Monday, April 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Orange Scones

These scones are the best! I really enjoy baking them and they have turned out amazing 100% of the time. Making them now a classic in my mind. They are actually kinda fancy and would make a great gift or special treat for a guest.

We've instagram-ed our latest baking of the scones adventure. The kitchen normally isn't that 'fuzzy'! lol. 

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For the complete recipe see here

I'd rather link to the original site than copy/paste the entire thing because I know A Cozy Kitchen worked really hard on it and it wouldn't be fair to steal it like that. They have great photos too!

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Its a basic scone recipe with flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, egg, sour cream, then the goodies of chocolate chips and orange zest. Not sure if most scone recipes have you freeze the butter then grate it but this one does. And it works. 

Great.

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You gotta get your fingers dirty with this one!

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chocolate chip orange scones, homemade, baking scones, orange zest, baking orange chocolate, scones, triangle scones, chocolate chips

Yes I keep a ruler in the kitchen to measure stuff. This is a perfect example of what for. A 7.5" diameter circle and you know you've got the perfect size. Slice and bake.

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Again for the full scones recipe check it out here.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meals for the Week - April 22nd

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Happy Eating this week! 
Happy Earth Day!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Suave Keratin Infusion 30 Day Smoothing Kit review 30 days later

Since my Suave Keratin Infusion 30 Day Smoothing Kit review post has been so popular I decided to do a part 2 review - 30 days later.

Now the Keratin Kit claims to tote hair benefits for 30 days and it's now been 30 days as of yesterday since my treatment I wanted to write some more thoughts and photos for people to see.

First of all: I am totally happy and very satisfied with this keratin smoothing kit. I have nothing but good things to say. 100% happy. Yay Suave. Really.

Second of all: After I used the kit and posted this post here I read some online reviews. Yes the logical person would do research before sticking a bunch of chemicals on their head but somehow I didn't. I'm glad I did not research the heck out of this before starting. The results were a little shocking! It seems while many ladies had great experiences like myself, many others had terrible things happen. Yikes!

All I can say is make sure you read the criteria for using this carefully and follow the directions extra carefully. I was a perfect candidate what with my virgin, wavy hair and followed the directions exactly. I had no issues.

Third of all: photos!

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This photo is about day 20 after the smoothing kit was done. It still looks amazing! I typically air dry my hair/towel dry it, sleep with it damp, or rough blow dry it. Then in the morning I use this hot air styler product to get it smooth, straight and slightly curled at the bottoms. I use the exact method I had before using Suave's keratin kit but it takes about 1/4 of the time it took before.

Click this amazon link for more information about this styling tool.
Not sure what to call it exactly but it is my favorite!!!

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It looks all smooth and straight! Love my hair this texture. No more coarse, wavy, thick, strange texture like before. It used to be a mixture of straight, wavy and curly all over my head in different parts. I can now easily comb it and not have to brush it in sections just to get the knots out.

Even 30 days later there is still a huge significant difference. It has by no means gone back to the way it was 30 days ago. Not at all. Maybe if I had to say about 25% back to the way it was before. Maybe. It is still smooth & straight most of the time and is easy easy easy.
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This is after a rough blow dry on day 30 after jumping out of the shower. You can see this is sorta fuzzy and not smooth at all. But...

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A few hours later, the provided keratin smoothing cream, and about 10 minutes with my heat styling tool (still not sure what to call that thing - round heated brush thingy) and I have perfectly styled smooth, straight hair. Perfect! Sorry it's not a perfect photo though. Trust me it looks great, the photo makes it look a little weird and flat.

Finally: In review I have to say that now 31 days after using the Suave Keratin Infusion Smoothing Kit it has done its job and more. I have loved using it and 30 days later it is still giving me the benefits it claimed. I would highly recommend using this (As long as you meet the criteria mentioned on the box. Read carefully) you will love it.


To check out my first post on this topic read here.


*Again. This is not a sponsored post. Suave doesn't endorse this, they didn't pay for my product, in fact they don't even know who I am. All opinions expresses are solely my own.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Food Inspiration

As seen on yesterday's post I use the word 'Inspiration' pretty often around here. Today I thought I'd blog about food inspiration. I look read food blogs a lot and have a lot of lofty goals about what I'd like to make someday and how pretty it should be presented (for like one minute until we dig in!). 

Here are some foods I've been meaning to make for a while, or just think look cool: (click photos for links)
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My favorite food blogs:
Now for some food related inspiration. Where to eat that gorgeous food? Gorgeous dining rooms!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

semi organic blog cloud

What is this blog all about? Check out what top keywords or tags I normally blog about - in visual form! The size of the word indicates how often I use it. The bigger the word the more it's used around here. What a fun way to see what I'm all about and what tops the list? FOOD. Duh.
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I used http://www.wordle.net/ to create this genius. It's totally easy and fun.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meals for the Week - April 16th

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This week neither of us is too busy. We've got lots of time in the afternoons & evenings together to plan and make our meals together leisurely. Thus is the life of a student and semi employed. I make our menus but sometimes they'll change if I decide to stop by the store and pick up some things. Stuff will just get rearranged. The blank on Friday doesn't mean we'll be eating out. We don't eat out. Too expensive. Unless we decide to finally use that gift card we got for Christmas... hmmm.

