Blog Archive

#22: 10 New Recipes

Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and CheeseSource Annie's Eats
Ingredients1 lb. rotini pasta (I used whole wheat)1 lb. raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half (if desired), tail removed10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled and dividedzest of 1 lemon, divided1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped and divided5 tbsp. butter, divided (I used unsalted)4 tbsp. all-purpose flour (I used wheat)3 cups milk (I used plain soy)2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)1/2 tsp. kosher salt1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Directions:Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente following package directions. Drain well; set aside. Add raw shrimp to warm pasta and toss. The heat from the pasta will partially cook the shrimp.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine a handful of feta, a pinch of lemon zest, panko, 2 tsp. of parsley, and 1 tbsp. of butter, melted. Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour to form a paste. Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until golden brown. Whisk in milk. Continue to heat mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, approximately 5 minutes. As soon as the sauce thickens, remove from heat, stir in remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the pasta and shrimp; toss well to coat.
Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 - 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over pasta. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes: In my opinion, zest of 1 lemon is too much. If I made this again I would use maybe 1/2 a lemon or less. And I like lemon. When I was mixing the cheese mixture with the pasta I added more milk. I would use 4 cups of milk instead of 3 for a more creamy mixture. I used jumbo shrimp (21-30 count) and did not cut in half. I wish I did. More shrimp would have been in each bite.
Verdict: It was good, not great. I think it had too much lemon. The Hubs enjoyed it more than I did, but he is not as picky of an eater as I am. I think I am going to take a break from new recipes for a while and focus on the ones I have made that we enjoyed.

READ MORE - #22: 10 New Recipes

Quest for Two-Week Scalp

August 2009
I have been natural for a long time...since 2003. Maybe one day I will write my natural hair story...maybe. Even before I was natural I washed my hair a lot. Now I wash my hair every week. Many natural ladies are on a quest for 2-week hair. Basically they are trying to get one hairstyle to last 2 weeks. Well that is not my issue. My styles last. My issue is my scalp. After one week of life and the gym and whatever else, my scalp is begging to be cleaned. It gets itchy and I just can't take it anymore. I want 2-week scalp. I have been asking myself if I really should be trying to achieve this goal. I do go to the gym and I am trying to go more. So after sweating and everything maybe I do need to be washing my hair every week. But sometimes I am lazy. And I just don't wanna (I am saying this in my baby whining voice). But I am going to still try to see if this goal is achievable (for my hair).
What I had been doing for a long while now is:
Weeklywash hair with conditioner, making sure scalp is cleaned (Giovanni 50:50 Balanced)condition hair with same conditionerdetangle under wateruse Curls Coconut Sublime Moisturizing Conditioner as leave-in on ends of hairThen I would use my shea butter mix to twist my hair. I would leave in this style for the week and then have a twist out on weekends.
Bi-Weeklymix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with conditioner to cleanse hair and scalpthen follow as above
Trial 1 (for the past 2 weeks)I really did not want to start using shampoo on my hair. I have not used shampoo on my hair for a couple of years. The only time I do is on the rare occasion I go to a professional hairdresser or when I am about to get my hair braided. But I thought maybe the conditioner was causing build-up that was making my scalp itch, so I gave it a try.
Week 1Wash hair with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo condition hair with Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Conditionerdetangleuse leave-in as aboveThen I followed the same routine for styling my hair. I normally do not apply oils directly to my scalp and I did not this time.
Results: My hair felt very clean and I thought this was going to be good. However, after I went to the gym I had itchy scalp again. The only difference is this time my scalp was dry and flaky...still itchy though. Adjustments needed.
Week 2I did the same as week 1 except when styling my hair I added Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil to my scalp. It contains lemon, an astringent which controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff; henna and other herbs which coat the hair, protects from oxidation, and maintains natural hair color; and amla which strengthens hair roots.
I also added this to my hair after going to the gym to try to control itching.
Results: The itchy scalp still came. It did not come as early in the week as usual, but going to the gym twice (or maybe 3 times) this week and by wash day I was ready to wash my hair. My scalp was not dry, but ready to be washed.
I was going to continue using the shampoo for a month thinking that maybe it is taking my hair and scalp some time to adjust, but I am moving on to another method. I really do not want to use shampoo on my hair anyway so I am not too upset that this did not work.
So for the next month I am going to use an herbal mixture to cleanse my hair and scalp.This will be my routineCleanse hair with Amla/Shikakai Herbal Cleanser. Recipe below.Condition hairDetangleFinal Rinse. Recipe below..I purchased Ayurvedic products from Amazon to use in this mixture.
Recipe:boil a cup of watertransfer water to a bowladd 1 heaping spoonful of shikakai powderadd 2 heaping spoonfuls of amla powderallow to steep for 15-13 minutesstrain the mixture to remove herbs and keep the liquidThis will be my cleansing rinse.What are Shikakai and Amla?
Shikakai acts as a natural astringent. It clears dandruff and cleans dirt accumulated on the scalp. It can however be drying on the hair.Amla is a conditioner. It controls hair loss, stimulates growth, and it controls premature graying of hair (bonus!).
Final Rinse Recipe1c boiling waterpinch of horsetailpinch of nettle pinch of marshmallow rootpinch of rosemaryallow to steep for 15-30 minutesstrain and keep liquidadd approx. 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at the end.few drops of liquid vitamin E drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)What do those things do?Horsetail helps eliminate dandruff and stimulates growth.Marshmallow Root is soothing and an emollient. It contains mucilage, which is a protein. (I try to avoid proteins because my hair does not like them, but I think just a little will be ok...hopefully.)Nettle improves circulation. In hair rinses, it stimulates growth and improves scalp condition. It can be mixed with rosemary and rubbed on the scalp for shiny, glossy hair.Rosemary is good for treating hair fall or shedding and dandruff. It stimulates the hair bulbs to renew activity and prevent premature balding.
For more on Ayurvedic products for the hair look here.For a breakdown of what various herbs do look here.I got these recipes from Trenellm on YouTube.
Updates to follow. I will also take more pics because my hair is A LOT longer now.

