Thursday, October 31, 2013

{Recipe} Chickpea Fries

After my amazing NYC trip with College Girl, I couldn't get these chickpea fries from Peace Food Cafe out of my head 
(not to mention that mind bowing vegan burger) and I really wanted to try them out in my own kitchen.
I found a recipe here that was based on those exact fries. Score!
They start with 2 cups of water that you bring to a boil in a medium pan and add in 1 cup of garbanzo bean (aka chickpea) flour slowly.
Whisk until smooth.  Add 1 TBS of oil (I used canola)and the following spices to the mixture:
1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp paprika,1/2 tsp oregano and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.
Stir until thickened (1-2 minutes) and remove from heat.
Oil a 9x9 baking pan.   Spread the chickpea batter evenly in the pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Refrigerate at least one hour or up to overnight until firm and solid.
Remove from fridge and loosen edges of pan with a butter knife. Flip mixture onto a cutting board.
Cut into fries. 
Saute in 1 TBS (canola) oil until brown and crispy on each side (about 5 minutes per side). Transfer to paper towel and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or just plain!
We used catsup to offset the spiciness of the fries. The original fries had more of an Indian spice taste so I'll have to try adding some of those the next time I make them.
  Now if I could only find a recipe for that creamy dipping sauce.....
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

{Entertaining} Arrested Development Birthday Party

I posted this photo from my Insta-Love September post and I'm not sure what you guys thought these things were all about.  (Except Trish, who thought we were off on another trip--that would have been interesting!)
They are actually props for a birthday party!
Miss Middle School wanted an Arrested Development themed birthday party and I was more than willing to accept the challenge!    She had me at "Annyong".
Pinterest helped a lot and I got almost all of our ideas from this blog.
We started party prep early (in September) and constructed our Bluth's Banana Stand photo booth out of yellow presentation boards, yellow duct tape and foam board.
If you've never seen the show Arrested Development you're probably going to think this is the strangest party ever.  If you're a fan, you should enjoy all of the details!
I realized that I needed a prop for the banana stand so I went to work making a fake frozen banana.  I formed white Sculpey clay into a banana half and pushed a wooden stick in the bottom. I baked it (keeping an eye on the stick in the oven)according to the package directions.  When it was done baking and cooling, I hot glued the stick into the banana.  I painted the banana with brown paint, then rolled it in sprinkles. I also added more sprinkles with glue.  I glued sprinkles onto a plate for 'fake' dipping.
These were are party favors.  Again, you'd have to know the show to appreciate them. 
I had post-it type notes printed up and they were a big hit with the fans of the show.
Here are all of the goodie bags waiting to be given out at the party.
Food is always a big part of our parties and I was excited to watch someone make "Slutty Brownies" that have been all over Pinterest.  Our version used Toll House Cookie dough, covered with mini Reeses' cups bathed in brownie batter then baked to perfection. Truly amazing!
At the last minute (the morning of the party) I painted this sign (also from an episode of the show).
We asked guests to come as their favorite Bluth (or show character). I did my best to be "Kitty Sanchez" the Bluth Company secretary (holding a cooler full of evidence, or is it?).
 I ordered aprons for the banana stand "workers" and followed the directions for printing out the logo onto iron-on paper from this site.
Did I mention that College Girl was home for fall break!!??  She was dressed as a "Hot Cop"with the birthday girl ("Tobias Funke")and their dad ("Michael Bluth").
Here's "Lucille Bluth" or "Gangee" as the kids call her and "Michael". She's ready for a drink.

So the Banana Stand was a pretty good photo booth. We just had horrible lighting and a busy photographer/host/mom.  It was still fun!

The little ones, especially liked working the booth and selling us "frozen" bananas.
I think my faux banana looks pretty believable!

