Friday, August 29, 2014

everything dressing...


I'm not kidding when I call this recipe an "everything dressing". 

This stuff is so good that we have literally used it for anything (and everything) we possibly could. Cutting up a tomato? Let's dip it in the Everything Dressing! Making a sandwich? Smear some Everything dressing on that bread! Leftover steamed veggies from last night? Oh hey, let's dip it in that Everything Dressing and call it lunch. We have even used it for a quick pasta sauce, kale salad dressing, coleslaw dressing and even sautéed potatoes in it! Those friends, were delicious!!!

The greatest part? Because there is no dairy in sight, this would be a great BBQ, potluck or picnic staple! Because the ingredients are so simple, I strongly suggest finding the best quality of everything that you can. Especially the olive oil. Get yourself a goooood quality extra virgin olive oil. Trader Joe's makes a California Estate Olive Oil, which we ADORE. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

things I'm loving right now // etsy finds 5...



Today's installment of beloved Etsy finds is purely inspired by my love for home and that special comfort home brings. Dorothy Gale knew what she was saying when she repeated, "There's no place like home." There really isn't. It's my safe place. My refuge. My place of refreshment and rejuvenation. I love my home. 

Whatever and wherever home is for you, I hope you'll be inspired by these amazing pieces (and maybe even snag a few up for yourself or loved ones!) Head on over to those Etsy shops and show those awesome artists some love, will ya?


Friday, August 22, 2014

homemade salsa for two + our 6th cooks in the kitchen link up...


Hi friend!

Welcome to our second to last month of Elah Tree and my Cooks in the Kitchen Challenge! Yep, you read right- after today's link-up, there is only 1 more link-up left! And friend, you just have to make sure to join us for our final challenge because we have something really special planned. Bwahahahahaha. So if you've been putting off joining the fun, now is certainly the time! 

Cooks in the Kitchen is an opportunity to meet new bloggers, readers, friends; and COOK. We provide you with your main ingredient to cook with, then you have the rest of that month to scour through your recipes and find the perfect one. Then, at the end of the month, we will have a link up on both of our blogs where you can submit your recipe and blog post of your cooking creation and see how others tackled the same main ingredient. Super fun.

This month's ingredient was one of my favorite things in all the land- TOMATOES! I love tomatoes like you wouldn't believe. And, being preggie- it has been a pretty consistent craving! I just love the freshness, the slightly sweet quality, the juicy and tart flavors, and the simplicity of a tomato. I literally eat them like apples! All I need is a good Roma or cherry tomato and a few sprinklings of sea salt. Holy cow, yum. 

Oh! While we're on the topic- did you know you're NOT supposed to store tomatoes in the fridge?! I bet you didn't! Nope, fresh tomatoes should be bought from the store (notice they're not in the fridge section there either) and stored at room temperature until you're ready to use. Store for up to 4 or 5 days. If stored in the refrigerator the texture can molecularly change and they can become mealy. Blech. I don't know about you, but there's nothing worse than a mealy tomato. If you buy a nice firm, bright tomato, store room temp and eat within that 4-5 day period, you should always have a great snack!


I just love that Samantha and I both made a salsa-like dish. I think it's because we both live in Southern California and right now guys, it's friggin hot. I couldn't see myself baking or cooking anything this time around and I think she was on the same boat. Hehe. Even though we both did similar dishes, they are both unique and totally different from one another. That's just the beauty of experimenting with ingredients, folks. You can find Samantha's recipe here

I make this recipe a LOT. Because right now there's only two of us, I decided to concoct a recipe that was perfect for two and super easy to make. I usually prepare one batch of this and we snack on it until it's gone. Which to be honest, is within 10-15 minutes. MmMmm. We love salsa! It's a good-for-you snack though- packed to the brim with vitamins and all sorts of healthy stuff! So snack on and snack happily.


HOMEMADE SALSA FOR TWO
Makes about 2 cups
For printable recipe, click here

  • 1 pint organic grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons very small diced sweet onion
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh organic cilantro, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • *optional* fresh minced jalapeño pepper or few dashes of favorite hot sauce

1. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes into quarters and add to a non-reactive bowl. Next, add your small diced onion and garlic. 

For this recipe I used about 1/2 of a small onion. I sliced the half in half horizontally, then made downward cuts along the whole thing, then cut down again perpendicular to create an even dice. 


2. Next remove leaves from cilantro and roughly cut up. For this recipe, you will need 1/4 cup.


3. Lastly, add your lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, honey, and if using- jalapeño or hot sauce. Mix together well and cover with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature, stirring every so often, for an hour before serving. This allows all the flavors to marry and juices to come out. 


So darn fresh and so darn good. This salsa is fantastic served with salty tortilla chips or spooned over grilled chicken or fish!


1. Link-Up your Cooks in the Kitchen post below. Please link to the post and not your home page.

2. Be encouraging. Comment on the post before you and tell them how awesome they are!

3. Hashtag your creations #cooksinthekitchen2014











Our final Cooks in the Kitchen link-up
Friday, September 26th: Pears
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

oh baby!...


All photos courtesy of Sentimental Heart Photography

Dear friend,

Hey there! What's new with you guys?? Oh us, not too much except we've been cooking up a little baby! Uhhhh....what? Yeah. Totally! 

Ahhhh I just can't keep it in ANY longer! Funny thing is...I've actually sort of daydreamed about this day for a loooong time. There have been many a day in the last few years, where I am sitting at the computer editing photos or writing a blog post and my mind just starts to wander off into Babyland. How will the blog post look? What types of pictures will we put up? Should we be funny? Serious? Cutsie? Should I write anything? Keep it simple? Oh the pressure! I've seen some pretty awesome pregnancy announcements on blogs in years past and always wondered what ours would look like if/when the time came. Ha! So here we are! And here it is. I am officially 13 weeks along.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

homemade blueberry honey butter...


Remember this homemade butter post? Well now we're going to take that extra step and make it into something truly magical. Almost too magical. You've been warned.

As stated in said last post, if you've never had homemade butter, guuurrrrrl, you better get on it. It's ridiculous. But in a super good way. It's like nothing you've ever tasted! Think of the best butter you've ever had and like multiply that amazingness by about one hundred million. That friend, is the glory that is homemade butter.

So maybe you've already had homemade butter (yay you!) and like me, you're a huge fan. But, you're also going, "Been there, done that..." Ok, ok I hear ya...have you ever made homemade blueberry honey butter?? Hmmmm have you?! I didn't think so. Imagine that awesome creaminess paired with subtly sweet fresh smashed blueberries, a hint of naturally sweet honey, and a pinch of sea salt. Yum, right?

Blueberries are still in season for a little while longer, so run to your nearest store or farmer's market, pick up a pint and let's get this baby made, shall we?