Table design with Wayfair and Boston Bloggers

The holidays are almost here and that means plenty of dinner parties with friends and family. One of my favorite things to do is host dinner parties and I love the table design aspect of it. 
I recently attended a Boston blogger event at the Wayfair offices and one of my favorite sessions was the table decor tutorial by Style me Pretty's Abby Larson. I learnt that table decor doesn't have to be expensive and that incorporating nature to your table is a fun way to do it. I never thought spraying a small brunch of leaves with copper paint like you see on the table below would look so good. 


The use of flowers in table decor has been practiced for ages and will never go out of style. When using flowers make sure they don't have a strong scent as this can take away from the meal. 


When decorating your table try using unexpected pieces like small animal ornaments or unique napkin holders. 


Does table design matter to you during the holidays? I would love to hear from you

Roasted Potatoes and Brocolli recipe

What do you do when you have potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes....you make my delicious roasted potatoes and broccoli dish. There is nothing fancy about this recipe however its delish factor is very high and its perfect for those nights were you don't want to fuss. The potatoes are roasted with garlic, rosemary and then mixed with sauteed' onions, peppers and broccoli. Serve with your favorite fish, chicken or steak.


Ingredients
3 large  peeled and cubed Yukon gold potatoes
1 small head broccoli 
2 quartered tomatoes
1/2 medium red pepper 
1/2 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp sliced fresh chives
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tsp curry powder
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper


Directions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season potatoes with salt, pepper, curry powder and mix with half the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a shallow roasting pan topped with the rosemary. Potatoes should cook for about 40 minutes.
- Set aside roasted potatoes and heat a large skillet with olive oil. 
- Cook onions for 2 minutes till translucent then add remaining garlic, broccoli and peppers. Cook veggies for about 5 minutes till broccoli is soft and slightly crunchy.
- Add tomatoes, potatoes and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top with fresh chives and serve immediately.


simply delicious!

Easy Rice Pilaf Recipe

Rice is one of the most versatile ingredients because you can have it plain boiled, steamed, fried or even baked. I love it so much that I have it at least twice a week from brown rice to sticky rice.
Sometimes you may be craving a seasoned rice but don't want to do all the work that comes with cooking fried rice. Making a rice Pilaf is the best way to make plain rice more interesting without the added hassle.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cubanelle pepper chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
olive oil
1 tsp butter

Method
- Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and butter.
- Cook onions, garlic and pepper for about 2 minutes until onions are translucent.
-  Add rice to onion mix and cook for about 3 minutes until rice is slightly toasted and coated in oil. This step is important as it gives the rice its nutty flavor.
-  Pour chicken broth, reduce heat, cover pot and cook rice for about 15 minutes or until rice is soft and broth is completely absorbed.
- Rice Pilaf is great served with fish and it is also good with any protein like grilled chicken, steak etc.


Goodbye summer, hello hearty stews : Tips on buying the right meat

I am sad to say goodbye to summer but as much as I loved the bright and light meals I am looking forward to the hearty meals that cold weather brings. Think of delicious chicken soup, spicy chili served with warm crusty bread or a hearty beef stew with rice...yum. 
The next time you are sulking about cold weather why not head to the market and grab ingredients for your favorite stew, serve it in a cute bowl, grab a soft throw blanket, turn on your favorite TV show and pour yourself a nice glass of red wine. Love it!
Tips on buying the right meat
Always buy fresh meat and make sure the meat is bright red not brown as that is a sign of stale meat. The texture of the meat should be firm and moist, if its silky and slimy it is past its prime. Another great indicator of good meat is smell. If it does not smell fresh do not buy it even if the sale price is tempting. 

If you are not sure what cuts to buy for your stew or braised meat, I have a few examples for you below...happy shopping!
- Short ribs
- Shank
- Oxtail (try it, its delicious)
- Chuck
- Top round 
- Bottom round roast
Stay tuned for great fall and winter recipes like the this delicious beef stew above. 

Coconut curry chicken wraps

Last week I made pancakes from leftover mashed potatoes and this week I am making chicken wraps from leftover roast chicken as part of my no waste campaign. There are so many things to do with left over roast chicken like chicken soup and one of my favorite is chicken wraps. 
I found this coconut curry chicken wrap recipe on whole foods.com and it has become a regular in my kitchen. The combination of green curry paste and coconut elevates the flavor of these wraps.  
Ingredients
2 cups cooked chicken
2 strips cooked turkey bacon diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 green onions thinly sliced
1 handful cilantro
1 avocado diced
1 handful of cherry tomatoes sliced
2 tbsp green curry paste
2/4 cup coconut milk
2 cups lettuce
4 flour tortillas

Method
- Mix coconut milk and green curry paste in a large bowl until smooth then add chicken, bacon, onions, carrots, cilantro and stand for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine. 
- Fill warmed tortillas with chicken mixture followed by lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and a little Sriracha sauce if you you like it spicy. 
- These are great with homemade carrot ginger juice and apples for a healthy lunch or just by themselves for a quick dinner.