WEEKLY INSPIRATION : VALENTINE’S DAY

We are already in February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Are you a Valentine kind of person?

Mr B and I never celebrated it until we had the boys and they became aware of the day. We are just not very romantic. Now  we have a “family date”, exchange cards and have breakfast in bed, all together. It’s lovely. The boys call it Love Day, and for us, that is exactly what it is.

Whichever way you celebrate, on your own, with your partner, in family, with friends… t is always nice to have some inspiration for the day.

VALENTINE’S DAY DECORATION

If you like embracing Valentines Day to the fullest and go all out decorating your home, this balloon arch is just super cute and it can be used from breakfast bar to cocktail bar as the day evolves…
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog
I. Am. Totally. In.Love. With. This. Chandelier. I just have to make it.
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog
And what about these love-heart garlands? Easy to make and ever so adorable!
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog

VALENTINE’S DAY PRINTABLES

If you are too busy to make anything, or you are feeling lazy, or just not feeling at all, there are some amazing free printables that you could use to decorate your home and get you in the mood.

Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog
www.iheartnaptime.net
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog
persnicketyprint.blogspot.ie

Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingChaosBlog

VALENTINE’S DAY FOOD

Now, if you are traditional and you are planning a Valentine’s romantic dinner, this caprese salad as a starter would be only delightful, delicious and super romantic!
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlogAn antipasto platter is totally down my alley and it means no cooking for anyone… It doesn’t get any better than this!
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog

Or if you want to something a little bit more special, you could have the seafood option.
Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog
And I believe that tradition dictates that chocolate must be had for dessert in Valentine’s Day, right? This walnut and chocolate cake is just the perfect treat, don’t you think?Valentine Day's Inspiration @ OrganisingchaosBlog

So, whether you are having a quiet one, a by yourself one, a family one or a romantic night, I hope you are now inspired to make the day a little bit special. For you at least. Because you deserve it!

Have an amazing weekend!
Chaotic Itzi

ps- If you like this post, please feel share it with your friends. Thanks!

LOSING WEIGHT WITH SMOOTHIES – WEEK 1: KALE & PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

I have been wanting to lose some weight for a while. I usually start the week full of good intentions but, as it happens,  the week rarely goes according to plan and on average the diet goes out the window by Thursday. Now, I have never nor I will ever be a person enslaved to diets or food plans. Life is too short for that. But I would like to shed some weight so…

I decided that the best way for me to stick to some sort of plan is to set myself a public challenge so there is so backing down. Name and shame, people, it’s the only way forward for me…

My goal is to lose 4 kg in a month (or 8.81 pounds). I believe that 1 kg a week is an achievable target and it can be managed with healthy diet and without starvation, which is very important in family life and to guarantee the survival of the rest of the family, if you know what I mean… As smoothies are easy to make, quick, versatile and delicious,(see previous recipes here, here and here) I decided I would go with green smoothies for this challenge.

So the plan is: substitute my daily lunch for super healthy, protein filled and delicious smoothie that will fill me with plenty of nutrients and enough energy to keep me going until dinner where I will be able to enjoy it with my family. Kale and pineapple smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlog

I am thinking that Monday to Friday will be easy enough to follow the plan and drink the smoothies at lunchtime. However, I’d imagine the weekend will be harder. I will be enlisting Mr B and friends to support me and to help me stay strong through the challenge.

If you want to join me, I will be posting one smoothie recipe a week and I will keep you updated during the week by twitter and Facebook with a more in-depth report (I know you like those ones) every Monday this month. I will not, however, be posting my before and after weight. Nope. Too embarrassed.

My personal challenge - Week 1 @ OrganisingChaosBlog

GREEN FEBRUARY 
WEEK 1: KALE & PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

2 cups of chopped kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk you prefer)
1 banana (frozen if you want)
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 slices of pineapple
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (not in the photo)
Kale and pineapple smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogKKale and pineapple smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogBlitz and enjoy. It is delicious. 2 pieces of fruit, 1 serving of vegetables, omega 3, calcium and good source of vitamin B6, fiber, calcium,potassium and vitamin E. And, I know you are wondering, the taste of kale is not at all dominant in it, but it works so well with the rest of the ingredients.

Well, are you coming to the green side with me? Come on! It’s only a month! and it’s the shortest month!

I love to hear  your comments so please feel free to comment below and share the post with your friends to help us create a community.
Much appreciated. Thank you!

Chaotic Itzi

RECIPE : CARAMELIZED ONION

We are great fans of caramelized onion in our house. We always have a jar of it at home to have with cheese,  meat,  in soups, pizzas, sandwiches.. it is delicious with anything.
OrganisingChaos - Delicious Caramelized Onions
I find something very therapeutically about slowly cooking the onions, the process, the smells… very relaxing and homely.

