Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles

blog 007

Stephen and I both love Asian inspired dishes, and I was excited to give this one a try. It’s such an easy dinner and it uses staple ingredients that we always have in the house, which is always a plus. We both loved this recipe.

blog 008

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles 

Recipe from Buns In My Oven

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

12 oz Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti

1-2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes (2 Tbsp will be very spicy)

1/2 Cup Sesame Oil

3 Tbsp Honey

6 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Peanut Butter

*Green Onions, Chopped Peanuts, or Chopped Cilantro for topping. I didn’t have these on hand, so I didn’t use them. However, I think they would add great texture and flavor.

Directions:

Cook Noodles. Set Aside.

Heat sesame oil and red pepper flakes over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Strain oil into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer (discarding the red pepper flakes). Stir in peanut butter until combined and melted. Add honey and soy sauce, mixing until combined.

Toss noodles with the sauce. Add desired toppings. Serve!

 

Baking Cookies

Since Stephen and I will be spending Christmas at home with our families (and we can’t wait!) we wanted to make sure that we created some Christmas traditions with each other. We decided that we would spend a day decorating the tree, watching Christmas movies, and baking cookies. However, over time it became more and more clear that we wouldn’t both have a day free for a long time. Not wanting to put off setting up and decorating the tree/apartment any longer, we knocked that out one night after class. However, I was looking forward to spending a night baking cookies and watching Elf. We did this last Monday, and had a great time.

115

Knowing we would be eating a ton of sweets that night, I made this Chicken and Barley Soup for dinner. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out having never cooked barley before, but it was delicious! I made a few modifications (which made it a bit spicier) and we loved it.

For the cookies, we ended up making Sugar Cookies and Oreo Truffles.

121                    124

The Kitchenaid really came in handy with the sugar cookies……I can’t imagine having to stir in six cups of flour into that dough! Well, I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard but the mixer is super nice!

125                    133

136                    138

We ended up making a ton of cookies. We iced most of them, and then we were done haha. We ate a lot of them, and sent the rest with Stephen to work where his coworkers ate the rest. I enjoyed this recipe and found it super simple! No chilling of the dough, nice flavor, and easy.

113                    Christmas 2013! Our first Christmas 001

We then made some Oreo truffles. These were delish as well. They’re made by mixing cream cheese with 36 crushed oreos, rolling them into balls, and dipping them into melted chocolate. We stored them in the fridge (because of the cream cheese) and ate them all! They are so good. One tip: use regular Oreos and not double stuffed Oreos. I imagined that double stuffed Oreos would make the truffles even BETTER, but I think it changed the texture a bit (I’ve made these before with regular Oreos). It’s either that, or the fact that I used off-brand Oreos (of course) this time.

Overall, we had a fun time making the cookies (and eating them). The best part was that Stephen washed all the dishes too! And there were a lot of dishes…

Christmas At Our Place

099

I’ve had way too much fun decorating our apartment for Christmas this year. This year, for some reason, I’ve been trying really hard to get into the Christmas spirit. It has been so fun! Instead of tv, Stephen and I have been listening to Christmas music on Pandora non-stop (which isn’t much of a sacrifice considering we don’t have cable). I’ve been lighting Christmas candles, making Christmas cookies, and really trying to enjoy the season. This might also be because I have a lot of time on my hands now that I’m finished for the semester. Anyways….here’s what it’s looking like over here.

Christmas 2013! Our first Christmas 003     101     100

We’ve gotten all of our Christmas decorations at Target. I bought most of our stuff after Christmas last year using a gift card. I felt silly at the time, but I’m so glad it did it! All of our ornaments (and the Christmas tree coasters-so adorable!), the tree skirt, our stockings, and other random decorations are from Target. I’m sure I will shop some more after this Christmas as well. Our tree was a gift from my parents, and we love it! It’s the perfect size for our space.

 094

    106     109

Seeking to make the place even more festive, I decided to hang up some paper snowflakes. I cut a bunch out, and hung them in our living room using mini clothespins. I also printed out some free Christmas prints that I found on Pinterest. We’re planning on hanging up some Christmas cards up there as well as we receive them 🙂

 Christmas 2013! Our first Christmas 004

Christmas 2013! Our first Christmas 007

Christmas 2013! Our first Christmas 009

Last but not least, some little items I found in the dollar section at Target. I first saw the “HO HO HO” sign while at Target with my sister in law and loved it. I decided to go back and grab it (it was only a dollar! I would’ve bought more if they had them). I also picked up these little Christmas dishes (also a dollar). I thought they were adorable, and would look great holding some peppermints. Side note: that little Pier One reed diffuser up there smells amazing. I’ve used these fragrances before, and never thought they smelled like much. However, this Sugared Cinnamon one has made our entire living room smell like baking cookies! Love it.

Anyways, that’s our little place 🙂 I apologize for all the detailed pictures as well, I’m sure you weren’t wondering what our coasters looked like 😛

Healthy Banana “Ice Cream”

photo 1 (3)

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to eat healthier and work out more. I’m in no way on a diet, but I am swapping out some things that we would normally eat for healthier options (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, more fruits/veggies, etc). I also do Blogilates once a day (which is an awesome workout–I follow the monthly calendars). The only time this gets difficult for me is at night–I’m a big snacker. I also always crave sweets at night. So, in a attempt to find a healthier option, I decided to try out a banana “ice cream” that I’ve seen on Pinterest a few times. And it was prettyyyyy yummy 🙂

Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

2 large bananas (sliced and frozen)

a (tiny) splash of milk

1 tablespoon peanut butter

photo 1 (2)photo 2 (3)photo 3

Pour frozen banana slices in a food processor. Add a tiny splash of milk (I added a bit too much milk…less milk will lead to a more classic ice cream texture. Mine was like a soft serve). Pulse until smooth (stopping a few times to scrape the sides).

Add peanut butter. Blend until mixed.

Serve!

***This would also be great with chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, or Nutella mixed in instead of the peanut butter! Or Cookie Butter…..that would be the best.