Happy Easter! (free printable)

So I have recently ventured into Photoshop – to be correct, yesterday 🙂

And since I am proud of my first project I would like to share this free printable for everyone preparing for Easter!

download Free Easter Printable

buttonsprouts_easter1

To give credit where credit is due, I have used tutorials from Alibony for the yellow and the multicoloured polka dots. The tutorials are really easy to follow, even for beginners who are working with Photoshop CS and not Elements. Check it out and try your own!!

If you like the printable please leave me a comment and let me know what you will use it for!

 

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February Challenge update: I learned how to French Braid!

Believe you me! I have been whining for 25 years that I can not french braid and now I have practised for 3 weeks and voilá!

011

It is really no rocket science!

Apart from being ridicoulously proud of myself I would also like to give you some pointers if you would like to learn.

  1.  If I can do it – anyone can! It is of course good if you know basic braiding already.
  2. Braid a little every day, this is the only way you can train the muscles in your arms because if you are not used to it you will feel muscles you never knew you had. If it seems too complicated in the beginning, just braid a small section and put in elastic when you get tired. Try again later.
  3. Also good, you can braid only one side until you get the hang of it, then start braiding both sides or full braid.
  4. Practise in front of the mirror – I know what you are thinking – but a lot of people I know braid in front of the TV and then when you would like to style your hair for an event you stand in front of the mirror and you are totally uncoordinated. Don’t fall into the trap, while you are learning, practise in front of the mirror and you will get used to the movement.
  5. Don’t give up! 🙂007

February Challenge: Learn to French Braid!

 

As I had ment001ioned earlier, I have a lot of great resolutions for 2013!

While the kitchen is now tidy most of the days I have decided to tackle another thing that I have wanted to do for a while now.

I am going to teach myself how to French Braid!

By March 1st I will be able to braid my own hair! This is ambitious because I have tried countless times but my arms get tired really quickly and my hair is very thin and slippery. My dear bavarian friend has been braiding hair since she was little and even for her it is always a struggle with my stubborn head.

So, stubborn hair, weak arms and clumsy fingers. That is quite a list of obstacles!

 

 

I have prepped a001 little bit in January so you can see where I am at now. Over the next 28 days I will practise and let you know if it can be done, hopefully with pictures (it’s really hard to photograph the back of your own head, believe you me.)

If someone cares to join me in this, you are welcome!

If you have your own goals for February please share and let me know how it progresses, maybe I still need some inspiration for March.

My mothers lost treasures: Fish Gratin

Fish Gratin Title

Do you enjoy fish? Iceland has an abundance of fresh fish for an affordable price.
I have been doing really good with my meal planning for January and I am trying to make fish once a week, or at least every other week.
Haddock has been our fish of choice but pan fried breaded Haddock gets boring really really quickly.

So I was very happy when I found a Fish Gratin Recipe in one of the folders I have inherited from my mum, there was already a cross next to it and a comment so how could I go wrong?

I have adapted the recipe a bit and used leeks instead of Onions and it is so yummie!

Fish Gratin
(serves 4)

  • 500g fish fillet
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 200g spread cheese (with herbs if available)
  • 200g sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 50g shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herbs (I have a bag of frozen herbs in the freezer but a mix of parsley, dill, chives would work well)

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Cut the top and bottom off the leeks and slice lengthwise up to the core, then wash out the dirt and slice thinly. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish and spread the leeks evenly, top with the fish fillet. Set aside.

Melt the sour cream and cheese spread in a skillet over low heat until creamy and saucy. Add the herbs and season to taste.

Pour the sauce evenly on top of the fish, sprinkle the grated cheese on top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

ZIP IT!

Button Originals: Mushroom risotto

This is a tried and true recipe that is very simple and yummie, I usually serve it with fresh pan fried fish but I am lucky that we can get a lot of fresh fish here in Iceland.

Mushroom Risotto
(serves 3)

  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 200g Button Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Arborio Risotto rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cube vegetable bouillon
  • salt, pepper, oil/butter for frying
  • freshly grated parmesan

Finely mince onion and garlic, dice the mushrooms.
Fry the vegetables in a little bit of oil or butter until the mushrooms release their juices.
Add 1 cup of Risotto rice and stir until rice is evenly coated.
Then add the wine, water and bouillon cube and stir until the cube has dissolved completely.
Let simmer on low until the liquid has evoporated and the rice is soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan.

