Another Happy Sunday! In London the weather is really on our side, the sun is even out. The fiancé just went out for a run and I am contemplating doing the same, my home made granola just has to cool down first. Today is a day of doing absolutely nothing, until the evening when I am planning on working a bit on my photo skills. Always good to learn something new!
Some dinner inspiration coming your way! I am always up for easy, simple, no fuss dinners.In our household I am the baker and the fiancé is the one in charge of cooking. But sometimes even I have to cook (boring, no?) and when I do it's always the easiest things.
Although I am not really into red peppers, they are easy to stuff with anything your heart desire and this time they were stuffed with taco spiced minced meat, mushrooms, onion, garlic and chopped tomato. I found the taco spice recipe on this blog some months back, and have been obsessively making taco inspired dishes ever since. For any non-Norwegians it contains 3 table spoons of chili powder, 2.5 tea spoons chili flakes, garlic powder and oregano, 2 tablespoons of cumin and paprika powder (I used a smoky paprika that is so good it's like a drug), 1-2 table spoons of salt (I omitted this and just put a pinch in) and finally 2 tea spoons of black pepper or cayenne pepper. Mix and you are ready to taco-fy anything.
I just cooked the meat, added enough spice to make me happy (but my mix was fairly spicy so watch out for that) and threw in the vegetables. Let it all simmer a bit and then just added the meat mixture to the halved peppers. I threw some cheese on, and popped the tray in the oven. Mine were in the oven for about 25 minutes on 180 degrees celcius, however they could have done with a tiny bit more time inside if I wasn't so hungry.
The only thing missing would be to eat it! Since I love sour cream I would serve that on the side, a green salad and maybe some avocado/guacamole and a handful of tortilla chips to make it feel a bit festive.
About once a week I meet a friend for an early coffee or breakfast, it's not always the same friend, and not always the same place, but I meet Alex at Notes in Trafalgar Square most often. She works close by, so it's convenient for her, and I have the luxury of flexibility in the mornings (this is evened out by all the evening work which isn't very luxurious) so it has ended up being our little spot. Our "local" cafe. To be honest they don't serve much in terms of food so if you don't want porridge or croissants with your coffee, you are probably better off going somewhere else, but they do have good coffee that is always served with a decorated surface. So what's not to like? And the porridge is super creamy and dreamy with some honey on top. Also, am I the only one who LOVES to take photos of coffee? I just can't stop myself.
If there is ONE thing I would like to thank the internet for, it's alternative uses of baby powder. I am trying to think when and where I first discovered that baby powder can be used by adults for things that are very much not baby related. The most important? As a dry shampoo. I have had the most itchy scalp over the last million years, probably due to my need to wash my hair absolutely every day. That is probably not something my scalp and hair loves me for. But finally I was getting fed up with itching excessively and took the advice of the local pharmacist: Wash your hair only once a week, and only with baby shampoo (honestly, these baby products are amazing). Going from washing your hair every day to once a week is not pleasant, so I settled for every second day and explored life with unwashed hair. The dark side is pretty ok so far. But only due to excessive use of baby powder to keep my hair looking like it has been washed that day. And the absolutely best part is that the itching is gone. So thank you local pharmacist!
Hello, good news. In about 5 minutes you can have dessert ready! Although that doesn't include the time it takes you to read this, and it doesn't take into account if you actually have the ingredients needed. But it COULD take only 5 minutes, if you are lucky. I was really craving dessert/sweets last week and was only minutes away from melting all the chocolate I could get my hands on and just eat it with a spoon. So to avoid that happening, an alternative was created. if you have peaches, honey, vanilla extract and some nuts, you are good to go!
I started off with roasting a small handful of nuts in a pan and at the same time slicing up my 2 peaches. Then I mixed 2 tea spoons of honey with 2 drops of vanilla extract. The nuts were taken off the heat and the peaches drizzled with the honey mixture. And once that was done I threw the nuts on top of the peaches and ate the whole thing in less than 3 minutes.
