Yearly Archives: 2013

Santa bread

Dec. 13th, 2013

The holidays are here! And it’s time for Ho-Ho-Holiday bread! This adorably cute Christmas bread is actually easy to make and a show stopper at any holiday party. My family devoured this tasty treat only after taking 50 photos of it. It takes about 30 minutes and is well worth every second. Bake, celebrate, enjoy!

Here’s what it will look like!
photo

Ingredients
Dough (see below for link to dough recipe I used)
2 egg yolks
Red food coloring

Directions:
1. Shape half the dough into a triangle shape on a floured surface and set aside.
2. With half the remaining dough, create a flat half circle (or watermelon slice as I refer to it in the video).
3. With dough scissors or a pizza cutter cut 1/2 inch strips starting at the bottom of the circle up to 1/2 inch away from the straight edge. This is the beginning of the world’s cutest Santa beard.
4. Lay the beard on top of the bottom of the elongated triangle.
5. Twist beard hairs to make them more beard-like.
6. Use a palmful of dough to make a mustache.
7. Make a small ball for his cute nose.
8. Folder over the tip of the triangle (his hat) and add a big ball of dough at the end.
9. Add a flat straight piece of dough for the brim of the hat (tuck edge under the Santa head).
10. Add to raisins for eyes.
11. Take one plain egg yolk and coat all parts of the Santa that will be uncolored (beard, face, ball of the hat).
12. Take one egg yolk mixed with red food coloring and paint the hat, cheeks, and nose.
13. Cover bread loaf with foil and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Dough recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/golden-santa-bread

 

Healthy chickpea corn nuts!

Dec. 8th, 2013

When I was a kid I would buy a bag of bbq corn nuts every day at summer camp.That crunchy deliciousness was the highlight of my bus ride home. Unfortunately, corn nuts aren’t the healthiest snack option and so as an adult, I retired my corn nut obsession. But then, as luck would have it, I discovered the corn nut’s long lost healthy cousin – the roasted chickpea. Try these. Seriously.

They. Are. Addictive.

Ingredients
1 can of chickpeas
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of red chili flakes
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions
1. Rinse and dry chickpeas
2. Incorporate all ingredients except chickpeas
3. Once seasonings are mixed add chickpeas until fully coated
4. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Rotate chickpeas every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning

Grilled chicken with frozen herbs

Dec. 5th, 2013

Leftover herbs? Or perhaps the leftover frozen herbs that you learned how to make with BWG? Greeeeat! I have a yummy recipe to clear out some of those lingering ingredients in your freezer that I just know you have on hand.

Ingredients:
6 Chicken drumsticks
4 tablespoons of rosemary
4 tablespoons of oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper as desired

Directions:
1. If using frozen herbs: Thaw rosemary and oregano in microwave.
2. Add olive oil to herbs.
3. Add salt and pepper to mixture to taste
4. Put mixture in container or bag. Add drumsticks (can leave skin on or remove skin).
5. Marinate between 1-8 hours in fridge.
6. Preheat broiler.
7. Remove drumsticks from marinate and place on broiler tray.
8. Broil drumsticks between 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
9. Keep oven slightly open so that broiler flame is continuous. Note: If you do this be safe and stay within eye sight of the oven!
10. Remove chicken from oven and enjoy!

 

Quick Tip: Freeze fresh herbs in ice cube trays

Nov. 13th, 2013

Well, as I’ve said before, I’m no expert at these projects and I promised I would show you the bumps I experience along the way.  This quick tip (small disaster) proves just that! You still learn the magic of transforming your fresh herbs into handy ice cubes you can pop into any recipe that last for months, but you get to see a little snafu along the way.

Never find a bag of indistinguishable once-were-herbs in your fridge again!

Ingredients:
Fresh Herb
Water
Blender (not a cuisinart- you’ll see why!)
Ice Cube Trays

Instructions:
1. Blend your leftover fresh herbs with enough water to fill the ice cube tray (the ratio is roughly one-third chopped herbs to two-thirds water).
2. Pour blended mixture into tray and add any additional water that may be necessary.
3. Pop in the freezer and a couple hours later you have ready to go herb ice cubes!

Homemade Chapstick

Oct. 28th, 2013

I reapply chapstick a million times a day and decided I may as well spread something au natural on my lips. With much interwebs research I bring to you – homemade chapstick!

Ingredients
1 tbsp Shea Butter
1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil
4-8 drops Peppermint Oil (or other essential oils)
Container for chapstick
Optional: 1 tbsp Beeswax

Directions
1. Combine Shea butter and coconut oil. Also add beeswax in this step if you want a harder chapstick
2. Microwave until all ingredients are incorporated
3. Add 4-8 drops of essential oil
4. Pour mixture into chapstick container
5. Freeze chapstick container until mixture is hardened
6. Moisturize your lips, elbows, hair to your heart’s content

Quick Tip: Watering Orchids

Aug. 13th, 2013

I have killed one too many an orchid in my day and have realized that perhaps they do not require as much water as I once suspected. In fact, they require only a wee bit of water! Tune in to see how much they need and an easy trick so that you don’t have to think about watering during the week.

