Kitchen Floors

by Kara on April 27, 2015

kara's kitchen These floors (cement tiles from Tabarka) made their first appearance on instagram while they were being installed at the end of January.  They are the result of a broken ice maker.

If you don’t live in Arizona you may not understand the need for an appliance dedicated to only making ice.  There is this weird cultural thing here that requires a styrofoam cup and an iced beverage on the daily.  I’m obviously drinking the kool-aid on this one because when I saw the mold growing, from half the fresh ice dropping into the cavity behind the cabinets, I didn’t think once about not replacing the unit.  Ice makers are notoriously problematic.

We chiseled out concrete, re-did plumbing and raised the island off the floor.  Now we’ll see any funny business going on.  Below you can see the exposed ice maker, I don’t mind, for one second, seeing it.

karaskitchen2

I wish I had a proper before pic to share.  I have lot of pics at Christmas time with exposed concrete floors and no island at all!  The floors were dark grey limestone and the island was white with a white marble counter top.

Now that everything is fully functioning I need to say… thank you faulty ice maker, I was getting bored ;)

mary jolley

Rich, creamy, and comforting, ice cream is pure frozen goodness. But this recipe isn’t like the iconic favorite. Without cream, custard, and sugar, it isn’t really in the same category at all, though it hits all the same notes.

Blended frozen banana is smooth, thick, and sweet. It has a fairly mild taste that pairs well with lots of mix-ins. I love adding a bit of peanut butter and raw cocoa powder for a energizing snack. It seems so indulgent that I have to remind myself it’s only bananas, peanuts, and cocoa. Containing antioxidants and minerals, raw cocoa powder is touted for its health benefits. Get creative with your mix-ins. Really, anything goes: raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, vanilla wafers, chopped nuts, chocolate chips. I’ve got some of this “ice cream” happily waiting for me in the freezer. Breakfast?

banana icecream

Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”
Makes 3-4 cups

4 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons raw cocoa powder

  1. Peel the bananas and slice them into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick disks. Do not freeze the bananas whole. Place the banana slices in the freezer until they are frozen solid (at least 2 hours). This can be done a week in advance, but not much longer than that, the bananas start to change flavor the longer they sit in the freezer, and not in a good way.
  2. Pulse the frozen slices in a food processor until the frozen chunks become smooth and creamy. (Scrape the sides as needed.) Once creamy, add remaining ingredients. Pulse until very smooth and the mix-ins are fully incorporated. Serve immediately for soft serve consistency or store in the freezer for another time. Freezing will give the ice cream a hard ice cream texture, but allowing it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes will bring back the soft serve consistency.

chocolate banana ice cream sugar free

bananaicecream5

Finished Family Room

by Kara on April 13, 2015

finishedfamilyrm Three reasons I’m happy this picture exists:

1.  I finally followed through on using this beautiful blue paint.  (dramatic & safe at the same time)

2.  I finally tried my hand at sewing pillows with zippers.  (made it up & hoped for the best with success)

3.  I finally printed that poster size pic of my kids with their new pup.  (thank you costco)

Three cheers for moving down that checklist.

Here’s hoping I’m not the only P R O C R A S T I N A T O R.

15 minute Perfect Pesto Pasta

by Mary on April 6, 2015


pestapasta

It was dinnertime, I was tired, my husband was gone (not for good). “Spaghetti” is what the kids wanted. I knew just what 15-minute-meal to make. With only 2 pans and 4 pasta bowls, clean was a cinch.

15-minute pesto pasta with broccoli (serves 3, easy to double!)

  • 1/2 lb of pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles, but anything will be great)
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 2 heaping handfuls of arugula (can substitue spinach)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto (I pulled some out of the freezer I had prepared earlier for just such an occasion, but any store worth it’s salt should have a good one)
  • parmesan for serving, if desired. It is always desired.

1. Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, wash and chop the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Start a saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the broccoli. Stir the broccoli occasionally and season with salt and pepper. When the broccoli is fork tender and the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and add pasta it to the saute pan along with the arugula. Saute together for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the pesto. Add splashes of pasta water as necessary for consistency and moisture. I serve mine with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese because nothing says, “I am delicious” better than that.

pestopasta

Spring

by Kara on March 30, 2015

roses3 Spring has definitely sprung here in Arizona.  We’re headed straight to summer, and fast.  But before we accept the heat wave that is coming I want to enjoy spring until Easter.  My roses are in full bloom and I LOVE them.  They seem to bloom before your very eyes.  Roses are high maintenance but the amount of happiness they bring me makes them worth it.

Of my 11 rose bushes, one of them is continuously a late bloomer.  That same bush has 5 times as many thorns as the others making it horrible to work with, and you know what??  It’s my favorite.  It always catches up.  (maybe i feel like that bush sometimes)

I am so very inspired by great women around this blog/social media world.  My only real goal in sharing my thoughts here is to hopefully add to the goodness that is everywhere.