Happy eating!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Baby robin chicks pt. 2

When I last left off I had just got photos of the baby robin chicks outside my bedroom window after they just hatched. See here. Last time I looked there were two babies. Here are some more photos of their little bird lives from days 2-5 (estimated).

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Now wait!! There are three! Guess that third triplet birdy just took his time to hatch. I think its the one on the far left - not able to hold his head up straight. Leaning on the side of the nest for support. The one in the middle is the oldest I think. He was born first and seems to get all the food.

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Look at those tiny wings with tiny feathers!
Egg still in the nest?
I spy one of those little blue eggs. Not sure what it's doing there. I think the parents normally clean out the nest of the empty shells so maybe its an unborn chick.

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Now brace yourselves for some real true life nature. If you were squeamish with those worms photos above you probably won't like this. Nature is crazy.

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The baby chick is pooping!

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Now the parent eats it.

Yep. According to this site it's totally natural for the parents to do that the first few days since something about their undeveloped digestional system and its just still food, not waste yet. Totally weird. Aren't you glad humans have diapers?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter

I'm here today to blog about my most amazing new discovery! Trader Joe's Cookie Butter. Oh how awesome this is. It's a spread, comes in a jar, looks like peanut butter and is oh so delicious.

It's basically the TJ's version of Biscoff spread which has been around for years I think overseas. The TJ's version though has a much better name and way cuter label. Thusly the entire reason I bought it - the name & packaing. I'm a sucker.

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I have no clue what speculoos is or what's it has to do with that (a type of biscuit? liquid cookie?) but this has a spicy, sweet flavor. Spicy in a cinnamon/gingerbread way. Sweet in an oh so amazing tastes good on everything way. So far I love it on toast & (banana nut) waffles. I eat it mixed with peanut butter sometimes on bread or toast or by itself.

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I store it with the nut butters and nutella - all of which are shelf stable. This cookie butter makes a nice trio with peanut butter and nutella in my pantry. It has the same constincincy as peanut butter but a slightly darker color. It's not organic but still amazing.
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trader joes, cookie butter, cookie, butter, speculoos, gingerbread, spread, biscoff

On toast (left) and plain bread (right). I highly recommend you run to you local Trader Joe's (or get a friend to ship you some if you're not lucky enough to have one nearby) and pick up a jar (or two).

Yum to the um.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Growing plant life

It's spring so that means growing things. Who doesn't love fresh home grown vegetables, fruits and just good old plants? We're lucky enough to have a large sunny window area in the back of our house with plenty of counter area for growing baby plants.

First up: avocado. Weird as it may be I'm currently (trying to) grow an avocado plant. It's really easy actually. You just eat an avocado (DONE) then use toothpicks to suspend the avocado in a cup of water until it sprouts. Here's how I did mine:


Poke toothpicks in the middle the avocado so the wide part is down and the thinner top points up. I used three to hold it on top of the glass. Peel off a little of the underside outside brown layer. This helps in sprouting. Fill a glass of water to the top and place avocado in the water. Mine took weeks to finally get a root growing. About a month or two later I have a root about 5-6" long.





The avocado will crack (this is good) and the plant will start to grow on the inside. The roots grow down and eventually a plant will start to grow up. Mine is currently almost reaching the top of the avocado and about to peek up above the pit. Some pits are duds so don't worry if this doesn't work first time for ya. Also they all grow at different rates and some start to sprout still inside the fruit and others take weeks in water to show any movement. These plants won't product fruit. These avocado plants are just for fun. Real avocado plants need to be grafted onto other plants in order to get fruit. These will just clean your home's air and look good.

Next up: herbs.

Not basal ganglia. The herb basil. We go through this stuff like crazy at our house. More so in the summer but we eat it on a lot of food. And fresh is the best!


I planted some seeds I'd gotten in a Triscuit box about a year ago. Totally random. They grew and thrived for a while. See how pretty and perfect they look here? Check back below.

Remember our aerogarden? Review here. It's been an up and down experience with this thing. Mostly I love it. Lately we had to make some drastic decisions. It was too good.

See the progression: 

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aerogarden, plant, gardening, basil, tomato, mold, plants, herbs

aerogarden, plant, gardening, basil, tomato, mold, plants, herbs

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aerogarden, plant, gardening, basil, tomato, mold, plants, herbs

Ugh. It started well then took a turn for the worse. We've gone through 3 or 4 complete Aerogarden cycles. It seems like every time towards the end the plants get too tall and some thrive while others get suffocated. Maybe we just didn't do a good enough job of pruning, although we pruned A LOT.

This time some sort of mold or fungus spread throughout the entire garden. You can see in the photos that the leaves just started to dry out and get brown and gross. The more it spread the less we could eat. In the end we had to just dump the entire thing (the plants, not the Aerogarden!). We salvaged a few of the basil leaves for dinner but that's it. It was sad to see something we put effort and work (by work I mean water a few days a week that's it) into die but it was time.

The solo basil plant from the Triscuit box also got infected. It's currently in plant ICU.

If you saw my post the other day this is what we're using the Aerogarden for now:
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I'm attempting to grow tomatoes! I love homegrown tomatoes and in true semi organic style we have not bought fresh tomatoes since last summer! 

What?

Yes we do not buy tomatoes at the grocery store unless its summer. Mostly because we've been kinda broke but also because they do not compare to fresh, local tomatoes. I'll get organic canned ones true. So homegrown in our own kitchen should be thrilling. 

Happy Spring!

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