Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Great Cabbage Salad Recipes


Hello!  We have had an abundance of amazing tasting cabbage in our CSA boxes this spring.  While I am not a huge fan of cabbage, I really liked these dishes. 

I recently watched the documentary film DIVE!  The film, though low budget, was well done and addresses both food waste and hunger very thoughtfully.  If you have a chance to see it, I would highly recommend it.  Anyway, cabbage is one of those things that I can let sit in the fridge and forget about because it keeps well.  However, I needed to make room for more fresh produce and, especially after viewing DIVE! I certainly did not want to waste ANY of this cabbage!  If you have seen the film, you will know what I mean.

SOOOO...I thought I would share two recipes that I have made to use up our cabbage.  Forgive me for using the same bowl (!) for my photography, but it is my biggest mixing/salad bowl and when you start shredding a full head of cabbage it seems to multiply.  :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First up:  SIMPLE CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD
(caveat:  this recipe is NOT a gourmet salad!  It is a simple, frugal meal that tastes good.)


What I did:
shredded a small full head of cabbage
added two full cooked chicken breasts, diced up
added 1 package of crushed ramen noodles (dry)
threw in some sesame seeds
chopped up a bunch of green onion and threw that in
For the dressing, you can add some bottled Asian style salad dressing, or mix up your own.  I used 2 ramen seasoning packets mixed with a little bit of hot water, canola oil, white vinegar, a bit of splenda blend and pepper.  I just kept tasting it until it tasted right and I had enough to toss into the salad.  Then mix and let it chill for several hours before serving.
Super simple and inexpensive.


Second is this recipe for CABBAGE SLAW:


For the recipe please go here.  YUM.  I omitted the celery seed and onion powder and reduced the amount of honey and the dressing tasted great.  It's basically a dressing of EVOO, Apple Cider Vinegar and honey.  I also added fresh cilantro to the salad.

I hope you try either of these!  Of the two, I think I prefer the red cabbage slaw, but I am not much of a meat eater anymore so that might be why.

Cabbage is healthy- full of vitamins, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a known cancer preventative  when eaten regularly.  It is also generally very inexpensive and keeps well.  A winner all around!  :)

Enjoy.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Master Bathroom Progress!

As tired as I am and as ready as I am for the school year to come to a close, I am glad to be working so that I can finance this project!

As many of you know, our master bathroom was stuck in the 1970s, complete with harvest gold tile and several leaks.  It had desperately needed updating, but I avoided dealing with it for years.  To save money, I did not alter the basic configuration, left the vanities, sinks and existing countertop even though it is very old, and did all of the design of this awkward space myself (including a cabinet).  We have one contractor working on this project (a female!) and her attention to detail and work ethic is amazing.  Here is our progress (no, it is not finished yet!):

Below is the shower minus it's door.  The tile is pure white subway, with carrera marble accents for the insert and bench and floor.  The flooring is a beautiful hardwood-looking tile:



details...


Below is our tub area (the tub is not yet installed, but will go where the wet dry vac is sitting).  I chose beadboard and better mouldings for interest.  The still-unpainted wood cabinet is the one I sketched out on Mother's Day.  The Contractor is a skilled carpenter and had to deal with our crazy uneven walls.


Below shows the paint colors fairly well, but it's not finished.  The existing counter will be re-straightened and re-grouted and new faucets will be installed as well as mirrors with dark frames to tie into the floor (we removed the "wall of 1970's builder's grade mirrors!!!)...The wall paint is Old Prairie by Ben Moore, and the trim is Whisper by Dunn Edwards.


I am excited to post the final reveal but it will be a while before all the details, including the window treatments, have been completed.  However, I am very happy with how this bathroom is turning out.  The contractor has been so patient with me since I am extremely visual and the design has progressed with each change.  It has been my most challenging project so far and I am proud of myself this go-around (not bad for a school psychologist, I guess I should say).  :)

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Moving toward a more minimalist closet...