I'm not going to lie, I love anything personalized, I love doing things myself and I love getting new things for the house. This DIY ticks all those boxes. And it's dead easy too. I wanted to get a cup with a "C" on, for "Christine", but I haven't found a cup I LOVE and more importantly, I haven't found a price I love. So I decided to make my own. The easiest way to get a cut out of a letter is to make one yourself in a Word document. Find a font you like, make it BIG and print. Then take a really sharp kitchen knife and spend ages cutting it out. I taped the cut out on the cup and then just coloured in the letter with a pink Sharpie pen. Then the cup went in the oven on 120 degrees for 30 minutes and cooled. And right now I am drinking the first cup of tea of the day in the cup I decorated! A good start to the week. The inspiration for the cup was found here.
Sunday again, how did that happen? I woke up at 11am, I know 11! For me that is crazy late, 8am is more like it. But this morning at 8, when my eyes opened and I realized I had a banging headache and a very dry throat, more sleep seemed like the best option. After some painkillers and a litre of water that is. The reason I woke up like this is of course last nights dinner and many drinks which ended at 2.30am when we made it into bed. At that time I thought it was 12.30. I really am good with time keeping lately. But dinner was very good and incredibly entertaining.
A good ending to a good week I would say. After managing to actually get out of bed and getting in the shower we went for breakfast/brunch/lunch (the definition will depend on what you think is appropriate to call the first meal of the day when it is eaten at 2pm) and read the newspaper. Then we went back home and have been stationed in front of the TV ever since. Gathering strength for Monday, no doubt.
I went for a run today, I just want to let you all know, that I managed to force myself out of the door to go RUNNING in the park. Ok, done, I needed to get that off my heart. So, back to life. Guess what I did on Tuesday? Yes, I got caught in the rain. I know I live in London (the high monthly rent is a serious reminder) but I still haven't come to grips with the weather. I don't actually own a raincoat or wellies (believe me, I am trying to find some I like) and I constantly forget my umbrella. And lately when it rains here, it pours. Which means when the rain starts, one should get out of the rain and into the nearest cafe/restaurant/shop. I was closest to a cafe, I was feeling a bit blue and although I promised myself on Monday that I would not eat any sugar until November 1st, I deserved a chocolate cupcake. You know the feeling, I assume. When you find yourself breaking your self imposed sugar avoidance on day 2, things are getting out of hand. The cupcake wasn't even that good!
All photos are taken from this Pinterest board.
As an avid Pinterest user it has come to my attention that anything you ever needed to know is on Pinterest, and it's illustrated by beautiful photos. Want to fold a fitted sheet? How about learning how to braid hair? Or maybe a beautiful infographic to teach you about social media? If that isn't happy news, I don't know what is. I pin away to my hearts content and have found inspiration for the apartment, what to make for dinner, I find new and interesting websites, products, blogs and I have found a lot of wedding inspiration. But apart from these things what I love to discover more than anything is little projects I can make at home. Life is better with some home made things in it. I love making and creating, I think it makes me calmer and happier. So I always have some sort of project going on. If you want to be inspired, or find something to make yourself, head over here.
Way back when I lived in NYC I was talked into trying a chai latte at that world dominating coffee chain, with a love for the colour green and white, you all go to. Yeah, no names ok. I still frequent their cafes, and I don't even like their coffee, the powers of marketing and branding hard at work. So I bough this chai latte without actually knowing what it was, because I was not familiar with chai in it's pure tea form. The concept of a chai latte was scary and seemed a bit inappropriate. Warm milk with flavour? I have to say I din't really like it back then, while I appreciate the flavour of cinnamon (I LOVE cinnamon) and spices and all that jazz, what's up with how sweet that thing was? I tried once and felt ok about the idea of never trying again. Then last year an ex colleague bought me a chai latte from the same chain and as I felt I had to drink it, I did. But it's not like they have made it less sweet and it still tasted like diabetes in a cup. The thing is, chai latte seems like an appropriate thing to drink in the autumn and winter, and my cups of earl grey/English breakfast are getting a bit boring.
So what is a girl to do? I solved my problem by making a chai "syrup" by steeping 2 chai tea bags in 500 ml of water for quite some time. Then I added 4 teaspoons of brown sugar and let it boil until I had an appropriate syrupy liquid. Add this to warm and steamed milk, top with cinnamon and that is autumn in a cup for you!
I'm Christine and I currently live in London with my husband where I do my best to go to as many restaurants as possible, bake, DIY and occasionally let my hair down and go to a museum. x