About Malika Smith

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So far Malika Smith has created 265 blog entries.

Rustic Rhubarb and Apple Crisp

Well I am all moved in to my new temporary home! The last month was a bit crazy packing and moving but I feel settled and cozy in our new rental. We sold our condo in January and bought a brand new townhouse that will be finished construction at the end of August. Possession of the condo was last week so we had to find a temporary rental home for the next 4 months. We found a great older home (build in the 70’s) up on a hill in the forest. It’s so great for our 2 dogs and boys. They can play outside for hours and explore nature. My heart is so happy! 🙂 I grew up on an Island playing outside all the time and being in the city, I feel like my kids are missing out on some of what I had.

One of the great things about this house is the size of the property. We have not even fully explored all of it yet. We found a great cliff/bluff through the trees with an amazing view. A great place for happy hour with our camping chairs. 😉 I also discovered a small garden that is overgrown but had some fresh rhubarb growing in it. So of course I had to make this crips. My mom always had a small garden and I alway loved eating anything that we picked from it.

The crisp turned out so yummy, not too sweet or too sour! I served it warm with vanilla ice cream and it was a hit with my hubby. Let me know if you try it. I’m not sure you can find rhubarb at the grocery store but I am pretty sure it is at your local farmers market.

xx x Malika

Rustic Rhubarb and Apple Crisp
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup (stick) cold butter
  • Filling:
  • 4 apples (cubed)
  • 6 stalks of rhubarb (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1. Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
  • 2 Grease a lasagne size glass dish (pan) with cooking spray
  • 3. Mix the ingredients except butter for crust in a bowl.
  • 4 Grate butter into mix and use hands to break up large chunks, set aside.
  • 5. Mix filling together with hands and toss into baking dish.
  • 6. Top with oat mixture
  • 7. Bake in oven for 40-45 min until top looks crispy and cooked.
  • 8. Let cool, serve with vanilla ice cream!

By | May 6th, 2020|Desserts|0 Comments

5 FUN things to do this Spring with your Kids

We are very lucky here on the West Coast with all the sunshine we have been getting this spring! I don’t know about you but finding stuff to do with your kids now that they are home 24/7 is not an easy task. Don’t even get me started on trying to home school them. Right now parents are expected to be the chef, house cleaner, teacher, parent, sports coach, wife/husband as well as work from home, this is hard! We try to get our 2 boys out of the house at least 1 hour a day so they can burn off some energy and move around. Sometimes its just a walk to the park or a simple bike ride. Sometimes it’s more creative and I know they enjoy this special time with us. I hope some of these memories last a lifetime for them. Some of these ideas are for beautiful sunny days and others like today are great activities to do indoors when the weather is not so nice. Enjoy!

xxx Malika

 

  1. BUILD A FORT-  Go outside and build a fort! Such a fun and easy way to be out in nature. You don’t need to bring your tool box you just have to use your imagination. We went down to the river by our house and the boys collected sticks and they build this cool fort in less than an hour. Now when we go for a bike ride to the river we always go and see if its still there.

2. GO FOR A PICNIC – Pack up lunch or dinner and head to your favourite secluded spot and have a meal outside. We have done this a few times now. One night we went for dinner at the beach and another time we ate by the river. It does not have to be fancy. Sandwiches, fruit, chips, cheese and crackers are all easy to bring. We even snuck in some beer. 😉 Bring a blanket and enjoy eating outside, your kids will love it.

3. GAME NIGHT – Who doesn’t love a good board game night?! I have fond memories or playing Yahtzee and monopoly with my family as a kid. We have at least 8 broad games but Yahtzee seems to be the kids favourite game right now and we look forward to our weekly game night. It’s a great way to bond with your kids without leaving the house and wine is always allowed. 😉

 

4. PLAY SPORTS – My boys were supposed to be in the first season of Baseball this spring. Due to this outbreak, baseball like all sports has been cancelled. Instead we have taken the boys to a small park by our condo and got them to practice batting and catching. If baseball is not your thing, there are so many things you can outdoor sports to play with your kids. Frisbee is one of my favourites, try croquet, soccer or basketball if you have a driveway or a big yard.

 

 

5. BAKE COOKIES – Who doesn’t love freshly baked cookies? Right now families have never had to cook more meals at home then we have in the last month due to COVID-19. Why not get your kids involved in helping in the process. It’s a good life skill to learn (cooking) and its one they should enjoy when they get to eat the cookies that they helped bake! If cookies are not your thing go to Pinterest and find a yummy treat your family would love to eat and get baking. I used this recipe and they were so soft and yummy minus the walnuts…. I am not a fan of nuts in my cookies!

