April 19, 2014

cherry blossoms + free desktop wallpaper.

it is no secret that i love cherry blossoms. specially the pink ones that i see every morning when i open the blinds in my bedroom. there is that huge tree in front of my window that makes me happy every time i see it. i could spam you with pictures every single day now that it is in full bloom.

two days ago i snapped a few close ups right before my camera battery died and because i loved the way these pictures turned out, i can't help but post them today. 
i also couldn't help it but make a some desktop and phone wallpapers for me and for you too. my easter gifts for you.
download desktop wallpaper »shine« [for noncommercial use only.]
iphone4 | iphone5 | 1440x900 | 1920x1080

download desktop wallpaper »don't forget to shine« [for noncommercial use only.]
iphone4 | iphone5 | 1440x900 | 1920x1080

i hope you like them.
now i am off to enjoy my super long weekend - friday to monday - with lots of family time, baking, movies, reading, and so on.

happy easter.
xo.

April 16, 2014

on the breakfast table | wish list.

| created on poyvore |
i love breakfast. i guess that's no surprise. specially on the weekends after sleeping in. the sun is out and shining bright. a cool breeze coming in from the open window. some morning tunes on spotify. some cute dishes and yummy food on the table. yes, that's what a perfect morning looks like.

the other day when i was checking out polyvore, i saw this cute little mint coffee maker and fell in love with it. i love that color. so i just had to create a board and make a wish list for my breakfast table. 

coffee maker
i love my coffee in the morning. most of the time i go for an americano these days but on the weekends and if i feel fancy i foam up some milk and make myself a cappuccino or latte macchiato. for extra fanciness i even add a splash of syrup.

milk jug | creamer
i can't drink my coffee without milk. i gave up on sugar but milk is a must. having it on the table in a creamer than in it's carton makes it so much better. isn't it ironic that i want to fill it into a creamer that looks like a milk carton so i don't have to have the actual carton on the table. ha ha.

cups & mugs
i believe coffee tastes so much better in a cute mug. i already have a wild assortment of different mugs and cups in my cupboard. i love to pick one for my morning cup of joe every day. i love all these mugs pictured. i have a soft spot for stripes and polka dots and black and white and grey. if all these would be in my cupboard, i would have an even harder time to pick a mug every morning.

random fact 1: when i was a kid i always wanted a mug with my name on it. all my friends had cute ones. but my name was never available. on nothing. it always made me sad. i did have a mug with an M on it but it just wasn't the same. i was a happy little one when my mom had one custom made for me with my name at a pottery.

random fact 2: i have mugs i only use for coffee and mugs i only use for tea. i would never use my tea mug for coffee. a certain someone always makes fun of me because of that.

napkins
i have them on the table for breakfast rarely. actually only when i have guests over for breakfast. they are just pretty and make the breakfast table complete. i definitely need to add coral ones to my small napkin collection though.

favorite spoon
you have to have a favorite spoon. it has to be the perfect size. and if you found it, it is the only one you want to have your cereal with. right? that one looks like a pretty perfect one.

butter dish
for as long as i can remember, my mom always had butter in a nice butter dish. right now i am using a tupperware one but that sleek white porcelain one would be perfect for my breakfast table.

tumbler
i love that tumbler. great shape and color too. perfect for some fresh oj or a glass of milk if ever i don't feel like having coffee or tea. guess that won't happen ever.

latte bowl
i know. i know. everyone has these. i actually do too. i have the mint ones. but i's love to add the tangerine ones to the mix. they are my go to cereal bowl. and sometimes when i have a croissant for breakfast, i make myself a café au lait in them.

fork & knife
how else would you want to eat those pancakes or spread that butter on your toast?

plate
i am usually into white tableware because it goes with everything. but i kind of love this black plate and wouldn't mind some of these in my cupboard.


tray
whenever the weather is nice enough i like to have my breakfast on the porch. so a nice tray always comes in handy to haul everything outside.

bowl
this bowl... it's perfect. my favorite colors. the scalloped edge. just perfect. it's from the oh joy! for target collection. wouldn't it be perfect to serve your breakfast rolls or croissants in it. i wish we had a target over here. i miss my weekly target shopping sprees. well my wallet doesn't.

i guess that's about it. or have i forgotten anything essential? nothing i can think of right now.
what's on your breakfast table wish list?
xo.

