Monday, June 30, 2014

Easy DIY Succulent Garden: My Weekend Project

Happy Monday Lush Scouts!

Back to work today, sadly, but I have a good feeling about this week. I'm not sure if it the was the excellent weekend with the boyf that put me in this frame of mind, the great projects I worked on yesterday afternoon, the 3-day weekend coming up, or just something the universe is trying to tell me. Regardless, I'm pretty happy about it.

Sadly I killed the beautiful azalea that my boyfriend bought me to cheer me in my darker back-pain days. I'm not sure what went wrong, as I followed all of the instructions exactly. In any case, since the tree was a lost cause, I decided to use the pot to make a little succulent garden. 

When I visited Home Depot to pick out plants, however, I ended up with far more than I needed for that pot! I just couldn't say no to all of these little guys! Luckily, I had just finished a candle in a large glass jar, and I was able to get the remnants of wax out to make it into a sweet pot. 

As the trick with succulents (besides letting them be kind of standoffish and not over-loving them) is good drainage, I took a trip to Joann Fabrics and to some home decor stones. I filled the bottom of the jar with the larger stones, and then added a few smaller stones on top of that. Since this pot doesn't have a drainage hole, this step is critical. For the other pot with 2 large drainage holes, I sitll added a thin layers of the small rocks along the bottom.

It ended up being a bizarrely dirty process! I had to vacuum twice and shamefully threw plants across the room more than one time. I am sorry plants! Please forgive me!

But the gist of the technique is that I just smooshed the plants in. I had to cut some dirt off to make them fit, but I tried to be gentle with the roots and I hope that I haven't damaged them (besides, they've already been thrown across the room, I'm sure a little smooshing didn't even phase them.)

They turned out pretty lovely. I tried to make a nice mixture of colour and texture, but unfortunately Home Depot didn't have any of the lovely blue and purpley ones or other colours that I saw in my inspirational photos. Alas, the green still looks nice and I think the little gardens really add to my desktop greenery (lavender to the left and basil to the right).

I feel that you can never have too many indoor plants. Especially when living in the city. They purify the air and provide a tranquil green place, both of which help keep my mind clear. For now, they also fill the dog-shaped void in my heart. I'll keep you updated on their progress/survival.

What did you get up to this weekend Lush Scouts? Do you feel as good about the upcoming week as I do? Let me know in the comments below.

Squalor and smoke's not your style,

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sweet Pepper and Kielbasa Tortellini with Lemon White Wine Sauce | Fat and Happy

It's almost Friday Lush Scouts! And that means you probably need a delicious and yet easy thing to cook to impress your bff/boyf/mom this weekend. I've whipped up a similar recipe to the below a couple of times using different vegetables, but this was my favorite combo thus far. I apologize that there aren't too many process pictures, but mostly I just want to show off these photos because I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

You're going to need the following (but feel free to make substitutions because a Lush Scout always follows her heart and sometimes has empty cupboards):

kielbasa (I use Turkey kielbasa)
white wine
lemon or lemon juice
mozzerella or parmesan cheese
garlic scrapes
fresh basil
sweet peppers
green beans

ingredients for the recipe

First things first, start the water boiling for the Torts. Cook them according to the packaging while you perform the more interesting portion of this recipe. Slice the peppers latitude wise so you get nice rings of pretty peppers. I also cut the green beans into smaller pieces. The edamame should be shelled already so no worries there. I roll and cut the spinach and basil into thin strips. I also cut the garlic scrapes. 

garlic scrapes and other veggies

A side note on garlic scrapes: I've never used them before, let alone heard of them before this spring. It's the part of the garlic that grows above ground and it has a delightful, almost sweet garlicky flavor. When preparing my scrapes, I went with the theory of 'use all the soft parts'. I chopped off the harder stems and used everything that was left. This seemed to be the correct strategy.

how to cut garlic scrapes

Melt the butter on the stove. Add the basil and garlic scrapes once the butter is hot enough to sizzle. Once your kitchen fills with a toothsome aroma (but before anything starts burning), add the peppers, edamame and green beans. As they begin to cook, slice the kielbasa and add it too. Throughout the cooking portion, I gave a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of white wine every couple of minutes. These cook out pretty quickly, so you shouldn't have to worry about the sauce being too soupy. At the very end, while you are removing the tortellinis from the boiling water, add the spinach. Add the tortellinis to the pan with the veggies, mix, and add a little more wine. Shake some cheese into your creation and behold: a fabulous dish that will definitely impress (also just saying you made 'white wine sauce' is going to sound fancy!).

delicious finished meal

Do you have any favorite spring vegetables you think would taste good in this recipe? Let me know how it goes Scouts! 

And every single bone in my brain is electric,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Walnut Crumble | Fat and Happy

Happy Birthday to me Lushies!

That's right, you heard me, it's my birthday today! And part of my birthday this year was my parents coming to visit last weekend and bringing my most aderbs nibling, Harlee. We went business-action-lady clothes shopping, hit the American Girl Doll store, and visited the aquarium. I absolutely loved having them here and wish so much that they were closer to me. They also brought this amazing recipe, most of the ingredients for it, and a big bundle of rhubarb from my mom's garden!

