Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Better Home Cooking Basics: #45 Speed Up Prep Time & Reduce Mess with a Food Scoop or a Dough Scraper.

After you’ve chopped your onions & minced your garlic how do you get it into your skillet or pot that you’ll be cooking it in? Do you carefully scoop & balance it on your knife & then slowly walk it over to your stove while maybe sacrificing some to the floor & by some I mean most & now you have to clean the floor? Do you bring your entire cutting board to the pot & scrape all of your hard prep work into said pot or skillet (if you’re lucky enough to keep the balance of it with one hand while you scrape with the other?

I can be a bit of a spaz & would love to say I never spill anything - but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A handful of years ago I bought a stainless steel food scoop like this one while I was down visiting Charleston. I wish I could tell you the name of the store or even the brand of mine but I can’t. Yes most people probably pick up something more sentimental when on vacation - but me - I opt for practical kitchen gadgets.

Turns out this little "souvenir" is my favorite & most used gadget in the kitchen. I use it daily. It’s the perfect way to caddy food from your cutting board to your pot without spilling it everywhere - no balancing act required. It's a great way to be more efficient with your time in the kitchen (read: spend less time cleaning the mess of your floor.)

I like the one I use (see the photo below) because it has sides to it so none of the food can escape that way. This one & this one are great alternatives with sides.

You can also use a pastry/dough scraper like this one. It won’t have sides so more balance is required but you can scoop larger amounts for transporting around your kitchen.

What's your favorite kitchen gadget? I would love to know! Please comment below.

Get more of my better home cooking basics here

Friday, October 17, 2014

Morton Salt Girl Halloween Costume

umbrella (alternate options here & here)
yellow frock (alternate options here, here & here)
white tights (alternate options here & here)
yellow flats (alternate options here, here & here)

Here’s a little well-known fact about moi - I love salt. So what could be more perfect for a halloween costume (for me) than being the Morton Salt Girl - probably nothing. The best part about this costume is that you can buy or use pieces that you could wear in a non-costume context (read: in real life). So you’re not just investing in an expensive Halloween costume you’ll never wear again! Grab the links to my picks in the photo caption.

For more Halloween costume ideas check out my past posts here, here & here for inspiration! What will you be for Halloween this year?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Soft Serve Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream

I had some extra pumpkin in my fridge (after making these pancakes) & was craving something sweet so I made a cross between pumpkin pie filling & ice cream for dessert. Soft serve pumpkin ice cream.

It’s vegan. It’s dairy-free. It's gluten-free. (Read: guilt-free) It’s delish!

It’s a take on my usual go-to frozen banana ice cream trick that I’ve made here & here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Alex & Piper #OITNB Halloween Costumes

basic prison uniform: American Apparel V-Neck in Sand; American Apparel Fleece Pants in Kakhi;
Mossimo Supply Co. Combat Boots from Target in Black
Alex Extras: Tarte Liquid Eyeliner; Hot Topic Faux Black Rimmed Glasses; Asos Long Sleeve White Tee
Piper Extras: Shobha Brow Pencil in Earth; Tarte Matte Lip Tint in Exposed; Asos Grey Long Sleeve Tee.

Halloween is coming & I can’t help but day dream of all the different costume options. Usually I dream them up & right after Halloween every year & then I forget them. This year I’m going to document these ideas here.

If you’ve been watching Orange is The New Black on Netflix you’ll recognize this one right away. It’s the perfect duo costume for you & your bestie, especially if one of you is a blonde & the other is a brunette (& if you're not that's what wig are for). This also could be one of the most low maintenance costumes you can wear.  There is minimal makeup & you basically get to wear sweats. I’m in. I’m all about Alex’s cat-eye (& just started loving this eyeliner as of late), so which one of my blonde friends wants to be Piper (all you need is a little brow pencil & a nude lip)?

Oh & bonus points if you don't wash or brush your hair if you want to be really authentic!