READ MORE - Quest for Two-Week Scalp

a little hairstyle inspiration from moi to vous

one of my favourite tumblrs right now is while you're there, why not check out mine!
READ MORE - a little hairstyle inspiration from moi to vous

another opening, another show

Last night the show I was working on finally opened, which means less stress! Everything went well, so the show should run smoothly for the next week and a half. There was an opening night party after the show, and people couldn't seem to get enough of my heels. A lady who I don't know came up to me and told me she and the group of people she was with were talking about how fabulous my shoes are! Little did they know, I got them at Wal-Mart... oh, fashion.

I absolutely love this dress though. I always though that I couldn't wear wrap dresses for some reason, but I was wrong... it's the perfect dress that can be dressed up or dressed down, and its made of a super soft jersey-ish fabric. And it definetly shows off the cleavage!

black wrap dress - joe fresh / heels - wal-mart / necklace - urban planet / dangly cross earrings -
i-found gallery / watch - a gift / clutch - urban planet / bracelets - urban planet

I finally found some time to bleach my hair again, so as you'll see from these photos it's pretty blonde now and I'm super happy with it! It's absolutely the perfect shade of blonde for me.
READ MORE - another opening, another show

#22: Make 10 New Recipes

Salmon Burgers with Cilantro MayoSource Annie's Eats

Ingredients:1/2c red bell pepper diced (I used one whole pepper so a little more)6 tbsp. panko bread crumbs1 garlic clove, minced1lb. salmon fillets, skinned, boned and finely chopped (wild Alaskan is best!)1 large egg white, lightly beaten1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce1 tsp. fresh lemon juice1/4 tsp. salt1-2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil (I used EVOO)
For the cilantro mayo:1 garlic clove, chopped1/2c mayo1/2c cilantrodash of cayenne peppersqueeze of lemon juice
For serving:burger bunsgreen lettucesliced red onionsliced tomatoes