So the first trick to this recipe is to have a great mom! 

In any case, I'm telling you, this recipe is amazingly delicious and so little work compared to the payout.

There are two parts to the recipe: the crumble and the filling. The crumble contains the following:

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted & chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. You make the crumble first. You mix all of the dry ingredients (flour, oats, sugar, salt, and nuts) and then pour the melted butter over top. Mix those bad boys up and set it in the freezer while you work on the filling.

The filling is just as easy:

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp tapioca
6 cups rhubarb (cut into one-inch pieces)
6 cups strawberries (sliced)
1 Tbsp vanilla

In all honesty, I don't think I really used 6 cups of rhubarb or strawberries. I used 15 stalks of rhubarb give or take a few. I used just under 1 pint of strawberries. No precise measurements here.

You mix the sugar and tapioca. Then add the fruit and vanilla. Toss those mama jammas gently. Seriously. How fricken good do these look?

Pour the filling into a dish. Add the crumble on top. Pop the whole shebang in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. You'll know when it's done because the crumble will look all melty and golden.

Mom advises that half the recipe can be made, which would be a good choice for a lone person, since a full size crumble could be easily consumed just as quickly as a half-size, it's so good. I chose to make the full thing and split it into a crumble for myself and a crumble to take to the office. 

I highly encourage you to try it. Heck! You could even go crazy with it; my mom made a version last summer with raspberries in addition to the strawberries and it was incredible. One comment from my coworker was 'SO GOOD IN MY BELLY.' Another had second helpings. Seriously. Bitches don't joke around when it comes to crumble. I clearly don't!

The birthday morals of this story are that moms are great and crumble is serious business. Now get cracking on your own crumble and let me know how it goes!

I do it for the love,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Springstagram in Review

Hihi Lushies,

As my birthday is nearly upon us (can you believe it's been a year?!), I think that Spring is offically over and Summer is movin' on in. This late winter/spring has been a rough one for me, so I can't say I'm sad to see it go. Looking back through my instagrams though, I had some good times, even when I was laid up. 

I spent lots of time on the couch watching TV/movies my Mom sent me. My friend Shannon and I mutually dyed one-another's hair, I did some indoor gardening, and the boyf sent me a beautiful tree (that I've since killed) to cheer me. Now that I've gotten better, I've been spending lots of time with him and the ol' chuffmuffin, Rosie-dog. I'm glad that summer is here and my parents are even coming to visit next weekend. Things are looking up for sure. 

floral and quilted patterns
movies and entertainment
pink peekaboo dye
succulent and garden gnome
beautiful azalea
amazing healthy green smoothie
indoor gardening and plant starters
valentine's day flowers
the boyf and I
purple dyed tips
snuggly boxer dog
beautiful beach brunch
this boxer is a lap dog

You don't use money, you don't pay rent,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Salmon BLT with Sriracha Dill Mayo | Fat and Happy

Hello Lush Scouts,

Long time no blog! Good news! I'm finally recovered (mostly)! I've been out celebrating by doing crazy things like walking around normally, going to work, taking less pain killers, and sitting for longer than 10 minutes at a time. It's a real miracle! 

In honor of my return, I whipped up some delicious sammiches inspired by this pin. The basics of this sandwich is a BLT + Salmon. I marinated my salmon in some sesame oil, mae ploy sauce, pepper, dill, and mustard seeds (and possible other things I'm forgetting because it's really just one of those follow-your-heart marinades). I also subbed Spinach for lettuce because I like it more.

fresh salmon, bacon, spinach and tomatoes

While the salmon was grilling away on the old George Foreman (love that fricken thing), and the bacon was sizzling away in a pan, I whipped up the real star of this show: Sriracha Dill Mayo

Seriously though, this stuff is soooo good. It belongs on more than just this particular sandwich. It belongs paired with turkey, mixed into tuna salad, and just about anywhere else you might need mayo (possibly on a hot dog). It brings some heat, while the dill and mayo combine for creamy coolness. I will probably begin stocking this stuff year round, force people who come over to eat it, and also maybe give it as a really weird gift.

sriracha dill mayo ingredients

I took about half a wee mason jar of mayo and added several sprigs worth of fresh dill as well as a healthy amount of Sriracha (3, possibly 4, TBSP). I then mixed with a fork. Easy peasy.

sriracha dill mayo FOREVER

Combine all ingredients on your bread product of choice. I went with ciabatta and also used a little bit of margarine on the opposite side from the magic mayo. As a whole, the sammy is good; really, melt in your mouth good. I could probably go without the tomatoes next time, just because I seem to be on an anti-tomato kick right now, but other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.

nom nom salmon BLT

Pair it up with one of these bad boys, which I've discussed previously, Radler. I'm starting to see this magic stuff stocked more frequently. Schöfferhofer also makes one that I see around, but being as I am pretty favorable towards Austria, I pick Stiegl every time. It overjoys me to see it and buy it, but especially to drink it ice cold out of the fridge.


Let me know how the sammich, or more importantly, THE MAYO turn out for you. 

Down in the jungle living in a tent,