Friday, December 31, 2010

Highlights of 2010

There is so much to reflect on this year! So many laughs, cry's, dancing, chilling out and special moments. So I thought I would take this opportunity to share the highlights of my year here on Two Lauras! Listed in no particular order.....

1. Getting engaged to the boy of my dreams.

2. Finishing my first year of Grad School wooo hooo!!

3. My lovely visits from Jen and Alan and Megan and Joan.

4. Learning to cook awesome vegan meals!

5. Seeing Taylor Swift in concert (yes I said that)

6. Singing the Jem theme song A Capella style with Natalie and Lauren in front of our entire school.

7. Learning to cook traditional pasta carbonara from my new French friends.

8. Chatting with Sean Lennon

9. Learning how to make and master veggie sushi at home.

10. Seeing First Aid Kit at SXSW.

11. Swimming in Barton Springs with Megan, Joan, and Larissa.

12. All the lovely meals had with my future Mother and Sister In-laws.

13. My little brother Graduating form College.

14. Aimee's beautiful wedding!

15. Going to see the Astros and the Spurs!

16. Enchanted Rock adventure with Greg.

17. Maine Maine Maine.

18. The lovely Brooklyn.

19. Having pizza with Bryant and Annabel at Grimaldi's.

20. Watching Greg sled for the first time! And waking up to my parents building us a sleigh riding path in the back yard.

21. perfecting my mujidara and hummus recipes.

22. Getting to spent Christmas with my whole family.

23. Meeting little Max Barkley and Cecilia Hopkins.

I hope you all have a chance to sit down relax and reflect on all the things that have passed us by this year and can look forward to the New Year with out letting fear or hesitation get in the way of your goals and dreams. See you next YEAR!

xoxo, Laura

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Decorating

A little sneak peek at my holiday decorating. Unfortunately my images stink!
Hope every one is having a great holiday season so far and checking things of on their to do lists! 8 days till Christmas! xoxo

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas List Part 2, Gift Guide!

a set of 4 vintage looking typewriter postcards from Lolas Room $9.00

One really cute note card with a Coffee/Tea themefrom present and correct $4.60

One really cute Lilac One Second Poket Diary from Korea $22

This really cute baby Baggu in Red Dot for only $6

This amazing TIger Lily Teapot from Fred Flare $48

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Cards!

Thanks Susie and Regina for your awesome Thanksgiving day cards totally festive and made the holiday brighter. xoxo

Recipes: Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup

A couple of weeks ago I made this Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup, and it came out delicious. You can use it in mix drinks, over ice cream, or whatever you would like. It is really easy to make, and takes no time at all. You can double this recipe if you need more but it makes about 1 1/2 cups. Here is my recipe

- 1 lb. Strawberries Hulled and Quartered
- 1 Stalk of Rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces
-1/2 cup Sugar
-1/4 cup Water

Combined all ingredients in a pot and heat over medium heat. Stir frequently. The rhubarb will begin to break down in to small threads, thats when you know that the syrup is ready. Hold a strainer over a heat proof bowl and slowly pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl, you will need to do this in batches, cleaning the fruit fibers out the strainer as you go. When you have the syrup strained you can pour it into a glass jar or plastic container. Let the syrup cool completely and then store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Post/Pre Thanksgiving

Getting ready for round two with Greg's Family today, while digesting our own Thanksgiving feast from yesterday. I made my mom's pumpkin pie recipe this year for the first time. I haven't been able to spend Thanksgiving with my family in 3 years! So I thought it was time I brought a little tradition to our home here in Texas. Believe it or not this was my very first pie I have ever made, and it tasted just like Mom's. Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving however big or small it was, we all have a lot to be thankful for. BTW, would post the recipe for this pie but then I would have to kill you ;).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Christmas List

1. Maguba Clogs in silver or black.

2. a Blythe Doll possibly one with purple hair.
3. A Dutch Oven in a primary color to match my kitchen.