April 09, 2014

gift card holder | a paper craft with eeny.

isn't it crazy that it'll be easter in not even 2 weeks? so for this months »a paper craft with eeny« i am sharing an easter craft over on my friend danielle's blog a love affair with paper.

sometimes i like to give gift cards to friends and family. this way they can get something they really want, like a book they always wanted or that pretty red lip stick they keep swatching. but those gift cards always look so boring on their own or in just a plain envelope. so i like to make pretty little gift card holder for them. this way i can personalize these plain old gift cards and the recipient knows that i didn't just run into the store last minute before coming over because i forgot to get a present - i have to admit - that happened before.

gift cards are also great little things to add to an easter basket along with a chocolate bunny and some chocolate eggs. don't you think so too. and wouldn't they look so much cuter in those gift card holders? so if you want to know how i made them and even download a printable template, hop over to my danielle's blog and find out.

the easter bunny is already over there so he can make some gift card holders to add to his easter baskets as well. ha ha.
xo.

April 07, 2014

for one | white enchiladas.

today i have another recipe for one for you. you know i love mexican food and that it is a pain to get around here. usually i make this dish when i have family or friends over because it is perfect to prepare ahead. but i can not always wait to have guest over to have enchiladas. i love them too much. well i could invite them over more often but i guess they wouldn't want enchiladas every time. ha ha.

so anyway, i minimized my favorite white enchilada recipe down to just one serving. i love these. they are cheesy and creamy. perfect for my hearty mexican food craving after baking and shooting sweet cherry cakes all day. when i am baking and am kind of surrounded by sweet stuff all day, i kind of can't eat a single bite of sweet food. all i need is a hearty dish by the end of the day.

now on to the recipe.

white enchiladas

[serves 1]

4 oz ground beef or chicken breast, cut in very small pieces
1 tbs white onion, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
6 tbs beef or chicken broth
6 tbs heavy cream or half & half
2 tbs salsa
salt, pepper & paprika
1/2 tbs butter
1/2 tbs flour
6 tbs shredded cheddar cheese
2 small or 1 large [corn] tortilla
1 spring onion [the green part], cut in ringlets
a couple sliced black olives
fresh cilantro

  1. preheat oven to 350°F | 180°C and butter a mini casserole dish
  2. in a small skillet heat 1/2 tbs oil and brown meat in it. add minced onion and minced jalapeño and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. stir in 2 tbs broth, 2 tbs heavy cream and 1 tbs salsa and let simmer on low until thickened. season with salt, pepper & paprika. pour into a bowl and set aside. 
  3. wipe out pan and heat butter in it on medium, add flour and cook for a minute or two while constantly stirring. add 4 tbs broth and cook until smooth. add 4 tbs cream,  1 tbs salsa and 3 tbs shredded cheese, stir well and let simmer on low until thick. season with salt, pepper & paprika. set aside. 
  4. heat tortilla in a large pan until soft. fill it with meat mixture, sliced olives and green onion ringlets. place enchilada[s] in buttered casserole dish and top it with the sauce. sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake it in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. 
  5. sprinkle with some extra slice olives and fresh cilantro right before serving.
    serve with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole and mexican rice. 
tips:
  • you can also use some enchilada sauce instead of the white sauce but i used mine up for the one-pot enchilada pasta last week. 
  • add some sauteed bell peppers to the sauce and/or meat. it's delicious and adds a little extra yumminess to it.

mexican rice 

[serves 1]

5 tbs long grain rice
1/2 jalapeño
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 medium very ripe tomato
1 tsp tomato paste
1 spring onion [the white part left from the enchiladas]
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 to 1 tbs fresh minced cilantro
salt&pepper

  1. rinse rice until water is clear, cut up tomato in chunks, cut the dark green parts of the spring onion off.
  2. add chicken broth, tomato, tomato paste, spring onion into the chopper bowl of your hand blender and blend everything together - this should be 3/4 cup in total.
  3. in a small pot, heat 1/2 tbs canola oil and fry rice until translucent. add minced jalapeño and fry for another minute or two.
  4. add broth/tomato mixture and stir well, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. let simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is done. 
  5. season with salt & pepper, lime juice and minced cilantro

have a great start into the week.
xo. 

