Tuesday, January 31, 2012

grilled cheese party

So! I know I talked about the grilled cheese party on here before I had the party and a few people commented that they would be into a party revolving around grilled cheesy goodness. so here is the follow up with pictures! 

First of all, it was such a success! 

we started the party out with some extreme jenga and drinks. and party hats? lol...not really sure why we are wearing them but they hang out on my shelves in the living room.

appetizers/snacks were french onion dip and ripple chips, salsa and tortilla chips, and spicy spinach dip with toasted pita. easy peasy! 

side note: have a small apartment/living room?..get floor cushions! people always end up sitting on the floor so this makes it comfortable and they aren't a piece of furniture that you have to store for the other 350 days of the year that you aren't entertaining.

now onto the main course! 

because my kitchen is fairly small I wanted just peter and I to be in the kitchen making the food. we had people write down what cheese and toppings they wanted and then we made them to order. it worked out really well and we had an assembly line going so it was pretty quick. 

I only ended up getting one kind of bakery bread that was really perfect. I debated getting different kinds but  I'm glad I kept this part simple and put more effort into the toppings. 

Cheese Options:
Cheddar Cheese
Jalapeno Havarti
(there was a max two cheese limit per sandwich because I was worried I would run out of the brie and Havarti) 

Topping Options: 
Roasted Red Peppers
Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms
Hot banana Peppers

I think that was all! 

Also with the sandwiches there was a big bowl of veggie pasta salad and a pickle tray with two different kinds of pickles and two different kinds of hot peppers. oh and regular ketchup and SPICY ketchup for dipping. deeeeeeeelish

Disclaimer: If you are hungry right now you are going to try and eat your computer screen in less then 1 minute. 

Ian and Vanessa went to ikea earlier in the day and bought this wicked grilling pan that was perfect! We started every sandwich on the pan and then moved it over to the george forman to get a good grill on both sides. (flipping the sandwiches was tricky in the pan, with so many toppings) 

 omg I am drooling just looking at these pictures again haha

we prepared a lot of the food ahead of time so it was easy to entertain and get food into everyone. I always like to pre make as much as possible because
a) I'm not stressed about the food
b) I can drink and not worry about slicing my hand open halfway through the party
c) I can drink whiskey

We pre-made all the appetizers including cutting up the pita bread and laying it out on the pan ready to be heated.

The cheese was grated, the onions and mushrooms sauteed and the bacon was all cooked before the party. Also the pasta salad I made the afternoon before to let the flavours mix.

Peter was a huge help for the party. mostly because he doesn't let me get stressed out and also because he could grill those sandwiches like nobody's business.

I made s'more rice crispy squares on peters request which never made it out to the party and I have sneaking suspicion that may have been on purpose???.....haha kidding! I was just too drunk to remember.

we make a good team in the kitchen :) 

Certainly let me know if you throw your own grilled cheese party, I would love to hear about it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

shelving p0rn


I came across these great shelves on Somethings hiding in here and I am sure, given how crafty they are, that these are handmade. they are amazing! simple yet extremely functional and perfect.

I thought I would share some of my latest shelving pins ...if your interested you can follow me erin_ackerman

From thefancy.com

From wright20.com

no source, sorry

no source, sorry

From ffffound.com

so moral of the story is I need a source for pallets, wire crates, galvanized steel pipes and reclaimed wood. any tips? haaaaa

Friday, January 27, 2012

ahahahahahahahahahah oh regretsy

"The other four serving as space that clothes can be crammed into"

"Other then its missing bottom and inability to open, the fourth drawer is being well held together by duct tape"

"That shit be safe"

"Opens and holds clothing with precision"

This person needs to be in advertising.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


green beans.


love em.

with dijon mustard/splash of white vinegar sauce.


I must admit Ian has championed this recipe.

and bacon wrapped chicken.

no complaints here.


peace plants? (nope. they are called peace lily's. google gets one point)

I bought one on a recent trip to Ikea

see -

except it never looks like this!

it looks droopy and soggy. haha.

but seriously thats the best description for it. what did I do wrong?

I am reading more about them and I think mine might be getting too much sun. The internet says they don't like direct sunlight and prefer the misty atmospheres of bathrooms.

I guess the bathroom just got a new plant!

which is excellent news for this peace lily because I actually remember to water the plant in the washroom.


wowwwww I should be packing right now.

instead I am dreaming about making this granola and eating ALL of it in one sitting.

also buff buff chicky tacs...if only for the name. and that VIDEO.


Okay I reallllllly need to pack and then go to bed.

ova out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

weekend food

Hey o!

So on the weekends we eat pretty well around here (monday through friday its hit and miss) 

I'm always taking pictures of food and then doing nothing with them so I thought I would just post what we ate last weekend. 

Friday night was bruschetta with feta, side green salad with peppers...

and baked stuffed peppers (on rice)! 

