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Food & DIY

    Food & DIY

    Phyllo Dough Flat Bread


    Today I’m sharing with you one of my go-to recipes: phyllo dough flat bread. I started making flat bread when I first moved out on my own and I needed to prepare meals that were fast and easy, and that could serve as leftovers for work. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s really easy to make. You can even prepare it in advance and just pop it in the oven right before mealtime. It can also serve as an appetizer at your next party. Although you can pick any of your favorite toppings to put on your flat bread, I am suggesting some of my favorite combinations in this post. One of my favorite appetizers is bacon-wrapped dates, so it only seemed natural to use those two ingredients as a topping in one of these flatbread recipes. I also love Greek salads, so I decided to combine some of the ingredients in my second flat bread. But as I said, the possibilities are endless. This recipe is also great with a side salad if you’re worried about getting in your daily serving of veggies. I know that I’m definitely trying to pay more attention to that these days. Haha!




    (Each flat bread makes 4-6 servings)
    (Makes 1 crust)
    10-12 Phyllo dough sheets
    1/2 cup of Olive Oil
    1/2 cup of Pasta Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara)
    8 oz herbed goat cheese
    3-5 chopped dates
    1 cup of chopped bacon
    Sliced onions (to taste)
    1 and 1/2 cups of crumbled Feta cheese
    1/2 cup of chopped basil
    1 cup of chopped tomatoes
    1 cup of chopped Kalamata olives
    Sliced onions (to taste)
    Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, lay down a baking sheet or piece of aluminum on a tray, and lightly grease it with olive oil to ensure that the phyllo dough sheets don’t stick. To make your crust, start off by laying down a phyllo dough sheet over the aluminum or baking sheet. Use a brush or a paper napkin to rub olive oil over the sheet before you lay down the next, and repeat this until you’ve laid down all 10-12 sheets. Once you have your crust, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over it, and then evenly spread your toppings over the crust. Finally, bake the flat breads for 45-50 minutes and serve.


    I hope that you all had a great weekend. I spent most of mine in my loungewear, baking and studying. I don’t think that I have to say that my weekend wasn’t too exciting! I’m just trying to get through this month, take the GRE, and then have time to enjoy the holidays.
    Also, I’m sorry if I have been slow responding to comments. Your opinions and questions are very valuable to me! As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m trying to take a step back from blogging for a while, in order to make time for studying and self-care. However, I don’t want to completely ignore this blog since I really enjoy working on it and interacting with all of you. Nevertheless, I should be able to be more active here by the end of the month, once I’ve taken the GRE.
    Helen Grace
    Food & DIY

    Chocolate and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

    Photos by Sarah Veyna
    I’ve been having extreme sugar cravings lately, and have been eating tons and tons of chocolate. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, that is mostly what I have been eating, and I realize that all the candy bars that I have been devouring are not necessarily rich in nutrients. That is why I’ve been looking for dessert ideas that are both healthy and delicious. This past weekend I made chia seed pudding for the first time, by adapting a recipe that I found on the back of the Trader Joe’s Chia Seeds packet. I was really surprised at how delicious it tasted, as well as how easy it was to make. Another great thing about this dessert is that it is a great way for you to get your daily dose of fiber and Omega 3s. And, did I mention that it’s also vegan? Keep on reading if you want to learn how to make this delicious recipe.
    1/2 a cup of chia seeds
    2 cups of vanilla coconut milk
    1/3 of a cup of agave syrup
    1/4 of a cup of cocoa powder
    Shredded coconut (Optional)
    Combine 1/2 cup of chia seeds, 1/3 of a cup of agave syrup, and 1/4 of a cup of cocoa powder in a large bowl. Pour 2 cups of vanilla coconut milk and stir. Make sure to mix all the ingredients well enough, so that there aren’t any chunks of cocoa powder left in the mixture.  Put the mixture in the fridge for 2-3 hours, and stir occasionally. Before you go ahead and serve the pudding, wait until the chia seeds expand and the mixture thickens. Once the pudding is good to go, you can add shredded coconut or chocolate flakes, and then enjoy! It’s that easy!
    If you’re wondering why I’ve been craving so much dessert, it’s probably because these past few weeks have been very busy for me. This week, in particular, has been pretty intense for me in terms of work, since we have a big event coming up on Saturday. I can’t wait until it’s over and I finally have time to breathe. The good thing is that I’m taking some time off from work next week, so I’ll have time to rest. I was kind of bummed at first, because the main reason that I’m taking time off is because I need to get my car fixed. But since I always talk about  how much I hate driving, I’m hoping that being without a car for a couple of days will enable me to rediscover my love for public transportation. I’m really committed to getting out of the house during that time, and discovering new and cool places. If any of you have any suggestions of cool places in L.A. that you can get to taking either the metro or bus, please let me know! I’d love to hear all of your suggestions.
    Helen Grace


    Food & DIY

    DIY Floral Coasters


    Today I’m excited to bring you this floral coasters DIY tutorial. I have to admit that the reason that I decided to make these, is because I figured that if I’m going to spend money on DIY projects, I might as well make things that I already need. I’ve been meaning to make coasters for a while, but I just didn’t know what materials I wanted to use. Luckily for me, I found these metal and cork squares that were exactly the same size, on my last trip to Michaels. I decided to paint a floral design on them using acrylic paints and permanent marker, and I’m super happy with the way that they turned out. The best part is that they only took about 20 minutes to make. Keep on reading if you want to learn how to make your own!
    Metal Coasters
    Cork Coasters
    Tacky Glue
    Acrylic Paints
    Paint Brushes
    Sharpie Permanent Marker
    Optional: Clear Varnish
    STEP 1: Use tacky glue to adhere the metal plate and the cork square together. After you do this, place the glued pieces under a heavy book for about an hour or two, in order to put some weight and pressure on the coasters. This will ensure that the two pieces don’t become unglued later on.

    STEP 2: Draw flowers on opposite corners of the metallic side of your coaster. Don’t worry about having to  be very artistic to draw this floral design–As you can see, I basically just drew a couple of squiggly shapes on each side.


    STEP 3: Fill in your design using acrylic paint. I would suggest adding white or black to whatever color your using, in order to make the paint more opaque. If you use certain colors, such as yellow or red, they tend to be very translucent; adding white gives these types of colors a more “matte” effect. Make sure not to layer too much paint over your design, so that you can still see the outline of the permanent marker.


    STEP 4: Lastly, once the acrylic paint has dried, once again trace over your original design with permanent marker. Acrylic paint and marker don’t come off very easily if you just use a wipe to clean your coasters. However, you may want to consider also adding a layer of clear varnish to make sure that your design doesn’t wash off over time.



    That’s it for this tutorial! I really hope that you enjoyed reading it, and will be inspired to create your own project.  Please let me know if you do decide to make this project by leaving me a comment, or tagging me on Instagram @sweethelengrace.  I would love to see what you come up with!
    Helen Grace