Somehow I'm managing to do a 7 Quick Takes post two consecutive weeks. It's madness! It must be a product of all the creativity going on in this house at the moment. It has been a week of making things. So this 7QT is dedicated to all the things we've had going over here!
As I've probably mentioned far too many times already (and will yet mention far too many more) I'm going to be an aunt this year... TWICE! Both my sister and my sister-in-law are pregnant, and both with boys! I'm so excited to add some blue to the family and even more excited that these will be our girls' first first cousins! (We are completely overrun by a wealth of wonderful second cousins!) This past weekend was my sister-in-law's baby shower. It was absolutely beautiful, and I was extra excited because I had a little surprise up my sleeve. The daddy to be is a pilot and I knew that they were decorating bits of the nursery in aviation theme. Not long after learning this I came across an adorable picture while adding to my Pinterest boards, and thought: I can make that! So, I pinned it to one of the fairly new and ever so clever "secret" boards, so that I could keep it in mind while I gathered supplies. A pack of canvases, some painter's tape, blue spray paint, and a piece of white poster board later... Voila! Adorable paper airplane triptych. I'm so thankful for the amazing people that think up such fantastic ideas and share them on Pinterest, because this one was so perfect and such fun to make!
My handsome Hubs has been doing some creative work of his own. He started my week off right with his latest green smoothie creation. Now I have a new favorite. It is so fresh and just gives me an amazing burst of energy to start the day! Because he's so sweet, he's letting me share his amazing recipe. I can't recommend this highly enough. Get thou some organic veggies and fruits and some all natural whey protein (careful here- most of those canisters are chock full of unpronounceable chemicals) throw them in the Vitamix and make it happen, y'all:
2 medium-large leaves of kale
1.5 cups green cabbage (like savoy)
1 large stalk celery
3 Tbsp parsley (curly or italian)
1 organic orange
1 frozen banana
1 scoop all natural whey protein
1 Tbsp chia seed
That's not the only delectable day-starter that he's been blending up. This week, we decided to get juicing. We still haven't settled on the right juicer for us, but hasn't stopped us. If you have a Vitamix and some cheese cloth, then juice is just around the corner. After blending up your veggies, you simply squeeze the smoothie through cheese cloth and juice is yours for the drinking. Unfortunately, we discovered that cheese cloth isn't really made to withstand the pressure required to press juice. It took some doing to avoid major tears. Thankfully the Hubs is super talented and we ended up with two large containers of juice- one for each of us. It was so delicious that I finished mine in a day! Because we are hoping to continue juicing while still on the hunt for the right juicer, but don't want the mess of using cheese cloth, the Hubs discovered a much better way to separate the juice. It's called a nut milk bag, and every time he says it- I giggle, because apparently I'm 12. Nonetheless, it arrived in the post this evening, so I'm hoping that we get to try it out this weekend.
I'm only now realizing how many of these takes are occurring in the kitchen. What can I say: the spirit of Epicureanism has been racing through the house this week. This is how it all started: A craving for fish tacos. I avoided fish tacos like the plague for many years. Something about fish and a bread product... together. It just seemed wrong. But then while out in lovely San Diego I discovered how brilliantly the combination of fresh filets, crisp red cabbage, corn tortillas, and the right spicy sauce can make an almost perfect meal. Since then, I try out fish tacos wherever I find them. While we have the lion's share of fantastic Mexican food down here, that does not necessarily equate to decent fish tacos. They're ok here and there, but this week I needed the real deal, so I decided to take matters into my own hand. I picked up some responsibly farmed tilapia, fresh made corn tortillas, and (due to a bizarre absence of red cabbage) a bag of broccoli slaw: raw shredded broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage. Then the ultimate topping: Chuy's creamy jalapeno dip and salsa fresca. I dressed the tilapia filets with a dried habanero spice and lime juice and then pan-seared them just three minutes per side. This is cooked to just flaking, without letting it dry out. Then I set the table for "dress your own tortillas" and we even busted out some Texas brew for true authenticity! This was my first time to try the latest Shiner brew: Prickly Pear. I think it's delicious... if you like prickly pear... and don't like beer. In other words, I handed mine off to the Hubs and retreated to my ol' reliable: Shiner Blonde. It was a delicious dinner. One that everyone agreed should be repeated in the near future!
Last night I was feeling celebratory as the baby was finally over her frighteningly high fever. As she was in a good mood and I had time to kill in the kitchen after whipping up a pot of lentil soup that needed a good 45 minutes to simmer, I decided to bake. This used to be my sole reason for stepping foot in a kitchen. It's been a couple of years since I've been into my baking cabinet, but creating the cake and cupcakes for Li'l E's birthday at the beginning of the month definitely fanned that flame. I decided to whip up a dessert for a cold, winter night (and also a dessert to use up some of that canned pumpkin sitting in my pantry- a product of my sister's overenthusiastic "pumpkin season" shopping during her fall visit). I also had some cream cheese in the fridge, and what doesn't turn out scrumptious when you start with some cream cheese? The end result was a pumpkin bread with a cheese cakey swirl. It was quite delicious for dessert, but not too sweet to preclude indulging in a piece with tea for breakfast the next morning.
Earlier this week, I raved about our new Kombucha cultivation project! Well, yesterday my oh-so-savvy-in-the-ways-of-healthy-and-delicious-drinks bro came over with his latest SCOBY and showed us how to set up a new culture. So exciting! I'm going to work on laying out the whole process as it was explained to me, but today is about quick takes ("A little late for that," you're probably thinking), so for now I'll just leave you with the "mystery bag" containing the latest addition to both of our Kombucha families and the jar of sweet tea that is about to become its happy, new home!
And now it's impressively late, so I'm going to embrace mediocrity by just allowing this post to be my seventh take. Isn't it lovely? I'm hoping the coming week involves the girls creating a new sleeping schedule that involves, you know, sleep. Here's hoping, y'all!
Now head on over to Jen's to read more new and exciting Quick Takes!