Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Unemployment To Do List Item 1 - Raw Brownies: Done!

About a week ago I wrote about a little to-do list that I'm making up of things I'd like to accomplish while I'm in between jobs. The first item on my list was to make raw brownies which I completed this past weekend!
I found a simple recipe for the brownies from The Rawtarian that I used as more of a guide...'cuz nobody tells me what to do! Just kidding! I had to improvise because things never seem to go according to plan when I get involved in the kitchen (I'm learning though!)

1. This recipe for raw brownies only required 6 ingredients! From left to right we have shredded coconut, raw cacao nibs (the recipe actually called for powder but this was cheaper), organic raw blue agave sweetener, sea salt, crushed pecans, and organic dates.
2. Since I purchased cacao nibs and not powder, I had to pulverize the nibs to powder using the Cuisinart. I pulsed the nibs for about five seconds at a time until they were down to the right size.

 3. Once the cacao was processed, I mixed in 1 cup of dates and then added in the shredded coconut, agave and sea salt and processed everything until it was one homogenous glob.
4. The original recipe called for the pecans to be mixed with the dates first, but since I was winging it on my own, I mixed the pecans in last. It was too hard to mix them in using the Cuisinart, so I hand-mixed them in (that's my dad demonstrating in the above picture!)

5. When the pecans were all in the glob, the brownies were technically done. I could have starting munching right then, but since it looked a bit too globular and not enough like actual brownies, I flattened the mix out into a brownie pan and had them sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.
6. The cooling time in the refrigerator really solidified everything and made it easier to cut into more "brownie-looking" bites later on.

7. Here are the brownies ready to be served!
8. They tasted pretty good...sweet and salty. The weird part was the cacao added a smell and taste that was a bit like alcohol. I don't know enough (or anything at all) about cacao to know if it's normal but it was tolerable. I will probably have to experiment with the recipe a few more times to actually perfect it, but it was a fun little project to do during the weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adventures in Cooking

I mean, I can cook. I am a twenty-something after all. However, I'm more of a stir-fry kind of girl...as in, I find things in the fridge that might taste good and stir fry them together. One of my on-going goals in life is to master the art of cooking. I don't mind eating the same thing over and over again, but I'd rather mix it up a little every now and then while still eating relatively healthy.
The other night on tumblr or pinterest I saw a picture (I wish I reblogged and/or repinned it!) of some delicious looking baked acorn squash, hollowed out and filled with cooked quinoa mixed with vegetables. It looked SO good! So I decided that I'd try to recreate it for dinner tonight. I pretty much had everything needed on hand except for the acorn squash, which thankfully came with a sticker explaining how to cook it.

Here are the ingredients (quinoa not shown because I was already cooking it):
-acorn squash
-lime (I know it looks like a lemon... my mom blames the weather for it not turning green)
-red bell pepper

First, I chopped the bell peppers and put them into a bowl.

  Then, I chopped up the onions and garlic and sauteed them together in some extra virgin olive oil.

 I then mixed the sauteed onions and garlic with the fresh red bell peppers.

 I added the cooked quinoa in with the vegetables...

  ...and squeezed the lime into the mix for flavor. That completed the quinoa filling.

 I halved and scooped out all the gooey insides of the acorn squash and then put them on a casserole dish face down with a quarter cup of water and baked them for half an hour at 375 degrees fahrenheit.

The squash smelled so good after they were done baking and were nice and soft. 

To finish, I scooped the quinoa mix into the acorn squash and added some sides: more quinoa (the squash doesn't hold that much) and some teriyaki chicken.  

It's been four and a half hours since eating dinner and my boyfriend and I are still alive... I would consider that a success! Just kidding, I really enjoyed it and Alex said it was good too, so hurray for adventures in cooking!
Questions? Comments? Wanna tell me that it looks gross?? Feel free to add a comment!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Aqua, Black and Tangerine

aqua black tangerine by masikawa

I was noticing a trend on one of my Pinterest pinboards called "For the Home". I think I have a thing for the aqua, black and tangerine combo. 
Did you know that tangerine is Pantone's color of the year for 2012? Guess I'm just trendy like that! 

Photo Source:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Friday, January 20, 2012

Unemployed To Do List: Item 1

Now that I've got ALL the free time ever, I've been thinking about things I want to do. First and foremost is obviously finding a new job, but I want to do things that I normally wouldn't do when I was a full time employee.
I've always been interested in a raw food diet (no, I don't mean chowing down on uncooked meat or anything gross like that). I mean preparing food that requires little to no cooking and is made up of organic foods. Sounds weird, right? Well, it sounds like fun to me! I don't know, I'm a weirdo daughter of a health nut... it's in my genes.
Anywho, I am a major brownie enthusiast but not so much of a fan of the calories that come with it. What should a girl with an interest in raw foods and a love of brownies do?
Experiment with a raw brownie recipe!! And that is item 1 on my unemployed to do list.

Doesn't that look delicious??

