two coast kitchen

food, photos, and fantastic adventures


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DIY Holiday Decorations

diy holiday decorations | two coast kitchen
We are now in full swing of the holiday season. This means long lines at the post office, spending way too much time online shopping, food blogs are full of sweet recipes, and instead of working all I want to do is bake. However this is not a food post. Instead I thought I would share with you some of my holiday decorations ideas that are simple and add a bit of sparkle.
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If you are traveling for the holidays like we are, it may seem like kind of a waste to get a whole christmas tree to then leave it for a week. Coming home to a dead tree kind of kills the holiday spirit. However, I can’t imagine the holidays without the house smelling of pine. So instead I pick up some evergreen branches which are available at most grocery stores or tree lots. I arrange them in different sized vases and place them all around the house.
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For the larger branches, you can even hang a few ornaments for a makeshift tree. This is also helpful if you have a small apartment and don’t have room for a tree. Flat ornaments work well hanging off of vases.
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Just because you don’t have a big tree doesn’t mean your ornaments won’t go to waste. I take similar colored ornaments and place them in glass vases, bowls, or mason jars. For my mantle, I stuck with silver and gold ornaments.
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I also had this string of globe lights made out of thin wicker strips. I bunched them all together and placed them in a serving dish. I love the light it throws on the wall. You can also do this with regular string lights or small twinkly lights because you can never have too much twinkle during the holidays.


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Corn with Miso Butter

corn with miso butter

Before moving to New Jersey, many told us we were moving to the land of tomatoes and corn. So far, they have been right.

Here is a quick, easy dish that takes advantage of all the delicious fresh corn out there. We had corn last night for dinner and I had one ear leftover. This recipe can be made with one ear for a single serving or a big bunch of corn for a large group. The corn can be boiled, steamed, or grilled.

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Corn with Miso Butter

(measurements for 1 ear of corn)

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon miso paste (I used white)

1 tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground mustard

1 cooked ear of corn – kernels cut off of cob

1 tablespoon chives – chopped

salt and pepper

In a small pan over medium heat, melt butter, miso, and water. Add ginger and mustard. Once mixture begins to bubble, add corn. Toss to coat and to heat through. Add almost all of the chives, save some for garnish. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Once corn is heated through, remove from heat and pour into bowl. Top with extra chives and serve. This dish is good hot or at room temp. Enjoy! IMG_2764


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Grilled Peach, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad

Grilled peach, arugula & goat cheese salad
Listen up everyone. Grill fruit. Trust me. It’s AMAZING!

This salad came together super quickly and with stone fruit coming into season this would be good with nectarines or plums too. Other veggies can be added if you like, but I decided to keep it simple so the sweetness of the peaches and the bitter and peppery flavors of the fresh arugula would be the star. And who ever said no to goat cheese? I know I never have.
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Gathered up the ingredients. Some quick pickled onions would also add a nice zing.
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Before putting the peaches on the grill, brush them with a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
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Then put it all together. Tip: dress the the arugula first, then top with peaches, goat cheese and sunflower seeds. Serve with extra dressing on the side. Continue reading


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Iced Coffee Ice Cubes

coffee ice cubes
What I’m about to share with you will change your life forever. Seriously.

Well, I think it’s kind of a big deal. It is an amazing life hack that will leave you saying “why didn’t I think of that!?!”

Warm weather = iced coffee season. For all of you that make iced coffee at home to save a few precious dollars here are there, this is just the post for you.

Make a pot of coffee – either with your coffee maker, french press, cold brew, Keurig, or AeroPress. Let the coffee sit on the counter to cool (unless you did cold brew coffee). Pour into ice cube trays. Freeze. Done!
coffee ice cubes
Now you have coffee ice cubes that won’t water down your coffee! It’s amazing. I love how the small things can make me so happy.
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Trust me you guys, just make this. You will thank me later.

One note: when you pop out the ice cubes be careful they don’t pop out and hit your clothes. Remember it’s coffee and it will stain.
coffee ice cubes

I feel silly writing a recipe for this, but here ya go.

Coffee Ice Cubes

What you need:
Room temperature coffee (examples: leftover from the morning, make a pot, use your french press, do cold brew, use your AeroPress and add some cold water after it’s brewed to double the amount)
Ice cube tray(s)

Pour coffee into ice cube trays. Freeze.

Once frozen, pop out of ice cube trays and pour your fresh coffee (hot or cold) over ice cubes. Add any milk or sweetener, or keep it black. Enjoy!


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Herb Pesto, Two Ways

herb pesto, two ways
Now that the weather is FINALLY starting to get it’s act together (I mean really… snow in April!? Not cool.) the farmers markets are starting to pop up around town. If you have a farmers market near you and you haven’t stopped by, I highly recommend it. Fresh local produce is amazing, not to mention you are supporting local farmers in the process.

herb pesto
Having fresh herbs on hand is a great way to brighten up a dish. However, sometimes it’s hard to find small bunches of herbs at the market or in the grocery store. I never need a WHOLE bunch of parsley for a dish, just a handful. These two pestos are a great way to use up leftover herbs so they don’t go to waste. When you mention pesto, basil automatically comes to mind. However, a pesto can be made with a variety of herbs. Since basil can be sad looking and expensive out of season, parsley and cilantro are perfect stand-ins.
herb pesto
These pestos can be used as a marinade for meat or tofu, a dressing for roasted veggies, grain salads, or regular salads. Mix some pesto in with greek yogurt for a delicious dip for pita or veggies. Spread some on toast and top with eggs in the morning. Mix with warm pasta. The opportunities are endless. Continue reading