4. One bottle of Campari.

5. The Selby is in your place, the book.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu!

source. (this is me hanging out with the turkeys)

Greg and I usually celebrate our Thanksgiving on Friday instead of Thursday because Greg's family is so huge and has so many Thanksgiving dinners to attend too. Usually we have a "friend Thanksgiving" but all of our friends are going out of town this year! So I am planing an alternative menu for the two of us and I thought I would share it with you fellow internet friends!

Click on the links for the recipe.(all are vegan!)

Hummus and Chips

(This recipe is originally from the Veganomicon Cookbook)

Carrots and Green Beans

Friday, November 12, 2010

More Etsy Drawings Up!

Even more drawings updated today on my etsy! Check check check it outtttt! Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Etsy Update!

Hey Friends, I have been adding some new drawings to my Etsy shop for the holiday season please check them out!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take Out at Home

American Girl Thai Perfection!

So, I have been working really hard at trying to create a recipe that resembles something close to the delicious Thai take-out that I get in my neighborhood and tonight I finally figured it out. This recipe is by no means authentic but it fulfills my craving for sweet and spicy. I really encourage trying to cook globally; its fun saves you money when you want to cook but you also want take out. Plus it’s way easier then you think! You can switch out the veggies for what ever you have on hand because the coconut milk and spices really make the dish. Be adventurous and get your curry out, happy cooking!

American Girl Thai Curry

1 Tbsp. Canola Oil (any oil will work)

1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper

½ Yellow Onion- sliced thin

½ Green bell pepper- cut in to small pieces

Snow Peas- about a handful

1 Carrot- peeled cut into rounds

4 Mushrooms- sliced

½ lb. Extra-Firm Tofu – cut into small cubes

2 Garlic cloves minced

1 inch piece fresh Ginger peeled and minced

1 ½ Tbsp. Yellow Curry powder (whatever kind you want)

1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 Tbsp. Sriracha

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 can Coconut Milk

1 Lime juiced

Salt to taste

Brown Rice for serving

Prep all the veggies and set aside. Mince garlic and ginger set a side separately. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add Canola oil and Crushed red pepper flakes. Stir for about a minute and then add all the veggies; Yellow Onion, Green bell pepper, Snow peas, Carrots, Mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add Tofu, Garlic and Ginger stir and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add Coconut Milk, Curry Powder, Garam Masala, Sriracha and Sugar; stir well and cook for 3 min. or until liquid cooks down a bit. Turn off the burner let the sauce sit a bit and it will thicken up. Add lime juice and salt and stir. Serve over Brown Rice, make sure you get all the saucy goodness!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Inspiration

If I was going to be any kind of weirdo I would be this kind. I just watched Kamikaze Girls, recommended to me by my friend Megan. I loved it so much. So the obvious next step would be to become a Lolita right? Maybe not but here are some awesome images from the film!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

DIY: Fall Wreath Project

I have been really in to A Beautiful Mess's Tricks and Treats posts the last two weeks leading up to Halloween.When I saw this amazing Autumn Fabric Wreath by Elise Blaha I HAD to make it! It took no time at, a really easy and satisfying project. Happy Fall time!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recipes: Pico De Gallo

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite parts of what we call in this house hold Taco Night! Olé! Ok, ok I know your what your thinking not so exciting but it really is because all you have to do is pick up some tortilla's and throw in your favorite filling. (Click here for my Veggie Fajita Taco recipe). But for me what really makes taco night is fresh salsa, so I started perfecting my recipe for perfect Pico De Gallo. This is super easy so give it a try, and I use cherrie tomatoes here because I feel that their sweetness helps to balance out spicy fillings. I recommend serving this with soft corn tortillas or chips, but feel free to go crazy.

