Simple Scallion Pancakes (vegan!)

P1160951I’ve recently become obsessed with scallion pancakes. 100% head-over-heels obsessed with them.

P1160908For the past month we’ve been taking home big, beautiful bunches of scallions each week from our farm share. I wasn’t really sure what to do about the scallion surplus until I came across a recipe for scallion pancakes in my new favorite cookbook.  These pancakes are inexpensive, simple, delicious,  and freeze extremely well, so I’ve been making them in large batches and storing them for binging snacking later on.

Simple Scallion Pancakes (adapted from The Big Book of Vegan Recipes by Jolinda Hackett)

Ingredients (makes 6 large pancakes):

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 ts. salt
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 ts. sesame oil (I like to use toasted)
  • 6 scallions, chopped (green parts only)
  • black pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • oil for frying
  • your favorite dipping sauce (soy sauce works perfectly)

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  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Slowly add water and sesame oil, mixing just until a dough forms.
  2. Knead the dough for a few minutes, then let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into 6 (2″) balls. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface. Brush with sesame oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and scallionsP1160916
  4. Roll up dough and twist to form a ball. Roll out again 1/4″ thick.P1160917 P1160918 P1160929
  5. Fry each pancake in hot oil 1-2 minutes on each side. Slice into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.P1160930

P1160967If freezing, arrange cooked, uncut pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer for 2 hours. Once pancakes are frozen, store in Ziploc bags. To reheat, microwave pancakes on a plate for 1 minute,  then fry for 1-2 minutes on each side.  These are great for entertaining since you can make them ahead of time and then fry them up when you’re ready to serve.

If you are in the market for a new, basic vegan cookbook I highly recommend The Big Book of Vegan Recipes by Jolinda Hackett. It is full of simple, realistic, and just damn delicious recipes. Many of the vegan cookbooks I have come across call for obscure and often expensive ingredients, and are full of recipes that are a bit intimidating and unfamiliar. Being new to veganism, I was seeking a cookbook that had mostly “normal” recipes so that I could get comfortable with vegan cooking, and I am consistently impressed with the outcome of the recipes I’ve tried from this book. If anyone out there has any other cookbook recommendations, I would love to hear from you!

Enjoy!

DIY Custom Wooden Sign

 

P1160603See that gorgeous span of wall behind the credenza (I’ve always wanted to use that word…)? Well, until this past weekend it had been entirely blank. For waaaaay too long. I wasn’t sure how to fill it in until I came across this completely 100% accurate statement made by Julia Child: “People who love to eat are always the best people.” I love it! How could I not put that sentiment on my dining room wall? So I got to work.

This project was extremely easy, very inexpensive, and I am so thrilled with the results that I just had to share!

You will need:

  • 2 large picture frames
  • 1 large piece of plywood, large enough to cut two frame-sized boards out of
  • Paint of your choice for lettering and plywood background
  • Stencils
  • Wood glue
  • 2 picture hanging kits
  • Paper
  • Fine tip paintbrush
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill

I found these two empty frames at the Brimfield Flea Market in MA this past July. Everything in the booth was half off so I got the pair for only $12! You can use just about any frames that you like, and you won’t be needing the glass or the backing. I would recommend checking your local thrift stores. Also, don’t be put off by the color of your frames. If you like the shape and size but hate the color, just paint it!

P1160453Next, measure and cut the plywood into two rectangles to fit snugly inside your frame. You can do this at home or have it done right at the hardware store.P1160465

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P1160470Check to make sure your pieces fit just right, and then paint them in your desired colors. Before painting, you could sand your plywood down a bit for a smoother look, but I decided to leave mine with lots of grainy texture.

P1160475I used this gold paint made by Martha Stewart for my background. I bought this at Home Depot about a year ago and I have used it on several projects and I am seriously in love with it. In all honesty I would probably slather myself with it every morning if I could. It’s like glamour in a jar!

P1160485I ended up using two coats of paint for each board.

For the lettering, I traced the words from the quote onto paper first, then cut them out and arranged them on my board in a way that I was happy with.P1160489I bought these stencils at Michael’s with my 40% off coupon…I never go to Michael’s without my coups!

P1160515 Frozen margaritas are an optional part to this step, but I highly recommend it.P1160518 (I only wrote the word “people” once because I am lazy my time is precious.)

