Writer's Corner

Weekend Bliss – Get to Know Me

Hi Blogging Family,

I just wanted to give you a peek into my weekend so that you can get better acquainted with me. I always start my days off from work with picking out a small bouquet of flowers. Last weekend, I found one with a cute little butterfly that hovers over the rose. As a granddaughter of a florist, I appreciate little details like this. It instantly brightens my day.

It snowed on Saturday morning, so I prepped a few photos for the blog. I have a 5 second rule with photos. I take everything from my phone, quickly crop and adjust lighting if need be, and that’s it. I spend maybe 10 minutes max per shoot. I’m sure it shows, however, I never intended my blog posts to take up a weekend. The photos are supposed to be fun and real.

Anyways…on to the recycling center nearby. I live in a brand new eco-friendly complex that’s super energy efficient. I think I pay about 30 US$ max on electricity per month. That being said, they really lack on a recycling center for glass and cardboard. No worries…my loyal friend and I braved the cold and recycled everything that I had collected, feeling good the second I returned home to a clean and organized pantry (another perk of this place is a huge walk in pantry that holds my recycling bins).

Next, over to Target to pick up new bedding. I’ve been saving for this amazingly soft and luxurious comforter set all month. It’s designed by Justina Blakeney, one of my favorite bloggers. You have to check out her fabulous blog! At Target, I went back and forth for a while on committing to a color palate, my friend waiting patiently by. In the end, I decided to go for the same golden yellow tone that I have in my bathroom. The rest of my place is modern and white so this just seemed right.

Back home, I treated my friend to a yummy Spanish meal that he deserved. Saturday night movies included one comedy, one action with plenty of snacks that I’m testing for a future blog post. At the end of the night, Archie (my little rescue cat) and I went to sleep in the softest bed you can imagine.

Sunday was a rest day. I’ll blog more about my new Sunday routine in a later post because it really helps with the anxiety of starting a new work week. I planted my new house plants, finding them a new home near a large window. At night, I finished off my weekend with reading the last chapters of “Cilka’s Journey” by Heather Morris. I plan to review it this week for you all.

The sun will set soon in the Pacific Northwest. Gotta go capture the view. It’s finally sunny today.

Enjoy the week everyone!


Recipes

Spanish Rice and Beans

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Yesterday morning, Archie, my little rescue cat, woke me up to see the snow falling outside. He was so sweet. It was beautiful and melted just in time to convince a loyal friend to brave the cold and join me on a trip to the recycling center. After feeling eco-friendly, we then headed off to Target to pick up a comforter set by my favorite designer and blogger Justina Blakenay. As a reward, I cooked a Spanish dinner that was easy to put together on a whim.

My version of Spanish beans and rice is inspired by the Spanish cuisine of incorporating soforitos (a base of garlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil), herbs, paprika, spices, and legumes. I love this recipe for its versatility. You can add toppings like plant-based sour cream, cheddar cheese shreds and/or scallions. It really depends on your taste and what you have available.

Before I get to the recipe, I want to give a shout out to everyone that’s been viewing my post these past weeks. Thank you! It motivates me to keep posting and living a healthy and happy lifestyle. OK…Vamos! Lets get cooking.
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Recipes

Greek Plant Based Pasta Salad

Aesthetic Ivory Photo Instagram Post

A Comforting Dish The Whole Family Will Love

After last week, I realized how important family was. A beloved member of my godmother’s family suddenly passed away. She was an incredible teacher full of hugs, wisdom, and kindness. Being around my godmother’s family reminded me of what enduring love is.

As a writer, you often shut the world out to focus on your craft. I know too many incredible writers that do just that. I guess that’s why I developed this blog. After all, what’s the fun in cooking a meal if you can’t share it with a loved one, friend, or neighbor?

I went home after the service and made a large serving of my favorite pasta salad knowing I’d share it with my neighbor and her daughter. You can eat it warm or cold, add other veggies that you prefer such as zucchini or bell peppers, and its mild enough for even little ones to love (just leave out the onions and garlic). Choose the pasta you like gluten free or plain. And you can make it dairy-free now that we have feta and Parmesan options through brands like Violife. You just have to try different brands available to you until you find the ones you love.

Remember to be kind to yourself, especially when grieving the loss of someone you admire and love. Listen to calming music and make a dish that you can share with someone so you don’t feel alone. I hope this recipe inspires you to eat healthy both mind, body, and soul.
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Recipes

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

IMG_20221229_160517673_2These little penguin cupcakes were so much fun to make. I’m still in baking mode to prep for a New Years party with my neighbors and good friends. I made a double batch of my favorite dairy free frosting recipe to use on sugar cookies too. My cupcakes sort of caved in and I have no idea why. I was distracted with my rescue cat, Archie, eyeing the sprinkles and batter and the two little ones I was watching for a friend. Whatever the reason, the frosting turned out yummy on top of my vanilla cupcakes. I included this easy 4 ingredient frosting below. Happy baking everyone into the New Year! Now on to more paper crafting for my Starry Night Woodland party theme. So excited for 2023!

