Posts Tagged With: EASY

Easy Peasy whimsical Holiday “flowers”

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yarn Pom Pom flowers

I really enjoy decorating for the holidays. I do not however enjoy the price of holiday decor. This means that i use a lot of hand-me-down decorations or handmade items.  I was noticing , this year, as I was putting out me decorations that they are starting to not suite MY style. That’s when I decided to make these whimsical Lorax inspired “flowers”. They are so easy and quick and I kind of want to put them everywhere.

Here is what you need:

*yarn (red)

*sparkly pipe cleaners (green)

*scissors

Here is what you will do: tutorial

1. There is not a picture of this, but cut one piece of yarn about 8 inches long for tying your pom pom. Then hold one end of your longer yarn with your thumb and begin wrapping it around your pointer and middle fingers until you have a nice “forkful of  spaghetti”

2. This is your “forkful of spaghetti”

3.Take the 8″ piece of yarn you cut and stick it through your two fingers and back around the other side and tie a loop in the middle of your “spaghetti”

4.Place one of your pipe cleaners about an inch into your middle string. Pull tight and tie a knot.

5.Fold down the end of your pipe cleaner and wrap it around itself tightly.

6. Cut your loops so that it forms a shaggy ball.

7. Trim your shaggy ball . The closer you get to the middle, the neater the ball will look. It is ok to leave it shaggy if you prefer that look. *hint- to trim all of the loose ends -fluff the ball in your palm a few times while trimming.

8. Voila! you have a fun little yarn pom pom flower! Now make more and stick them in vases all around your house!

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DIY veggie burgers… the basics

All this newly found information about the pink goo that McDonald’s had in their burgers is surely getting some folks more interested in finding out the facts about what is in the food we are consuming. I have to say it is pretty disgusting what the FDA will allow … The good news is that the more we find out, the more we want to eliminate the crap and make out own food and often meat products. The bad news is that just eliminating meat isn’t going to cut the crap, so to speak. Many vegetarian alternatives are just as processed. So .. by popular demand, here is a basic veggie (bean ) burger you can easily make at home…..

Ingredients:

2 cans beans ( your choice, I often use kidney. even better, use organic)

2 eggs, beaten

a good pinch of sea salt

a good pinch of black pepper

dry oatmeal (about a cup )

1 cup fresh spinach

olive oil

what you will do:

1.preheat oven to 375

2. drain and rinse beans

3. mash beans… you can do this by hand, or in a food processor. If using a food processor, add a little olive oil and a splash of water to help out!

4. Mix remaining ingredients together with the beans. The mixture should be wet, but not runny. If it seems too wet, add more oatmeal.

5. Now , here is the messy part! Using your hands make patties … the size is really a personal preference, but thinner patties cook faster and stay together better…..

6. Place patties on cookie sheet and lightly coat the top with olive oil. sprinkle lightly with sea salt

7. Place patties in oven. Cooking time will vary , depending on the patty size, but for me it is about 45 minutes. When the patties begin to look crisp on the outside, carefully flip over and coat the other side with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, place back in oven until crisp.

Ta-da! you just made veggie burgers!!!  Now you can add other ingredients to the mix!

suggestions and some of my favorites:

diced mushrooms, feta cheese, garlic, fresh rosemary, onions, chopped black olives,  shredded carrots, water chestnuts….

 

 

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the table

I have always dreamed of having a large gathering table… unfortunately you can only have a table as large as the space you put it in. I have a space… it is not large. It IS long. The best option for the space was to create our own table. I am not good at building things (well, actually I have not really tried.) My husband IS good at building things. “Honey, will you build me a dining room table, pleeeeaaase? ”  he agreed !

We came up with a few ideas and changed our minds a few times… but we knew we wanted something kind of vintage and rustic looking. farmhouse style? maybe… Then I found this photo on Pinterest.com. TABLE INSPIRATION!!

After I decided that this was the perfect inspiration for what I wanted , I showed it to my husband who incorporated his ideas as well. He used some decorative table legs from an old table that we had  that was in the last of it’s life (but the legs are still very sturdy!)  He beat up some wood that we bought brand new at the hardware store to make it look old, and attached all of it together. Then handed it over to me so I could paint it. I blended two of the colors that i had used on the walls in the house ( a skyish blue and a light pine tree color) and came up with what is now my most favorite shade of aqua/ teal. It has a very vintage/European feel to it. Here is the final project ( well, almost final. I think I have decided that I want to varnish the top)

Categories: (P)interesting ideas, DIY | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

DIY candy jars

Like many others, I have become obsessed with Pinterest.com since the day my friend introduced me to the site. And I am happy to say that , although it is a bit of a crafty brain overload, I have found myself actually recreating some of the projects that I have pinned. One of my first projects was also one of my very first pins… DIY CANDY JARS… totally easy,  especially since I found that I already had all of the  materials. Here is what the original pin looked liked:

I know! Lovely! right?! Mine turned out a little different, but in my opinion, just as lovely….

I used old brass candlestick and different sized jars that I had saved, Painted them in contrasting colors and filled with old fashioned hard candy.

diy candy jars

Here’s the how to:

what you need:

~   candlesticks

~  jars with lids

~  paint

~  paintbrush (if you use spraypaint , you probably won’t need the brush~obviously)

~ strong craft glue

~  candy for filling

1.  Paint your candlesticks and let them dry COMPLETELY (I used 3 coats of paint) Also paint your jar lids and let them dry COMPLETELY.

