How to decorate your home: Four easy tips

One of my favorite hangout spots is my apartment. I literally can spend all weekend at home chilling on the couch, with good food and wine of course. As you may already know, I am a home buddy and I like my place to be comfortable and stylish since I spend so much time in it. 
Some people find decor intimidating but it can be a lot of fun. If you are searching for ways to give your home a little beauty and style, I have four items that can help you do just that. 
Four home decor must haves


1. Flowers: These are a great way to give your home instant beauty and freshness.You can put them on your dining table, side table or your coffee table. I love to have flowers in my bathroom too. I know what you are thinking, flowers are expensive Agnes. If like me you can not afford to buy fresh flowers every week, dried flowers are good option, but no fake flowers guys...too tacky

2. Candles: I am so obsessed with candles so much that I have them in every room. Candles are a great way to make your home warm and inviting. Nowadays they have all sorts of designs and fragrances to choose from which is great. Place a candle on your coffee table, burn it while relaxing and you will find it very calming. 

3. Artwork : A beautiful painting is a sure way to bring life to your walls. The important thing when choosing paintings is to make sure the size is in proportion to your wall. You don't want a 6 foot frame in a tiny apartment because it will make the room appear smaller and crowded. 

4. Throw Pillows: If you don't have throw pillows I suggest you head out to the store right now and grab some. These will give an instant comfy cozy feel to your home while being very practical. Use them to accessorize your couch or bed, just remember to pick fun designs and colors. 

Now that you have your home decor basics, I would love to know what your favorite home decor accessory is ?

Meatless Monday : Easy Zucchini Fritters

I am happy to report that my meatless Monday's have been a success and I am actually thinking of adding a second day. I am finding that vegetarian food is full of flavor and so much fun to cook. On the meatless menu this week were zucchini fritters served with a eggplant black bean curry and arugula. These fritters are very easy to prepare and they are so yummy that I almost ate all of them. 


Ingredients

2 medium size zucchini
2 spring onions thinly sliced
1 carrot
2 small eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
olive oil 

Directions

- Grate zucchini into a bowl and mix with 1 tsp salt. 


- Place zucchini in a clean dish cloth and let stand for about 10 - 15 minutes then squeeze out water from the zucchini. 


- Meanwhile thinly slice 2 spring onions. 


- Add onions, carrots and beaten eggs to zucchini then add flour and baking powder. Add freshly ground pepper and mix . 


- Heat a large griddle pan then add about a table spoon of olive oil. Spoon zucchini mixture into pan and flatten with a fork. Cook each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown .


- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, sour cream or make a meal of it like I did. 

Garlic and herb hummus


 Yesterday while watching The Kitchen on the food network channel, they had this interesting segment where they would ask if it is better to buy some foods at the store or make them at home.They tried a few things like salsa, barbecue sauce and the one that caught my eye was the home made hummus. I have always wanted to make this dish at home and after I saw how easy it was I knew I had to try it. 

Hummus originated from the middle east and is simply a food dip or spread made from mashed chickpeas mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. This healthy dish makes a perfect dip for tortilla or pita chips, veggies and can be incorporated into meals in various ways.                        
Ingredients 
1 can chick peas
1 can cannellini beans
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp cilantro
 2 tbsp olive oil 
salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
Puree' all ingredients in a large blender, add more olive oil if mixture is too thick. Store in a air tight container and refrigerate. Mine lasted for a little over a week.



Product review: Trader Joe's Quinoa Bread

One of my favorite things to do is grocery shopping and I am not ashamed to admit that I would rather go grocery shopping than hang out at the hottest club in town. There is something about picking avocados at the veggie section or finding a nice fillet of Salmon on sale in the meat section that just brings me joy. Ok, maybe I have issues but there are worse things in life.


I have decided to start a weekly review of my grocery store finds and this week Trader Joe's Quinoa bread is in the spotlight. I found this quinoa bread by accident while looking for some french bread in the store. This bread has a nutty flavor and the protein rich quinoa provides extra nutrition and a unique taste. Even my picky boyfriend said it is the best bread he has had in a while. 

Overall I was impressed with the bread and will give it 4 stars!


I love my quinoa bread with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for a simple yummy breakfast. 


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Paprika chicken with green beans

For those cold winter days some comfort food is all you need. This Paprika chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy is perfect for a simple Sunday dinner.


Ingredients
4 small chicken breasts
3 cups haricot vert aka french green beans
1/2 a sweet onion sliced
4 cloves garlic
1 spring fresh rosemary
1 plum tomato roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp Peruvian barbecue seasoning
1 tsp paprika
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions 
- Season chicken with Peruvian barbecue seasoning, or spice of your choice 
- heat a large pan and add olive oil
- Cook chicken on both sides until golden brown. 
- Add onions, garlic, beans and cook for 2 minutes then add tomatoes, salt and  pepper
- After 1 minute when beans are bright green and still crunchy remove from heat and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy