Supper Sunday: Pretending it’s Summer with Steak!


I don’t know about you all, but I am pretty much over this whole ‘winter’ business. I mean snow can be pretty and whatever, but I have found that the weather in Southern Ontario so far has left much to be desired. I mean an ice storm over Christmas? really?

Anyways, that said, I have taken to staying indoors and pretending it’s summer as a coping mechanism! And the best way to do that is to enjoy my favourite summer dinner: Steak & mushrooms with salad!

 Mmmm so delicious- Just how I like my steak, medium- rare and covered in delicious fried mushrooms.

Ideally I would BBQ the steak, but as it is about -20, I opted for pan frying.

These are lovely thick rib steaks and the process of cooking them is pretty much:

Sprinkle this:

All over both sides of the steak then throw them into a pan on high heat searing one side, then flip, put the lid on and check on it until it is your preferred doneness, possibly flipping it once more, but I keep it on high for the whole time.

While you are doing this you can also do your mushrooms- I like a lot, so this is about 5 extra large portobello mushrooms:

That I like to cook very simply with some butter and salt, adding the salt at the very end so that it doesn’t pull all of the water out of the mushrooms right away.
Meanwhile- if you really want to pretend it is summer- like my sister and I- you can whip up a couple extra large cocktails! 

This was very simply just a shot of Grand Marnier, about 1/2 cup of mango juice and sparkling water- all mixed into an oversized white wine glass and garnished with an extra large orange wedge! Cheers!

MMM tasty, of course I went all out and decided to paint my nails rainbow in honour of summer as well… or it might have been a nod to Dexter… you can look at it either way.
Then whip up a little spinach/kale/red pepper salad, maybe have some veggies & dip on the side and BAM!! insta-summer!!
I savoured each bite- which of course is best when you skewer some mushrooms followed by the most juicy piece of steak like this:
Overwhelming deliciousness!! I even dressed the Kitties up in their bathing suits for the occasion!
So that has been my way of coping with the winter so far. Do any of you have good ways of coping with the long cold winter? Or any favourite summer dinners?
Hope you all have a delicious Sunday!!
xo erin

Potter Puppet Pals- finger sized! DIY


I am sure that everyone remembers potter puppet pals, even if the reference is getting a little old… like 2007 old… this is making me feel old.. ANYWAYS… 

TA-DA!!

If you know Harry Potter but don’t know about potter puppet pals then here is a link to the best youtube video ever : THE MYSTERIOUS TICKING NOISE- You’re welcome

The Actual Potter Puppet Pals:

If you don’t know anything about Harry Potter then you are pretty much dead to me… not really… kind of really…

Anyways- as I am the coolest person ever- this might be the third set of these that I have made.. they are pretty easy, just a little time-consuming and finicky, the first set I made I think I just made up myself, and ever since to make it a little easier I trace the head shapes and the cloak and arm shape, but otherwise I always just improvise on the faces.

This was the first set that I made- and I just traced around the heads and the cloak to get a general pattern

So generally I cut out all the heads first (Harry, Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore all have the same head, Snape’s is bigger and more square, and Voldemorts is bigger but more round and wide).

Then you apply the ears between the two head pieces putting it all together with hot glue.

All the heads ready to go. 

Then I apply the hair (or hat for Dumbledore). It is important to make sure that you do the heads double so that they have a bit more structure to stand up, otherwise the head will flop a little at the neck.

It was at this point that my fangirl instincts kicked in from another fandom, or more correctly phandom… After putting the hair on Harry Potter I noticed that the head had a remarkable resemblance to AmazingPhil, one of my fav youtubers.

Which obviously lead to the creation of these:

 DanIsNotOnFire and AmazingPhil, if you don’t know who these people are, enjoy cute british boys and entertaining youtube with a sarcastic sense of humour, then I would highly recommend that you check them out:  amazingphil & danisnotonfire, And now I can feel like a total stalker owning these until I can find a way to possibly send them to them… 

BUT BACK TO HARRY POTTER (my ultimate fandom) 

After applying the hair- I start to do all the features, and those I just free-hand and improvise- remembering that when you do Dumbledore, you have to make him double sided so that you can have a naked side (if this makes no sense to you, then you should really watch more potter puppet pals).

Naked time!

The cloaks are very simple: make the arms first by cutting two rectangles of the black felt, glue them together with a little hand sticking out one end- then glue them in between the front and back pieces of the cloak like the head. Make sure you only glue the outside edges of the cloak so that your finger can fit in the middle (making it a finger puppet).
It’s really about the details, I just keep referencing the PPP videos to make sure I have all the details right. None of them are ever going to be exactly the same- but they are characters so they just have to have the resemblance. – the only important thing is that you have tweezers and a hot glue gun. As well as black, brown, white, skin colour, red, yellow pink, orange and blue coloured felt. And with a few hours and a few movies or shows you will have some wonderful potter puppet pals!! (to possibly reenact the PPP videos….)

I hope this touches your inner Harry Potter fangirl/fanguy!

xo erin

Wellness Wednesday: Vitamins


I’m going to start this post off with a disclaimer that I am not a professional, I am not a dietician, or nutritionist, nor a doctor of any sort. But I did minor in health in university, and I have a pretty big interest and general wealth of knowledge that I have collected concerning health over the years. 

Next I’m also going to say that I don’t really do the ‘vitamin thing’, nor do I believe that people need to take vitamins, and that they mostly just result in expensive pee, BUT that being said- I have been taking a vitamin lately, and I do notice that it is doing some good things!

(the very legit- medicine like bottle)

This is the vitamin supplement that i am taking right now. It is a liquid form, and surprisingly it tastes fine- and I am really bad at taking any liquid medicines so that is saying something- You keep it in the fridge and it is supposed to be made will all the best stuff in Germany.