When you’re happy with your letters and their locations, mark their positions with a faint pencil line. Then, trace your words onto the boards. Make sure to measure the space between each of your words so that it comes out even. Also, you can use painter’s tape to mark straight lines so that your letters don’t begin to slant.

P1160521Side note: I’m not sure if you know this, but cats love to help with art projectsP1160539P1160542

P1160551Once your words have been traced onto your boards, carefully fill them in with a fine paintbrush. I just used basic black acrylic paint for this step. You might need to ditch the margarita at this point…

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P1160564The letters aren’t quite perfect, but I like things that are slightly imperfect.

Now all that’s left to do is glue your signs into their frames, attach the picture hanging hardware, and put them on display!

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P1160566I was able to use the existing hanging fixture on my frames.

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And there you have it! I hope you like this project and I hope you’re inspired to make your own version. If you do, please send pictures!

 

 

 

Flower Power

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P1160594  We celebrated a close friend’s birthday last night and I decided the occasion was worthy of a floral crown and cowboy boots. Martha Stewart’s #SavorSummer six week “craft adventure” got me jonesing for a whimsical head piece so I whipped this one up using pipe cleaners, floral tape, artificial flowers, and my trusty old hot glue gun (I’m convinced that hot glue can do just about anything).

P1160591{flower power}

P1160584 Forever 21 dress (similar here), belt, and jewelry; vintage boots

1 Piece 5 Ways: Little Black Dress

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I love when magazines take one item of clothing  style it several different ways. I always find these articles especially helpful because I am definitely the type of person who looks into her full closet and claims she “has nothing to wear.” Seeing one simple piece worn so many unique ways never fails to inspire me. In that spirit, I am starting a new series called “More Bangin’ Hot For Your Buck,” and I’m going to kick things off with this simple little black dress from H&M:

P1160213I got this dress for only $12 a couple of years ago and it has really become a staple because of its versatility. You can find a similar ones here and here.

Okay, here we go!

Look #1:

P1160191I love the boho vibe of this look. H&M hat (similar here), Forever 21 belt, Payless shoes (similar here), thrifted skirt (similar here), and a necklace from my mom

Look #2:

P1160138Don’t be afraid to bring those strapless minis right into fall and winter! Just add a cozy sweater, tights, and boots. Wearing a thrifted sweater (similar here), Vera Wang tights, thrifted boots and necklace, and my DIY headpiece

Look #3:

P1160172Perfect for a night out. I really love how the dress acts like a pencil skirt in this look. Wearing an American Eagle Crop top (similar here), Urban Outfitters shoes, Forever 21 bracelet, and a thrifted clutch

Look #4:

P1160146For when you’re feeling edgy! Or, if you’re feeling more saucy than edgy, just ditch the vest

P1160158 H&M vest, thrifted skirt (similar here), and thrifted boots (similar here)

Look #5:

P1160099A sportier, more casual look. H&M top (similar here), Converse sneakers, Forever 21 necklace, and a hand-me-down backpack.

I hope this helps you look at your clothes and see a few new possibilities for them. I can’t tell you how many of my favorite outfits have come about by trying on pieces that I didn’t necessarily think would work well together or wearing a piece in a way other than what it was intended for. Just try it out and have fun with it. Now go into your closet and see what combos you can come up with, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

 

Casual Friday

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Shot these just before Matt and I made a campfire and drank a couple of summer ales on a beautiful little “beach” by a waterfall near our house……does it get any better? P1160045Mostly I just wanted to show you this bag that I just about married…I got it yesterday on clearance at  Target for $10.48! It is my absolute favorite color in the world: raspberry pink (it’s a little deeper in person than the pictures show). You can buy the same bag online here and in other colors; unfortunately it costs a bit more, but it’s still a steal. You could always check your local Target store, too. P1160053P1150963Wearing a Forever 21 hat (similar here), shorts (similar here), belt, and shoes (similar here), thrifted tank, and jewelry given to me by my very own mother- thanks mom!

Super Easy Vegan Banana Muffins

 

When I woke up this morning I had every intention of going for a run. Really. But then I heard the steady pitter patter of  a heavy summer rain falling and those plans were effectively squashed. (Darn….)