By | Apr 22nd, 2020|Lifestyle|0 Comments

Rustic Potato Crust Quiche with Goat Cheese

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy! I know this is a strange time for everyone, most of our daily routines are on pause right now but life goes on in a new way. I know I have not cooked more than I have the past few weeks in years. I really do love the kitchen and I’m super grateful that my hubby likes to cook as well so we take turns. One of my favourite gluten free breakfasts the last few years is this super easy quiche. You can make it and reheat it, eating leftovers for days.It is also good with salad for lunch. I hope you are all staying sane working from home or helping your kids do their online school work…. crazy how life has changed. I am in the midst of moving in 2 weeks so that is keeping me somewhat occupied. What are you all doing to stay sane and busy in this quarantine time at home?!!

xxx Malika

 

Potato Crust Quiche with Goat Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 small baby potatoes (washed)
  • salt and pepper
  • spray cooking oil
  • 2 tbs Romano grated cheese
  • 2 tbs fresh unripened crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 5 eggs (free range)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cream
Instructions
  1. With a mandolin or knife thinly slice potatoes
  2. Spay pie plate with oil and layer the potatoes.
  3. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. While potatoes are cooking whisk together in a bowl, eggs, milk, romano cheese, parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pull out potato crust and add the egg mixture, add the goat cheese on top.
  6. Bake again at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool and serve.

By | Apr 18th, 2020|Breakfast|0 Comments

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I hope you are all doing ok?! These past few weeks have been crazy, my generation has never lived through something like this flu pandemic and it’s very stressful and scary. I am just taking it day by day and trying to keep my family safe. As most of the world stays indoors more than we ever have before we are all taking up new hobbies and cooking more then ever! I love cooking and it is nice to have more free time to do it.

Last night I made peanut chicken lettuce wraps and my family gobbled them up. I apologize that the photos are not of the best quality as my cannon camera is stuck in Victoria with my sister and I have no idea when I will get it back with the current healthy crisis. I used my iPhone last night with very little natural light so they are not my best work. I can guarantee that they are much tastier then they look! I also what to note how hard it is to find the food items you want at grocery stores right now. It seems you have to try 3 store before finding basic things like flour and toilet paper. What a crazy reality we are living in right now. I could not find and iceberg lettuce at the store the other day so I just used romaine because substituting is my jam.  If you can find iceberg or butter lettuce I think either would be tasty. I served my warps with coconut rice, so yummy. Let me know if you try the recipe and if they are a hit?!

xxx Malika

 

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
These are fairly easy to make and take less than 30 min.
Ingredients
  • 1 head romain lettuce
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 3 small diced (red, yellow, orange) mini peppers sliced
  • 1 portobello mushroom chopped
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime squeezed
  • 1 nub fish ginger (grated)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Toppings:
  • 2 tbs crushed peanuts
  • 2 sprig cilantro
  • 1 green onion stalk
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium pan heat add 1 tbsp oil and cook the chicken that has been diced into bite sized pieces until just cooked.
  2. In a second pan heat the other tbsp of oil and add the shallot, after 2 minutes add the mushrooms, peppers, fish sauce and hoisin cook over medium, heat for 5-7 min.
  3. While you wait prepare the peanut sauce. Then toss the chicken veggies and sauce all together in one pan.
  4. Serve in lettuce cups and top with crushed peanuts, green onion and cilantro.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

 

By | Apr 1st, 2020|Meals|0 Comments

Top 5 Tips On How To Get Your Home Ready For Sale

Well I can say from personal experience that selling your home is one of the most stressful things you will ever do! I have picked all the hard things this year as I am also planning my wedding in September and trying to buy a new home. I like to do all the hard things at once. I’m a professional stager and I have spent the last 5 years telling clients what to do to get their homes to get them ready for sale. I can say it feels pretty stressful being on the other end of things.  I have a new appreciation for homeowners and what they need to do to show there homes in the best possible light. Here are my top 5 suggestions for having your home sell fast.

