Archive | March, 2012

March Recipe Roundup

30 Mar

Hey Kids – I just thought I would pass on few recipes that I came across to get you through the weekend. I haven’t actually made anything aside from those delicious pumpkin muffins but I definitely plan to sample them in the next week. If you have a chance to try them before me I would love your feedback. Do yourself a favor and indulge in at least one of these sweets this weekend. TGIF!

The Perfect Paloma Cocktail from Drizzle and Dip

In keeping with a “P” theme Positively Pumpkin Muffins of course!

This Snickers Milkshake will definitely bring all the boys to the yard.

Let’s keep chocolate bars front of mind and try these Giant Peanut Butter Cup Marshmallow Cookies. and

Can I get an Amen for this Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn.

Enjoy!

Xo

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Last Thing Thursdays

29 Mar

Another new addition to Diary of a Jewell, we are just full of surprises now aren’t we! I am really excited to share this with you each week. I recently discovered, the lovely Jenna over at The Life of the Wife and I thought it would be fun to join her little Thursday tradition. So here we are:

The Last Thing I…

Ate. Chicken wings in the car from a Ziploc container. My life is glamorous I know, someone has to do it right?

Felt like a teenager for. Most definitely pre-purchasing my tickets to the hunger games and paying $15.50 for my ticket in order to pre-select my seat and avoid a line up. And let me tell you, it was so worth it. I have never been one for opening weekend blockbusters, I try to avoid being a statistic, but for Katniss I was willing. And thank god she did not disappoint me.

Photo Credit

Downloaded. The Draw Something app,  it is basically Pictionary on your iPhone and you can play it with all of your friends. And now thanks to my friends I am addicted. Here are a couple of samples of my outstanding artwork.

I think I will stick to my day job.

Pinned. This dreamy home, I mean seriously look at that wrap around porch…one day I tell ya! Until then we will continue our apartment hunt, which probably won’t even compare to the porch size.

Photo Credit.

Bought. Guava. I have had it in juice and smoothies but I have never actually purchased one and ate it in its true form. That is until yesterday, then I proceeded to spend half an hour googling to find out if it was ripe, how to cut it and why it was good for me. In the end, I actually did not taste it because, it did not “soften to the touch”. But I did take a nibble out of the edible rind, it contains 5 times more vitamin C than an orange you know…Who cares, it tastes like perfume! Maybe by next Thursday I will actually get to eat the darn thing. In the meantime, I will just eat 5 oranges 😉 It’s a lot of work trying new things.

  

Book Review – My Name is Memory

28 Mar

Formally known as what’s on my nightstand, the name should be  converted to what’s on my Kindle. But to make matters simple I think we will just stick with book review…it’s just better for everyone!

I actually finished reading “My Name is Memory” by Ann Brashares a couple of weeks ago but I haven’t had time to fill you in until now. I was skeptical when I read the synopsis on the back, as I thought it was going to be a very similar novel to “The Time Travelers Wife” – even a bit of a wannabe. However, I decided to read it anyway because I absolutely love Ann Brashares.

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The book is based around the concept that some of us can remember our past lives and recognize the souls of others – very different from the Time Travelers Wife. Daniel, the protagonist lives life after life waiting for his true love Sophia. He has spent hundreds of years being reincarnated, carry the memories of the past and  falling in love with her over and over. Despite the fact that in each life she has a different name and form and does not remember him. From Lucy the teenager in the present day, to Sophia the woman he can not live without, Daniel does everything in his power to make her fall in love with him again and again. Despite that fact that they are constantly being torn apart.

I really liked the authors portrayal of the characters, I think that she did a phenomenal job making the reader feel what the characters were feeling. I also, really enjoyed the way the book flashed between the past and present allowing me to understand Daniel’s deep-rooted passion. My Name is Memory was definitely a good read and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good love story that has bits of action and suspense intertwined. I will say that I did not love the way the book ended but I will leave it at that – I don’t want to spoil anything!

Monday Morsels

26 Mar

Busy, busy weekend for moi! I was rocking out at the Big Red Barn Burner BBQ Competition in Chilliwack, BC with Well Seasoned and my BBQ Family. And what a spectacular weekeend it was – full of sunshine and delicious food.

In other news, I have absolutely fallen in love with Mae Chevrette, her artwork rocks my world, below is one of my favorites “Salt Water”.  Visit her Etsy store for more amazing pieces.

Overnight Oats – my new favorite breakfast. Take 1/3 cup of oats and 2/3 cup of almond milk stir them together, cover and then store them overnight in the fridge. In the morning I like to add in fresh fruit and ground flax. This is not only a great breakfast to have on the run it also keeps me full all morning. Be sure you don’t use quick cooking/instant oats, the first time I tried this recipe I made that mistake and it was a complete FAIL.