It was great that so many of our guests came in character. 
To the right we've got "Lindsey Bluth" and "Tony Wonder".
Like I said, food is a big part of our parties and we had fun with the theme...trying to match up food items with funny things from the show.   I got pictures of some of the food....
and didn't get photos of some of it (so it's all listed above).
For dessert we had three kinds real frozen bananas: Coconut/Macadamia, Toffee and Sprinkles. Well actually there were six kinds because we made half with dark chocolate and half with milk chocolate.
We also served fruit salad, ice cream sandwiches and of course...
Slutty Brownies!
I just stacked them on a cake plate and added some fun sparkly candles to serve as her cake.
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Terrarium Friday

 Do you know about Terrarium Tuesday from this Blog
{warning contains some spicy language!}
It's pretty funny and I'm thrilled to have my own terrarium now too (still no Noguchi coffee table though).
 Like I said in yesterday's birthday post, I was pretty spoiled on my big day and I had one more special gift to share.
Yep, it's a terrarium that my talented friend made for me.  Isn't it fabulous?

 I love it so much! I just hope I can keep it alive!! 
 Miss Middle School and I added some mini dinosaurs to give it a Jurassic look and feel.
I bet you want one now too.
Linking up with:
Favorite Photo Friday
Sunday Showcase
Sugar & Spice
Catch A Glimpse
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Birthday Swag

My birthday was a few weeks ago (already!) and I was treated to some really nice this bag from Madewell that I've been longing for. Thanks to my Pinterest wish list and my sweet hubby, it's now mine!  
Walking around NYC this summer, I noticed that every female seemed to carry a large tote type bag and I wanted one too. It's larger than I expected (like HUGE) but I'm using a purse organizer (gift from my MIL to keep everything in its place).  It's the perfect color (English saddle) too!
Miss Middle School surprised me with this gorgeous new bead for my Chamilia charm bracelet.  I also got some cash and gift cards to spend from my mom, sister and mother in law. Yippee!
I just ordered these boots with my Zappos gift card and with some of my cash I ordered myself a new Life Planner.

I had a coupon so this was a super sweet deal. I can't speak highly enough about these life savers planners!  This is my third one and I don't think I could live without it.  College Girl is hooked as well and on her second one.
You can get in on this great deal too.
If you're interested,  leave me your email in the comments and I will get you set up to receive a $10 coupon to use on their site (it expires in 30 days so make sure to check out all of the fabulous products first and figure out what you want).

Speaking of College Girl, she brought me home the cutest hand screened veggie kitchen towels when she was home on fall break. LOVE those berets on the beets!
I also was in 'Treat Yo' Self' mode (as in Tom and Donna on Parks and Rec, anyone?)
  and ordered myself this snazzy new electric ceramic tea kettle.
 They sell a similar one at Target.
We went out to dinner with friends to celebrate and they showered me with some sweet jewelry, scrumptious homemade carrot soup and something that deserves its own post tomorrow.
Linking up with:
Sugar & Spice
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

{Get Crafty} Creepy Glow In The Dark Wreath and More Creepy-ness

The entry looks friendly enough (with my newly painted door and welcoming vinyl greeting) but you might be totally creeped out by what lurks beyond......
Can you see the Hanging Porch Bats through the door?
They might have been your first warning!
Oh you're a brave one are you? 
Not afraid of the dark, I hope?
Now this is really scary!  
It's what's left of a Valentine wreath from years gone by. It was in the donate/toss pile but somehow made it over to the craft cabinet as a possible upcycle project.
I tore off those wooden painted hearts, leaving the gooey looking hot glue remnants. I figured that would add to the look I was going for.  Then I gave it a few coats of black spray paint (this is after one light coat).
I picked up this set of glow in the dark creatures for $3.99 at Kmart and hot glued them all onto the (mostly) black wreath.  Easy peasy!
For now it's hanging on the kitchen door entry until I find it's final resting place.
While I was in the creepy mode, I whipped together a quick black and white vignette in the den from things I already had. Katie will want to avert her eyes now (she doesn't like the skeleton hands that hang over the top).
I had one skeleton hand left and found the perfect place for it.  
Can you read the message?
I hope you've been sufficiently creeped out!
Linking up with:

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