Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I had for supper last night (2.0)

If there isn't much to eat in the house, or if I'm feeling particularly lazy, or if I forget to take something out of the freezer... I can never seem to figure out what to make for supper. On these occasions (at least once a week) we'll have leftovers, pizza or take-out, or we may even just have popcorn and junk. Real healthy, I know.

Last night was one of those nights. I was low on veggies, hadn't taken any meat out of the freezer, and the leftovers were scarce. So I challenged some of my Etsy friends (those awesome folk that frequent the wonderful MMG thread) - I told them I had baby potatoes, tortilla wraps and roma tomatoes. What should I make?

Nikid, who has incredible sweets in her shop, suggested I make potato wraps. Honestly, I was skeptical... potatoes in a wrap? With salsa, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese? I don't know... Then asiasi suggested I just fry the potatoes up. Mmmm, fried potatoes. But, I didn't have onions, so they would be meager fried potatoes. I couldn't decide between these two different ideas.

Almost at the same time, they both suggested I fry the potatoes, and use that in the wraps. That way, if I (or Pat) didn't like the wraps, there would still be delicious fried potatoes. Genius! Why didn't I think of that???

So I fried up my potatoes. Salt, pepper, garlic salt and lots of onion powder to make up for the lack of onions (some cook I am... no onion!). Oh, and some chili-infused oil (the red flecks): Of course, I only took the one picture, well before the potatoes had even started cooking. They turned a lovely crisp brown, and were delicious. And the wraps? Oh my goodness they were delicious! Salsa for a little kick, lots of cheese to melt around the potatoes (mmmmm, cheesy potatoes) and chopped tomato and lettuce to add some juiciness and crispness. I'm looking forward to my lunch of leftovers!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I had for supper last night..

Peanut satay chicken stir-fry. But I cheated... the sauce was out of a bottle.I feel like such a fraud.

But it was the first time I tried cooking with peanut (other than desserts and PB sandwiches) and I didn't want to risk experimenting ... Pat can get tired of my experiments. This Thai Kitchen sauce was quite nice - not overwhelmingly peanutty, with a little curry kick (though I found it sweet more than I did spicy). I will definitely try to recreate this on my own sometime - when I do, you'll get the recipe. For now, pictures.I used 3 whole peppers (green, yellow & red), some broccoli, 2 carrots, 1/2 white onion, a couple handfuls of snow peas and a can of water chestnut. A note on water chestnut - they always gross me out a bit when I open the can. They look so soggy and blah. But they add such a wonderful, crisp crunch! I've gotten into the habit of cooking my meat separately from the vegetables - first, to be added in once the veggies are nearly done. Like now:Then in goes the sauce. I didn't use the whole bottle because I didn't want to be overwhelmed, but I probably could have. The leftovers are a little under-sauced (but I just added a bit before microwaving). It kind of added a dull colour to all the pretty veggies, but it was worth it! I let it warm up on minimum for a little while so that the flavours could meld together. I served this over some leftover Jasmine rice I had in the fridge. We're all about Jasmine rice - so yummy - with the right amount of stickiness to use chopsticks!

Item of the day: Square Circles Posts

Lately, I've been picking up post earrings as opposed to dangly ones. I often wear my hair tied back, and I just think tiny posts look better in these cases. These square silver posts by ShereDesign are absolutely stunning, while still being simple enough for everyday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Item of the day: Funky Swirly Tree

I found (or re-found) the Etsy shop zomb via Twitter yesterday - and I absolutely love this purple swirly tree t-shirt! I may have to treat myself soon...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Item of the day: Lemon Cupcake

Did your mom ever threaten to wash your mouth out with soap when you swore? Mine did. Which wouldn't have been much of a threat if she'd been using this appetizing cupcake soap from Verbenacustomblends!Check out this shop for lots of great Mother's Day gifts!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Item of the day: Round Ring

During Etsy Day, I was pouncing on shops that had no sales yet and came across 22designstudio. I love their funky concrete rings!Will you be their first Etsy sale?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MSOE April Challenge: Cretaceous Period

My Etsy team, the Mad Scientists of Etsy (MSOE), have a monthly challenge, and I couldn't come up with anything for last month's Darwin theme. This month's theme was the cretaceous period, and I was determined to participate.

But I had no idea. Really, I knew pretty much nothing about this period of time. So I turned to the trusty Wiki gods and found out that this is when bees evolved. Actually, flowering plants and bees likely co-evolved (in other words, neither would have arisen alone). I thought this was pretty neat, so I decided to make some jewelry with some cute little brass bee tags. I've seen plenty on Etsy and ordered some I liked. I also ordered some beads to go with it - I couldn't decide between some vintage German honeycomb beads and some crackled glass beads in a nice warm honey colour.

Everything came in, and I soon realized the bees were a little large for earrings. At least in my opinion. So a necklace it would be.

Do you think I could decide on which beads I liked more? I came up with a design for each, and just had to make 2 necklaces! The one with the beautiful honey glass turned out ok, but it sits kind of funny (the pendant part isn't heavy enough), so I'm going to have to work on it: The other one turned out beautifully:I really love these vintage beads and I'm glad I have some left over. If you'd like to pick up this little bee, check out my Etsy shop!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Etsy Day!

In celebration of Etsy Day, I pounced a brand new shop that had no sales yet - and purchased this cute card from RUBYrecycled! The cool part is that the card and envelope are made of 100% recycled fibers - from elephant poo! Seriously! How cool is that!Update: I posted a link to this post in the MMG thread I follow everyday, and everyone there decided it was a great idea to pounce on this shop too! Then, caught up in the excitement, we all went and pounced a few more shops. Check out the MMG thread for a list of purchases we all made. I ended up getting some fun tape for packages by JustAPerfectDay and some yummy smelling soap by newearthsoaps (opening sale: buy one get one free!).

