Sunday, October 20, 2013

Apple Crisp!

Guys! I made apple crisp for the first time the other night! and I remembered to take pictures of the process, which I'm pretty proud of myself for. As mentioned before in one of my posts, I don't really follow recipes, but it tasted really good!

Start with apples! These were from our apple picking trip a couple of weeks ago.

Peel your apples! If you have a small pan, just peel a few, but keep in mind they they will get smaller when cooking, so make sure you have enough apples to pile your pan high.

Core your apples! Careful not to accidentally cut yourself like I did (stabbed myself actually, right in the palm ouch!)

Slice those apples up!

Now I didn't take a picture of a couple of the steps sorry! Basically what you do is toss your sliced apples with some flour, sugar, and apple pie spice and put them in your pan. Then make a mixture of oats, melted butter, a little flour, sugar, and apple pie spice, and cover the apples with it. 

Then cook your crisp at 350 degrees for an hour or so. Then let it cool a little, top it off with vanilla ice cream if you're into that sort of thing, and dig in!

After this first attempt of mine was successful, and I realized how easy apple crisp is, I experimented and made another for my cousin's baby shower. I did it without sugar (honey instead) and added cranberries to the crumble mixture. One thing that I didn't do this second time around that I should have, was cover it with foil at the beginning to let the apples cook, then take it off to let the top crisp. I'm not sure why this one was different than the first one, probably something to do with not using sugar, or something like that. Anyways just a little tip. Besides being pretty crispy on the top everyone at the shower really liked it and that made me really happy.

After the baby shower, my mom and I went to an apple cider pressing party at one of her co-worker's houses, and it was such a blast! What a better way to get all the man power needed to make cider than to invite all your friends over for a pot luck? I can definitely see myself owning a press in the future and having awesome autumn parties like the one I attended. The cider tasted great too.

I feel like this will definitely become one of my go to dishes for a simple and healthy(ish) dessert. Have a wonderful week!

Naomi Odlin

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Etsy Love: Baby Edition

So my cousin is having her first child later this year, a girl, and I simply adore children, I mean I'm a nanny it's kind of in the job description. She's having a shower on Sunday, so of course I have been obsessing over everything in the baby section of Etsy. Though it's probably too late to order anything, I still can't help but look and fall in live with it all! Here I'll share some things I love, that I just picked out, favorited before in hopes of getting it for my niece, or just something that I plan to get for my future children. I hope you like them and think everything is as cute as I do!

Peas in a pod, like OMG.

I think everyone in the 90s had a Stacking toy.

I'm a geek and I am totally putting this Star Wars sign on my car when I have a kid.

Cute and simple elephant puzzle.

I mentioned I'm a geek right? And a huge Trekky. And Spock makes a cute doll.

What a happy pull horse!

I love this little camera for a little photographer.

Waldorf dolls are just the sweetest.

Well there you have it. And by now you've probably picked up on my Etsy obsession. I could be on that site for days without being bothered. For my cousin's shower though, I think my mom and I are going to get a couple things off her registry and then maybe pop down to a local shop and grab a cute handmade stuffed animal or toy. Oh babies are such fun! 

Have a wonderful week everyone, I'll get into the habit of posting more often one day I'm sure of it!

Naomi Odlin

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Paint Sample Banners.

A couple of weeks ago we repainted a lot of our house, so of course when we went to the local paint store I had to grab tons of paint samples. It's just a thing I do, mainly because I love using them for art projects! I remember doing a mosaic in high school for an art class using them, and people seemed to liked it.

My mom's birthday was on Sunday, and Saturday night I decided that I should make these banners that I had been planning in my head to use for a 'happy birthday' sign! So I put on some indie rock (Yellow Ostrich Pandora station) and got to work.

I started out with a bunch of different green and blue samples. I decided to stick with the same color scheme instead of making the banners more like rainbows.

Next I cut out a bunch of hearts. I did it by hand, giving them an imperfect look, though I might think about getting a stencil or punch for the future, but the hand cut look does look nice too!

Then using my needle I pre-poked two holes in each heart.

Using a thick white thread, I strung the hearts, tying knots about two inches apart, but I just eyeballed it. You can make them as long or short, as closely strung or as far as you want, this is a very simple a project that can be customized just to your liking. 

As you can see, my hearts are quite rough, with the words sometimes included. I wasn't looking for perfection, I think they look great just they way they are!

Here is the  final product! I also made a simple little 'happy birthday' sign using similar colors to the banners. I did one with triangles! My mom liked the display and said it was cute. I'm going to hang on to these to put up for birthdays in the future!

Now it's time to apologize for my photos. A lot of the time the lighting in them is awful. Especially on this post, I don't know what it is but this house is not made for taking pictures! Next time I'll have to do some editing before I upload them, have patience I beg of you haha. 

I hope some of you grab paint samples next time you find yourself in a Lowe's or wherever and try out some sort of project like this, I know that I'm going to make many more with lots of colors! Have a terrific Tuesday.

Naomi Odlin

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Most Versatile Product Ever (In my Opinion)

Baking soda. That little box you have in your cupboard for making cakes and cookies should actually be let out more often and used in many more rooms than just the kitchen. It can be used to clean many products, deodorize, and do a multitude of other things, like make a volcano!

I'll list a few different uses that I have incorporated into my life, as well as a few that I haven't used yet but probably will very soon.

1. Toothpaste. It doesn't taste very good, but you could add some peppermint oil to it if it's really that big of a problem. It also helps whiten your teeth! I just wet my toothbrush and dip it into my container every once in a while when I get fed up with toothpaste.