Directions:In a medium mixing bowl, combine the diced bell pepper, panko, garlic, and salmon. In a small bowl combine the egg white, soy sauce, lemon juice, and salt. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the salmon and toss gently until well incorporated. Form the mixture into four equal sized patties.
To make the cilantro mayo, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined and smooth.
Lightly coat a grill pan or skillet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Cook the patties about 5 minutes per side, until cooked throughout.
Place the burgers on the buns, spreading one side of the bun with cilantro mayo. Top as desired with lettuce, onion, and tomato.
NOTES:I forgot to get cilantro, but I had some dill. So I made dill mayo instead.
I toasted the burger buns and that was a nice touch.
I used the wrong type of spatula at first and two of the patties fell apart a little. But once I figured it out I got 2 nicely made patties.
VERDICT:Delicious. We both loved this meal and it will definitely be made again and again.
Some of the comments made by the Hubs: "Best meal I ever made. He could eat this every week. He would go to a restaurant and love to have this meal." I must say that made me feel pretty good. This recipe is very easy to make and these are ingredients we have in the house anyway, so definitely a go to for us.
I tried to take pictures, but I need to work on that skill.
For the rest of my 101 in 1001, look here.

READ MORE - #22: Make 10 New Recipes

Earth Day 2010

Tomorrow is Earth Day.
Interesting Earth Day Facts:Every ton of paper that is recycled save 17 treesIt takes 50-70 gallons of water for a 10 minute showerMore than 20 million (that's 20,000,000) Hershey's kisses are wrapped each day. That is 133 square miles of tin foil. All of that can be recycled.If every newspaper was recycled, 250 million (250,000,000) trees could be saved each year. Unfortunately on 27% of all American newspapers are recycled.If you brush your teeth for the full 3 minutes (which you should if you don't) and leave the water running, you are wasting approximately 8 gallons of water each time.What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day and reduce your environmental footprint?
And on top of that there are some Earth Day 2010 freebies.
Target - Mail in 5 plastic bags to Terracycle, 121 New York Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08638 and get $1 back to spend on a reusable shopping bag.
Disney Store - Bring in SIX empty plastic bottles or soda cans to the Disney Store on 4/22 and get a free Friend for Change and Disney Store youth sized baseball cap (made out of 100% recycled materials). Limit 1 per guest, while supplies last.
Hanes - Buy 3 Hanes products and mail-in a rebate for a free Earth Day T-shirt. And, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree, up to 20,000, on Hanes behalf. Offer good until May 15th.
BBC Earth - Free download of the First Episode of Planet Earth "Pole to Pole" on iTunes. Offer good until April 26th.
Babies R Us - Get a free reusable tote bag with printable coupon through 4/22, plus 25% off all clothes and shoes you can fit in the bag.
Pottery Barn - Earth Day Celebration at Pottery Barn Kids with giveaways, activities, and story time on 4/22.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!! Enjoy.

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Parisian Pink and a Pair of Combat Boots

My brothers 14th birthday was on Sunday, so I went over to my dad's place and ate a mega amount of pizza and watched Shaun of The Dead. Great day with the family :D

top - zellers / pink jeans - joe fresh / ballet flats - joe fresh / sunglasses - spencer gifts / studded belt - dunnes

I'm going into tech week tomorrow for the show I am working on in Vancouver. I wore this today to set up in the theatre and for a quick rehearsal with the actors. It includes my new COMBAT BOOTS!!

top - zellers / hoodie - american apparel / jeans - primark / combat boots - nasty gal
READ MORE - Parisian Pink and a Pair of Combat Boots

