Monday, April 26, 2010

Lazy Girl Stuffed Shells In The Kitchen


It may look unkempt and dishevelled (and boy howdy it is) but it’s also falls under my three favourite categories: simple, super fast and oh-so-tasty. I call it “lazy girl stuffed shells” because it takes all the work out of stuffing those little suckers and allows you to just chuck it all together in a casserole dish easy peasy.

IMG_2837IMG_2840 I love anything that only takes one bowl to prepare and mix. This recipe is also great because it’s very interchangeable for veggie ingredients and that’s handy when your a busy mom or just didn’t have time to go to the store that day. You just use what you have on hand, pretty much anything goes and you’re still guaranteed a yum-in-the-tum meal. Some chopped veggies, ricotta cheese, cooked pasta, spices and your on your way. Sneak a few mouth-fulls before adding the egg just to hold yourself over.


My simple glass casserole dish is my bestest friend, it makes my life leaps and bounds easier. Left-overs can be covered up right in the dish and put in the fridge-no fumbling with annoying tupperware. And because it’s a glass dish, I can throw it right into the dishwasher for easy clean up when I’m done instead of pruning my fingers and breaking a sweat scrubbing over a hot and soapy water filled sink. I swear to you all, my loyal followers, there’s no better friend than the glass casserole dish.

IMG_2846This is what it looks like for me fresh out of the oven. I like my cheese semi-burnt so I broil it at the very end for a few minutes just to get that dark crispy look. The smell will fill your house with an intoxicating aroma that will attract everyone to the kitchen with the same general question, “When’s dinner ready?”


Served with a light salad or some garlic bread is the cherry on top. As much as I love cruising for recipes online, professional sites never really portray photos of “real home cooked meals.” They always look so perfect and Martha Stewart-esque and mine never end up looking like the pictures. This is what a real made-with-love meal looks like to me.


2 cups small shell pasta (I cheated and used rotini but shells are much more fun to use)

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1 jar pasta sauce

1 onion diced

4-5 cloves minced garlic

1 diced pepper (red is most typical but any will really work)

1/2 tbsp oregano

1/2 tbsp basil

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 tbsp salt

1/2 tbsp pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook small shells in medium pot until just under cooked. Meanwhile in a medium bowl mix (well drained) spinach, onion, garlic, pepper, spices. When pasta is cooked add it to the bowl along with ricotta cheese and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

In your beloved casserole dish spread half the jar of pasta sauce along the bottom of the dish. Evenly pile your pasta mixture on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining pasta sauce over the top of the pasta mix and spread evenly. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and cover with foil.

Bake for 55-60 minutes in oven. Remove foil and broil for 3-5 minutes if desired.

Let cool before serving. Finally, yell out, “Dinner time!” and duck and cover to avoid being trampled by the stampede of hungry loved ones.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spot of Tea? Pip Pip Cheerio!

I am a self-confessed tea-aholic. Tea always seems to know just what to do to make my day brighter. It’s hugs me when I’m sad, it helps me fall asleep when I’m restless, it wakes me up when I’m groggy, it makes books more enjoyable, it makes annoyances more tolerable and it just plain makes life pleasant. It’s always there for me when I need it.

So what better setting to sip your tea than at a tea party?

Some people have different ideas on what a tea party looks like but for me, a tea party is a celebration of women; the perfect opportunity to put every once of estrogen you have to work and unleash your inner girly girl. Polished clothes, dainty finger foods, the smell of sweet florals in your perfume and of course, elegant tea cups are all the main ingredients for a ladylike tea party.

I would like to invite you all to my blog tea party. Cream and sugar anyone?

tea teatin

teatreats flowers


9578-1 lanvin

daisy teamiu miu mary janeteaparty

louboutinheelsbeautiful spring veil

What are your thoughts on tea and tea parties? Is it a life saver for you like it is for me or do you see it more as something your grandmother drinks and you want no part of? If you love it like me what’s your favorite kind? I love most types but peppermint or ginger with lemon are both my absolute favs.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Traditional Contemporary Living Room Design Scheme

I love something about every style of design and that doesn't end at contemporary. This style when done correctly has a refined class to it without being stuffy or froo froo. This is my interpretation of a contemporary living space. The furnishings are from crate & barrel, restoration hardware, pottery barn, stacaro, ikea and west elm and the paint is all benjamin moore. If you would like any specifics comment on this post and I will respond via commenting.

What's your favorite design style? Contemporary, modern, traditional, eclectic? Please share!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This Pure Girl Moment Brought To You By Sex and the City 2

Time for another "girl moment" break. If you are as excited as me about the Sex and the City 2 movie then you will appreciate the following pictures. They make me sigh with pleasure, so glamorous. Soak it in ladies.