1 pint Cherrie Tomatoes quartered
1 cup diced fresh Cilantro
1/2 diced white or yellow Onion
1/2 of a Jalapeno seeded and diced (keep seeds for extra kick)
2 Limes juiced

In a bowl combined all of the ingredients listed above and stir making sure that the lime juice coats every thing evenly. You can serve this right away but it's best to let it sit in the refrigerator while you prepare your meal so that the flavors meld together.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Daily Inspiration: Tokyo Street Fashion

I want to understand!!!!!! Here is my boyfriend Greg with a card board cut out of a girly selling something that has to do with foam, I love all this stuff so much it totally counter balances my clean minimal aesthetic that I usually go for. Also check out this article from jezebel for more crazy girl fashion.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dinner: Manzana Chili Verde with Jalapeno and Onion Corn Bread

Greg asked me last night, "What happens when I have to take the Veganomicon back to the library?" It's been such a good two weeks of cooking and going vegan. I guess I can renew it but I hate renewing books that I like, because some person out there in the world is not cooking from this book! Arrgh! (I would just buy the book but then I couldn't buy groceries, catch the drift? totally a catch 22.) Anyway, on Wednesday I had my friend Bryant and Annabel over for an awesome dinner. I made the Manzana Chili Verde and Jalapeno and Onion corn bread from the Veganomicon. The corn bread was a snap and the chili was a labor of love but all and all amazing dinner.

Manzana Chili Verde From the Veganomicon Cookbook

1 lb baby Yukon golds, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 T vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
3 jalapenos, seeded and sliced thinly
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped into 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1 t salt
1/3 c dry white wine
1 lb tomatillos, papery skin removed, washed, chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
2 c vegetable broth
1 c loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 c shopped scallions
1 (15 oz) can small white beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
Avocado slices for garnish

Place the chopped potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for a little less than 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. Of course, you should be preparing everything else while it is boiling.

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, jalapenos, and poblanos in oil for about 10 minutes, until everything is softened and the onions are slightly browned.

Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Saute for 1 more minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the wine reduce and the tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes.

Add the apples, vegetable broth, scallions, and 1/2 c of cilantro. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to partially puree everything. If you don't have one, let the mixture cool slightly and pulse in a blender or food processor.

Taste for sweetness/tartness. Tomatillos are sometimes bitter; if that is the case, add a teaspoon or two of sugar and that should level things out. Add the cooked potatoes and the beans, simmer for a few more minutes, until everything is heated through.

Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the avocado and scallions, and serve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dinner: A Middle Eastern Spread

Greg and I got home from the grocery store a little late last night and I felt exhausted. (i.e. allergies in Austin are like a freight train to my face) and I wanted to make a really nice comforting meal something that resembled Morocco. So I came up with this little spread of home made hummus, Mujaddara, zaatar bread, olives, and of course wine! It came out so good and you would be surprised how easy it is to cook all these delectable dishes. So I thought I would share with you my recipe for what I consider the best hummus a white polish/italian/irish mutt can make and believe me she, I mean I, can make a pretty good hummus.

Laura K A's Hummus

1 Can cooked Chick Peas drained
1 Whole Lemon juiced
2 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
3 heaping spoon fulls of Tahini
1 tablespoon of Cumin
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Olive Oil
A shake of Paprika for garnish

In a blender add half of the chick peas and about a half a cup of water. Blend until smooth, you will have to stop the blender a few times to scrape down the sides. Once mixture is smooth add the rest of the chick peas and continue to blend until smooth, you may have to add some more water, just be patient and work in shifts of scraping and blending. Once the chickpeas are smooth add Tahini and blend until combined. Then add lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth if you want the hummus to be thinner add more water as you see fit. Pour mixture into bowl and garnish with paprika. Serve with warm pita.

Recipes: Vegan Mac n "Cheese"

Oh Hey folks another vegan recipe for you today! I'm really getting into this vegan cooking thing way more then I was expecting! It's a fun challenge and I am really eating better and feeling better all in the same package. Any way, yesterday was a magical day for no other reason then it was. I had black coffee at quacks and liked it. Shocker. (If you know me I am a sugar and cream girl all the way so, big deal.) After my work was done I went home starving scouring the cabinets for something delicious but of course we had nothing. But I made nothing into something wonderful. Every thing you most likely have in your pantry right now with exception of nutritional yeast flakes. (which I happened to have yesterday) You can buy this in bulk at health food stores and some grocery stores carry it if they carry a lot of vegetarian food products. I buy it in bulk for like $1.50 at Wheatsville coop here in Austin. So here is the recipe, you can add any veggies you like this is just what I had on hand, but I have to say the onions really added a nice touch!