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

This is not a new recipe for me, but I have now made it twice and the Hubs and I love it. It is the only vegetarian meal that the Hubs doesn't say "If this had meat...".
Evelyn's Favorite Pastasource Proceed with Caution
1/4c EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed, or grated (I did minced)salt and pepper2 Chinese eggplants (I used 1 large eggplant)1 large head of broccoli1 can artichoke hearts, halved or quartered15 cherry tomatoes, halved1/3c pine nuts1/4c kalamata olives, pitted and sliced1/3c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (low fat to make it healthier)1/3c prepared pesto8-12oz penne pasta (I used Barilla Plus Wheat) (I used the entire box)handful of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
Directions:Remove the ends from the eggplant. Slice long ways, in thirds, and lay on a cutting board. Heavily salt cut sides of eggplant, cover with paper towel and then another cutting board. Place a weight on top of the board. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse eggplant well and cut into 2 inch long pieces.
**NOTE** I do not have 2 cutting boards (I have a beginner's kitchen). So I used plates and for a weight I use cans of soup or beans or whatever and cover the entire plate.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the eggplant is ready and chopped, place in a large bowl. Add chopped broccoli, artichokes, and tomatoes. Combine garlic and EVOO in a small bowl with about 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper; mix well. Add EVOO mixture to the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil. Roast vegetables for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, start heating water for the pasta in a large pot. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat, and add pine nuts. Heat for a few minutes, tossing frequently, until nuts are lightly toasted, then set aside. When the pasta water has come to a boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook according to box instructions.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to a large bowl. Add roasted vegetables, kalamata olives, cheese, pesto, and toss to combine. Serve and garnish with toasted pine nuts and basil.
This recipe is so good. It has a hearty texture (which I believe is why the Hubs doesn't miss meat). This recipe was enough for dinner that night, lunch at work 2 days for me, and dinner another night. That is a lot.
One thing I will say is this is not a week night dinner for me. It doesn't take THAT long, but it is a little long for me. I definitely want this to be a meal I make at least once a month.
Just righting this entry makes me want to make it again. It is that good.

READ MORE - Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

For the Kitchen Part 3

Ok. I am adding some things and making some modifications.
One thing that both the Hubs and I want is a good wok. I have no idea how to determine if the wok is good or not. I do know that I want stainless steel (I think) or cast iron??, I just know that I do NOT want something with nonstick coating. I am trying to eliminate that from our kitchen. I also know that it needs to be pretty big. Our biggest pan we have now is definitely not big enough. So the search and research for the perfect wok is underway. I have no idea what I am looking for. I think I am going to have to ask my nesties about this one. I know I don't want to go on the cheap for this. I can't believe I said that. I just know I want something that is going to last.
One thing that I have modified is the food processor I am looking at. I still stand by my statement that we are not the Neely's, but again I want something that is going to last. I am not saying that the original one I was looking at would not last. I mean it was a Kitchen Aid. I think I just need something bigger. This one has a 7-cup capacity and I think I need maybe 11-cup or more. Kitchen Aid has a 12-cup one for significantly more. I am just trying to plan for the future. I want to be able to puree, as I said before, but my future plans for a food processor are extensive. I know that if we ever have children I want to make their baby food. I also want to start making my all-natural hair products. So I need something heavy duty. These are the two I am considering

Both can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond.
The rest of my shopping list can be found here.

READ MORE - For the Kitchen Part 3

For the kitchen Part 2

Part 1 of this list can be found here.
Since I am trying to cook more and surprisingly the food has been really good, I am thinking of other things I want for the kitchen and my cooking escapades. I have been loving Amy's Organics. I love their pizza. It's organic, all natural, and has no GMOs. Oh yeah, and it is soooo yummy. But I have been thinking, I can make my own pizzas. Lots of people have been talking about pizza dough that you can get a Trader Joe's for like a dollar. Of course, there is not one near me. But I know one of my health stores I have been going to has to see something similar. I am not yet to the point of making my own dough from scratch, but I would like to get there. So, to make my own pizza i need a pizza stone. I like this one from Crate and Barrel.
Going to various sites would lead me to believe that if I have a pizza stone, I need a pizza peel board. Something to but the pizza on after it is done. Right now I have been using a plate, but I guess that is not the correct chef thing to do. So I guess I need something like this which can also be found at Crate and Barrel.

And on top of that I need a pizza cutter. But I guess I can get that anywhere.
So now to make pizza I need three new kitchen tools. This better be worth it. And by that, I mean the taste.
This list is getting longer and longer and I have not purchased anything. Guess it is time to go shopping.

READ MORE - For the kitchen Part 2

Clint Eastwood says no to bullying... and if you defy him, he'll punch you in the face.

Today was the Pink Shirt Anti-Bullying day, so I pulled my pink Clint Eastwood tee out of the closet. Who better to combat bullying than Clint Eastwood?