(the box it comes in)

I can honestly say that I did not seek this out- my mom bought it for me- and I am taking it mom! – BUT I do like it so far, and most importantly, in amongst all the other wonderful things, it has iron supplements, which are helpful to the anemic person that I am.

Since taking this- I notice that I haven’t been sick for quite a while *knocks on wood repeatedly*, which I will mostly attribute to the iron supplement, and I have also noticed that my nails have been a little nicer- more firm and less prone to tearing and peeling like usual. 

Whether this is a result of the vitamins or not, I don’t really know, I’m sure it can’t hurt, and it very well might be having these good effects. So if you are feeling in need of taking vitamin supplements- I would recommend this one!

So that is my first ‘Wellness Wednesday’! I hope you like it- these will be mostly little short ‘what I do in my life to be well’ sort of things, and what I find works for me. 🙂

Hope you are having a healthy Wednesday!

xo erin

SPIDER ON MY HAND!!- Beading DIY


I have been beading obsessed over the holidays- partly since it is one of the only crafty things that I specifically brought home with me, but also because the holidays always seem to draw me toward sparkly and pretty things- let’s be honest that is all year round.

So I thought I would share my favs with you- starting with my absolute favourite, which is this spider bracelet:

The only spider that I will allow on my hand, as I am a mild arachnophobe.

It was a little tricky to make- but since I know that the folk of the internet are very crafty, here is how I did it- if you are in a DIY kinda mood-

So first I picked my beads that I wanted for the head and the big bulbous body- I freak myself out thinking about that..

And put them on a headpin, with a little end bead, leaving some space between them to attach the legs, then I cut the headpin to size and folded over the end to secure it.

Then pick out what you want for your legs: try to make them so that they are fine at the tips, then go to a small join, slim again, then a bigger joint bead, then slim down again so that they can attach to the body really close together. Here are three of the legs laid out. – Also they will all be ending in a jump ring so they can attach to the chain around the back.

Then, what I did, was string them all together on a very fine continuous wire. So I started the wire by going through the large body bead (with the loose end sticking out the back to be wrapped around the head pin and then trapped under the body bead to be secured). Then I strung the beads for the first leg- wrapping the wire around the jump ring, then going back through all the beads, leaving the wire back at the headpin, wrapping it around a couple of times before doing the next leg.

I’m very sorry if this is confusing, it was hard to take descriptive pictures, and I feel like I am being a bit long winded with my explanation- but alas, what can you do?

So once you have done all eight legs (OMG why do spiders have to have so many legs) then you are going to want to attach the chains to make it into a bracelet. So you will want to measure your wrist, then measure across your spider- to find out how much chain you will need to make it around the back of your wrist, of course leaving a little extra so that you can comfortable move your hand.

So when you have these measurements- cut three pieces of equal length chain (for each side), attaching all together at one end to a lobster clasp, and conversely on the other side converging to a ring on which you will clasp your lobster clasp… – although you could use any clasp/closure type that you want for this- Then you will connect the other end of those chains to the jump rings at the end of the bottom three legs from one side, doing the same to the other side with the other half of chains.

  Then once you have that done, and you secure it around your wrist- you will want to stretch the remaining two front legs up your hand, then measure a length of chain that (with wiggle room) reaches from one leg, around your ring and middle finger and to the other front leg.

You should end up with this:

Make sure that you leave a fair amount of extra chain for the one going around your fingers, because this distance will fluctuate a lot as you open and close your hand- and you don’t want to put too much strain on the poor guys arms!

Also- if you have any questions about how to make this or if anything was unclear feel free to ask away!

Meanwhile, as I was toiling away at my little spider friend, my sister was busy at work making gorgeous things like:

and

Though I can claim credit for the one in the middle (that my sister refers to as ‘the baby blanket bracelet’).
I also made these earrings, inspired by New Year’s fireworks

Overall I would say that it was a very productive afternoon of beading!!

Hope you all had creative holidays and that you are finding ways of keeping creative in the busy New Year!!

xo erin

Soup Sunday: Spicy Chili


This Soup Sunday is CHILI!!

I love chili- and this is a super spicy chili. Nice for those -23 C days, when you need both a steaming & spicy bowl of delicious dinner! Not to mention a super quick and low mess recipe. This recipe is all made in one soup pot, so there is very minimal clean up, and it can be made start to finish in about 40 minutes. Not to mention it is super cheap, comprising of mostly ground beef and canned foods. 🙂 Enjoy!

Chili

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
chili pepper to taste (optional) – I used about 2″ of a chili pepper minced
2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup of chili powder

1 large can of whole italian tomatoes
2 cans of your favourite beans (I used black beans and red kidney beans) – drained 
1- 1 1/2 cup of vegetable cocktail or tomato juice (depending on how thick your chili is
salt and pepper to taste 

In the bottom of your soup pot, fry the beef onion, peppers and garlic, until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent. Then add your chili powder, coating the meat.





Now add your whole italian tomatoes (which are much nicer and thicker than your regular whole tomatoes!- I love them)

And add your beans and vegetable cocktail. Somehow under the light these tomatoes look a little fluorescent.. but I promise they are normal.. 

Mix that all together, breaking up the whole tomatoes with your soup spoon. Let it all cook together for 20-30 minutes, breaking down the tomatoes and letting the flavours infuse together. Add salt and pepper to taste – I generally add quite a bit of salt, and I like this a little on the salty side.





And Voila! you have a delicious, spicy – one pot meal! Of course you could serve this with a quesadilla and it would be perfect, or maybe the cornmeal muffins that I made on another Soup Sunday. 





I was a little lazy this Sunday and I just enjoyed a solo bowl of this spicy chili with a piece of cheddar cheese on the side. 

Hope you are all having wonderful Sunday’s!

xo erin

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