Thursday, February 24, 2011

create: easy/cheap/yummy dinner & dessert for 2

ok, i can't take all the credit for this meal - i saw a salmon dish in this month's martha stewart living mag and was inspired to create something similar with different ingredients. this meal was surprisingly quick, super inexpensive (under $10), and delish (my husband's reaction was: "can this be the new staple?")! depending on your own ingredients, the prep for this meal literally took me 10 minutes and my oven did the rest! 
here's what you'll need:
 - parchment paper
 - 2 tilapia filets (or salmon)
 - 2 sweet potatoes (your dessert!)
 - baby broccoli (or asparagus)
 - 1 lemon
 - 1 garlic clove
 - olive oil
 - spices (i used "everyday seasoning" {paprika, mustard seed, chili pepper, onion, etc.} from trader joe's)
 - salt & pepper

here's what you'll do:
 - preheat oven to 400 degrees, line baking sheet w/ foil
 - rinse fish & broccoli, pat dry, arrange on parchment paper (leave enough room on paper to cover and fold shut), drizzle with olive oil
 - cut 4 slices of lemon (more if desired) and finely chop garlic, season fish & broccoli with spices and salt & pepper, top with chopped garlic and slices of lemon
 - fold paper over then, starting from the top, fold the edges over with sharp creases to get a nice half moon packet  :)
 - arrange packets and sweet potatoes on foiled baking sheet (be sure to puncture the potatoes with your fork to get a few good holes) and stick them in the oven for 15 minutes
 - once finished, serve packets on plates as is and put the sweet potatoes back in the oven for 30 more minutes

 - open your packets and enjoy!

 the baked sweet potatoes will be done by the time you're finished with dinner so you'll be perfectly ready for this healthy dessert! cut potatoes in half and add your favorite toppings - i added a few drops of agave nectar and sprinkled cinnamon. mmmm they were so good!

i actually had fun making this meal and was not stressed one bit! plus, the cleanup was super low-maintenance too! this will definitely be a new staple for us. :)


Saturday, February 19, 2011


one of my favorite things is going to estate sales and flea markets and finding awesome deals. i decided to share a photo of my night stand because 1) it makes me smile and 2) i wanted to show you how inexpensive it is to get this look...
ok, it actually all started with that clock that i found at an estate sale, which inspired me to redo my bedside nook on a super-slim budget. i didn't want to spend more than $50 total, so i went to estate sales, flea markets, and antique shops, in search of a new table (to replace my drawer-less one), a reading lamp, a little vase for flowers, and anything else that might look cute. :)
it took a few weeks to complete the vintage look i wanted but it was worth the wait... here's a break down of the cost:

clock: $5 (estate sale)
table (w/ drawer!): $10 (flea market)
orange lamp: $12 (antique depot)
glass bottle: $1 (estate sale)
books: $3 ($1 ea.) (estate sale)

grand total: $31 !!!!!
(nearly $20 less than my original budget!!)

i was sooooo excited to find everything i needed for less than what i budgeted... since my budget seemed a little too extreme. so, for all of you that are on tight budgets but would like to redecorate (like me!) be encouraged - there are amaaaazing deals out there!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

back to the drawing board

i decided to try out tumblr awhile back and it never really clicked for my little blog so i'm back to blogspot. feels like home. :)