Ians lovely gf brought over these cupcakes for dessert and although we didn't eat them friday night ..we *cough* got distracted...we did enjoy them saturday afternoon. YUM

they were almost too pretty to eat! 

saturday for dinner Ian's gf made us pork dumplings for the Chinese new year! Maybe this post should just be called 'the food that Vanessa brought into my life'. anyway. they were delish and we ate about 60 of them haha. 

Saturday night we rented pineapple express and relaxed. this was our epic snack platter. 
ripple chips with french onion dip and tostitos ranch dip
dill pickle doritos (SO ADDICTED)
lime corn nuts
sour keys and other 5cent candies

sunday morning I made banana bread, which you already know all about. have you made it yet? you shoulddddd

Sunday's late night snack/dinner was nachos. P and I polished off this dish in no time. He used the left over stuffed pepper sauce with cheese, sliced up peppers..baked it then added the lettuce. dipped into sour cream. AMEN

this wrap is actually from last weekend but it was amazing. Have you ever tried chili thai sauce..PC brand? Its awesome on chicken fingers. 

this wrap was lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, cheese, and baked chicken fingers with sauce. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dijon Sauce


I don't think it is valued enough.

I think we are constantly encountering themes of being a good multi-tasker. always staying connected. never missing a beat. doing 101 things and somehow managing to keep it all together.

I find when I am at work I am easily distracted. I look at blogs as rewards for 10 minutes of focus on a project. I will be honest and tell you that I do many things on the internet every day and not all of them are work. I can be honest because in that 10/15 minutes of pure involvement/productivity I can accomplish what I set out to do.
And I've been doing my job for exactly two years now (yay?) so I'm past the learning phase.

Although it does keep me on my toes. Never a dull day, that is for sure.

I've really become a davids tea slut.

Like its bad guys.

I got SO much for christmas and its so miserable outside, all I can think about is drinking tea.

Tops right now are
-Forever nuts (forever and always, we are getting married, its over guys, you haven't lived until you've had this tea)
-Pumpkin Chai (close second)
-Chocolate Chili Chai
-Secret Weapon
-Jessie's Tea (worst name ever IMHO)

Now I have a steeper at home and at work.

just wait until I take pictures of my new tea pot. AND brand new beautiful kettle.


at least its just tea.

We are all in this together.  This life.  All on different paths.  All in different timing.  Embrace each other right where you and those around you are. And if you find yourself on a path you are not wanting to be on, search within yourself to find out how to steer your boat in the direction you want it to go.  You are the captain of your life.  And know that things take time.  Healing does not happen overnight.  But it does require you to take the first step.

Laura from Violet Bella's words really resonated with me tonight. Her message is so true and something I hope to share with the people in my life.

we get swallowed up by our lives.

we live IN them, on purpose mind you

but do we look AT them?

You need to. you need to see what isn't working. what irritates you. what makes you laugh until you can't breath.

sometimes I feel like I am working so hard to live through the minutia of life that I forget to stand back and see it for what it is.
where its going.
whos in it.
what feels strong and what feels week.

the type A in me wants to map everything out on a giant chalkboard and it would look like those diagrams where if you answer yes you go on one path and if you answer no you go on another.

I never want to give up on any of those yes's.

I need to step back and prioritize.

I need to realize that the most important thing is to ENJOY doing things. laugh about it. be friendly to anyone. everyone. your laundry is never going to stop appearing in the hamper, your carpet will always get dirty, you will always need to run errands and plans will always go differently then you expected. its LIFE!

One of the things that P has opened my eyes to is that you can enjoy every part of any day. you can find humour in anything. its only a dreary task if you approach it that way.


This post sort of got away from me but I feel much better now that is all out. Do you find blogging therapeutic?  I've sort of always used it as a self centered release of thoughts and feelings.

Im going to read my book and go to bed at 9pm.

good night.

banana bread

Banana bread is one of those things that makes you feel super warm and cozy inside. its sweet, but not too sweet to call it a breakfast. 

Over the weekend I had a few extra black bananas crowding up the freezer and I thought I would try out this recipe. 

Holyyyyy jesus. its the easiest recipe I've come across for banana bread and also the tastiest! seriously you could not mess this recipe up if you tried. 

originally from epicurious but here is my modified version with comments.

Banana Bread

  • 3 to 4 ripe bananas (I used four and wouldn't hesitate to add another small one)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used white but would try 50% whole wheat in the future to make it a little healthier)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Chocolate chunks/chips (I had about a 1/4 cup left over in my pantry so in they went)
  • Sliced almonds or other nuts (again, I had some in my pantry so I threw them in but any nut would be tasty) (I used some in the bread as well as sprinkled the rest on the top)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (my addition to the recipe, I love vanilla!)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (again, my addition to the recipe)

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash the bananas in a bowl. 

    Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. 
    (Note: I have an issue with the above instruction. I feel like over mixing any batter that you want to rise and not feel two dense is a bad move. In order to stop this I always mix all my dry ingredients first and all my wet ingredients separately and then add them together at once. this prevents over mixing the batter and the result is a fluffier bread/muffin/cake.)

    Bake in a buttered loaf pan until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Slice and serve.

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