Onions are naturally sweet and that sweetness gets released by slowly cooking the onions over an extended period of time. The natural sugars in the onions caramelize and they make the most delicious and wholesome flavor.

How? Easy. You will need:
4 onions – I prefer to use red onions as they are sweeter but you can use white onions if you’d prefer.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar.
Caramelized Onions / Step 1 - chop the onions and add them to the panHeat the oil in a heavy based pan. Peel and chop the onions in thin slices and add them to the oil. Stir the onions making sure that every single slice gets covered in oil. Leave the onions to saute on a low-medium heat (every hob is different-  just make sure that the onions are not going to burn, it’s about slow cooking). Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.
Caramelized Onions / Step 2 - slow cook your onionsAfter 10 minutes or so, season them with salt, make sure they are not burning, and leave them on the hob for another 10 minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
Caramelized Onions - Step 3 - Add the sugarAfter another 10 minutes, add the tablespoon of sugar and make sure that it gets to all the corners of the pan. If the onions are a bit too dry and they are sticking to the pan, add a little bit of water. Cook for further 10-15 minutes keeping an eye on it to make sure they don’t burn.
When the onions are all brown and sticky, transfer them into an air tight container and keep in the fridge once cooled.
OrganisingChaos - Delicious Caramelized Onions
Try adding them to your normal hummus recipe or add them to your steak and let me know your thoughts, I think I can already read them!

Enjoy it!
Chaotic Itzi

WEEKLY INSPIRATION : ALL THINGS AUTUMN

This Autumn is being amazing: bright and dry… the perfect Autumn as far as I am concern. I love the leaves changing colors, avenues covered in them, amazing sunsets and no rain and nice temperatures. I like my Autumn and Winter mild and my Spring and Summer hot. That’s me.

The irony is that although I don’t like the cold, I am a sucker for blankets, woolly hats, cosy clothes and homely casseroles. I am a complex individual… (it sounds better than confused, right?)

Look at this little guy. Isn’t he the cutest? The perfect image for Autumn.

Organsing Chaos - All things Autumn - the cutest
And with that little fella, the weather we have been having and a gorgeous blanket, who would not be up for a picnic? (source)
Organsing Chaos - All things Autumn - a lovely picnic
All those orange, brown and red leaves are too beautiful to leave around, so if you feel like doing some crafting, this project is just beautiful. (source)
Organsing Chaos - All things Autumn - Autumn-Jar-Lights
This mexican casserole will keep us warm in those cold wet nights. Comfort food. Delish! Yum! (source)
Organsing Chaos - All things Autumn - Food
Scarfs, big boots, heavier jackets… I’ll admit I like it…  not for long though (source)
Organsing Chaos - All things Autumn - Outfits
What is your favorite part of Autumn?
Chaotic Itzi

RECIPE: BREADED CAMEMBERT SALAD WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

If you like cheese, you are in for a treat.
Fried camembert salad with cranberry sauce - delish
This recipe makes the loveliest starter for a dinner party. It is nice, it is tasty and it is light – all the things you want in a starter. Camembert is a delicious creamy cheese in its own right and by coating it with breadcrumbs and frying it, you get a lovely crusty outside and a soft and creamy inside… just yum!

To make a starter for 4 people, you will need:
4 people (ha! I know, I am hilarious!)
1 big  cake of Camembert cheese cut into wedges
1 beaten egg
breadcrumbs
For the sauce:
190 g Jar of cranberry sauce
Zest and juice of ½ orange
Approximately 1 pint or 500ml of vegetable oil, heated to 180C in a heavy bottomed pan.
Fried Camembert with cranberry sauce and salad - so good
How to:
Cut the Camembert cheese into wedges. Dip each piece into a bowl with the beaten egg and straight onto to the bread crumbs making sure they are all coated evenly. Let them rest and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
To make the sauce, mix the cranberry sauce, orange juice and zest in a bowl. You can have the sauce warm by warming it slightly in a saucepan while frying the cheese but cold is also works a treat.

Heat the vegetable oil to 180C and deep fry the Camembert for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, crisp and delicious. Remove it and place it in a plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
My favorite starter - Organising ChaosFried Camembert with cranberry sauce and salad - so good
Serve the breaded cheese with the sauce and a side leafy salad dressed with a light vinaigrette.

This is the kind of starter that you can prepare in advance and just fry as your guests are just sitting at the table.  You’re guest will love it. And if the don’t, they don’t deserve to be your friends… get better ones, you totally deserve it… I am only joking… not really

Fried camembert with cranberry sauce - delish . Organising Chaos

Invite friends and see what they think and if they deserve to be your friends…;-)
Chaotic Itzi

Bows and Crafts

BACON AND MUSHROOMS EMPANADAS – SORT OF

As the summer holidays approach, I tend to look for recipes for food on the go.
Organising Chaos - Bacon and Mushrooms Empanadas
We spend very little time at home during the summer holidays. We spend so much time at home during the year confined by timetables, extra curriculum activities, bad weather… that once the bell for the summer holidays rings, we need to break free and spend as much time outdoors as possible. We are either visiting people, going to the beach, looking for adventures in the forest, spending time in the playground… anything not to be at home.