Curried Lentil Soup In The Kitchen

I recently discovered this Indian dish while scavenging my kitchen cupboards-the day before my next grocery shop- for the ingredients to put together a whole meal and I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome. This is incredibly easy to make, has tons of flavor and is also extremely good for you because it's packed with fiber-what more could a gal ask for? Curry isn't everyone's cup of tea but I can't get enough of it so if your anything like me you should give this a try. And for all you skeptics, my fella isn't a fan of curry either but even he will wolf this down before I can blink. I'm guessing that means it's not too overwhelming of a curry taste. Let's have a look at how the magic happens.

The day before I do my food shop my cupboards are a baron wasteland but I had all these things on hand even then, so this is a great "in a pinch" recipe for those hectic days. It's all really simple things most people find in their pantries; a can of lentils, salt, bay leaves, curry, some chili oil and flakes, red onion and garlic. Pretty straight forward overall.

Not only is it easily accessible but it's super fast to make as well. A quick saute of onion and garlic in the chili oil (or olive oil if you prefer) and then just mixing the other ingredients on top to simmer.

If I want the soup to go a little further or bring down the curry flavor a notch, I'll mix in some vegetable broth which still tastes great but works wonders for adjustments in amount and taste.

Being a vegetarian I stick to all vegetable related broths but if you wanted to make this even heartier, you could add some chicken to this when you saute and use a chicken broth rather than vegetable for extra flavor. I'm sure it would taste fabulous too but it really doesn't need it and keeping it vegetarian is also budget friendly.

Bay leaves are the last piece of this tasty puzzle. By now your house should be smelling delectable and you should be feeling a mild rumbling in your tummy. Don't panic, that's just your stomach to preparing itself for what's to come. Follow your stomach, it always knows best!

Toasted naan bread is the perfect companion for this Indian dish. Last instructions are as follows: dip.... bite.... repeat 'til stuffed.

1 can Lentils drained
1-2 cans Curry Paste (or powder mixed with broth)
1/2 Red Onion diced
2-4 Cloves Garlic minced
1 tbsp Chili Oil (or Olive oil based on spicy preference)
2 tsp Chili Flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Bay Leaves
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Vegetable Broth (optional)
Naan bread (optional)

In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until fragrant and softened-about 3-5 minutes.
Add lentils, curry paste, chili flakes and broth if using it. Stir thoroughly then sprinkle salt and bay leaves. Let simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and serve hot with a piece of toasted naan bread. A dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt works wonders as a garnish for this dish too.

Ahh.... now that your stomach has been deliciously appeased, it's back to the 'ole grind for you and your furry friends...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hamptons Shingle Style Homes

These homes have such a light warmth and upbeat cheeriness to them. To own a home in the Hamptons is pretty much a given amongst the rich and elite. The shingle style homes take on a rustic weather-beaten appearance in attempt to suggest a comfortable and informal look. However, these homes are anything but humble and not meant for just regular working joe folk like you and me. Wealthy folks get to enjoy varying looks such as turrets, gambrel roofs, Palladian and transom windows, shingles on siding and roof, porches, cross gables, irregular roof lines and the list goes on. Let's have a look at some of these styles and inevitably let out a few oohs and ahhs in the process.

These shots show you some of the fabulous wood work moldings around the windows and framing. These details are pivotal for achieving the shingle style look.

I'm a big supporter of both the grey and brown shingled homes with white trim. This picture shows a great example of a porch at its best.

This style roof is what is known as a gambrel roof. I love the adorable curves and country feel.

Seen here is a great example of the irregular roof line commonly found on these homes.

These two homes are shining examples of the cross gables features.

Another great shot of the gambrel roof line and porch.

This style of home displays the irregular roof lines, a turret, eaves on several levels, Palladian windows, transom windows and the porch. This one is the whole she-bang!

I think most house lovers recognize this masterpiece right away. This was Diane Keaton's home in the film Something's Gotta Give. Julia over at Hooked On Houses or Cote De Texas both do great jobs touring this house.

This gorgeous home was used in the film Grey Gardens. The flowers and shutters make my heart pitter-patter.

This eye catcher is the East Hamptons home to comedian Jerry Seinfeld after purchasing it from singer Billy Joel. The 12 acre waterfront property features a 22 car garage and baseball diamond. How much you ask? Jerry threw down a cool $32 million to live it up in style with his wife Jessica and kids in these larger than life digs.

Now let's mosey on inside and check out the interiors of these fabulous homes:
This summery living room is making me crave a glass of lemonade or a slice of pineapple. This room has breath taking beams, light colour palette, wood floors and transom windows.

Just take it in!

I think this kitchen would fit perfectly into a Hamptons style home.

Ahh the window seat, does anything top it?

A very important step when going for the Hamptons look is the use of wood -not iron- on the railings and great informal fixtures like this lantern style pendant.

More great use of the lantern pendants.

Transom windows on three walls and french doors really lighten up the space.

This is the dining room from the film Something's Gotta Give.

Erica's amazing bedroom in the film.

This room doesn't need an introduction.

This kitchen was inspired by the SGG movie and I think it nailed it.

Breezy and beautiful!