Month: April 2013

culinary: homemade biscuits + jam

Homemade biscuits are a staple in my diet. True to my Southern roots, these are the start of the day, the perfect snack, and the best breakfast dinner. My Dad’s homemade buttermilk biscuits rival those of Cracker Barrel. I like to think mine are just as delicious. Except that since moving to Puerto Rico, I lack the key ingredient: buttermilk. So I found this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Homesick Texan, and replaced the buttermilk with “homemade buttermilk” (1 tbsp vinegar + 1 cup milk + 10 minute wait to curdle). These are pretty delicious too, if I do say so myself! This is a batch that Evan made me while I was sick with dengue – he did a great job, so here is the recipe so you can replicate them too: Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tbsp. baking powder 1 tsp. granulated sugar 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold (1 stick) 3/4 cup buttermilk  Preheat your oven to 450F and grease a baking sheet (perhaps …

diy: season your tagine

So after sharing this post about tagines, I had a couple requests to show you the process of seasoning the tagine – should you choose to purchase and cook with your own. It is very simple and requires very basic steps. This is the “how to” that I used. Step 1: Soak the tagine in water for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Use a deep bucket, or fill your sink – the tagine must be completely covered by water. Step 2: Remove the tagine and dry it off. Be sure to get all the water soaked up. I left mine in the sun for a few minutes and then towel dried the inside.  Step 3: If your tagine is not glazed (does NOT have a shiny gloss on the outside and inside), then gently coat the tagine with olive oil. Use your hands to smooth the oil over all the surfaces.  Step 4: Place the tagine in the center of a cold oven. Put the oven on 300F and set a timer for 2 …

favorites: indian bazaar

I found these on Etsy when wanderlusting over India again. So I wanted to share these cool finds in case you never have the chance to visit this beautiful country – there are still ways to explore the culture and beauty via online shopping. You can find similar items and start your own favorites collection of India by going to Etsy’s Treasury feature and typing in “India”. Enjoy! Wooden Spice Box  |  Watercolor India  |  Mehendi Earrings  |  Salt & Pep Shakers  |   Wooden Print Block in Peacock  |  Chiffon Stoles

casual style: gingham & blowfish

This is my first ever style post, so please judge gently! In fact, this was quite an experience:  just as I had primped and prepped everything for this shoot – the skies parted and the typical afternoon shower unleashed for about an hour. So, hair frazzled and ground wet – I present the first of only a few fashion posts on this blog. The reason?  I want to share about my lovely Blowfish shoes, of which you may remember the Blowfish giveaway about a month ago?  I received this particular pair of shoes from Blowfish – shipped straight from Malibu, CA across the oceans to me in Puerto Rico. I was elated when they arrived, as I was looking forward to a stylish and dressier pair of sandals for my evening ventures on the island. I wasn’t sure how comfortable they would be at first, but I’m honestly delighted with the construction and fit! I’m a size 6, but can wear anything from a 5 to a 7 depending on the brand. I chose a …

diy: the art of remembering moments

[ Notebook  | Sand dollar found here in PR ] Today I’d like to share with you an idea for remembering moments. Sometimes I feel like I get so busy and caught up in my daily life, that I’ve forgotten what it is like to keep a journal. I used to journal every now and then – mostly to jot down life changes or momentous occasions – but I’ve lost the ritual lately. However, I recently had an idea to start a daily or weekly journaling for a more important purpose – to remember the moments that Evan and I cherish. Candidly – for instance, the other day he asked me what is the highlight of each of my days? I remember both mine and his responses, and I think it would be an amorous moment to relive that again some day when he reads it. So, as a gift to him some point later down the road, I’m writing down all those moments we share that I know he’ll want to treasure. Plus some …