Etsy Day!

Today has officially (or non-officially..) been dubbed Etsy Day. Everyone - buyers, sellers, fans - are challenged to undertake some crazy and inventive guerilla marketing. Share your love for Etsy with your world and everyone you interact with today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Productive Afternoon

I had a productive afternoon today. I made 4 sets of tags - it doesn't sound like much, but they took awhile (and I also finished up a necklace I'll show you tomorrow). It's a new design I've been thinking of for some time now.

First, I had to choose colour / pattern combinations. These blue ones with multi-coloured stripes are my favourite: Next, I had to cut the card and paper to size, stamp them with "Thanks!" and glue them together. Then I assembled all the pieces. The front and back pieces of these tags are held together by these adorable fabric covered brads I got from aimoobaroo (I have some more spring-y ones on their way in the mail):Which means these tags swivel open for your special message!I'm pretty excited with how they turned out. Keep an eye on my shop - I'll be posting these soon!

Item of the day: Hello Spring

Cathy Nichols has been a favourite for quite some time. While recently perusing her shop, I came across this cheery print - I love the bright green. Hello Spring! I'm ready for you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Item of the day: Palette Earrings

I featured a pin by LindaCain yesterday, and while browsing through her shop, I happened upon these fun earrings - I just had to feature them today!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recipe: The Best Mud Cake

I wanted to make a decadent chocolate cake this weekend (of course, I didn't get around to it until Monday night, but no matter). I found this recipe in an old recipe book I stole from my mom: Chocolate Dreams by Chef Express. I thought it was really freaky that Bakerella just posted a very similar recipe (though flourless). But I'm glad she did because the recipe I have called for caster sugar. I only have regular white sugar, and that's what Bakerella used so.... onward we go!

The Best Mud Cake


11 oz (around 12 pieces) of dark chocolate, chopped, or a 350g bag of semi-sweet chocolate chip (or a bit of both, which I what I had)
1 1/2 sticks of butter (around 3/4 cups)
3/4 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1/3 cup flour, sifted
cocoa powder and icing sugar, sifted


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

I didn't have a spring pan, which is what you're supposed to use in order to cut a pretty piece of cake. I didn't care about looks, so I just used a 9" glass dish I had. I greased it and dusted it with cocoa (pretty sure that was a tip from Bakerella).2. My recipe says to melt the chocolate, butter and sugar together in a bowl over a simmering pot of water..... I followed Bakerella's easier instructions. I microwaved the chocolate and butter for 30 second intervals (on power 8), stirring in between. Once all the chocolate is melted, stir in the sugar.3. Let the chocolate mixture cool while you separate the eggs. Which is a lot of fun (as long as you don't mind getting your fingers a little wet)! Place the whites in a clean bowl and beat them until stiff peaks form. The egg yolks will be added in one by one. Of course, I forgot to take a picture before I mixed one of the yolks in. And I had one casualty...It's still rainy.... but the yolks are sunny! 4. Once the chocolate has cooled a bit, beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, fold in the flour. Yes, I used my pretty Russian doll measuring cups!5. Now fold in the beaten egg yolks. This seemed to take a long time... But when I was done, I had a fantastic, light, airy batter full of bubbles. 6. Pour the batter into your greased and floured/cocoa'ed pan and bake it at 350F for 45-50 minutes. Make sure the cake feels firm and isn't too jiggly, but it's ok if the toothpick doesn't come out clean. You want a gooey centre. Mine was cracked and puffy when it came out. Smiling because it smells so good!Bakerella said her cake would fall, and mine eventually did a bit. I dusted the top with cocoa and icing sugar.It's so pretty, it's almost a shame to eat it.Who am I kidding? I rushed through supper so that I could sink my teeth into this.It was still a little warm, the centre gooey, the crust crunchy and the in-betweens cake-y. It was oh-so perfect. Oh-so delicious. I'm so stuffed with it as I write this, but I want more...

Item of the day: Easter Bunny Pin

Even though Easter is over.... I still can't stop thinking about bunnies. This porcelain bunny pin by LindaCain is adorable:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Supper: Ginger Steak Salad

This is what I had for supper. Yes, it was delicious. I marinated some steak in Renee's Japanese Ginger Vinaigrette salad dressing (cheating, I know). I then fried them up, sliced them, and served it over a salad of romaine lettuce, raddiccio, green onion and radish with more of the salad dressing.

Even better.... dessert: The Best Mud Cake. Pat's and my guts are busting.... Recipe coming tomorrow!

Favourite colour: Yellow

It's gloomy and raining out today... and I'm in need of a little sunshine. Lucky for me, and for you, yellow has been a dominant colour in my crafting. Here are a few sunny earrings I listed this morning:
Picasso Yellow Circle earrings

I love pairing yellow with blue, green and turquoise (these necklaces and the flower earrings above are not yet posted on Etsy):
Yellow never fails to make me smile!

Item of the day: Busy Busy Busy

I'm one of those people who is forever writing a to-do list. I like the satisfaction of scratching or checking something off my list. So this sweet notebook by katieblairdesigns would be perfect - I like that the pages tear out if I happen to want to bring the list along with me somewhere.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Etsy Feature: Bike Ride

I just got back from a bike ride - Pat bladed. We didn't go far - I'm way too out of shape - but we took our time, enjoying the beautiful weather. It's warm enough to be outside in a tshirt! To celebrate the return of bike-riding weather, here are some bike-inspired goodies from Etsy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Item of the day: Juice Necklace

I was in need for a bright punch of colour today. I had to go way, way back in my favourites to dig out this beautiful orange necklace by ZhivanaDesigns ~ but am I ever glad I did!