Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hello, Wonderful

While checking my Etsy shop statistics, I found a link to a site called Hello, Wonderful. I thought I'd check it out and was delighted to find a little feature image of my creations on their home page, which lead to blurb about my shop! I had no idea this site existed, it has links to some amazing finds and tutorials. It really brought a smile to my face to see my creations being shared and admired by others. :) I hope they bring inspiration to minds young, old, and every age in between! It's lovely to see something like this, really made my week!

Check out the link here!

And, should you feel inclined to pass on my creations, a pin for my shop can be found below! Just click the image to open it.

 Hope everyone is having a great weekend! xo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recipe: Pollock Fish Cakes with Sweet Chili Sauce and Lemon Avocado Garnish

When it comes to the kitchen, I'm on a never-ending journey. It's a loooong and twisting road of happy accidents, tasty discoveries, and the occasional questionable culinary experiment (sometimes, I bite off a little more than I can chew - Get it? Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Sometimes, the end result is great! Other times, not so much. I think it's because I find it so hard to stick to recipes anymore. When I didn't know much about cooking, I followed every recipe to the letter. Now that I've had some practice, I love to experiment and come up with something new. I get a little brazen, sometimes to the chagrin of my tastebuds. My boyfriend is also the unfortunate taste tester for these kitchen experiments, but this time I think I've got a real winner that would please even his picky palate. I used pollock for this recipe, but you can use any white fish. Pollock can be found in almost any supermarket's frozen seafood section. It's tasty and usually super cheap - good for a budget dinner.

I really have to give myself a pat on the back for these fish cakes. It's simple food and it tastes absolutely amazing - really! I thought it'd be neat to try a combination of different tastes so I paired them with some sweet chili sauce and a citrusy, lemon-avocado dip/garnish. It's an explosion of flavor that's sure to satisfy.


Time: Approx. 30 minutes
12 oz (3 filets) of pollock (or any white fish)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp cracked pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice for cakes + 1/2 tsp for avocado garnish
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 a ripe avocado
Sweet chili sauce for dipping
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil or olive oil for frying

Directions (Fish Cakes)

1. Prepare your fish according to the directions on the package. (I haven't tried to make these cakes without first cooking the fish. I imagine that it would be fine, but it's just easier to "crumble" the fish into the mix after it's all flaky and cooked.) For thawed pollock that's about 10 minutes on 425 degrees fahrenheit.

2. Once the fish are cooked (they will flake easily when done), crumble them into a medium sized bowl. Add the following: mustard, mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne papper, and 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Mix together well. Add the panko breadcrumbs. Mix again.

3. Add toasted sesame oil or olive oil to skillet; Set heat to medium. I used 1 tbsp oil per 3 cakes.

4. Using your hands or a spoon, gather up some of the mixture and form into a ball. The size is up to your preference. Place fish cake ball in the heated skillet, then press down on it with the back of a fork or a spatula to flatten it. If the cakes fall apart a bit in the skillet, don't worry. You can just mash them back into shape using your fork or spatula.  Cook each side for about 4-5 minutes or until a light golden brown.

Directions (Lemon-Avocado Garnish/Dip)
1. Make sure that your avocado is pretty ripe. If it isn't, it'll be a little annoying to get the dip to a nice, creamy consistency (unless you feel like dirtying up a blender or food processor. I didn't, heh). Cut avocado in half. Spoon it out into a small bowl.

2. Using a fork, mash up the avocado until creamy. Add in 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix together well. You can serve it with the cakes in various ways - as a garnish, a spread, or a dip. It's up to you!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Boho Fringe Statement Necklace DIY

I've been planning on putting together a boho-inspired necklace tutorial for some time now, so I came up with this faux leather and stone statement collar the other day to bring out the gypsy in you...I think it came out pretty well! I've included a template for the collar below, or you can free-hand the shape. Nothing is more in the spirit of the gypsy/boho style than handcrafting your own jewelry, and using whatever materials you can find will give your piece its own unique look. Best of all, it's super simple.

Black vinyl or similar faux leather fabric (one 8.5"x11" piece for the necklace; three 16" strips each about 6mm wide for the braided cord)
Craft glue (I used Aleene's Jewel-It Embellishing Glue)
Needle & thread in a color similar to your faux leather
Assortment of beads and stones
Template for collar (optional; see step #1)

1. To begin, you can either print out the template below (on a piece of 8.5"x11" letter sized paper; set printer to borderless printing) and use that to create the shape of the necklace, or just freehand your own design. My own shape was just slightly longer at the bottom than the template (I wanted the fringe to hang a little lower). After you've cut out your necklace, cut the bottom half of the necklace into strips (approximately 2" from the top).

8.5"x11" template. Click to enlarge.

2.  I found some pretty pear shaped rhinestones and arranged them around a large, milky disc bead to make the necklace's focal point. The rhinestones had to be glued on, so I used Aleene's Jewel-It glue and let it dry overnight (though a couple of hours will probably suffice).

3. Using different stones, I played around with different patterns until I found one I liked, then I used a needle and thread to sew them in place.

4. Once my beads and stones were sewn/glued on, I strung some gold acrylic beads on the fringe strips at random intervals and tied knots below them to keep them in place.

5. Take the faux leather and cut three long strips, each measuring about 6mm wide and 16" long. Braid these strips into a long braid, tying knots at each end and leaving about 3" unbraided. You may need to increase the length of the braid if you think you'll have difficulty slipping it over your head.

6. String beads on one of the loose strips at the end of the braid to embellish. Tie a knot below them to secure. Repeat for other end of the braid.

7. Using scissors, fold one of the top ends of the necklace in half and cut a small slit horizontally into the fabric. Do the same for the other end.

8. String the strips on one end of the braid through one of the slits, pull around the back and tie off above the beads (around the braided part) to secure. Do the same for the other side. Aaaand you're done!



That's it! Happy crafting :) If you make something inspired by this tutorial, I'd love to see it! Leave me a comment or a link.

Pinned here, please share!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I lost track of time and now it's all behind me

Just a quick update of this past week's adventures + some theme music to go with it. I don't think cameras can capture the true beauty of it all. Most of these were taken at Rocky Mountain National Park in CO. It's breathtaking there! Some of the winding mountain roads had me a little terrified (nooot a huge fan of heights) but it was so worth it!


"The world is BIG and I want to have a good look at it 
before it gets dark."
- John Muir