April 03, 2014

pizza fail | cauliflower pizza

after ages and ages i finally attempted to make a new to me pizza again but it was a total fail.
lately i saw a lot of instagram pictures, pinterest pins and blog posts mentioning cauliflower pizza.
so when i found yet another recipe in the food mag i have a subscription too i decided to finally jump on the bandwagon and give it a go. it can't be bad if everyones loves it, right?

it was pretty simple to make but i have to say i really didn't like it at all. the so called crust didn't hold together at all even though i already added a little more cheese than the recipe called for because the ratio cauliflower to cheese seemed a bit off. still wasn't enough but i could have lived with that and adjust the cheese ratio again. but the taste was off. it had such a weird almost bitter aftertaste. no thank you, not my thing.

i have no idea why it tasted weird. it definitely wasn't the toppings because i have these on a basic pizza crust on a regular basis - my usual salsa pizzaiola, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, green onion and some fresh basil leaves. so i have no idea why the taste was off.

next time - regular pizza crust again. no messing with my pizza again.
have you ever tried something everyone raves about and you pretty much hated it?
xo.



is post is part of my the pizza adventures series. i want to try a new to me pizza topping every week and share it with you.
come join the pizza adventures. let's travel the world - a slice at a time. 

April 02, 2014

for one | one pot enchilada pasta.

i had enchiladas the other day and as i made them just for myself, i had some leftover ingredients - sauce, meat and cheese. the perks of cooking for one. but of course i didn't want to have enchiladas again. so i went through my recipes trying to find a recipe that kind of calls for the ingredients i had. i found an old favorite of mine - one pot bolognese pasta and than i remembered that i once saw a one pot enchilada pasta on pinterest so i thought why not try it.
 
so i got my little pot out and went ahead and whipped up a delicious pasta dish for just myself. super easy, super fast and really good. that's what i like. i am definitely going to make it again.

one pot enchilada pasta.

[serves 1]

5 oz. | 150g ground beef or turkey
1 T onion, minced
taco seasoning [or just salt, pepper and cumin] to taste
1/2 c chicken broth
3/4 c enchilada sauce
1 c uncooked pasta [i used penne]
1/2 c shredded cheese [i used a mix of white and orange cheddar]
1-2 small tomato, diced
olives
1 green onion, cut in ringlets
fresh cilantro
sour cream

  1. in a small pot brown meat and minced onion. season with taco seasoning.
  2. add chicken broth, enchilada sauce and uncooked pasta and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low. cover and let cook for 15 minutes. remove lid and let simmer for another 5 minutes or until pasta is done.
  3. stir in diced tomato and half of the cheese, top with the other half and put it under the broiler until cheese is melted [make sure your pot handles are heat proof] or cover and let cheese melt. 
  4. sprinkle with green onion, olives [black are best but i only had green ones on hand] and fresh cilantro [i was totally out so i had to skip it]. 
  5. serve with a dollop of sour cream.

tip:

for the one pot bolognese pasta just season meat with salt pepper and oregano, use marinara sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with with basil.

now i am hungry. are you too?
i am off to rake up my pantry and see what i'll have for dinner.
xo.

March 31, 2014

currently | march.

currently i am...

loving and enjoying...
the spring weather. the warm rays of sunshine make me happy.
usually i am not one who gets affected by the weather. my mood has nothing to do with the weather outside. the weather i choose to make inside of me every morning when i wake up is more important than the weather outside. i don't let a gloomy day make me feel moody. but if the sun is out and i am in a happy mood, i might even get i little happier. does that make sense? well, for me it does. and that's what counts. 
 
eating...
lots of avocados. i love that green stuff. i am having it on a toasted english muffin at least 3 times a week. so good.  
 
drinking...
i am still running on lots of water. i cut back my soda intake a lot since my no soda month. gotta say i am really happy about that. there is no need for all that extra sugar. but i can't give it up completely because whenever i ban a certain food/drink from my diet, i crave it even more. so a soda here and there will be fine.

reading...
a couple books about photography. i want to get more control of my camera instead of it taking control over me. i really want to improve my skills and practice more.

listening to...
the 1975. i found them randomly on spotify a while ago but fell in love with their music during march.

watching...
way too many you tube videos. once i started, i just can't stop.

celebrating...
my grandpa's 94th birthday. i love that guy. he is the sweetest. i always bake him a cake for his birthday. usually it was a black forest cake but he can't eat that anymore. so when i asked him this year, what kind of cake he'd like... guess what he asked for?! out of all cakes out there, his request was a simple marble cake. well than, that's what he got.

wishing you...
a fun and sun filled new month.
xo.

ps: thanks danielle for the inspiration to these currently posts.