I found this raw brownie recipe over at The Rawtarian that I am going to follow on Monday (after I do a ton of job searching, of course)! The recipe looks pretty simple and the tag line was "six ingredients, ten minutes, one processor, done!" I like the sound of that!
I'll tell you guys how it goes... :)

Image Source

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Longer "Trapped in the World of Steel Construction"

I'm going to have to think of a new title for this blog. My job had a major work force reduction and I was laid off today.
As much as it sucks, I really think it's a good thing.
I was an Interior Design major in college and after I graduated in 2010, this job as a CAD drafter at a steel construction company just fell into my lap. Of course I'm grateful I had the job - I was able to work with my dad for a year and eight months, I learned everything I know about AutoCAD (one of the important programs used in my field), and learned a ton about the construction industry.
In the time between graduation and today I'd been sort of searching for a job in interior design, but I didn't get upset if I didn't hear back from employers. My job was comfortable and I was making good money, but I was not doing what I love and that was definitely a draw back.
One of my hobbies is reading blogs. Design, photography, fashion... if you blog about it, I'll read it. It always amazed me how many people are doing what they love and are making a living out of it. I want that!

 I feel that this lay off is the universe's way of forcing me out of that comfort zone to really concentrate on finding a job I love in interior design. One of the nice things my boss said as he let me go was that he was surprised at how fast I picked up on modeling and drafting and how well I did in a field that I literally knew nothing about going in. If I can succeed in fueling systems and pipe design, I think I can master anything...this is just the motivation I need to get what I want.

Photo Credit

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bits of My Weekend


Since the beginning of the new year, Alex has been working non-stop...literally! He hasn't had a day off since the 2nd or 3rd! So on Saturday after he finished a short shift at work, we took a trip down to Corte Madera and had some clam chowder in bread bowls at the famous Boudin. It's our favorite place for clam chowder... we usually head all the way down to San Francisco for it but thanks to Foursquare, we found out that there is a restaurant much closer to us.

While we were out, we saw a cute dog playing in a water fountain. I don't know about you guys, but I loooove dogs so I just had to get a few pictures of the cute little guy. I wasn't the only one either, a crowd had gathered around the pup ooh-ing and aw-ing. It was just too cute!

We also finally took our Christmas tree down (yea, it's the middle of January...we're procrastinators who love Christmas!)
Since I'm the most organized person you will ever meet (not!), I found mustaches from my 2010 Halloween costume in our "Xmas Decorations" box. There were only two left, so we did the only logical thing there was to do and wore them while we undecorated. Not gonna lie, I kinda want Alex to grow a real one... too bad he kept complaining that it was itchy.
I'm thinking that last picture of us might be a future Christmas card... hehe, I love it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Liked Links

I'm probably subscribed to thirty-something blogs on my Google Reader so I am constantly going through and finding amazing posts on interior design, fashion, and photography. Sometimes I like to write specific posts down so that I can go back and find images to post on my tumblr. Most of the time though the posts go unshared. So now I'm going to start a weekly post called Liked Links (name soon to be changed once I think of something more clever). I'll share some of my favorite posts of the week and hopefully you'll be as inspired as I am!

01 // This sweet Valentine's Day card can be purchased on Etsy, but it makes me want to try to do it myself!
Found on Design*Sponge.com

02 // Who knew cords could bring so much personality to a lamp??
Found on B for Bonnie

03 // Of course the home of two photographers is picture perfect!
Found on Desire to Inspire

04 // Want to be inspired by a truly amazing designer? Go see Faith.

05 // I wish I could capture the simple moments in life the way Dabito does.

Have a good weekend everyone! I'm off to have good old fashioned R&R.
P.S. It's Friday the 13th!! Ahh!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake!

Wayne Thiebaud Cakes, 1963, oil on canvas
Maybe it all started the day I was in the SF MOMA gift shop and saw a book of Wayne Thiebaud's work but ever since then, two things have occupied my mind. Cake and oil paintings (weird combo, right?)

I keep finding images of simply decorated and delicious looking cakes all over the blog-o-sphere and on Pinterest. As a result, I've come up with a couple of New Year's resolutions:
1. Bake and decorate a cake.
2. Make an oil painting of said cake.
That way I can have my cake and eat it too! *har har*

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wear This in That

Inspired by Kat's posts of Outfits Inspired by Dishes and I thought it would be fun to do an outfit inspired by an interior. I don't know how well the two images correlate but it was fun looking for elements in the interior that could be translated into something to wear.

Photo Credits:
Interior // Outfit (created in polyvore)


As I was scrolling through the pages of my Tumblr dashboard yesterday, I noticed that people were posting a lot of pictures of nature. Usually during this time of the year my dashboard is filled with photos of cute girls wearing warm knitted socks, holding cups of delicious tea/coffee/cocoa, and sporting perfectly tousled hair (not that that's a bad thing!).
However, seeing photos of green mountains, dirt paths and misty forests was a breath of fresh air and made me really want to go hiking. I know it's winter but lucky for me, the Bay Area doesn't get too cold and (for some reason) hasn't really hit its full winter potential. This brings me to my next point: winter hiking!!
To me, hiking has always been a summer activity but since we are having some unusually warmer weather this year and I'm having some unusual urges to reconnect with nature, perhaps I'll find some time to get out there and do it.
Now if only Alex had a free day to go for a walk...

Photo Credits:
1 // 2 // 3
4 was taken by yours truly :)