Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Southwestern Quinoa + Avocado Hummus

You guys are in for a real treat today.  Maybe it is all the Halloween candy I am jacked up on,  but I am feeling generous and thought two recipes is always better than one.  Especially when paired together they make the perfect lunch combo.

I always have quiona on hand.  I buy the large bag at Costco that lasts forever, so I am always looking for new quiona recipes.  This one had great flavor and took no time to whip together.  We served ours as a side at a cookout and it was a big hit.  It would also be great for dinner with grilled chicken or shrimp served over top. 

As for the hummus. I am a hummus freak. I eat it everyday and most times I eat half a container in one sitting, that is how much I love it. I have made my own hummus before but never avocado hummus. The avocado with the white beans creates such a creamy, smooth,  and flavorful hummus. Seriously delicious and all you do is toss all the ingredients in a food processor- easy right??  For the past week I have been eating the quiona salad and avocado hummus with pretzel crisps for my lunch. It is the perfect lunch combo!Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

{Southwestern Quinoa}
Recipe adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

Salad Ingredients:

3/4 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed, check the package)

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 red bell pepper, chopped into small dice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 diced jalapenos

Dressing Ingredients:

2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but highly recommended) (I could not find this anywhere so I omitted)

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground Ancho chile pepper (I used regular chile powder instead)

fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Check the quinoa package to see if it needs to be rinsed (it often does) and rinse in a fine-mesh strainer if needed. Combine quinoa, water, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients.

Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears. Let beans drain until they are quite dry (or pat dry with paper towels if you want to speed it up.)

Cut out the stem and remove seeds from the red bell pepper and cut into very small dice (about the size of the black beans.) Slice the green onions into thin slices, dice the jalapenos and wash, dry, and chop the cilantro.

When the quinoa is fairly cool, combine quinoa, black beans, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onion in a bowl. Add enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (You probably won't need all the dressing, but save the extra to stir into any leftover salad that's been in the fridge.) Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.

This keeps very well in the fridge for several days. The salad absorbs the dressing when it's refrigerated, so it's best with a little more dressing stirred in when you're eating the leftover salad.

{Avocado Hummus}
Original Recipe and chalkboard photo from The Lovely Cupboard

Add the following to your food processor:

-1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed

-1 avocado, cubed

-juice from 1/2 of a lime

-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of olive oil (a lower fat option: substitute oil for juice from the beans)

-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 Blend until smooth
side note- I always drizzle my hummus with infused harrisa olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving!

On The Lovely Cupboard blog, she had the fabulous idea to plate the hummus on Pretzel crisps with Cilantro sprigs for a party.  How cute is that?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I am absolutely in love with this name plate necklace from Etsy. I have seen several options similar to this one, but the price of this necklace beats the rest.  It is only $47!!  I am ordering one for me with Sterling's name on it for sure.  This would make such a sweet gift to give a friend who just had a baby as well.

I am in love with this dress.  I have the Multi-squares version from last year and wear it all the time, it is such a great versatile dress.  I love the nude sleeves paired with the black such a classic combo.

This is me sporting my version, it really is a such a great dress, I am convinced I need the colorblock version.

I am so making these for my little man.  He is seriously obsessed with fruit chews- eats like 3 packs a day.  I always worry about how processed they are.  These look delish, even I want to eat them!

I need this blazer in my life.  It is soft (french terry cotton) and I love the color blocking detail.  Plus it is steal for a blazer.  I am actually digging this model's entire look, such a chic casual look.  Must recreate.

I spied these gorgeous glasses at the Anthropologie store opening here in Charleston last week and I have been dreaming about them ever since.  I love the pink mainly because I have a set of small pink wine glasses from my grandmother and I would love a few more for entertaining purposes.  These are supposedly for juice but I would use them for wine or liquor drinks.  They also come in clear, yellow, and green.  These would make Christmas gifts!

I really want to get this for Sterling for Christmas but dang it is expensive for a teepee!  Love the modern look of it though.  He would be so excited to see this Christmas morning.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Getting Down with Books.

As most of you know I am avid reader. I don't have much time to read during the day but I love to get into bed with a good book.   I also love reading to Sterling.   Since he was little I made it a priority to make sure we read to him each night. I think that is how children learn to love books through their parents taking the time to sit down and read to them.  Every night Matt and I each read Sterling at least one book a piece and he always asks for us to read more when we are done, which makes me smile.

 Don't worry I am not about to get all preachy in this post, although I do think it is important to read to kids and encourage them to read and use their imagination. 

