Monday, July 23, 2012

Scentsy and Summer Snacks

I have an addiction to a magical smelling home. Scented candels stress me out to have going all the time with the dogs around.

My mom got me hooked on an awesome product called Scentsy. They are scented waxes melted over a pretty ceramic base with a light bulb inside. ( they have loads of different warmer bases to pick from we have 2 large ones and a plug-in in the kitchen)

 I just ordered my summer scents and they got here today. Excited for a fresh smelling home! All the bars I had were very wintery smells and didn't seem fitting this time of year.

If you are thinking or ordering any for summer Beach is my top pic! You can order it all direct through their website linked above or find a local distributor. I am officially an Scentsy addict and you probly will be too if you try it out.

So as you all know I love food! I get lazy in the summer and need to find simple snacks to beat the heat. My top go to snacks at the moment are Edamame and cheese!!!

Presidents Choice finally has frozen in shell edamame and I am a little too stoked cause they used to be so hard to find up here in Canada unless you went to Costco and I don't make my way out there super often.

 I like putting a lemon pepper spice I have on them with a little bit of sea salt!

I am also hooked on Boursin cheese at the moment and wine. Perfect summer mix!

And on that note I am hungry and off to go make some lunch lol!

Pups and Friends

I can never take enough photos of the little babies!

Today was one of my best friends 27th birthdays! She is a great human and deserved a great birthday present. So I got her a custom set of nails made by my lovely friend Tiffany. Glad she ended up loving them!

We headed over to a BBQ at our murtual friends new house to celebrate their new move! One of the hosts is posssibly the most amusing humans I know. It's never a dull tiume when Joady is around!

Well thats it for me off to bed cause I work at 7am the next 2 days! Hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Adventures In Slowcooking: Chicken Enchilada Soup

So as I told you guys I have been missing Mexican food soooo bad and at the same time trying only to use my slowcooker during these heat waves. I found a recipe for Chiken Enchilada Soup and felt a strong need to get it in my mouth!

This one was super easy, makes a lot of soup and was soooo tasty! Here is the recipe for you guys

Chicken Enchilada Soup

 Initial ingredients to cook chicken in:
3 large chicken breast halves
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2/3 cup chunky salsa (I used my own homemade salsa)
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 Tbsp chili powder ( I would cut this down to 1 tbsp the next time I make it)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients to add in after having cooked chicken:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Masa Harina ( substitute with corn meal you won't find this in most places)
2 cups milk
2 cups frozen corn ( I used freshly cooked corn from husks)
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
2/3 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For Serving (all optional):
Additional shredded Cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheese
Diced avocados
Sour Cream
Chopped cilantro ( this one is such a great addition to the flavours)
Chopped green onions
Tortilla Chips or stripsn (in my mind a must to have with the soup)

Place chicken in a slow cooker (mine was half frozen so don't wory about that part).  Pour chicken broth, tomato sauce, salsa and zesty italian dressing over chicken.  Sprinkle in chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. Give a good little stir and then ensure chicken is resting on bottom of slowcooker again.  Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 6 hours.  

Once cooked, remove chicken from slow cooker and set aside.

 Prepare a roux in a saucepan by heating olive oil over medium heat then stirring in Masa Harina (mixture will be thick), slowly pour in milk.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick and it reaches a gentle boil (it should be like the consistency of a porridge). 

 Pour mixture into slow cooker and whisk until smooth.  
Add in corn, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Cheddar Cheese and Monterrey Jack Cheese.  Shred chicken and stir into soup. 

 Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to cook about 10 minutes until all ingredients are heated through. 

 Serve warm garnished with additional shredded cheese, diced avocados, sour cream, cilantro, green onions or  tortilla chips.

Hope this heat wave isn't getting to anyone to bad!


Adventures In Slowcooking: Barbacoa Beef

So after living down in SanDiego I grew a possibly unhealthy addiction to Mexican food. Mexican food the likes of which you CAN NOT find in Canada. With the awesome summer weather here I have been craving real mexican food more and more! SOOOOO I decided to take it into my own hands and try my hand at some epic mexican treats.

I found a recipe for slowcooker Barbacoa Beef to use for tacos and burritos. I made the beef yesterday so we could have it for lunch today. WOW was the recipe ever spot on! The meat is delish tender and so flavourful! Here is the recipe I used with my own little changes and suggestions

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef 
(original recipe and link here)

1 jar of Tomatillo salsa (presidents choice has a great one)
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
5 dry bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 to 7 pounds beef brisket
4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stock

Stir together Jar of tomatillo salasa , cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar in the insert of a slow cooker. Place the brisket on top of this mixture.  Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. (if meat isn't fully covered cut brisket in half and replace in pot).

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Once finished, turn crock pot to WARM and let sit for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart.

Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.

I kept all the cooking liquid and frozer it to make a stew in the fall because it was so rich and seemed like a waste to toss out!

Here is my end results ( I made fresh salsa to go with them HERE is my recipe for salsa fresca)

 They were delish and this is for sure a recipe we will be making again in the future!
Hope everyones week is off to a great start!

Cute New Tattoo

Yesterday my friend Rob Chambers did this cute little Oil Lamp tattoo to add onto my sleeve. I love it! (excuse the blood we took it just after we finished I will get a better pic when it's healed)

 Afterwards we had a double date night with him and his gf and watched Indiana Jones movies! Needless to say it was a pretty sweet day.

Brunch Adventures: Izakaya Edition

Two of our good friends work at this gorgeous new restaurant on Elgin and asked us to join them there for brunch today. SOOOOOO glad we did!