Easter is almost here, along with the 1 year mark of my brother’s passing.  Maybe sadness at this time of year is the best, because it is also so full of hope and beauty.

roses2

Watch our NEW Video!

by Mary on March 27, 2015

Hello!  We’re changing things up over here at Henry Mack.  We hope that our new video describes our vision, but here’s a quick rundown.  Our homes are important places.  Our efforts there are paramount.  As a company, we want to support women in their desire to be Happy at Home.  We want to find our groove, explore what we love, find new things to love, continue to learn (always) and ultimately love the place we call home.

Sometimes the days are long and the years are short.  We aren’t looking to gloss over the hard stuff, we just want to give our best effort to flourish in the life we have.

Help us in encouraging each other to be HAPPY at HOME!

Powerofhabit

It’s mid March people- have you accomplished your new year’s resolutions? If you’re like me, you don’t even remember what they were. Agh!

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. I just finished The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, but Charles Duhigg. Amazing book. It is well written and well researched with interesting examples of how habits effect our lives and how powerful they are.

powerofhabit

I think this is a must read. It has definitely been thought provoking for me. We are giving one away this week along with a house dress – in which to read said book, of course.

To ENTER TO WIN the The Power of Habit book AND a House Dress, you MUST BE EMAIL SUBSCRIBED TO OUR BLOG NEWSLETTER.

If you haven’t subscribed, yet, just type in your email address on the sidebar to the right —>

If you are subscribed, congratulations, you are entered to win!

We will select an email winner on Monday March 30th. Good Luck.

Family Room Progress

by Kara on March 16, 2015

Hi friends.  Today’s post is a progress shot.  I painted the Lotus flower stencil on the fireplace wall two years ago.  I purchased the stencil on etsy and used paint that I had on hand.  Two years is long enough to live with a “feature” wall color in this house.  I think I probably seem compulsive about home decor but, the ideas usually stew in my head for months until the stars align, then I really go for it!

stencilprogress Cleaned up and really for a drastic color change.  And there is that little test swatch I posted on Instagram.

paintingfamilyroom

I really contemplated stopping at this point.  I love how the fireplace is set apart from the rest of the wall but,  I wanted the TV to “disappear”.

paintingfamilyroom2 Projects seem to evolve as you go and this one is no different.  I love the look here but, we just aren’t quite done :)  Oh, and this is the first time that I haven’t painted a project myself!  He was so FAST.  I was in my sons classroom and it was finished by the time I got back.  I’m calling this good time management, but I still feel like a cheater.

paintingfamilyroom3

I can’t wait to put it all back together!

We Brave Women

by Mary on March 12, 2015

Anne Frank Two

It’s alway a pleasure to meet people who are doing things to make the world, and the people in it, better. We feel that the women over at webravewomen.com are doing just that. Ashley Mae Hoiland and Zina Bennion are the ladies behind the movement to empower women to be brave.

Noor Inayat Khan Two

They said:

The project started when we asked people on social media to finish the sentence, “I am brave because…”  The hashtag #webravewomen quickly grew well beyond our social circles and we were touched by the honesty and willingness to share.  The words and images on the hashtag told us that women are ready and wanting empowering movements that challenge us and ask us to get to know our best and most brave selves.  Our motives are to help women, both young and old, and in every walk of life, find and be proud of the ways in which they are brave.  We want to facilitate and encourage women in telling their own stories by learning about brave women from history and brave women among us now.  We believe in the power of women being visible to young girls.

Join them in their movement over that.  www.WeBraveWomen.com and our instagram @webravewomen

Katherine Switzer Two

 

All artwork is done by Ashley Mae Hoiland.

Thai Pasta Salad

by Mary on March 9, 2015

thai-salad

I have been seriously craving this. It is amazing.

Thai Pasta Salad with Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing

I consider this salad a main dish salad as it is hearty, filling, and has lots of different ingredients. This is very versatile; feel free to use your favorite ingredients. You can add/substitute napa cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, black sesame seeds, etc. This works well packed for lunch, just pack the dressing separately and combine just before eating. Feel free to half the dressing recipe as it makes about 1.5 cups. I like to make extra to use later on in the week as a dipping sauce for skewers, veggies, or rolls.

  • ¼ pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shelled edamame beans
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw peanuts

Cook the whole wheat angel hair pasta until al dente. Combine the pasta, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, red pepper, and edamame in a large bowl. Toss with about 2/3 cup (or as much as you like) Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing. On a large platter or individual dishes, plate the salad and top with bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and peanuts. Serves 6.

 Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon or small piece of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce /li>
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Make sure that it is smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

thai-pasta-salad

DON’T FORGET TO EMAIL SUBSCRIBE!