Friday, July 29, 2011

Alto's Lament

In college, I auditioned for a treble choir and the director told me that I would be singing soprano...

Me: "But I am an alto!"
Director: "No, you are a soprano."
Me: "But I have always sung alto!"
Director: "Do you read music?"
Me: [pause] "Yes."
Director: "That's why."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I got this recipe from my friend and domestic goddess Erin over at Our Pandemonium Paradise

It is super easy to make and it worked like a charm.  I included links to the ingredients online so you can see what they look like.  Both borax and washing soda are easily found in most grocery and home improvement stores.  I have also read that you can exchange the washing soda with baking soda, which would make this even cheaper to make. 

Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
White vinegar

  • Mix together the borax and washing soda and store in a plastic container with a lid.  I used an old dishwasher capsules container: 
  • When ready to use, put 2 tablespoons of mix into the detergent spot in your dishwasher.  
  • Pour white vinegar into the rinsing agent spot.  The vinegar helps to prevent residue and spotting.
  • Run dishwasher.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Recipe: Elderflower G&T

Certainly on a list of best housewarming presents ever is the elderflower liqueur that our friend brought us on Saturday.  I normally don't really care for liqueurs because they are way too sweet for me but elderflower liqueur is different.  It is on the more savory, floral side with a hint of sweetness.  Our friend uses it in epic Manhattans.  We didn't have the ingredients for those but we did have the ingredients for these...

Elderflower Gin & Tonic

You will need these ingredients + limes.


  • Gin
  • Elderflower liqueur
  • Tonic water
  • Limes


  1. Fill a cocktail glass with ice. 
  2. Pour in 1.5 ounces gin, 1 ounce elderflower liqueur and 3 ounces tonic water. 
  3. Squeeze in a quarter of a lime.  
  4. Stir and serve.  
  5. Cheers!

If you agree with one of the readers of my Outblush guest post and think the sugar content of this cocktail is cra cra crazy, consider using diet tonic or omit the tonic water and use soda water instead.  Easy peasy. 

Random Fact: I have never had a cavity!

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    How: Lemon & Lime Ice Cubes

    Event: Housewarming
    Difficulty: Easy Peasy
    Materials Needed: Muffin pan, 6 lemons and/or limes, water
    Time Needed: Overnight

    Place lemon and lime slices in muffin pan.
    Carefully fill muffin pan with water and freeze.

    1. Make sure that there is a big, level space in your freezer for the muffin pan.
    2. Thinly slice up lemons and limes.
    3. Place two or three slices of lemon and/or lime in each section of the muffin tin.
    4. Carefully fill the muffin pan with water. 
    5. Freeze overnight. 
    6. Pop out a few of the ice cubes and place in a large pitcher.  Add water or iced tea.
    You could also make these ice cubes with iced tea so that they don't dilute your beverage as they melt.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    42 Second Break: DJ Kittens FTW*

    This is too magical not to share.  It is quite possible that I watched it five times in a row. I know that I biased because I have an orange cat named Stella and these three look like mini Stellas but I would totally hire them to DJ my next event.

    Happy Friday!

    PS: I am super proud of myself for resizing this video so it fits within the post box area thingy.

    *Mom, FTW = For the Win.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Karaoke Fun: Undercover Jewel

    I loooooooove karaoke.  Love it.  I also enjoy Jewel...and funny videos.  So put those three things together and I. Am. In.  I have previously shared this video with my karaoke friends but I feel that everyone could benefit from watching it.  It is six minutes and forty-six seconds well spent.  Trust.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    To Do: Find Ideas and Inspiration

    These are three of my current favorite websites and are filled to the brim with ideas and inspiration.

    Daily Challenge sends e-mails every morning with a to-do item that in some way improves your mental, physical and/or emotional health.  Today's challenge is to identify a local place that serves healthy food and to save the information on paper or in your phone.  Easy peasy. 

    Foodgawker is exactly what it sounds like -- a place to gawk at (and often drool over) delicious looking dishes and find the associated recipes. I submitted by first photo yesterday so fingers crossed by zucchini & goat cheese rolls make the cut. 

    Pinterest is a visual pin board where you can store and share all sorts of fabulous ideas and images from all over the interwebs.  This site warms my organization and list-loving heart.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Recipe: Thai Chicken Pizza

    Fresh out of the oven.

    This is so easy.  Like mid-week-post-work-even-when-you-are-totally-exhausted easy.  The most difficult part is letting the pizza dough rise for 45 minutes.  Just for the record, I only let it rise for 10 minutes and it turned out just fine. 

    I found the recipe on the Trader Joe's website.  If you want to be fancier, you could totally make your own pizza dough, peanut satay sauce and rotisserie chicken.  However, I'm sticking to the easy recipe.