I shredded the jeans myself, following Park and Cube's tutorial. I definetly recommend reading it, whether you are just ripping your jeans a little bit or you are going crazy on them... lots of good tips there.

tee shirt - ebay / sweater - joe fresh / jeans - thrifted and diy shredded /
pink leopard print tights - primark / shoes - converse
READ MORE - Clint Eastwood says no to bullying... and if you defy him, he'll punch you in the face.

What I want to buy...

for the kitchen. This is going to be my ever growing list. Hopefully I will cross things off and add things on as I start working in the kitchen more.
I am trying to cook more. I have found recipes that I want to try, but then I realize I do not have the appropriate tools in the kitchen. So I have been developing a list of things to buy. I am kinda excited about this.
On the top of my list are these Bamboo Utensils from Crate&Barrel.
These utensils are certified organic and bamboo is a sustainable resource, which is a huge plus for me. But because they are wood they also will not damage the nonstick surface on the pots I currently have (which are also on my list to replace).
I also want to buy a food processor. Damn, these things can be expensive. We ain't the Neely's over here. I mean the Hubs will probably never use the thing. I just want to be able to make some purees, chop some things without my eyes watering, and it will be quick. So I will keep searching. I do like these Kitchen Aid food processors from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. And they come in three colors to match your decor or spice it up.

A hand blender (or immersion blender for the fancy). This is great for soups and purees. Honestly, when i saw immersion blender in a recipe I had to Google it, so definitely I am not one of the fancy. But I see how this could be extremely useful in the kitchen. I like this one from Cuisinart and the price isn't too bad.

We also need some new knives. We received some when we first moved here, but I will admit we did not take very good care of them. They had wood handles and we threw them in the dishwasher, so now the ones we regularly use feel like we went outside and chopped down a tree for the handles. I think you could actually get a splinter if you are not careful. They are getting very dull too. To be cost effective, I just might get a knife sharpener because DAMN knives are expensive too. Can you believe they can cost over 1K? Really? For a non-chef? I wanna know what these people are cooking in their homes, because I definitely do not need that. I thought these were fairly reasonable. I know Henckels is a good brand and these aren't too crazy. And now that I look at this set I guess the set we have probably has a sharpener in it. Yeah that shows how much I am in the kitchen. I will make the ones we currently have work until I have some extra money laying around for something like this.

READ MORE - What I want to buy...

cross your heart and hope to die

i am so obsessed with crosses right now. it started slowly but now it's a full fledged addiction i'm afraid...

image source: stylecopycat, fashiontoast, le fashion, nubbytwiglet,

sometimes i worry that i may offend people of catholic or christian faith when i wear crosses or rosaries, but i just think that they are so cool! they just give off such a goth rock vibe to me.
READ MORE - cross your heart and hope to die

Get back in town I wanna paint it black Wanna get around Easy living crowd so flat Said it all before

this was my weekend wardrobe.

Saturday i had rehearsal on Granville Island, then I headed over to my dad's place for chinese food (mmm so good!) and we watched this German movie called 'dead snow', which is about NAZI ZOMBIES. yeah, you read that right. it was actually great- both scary and hilarious. it definetly took a page from the evil dead trilogy (i love those movies!)

houndstooth sweater jacket - thrifted / slouchy tee - joe fresh /
jeans - primark / shoes - converse / cross necklace - forever 21

today I went to Main Street with my dad, my stepmom and my brother. we went to all the antique shops, none of which I've been to before; weird considering I've lived 5 minutes away for over 2 years! but hey, i've gone to practically every clothing store down there. we went into this new-ish store, called i found gallery, which was AMAZING. it's basically full of beads, necklaces, chains etc... they had a huge amount of cross charms that i almost died over. i'm going to go back soon and buy a bunch. i did however buy an awesome pair of dangly cross earrings while i was there. if you live in vancouver you have to check the place out!

flannel shirt - urban planet / grey hoodie - american apparel / black tank
(under shirt) - sirens / jeans - primark / shoes - converse / toque - topshop
READ MORE - Get back in town I wanna paint it black Wanna get around Easy living crowd so flat Said it all before