Refrigerator Thoughts

refridgerator
Lets take a moment to talk about refrigeration. It’s been on my mind a lot lately. When we bought our place it came with a late 1970’s refrigerator that was in decent enough shape to keep, but we definitely weren’t in love with it, we just didn’t have the budget to buy a new one since we had to get a new stove and dishwasher among  other things.

fridgadaire

So we decided to do a mini makeover on the fridge and paint it a fun colour. You can read more about that process here. About a year later, the paint is still holding up, but the fridge handle is wearing pretty badly. Not only is the paint starting to wear, but the fridge is too.
kitchen-loft

Sometimes in the middle of the night i’ll be jolted awake by the loud motor turning on or off. Or i’ll be watching TV and i’ll have to turn up the volume to drown out the sound of the motor. Other times, we’ll have guests over and the motor will turn on and people will be like “what the heck is that noise?” and that’s when it hit me, I think the fridge is on it’s way out. I’m dreading the day of coming home from work, opening it up and discovering a fridge full of warm rotten food.

So, i’ve been loosely fridge shopping online the last few months, trying to find a brand I like, incase the inevitable day arrives where we have to rush out and buy something in a panic.

smeg

Andrew and I have always been into retro styled fridges, specifically the SMEG (isn’t everyone in love with it?). We lusted over it for years, dreaming of what colour we’d like in our kitchen, but we had never seen or touched one in real life. Then one day it happened, West Elm Market opened up a shop here in Vancouver and we finally got to put our hands on one. From a distance it was beautiful, shiny and fun, but then I reached out and touched it’s smooth shiny surface….. PLASTIC?!! I was so extremely disappointed to discover that the entire thing was made from plastic. It felt so cheap, it felt like a $400 Home Depot fridge in a cool modern/retro disguise. I was sad. I expected a solid fridge with an enamel painted body. I couldn’t believe it. How is it possible for a fridge to cost so much but have so little.

After a few weeks of mourning our loss, we had moved on. (kind of, I still dream about it in photos I see on Pinterest, but then I snap out of it and remember reality and the fact that we need a larger freezer.)

We’re still not really sure what brand we’ll be getting, as most are pretty ugly these days. I think my main issue is that it needs to be simple. No ice machines, no water machines, no digital stuff, no crazy compartments with many doors. It should also be energy efficient, but I  think most are these days.

My latest concern is that most new fridges are slick and stainless steel on the front, but the sides are black and ugly. Our fridge is free-standing and exposed in our kitchen, so it’s necessary to have a nice looking side.

Here’s a few models i’ve looked into, but realized that a quality fridge is pretty dang expensive.

fridges

1. GE  2. Maytag  3. Samsung  4. Viking

Got any refrigerator you’ve been lusting over lately? Share some links, i’d love to check them out.

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Recipe Adventure: Carrot Cake

carrotcake-recipe-1

carrotcake-recipe-4

carrotcake-recipe-3

carrotcake-recipe-2

Ingredients
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 whole orange zest and some juice
3 cups grated carrot

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 2 8 inch cake pans

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla.
Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon.
Stir in carrots, orange zest and juice. Fold in nuts and raisins.

Pour evenly into pans and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine ingredient in mixer, beat until smooth.

Recipe Adventure: Spinach, Thyme and Pinenut Pesto

By Nicole & Andrew

Ingredients:

2 cups baby spinach, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, peels and smashed
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
pinches of sea salt and pepper to taste
(Quality rustic bread)

Instructions:
Using a food processor, blend all ingredients until well combine and to the consistency of your liking.
Spread onto quality toasted bread and enjoy!

Note: I think it would go really well on grilled fish, chicken, or even on slices of cucumber.

Recipe Adventure: Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

By NicoleAndrew

Tonight, Andrew and I looked in the fridge and saw we had an avocado that needed to be eaten, but it wasn’t something that went with our meal. That’s when we came up with this little beauty…yup, that’s right chocolate pudding with avocado in it. Your initial reaction is probably “gross!!” but you’ll soon realise that the texture of avocado is actually really well suited for pudding and is just bland enough to be a great base for this recipe.


Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
1-2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey or agave syrup
2 tbsp almond milk or soy milk

Directions:
Put all ingredients into a blender or blend using a hand blender in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
Chill and serve! It’s pretty rich and decadent.

Recipe Adventure: Mini turkey & veggie loaf

By Nicole & Andrew

Fall is approaching us and this means we’ll all be wanting some good old fashioned comfort food. We’ve created a very simple and easy recipe that’s amazingly healthy too!

turkey_mini_loaf

Ingredients:
1-2 packages of lean ground turkey breast
1 grated zucchini
1-2 grated carrots

1 head of garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
herbs and ground pepper
worchestire sauce to taste
5-6 mushrooms finely chopped
1-2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese (whatever you choose), we used parmesan and swiss

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F and set aside your muffin pan near by since your hands will be pretty messy after this. Sautée onions and garlic. Combine turkey and all ingredients in a large bowl, mix together with your hands. Create balls large enough to fit into your muffin pan, don’t be afraid to make them large.

Once your tray is full, place in oven for 25-30 mins depending on size of your “muffins” be sure to place a bake sheet tray under the muffin tray, because the juices do spill over during cooking. Once cooking time has completed, remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Creative twist:
Make mashed yams or potato and use to put on top of your “muffins” as “frosting”

Recipe Adventure: Two Bean Burrito with Salsa

By Nicole & Andrew

This is one of my favorite recipes, mostly because it’s so simple and so delicious and easy to have for lunch the next day too.

bean_burrito

Ingredients:
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Black Beans
1-2 fresh tomatoes
1 onion
1 mango
1 cup blueberries
1 jalapeno pepper
1-2 avocados
1 package of whole grain flax seed wraps
1 bunch fresh cilantro
your favorite cheese
salt, pepper, spices (to taste)

Directions:

Rinse both cans of beans thoroughly, strain well. In large sauce pan, sauté half the onion (diced finely) and tomato (diced finely) together, then add beans, salt, pepper and spices to taste, simmering everything until blended, do not over cook the beans, they may turn mushy (this is not good.) Set aside the pan.

In a bowl, mix together half a chopped onion, chopped tomato, cilantro, finely diced jalapeno pepper (minus the seeds), mango and blueberries and salt to taste.

Place one wrap on a plate, gently heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds, then serve several spoons of bean mixture onto centre of wrap. Add some cheese, wrap tightly, garnish with fruit salsa and add a few slices of avocado to taste.