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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Moved!

We've moved!!

Come see whats new at wonderfulandwhimsical.com


Friday, December 11, 2015

Upgraded Shepherds Pie

Growing up (in an Irish family) Shepherds pie was a staple in our house. In my adult life I have learned to appreciate the easiness and deliciousness of this meal, with a few alterations to make it more delicious and healthy. I especially love this recipe while I am pregnant as I can make it when I have random bursts of energy, then keep it in the refrigerator until dinner time comes (usually when I have NO desire to cook) so it works out perfectly!

Here's what you'll need for a 9'' x 13'' baking pan:
700 g of frozen vegetables (or fresh of your choosing)
6 medium sized potatoes peeled and sliced
5 tablespoons of Cayenne pepper -depending on how spicy you want it
5 tablespoons of Paprika
1 red onion cut up
500 g ground chicken



In a frying pan, cook the ground chicken and add onions and spices once chicken is nearly done.


While cooking the chicken, boil the potatoes and vegetables in separate pots.

Strain the vegetables and put aside. Strain the potatoes and mash until smooth.

Layer the chicken, then vegetables then mashed potatoes.




If you are preparing it in advance, seal it with seran wrap and put it in the refrigerator until ready.

Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes if coming from the refrigerator, for 20 minutes if baking immediately.

Comment below what you think if you make it!







Thursday, December 10, 2015

Honeymoon Video in Bora Bora

As you all know, from this post, we went to Bora Bora for our honeymoon.
It was such a wonderful trip, here's a video recap of our time there.

video

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chicken Caesar Wraps

This simple recipe is something I love to make from time to time as it is my go to comfort food. I have no idea why, something as simple as caesar salad and chicken are comforting to me, but they are -plus my husband also really likes this meal.

As I said, it is super easy, especially if you are using store bought caesar dressing and BBQ sauce.

Here's what you'll need for 6 wraps:
500g cut up chicken -you can also BBQ the chicken and then slice it up
1/2 cup caesar dressing (homemade recipe to come)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (homemade recipe to come)
4 romaine hearts
60g parmesan cheese
croutons -we also like to add roasted onions to ours
6 tortillas
some olive oil for frying the chicken



First heat up the olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken slightly before adding the BBQ sauce (if you add it too soon, it will burn in the pan).



Add the BBQ sauce and cook until chicken is cooked through, usually 20-30 minutes depending on how thick you cut the chicken.



Add caesar dressing to lettuce and toss, add the croutons and parmesan cheese.




Serve with tortillas, salad and chicken and let guests make them themselves!


So easy, and really delicious!

If you cook it, make sure to leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!



Winter Wonderland

This has been one of my favorite things during the winter as Christmas approaches, even more so now that I am pregnant. As you have read, I am trying to avoid chemicals as much as I can, but I just love my house smelling of cinnamon and Christmas -so here's my solution for a chemical free, all natural smell that will fill your house and make guests think you spent all day baking.

Here's what you'll need:
1/2 orange cut into slices
2 cups of water
5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise


Combine everything into a small pot and turn the stove on low. Mix it every 30 minutes or so and leave it on for as long as you'd like.



I generally have it on one hour before guests come or one to two hours in the morning to get the house smelling nice. I re-use these ingredients for about 4 days just adding more water when it gets low -do not let the water run out! After about 4 days the oranges have really disolved and you will need to make a fresh batch.

I have gotten so many compliments on the smell of our house from this trick and it is completely safe for asthmatics, children, elderly and pregnant women to inhale.

Let me know if you try it, and if you put any other things in that I am missing out on! xo

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bora Bora

When Sven and I first met, we really did the whole 100 questions thing to get to know each other. I am talking asking anything that pops into our heads to really understand the person. One question was 'where is your dream vacation?' I answered Bora Bora and he did too! We laughed and said jokingly that when we get married we would have our honeymoon there -so we did exactly that!

The day after our wedding in Vancouver, we had brunch with our families to bring an end to our wedding month (yes, it was nearly a month long!) Right after brunch we headed to the airport to catch our first of 4 flights to get to Bora Bora.

We flew from Vancouver to Seattle, Seattle to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Papeete, Papeete to Bora Bora, then from Bora Bora we we're picked up by a boat from our hotel which brought us to our hotel. In total it took us 28 hours to get there, but we we're able to sleep the entire 9 hours from Los Angeles to Papeete. I am talking, sleeping, not eating or waking up at all! It was so great! 

Once we got to our hotel (Le Meridien) we were brought to our bungalow over the water and the first 2 days were more or less us sleeping the whole time. We did have a nice dinner at the restaurant overlooking the lagoon the first night but we didn't do anything for the first few days other than sleep and enjoy our time alone (which we hadn't had in a month!) 

Bora Bora could not have been any better. It was truly paradise and made for the most spectacular honeymoon! It was so romantic. We did quite a few activities, but overall just enjoyed our 2 weeks at the resort. 

We went to the main island Vaitape, one day. There we had lunch at a nice restaurant overlooking the harbor, went on a tour of the island, which means we drove completely around the island and up some of the hills to get a better view of the many islands and beautiful ocean. The main island was nice, but after one day we didn't need to go back. If we were there on a humanitarian trip it would have been nice to get to know the locals better, however, for a honeymoon setting, the main island wasn't what we were going for. 

We also went swimming with sharks and stingrays then had lunch on a private island. It was such a great experience, to be honest, I was more afraid of the stingrays than the sharks. The stingrays were so sneaky and would all of a sudden be under your feet, at least you could see the sharks coming and you knew you were toast. Lunch on the island was great! We got to relax and enjoy some Tahitian food -most of which was vegetarian, major plus!

We had planned to go on a sunset cruise one evening, however, there was a swell in the lagoon which meant it wasn't too safe so they cancelled our trip.
We did the usual kayaking to a private island one day and went paddle boarding -both of which were activities provided by the hotel. We had hoped to do them a few more times, however, with the swell in the lagoon, they encouraged us not too as it could be dangerous.

We also took a traditional Tahitian boat ride with a guide. It was really nice and it gave us the chance to talk to him and get to know what life on the islands was like.

Our hotel also had a turtle rehabilitation center where they help and put new turtles into the ocean. So one day we went and checked out the turtles and saw a turtle feeding. The hotel also had a traditional Tahitian dance show one evening. Of course they pulled Sven and I up to dance with them, which was really funny and a memory we will have forever!

Lastly, we got tattoos to remember our honeymoon. It was a really neat experience where the tattoo artist came to our room and did it on the very last day. But mostly, we just hung out at the hotel, swam in the ocean, relaxed and just enjoyed our first few weeks as husband and wife. 

We really recommend Bora Bora and especially Le Meridien to anyone who is interested in going. They have great service and everyone is really friendly (well, everyone in Bora Bora is friendly).

Here are some pictures of our time, stay tuned for a video of our trip!


After 28 hours of flying and a boat ride -don't mind my hair

View from the airport once the boat picked us up

We were greeted with Champagne on our balcony















This moon ray kept coming under our bungalow, he visited us every few days


I've never quite seen sunsets like in Bora Bora











Our Tahitian BBQ on a private island after swimming with Sharks and Stingrays







Here are a few pictures of our time on the main island Vaitape