Tag Archives: cooking

How To Make Your Home Feel Like Christmas

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How To Make Your Home Feel Like Christmas

It’s winter, the days are shorter, and the feeling of wanting to stay inside and watch movies is getting stronger by the minute. Not to worry, most of us have had the winter blues at some point. Christmas is an excellent opportunity to get into the festive spirit, decorate your home, and invite friends and family over to enjoy the holidays with you. Here’s how to make your home feel like Christmas for your celebrations:

Make it smell nice:

Having scented candles around the house can do wonders for getting you into the festive spirit. Feel free to change candles throughout the week, and try pine-scented candles as well as clove and cinnamon. Along with candles, if you have a real Christmas tree, the natural smell of pine will go beautifully with other Christmasy scents. Feel free to make your own candles if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!

Make warming recipes:

A delicious way to dine this Christmas is to create wholesome dishes that will keep you warm this winter. While you may want to save yourself for the big day, the Christmas period is a time for indulging so don’t feel bad for having a few extra treats. Recipes that taste particularly good when it’s cold include soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. Traditional recipes and comfort food can be enjoyed in abundance during this time. Try to cook this recipe for homemade chicken and drop dumplings, a delicious recipe that is both seasonal and harks back to grandma’s cooking.

Light it up:

Placing lights around your house will automatically give it a Christmas feeling. Keep the lighting warm and low, with soft lamps and candles rather than overhead lighting. Outdoor lights will go wonderfully in your backyard, especially when the sun has set and you look outside your window in the evening. There are many kinds of lights that you can go for, but consider using energy-saving lights, as the cost of lighting decorations and electric lights over Christmas can be very expensive.

Set up treats around your home:

Setting up bowls or jars around the house filled with Christmas goodies is a nice way to enjoy some sweet treats while also functioning as decoration. Cute ideas include filling these bowls or jars with candy canes, chocolate coins, and marshmallows. Having these treats on hand is great when you’re making hot chocolate, as you can grab a couple of marshmallows or chocolate pieces to add on top.

Blankets, throws, and cushions:

Staying cozy at home with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate or mulled cider automatically makes me feel Christmasy. Having blankets and throws on your couch adds a nice winter feel, especially if you are lucky enough to have a natural fire. Thick knit blankets and woolen cushion covers are both comfy and fashionable additions to your interior design.

Spending time with loved ones is the best way to enjoy Christmas. After all, that’s what the season is all about. How ever you choose to enjoy the winter period, keep it festive with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Comfort Food

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Comfort Food

Hellooo everyone! When I’m in the mood for it, I love to cook. But, that is something that I really haven’t done in a while, opting for quick hunger fixes like sandwiches, eggs, cereal, and mac n cheese (of course!). I’ve wanted to make some more fulfilling meals for a while now but haven’t felt up to it. However, the bad bitch is back (lol) and I spent Sunday morning cooking up a pasta salad that will feed me for the week as well as some carrots with a butter glaze and rosemary. Check it out:

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When I go grocery shopping, I try to buy a lot of fresh veggies to eat with hummus as a snack. It’s important to me not to be wasteful so I really do try to eat absolutely everything that I buy before hitting the grocery again. In my fridge, I had a bag of baby carrots and some lovely little cherry tomatoes that had been sitting there for a while so I decided to make some simple culinary magic happen with the ingredients that I had in my fridge and pantry.

I enjoyed my cooking time so much because I feel like I haven’t made a substantial meal since moving into my apartment and it felt good to create something delicious for myself. Self care includes eating good food and I’m hoping that my mental health will improve while I work my way through the pot of pasta salad that I made all by myself.

Here is the makeshift recipe I created for the salad if you’d like to try it out for yourself. I know I’m partial to it because I made it but it is such a nice, light pasta salad perfect for summer!

  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 2 small jars of artichoke, pour it all in (liquid included!)
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • Large chunks of mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese sprinkled over top
  • Seasoned with: Salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano

And, for the carrots, I cooked them up, let them cook some more in butter, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

I hope you enjoy my hodge podge pasta salad as much as I did and feel free to add your own twist onto it! 😀

What is your favorite dish to cook? What kind of food do you love to eat in the summer time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

All Time Favorite Enchilada Recipe

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All Time Favorite Enchilada Recipe

Hiii! It is no secret that your girl loves to eat and I enjoy a variety of different ethnic cuisine as long as it’s vegetarian. But, perhaps, my most favorite is Mexican food. The spice, the flavor, and heat – I just love it and I wouldn’t complain if that was the only type of food I could ever eat for the rest of my life. Recently, I had one of my favorite Mexican dishes that is quite simple but insanely delicious and I had to share it with all of my fellow foodies!

This recipe for Avocado & Cashew Enchiladas is from The New Moosewood Cookbook. Enjoy!

Avocado & Cashew Enchiladas

  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 4 finely minced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely minced parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or firm yogurt
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, crushed
  1. Mash the avocados until they are smooth and add the lemon juice immediately.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Fill your tortillas and place on a pan sprayed with Pam.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Top with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce and dig in!

