Sunday, August 21, 2016

Day 234: DIY friendship necklace with tassels

Homebound for a few days, and tired of coloring in my meditative coloring book, I decided to make a friendship necklace.  I got a multicolor pack from Target, and some latches from Wal-mart and viola! The final product is a long necklace with multiple tassels that can be worn as is or doubled up!






Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 222: Travel must have

When traveling internationally, packing light can be a challenge. I consider myself pretty low key when it comes to beauty essentials, but I find the most frustrating things to pack are hair accessories. To get it under control my thick quick-to-frizz hair requires either a large barrel curling iron or a high quality straight iron. And even when I do pack these hair tools they often go unused because I can't find time (or space) to do my hair properly, or because of voltage issues.  

Enter the CHI Escape Cordless Hair Iron.  With a 220V plug it can easily be used while on the go or when traveling internationally. Though the battery doesn't stay charged for too long (about 20 minutes) it has enough juice to clean up your tresses in no time! Not to mention it's cordless, so you can do it anywhere. Travelgram, here I come!

CHI Escape Cordless Hair Iron, $109.99 at ulta.com

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Day 126: Cinco de Mayo! Sippin' on some Virgin Margaritas!

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Mexican food. But somehow I planned a playdate on May 5th, and thought why not have a Cinco de Mayo themed playdate? Aside from sombrero related crafts, I thought my mom friends might like to kick back with some virgin Margaritas and let our kids make their own soft and hard tacos.  

Here is one of the recipes I used! I even rimmed some of my plastic Ikea cups and let the kids have a bit!


Recipe:

1 lime
2 cups orange juice
4 cups limeade
4 ounces simple syrup*  

1. In a large jug, squeeze the juice of one lime.  Set aside to use latter to rim the glasses.

2. Add the orange juice, limeade, and simple syrup.  

3. If a blended drink is desired, add orange juice mixture to a dozen ice cubes in a blender and blend on high speed until completely blended.

4. To rim glasses, take the lime halves and trace them over rims of glasses.  Spread sugar over a small plate or saucer.  Then put the glass face down in the small plate, covering the rim neatly with the sugar.

5. Pour mixture over ice in rimmed glasses, or from blender into rimmed glasses.  Sip and enjoy! 

Serves 4


* This can be easily made by adding equal parts water and sugar and heating up in a sauce pan on the stove

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Day 125: Cinco de Mayo! Pico de Gallo for tacos!

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Mexican food. But I somehow planned a playdate on May 5th, and thought why not have a Cinco de Mayo themed playdate? Aside from sombrero related crafts, I thought my mom friends might like to kick back with some virgin Margaritas and let our kids make their own soft and hard tacos.  

I had store bought taco shells and tortillas, and had shredded lettuce, ground beef, cheese and this pico de gallo as another filling.  




Recipe:

3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juice
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix!

2. Serve alongside tortilla chips, or as an addition to salads or tacos.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Day 124: Guacamole, Gua-Guacamole! Cinco de Mayo preparations continue...

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Mexican food. But I somehow planned a playdate on May 5th, and thought why not have a Cinco de Mayo themed playdate? Aside from sombrero related crafts, I thought my mom friends might like to kick back with some virgin margaritas and let our kids make their own soft and hard tacos.  

Here is one of the recipes I used for the guacamole. It was nice to use as a dip with tortilla chips and as a filling for the tacos!



Recipe

4 ripe avocados
1/2 lime, juice
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 medium tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 tsp sea salt

1.  Peel and deseed the avocado.

2.  Squeeze lime juice over it and mix.

3.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Can use the cilantro to garnish as well.

Honestly, this was the last thing on my list of things to make, and deseeding and peeling the avocado took a lot of time.  My guests were about to arrive, so I decided to use a food processor instead of doing it by hand. Though it was a little more pureed then I had hoped it to be, it was still very good!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Day 123: Mexican Fried Ice Cream

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Mexican food. But I somehow planned a playdate on May 5th, and thought why not have a Cinco de Mayo themed playdate? Aside from sombrero related crafts, I thought my mom friends might like to kick back with some virgin margaritas and let our kids make their own soft and hard tacos.  

Here is one of the recipes I used.  The trick is to work quickly, and to do about three at a time and then put them in the freezer before they melt.  



Recipe:

2 L container of vanilla ice cream
2 cups of frosted flakes cereal
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1. Scoop out the ice cream onto wax or parchment paper.  Put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

2. Crush the cereal by hand, and add the cinnamon.  Mix thoroughly.

3. Spread the mixture into a pan.

4. Have a small tray or tupperware box ready.  As you take the scoops of ice cream out, roll quickly and thoroughly to coat it completely with the cereal mixture.

5. Serve with honey if desired.  Serves 12.

This was a hit with the kids, and parents!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 105: Strawberry Petit Fours



Sometimes you need just a bite of cake!  These cute and delicious petit fours are easy to make, and with the blueberry on top gives it a burst of fruit that goes nicely with the sweet buttercream frosting.  To bake the cake you will need three square eight inch cake pans.  You can use round ones, but you may have excess edges that you can use to make cake pops or enjoy on your own.  The cake is from food.com's recipe for Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Birthday cake.    I like this recipe versus other vanilla cake recipes because it is super simple and I have most of the ingredients at home.  Even though the original recipe calls for self-rising flour and all purpose flour, I simplified that by adding the baking powder and salt to regular all purpose flour.  They are a wonderful treat for a bridal shower or baby shower this Spring!

To make the cake:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
blueberries (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and lightly flour three square 8 inch cake pans (or one large cake pan), then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

2.  With an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar gradually until fluffy.

3.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  

  1. 4.  Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add to the wet mixture, alternating in four cycles with the milk and vanilla.  Beat well after each addition.  
  2. 5.  Divide the batter among the cake pans.
6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.

Strawberry buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
8-10 strawberries

1.  Rinse and dry the strawberries.  Cut off the stems.  Puree them in a food processor or blender.

2.  In an electric mixer, cream the butter.  Add the confectioner's sugar, mix well.

3.  Add the strawberry mix.  Due to excess water from the strawberries, you may need to add more confectioner's sugar to improve consistency.  It should be soft, but not runny.

Once the cakes are completely cool, you can adde the frosting.  To make the petit fours, cut the cake into 1" - 1.5" cubes.  You make need to trim the edges off to get a nice clean edge.  Add one blueberry to the top for decoration. 

Yields 70 petit fours.