Knorr Storage Chest

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This stunning storage chest was left neglected in the attic for a long time until I decided to adopt it and bring it home with me a few months ago. Meet the newest member of the family. It doesn’t have a name yet. I’ll worry about that later.

A little boy’s mindless act of vandalism made this chest look very sad for a while, but it was fortunately saved with a bit of love and care.

Now it sits proudly next to our couch and serves as a toy chest for our godchildren. It contains everything from picture books, legos, Mr. Bearsie to a train set, and it will continue being a box full of joy until we convert it into a coffee table a few years later.

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I tried all sorts of methods existing under the sun to remove vivid from painted wood without causing any damage. I will skip the blah blah and just get down to the point.

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Quinoa, Spinach and Cheese Cups

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I get really upset (S says annoying) when I don’t get breakfast in my belly before heading out. It’s my favourite meal of the day and on the rare occasions I miss it, I’ll be found brooding in the corner until I find something or get given something nice to eat.

This phenomenon started since I was a wee kid. I used to wake up my mama dearest at ungoldly hours in the morning just because I was hungry. Crazy kid, I know (and hooray for awesome mums!).

Anyway, I’ve made it a habit now to carry food around in my handbag to avoid being hangry at innocent people in the morning. When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll bake a batch of these quinoa, spinach and cheese cups the night before and grab a couple on the go. It’s a very simple, make ahead, no fuss recipe. Absolutely brilliant.

Recipe available here on Gem’s blog The Black Bird. Original recipe by Eleanor from Petite Kitchen. Two of my favourite bloggers from New Zealand, go check them out. 🙂

P.S. I added some sun-dried tomatoes to mine, and they turned out delicious.

P.S.S. If you have any leftover quinoa, make this.

Baked Coconut Bites Dipped in Dark Chocolate

These are actually what people call bite-sized coconut macaroons, but since you don’t need to fuss around with the egg whites and just mix everything in a large bowl, I’m going to call them baked coconut bites instead.

Sometimes I crave Bounty bars but I stopped buying them when I picked up jogging last year. This doesn’t mean I’ve divorced sweet things (I still love you Nutella), it just means I calculate how hard I’ll cry after I down something I know will take me ages to burn off on my next jogging session.

So I made something similar at home that tasted just as good as the real thing. Plus, I don’t need to cry so much every time I eat a couple in one sitting.

These dark chocolate covered baked coconut bites are slightly crisp on the outside with a brownie-like texture in the centre. They’ll keep well inside a tin for up to three days, so don’t worry about the leftovers.

Coconut Macaroons/Coconut Bites Dipped in Dark Chocolate

(for approx. 24 pieces)

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Soft and Fluffy Whole Wheat Honey Rolls

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I’m used to eating hard crust breads in Switzerland now, but every once in a while I’ll crave the soft and fluffy ones I grew up with in New Zealand.

Although my mum was a fantastic cook, she never baked breads or any kind of desserts in the oven, so I grew up thinking that fresh bread was only available at the supermarket – fluffy, square and pre-sliced to fit the toaster – for the majority of my childhood. My child-brain associated hard-looking crusty breads as stale day-old breads and could never understand why people went to the bakery to buy them on purpose.

Anyway, I don’t know what triggered my craving for them again, but I wasn’t keen on the idea of buying them. I’ve heard too many unpleasant things about supermarket-bought soft breads and rolls, so I opted to make something a tad bit more healthy at home.

This super easy whole wheat dinner rolls recipe did the trick. I added a little more honey to the recipe and sprinkled poppy seeds over the top. These rolls pull apart really easily and taste absolutely divine. However, do keep in mind that the honey will add a sweet kick to the overall taste of these rolls so they may not go so nicely with all kinds of dish, sides or fillings.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Leftover Rice

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Sometimes I like to make a lot of rice in advance to use it in other dishes throughout the week. Normally I tend to make chinese-style fried rice on the following day, but this time I wanted to cook something slightly fancier for dinner.

Upon reading this post I got inspired to make my own version of the stuffed tomatoes using only what I had in stock.
I’m glad to say that it turned out delicious, and I’m not just saying that.

These stuffed tomatoes went so well with a bottle of Chianti and some green salad on the side.

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