    These green onions were HUGE so I only ended up using two.
    Mix a half jar of peanut satay sauce with 1 cup cooked chicken.
    Spread pizza dough with remaining 1/2 jar peanut satay sauce and shredded mozzarella.
    Top with remaining ingredients.

    Thai Chicken Pizza 

    Serves: 4

    • 1 plain pizza dough
    • 1 jar Trader Joe's peanut satay sauce (or 8-ounce homemade)
    • 1 cup cooked chicken (I used Trader Joe's Just Chicken)
    • 8-ounces shredded mozzarella
    • 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
    • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
    • 1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped


    1. If using prepared raw dough, remove from fridge and let rise on counter for 45 minutes.
    2. Preheat oven to 425ยบ F. 
    3. In a small bowl, combine chicken and 1/2 jar (4-ounces) of peanut satay sauce.  Set aside.
    4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface.  Place on pizza stone or baking sheet. 
    5. Spread remaining peanut satay sauce over the dough.
    6. Top with shredded mozzarella, chicken, green onions, carrots and peanuts.  
    7. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until edges start to brown and cheese is nice and melted. 

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    One and a Half Minute Break: Shining!

    An oldie but goodie. Just be careful because watching this may very well lead to an hour of watching recut movie trailers on youtube. Don't say I didn't warn you.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Recipe: Mango Pomegranate Guacamole

    Looking for an easy upgrade for your standard guacamole recipe?  Stir in diced mango and pomegranate seeds!  My friend Jackie made a double batch of this for yesterday's 4th of July BBQ and it is easily one of my new favorite guacamolicious appetizers.

    Start with a basic guacamole...
    ...stir in diced mango and pomegranate seeds...

    ...and then stuff it in your face.

    Mango Pomegranate Guacamole

    Original recipe from

    Serves: 8


    • 4 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
    • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
    • 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped, including seeds
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, approximately 1 lime
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
    • 3/4 cup diced mango
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • Chips for serving

    1. Mash avocados in a large bowl. 
    2. Stir in onion, chiles, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
    3. Fold in the mango, pomegranate seeds and cilantro.

    You can make this a day ahead.  Prepare through step 2 and then seal tightly with plastic wrap, pressing down to the top of the mashed avocado.  When ready to serve, uncover and fold in the mango, pomegranate seeds and cilantro.  Season with lime juice and salt.  

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Recipe: Artichoke and Green Olive Spread

    This is another super duper easy appetizer recipe.  I found it at a fabulous food blog, Smitten Kitchen, and for the most part I kept the recipe the same.  I did opt to use crackers instead of toasting bread for crostini.  I should share that it has been 100 degrees here and our new house doesn't have air conditioning.  There was no way I was going to turn on our oven.


    Not the prettiest appetizer but very delicious.

    Artichoke and Green Olive Spread

    • 1 garlic clove, peeled
    • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
    • 1 cup large green olives
    • 1 tablespoon capers
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Crackers or bread for serving


    1. Put all ingredients, except the crackers or bread, in a food processor and pulse until it forms a coarse paste. 
    2. Pour into a small bowl and serve with crackers or bread.  
    This can be made up to two days beforehand.  Simply cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Recipe: Taco Salad

    My friend Erin, of Our Pandemonium Paradise, posted this recipe.  We made it for dinner last night and it was quick, easy and so very delicious.  I made some adjustments to the original recipe so I am sharing my version here.

    Taco Salad
    Dressing Ingredients.
    Shredded cotija.  A little goes a long way.

    If you can't find cotija, use a cheese of your choice.

    Cooking the meat.

    Avocado is my topping of choice.  Always.


    Taco Salad

    Serves: 4 - 6

    • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, approximately 2 limes
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided 
    • 3 teaspoons cumin, divided
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
    • 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
    • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 hearts of romaine, shredded
    • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 4 cups tortilla chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup shredded cotija cheese, optional garnish
    • 1 avocado, diced, optional garnish
    • Slices of limes, optional garnish


    1. To make the dressing, combine lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp of cumin, cilantro and 1/3 cup olive oil in a small bowl or salad dressing bottle.  Stir or shake well to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste.
    2. Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add meat and break up with a wooden spoon.  Cook until meat is lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes.
    3. Add the diced onion, chili powder and the remaining garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    4. Stir in tomato paste and water and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm. 
    5. Combine romaine, diced tomato and tortilla chips in a large bowl.  Toss to combine. 
    6. Divide lettuce mixture among four plates.  Drizzle with dressing and top with a scoop of the meat mixture.  Garnish with cotija cheese, avocado and lime slices.  
    The next time I make this (and, oh yes, there will definitely be a next time) I plan to make the dressing at least a few hours before so the lime, cumin and cilantro have more time to mingle.