 I thought it would be fun for me to share the last few books I have read and enjoyed also some of Sterling's favorites in hopes that you would recommend some new ones for us. I need a great new book to curl up with at night , and I also would love to give Sterling a few new books for Christmas, so I need ideas!

Here are the last few books I have read.  I loved them in all different ways and would recommend each of them.  Gone Girl and Wild were two surprising favorites of mine out of the bunch because they are not the types of books I typically read.   They were both awesome!   As you can see I am all over the place with my reading choices.   So, please dish what have you read recently that I need to get my hands on??

Books. Word
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6

Here are a few recent favorites of Sterling's that he insists on reading every night!  Any of these would make great gifts for little boys (or girls).   And yes we are already reading Christmas books round here:)  What other books are must haves for a soon to be three year old?

Kids Books
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6

While we are on the subject of books, oh how I dream of having a library in my house one day!  How amazing are these home libraries?  The book worm in me is swooning over all these beauties.

And because Christmas is right around the corner, here are a few coffee table books on my wishlist  I am hoping to add to my collection (hopefully Santa is reading).
Wish List Books

1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6
So please help a sista out and recommend some books for me and my little man!
Happy Monday and almost Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Green Love Affair

It all started with this picture I pinned a few weeks ago.  I became convinced I needed a pair of hunter green jeans,  so my search began.  I didn't want to spend alot of money but I wanted the pants to be a good fit at the same time.

Low and behold I found the perfect pair at Forever 21.  They are not jeans, more of a cotton blend pant but they are so so comfortable and cute on!  They sit higher on your waist and really kind of suck you in.  I do recommend ordering a size up from what you normally wear because they are pretty fitted.  I ended up with a Medium.  I plan to pair mine with a loose white blouse and knee high boots or TB flats.  They seriously feel like you are wearing pajamas.
So the pants got me started on a green love affair and the more I looked,  the more I realized it is hard to find clothes in Hunter or Emerald Green.  I think those are the two shades of green that are most flattering on everybody.  Why don't more people make stuff in those two colors? 
I rounded up a few of my favorites:

So tell me do you love this shade of green as much as I do?  I am on the hunt for some more pieces but trust me on the pants they are worth the $19!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts For Thursday

I can't tell you how excited I was to see this peek of Jessica and Justin's wedding day on the cover of People.  I really like them together and can't wait to devour this issue.  I think she looks stunning and I read he played the guitar and serenaded her as she walked down the aisle (tear,  so sweet).

Has anyone heard of the Kid Fresh line before?  I stumbled upon this while aimlessly browsing at Harris Teeter yesterday while Sterling was in school- ah the joys of grocery shopping alone.  Anyways it is a kid line that has hidden veggies in the food.  I served Sterling the mac and cheese that had carrots mixed in last night for dinner and he gobbled it up.  Now I know, some of you are thinking you could just puree carrots and do that yourself,  but I am too lazy this is way easier. (Mel this is precisely why your baby food line will rock!)

I just found the perfect little black shift dress (and statement necklace too).    This dress is on its way to me and I just adore it, especially the exposed zipper in the back.  Of course I had to have the necklace to go with it.  Great Fall Outfit.

My latest book I am reading from the Library is Andy Cohen's "Most Talkative".  This book has been pretty funny and I have loved all the gossip on the Housewives in it.  If you are obsessed with the Housewives likes me you should check this book out.   It is a great easy breezy read.  Plus how can you not love Andy?

Thanks to my friend Katie I think I found the light fixture for Sterling's room.  She sent me this link from Land of Nod and I am sold.  This light is adorable and super affordable.    It looks similar to the Sputnik but I like that it is a more kid friendly version.
{Up and Atom Chandelier}

I am obsessed with the new Mumford and Sons CD, Babel.  If you loved their first CD you must buy this one.  Every single song is good.  It currently on repeat in my car (I love songs 1,6, and 10).

We got some sad news this week that one of my friends fathers passed away.  It got me thinking alot about things and how we need to really embrace and appreciate our time on Earth for it is fleeting.   We need to tell our families we love them everyday.   It made me realize things quite often don't go the way we had planned them but we have to trust God and his master plan.  I ask for you all to say a little prayer for my sweet friend during this difficult time to give her strength to get through this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

If you are like me you may have seen this recipe floating around the blogasphere and thought,  dang I need to make that!  The original recipe comes from Marina's gorgeous blog Yummy Mummy- a must read if you don't already check out her recipes.  Marina makes healthy delicious meals all accompanied by beautiful photographs and she is coming out with a cookbook soon!   I originally saved this recipe from Marina's blog then saw my girl Natasha gave it raving reviews so I knew I needed to try it.  I made a few adaptions to the recipe to make it spicier because we love some flavor in the Mason Household.  I adored this meal, like seriously I am dreaming about leftovers.  Best part is this is such a healthy meal packed with flavor.  The sauce on it is made with Greek Yogurt not sour cream and it is filled with veggies.    Please make this dish you will not be disappointed!!

{Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas}
Adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen ( I denoted my changes in pink)
Serves 4

2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash (12-ounces, or about 1 small-medium peeled, seeded squash) - I used the pre diced kind saves so much time and arm strength!

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

15 ounces cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

2 jalapenos seeded and diced

Tabasco Green Sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more cilantro for garnish

12 ounces jarred or fresh mild green salsa

1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (such as Chobani)

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

Queso Fresco Crumbled

8 corn tortillas (I used Flour Tortillas)

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1 cup low fat sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cubed butternut squash on a large baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper and Chili Powder. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together roasted butternut squash, beans, chopped onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. In another medium bowl, stir together salsa and yogurt and several dashes Tabasco green sauce

Pour a thin layer of the salsa sauce over the bottom of 10" x 7" casserole dish. The 10x7-inch dish is perfect for corn tortillas, but an 8-inch square baking dish would work as well. Place 1/3 cup of the squash and bean mixture into each tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese and roll up. Place seam-side-down in the baking dish. Continue until all the squash mixture is used up. Pour the remaining salsa sauce over the top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese has melted and starting to brown in places, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream and avocado.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sterling's Big Boy Room Reveal

Instead of my normal Obsessions Post today I thought I would switch gears and go ahead and show you Sterling's Big Boy Room.  I have hyped it up so much now you are all probably sick of hearing about it.  I knew I wanted to create a space that was not babyish and had no theme (ugh I hate themed rooms).  I wanted it to be a space he grow into for many years.

I am pretty darn proud of the space and how I transformed it.  I had more fun designing this space than his nursery.  Best part is I really didn't spend too much money on anything.  I worked with alot of pieces we already had and just moved things around in our house.  One thing that is still not complete is the overhead light.  I am saving to get a Sputnik and when I do I will post pictures (so just use your imagination its gonna look fab) but it may be awhile what with the holidays right around the corner, mama needs to be saving for gifts. 

  Photographing a small room is hard as heck.  It was impossible to get good angles, but here we go!

The bed was Matt's grandparents and worked perfect because it was low to the ground. I was originally going to paint it decided I loved all the dark wood for a little boy room and he can totally grow into it and use this furniture for years. The frog was a gift from my mom before Sterling was born and he insists on sleeping with it everynight!

The ottoman was my parents and I just had the top recovered.  It is awesome because the top comes off and I can store toys inside.  Sterling also uses it as kind of a step stool to climb into his bed!

This is the view directly across from Sterling's bed.  His room is super small but the space works perfect for him.

The wood cabinet was a piece that was in our guest room.  I decided to move it because I liked the wood paired with his bed.

I have come to realize that bookcases are impossible to arrange or maybe I just suck at it.  I will never be totally happy with how these look but for now this works.

Sterling is still not potty trained so I decided to leave his changing table in his room for now.  I removed the top pad and just change him on the bed now but I still use the inside for diaper and health care storage. I moved the snakeskin mirror from our foyer because I loved the idea of it in a little boys room.   Eventually I would like a small Campaign dresser for this space or a Lucite desk that he could use as he gets older and has homework.

So there you have it, a masculine yet playful room that hopefully Sterling can grow into for years to come! 

Paint Color:  Benjamin Moore:  Toasted Walnut
Rug: HomeGoods (Similar Here)
Bed: Antique
Whale Sheets: Pottery Barn Kids (no longer available)
White Coverlet and Shams: Homegoods
Monogrammed Pillow: Monogram done at O'Connor Monogramming
Ottoman: Hand me Down
Abstract Art:  Sally King Benedict
Animal Art Prints:  Estate Sale Score, Frames from Micheals
White Lamp:  Homegoods
3 Sprouts Elephant Storage Bin:  Sugar Snap Pea or
Eames Rocker: Consignment
Love You Pillow: Purchased in Pawleys Island at store called Breathe
Bookcase: My dad made
Changing Table: My dad made
3 Sprouts Seal Diaper Caddy: Sugar Snap Pea or