Exactly 4 weeks from tomorrow I will be on a plane to Chicago, and I can not express how excited I am. Not only am I crossing off a bullet point in my 24th year to do list I am also crossing off a couple items on my bucket list. Ahem, visiting Wrigley field to see a Chicago Cubs game, it’s only the second oldest baseball stadium in North America…no big deal! Let the countdown begin.

Happy Monday!

Xo

The Best Pumpkin Muffins On Earth

23 Mar

I have outdone myself, I really have. Generally I am quite modest but after a few recent recipe fails I have finally succeeded. I made the most delicious muffins on earth. Well that might be a bit of an exaggeration but seriously they were so good. A nice crunchy top, and a moist middle, these pumpkin muffins were to die for. I know I am a little out of season with the Pumpkin but it is still relatively easy to find in grocery stores and if you are a hoarder like myself, you probably have some kicking around in your pantry.

Positively Pumpkin Muffins – adapted from Gourmet Magazine Pumpkin Muffin recipe

Ingredients

1.5 cups whole wheat flour (you can substitute all-purpose flour if you prefer)

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (If you don’t have this, you can use equal parts nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and allspice)

1.25 cups of granulated sugar (plus an extra 1 tbsp for topping)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin pan.

Whisk together flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl (or kitchen aid mixer) whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, baking soda and salt until smooth. Then whisk in the flour mixture until it is just combined. Don’t over mix or your muffins won’t rise properly. In a small bowl stir together cinnamon and the 1 tbsp of sugar.

Equally divide your batter among the 12 muffin cups, then sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until they are puffed up and have a nice round, golden brown tops. Insert a toothpick – it should come out clean.

Cool and eat.

Enjoy your weekend!

Xo

Weekly Obsessions – March 21

21 Mar

Yesterday was the first day of Spring, Hurray! Not, it has been randomly snowing on and off here in Vancouver and all this white stuff is preventing me from getting excited about the new season upon us. This morning, finally, the sun came to join us, I was also able to find solace in the following:

My new bathtub, holla! I can not express to you how exciting this is to me. I mean just look at it, it’s beautiful. It’s so deep I am pretty sure I can do a handstand. Don’t act like you didn’t do them over and and over as a kid in the pool. I wasn’t exactly an “average size” child. Lets just say I had a profound love for McDonald’s and 5 cent candies. And there is absolutely no way I could of held my body weight up on dry land, but put me in water and look out! Off topic, completely off topic I know, sometime I can’t help my self. But you should know that I spent over an hour in the tub on Sunday afternoon and it was glorious.

I also had the opportunity to see 21 Jump Street and I can not say enough good things about it. I mean obviously I didn’t have Oscar expectations but I did really hope that I would have a good laugh. A good laugh is an understatement. Seriously, I do not know if I have ever laughed so hard in a movie. And by laugh I don’t mean a snicker here and there, I mean gut wrenching, belly laughs that left me gasping for air. I definitely did not watch 21 jump street when it was on TV, in fact, I don’t even think I was born but that is completely irrelevant. You really do not need any of the background to get into the movie. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were absolutely fantastic, they have phenomenal comedic chemistry.

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I was definitely blown away with the movie, as was the rest of the world. Many thought this would be your typical C+ comedy, far from it people. Indie wire does a fantastic job explaining “The 10 reasons 21 jump Street exceeded expectations“. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and go. And if you have I am sure that you are just as excited as I am that they have already commissioned a sequel. Bam!

Monday Morsels

19 Mar

Now here’s something new for all of you devoted Diary of a Jewell readers, Monday Morsels. Yes, I came up with that all on my own and no it won’t be about just food but it probably will involve something I ate…cause let’s face I eat A LOT! Since I generally don’t post anything to entertain you on the weekend I thought I start a regular post that would recap my weekend for you, so here we are!

I decided to stay in and take it easy this weekend since I really have not spent all that much time at home in the past few weeks. But I did accomplish a few things on my to do list:

The Help. I finally watched it, finally! I really enjoyed the movie and I thought it was a great representation of the book. However, if I had to choose I would say that I enjoyed reading the book just a little bit more.

Coconut Milk. Another finally, finally I broke down and bought a carton to try and I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Holy delicious! I really liked it, and then I decided to use it to make a smoothie with strawberries, pineapple and mango and I felt like I was on vacation in a tropical place… except I was at home in my pajamas because it was pouring rain outside. Which, in turn made me like it even more!

Sadly, I did not drink any green beer on St. Patrick’s day, but I did one better and baked up a storm!

I also tried a little recipe I found on Pinterest…yes I am still obsessed. Zucchini boats, so easy, so good! Seriously, you need to make these. I did a pizza version. Simply scoop out the pulp of your zucchini(s), a teaspoon works just fine. Then add pizza sauce and the toppings of your choice and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. Voila!

Happy Monday!