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So what’s the next logical step after one’s outdoor exercise routine is made impossible? An indoor exercise video you say? A little Pilates? Some Jillian Michaels? What, and risk ruining the fine collection of dust that has been accumulating on my workout DVDs? No. Obviously, the only thing left to do is to make banana muffins.

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I love this recipe because it is so simple. I have plenty of amazing vegan muffin recipes, but they require that you make a flax egg and sift things, and to be honest I am just not up for that kind of hard labor at 7:30 a.m. So here we have a perfect, stumble-down-the-stairs-make-these-in-your-pjs muffin recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mash the bananas.

Add vanilla, vegetable oil, salt, and cinnamon to banana mash. Mix well.

Add sugar, white and wheat flours, and baking soda. Mix gently just until combined.

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Scoop batter into a lined or non-stick muffin pan. For this step I get to use two of my very favorite kitchen tools. First, this Oxo large cookie scoop.

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It has one of those awesome handles that you squeeze and it sort of squeegees all the batter out like magic. This makes filling the muffin cups so much easier and saves me from slopping batter all over the place. About two full scoops per cup is perfect.

The other thing I always get excited to use is my Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch nonstick muffin pan. This pan is amazing and saves me from having to grease or line my muffin cups. As I said, it’s all about convenience at 7:30 a.m.

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Top each muffin with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

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And there you have it: a delicious alternative to your morning exercise routine. Don’t judge me, Jillian Michaels is perfectly happy in her dusty corner at the back of my entertainment center. Harrumph.

Teetering Around in my H&M Dress

Oh, hello beautiful $5 dress from Goodwill

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Hello, soul-warming sunshine and platform heels that are surprisingly functional for an outdoor BBQ

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Okay that last bit about them being functional was a stretch, but at least my heels didn’t sink into the grass.

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I have always been afraid of platforms due to my less than graceful nature, but these work because the heel, though borderline frighteningly tall, isn’t too steep. Also I couldn’t really say no to these because of the cool tassels and because they were only $15 at a local consignment shop.

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Wearing an H&M dress (which is absolutely perfect for twirling, by the way), H&M vest -similar here, Boca 61 shoes-exact here but only in sizes 9 and 10, similar here, thrifted belt, and Forever 21 jewelry.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go twirl around in my very uneven yard wearing  platforms…………….who’s bright idea was this?

What I wore to work today

I am so so excited to tell you that I have recently started a new job working as a preschool teacher at a lovely school in Northampton, Massachusetts.  I am thrilled about this job for a number of reasons… I love working with children, I have the sweetest co-workers, andddd, of equal importance, I finally have a chance to dress creatively for work!

My previous job was at a bakery and needless to say, my work attire was severely limited by the fact that whatever I wore came home covered in butter, flour, sugar, chocolate… (anyone else getting hungry???). So, I have decided to share some of my work outfits because I am just so darn excited that I can actually dress up for work.

Today I wore my American Eagle jeans, a thrifted top and cardigan, my $12 Forever 21 Shoes, and an H&M necklace.

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The best thing about the dress code at this job is that I can dress up, but I don’t have to. Let’s be real…I will surely be taking advantage of the fact that I can totally go in wearing jeans, mom sneakers,  and a beat up sweatshirt occasionally. But most days, I will just be happy to be wearing clothes that make me feel pretty and don’t smell like food!

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I apologize for the sub-par photography, I’m not the best at selfies.

But I am awesome at rockin’ the “knock it off!” teacher look:

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Spring-a-ding-ding

 

 

 

Guess what….

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Today I went outside with NO jacket on!!! This is a huge deal for me!!

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After seriously the looooongest winter EVER, I decided to welcome in Spring today with a bright blue Old Navy Top and a pair of open toed shoes I scored at the Salvation Army a couple of years ago.

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I know Spring technically starts on the vernal equinox, but in my book it’s not official until I can be outside sans coat.

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Also wearing American Eagle Jeans, a Forever 21 hat and necklace, Rossetti bag, and a bracelet handed down to me from my mom. Jewelry is one of the things I almost always take when friends and family members are giving it away…even if it isn’t love at first sight, you never know when you might find a use for it.

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So hold on to your hats, it’s finally Spring!