This recipe takes a whole ten minutes to make and the avocados and cashews provide a satisfying and relatively healthy filling. I feel so full after this enchilada meal and always can’t wait to eat it again the following day. 😀

What is your favorite type of food to eat? What are some of your favorite recipes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Thanksgiving is one of my most loved holidays, because it revolves around food and family, which are my two favorite things in the world. There is nothing like having friends and family over to share in a beautiful meal and just enjoy each other’s company, and I feel like that is what this day is all about.

Today, I am looking forward to cooking up some deliciousness in the kitchen with my mom and sister. I love to cook, and it is so fun and rewarding to be able to make a meal that everyone looks forward to year round (At least, I do!). I hope that however you spend your day today brings you a lot of joy, good food, and wonderful company.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? How are you going to spend your day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Five Tips To Follow For Faster Cooking

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Five Tips To Follow For Faster Cooking

Cooking at home is always better than ordering take out or getting a pizza delivered for the third time this week. You can always find more taste and more nutrition when you cook the food at home. However, there are occasions when you need to make cooking easier so that you spend less time in the kitchen when you’re hosting a party or family dinner. Apart from using the best vegetables and other ingredients, you must use the best cooking methods that are not only safe for the food but also make your cooking effortless. You can use some great tips and blend them together with your knowledge and experience to make cooking easier and less time consuming. Remember, most of these are devised by the great chefs and are tried and tested by the homemakers. Here they go:

Plan your recipe:

One might say that this is the most important step, because the recipe that you choose is what will be on your dinner plate. Make sure you pick something that you feel capable of being able to make well – especially if guests are coming over.

Get your ingredients read:

Very often, people feel the pressure when they do not plan their recipes. If you plan what to cook and how to cook, then it becomes easier for you to get the ingredients ready and within your reach. This preparation keeps you ahead of your time as you start cooking right at the moment when you get the stove ready.

Set up appliances and ignite the stove:

After getting the ingredients out, you should get the appliances ready and ignite the stove. Make sure you have the best appliances right in front of you and you know how to use them so an unexpected fire doesn’t ruin your meal!

Use a pressure cooker and smoker:

It goes without saying that the use of pressure cookers can ease the task of cooking. Since boiling the ingredients is an important step of cooking, you can use these appliances to shorten your cooking time because they boil the food in a reduced manner. You should make sure to boil your veggies before you cook them. This preserves the nutrients and reduces the time for cooking, as well. Also, if you have a smoker, you can cook a number of recipes quickly. To learn more about smokers, visit review websites like Hvacify.Com.

Go for multitasking:

This is an efficient way to reduce the time for cooking. While you boil the ingredients in a cooker, you should do some other task on the oven so that you can finish another item off of your check list till your vegetables are ready. In a similar manner, you can prepare the spices for a particular dish till something else is being done on the stove.

Though these are some of the top tips that you can follow to make cooking faster, you can apply some more from your own experience. Also, the internet is loaded with a lot more innovative tips that you can always learn and apply to make cooking an enjoyable necessity.

Monday Update: Fall Fun Edition

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Monday Update: Fall Fun Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. The fall season is officially among us and I, for one, could not be happier. Actually, that’s a lie, I could be happier BECAUSE IT’S BEEN NINETY DEGREES IN OHIO FOR THE PAST WEEK!!!! All of you know by now that I live for the fall and this heat wave is simply unacceptable. So now instead of participating in all of my favorite fall activities listed below, I will simply have to daydream about it until it cools down to autumnal temperatures. Let’s discuss some of my fave fall outings:

  1. Apple Picking: There are TONS of gorgeous orchards in Ohio filled with trees that are spilling over with crisp, fresh apples. I love going to orchards with my family, friends, or on a date and then making something delicious afterwards with the bounty like an apple pie or crisp. So fun and so yum.
  2. Haunted Houses: Ohio also has quite a few haunted houses that I’m always keen on visiting. Being a horror junkie, going to a haunted house during a chilly, pitch black fall night is one of my favorite things to do. I went to the Factory Of Terror last year and would love to go there again and definitely would like to make it to the 7 Floors Of Hell, too!
  3. Fall Cooking: Lil Red loves to cook all of the vegetarian delights, but I especially love making (and eating) fall comfort food. Soups, stews, breads, and huge dishes of mac n’ cheese are just a few of my go to meals. And the fall sweets aren’t so bad, either! Cinnamon rolls, pies, crisps, and cobblers?! Yes, please. Fall food is so hearty, rich, and flavorful, and it makes sitting down for every meal such a joy.
  4. Fall Shopping: This list of fall favorites wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk shopping at least a little bit! Can you say boots and peacoats?! I LOVE IT!! I’m pretty well flush for fall clothing, considering it makes up about 75% of my wardrobe but that never seems to stop me from buying all the booties and oversized sweaters. It’s a curse!
  5. Perfect Weather: Although the heat in Ohio is destroying my favored fall weather, I live for the mid 50s and 60s temps that fall usually brings. I love being that slightest bit chilly. The bite that the fall air blows around, which reddens the cheeks and leaves your hands tucked in your pockets is always what I prefer to scorching summers. One of my favorite things to do during a brisk fall day is throwing on a thick sweater and combat boots and exploring one of the many beautiful Metro Parks in Ohio.

Here’s to hoping that the weather in my neck of the woods makes a drastic change so that I can start enjoying some of my fall favorites soon!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Fall Fun Edition! What are some of your favorite fall activities? What is your favorite season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah