crafting is sanity

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Summer Vegetable Tian

It’s finally starting to cool down and feel like fall! Even I have to admit it now, especially since I started dragging out extra blankets to snuggle into on these gloomy days =/. My friends and I had an Oktoberfest themed potluck this past weekend, and in my attempt to cling to summer, i decided to make this summer vegetable tian (I don’t know why its called that)

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I adapted the recipe to fit more my taste buds and it turned out really yummy! Start with your ingredients: 1 zucchini, 1 squash, 1 potato, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes, minced garlic and cheese.

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I don’t have a mandolin (and I would be too scared to use it), so I just sliced my veggies thinly and as evenly as I could.

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Dice the onion and saute in a pan with the garlic. I only used half an onion and that was the perfect amount the cover the bottom of my baking dish.

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Then the fun part! Start arranging your veggies in three rows, I did the rows simultaneously and just went according to color and making it look pretty lol.

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Then season your dish GENEROUSLY! I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder and made sure to get them around the edges too.

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Then cover with foil and stick it in the oven for 30 minutes. After the first round of baking, uncover the dish and sprinkle with cheese. Then stick back into the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes. I very lightly sprinkled cheese because I wanted to keep the dish healthier and I’m also lactose intolerant lol.

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All done!

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After it was done baking, there was a lot of liquid at the bottom of the dish, so I VERY VERY carefully tipped the dish over the sink to drain some of the liquid away. I left some in for flavor. And it turned out the be quite the hit at the potluck! Healthy and yummy! The most time consuming part is the prep :)

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

 

 

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Easy Fall Wreath

Happy October everyone! Wow, the year is going by super fast! I finally had to take my summer wreath down and put up a fall one – although I have to admit that this season’s wreath was SUPER easy and SUPER lazy haha :P

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Okay okay, I GUESS fall is a cute season too :)

Start with your supplies:

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Ok THIS is how lazy I was – the wreath is pre-made, I bought a little sack of squash and pinecones, and I had the green yarn in my craft box.

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Cute, right? So I tied the pinecones and pumpkins with thin white yarn and decided to dangle them from the wreath. I also looped the green yarn until it had some heft and used that to hang the wreath from my wreath hook. Ta-da!

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That’s what it looked like when I hung it at night. The daytime pictures are much better!

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Project Breakdown:

- wreath & sack of pumpkins/pinecones – $1 each from the 99cents store

- yarn (already owned)

If you had to buy the yarn, it would probably cost you about $5 more, so this is a very easy and cheap project to do!

 

Happy crafting!

-Yenny

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Bubble Up Pizza Bread

Sigh. Once again, I failed at two posts this month :( Barelyyyy getting this one in before October! Super easy and carb-filled recipe to share today. Of course, this is another idea from Pinterest and since I love me some pizza, I couldn’t help but make this! And I’ve made it several times now – yummy! But gotta watch those carbs!

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I’m getting hungry just looking at this picture! Start with your ingredients:

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Grands biscuits (or any kind of ready-to-bake biscuits), pepperoni, cheese, chili flakes, garlic powder, olive oil and minced garlic. Of course, feel free to use your favorite pizza toppings! I prefer to keep it simple with pepperoni (turkey in this case!)

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Cut each biscuit into quarters, and try not to squish them too much!

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Toss together in a large bowl with the olive oil, cheese, pepperoni, garlic powder, garlic and the chili flakes. I did this in batches so the biscuits and toppings would be evenly distributed.

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Spray your pan well with cooking spray, or you can use oil or butter as well. Then dump the pizza biscuit mixture into the pan. Spread it out evenly so it has room to bake and puff up. I topped the mix with some more cheese and chili flakes :D

Bake according to the directions on the biscuit tube, then test for done-ness. I noticed that sometimes, they were ready to eat after the recommended time, but I usually baked them a little longer until it got a little browner on top. The following pictures are not all from the same batch… but they were all delicious!

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A super easy and delicious meal! Eating it is true carbi-cide but hey, a girl’s gotta indulge every once in a while! :)

 

Happy pizza baking!

Yenny

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Turkey, Spinach & Basil Lasagna

I’ve been wanting to make lasagna ever since I discovered there are now no-boil lasagna noodles! GENIUS. So as usual, I browse Pinterest for a recipe I’d like to try. I landed on this one and added my own tweaks – most significantly was that I added ground turkey to the recipe :)

Yummy!

Yummy!

