I've been putting the  blogging on the back burner, I am still practicing my "old lady at heart" skills. I started sewing a little more. Now, I can wind bobbins, and thread my machine like a pro! Last weekend I turned this big ugly shirt into a form fitting dolman style shirt, thanks to an amazing seamstress with a YouTube channel.
Check out the tutorial here.
NASCAR in Vegas is coming up soon, which means lots of time on the campground...which means time to learn how to knit! I'm taking some knitting needles and plenty of yarn. Hopefully this goes well, unlike my first attempts at crochet, haha!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's a Soupy Kind Of Winter

This time of the year really makes me want a piping hot bowl of soup. I've found some amazing recipes from Pinterest that I'm dying to share! My favorites have been a Rachel Ray chicken lime soup, and another yummy Mexican style soup called albondigas soup (meatball soup). Both are way simple, and only take 30-40 minutes, perfect for week-night meals.

I should also have this delicious recipe for carnitas on here, but alas it didn't get to try it. I was so excited to make this, because the recipe sounded amazing! I got up early on a Wednesday so I could brown my pork shoulder and insert slivers of garlic all over it, then added the shoulder and other ingredients to the crock pot and went to work. I thought about that damn thing all day...about how good it was going to smell when I got home, and about how amazing the slivers of garlic inside the shoulder would be...but when I got home, there was no smell.

I dropped my stuff at the door and briskly walked to the kitchen because deep down I knew something was horribly wrong...only to discover, the screen on the crock pot was black. Found out the power went off at 8AM that day...just 30 minutes after I left from work...F*&%! I was so pissed. I did get my carnitas, however because my mouth was absolutely SET on eating them...had to go to a restaurant, but they were still good.

I'm still in mourning over that hunk of destined to be delicious meat. Curse you, freak occurring power outage...
Here is the recipe if anyone wants to try it and rub in my face how amazing it is--->Carnitas in a crock pot

Albondigas Soup recipe from <---click there

Chicken Lime Soup from <---Click there


Friday, November 25, 2011

Check Out My Hooters!

Once again Ravelry saves the day! If you crochet and haven't discovered Ravelry yet, you're totally missing out.  I just made the cutest little hats for my nieces and nephew. I followed the pattern for the first one, but the last two I kinda winged.

So here is the pattern, which is offered in several sizes on her site. However, if there is a size she doesn't have...or your child has a bulbous head, just measure the head, then chain one inch less (depending on the stretchyness of the yarn) and join to start the body of your hat.

By the way, I'm not sure if any of you have discovered the amazingness that is Pinterest yet, but I'm officially hooked...and its kind of becoming a ridiculous addiction. I spend more time looking and pinning all the damn projects than I do anything else--including housework, crafts, making dinner, and spending time with the Hubbz. Good thing he's too busy playing Angry Birds to notice :D

Seriously though, it really is making me an unproductive human being and it's starting to get embarrassing! Going to start restricting myself to 10 pins a day! haha.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Pistachio Fairy and The Crochet Hook Smuggler

Wow! It's been Soooooo long since my post! As some of you knew I have been involved with this year's pistachio harvest; working around the clock to bring delicious pistachios to grocery stores across the that leaves no time for me to do anything but eat, sleep and breathe pistachios! I'm even going to be a pistachio fairy for Halloween, here's a picture of my magic wand to prove it:

Luckily, the madness of harvest is over and I am so happy to get back to my domestic ways! I already juiced the first pomegranates of the season and will be making jelly really soon! In case you missed it here is a link to my pomegranate jelly recipe. I've also go a few new recipes to try out that I'm super excited about!

But first...I need to take a rest. The jelly-making is going to have to wait because the Hubbz and I are taking a week long vaca in Oahu next week! Woohoooo, happy end of harvest to me :) I should be coming back with tons of ideas for Spam and pineapple recipes though so stay tuned!

As exciting as a trip to Oahu sounds, surprisingly the only thing on my mind has been trying to figure out how to smuggle my crochet hooks on the plane...Obviously the metal ones are out, but I'm thinking the wooden and plastic might be okay? I don't know, I haven't been on a plane since 2003, so I'm sure a lot has changed. If any readers have any smuggling tricks, other than how criminals conceal hooks are entering ANY of my orifices, thank you very much. I'm desperate...but not that desperate. Think I may try using them as hair accessories...or sticking them inside my balls of yarn.

Anyhow, thank you to all my loyal readers who didn't give up on me! I promise, an actual post is coming soon!!

My friend Christa saves the day!
"Actually, having done this A LOT going back and forth to Oklahoma, I know that you actually CAN take all your knitting/crochet supplies (even metal ones) in carry-on to use during your flight -- including sharp scissors up to 4 inches in length! Here's the link: "-Christa