culinary: whole wheat chocolate & peanut butter muffins

This delicious beauties were found on the blog, How Sweet It Is. I baked these two weeks ago and just fell in love with this simple and delectable treat. I love that the recipe makes basic substitutions to incorporate a healthier mix of ingredients. I didn’t feel nearly as guilty eating more than one (or three) in a day. The recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, which is not commonly found in my stores here on the island – but there is a basic sub for that too! For 2 cups of “wwpp” you can instead use 1 1/3 cups of whole wheat flour and 2/3 cups of cake flour. Even though my Presto cake flour warns not to use baking powder or salt when using their product (since its already incorporated), I still added that which the recipe called for since the amount of cake flour I used was minute. Additionally, I read the reviews before baking (ALWAYS do this when trying something new!) and found that many people had dense muffins from …

the sea heals the broken body

Well, I’ve had an interesting week last week. Remember how I was supposed to be in Texas for a wedding and to see family? That never happened. In fact, I haven’t been able to leave the house except to go to the hospital, the clinic and the laboratory for blood work.What, pray tell, happened? Well, I contracted the dreaded island dengue fever – something constrained to the tropics, so don’t worry its unlikely you will ever get it. *count your blessings* Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes and all it takes is one little bite with a carrier mosquito to contract the illness. Apparently, that’s what happened to me. It’s hard to say where I was bit – I was in San Juan, Lajas and Rincon all last week. It very well could have been in my own home (combating the little pests is an on-going struggle in the tropics).  So you want to know what happened? On Thursday night, I woke up with major joint pains in my knees – as if I had just …

guest post: leather binding by telling oceans

My name is Madison Hedlund and I blog over at Telling Oceans. I am a wife and student who has a love for all things beautiful and handmade.  For as long as I can remember I have been creating, painting, and making projects with my hands. Maybe it stems from my parents who always had a fun home renovation project; all I know is that when I don’t have a project, things are not right in my world. I was fortunate enough to marry into a family of creatives who always stir up new ideas in me. Leather binding is an idea I am happy to contribute to the Hedlund family.  This is how it came into our lives: My brother-in-law, Andy, gave my husband a leather bound Bible a few years back that he hand bound and personalized with a wood burner. People were very curious where he got such a great quality Bible, and asked if we could get one for them. Andy lives in Montana, a good 13 hours from where we live. …

guest post: key lime pie from him & her

Ingredients 1  14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1  6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate (not thawed) 1  cup  heavy cream 1  6-ounce graham cracker piecrust zest of 1 lime Directions Place the condensed milk, limeade concentrate, and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy and soft peaks form. Pour the filling into the piecrust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until chilled and loosely set, at least 4 hours (and up to overnight). Sprinkle the pie with the zest before serving ___________________________________________________ Hi friends! It’s Andrea from HIM&HER blog and I’m so excited to be filling in for Chelsea today! I made key lime pie for my husband for his birthday, and it was my very first time making it from scratch. Surprisingly it turned out perfect and my husband loved it. Key lime pie is his favorite dessert because it’s similar to cheesecake (which is his second favorite) and he loves the taste of lime. So what better dessert to make? 🙂 Find Andrea here: blog | …

guest post: adventure wishlist by always rooney

Hello friends! Well, I’m off in Texas to celebrate the wedding of a good friend and spend some much needed time with family as my summer will be jam packed with lionfish research.  So while I’m away, I have some great blogger friends here to entertain you! Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to the cutest chica, Courtney, who is bringing you a curated collection of adventure goodies to inspire your summer adventures!  Hi! I am Courtney from Always Rooney. I am a fashion and DIY blogger who loves to do anything that involves creating. I am so honored Chelsea asked me to guest post and I can’t wait to share with you today. Be sure to come say hi to me over on Always Rooney!  Watch/Camera/Hat/Backpack/Journal/Boots/Pillow/Shorts With spring among us and summer well on its way, I’m sure you are itching to travel as much as I am. While traveling, keep things simple by knowing what to take with you. A few of my favorite things to bring/must haves are: a watch (I’m constantly …