This picture is of the lasagna on the next day. I ran into some problems with the lasagna as I was making it… you’ll see :P

Start with your ingredients

Start with your ingredients

Spinach, basil ( I have a basil plant that hopefully won’t die), marinara sauce, no-boil lasagna noodles, an onion (optional), ricotta cheese, ground turkey (optional), mozzarella cheese and spices (minced garlic and red pepper flakes). I started by seasoning the ground turkey (I used about half the tray) with garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Cook until no longer pink and throw in the onions. Cook until the onions are soft.

Cook until no longer pink and throw in the onions. Cook until the onions are soft.

I ppured the whole jar of marinara in

I poured the whole jar of marinara in. Taste and season if needed.

And that’s all the cooking you need to do! Now for assembly!

Pour a layer of the sauce mixture onto the bottom of your dish

Pour a layer of the sauce mixture onto the bottom of your dish

Add a layer of no-boil noodles-

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Then a layer of ricotta. I tried to make my layer relatively thin because I didn’t want my lasagna too cheesy.

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Layer of mozzarella~

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Layer of chopped spinach and basil~

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Add another layer of sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and spinach & basil. The original recipe calls for three layers but my pan was full after two-ish layers. I topped the top layer of spinach and basil with the last of the sauce and red pepper flakes.

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Then one last layer of cheese

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Those layers!

Those layers!

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then uncover and continue baking for 15 minutes. I added an extra 10 minutes because my lasagna didn’t look ready yet.

After 30 minutes baking, covered in foil

After 30 minutes baking, covered in foil

The final result

The final result!

I KNEW my lasagna was too wet/wobbly to be sliced into nice layers the second I started cutting into it. The only reason I can think of was that the fresh spinach and basil released a lot of water during baking and made everything all wobbly OR I didn’t have enough layers like the original recipe called for.

More like lasagna soup :(

More like lasagna soup :(

Luckily it was still tasty! And after letting the lasagna cool on the stove, the layers set up beautifully! We were able to scoop the pieces out of the dish and into tupperware just fine. YAY! And it held up GREAT the next day!

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I don’t know what exactly went wrong – maybe I needed to use a bigger lasagna dish, or maybe I needed to cook the spinach and basil first so they wouldn’t have released water during baking, or maybe I needed another layer of noodles. Or maybe I simply needed to let the lasagna sit for a while and re-heated it! That seemed to do the trick :)

I’m glad I finally got to use the no-boil noodles, they are such a great time saver! I will be making lasagna again, definitely with more tweaks :)

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

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Roasted Corn Salad

*sigh* I was trying my best to publish two posts a month, but I definitely did not accomplish that for July =/. But hello August! Hopefully I can get back on track. This dish is a continuation of last month’s post. This roasted corn salad is the second dish I brought to my friend’s 4th of July potluck BBQ. Of course, I found the recipe on Pinterest :)

Photo Jul 05, 7 27 19 PM

Super simple and delicious recipe from Trader Joe’s – I just omitted the feta cheese (not my taste). Start with a little butter in the pan~

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Throw in your chopped red onions

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Saute until the onions are soft but not caramelized. Throw in one bag of Trader Joe’s roasted corn (in the frozen aisle).

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Stir until corn is completely thawed. Then add the cayenne ( I used Japanese togarashi) and the lime juice (I used lemon) until you like the taste.

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Then add chopped cilantro as your last step and mix together!

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All done! This salad is DELICIOUS and super easy to throw together! For an even healthier spin, you can omit the butter, but it really does help bring out the flavor in the red onions. You could also use regular frozen corn if you can’t find the roasted corn (or if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area) but the roasted corn already has spices and flavorings in the bag. So you can just add more spices and flavors to taste!

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

 

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Spicy Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

Happy (belated) 4th of July everyone!! I went to a BBQ at my friend’s house on the 4th because everyone has a BBQ on Independence Day! I made two dishes but this was the first one – spicy garlic chicken drumsticks!

Oh they were sooo good!

Oh they were sooo good!

I was trying to follow Chungah’s recipe from Damn Delicious but ended up making some modifications – mainly, I used chicken drumsticks because I couldn’t find chicken wings at the store (I didn’t think to look in the frozen aisle lol)

Ingredients for the marinade

Ingredients for the marinade

Luckily, all I needed to buy was the honey! Combine them all together

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Then get your chicken prepared -

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I removed all that extra skin and fat before baking it. Arrange the cleaned drumsticks in a single layer in a 9×13 pan.