  1. Clean, Clean, Clean. There is nothing worse then going to view a home and finding it dirty and disorganized. It’s very hard for potential buyers to see past the grime and clutter. You only get one first impression with the potential buyer and you want to make it a good one! I am a fairly clean and tidy person, but I had a professional cleaner come in and do a very thorough deep clean the day before the open house so my home was in tip top shape.
  2. Declutter. When you have lived in a home for many years you tend to collect a lot of stuff. Buyers do not need to see all of your stuff! I always tell clients to edit their personal items when they are listing their home. Tiny knick knacks from trips or sentimental gifts do not show well and should be put away when you are selling your home. A few key decor items is all you need out when buyers are coming through your home.
  3. Depersonalize. Having your family photos all over the home makes it hard for potential buyers to imagine their families living in your space. Editing your home of anything personal including family calendars on fridges and teen posters in bedrooms is always a good idea.
  4. Neutralize your home. We don’t all share the same taste, so any crazy decor items like leopard print rugs or zebra pillows can probably go into storage until your home sells. Creating a space that is inviting to almost any buyer is key. Complimentary pops of colour in your home will show well in listing photos. Using colour in throw pillows and decor accents is a good idea as long as the rest of the home is a neutral palate. Painting can go along way, if you have purple or red walls, that is a turn off for many buyers. So spend the time and a bit of money so your home is move in ready.  Choose light paint colours when getting your home ready to sell.
  5. Staging. Even this professional stager needed to stage my own home! Yes I probably live a little different than the average person as I am very into decorating and living in a stylish home, but I still asked one of my colleges to come over with a fresh pair of eyes and tell me if I need to move or edit anything and I did! She got me to move a few things around so my place would look better in photos. We currently have my hubby working from home and his home office is in the dining room. I knew we had to turn the space back into its designated purpose to show buyers that our condo could have an eating area. So we took apart his desk and brought in a dining table and chairs so that we could show our home in the best possible light. Hiring a stager if only to tweak a few things is definitely worth it.

We sold our condo in one week with only one weekend of open houses. So the proof is in the pudding! Do the work and you will see great results. It’s very stressful keeping your home clean and clutter free, I know now first hand. So doing the work before selling makes the process easier and less stressful as you will most likely sell your home faster and for more money. Good luck, the next hard step for me is finding our new home…..I will keep you posted when we find one. 😉

Home office, before staging.

After staging.

By | Feb 15th, 2020|Decor, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Holiday Decor 2019 Part 2

Here is a little tour of the rest of our home decorated for the holidays! Our condo is small, under 850 square feet, so I didn’t want to over decorate and make it look tacky. Again not all of my decor made it out this year, and thats ok. I love to decorate my entry console and change it slightly every year. This year is all gold and sparkly trees.

I tried very hard not to buy much this year but as always a few new things made it home with me. One was a wooden snow flake ornament that me and my hubby bought together in Montreal. I also found two cute doggy ornaments that you put your dogs photos in to hang on the tree. We have two dogs now, Caia and Honey. I also scored the cute sparkly bird in my entry way display for 70% off so I just couldn’t resist.

I usually have trays on my coffee table with decor as well as my dining table but we no longer have a dinging table, that area is an office.  The coffee table is much more simple with some books and beads as we have two boys who play in the living room and I wanted it to feel less formal.

As always I decked out the bar cart to make it feel festive and have another place to add holiday decor. Just adding a few simple things can make it feel festive, a tree, a cute sign and some reindeer. 😉

And last but not least is my white tree. I have had this tree for about 5 years now, unfortunately it is starting to turn a bit yellow. My hubby likes a green tree and so I snagged a new one one sale last week for next year. I can’t wait to have a green flocked tree, it will be my first. This year I let the kids and my hubby go first when we decorated it and they put up all the hand made and sentimental ornaments on first. My fiancé has decorations from when he was a kid, it’s very cute that he is so sentimental about Christmas, Then I added my favourites. The tree is packed very full this year!

The count down is on, only one week till Christmas now!!

xx Malika

By | Dec 17th, 2019|Decor|0 Comments

Holiday Bedroom Decor

I am sure most of you have already started or finished all of your holiday decorating. I can’t believe there is only 12 days until Christmas! December always sneaks up on me and then flies by so fast. I thought this year I would do 2 Christmas decor posts, starting with our bedroom. I personally love to go back and see photos of what I did the year before. I use most of the same items but always find new ways to display them every year.

This year is the first year decorating with my new hubby and our newly blended family. He has had his own traditions and Christmas decorations long before he ever met me so I knew we were going to have to compromise when deciding what decor would make it into our small condo this year. We definitely don’t have room for 2 trees! My hubby grew up collecting Christmas Villages and that is something special and important to him so we made room for his village in our bedroom on one of our dressers. At first I was not sure if I would like it (to be honest I have never seen one up close before) but its actually quite sweet and I enjoy looking at it at night when its all lit up.

