Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello, 2010!

Happy New Year everyone!

As promised, here is the new goal for Spontaneous Creativity in the new year: over 2010, I will explore and demystify one unusual ingredient each week, ranging from strange looking produce to exotic pantry items.

Each Sunday, ingredients will be introduced with a bit of background information, traditional uses (including links to recipes) and original recipes made up in my kitchen, complete with pictures, step-by-step instructions and tips.

I decided to start a new blog dedicated to this idea, so head on over to 52 Kitchen Adventures: Exploring One Unusual Ingredient Each Week, add it to your Google Reader or whatever feed you use, and add @KitchAdventures to your Twitter.

If you have any ideas for ingredients or any questions, please email me. Hope you enjoy my new blog and have a great 2010!

NYE Resolutions and Goals

So 2009 is almost over (can you believe it?) and the buzz about New Year's resolutions is just beginning. I just saw another blog starting up from a friend on Facebook with the goal of cooking new food each week from a different country. What a great idea! I would love to do something like that...something to inspire and motivate both in the kitchen and in blogging. I also just got a fabulous DSLR camera and need more opportunities to practice with it!

Any ideas?

I will be brainstorming the next few days. This weekend after New Year's I will update with my new idea/goal for the year and begin regular blogging once a week to explore something new.

Have a safe and fun NYE!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I am a winner!

I won a giveaway on Today's Creative Blog, which led Kim to post a link to my blog in big print on her site. Which led me to realize I haven't updated in months!

So here is a random update with a delicious summer recipe I tried from Smitten Kitchen a few weeks ago.

Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza:

I used Smitten Kitchen's really simple homemade pizza dough recipe, which was seriously simple and only took a couple of hours!

Here's the dough, waiting 1-2 hours to rise

The finished pizza - sooo good! I added an heirloom tomato and summer squash in addition to zucchini. All local from the farmer's market, delish!
Also, I have to plug Laura Chenel's goat cheese, my absolute favorite. Hopefully you can find it at your local market, like I did at mine, and I also discovered it recently at my local Costco! (Seriously, they have a huge 11 oz. log for $4.99! I almost fainted.)


This was my first attempt at a homemade dinner that involved more than just boiling some water in a long time. In September I switch from a full-time job to a part-time new position and my goal is to cook (and blog!) a lot more. I hope this recipe inspires you to try something new.

P.S. I won a cute onesie from Kara's Cupcake, just in time for my niece's 1st birthday!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A More Natural Nail Polish

Just in time for summer pedicures, I found a more natural nail polish my local grocery store, which has an awesome health and beauty section chock full of all natural body products, such as paraben-free lotions and sunscreens, and great vitamins (I haven't had a cold in 2 months!).

They also had Zoya, a nail polish without toluene, formaldehyde, and DPB (a.k.a. the nasty stuff in your everyday nail polish). It was a little pricier than the cheap-o stuff I usually buy ($5.99) so I decided to come home first and do some research and find out if it's worth the extra dough.

I checked out their website and found out they're doing an awesome exchange for Earth Day - you send in your old nail polish (any brand, used, old, whatever) and they'll send you a brand new Zoya polish (in your chosen color) for free! You have to pay shipping & handling, which is $3 per bottle, so it comes out to 50% off each nail polish. There's a minimum of 6 bottles but no maximum. I just put in an order for 10 and I just need to get to my local post office to send in my old bottles.

I'll post when I receive my new polishes (can't wait!) but till then check it out for yourself and let me know if you participate as well!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brinner: Meal of Champions

My current favorite meal is brinner. What is brinner? Brinner is a beautiful combination of breakfast and dinner; in other words, eating delicious breakfast foods at dinner time.

Recently, organic blueberries were on sale at my local grocery store. Somehow I ended up with 4 boxes, which I probably could've eaten straight up (blueberries are one of my favorite fruits) but instead, I was inspired: blueberry pancakes! I declared it brinner night and texted Russ to bring potatoes home for his world-famous hashbrowns.

I wanted to make something a bit healthier so I found a whole-wheat blueberry pancake recipe at Cooks.com:
1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 c. 2% milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. sugar
1 c. fresh blueberries (use smaller ones if possible)
Heat to 350 degrees a pancake griddle or skillet with a nonstick surface. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Beat milk, egg, oil and sugar together. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture. Add blueberries. Stir gently just until flour is moistened. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook until covered with bubbles, flip and brown other side.

The pancakes turned out great. I tried adding chocolate chips in place of blueberries another time and they were delicious as well.

My one big tip about making pancakes is letting the pan heat up on medium heat (maybe even med-high) for several minutes before pouring the batter on, and lots of patience between turning them. The first batch or 2 takes more time as the pan, especially if the pan hasn't had a chance to heat up properly.