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I used 12 out of the 14 drumsticks because I didn’t want to overcrowd the pan, but I realized after the dish was done that I totally could’ve fit all 14 drumsticks in! Pour the marinade all over the chicken

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And bake! I set my timer for 25 minutes so I could flip the drumsticks over. This is what it looked like after 25 minutes:

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Turn the chicken over and bake for another 25 minutes. This is what it looks like after!

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The chicken definitely reduced in size, which is why I think I could’ve fit all 14 drumsticks in the pan! =/ I was supposed to broil the chicken for 3-4 minutes but for some reason, my oven won’t turn to broil. So I turned it up to 550 degrees and baked the chicken for 5 more minutes.

The result!

The result!

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It definitely didn’t get as sticky as it was supposed to, but the chicken was moist and flavorful and a big hit at the BBQ! I think the recipe calls for a little too much marinade, since the pan was half full of it (and spilled in my car while I was driving to the BBQ :( ) In hindsight, I should’ve poured the sauce into a container and scooped it over the chicken when I got to the BBQ hahah. I’m definitely going to try this recipe again with wings and see if I can replicate the original! Yum!

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY Tutus

Wow, it’s been nearly a month since my last post! I was really trying to stick to a two posts a month schedule, but I didn’t have any craft projects going on and it was too hot here in LA to bake! But I’m back and it’s finally summer! My friends and I did The Color Run 5K this past Saturday. It’s my 2nd time doing The Color Run and it’s seriously still super fun and dirty! This time around we decided to make tutus!

Supplies!

Supplies!

I went to Michael’s (the tulle rolls in the back) and Joann’s (the tulle rolls in the front) and the ribbon to gather enough tulle and color varieties for our team of 5 girls. The rolls were 15-20 yards each and $2.50-2.99 each. And we used it ALL! We actually ran out of ribbon and I had to delve into my ribbon supply – luckily I had enough!

The chaos

The chaos!

I got really caught up in making my tutu that I forgot to take step by step pictures! Basically you cut the tulle to the length you want it. We found it best to cut a bunch of tulle first before we started tying the pieces onto the ribbon.

The knots

The knots

I stacked one piece of pink tulle and a piece of yellow and tied them together onto the ribbon. Fold the tulle in half to make a loop, and then pull the ends through the loop, capturing the ribbon in the middle.

I decided to add green tulle in between the pink & yellow

I decided to add green tulle in between the pink & yellow

This tutu was made by my friend Norman who finished it first! He’s a natural tutu-maker! :D

The colors remind me of Tinkerbell!

The colors remind me of Tinkerbell!

I love my tutu!

I love my tutu!

Close up of the knots again

Close up of the knots again

And a bow on the back!

And a bow on the back!

Us at the finish line! And our now dirty tutus!

Us at the finish line! And our now dirty tutus!

We had sooo much fun making tutus and just hanging out and I think we were one of the few who actually made their tutus for the run! The majority of the tutus we saw were store-bought, so we definitely gave ourselves a high five! The Color Run is super fun and for a great cause! I highly recommend you participate in one if you can! :)

Project Breakdown:

Tulle & ribbons: Approximately $65

Race fee: $45 (may vary)

Not the most economical project, but each tutu ended up being around $12-15 and personalized! Fun, but I have no idea what to do with my now dirty tutu…

Happy crafting!

-Yenny

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Turkey & Spinach Tortilla Roll Ups

Happy end of May everyone! I went to a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ on Monday (yay for 3 day weekends!) and since it was potluck style, I decided to make something I’ve been seeing all over Pinterest – tortilla roll ups! I love tortillas and I liked the idea of making something bite sized and didn’t need to stay warm.

Just a few simple ingredients

Just a few simple ingredients

I went with whole wheat tortillas and lower sodium turkey breast to make them healthier than the original recipe called for. Be sure to get the chive and onion cream cheese!

Spread a thin, even layer of the cream cheese on the tortilla

Spread a thin, even layer of the cream cheese on the tortilla

Lay the spinach out

Lay the spinach out

Don’t place your filling all the way to the edges! I learned that when you roll them, everything starts shifting and I ended up having to trim the turkey breast in some places.

It's a little messy, but I wanted turkey in every bite

It’s a little messy, but I wanted turkey in every bite

Roll it up! Make sure to “seal” the edge with some cream cheese so the whole thing stays together.

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Repeat with all the tortillas. I kinda ran out of turkey breast, so I only ended up using 7 tortillas. Plastic wrap each roll and stick them in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the cream cheese can firm up again.

