Thursday, June 26, 2014

Life Lately

A trip to the Como Conservatory
Iris at my parents' house
Iris in our backyard

I can't believe that June is almost over.  Where did it go???  It's been a wonderful month in which I wrapped up my student teaching, had my first outdoor climbing experience, and started the process of house hunting!  John and I are very excited to be looking for a new home!  Do any of you have any house hunting tips?
My first outdoor climb and my brand new climbing shoes

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Curry Coconut Crusted Chicken

When I made my coconut chai coffee cake, I had a bunch of shredded coconut left.  So I came up with this recipe to help use up some of the leftover coconut!

You will need:
  • Flour, about a cup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Vegetable oil
Place the flour in a shallow bowl.  Then, beat the egg in a second shallow bowl.  Finally, in a medium sized bowl, combine the cilantro, coconut, and curry.

Place one chicken breast in the flour, cover all sides.  Then, move the chicken to the egg bowl, flipping it to cover the chicken.  Finally, place the chicken breast in the coconut bowl, turning it over to coat it completely with the coconut mixture.  Set the chicken on a plate and repeat the process for all four chicken breasts.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat.  Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Once the oil is hot, place the chicken breasts in to fry about 7 minutes on each side.  They should be golden brown and heated to 165 degrees.  If you find that your chicken is getting too dark on the outside but not done enough inside, turn down the heat or finish cooking the chicken in the oven.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Snapshot: Water Lilies

After all the rain we have been having, it was so nice to have a sunny day!  I went to the Como Conservatory with my mom and snapped away at a bunch of beautiful plants.  What a great place!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seasoned Salt Rub

Now that it's summer, it's time for grilling!  And there is nothing better in my opinion than a great herb rub on some grilled meat.  The only problem is that I cannot eat black pepper.  So, all too often I can't use the great seasoned salt that you can buy at specialty shops.  Instead, I make my own!  It's super tasty and SUPER easy to make!  The best part is that you can mix it up to your own tastes.

Simply combine 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon curry powder in a small bowl.  Mix together and store in an airtight container.  When you're ready to use it, rub it into whatever meats you want to grill!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Peach and Basil Breakfast Quinoa

I'm a little late to the quinoa party, but lately I cannot get enough of it!  It's so simple to fix and super versatile.  For this recipe, just toss together a cut up peach with 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa.  Add in some chopped basil and a squeeze of lime juice to top it off.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple Cornbread Muffins

I shared my Granny's cornbread recipe with you last month.  This month, I'm mixing it up by adding apples and making muffins.  They are the perfect combination of savory and sweet, and they go great with any grilled meal.

You will need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons melted shortening
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Once the oven is hot, stick your muffin tin inside to heat up.

Sift together your dry ingredients.  Then gradually add the milk, beaten egg, and melted shortening.

Last, but not least, add in your apples and stir until incorporated.

Use an oven mitt and grab your muffin tin out of the oven.  Grease it up with either butter or a nonstick spray, then add the corn bread mixture using 1/2 scant cup for each muffin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kotur Inspired DIY Floral Clutch

I saw this floral clutch by Kotur and thought it was so pretty!  However, since I will probably never (ever, ever) shell out $850 for a purse, I decided to try and make a version of my own.  It was super easy, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  To make your own, you will need:

  • Small clutch
  • Silk flowers
  • Hot glue gun
Simply pop the heads off the flower stems, trimming any excess plastic that will prevent the bloom from laying flat.

Arrange your flowers, and then glue them on with the hot glue gun!  
Bracelet: Kate Spade; Dress: Lauren Conrad; Clutch: Apt 9 (with my own additions)

So simple!  Totally doable :)  I brought mine to a wedding and it was perfect!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Coconut Chai Coffeecake

Last month, I shared my granny's prize coffeecake recipe with you all.    This month, I've got a variation on it that is super tasty: coconut and chai!

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Streusel mixture:
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon cardamom
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 2 tablespoon melted butter

Combine your cake mix ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth.  Mix up your streusel mixture in a separate, smaller bowl.

Spread 1/2 of the cake mix in a bread pan and top with 1/2 of the streusel mix.  Repeat.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Slice it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June Book Club

I literally CAN NOT believe it is June already.  Is anyone else having a hard time with this?

Last month, I focused on young adult literature, and I cannot recommend The Book Thief highly enough.  It was so good, so heartbreakingly beautiful, and just a wonderful little read.  Go and read it!

Now that I'm almost done with my student teaching, though, I wanted to pick something that is well within my comfort area.  And so, I chose some Jane Austen Northanger Abbey, a little satirical poke at gothic literature.  I'm excited :)  What are you reading?
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