Food on the go can get a bit repetitive so I am testing few new recipes with the boys to try this summer. These empanadas are ideal to bring to any picnic or to enjoy at home.

BACON AND MUSHROOMS EMPANADAS
1 roll of short crust pastry (or you can make your own pastry)
1 packet of dry cured rashers
200 grm of mushrooms
200 grm creme cheese
2 cloves of garlic
thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
Organising Chaos - Bacon and Mushrooms Empanadas
Put a large frying pan on a medium hob with no oil. Remove the large pieces of fat from the rashers and chop the rest in small pieces. Add them to the pan and let it cook for few minutes until bacon is cooked. Crush the 2 garlic cloves and add them to the bacon together with the chopped mushrooms and thyme.  Lower the heat and keep cooking for further 5 minutes and add the juice of half a lemon, stir and add the creme cheese. Season with a tiny bit of salt (the rashers are quite salty) and plenty of pepper. Mix it all thoroughly and take it off the heat. Let it cool.
Organising Chaos - Bacon and Mushrooms Empanadas
Turn the oven to 200 C (or as directed in the packaging) and take the pastry out f the fridge for at least 10 minutes to allow it to rest at room temperature. After 10 minutes, cut the pastry in your desired shape and fill the empanadas with the bacon and mushroom mix.
Organising Chaos - Bacon and Mushrooms Empanadas
Use egg wash around the borders of the pastry to stick together the top and bottom of the empanada so the juices will not escape when they are cooking in the oven. Paint the top of the empanadas with egg wash and put in the middle shelf in the oven for 15 minutes or until they are lovely and brown. Take them out and let them rest for 5 minutes.
Organising Chaos - Bacon and Mushrooms Empanadas
At this point you can either serve them to your family with some salad for lunch, or put them in a container to take with you in your adventures. What will it be?
Organising Chaos - Bacon and Mushrooms Empanadas
Have an amazing day.
Chaotic Itzi

RECIPES TO TRY THIS SPRING

Do you ever find that after few months you cook the same 10 or 12 recipes over and over with sometimes a variation if someone comes over for dinner? I feel a bit stuck in a rut, like I should introduce new recipes into my repertoire, more summery dishes, but I still need them to be family friendly, healthy and not too labor intensive – I’m not asking for much, am I?

My mum was born in Mexico and we love Mexican food in our house, so I think this Beef Enchiladas recipe would be a great hit in my house.
OrganisingChaosBlog - Recipes to try this Spring - Beef Enchiladas
These Sweet Potatos and Chickpea Cakes look extremely appetizing and healthy for lunch with a side salad. Yum!
OrganisingChaosBlog - Recipes to try this Spring
Noodles are good anytime of the year and this Singapore Noodles recipe looks like will be my Spring noodle recipe
OrganisingChaosBlog - New Spring Recipes - Singapore Noodles
And as every week needs a quick pasta dish, this will be it! I can’t wait to try it!
OrganisingChaosBlog - Recipes to try this Spring
Doesn’t this Fish Fillet Sandwich look amazing, fresh and inviting? Delish!
OrganisingChaosBlog - Recipes to try this Spring
I have my shopping list done and I will be doing my shopping today – I can’t wait to try all these recipes!

I will let you know how I get on, in the mean time, Happy Monday.

Chaotic Itzi

SWEET PEPPER AND SPINACH WARM SALAD

With the weather getting better, I have found myself looking for new recipes, fresher and lighter dishes. Salads are great any time of the year and usually around Spring they get promoted from side dishes to main courses. OrganisingChaosBlog - Sweet Pepper and Spinach warm salad Warm salads are among my favorite salads and this one is just amazing. I love the combination of the sweetness of the peppers and the spinach – 2 of my favorite ingredients in, like, ever! So good! SWEET PEPPER AND SPINACH WARM SALAD Fresh baby spinach 1/4 Red onion 1 Cup of Black olives 6 Baby sweet peppers OrganisingChaosBlog - Sweet Pepper and Spinach warm salad Cut the red onion very finely and mix it with the baby spinach and the olives. Put a pan over a high hob and while the pan is heating up chop the peppers. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and add the peppers. Cook them for 5 minutes and when they are charred and starting to get blackened toss them into the salad, dress it quickly and serve immediately. If you are an avocado fan, as we are in our house, you can add some avocado on the side to make this salad even more delicious and filling. OrganisingChaosBlog - Sweet Pepper and Spinach warm salad
Now sit outside in the sun, and enjoy a plate of goodness. Have an amazing day. Chaotic Itzi

Organising Chaos