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Recipes

Rudolph Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to share with you my all time favorite pancake recipe. Its super easy to make and fun to decorate during winter festivities.

Now that Christmas is over I’m planning one memorable New Years party as well. Its so awesome to make friends with my new neighbors and have so many get-togethers during the holiday season. Having a staycation this year was stress free, travel free, and guilt free with all the goodies that I enjoy baking and cooking.

I hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends as well! Be sure to check out my pancake recipe. Its so yummy on a cold winter morning.

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Recipes

Oh She Glows Inspired Chickpea Curry

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Good Evening Blogging Family,

I just wanted to give my review of a really versatile curry I made from  Angela Liddon’s cookbook Oh She Glows Everyday. Sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, spices and coconut milk make up the base of this dish. I used curry powder and ground cumin that I had on hand and have included my version below. I really liked how it turned out. A lot of Angela’s recipes are fun to try but take a lot of time to make. This one was pretty much a one-pot wonder that I’ll continue to make during these cold winter months. While it was cooking, my test tasters snacked on roasted pistachios and mandarin oranges. I served it with basmati rice, however quinoa would be yummy too. Bon appetite!

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Recipes

Vegan Zucchini Lasagna

IMG_20221221_141510589_2A perfect make-ahead dish for holiday gatherings

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! For my Jewish friends and family Hanukkah has already started full of festivities, cookie making, and thoughtful presents. Thank you everyone for allowing me to be a part of this special time during the Jewish calendar.

I’m so excited for this Christmas in my new apartment. It’s all decked out for the holidays. The tree looks so pretty at night along with all the twinkle lights in the living room. And a Christmas bonus for some here in the Pacific Northwest…snow is coming! I went ahead and stocked up on goodies and everything I needed to host Christmas this year. I always make Salvadorian pupusas Christmas Eve and lasagna for Christmas day. The best thing about lasagna is that you can make it ahead of time and focus on your guests the day of the get-together. I usually pair zucchini lasagna with my crowd-pleaser Greek Caesar Salad. PJs are required and I found lots of soft winter throws for us to cuddle with and watch movies throughout the evening.

Before I get to my lasagna recipe, you can comment on your favorite holiday meal down below. Be sure to include the link to your blog if you have a recipe you want to share. May all your days be merry and bright!

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Writer's Corner

Holiday Paper Crafting

Hi Blogging Family,

As some family and friends may know, my dream is to become a published author. Now that I have finished my manuscript, I am ready to make my final edits. At 400 pages, this is quite a daunting task. I decided to break it up in pages of 50 per week. This allows me to take a few days away from the manuscript and re-read it with fresh eyes before printing it out and editing the next 50 pages. What do I do in-between edits? Craft 🙂

I love crafting flowers. There’s something about transforming paper into petals that makes me smile. I found a few crafting kits at Paper Source over the weekend. I also picked up a Santa postal bag and made little envelops that seemingly float up in the sky. My new apartment feels so magical now. I hope this inspires you to take a break from work and get creative.

Enjoy the holidays everyone!

Recipes

Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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Happy Holidays Blogging Family!

This weekend I had a blast baking cookies and having friends over to kick off the winter holiday season. It’s so beautiful to see my friends and family celebrate their Jewish and Christian heritage together. We watched Elf and Little Fockers, did some paper crafts, drank chai tea lattes and apple cider (I’ll post the recipes soon), and shared our favorite cookies. Its how the holidays should be!

That being said, I wanted to mix things up a bit and try out some new flours and vegan butters. I am baking and eating eggs now due to a B12 deficiency but feel free to substitute the eggs with your favorite egg substitute.  I found Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking flour as the best substitute for all-purpose flour. My favorite vegan butter by far is Miyokos’ European Style Butter. I hope the tips below help with making wonderful baking memories this year into next.

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Recipes

Quick n’ Easy Tikka Masala

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Hi fellow bloggers, friends and family!

I don’t know about you but I’m all “cookied out” and it’s only mid December! I guess it didn’t help that I had a cookie and crafting party this weekend 🙂 To get back on track with my Mediterranean diet I decided to cook a meal that I often shared with my Indian and Pakistanian friends from college. Many spices used in Indian cuisine are rich in phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals and shield your cells from damage. One wonderful way to try these spices is through cooking Tikka Masala. It’s one of my favorite dishes and super easy to make with chickpeas from your pantry. Serve with a bowl of steaming basmati rice and piping hot garlic naan bread and you have one flavorful meal.
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