I chose to display my gold tree and reindeer display up on the second dresser in our room and it turned out quite pretty. My ‘Tis the season wood sign normally hung above my old fire place but our new home does not have one so I thought hanging it above the bed this year would be quite festive. We both didn’t get to put out all of our old Christmas stuff but I am happy with the way our home looks and feels this holiday season. It’s a blend of both our families starting new traditions. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

xx Malika

 

By | Dec 13th, 2019|Decor|0 Comments

Apple Fashioned Smash

The holiday season is upon us and so is hosting friends and family. Me and my hubby just hosted our first Christmas party together last night. I always like to serve a signature cocktail to guests when they arrive. Recently we were in Montreal for a few days and I had this really nice drink at the airport coming home called an Apple Fashioned Smash. I don’t know what exactly they put in it but I knew it had apple juice and bourbon so I recreated my own version and they were a hit last night. I hope you like them!

xx Malika

Apple Fashioned Smash Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 drink
 
Ingredients
  • 2 shots Bulliet Bourbon Whiskey
  • ½ lime juiced
  • Dash of Old Fashioned Bitters
  • ¼ cup Fresh Pressed Apple Juice
  • Sprig of Rosemary
Instructions
  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice
  2. Add the bourbon, lime juice and bitters
  3. Top up with apple juice and stir.
  4. Add Rosemary sprig
  5. Enjoy

By | Dec 8th, 2019|Drinks|0 Comments

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Parmesan

Well Hello! I’m back. My job as a home stager has definitely been slower this year and so I seem to have more free time on my hands these days. It’s time to get back to this bog as it has always been a creative outlet for me and I miss it! I have had quite the year of change, so let me give you a little update before I share this yummy recipe. I met the man of my dreams in the spring and we got engaged this summer, I moved into his place and we are now living as one big happy family of 6! I know it sounds crazy but when you know you know. 😉 Lets back up a bit, my hubby’s name is Craig and we didn’t just meet this spring, we met 6 years ago when we were neighbours in my old apartment building. We used to take the elevator down to our car every morning. Back then we were both in other relationships and so we were just friends. As they say, timing is everything, we reconnected this year and were both single at the right time. We now live together with our 2 dogs, he has a 10 year old lab and I have my rescue dog named honey, as well as our 2 kids! We each have a son, mine is 10 and his is 5 and our home is very full at the moment. We are planning on buying a bigger home next year but in the meantime it is close quarters for this newly blended family!!

Life is busy and crazy with 2 dogs and 2 kids but we do get 2-3 days  just me and him (no kids) every week to connect when the house is just a little bit cleaner and quieter! When we are kid free we tend to cook more elaborate meals and I have finally met a man who likes to cook for me. LOVE. Last night he was in charge of making fried chicken in his new deep fryer and I made the sides, yams and brussel sprouts. It was delicious! The brussels sprouts are so easy to make, they only takes 20 min in the oven. The best way to eat this green vegetable by far. Enjoy.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: Side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • ½ cup grated fresh parmesan
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 strips of hormone free bacon (thinly sliced)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
  2. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Wash and trim you brussels sprouts and then cut them in half.
  4. Toss everything except the parmesan in the pan and bake in the oven for 20 min.
  5. The last 5 min turn the oven up to broil to make the brussels sprouts nice and crispy.
  6. Take out of the oven and sprinkle cheese over top.
  7. Serve.

 

By | Nov 12th, 2019|veggies|0 Comments

Spring has Sprung and Easter Decor

Hello Spring! Living in Vancouver we usually do not have very cold winters but this February nature gave us a run for our money with quite a bit of snow! We even got some in March, then a week or two later it got really warm really fast and I was suntanning outside at 24 degrees, craziness! Now it’s April and April is know for its showers (it usually rains quite a bit) but that brings May flowers so I am ok with it. 😉

I am always happy to have spring arrive after so after months of hibernation. I can get back to doing more stuff outside, especially now that we have a doggy. Easter is only 2 weeks away so I decided to get out my bunnies and have a little fun decorating the house with some Easter decor. I set the table for Easter breakfast and added some little things in my entry and console tables. What is your favourite thing about Easter? Mine is hot cross buns and mini eggs, I am a addict.

xx Malika

By | Apr 7th, 2019|Decor|0 Comments