2. After the paint is dry , glue the bottom of the jars to the top of the candlesticks and let the glue dry COMPLETELY.

3. Fill with candy, replace lids, and enjoy!!!

Categories: (P)interesting ideas, DIY | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blueberry Pie with Rosemary

If you’re looking for a little twist on the ordinary for your holiday gatherings, or just an easy weeknight desert, this is sure to be a winner!

Blueberry & Rosemary Pie Recipe

Filling ingredients:

  • 6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, defrost and drain first)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon  or orange zest
  • 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (3/4 cup if using frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar  (* if you like your pie on the sweeter side, use 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
crust:
  • 2 frozen roll out pie crusts ( and kudos to you if you want to make your own!)

Egg wash ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

what to do:

1  Unroll 1 pie crust into pie pan and press into edges.  (Be careful, they can tear easily)

Gently mix  all ingredients, except butter and crust  (this includes : blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon or orange zest, salt ,rosemary,  vanilla and lemon juice )in a large bowl. Transfer them to the  crust in the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Cut a small (nickel size) hole in the center of the pie crust (so steam can escape while cooking). Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.

3  Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash.

4  Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash.. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.

fantastic with vanilla ice cream!!!

Makes 8 servings.

Categories: holidays, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oven Dried Tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

This year I got a beautiful bounty of tomatoes with out much gardening effort. Most of my plants came up on their own from the seeds of the “no good” fruit that I left on the ground last summer. I don’t like to see good food go to waste, so I have been canning, freezing and now oven drying tomatoes for the last 6 weeks. This oven drying preservation, is my personal favorite, considering the ease of the process and the wonderful richness and sweetness it brings out in flavor. Here’s how (and believe me, it is EASY!)

What you will need:

tomatoes ( i used small ones from my sweet 100’s , which are my absolute favorites to grow.)

baking sheet

an oven

parchment paper or silicone baking mat

sea salt

What you will do:

turn oven on to LOWEST heat setting, whether this is 100 or 200, you want to dry them out SLOWLY over a long period of time

place parchment paper or silicone mat on baking sheet

slice tomatoes in half

lay tomato halves, skin side down, on your paper or mat, making sure they are not touching each other

sprinkle with sea salt                  

place in oven and bake for 6-8 hours, or really depending on how long it takes. And I am not going to lie to you, IT DOES TAKE A LONG TIME. So be patient.

Check every hour or so to MAKE SURE THEY DON”T BURN, but are completely dry.

You can store them in the fridge for about a month, or in the freezer for about 6 months.

That’s it. You’re done. I’m addicted and want to eat them on everything now, so I’m off to make some more……..

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Shrimp & Avacado pico

  Here is a simple, fresh, & versatile recipe

Shrimp & Avacado Pico

                                                                 what you will need:

*1 ripe but firm AVACADO

*1 cup prepared SHRIMP

( **see below for shrimp prep)

*1/3 cup diced white or red ONION

* 1 diced TOMATO

* 1 tbs fresh LIME JUICE

*1/2 cup chopped fresh CILANTRO

* 1 good pinch SEA SALT

*1/2 tbs ground CUMIN

(preferable freshly

ground from whole seeds)

*1 chopped JALAPENO                                                                                                (if desired)

                                     what you will do:

(**shrimp prep: peel and clean raw shrimp. Boil a small pot of

water with 1 tbs lemon juice and 1 tbs old bay seasoning. Boil shrimp, remove from heat using a slotted spoon once it turns a light pink color and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Let chill for 10 minutes – you can do this while you are chopping other ingredients- Once chilled, chop each shrmp into 3 peices)

*In a bowl add CUMIN, SALT , & CILANTO  to the AVACADO. Toss GENTLY. Add all other ingredients and toss GENTLY once more.

that’s it. you’re done.

serve atop tacos, burritos ,  ENCHILADAS,  or with CHIPS.                  ENJOY!!!

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side dish: broccoli and white beans with rice

I created this as a side dish, but it could easily be served as a great vegetarian entree!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs broccoli (I use frozen. It tastes great and frozen food can hold more vitamins                          than fresh!!)
  • 1- 15oz can navy beans
  • 1- 15 oz can great northern beans
  • 1 1/2 cups dry  white rice
  • 1/2 white onion – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic- diced
  • 8 ounces  extra sharp cheddar- shredded
  • 2 cups milk (maybe more)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1 habanero, if desired

Instructions:

In a small sauce pot bring 3 cups water to a boil . Add white rice. (do not cook all the way through. When rice is al dente , you will add it to the other ingredients)

meanwhile, add olive oil and butter in a stock pot. Once butter is melted, add garlic and onion. Saute over medium heat until onion starts to sweat out. Add Broccoli. Continue to saute until the broccoli is all the way heated. Add the al dente rice, 2 cups of milk, and the rest of the remaining ingredients. Stir often until cheese is melted and all of the ingredients are blended well. You may need to add a little more milk as you go…. Consistency should be creamy but not wet.

Serve as a side dish or as a balanced vegetarian entree!

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Unique stamps for your handmade invitations and cards

Here’s a fun and easy way to add a little something extra special to your handmade (or store bought) cards, invitations, etc. Check out zazzle.com/stamps for , literally, thousands of options of stamps. I am not going to lie though. They can get expensive. Prices range from $14.95 to about  $100.00. You can choose higher postage stamps to (up to $4.95 priority mail).

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Cabbage Bowl

cabbage bowl for the super bowl

I saw this idea in a magazine while waiting in line at the grocery store. I instantly fell in love with the idea. My mom made it for our super bowl party .It was a  Big Hit!

Just cut out the inside of a clean head of cabbage to make a bowl and fill with dip!

We are going to do it with purple cabbage too.

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