2. Shampoo. Normal shampoos strip your hair of it's natural oils, and then conditioner puts them back (but they aren't natural of course), so instead I just use baking soda to get rid of excess oils and grim. Then I do an apple cider vinegar rinse in place of using conditioner. It makes your hair shiny and smooth, and it's not full of confusing chemicals you can't pronounce. Baking soda can also be used as a dry shampoo, if you're into that sort of thing.

3. Cleaning. Baking soda can cut through almost any dirt and grim, whether it's in the kitchen, bathroom, or outside. Soaking things, or just scrubbing using baking soda instead of soap can really cut down on elbow grease, and any harsh chemicals that you might normally use (which aren't usually save for ingestion if you're using them in the kitchen). It can also be used as a laundry detergent.

4. Deodorize. Whether it's your shoes, armpits, car, litter box, or fish filled cooler, baking soda will help eliminate odors! It has something to do absorbing the smells or something, but all I know is when I wear my boat shoes without socks they get very stinky, so I sprinkle some baking soda in them and place them on my window sill. They smell clean the next time I wear them!

5. Camping. Baking soda is a great thing to bring the next time you go camping, because it can be used for so many different things, but it also won't pollute the environment (usually you can only use biodegradable soaps and things, which can be pretty expensive). Use it to wash your hands, clean your dishes, brush your teeth, deodorize yourself and your cooler (don't want any bears to smell your food), put out your fire, and many other things.

6. Fruit and vegetable cleaner. You know how everyone tells you to wash your fruits and vegetables after you buy them so you get off all the harsh pesticides that they are sprayed with? Well just running them under the water for five seconds doesn't do the trick. Even if you buy organic or pesticide free food, it's still a good idea to clean them before eating, just because they could be dirty or other people could have handled them before you bought them. One way to clean your fruits and vegetables would be just to scrub them with warm water and baking soda! There are other methods when you can soak them in water and vinegar. which is suppose to also help them not go bad as quickly, but I haven't tried this method yet.

So there are six (really a lot more) different uses for baking soda! I have used almost all of these methods myself, and not only do they tend to work very well, they also can make you feel good about not using harsh chemicals around your house. Take that cleaning corporations! Also baking soda is so wicked cheap, one time I bought two normal sized boxes for a buck, that it's not even fair. So you might as well buy an extra box next time you go to the grocery store, even if it is just to open and put in your fridge so it smells nice (or your brother/son's bathroom).

Vinegar also has tons of uses as well, maybe some time down the road I'll do a post about that! Thanks for reading, enjoy the amazing summer-like weather we've been having.

Naomi Odlin

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


So now you all get a little insight into how my mind works when I decide to cook.

Earlier this summer, I was really craving the vegan four bean chili from my school, so I decided to make some myself. We always have tons of cans of beans in our cupboard, so I sort of just put them all in a pot, with tomatoes and spices, and it was delicious! Whenever I'm trying a new recipe, or there's something I want to make, or we just have a bunch of a random ingredient that I simply want to get rid of, I usually head to Google or Pinterest to find a recipe. However, I don't actually follow the recipes usually, I sort of just get the main idea such as temperatures and times, then go off and do my own thing. Sometimes it works out great, other times I probably should have followed the recipe a little closer. But that's just how I cook, I'm sorry if anyone out there is horrified by not following instructions. I'm more experimental I suppose.

A couple days ago, when I got home from my new nannying job (now I have three!) I wanted to make chili for dinner, but I was also very tired so I didn't make this one as intense as I usually would. I didn't want to go through the emotional process of cutting onions (because they make you cry, get it??) so I nix them. We have way too many green peppers from our garden so I chopped a bunch of those, and we got tons of tomatoes from a friend (our tomatoes didn't do so well this season unfortunately) so I used those as well as some canned tomatoes.

Now before someone yells at me for using canned beans and food, I know it's probably not the best thing to use however they are quick and easy to use, and I don't really see anything wrong with using canned food, I mean people can things in their kitchen right? Maybe one day I'll see the light and stop using cans, however let me do this for now okay? Thanks.

Moving on! Here are some pictures of the chili making process, I actually remembered to document it this time around, I'm so proud of myself.

Add as many or as little beans as you want. I also add corn if we have any. I did peas one time because we had some frozen in the freezer and I just wanted to get rid of them. You could even add carrots or zucchini or any vegetables you want to I guess. And meat if you're into that sort of thing. I think chicken would work best.

Mix them all together, no water needed! The juices from the tomatoes are enough. I add a little olive oil as well. Put that pot on high!

While the pot is coming to a boil, I add tons of spices. I don't measure or limit myself to only using certain types of spices. I'm the type of cook that cooks with her nose, if it smells good I'll add it! Notice how I have no hot spices, my mom isn't big on spicy, though I am.

Get it to a good boil, then turn the temperature down to medium or medium low. Stir occasionally. Let it cook anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half. I really think it just matters how hungry you are, how much you want all the flavors infused, and how it looks.

I turn my chili off when most of the water has evaporated (I tend to leave the cover off most of the time it's cooking) and everything is a nice brownish color. It just looks sort of gross because all the colors and flavors have infused!

Add cheese if you want to, stir, and enjoy! I ate way too much chili that night, but I can't limit myself I just love it so much. This is even a good recipe to make with kids since all you really do is put the ingredients in a pot then let it cook for a long time and that's it.

This is definitely my go to recipe. It has a lot of protein, and as a vegetarian it's good that I get as much of that as I can. You could even put this over pasta or quinoa if you wanted to, it's pretty versatile! Do you have any recipes you could use four days a week if you really wanted to? Let me know!

Naomi Odlin