Homemade Potpourri in a Mason Jar

Jul. 31st, 2013

Ok, I officially had to google how you spell potpourri.  Which, I’m sorry English language, should really be po-por-ri. The ‘t’ is a little excessive. I digress.

So, I’m not really one for artificial smells in my home, but I love love love the way a home smells when someone is cooking. This is a perfect and simple solution if you don’t have a raspberry soufflé in the oven. Also, soufflé is a ridiculous word. Maybe it’s just because all these words are French? Hmmm…

Check out this 15 minute DIY project to have a sweet smelling home.

Ingredients (Double everything you see in the video – the scent faded too quickly)
4 lemons
4 sprigs of rosemary
12 drops of vanilla extract
1 mason jar

Directions
1. Quarter your lemons, except for three thinly sliced pieces used for decoration.
2. Fill your mason jar with water and then pour into your pot. (This way you have the exact right amount of water).
3. Bring water to a boil on the stove and reduce to medium-low.
4. Add lemon, rosemary, and vanilla to the water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Let mixture cool.
6. Pour mixture into mason jar.
7. Put your beautiful jar of homemade potpourri out for display.
8. Enjoy the “mmmm, it smells so good in here” comments.

 
Project from Thistle Wood Farms

Roasted Corn Salad

May. 12th, 2013

Going to a BBQ and need to bring something?  Why bring the standard wine/beer when you can bring this easy (and frankly, cheap) salad that is sooo delish and healthy and always gets the “ooohs” and “aaahs”?

Ingredients
Salad
2 cups corn (roasting is an option)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 basket of cherry tomatoes
1 avocado

Dressing
2 tbl Olive Oil
1 lime juiced
1/4 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions
1. If roasting in oven, preheat oven to 360 degrees.
2. Roast corn (husk on) for roughly 30 minutes, rotating corn frequently.
3. After corn is done roasting, let cool.
4. Cut corn kernels off cobs and place in salad bowl. / If you did not roast the corn, boil frozen corn according to directions and let cool.
5. Dice avocado into 1/2″ cubes and place in bowl.
6. Halve cherry tomatoes and mix with corn and avocado.
7. Dice 1/4 cup red onion and mix with salad. Set this bowl aside.
8. To make dressing, finely chop 1/4 cup cilantro and put into dressing bowl.
9.  Add 2 tbl olive oil into dressing.
10. Grate 1/4 tsp lime zest into dressing.
11. Juice one whole lime into dressing bowl.
12. Add 1/4 tsp salt and a 1/4 tsp pepper into dressing.
13. Whisk dressing until all ingredients are incorporated.
14. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.
15. Enjoy that salad and never tell anyone that it took you no time at all to make!

Original Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/corn-avocado-and-tomato-salad-recipe/index.html

Photo Project on Foam Board

Mar. 25th, 2013

Photo foam boards are a way to display large prints cheaply around your home or apartment.  Who wants to pay upwards of $70 to print and mount photos?  Not this ginger.  Here is an inexpensive alternative to canvas prints.

Materials:
Large print of photo
Foam Core Board (If you pick this up at your local craft store they may be willing to cut it to the size of your photo print)
Black Acrylic Paint
Sponge Brush
Easy Tack Spray – or any spray glue
Optional – Preserve-It Spray

Instructions:
1. Size and cut foam board to match the size of your printed photo.  When you purchase the foam core board ask the store if they will cut it for you. If the store cannot cut the board for you – place the picture on the board and, using a ruler, trace the photo.  Using a box cutter, cut along the lines you drew pressing the blade against a ruler to cut precise edges.
2. Paint the edges of the foam core board with black acrylic paint and sponge brush.  Paint multiple coats as the core of the board takes a lot of paint to cover. Allow board to dry completely.
3. Spray Easy Tack Spray on two inches of the left side of the board.
4. Immediately line photo up to edge of board and smooth down photo on board. Use credit card to smooth photo and eliminate any air bubbles.
5.  Continue spraying and gluing photo down in two inch sections.
6. Allow photo to dry on board as instructed by glue instructions.
7. Optional: Spray Preserve-It Spray over photo in even sprays.
8. Allow photo to dry as instructed by Preserve-It Spray.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Mar. 12th, 2013

Quinoa is a weird word. How anyone ever figured out how to say the word without hearing it is beyond me. But it makes a delicious snack, so I will forgive the bizarre spelling. These quinoa pizza bites would make a great appetizer for any party or a snack for your lunch. Bake and enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
1 large egg
1/2 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. fat free shredded mozzarella
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbl dried basil
1 tbl dried oregano
1/2 tsp of salt
¼ tsp pepper
Pizza/Marinara sauce for dipping

Instructions:
1. Boil 1/2 cup quinoa as instructed on quinoa box.
2. Incorporate cooked quinoa, chopped onion, mozzarella, beaten egg, minced garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
3. Spray pam or rub olive oil in each of the muffin tins.
4. Put 1 tbl of quinoa mixture in each of the mini muffin tins.
5. Add a sprinkle of mozzarella over each of the muffins…Just a little!
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. emove from muffin tin and cool.
8. Dip the bites in the marinara sauce and enjoy that pizza taste!