If you read my blog with any regularity (thank you!!!), you know that we are in the throws of renovating our long overdo master bathroom.  Despite keeping the closet doors shut and our contractor's diligence in keeping dust to a minimum, the clothes in our closet have had a light sprinkling on their shoulders.  Fairy dust.  :)  

Concurrent with this, I have grown very tired of my work clothes and realize that some of them really need updating and replacing.  Each day I struggle to get dressed in clothes that are dated, worn, or unflattering.  And the closet is a mess.

Rather, I would like this:  


(source)   

I have decided that once the work in the master bathroom/bedroom area is complete, I will take it upon myself to take every bit of clothing out (including my husband's stuff), clean the closet, repaint the interior of the closet, and put only 1/3 of the clothing and shoes back.  For staple items that need replacement, I will take my time and shop for timeless and flattering things that are made of quality fabrics.  With fewer (but nicer) things, I will be able to dress more creatively yet without stress and (hopefully) grumpiness.  A zero-waste closet attempt.

For Mother's Day, I was asked what I wanted and thought of either a piece of costume jewelry (I already have too much) or a new spring/summer bag.  But then I remembered my goals.  (yes, you CAN have too many bags, really) 
:) 


My husband bought me this summer bag years ago from Brighton.  While the heart detail is really not my style at the moment, the bag is actually very cute and has held up well. 

The interior fabric is a pop of fun when the bag is opened (see below)...



Last summer I purchased a very good quality black bag on sale for nearly half off.  I have used it for the bulk of this year, from about late October until now.  Because it is black, it goes with all of my clothes and was a very smart purchase.  It has held up wonderfully, I still love it, and I have had many nice compliments on it (always fun to hear).  But she will be put aside for a few months so that I can enjoy this summer bag again.  :)

I'm really, really ready to declutter and to live with less.  Everything I live with must be loved, however.  That's the rule.  :) 


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Scenery

Mother's Day was a mix of emotions.  Here are a few scenes:

Pretty roses...


Breakfast...this is a spinach, egg and cheese panini from the Champagne Bakery:


sugarfree cupcakes...





I spent a smidgen of time drawing up a plan for the built-in bookcase that I want in our master bathroom, which we are about halfway through remodeling:





And a long, soul-searching walk at my favorite beach:



Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amazing Kale


Hello Friends!  Today I thought I would share my love for Kale.  This green is a powerhouse of nutrition (for more info please read this article), helping to boost immunity and heart health.  It contains  powerful antioxidents/carotenoids, calcium, maganese, Vitamin C, plant protein, and the list goes on...

I don't believe that kale is difficult to grow, either.  Like swiss chard, it is a pretty green to see sprouting from Mother Earth...

Since joining our CSA a year ago, I have been in love with this leafy green.  Yes, it has a somewhat strong flavor, but it will grow on you, believe me!  :)

I like raw kale, but it can also be cooked into kale chips as well as incorporated into soups and other dishes. 

Recently, I posted a recipe for Kale and Potato Casserole...


I also love Kale Salad, especially during the summer...




Most recently I have begun experimenting with kale in smoothies.  The drink pictured below was a combination of citrus, frozen banana and about 3 kale leaves.  It tasted great!






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Little Bit of Life....


Those of you who know me personally know that I work for a school district and that by the end of the school year I am not only swamped, but typically rather exhausted.  It is a push to get everything done, meetings wrapped up, reports written, students moving onward with thier lives, etc. by the end.  This is why I have not been blogging much!

here is a little life snipet....just a few shots...


...birthday cupcakes for my beloved older son...




a miniature rose I planted to use as a centerpiece for the dining room...




Miss Bear turned 14....(she did not like her birthday crown)...



still a beauty queen, though...



We are in the throws of the master bathroom renovation (before photos here)....this project has been very much wanted for a long time...

here is the shower after the demo...



here is the master bath shower during renovation...wall tile is white subway and floor is carrera marble tile...


I will post more photos soon.  I am trying to figure out how to make one of these nifty shelf skirts (I am hoping my mom can help) which will go near our cabinetry near the tub (the new gorgeous tub is currently standing in our garage!)

photo source:  Brooke Gianetti

Please see more of my bathroom inspiration photos on Pinterest!  There's some gorgeous stuff!  :)


It is a short update, but at least an update!  :)  Thanks for checking in.  XO, Steph.

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