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Use a sharp knife, and don't saw!! Just press straight down and it should cut cleanly

Use a sharp knife, and don’t saw!! Just press straight down and it should cut cleanly

I had to put some more cream cheese on a few of the edges to seal them more securely. Also, the ends are too ugly/have no filling so I ate them and didn’t bring them to the party :)

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I stacked them into a tower!

I stacked them into a tower!

Tower!

Tower!

They were a big hit!

They were a big hit!

I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out! When I make them again, I’d buy more turkey breast and put a double layer of both the spinach and turkey to make fatter roll-ups. The chive and onion cream cheese really made a big difference!

 

Happy cooking and hello summer!

-Yenny

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DIY Seashell Summer Wreath

Hello all! I’m finally posting a craft-related project! This probably won’t last long as there are just more recipes that I want to try and share and I’ve kind of run out of projects to do or make for my apartment… But I will always be making wreaths for my front door! Summer is almost here and this coming week is another heat wave for us – temperatures reaching the mid-90s and up to 100s in the valley – yay! I love the heat :) I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for a summer wreath and finally decided on a seashell-beachy one.

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Ta-da~! What do you think? It’s a little messy and shipwreck-y but I kinda like it! I started with the usual supplies:

Wreath form, leftover burlap and seashells

Wreath form, leftover burlap and seashells

I’m using the same wreath form I always use and leftover burlap that I’ve used for my previous wreaths. I’m almost done with all the burlap too!

The shells are from Michaels

The shells are from Michaels

I cut three strips of burlap, approximately 3-4 inches wide and wrapped them around the wreath form. I used hot glue to keep everything in place. The most annoying part is that after three full strips of burlap, I was left with this gap:

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And I had to cut a small piece to cover it. Then I chose my shells. I knew I wanted to use the starfish and the large white clamshell looking one but wasn’t sure about the smaller shells.

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Some of the shells were a bit too difficult to glue to the wreath so I didn’t use those.

This was the arrangement I ended up with

This was the arrangement I ended up with

I also used some blue fabric I already had to hold up the wreath. I thought the wreath looked a little lonely so while I was at the 99cents store today I saw this!

How fortuitous!

How fortuitous!

However, this net is 5ft by 7ft which is wayyy too big for what I was thinking.

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So I opened it up and eyeballed how much I would need and just snipped that part off. Then I was super duper lazy and kind of just draped the netting onto my wreath until I liked it haha!

I like it!

I like it!

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Perfect for summertime!

Project Breakdown:

Wreath form, burlap, blue fabric, and hot glue gun – already owned

Seashells from Michaels – $2.61 (40% coupon off $3.99)

Netting – $1.00 from 99cents store

Total: approximately $4.00! Woohoo!

 

Happy crafting!

-Yenny

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Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas

Wow, April has passed by in a flash! I almost forgot that I had made a resolution to post twice a month :) So here’s another food-related post! I seem to be doing more and more of those lately – makes me wonder if I should’ve chosen a different blog name… Oh well!

If you’re like me, then you love Mexican food! It’s probably my second favortite type of cuisine (after Japanese) and I was really craving enchiladas the other day so I decided to make them!

Gather your ingredients

Gather your ingredients

I ended up filling my enchiladas with black beans and corn because 1) I forgot to defrost chicken and 2) even if I had defrosted chicken, I probably would’ve been too lazy to cook it :) Good thing I love vegetarian dishes!

Put your filling about 2/3 of the way on the tortilla

Put your filling about 2/3 of the way on the tortilla

Then roll it tightly and carefully, keeping the filling inside. Put them into a 9×13 baking dish, seam side down.

I fit six enchiladas into my pan

I fit six enchiladas into my pan

Pour the enchilada sauce carefully over the tortillas

Pour the enchilada sauce carefully over the tortillas

Sprinkle some cheese

Sprinkle some cheese

And then I added some corn for good measure

And then I added some corn and red pepper flakes for good measure

I ended up adding more sauce and cheese before I popped it into the oven.

Yummyyyyy

Yummyyyyy

So I made these to take to work for lunch the next day so I didn’t try them right out of the oven. Please excuse the paper plate I ate these on :P

So good!

So good!

The black beans, corn and cheese all melted together and created this super creamy and flavorful mixture! I forgot to say that I seasoned the black beans with garlic and chili powder to give it some heat. I also sprinkled a BUNCH of red chili flakes on top for even more heat before baking them. Delicious and leftovers for DAYS! Yum! But it will definitely be a while before I make these again – just too much food! :)

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

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