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

 

So anything can taste good as long as you add cheese, right?
If you agree with me then you will love this recipe!

 
Yum Yum, Cheesy goodness!

On my journey to more diversity in the kitchen I tried out this Casserole Recipe and got rewarded the boyfriend stamp! What more do you need?

The recipe uses Ritz Cracker Crumbs but I used some fancy italian olive oil crackers that we got in a gift basket for Christmas. The result was so yum, I didn’t even want dessert!


Creamy Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe:

(serves 3)

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts 
1/2 bag frozen broccoli & cauliflower florets
250 grams cream cheese (I used the one with herbs & garlic)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Ritz cracker crumbs for topping
500g Farfalle Pasta


Directions:

Cook the chicken, then slice or break it into bite size pieces.  Cook broccoli in salted water.  Place the broccoli in a 9×13 greased casserole dish.  Heat the milk, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese over low heat, stirring till the mixture is smooth.  Pour 1 cup of sauce over the broccoli.  Now add the chicken into the pan and pour rest of sauce over it.  Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and Ritz cracker crumbs.


Bake at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. (Note: watch the sauce while baking, it can get too hot and burn on top!) Meanwhile boil the Farfalle and serve hot and cheesy!


Recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff!

Remember the Milk!

 So I am still working on getting more organized.

There are a bunch of tools and blogs and coaches out there on the net to help you plan out your procrastination – isn’t that awesome?

My main problem is that things get too much too quickly and I lose track, I also feel that I just recently vaccuumed. like, I don’t know – yesterday.

Don’t they have an app for that? They do.

Remember the Milk!

What I like about it:

  • I can enter all the lists that I find on the net without printing out each and every one from all blogs
  • it has a nagging feature for e-mail and phone (I do not own a smartphone but it should still work fine)
  • it is free and easy to use

 but: the best thing ever is that I do not have to do everything today.
I do not even have to decide when I want to not clean the fridge! *grin*
I just put it on my list and then I enter the repeat that I want to do this in.

This is what I have set up!

For example:
some time in the near future I need to defrost and clean the freezer. so I add this task to my list and then *after 3 months – so whenever I get to it, I can check it off the list and the program will remember that 3 months after I did this, I am planning to do it again! and it will e-mail me to remind me!

I know for all you organized people this is not impressive but for me it is a huge help. I can enter all kinds of rotations and then build my routine on this.

So bear with me people, it’s only January 3rd…

Resolutions for 2013

Happy New Year to everyone!

I hope you spent an enjoyable last day of 2012 with your loved ones!

Anyone except me who is still making New Year’s resolutions?
Some resolutions are oldies but goldies – they accompany you each and every year and still you are too weak to stick to them so they get back on the list again!

This year I thought I would outsmart myself, so when I got a terrible cold over Christmas I quit smoking. I was planning on doing it anyways and I quit for a good 2 months in 2012 so I figured while I was coughing my lungs out, I could get a head start on my resolutions and quit while I had the chance.

So first resolution is already in progress:

1. Quit smoking and stick with it!

another good resolution I am recycling from last year involves organizing, eating healthy and being frugal. I want to try 1 new-to-me recipe from a cookbook or cook-blog each week of 2013. And I mean trying it all the way including all spices and not improvising like I usually do. I did this for part of 2012, lost track in between and got back to it later. It gave me some great new ideas and meals we love.
So at the end of 2013 there should be 52 recipes that I have tried and discussed on this blog.

2. Conquer the Kitchen!

the third resolution is rather simple. I have followed flylady for some time and I am reading organizing blogs of very self-disciplined mothers who seem to have things totally under control. I am not like that. But a german saying is: “We all just cook with water.” So I want to get things cooking in 2013 and establish a routine that I can stick with.

3. stick to your Routine! 

so if you are up for it lets meet here in 52 weeks and see how far I have come!

Christmas 2012

So Christmas is coming up again!

All presents are packed and ready to go.

There wasn’t too much cookie baking in the last couple of weeks since I was sick as well but the house is clean and the fridge is full.
The world did not end yesterday so I must say that we are prepared!