Laura K A's Vegan Mac N' Cheese

1/2 bag of Whole Wheat Spiral Pasta

1/2 Onion Chopped

8 White Button Mushrooms sliced or a Cup presliced

1 Cup Frozen Peas

For "Cheezy Sauce recipe" adapted from The Veganomicon Cook Book.

2 Cups Water

1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

3 Garlic Cloves minced

Pinch of Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Several pinches Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Cumin

3/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes

1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon prepared Yellow Mustard

In a large pot boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.

Heat a skilled with a little bit of olive oil add mushrooms and onions and cook about 3 mins. then add frozen peas. Cook until onions are soft and translucent and peas are heated through. Turn of heat and let sit. When pasta is done drain and add to skillet.

For Cheezy Sauce, Combine water and flour with a whisk in a liquid measuring cup until all the flour is devolved.

Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often and making sure not to burn the garlic.

Add oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add water and flour mixture, cumin, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3 minutes; if it doesn't turn heat up. Once the mixture starts bubbling stir and cook about 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mustard and whisk in. The mixture should look like melted cheese. Add salt to taste. Then pour over pasta and veggies in skillet and stir to combined. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Snobby Joe's

So Greg and I are going vegan for a while to see if the diet does us good and so far it's working. The other night I made Snobby Joe's (sloppy joe's) from the all mighty Veganomicon a 101 guide to awesome vegan recipes good for your average or above average vegan and pretty much everyone else that likes good food in general. This recipe is made with lentils instead of meat. Of course we had a beer with it, you can see our Oh No Oh My beer cozies in the picture. Shameless self promotion in our house at all times Click here to buy your own! ;) ha ha. Any way, I also include a lame picture of my drying rack because I was thinking about how smalllll it is, but I will never get rid of it because I'll feel bad for some reason, maybe throwing out all that plastic. And there are my feet in my house flip flops attempting to step on to the kitchen mat in my PJ's to wash the dishes. I hate all you dishwasher owners. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Recipes: Veggie Fajita Tacos (vegan)

Veggie Fajita Tacos (Vegan)
serves 4 people.

Veggie Tacos might not sound that exciting but trust me, this recipe is packed with flavor and the poblano pepper really makes them special.This has become a house hold favorite recipe here at our house and I finally feel that I have perfected it for you to make in your humble abode! These tacos are fresh and delicious not to mention really easy to make.

1 medium Zucchini quarter and cut into slices
1 medium Yellow Squash quartered and cut into slices
1/2 medium Onion cut in half and sliced thin
1 Poblano Pepper cut into one inch strips (if you can't find this you can sub green bell pepper)
1 Red Bell Pepper cut into one inch strips
1/2 Jalapeno seeded and diced
2 cloves of Garlic diced
1/3 cup Crumbled Tofu (Crumble it up with your hands!)
8 whole wheat flour tortillas (or corn if you can't get fresh whole wheat tortillas)
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tbsp. Oregano
1/2 tbsp. Fajita Seasoning
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
mashed up large avocado for serving

Preheat the oven to 200F.

Line a cookie sheet with tortillas and pop in the oven.

Heat up oil, chili powder, and oregano in large skillet on medium heat.
add Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Onion, Poblano pepper, Red Bell Pepper and Jalapeno, and cook for a minute coating the veggies in oil and chili powder and oregano. Add fajita seasoning and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and tofu crumbles cook for another 2-3 minutes. Take of heat and transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking.

Take tortillas out of the oven and place them in a cloth lined basket for serving or tortilla warmer.

We like to serve these tacos with mashed up avocado for a topper and hot sauce (we like cholula).
Serve with beans. We are really into Goya's Ranchero refried beans they are vegan and a little spicy! And of course a Mexican Beer!! Enjoy! <-_->