Izikaya is at 339 Elgin brunch is only done there on Sundays and only started on mothers day weekend so the menu isn't listed on the website. Silly me should have taken a picture of the menu for you guys. It is an asian fusian restaurant done right! Ottawa has a bunch who have attempted this kind of menu but I have never felt they got it right the way Izikaya has.

I started with a delicious white wince pineapple sangria. I plan on trying out all their sangrias on my next few trips their cause they all sounded tasty it was hard to make a choice.

We split an order of their asian slaw for the table it was delicious. Your typical coleslaw made with cabage with apple and mango added in along with cilantro and crunchie asian noodles on top and a tangy asian dressing!

I had eggs benedict with a curried hollandaise sauce grilled shirmp on a bed of homefries and steamed asparagus along side house made bread. It was aaaaaamazing.

 Nate always loves his french toast so he went with their french toast, along with double smoked bacon on top of an apple cinnamon puree. I tried some and it was a perfect mix. Not to mention their platting was beautiful and we had great service.

Next time you are in the mood to try a little something different be sure to check this place out. I lurked out the dinner menu well there and my mouth was WATERING. Can't wait to get back there for a dinner service.

On our way out this morning this little guy was on the front steps. Too cute and furry like a cat it was a little strange.

Now i'm relaxing on the couch and have no plans on moving for the rest of the day. Hellooooo Sunday relaxation, I have waited allll week for you.

A Little House Update

We got around to doing a little more work on the stairs this weekend here is a quick before as a reminder

I had planned on wallpapering  the back side of the stairs but I really just couldn't find a print small enough in scale or in colours I liked that would work so we decided to go with a fun stencil. I chose a metalic paint to really make them pop on the flat grey paint we did on the stairs. We also got around to putting up new moulding along where we took out the book cases because the wall was torn up along the edges.

Need to pick up some more gray paint to finish up the moulding then get up the cluster photo wall and  the stairs are done. Really like how they have come together so far. Such a huge difference!

We found a nice little spot in the livingroon for our Aaron Bell print we got at NIX last weekend.

I got an email from my mom tonight that made my whole day. My parents went out East and visited with my dads parents and my grandmother sent me back an antique set of china dishes she never gets to use these days. Figured they would get more use at our place and I couldn't be more excited they are gorgeous!

The last thing I probly need in life is another set of dishes but really who could say no to a gorgeous antique set of china!

It's Monday night and I already can't wait for the weekend we are having a big Canada Day BBQ at our place should be loads of fun. Stoked for my first Canada day since I entered the work force NOT working lol.

Alright It's bed time for me guys! Night Night!

Cold Thai Salad

Alright so unless you live some what close to me you have no concept of how insanely hot the next 3 days are about to be and probly don't care lol. I will spare you the whining, but it led to me wanting to make something easy cold and refresghing to toss in the fridge and eat over the next few days cause it's too hot to want to use the oven. Of course we are putting in air conditioners this weekend after the heat wave is over!

It lead me to finding this recipe for a cold thai salad. I made it tonight and let me tell you it was SO DELICIOUS!!!! I felt I needed to share the recipe with you guys cause it is now my new favorite summer salad and so easy !

Cold Thai Salad

What you need:

-250g or 8 ounces of medium width vermicelli noodles
-1/3 cup fresh lime juice ( I had enough with 2 large limes)
- 1/4 cup each of ketchup and canola oil (I used sunflower oil)
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp sugar
- 3 cups cooked chicken slicked or shredded ( I used a mix of chicken and shrimp)
-1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 1/2 cups mix of shredded carrots, celery and red pepper
-1/4 cup each chopped cilantro, green onions and chopped peanuts
- lime wedges on the side

Cook noodles, drain and run under cold water to cool.
Wisk together lime juice, ketchup, oil, soy sauce and sugar.
Toss carrots, red pepper and bean sprouts in noodles then add dressing and toss to coat.
Top with onion, cilantro and peanuts and squirt of lemon

I promise you will love it! Hope everyone out east makes it through this nasty heat wave!

Toronto, Tattoos, Pillows and Puppies

Hey guys!

Me and Nate just got back from Toronto last night we had such a great weekend! We got to see some really great friends and go to the Northern Ink Xposure tattoo convention. I used to work for the convention so it was prety nice to be there and just be able to relax, have time to talk with everyone and actually get tattooed lol.

I got 2 little pieces added to my sleeve by Trevor Taylor from Liberty tattoos in Seattle

We picked up some really magical prints from some really awesome people there too! One from the lovely Erin Chance (middle print) one from a lovely lady sharing her booth  ( I am currently having a brain freeze on her  name) and one from Aaron Bell (right print)

We stayed with my best friend Jen who took us out for an epic brunch our last morning there. This is challah bread french toast stuffed with cheese cake filling and topped with bacon!

My mom watched the pups while we were out of town and snapped some pretty cute shots of the pups. I misssed them so she kept me updated via email with pictures lol.

 When my mom came by to drop off the pups today she suprised me with the pillows for our livingroom being done! They are better then I even imagined so excited to have them they make it all come together.

Well thats it now I am off to make up for a whole weekend with out puppy cuddles! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Magical Livingroom Curtains!

My mom stopped in this afternoon and installed our long awaited living room curtains! I am so so in love with them. Here are a few pictures

 Thanks so much to my amazing mother for all her hard work putting these together for us! We are lucky to have such a talented lady on our side. If any of you are interested in having some custom curtains made please feel free to check out my moms blog for contact info:

Hard to get any good angle and capture the whole room but we're getting there! Flat screen TV coming next month along with a smaller tv console and still on the hunt for the perfect round coffee table. Hope you guys like it and everyone is having a great Sunday!