Wednesday, March 30

Nothing to Do With Cooking, But I Couldn't Resist...

Apparently, this was part of the reason for my long commute to work this morning... PIGS!!



Can you believe it?

B-E-A-utiful Kitchens

It's another gloomy, cold day in North Carolina.  It was nearly impossible to get out of bed this morning with little-to-no sunlight in our apartment, making the morning all the more dreadful.  Yesterday was equally as dreadful outside, so I spent my evening perusing the internet looking for recipes, pictures, cooking gadgets, and kitchens that piqued my interest (or at least made me smile).  

I have shared numerous recipes with y'all, but what I really enjoyed looking at last night were all the beautiful kitchens.  I'd LOVE to take a little from this one here, and add a bit from that one, a dash from another, and a hint of another to combine into my ultimate dream kitchen.  Like a great big island from one, windows from another, a breakfast nook from another, granite countertops from this one, cabinets from that one, a pot-filler faucet above the stove, a hood from that one, a SubZero fridge from here and a double sink plus bar sink from there.  A girl can dream, can't she?

And I found so many kitchens that I just loved, I can't help but want to share them too!  There are plenty more to come.

I love the bookshelves built into the end of the island; they are perfect for storing all of your cookbooks and family recipes.  The warm wood, floating cabinets above the island, and U-shaped design make for an almost perfect kitchen!


These funky cabinets add color without overwhelming the space and keep the stainless steel hood and stove in check, making it not too funky and not too modern.


The hard wood floor is painted with a decorative diamond pattern and provides a great alternative to tiles... and paired with the teal cabinets and a wall full of windows -- perfection!
  

I love this neutral kitchen - keeping the materials grounded in nature (the wood stools are awesome!) offset the harshness some kitchens can take on with too much stainless steel and hard surfaces


I've always liked the idea of chalkboard paint in a kitchen ever since a childhood friend had it in their house.  Here, it adds fun to an otherwise sterile black-and-white kitchen.


Normally I don't like dark kitchens because they can feel dark and overbearing to me, but this kitchen kept it light and airy, even with dark granite and dark wood cabinets, by incorporating light walls, floors, and great big windows.  The huge island is amazing (especially with the stainless steel hood as a focal point), but the movable butcher's block cart makes it flexible and great for entertaining.


The lighting in this kitchen is to DIE for - warm and inviting with the mix of wood stains and stainless steel appliances.  This kitchen also has great drawer pulls - sleek and not too dainty.


And the ultimate dream -- a pot filler faucet above the stove!  Plus, the stainless against the neutral granite and subway tile backsplash is beautiful.
  
Ahh... Someday....
(all kitchen photos are from myhomeideas.com)

Monday, March 28

Mac Monday may be on a hiatus, but I'm still cooking...

Tonight I'm cooking Vegetarian Thai Curry Soup.  I found a Real Simple recipe and embellished it a bit to make it my own.  It's been beautiful here in Chapel Hill -- getting up to 84 degrees last Tuesday -- and somehow today, it was 44 degrees and sleeting when I left for work this morning.  It was a miserable, gray day with a low of 29 degrees - perfect soup day, and even better day for a Thai curry dish.  Spicy food can cure anything -- especially a dreary Monday.

This is a vegetarian soup, with lots of veggies and tofu.  The great part about this soup is that it'd be equally as good with chicken, or shrimp for that matter.  I stuck to tofu, but I added chopped red bell pepper for some extra color.  I doubled this recipe and made a huge spaghetti-pot-size batch of yummy soup.  I like spice, so I used extra Thai red curry paste, extra ginger, and a little crushed red pepper for an extra pop.

This is a super easy soup to make; you just throw everything into the pot and cook (adding one or two ingredients, cook, another few, cook, etc).  And I promise it's a pick-me-up, yummy Monday dinner!  (Plus I doubled the recipe so we have leftovers for the week!)

Thai Curry Vegetable and Tofu Soup


Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes
...from Real Simple (because although mine was delish,
it didn't look as pretty as this!)

Ingredients:
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
Kosher salt
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
4 oz green beans, halved
2 carrots, sliced
14-oz extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
4-oz snow peas
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Asian chili garlic sauce (optional, for serving)

Directions:
- Place the curry paste and ginger in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the broth, coconut milk, and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil.
- Add the mushrooms, green beans, and carrots to the saucepan and simmer until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the tofu and snow peas and simmer until the snow peas are bright green, about 1 minute more.
- Stir in the lime juice.
- Sprinkle with the basil and serve with the chili garlic sauce (if you decide).

Sunday, March 27

Cow Fail

And yet another "Cow Fail."  This photo somehow managed to be adorably sweet and yet disgusting, all in one shot!  I think this guy got a little confused...


Wednesday, March 23

Cow Fail

Continuing the hi-larious series of "Cow Fails," I had to share this one because it makes me giggle.


Thursday, March 10

I've Got Sunshine, On a Cloudy Day (and Chocolate on the Brain)

On this rainy day, I can only hope that all of this rain is just prepping for some beautiful spring flowers.
Now I did give up sweets for Lent, but Godiva sent me this offer and I just couldn't believe how cute they were.

(Thanks for tempting me on Day 1 Godiva, BTW)

Goidva Chocolate Tulips (on sale - 3 for $15)
Check 'em out and enjoy them for me...
Spring Flower Lollipops - Set of 3 at Godiva.com


And of course you know the trick with real tulips... 
add a penny to the water in the tulip's vase to keep them from opening to soon!