Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pete's Birthday Tie

Blake's dog Pete celebrated his 7th birthday on Valentine's Day! As he's getting up there in years, as far as dogs are concerned, I decided he needed something that makes him look sophisticated and mature. I was cruising some of my favorite blogs for ideas when UCreate came to the rescue with a guest tutorial from Erin at Dog Under My Desk.  Erin's dog is more petite than Pete, so I had to make mine a little longer.

Her tutorial was really easy to follow, and I had it finished in about 45 minutes. And it probably would've been 30 minutes,  but I had to clean the laundry room when I went to use the iron.

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Unfortunately, Pete's not a fan of photographs, so the best picture I could get has his tongue hanging out. Not exactly sophisticated or mature, but hopefully it will still help him with the ladies :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Giveaway: One-Yard Wonders

Today I passed 100 followers and to celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway!

One lucky winner will get a copy of one of my favorite books - One-Yard Wonders. And because I love One-Yard Wonders so much, I'm also giving away Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders to another lucky winner.




All you have to do is leave a comment on any post on my blog, pin one of my posts to your Pinterest account, become a follower or do all three and receive three entries in the giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Moo-Shu Chicken Wraps

I had some tortillas left over from taco night last week, but I wasn't really in the mood for a taco-themed dinner tonight. I also had some shredded coleslaw mix I needed to use up. Tortillas and coleslaw - not two things that are easy to combine. But, flipping through my recipes, I found a few that I thought I could intertwine.

Lucky me, it turned out great! Blake liked it, and he has the taste buds of your average four year old. So, I think it's safe to say, your kids would like it. Unfortunately, the lighting in my kitchen leaves a little something to be desired, so the photo doesn't do it justice.

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Moo-shu chicken wraps
Despite the long list of ingredients, this is really an easy and quick recipe!
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 bag shredded coleslaw mix
2 cups shredded carrots (I had this to the carrots already in the coleslaw mix)
3 cups shredded, cooked boneless chicken breast
10 flour tortillas
1/4 cups chopped peanuts

Sauce
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sesame oil
Dash of black pepper

Warm up 1 Tbsp. sesame oil in a skillet. Add the coleslaw mix and carrots and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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While the coleslaw is cooking, make your sauce. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pan and warm over low to medium heat (it what number 4 on my stove dial), stirring occasionally until the peanut butter is thoroughly mixed in.

Add the sauce and chicken to the skillet. Stir to coat the chicken and coleslaw with the sauce and heat until chicken is heated through. Spoon the mixture onto a tortilla, top with peanuts and enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hard Shell Chocolate Sauce

In the ice cream cake I made yesterday, I used a homemade recipe for the magic shell chocolate sauce, which hardens and forms a shell when you pour it on ice cream. It is surprisingly easy to make, and as a fan of the DQ dip cone, I'm digging it!

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Hard Shell Chocolate Sauce
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil

Place in a glass bowl and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Let sit for 30 seconds and stir until syrupy. Pour into a plastic storage container and once cool, store in the refrigerator. When you're ready to use, put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, spoon onto the top of your ice cream and it will form a hard shell on your ice cream.

So far, I've only tried it on ice cream, but my mom has a friend who tops chocolate pudding pie with the Magic Shell Ice Cream topping. I'm hoping to try that soon!

Recipe originally found at Skip To My Lou.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cookies and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

My youngest brother was home from college this weekend and came to check out our new house. As his birthday is this upcoming week, I wanted to make him a cake. Actually, I wanted to make him an entire meal, but he insisted on eating at a local BBQ joint that he craves when he's in Fargo. So, I was left to just handle the cake.

I've always wanted to try an ice cream cake, and I saw this as my ideal opportunity. Families are great for trying new things on because you know they will be honest and if you mess it up, they have to love you anyways. Fortunately, I'm putting this in the success category, and as a bonus, it was actually quite easy to make.


Cookies and Fudge Ice Cream Cake
1/4 gallon chocolate ice cream
1/4 gallon vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sandwich cookies (about 2/3 package of Oreos)
Hot fudge ice cream topping
Magic shell ice cream topping (check out my recipe for homemade magic shell ice cream topping)
Freezer paper

Start by crushing up your cookies and setting the ice cream on the counter to let it soften a bit. Set aside the cookies and line a bread pan with freezer paper the waxy side facing inward.  Place the chocolate ice cream into the bottom of the pan and smooth it out.

Next, spread a layer of fudge sauce over the ice cream. To make this easier, use a jar of sauce that is at room temperature. However, don't warm it up in the microwave. That will melt the ice cream making kind of a mess. Placing small spoonfuls across the ice cream layer and use a knife to spread it worked best for me.

Over the fudge sauce with half of the cookies. Put the vanilla ice cream on top of the cookie layer. Mix the remaining cookies with 2 Tbls. of fudge sauce. If the cookie crumbs are still dry and not sticking together, add more fudge sauce. Place the mixture on top of the vanilla ice cream and press it in firmly. Freeze until ready to serve.

When it's ready to serve, flip the pan upside down onto a plate and peel off the freezer paper. Cover with magic shell ice cream topping.

In other news, I thought I'd share this picture of our cat after he discovered the fish tank in my office this morning:


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cooking with Cubes

Last night Blake and I celebrated Valentine's Day by making dinner at home and hanging out on the couch watching things like Teen Mom. We were reflecting on how our romance level has went way down hill. A mere four years ago, we went on an overnight getaway to Annapolis and had dinner at a fancy French restaurant. Oh well, that's life I guess.

Now moving on with ice week. Tonight I'm talking about using "ice cubes" to aid your cooking. I first discovered this tip when I was trying to use up cilantro. You know how that goes, you buy a bunch for a recipe and use a 1/4 of it. Then you put it in your fridge with the hope of using it, but lets face it, it usually ends up in the garbage.

This is no longer an issue for me. I now chop up the cilantro and put it into ice cube trays, over it with water and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, I pop them out and store them in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for cilantro, I just go to the freezer, take out what I need and put it into my pan. As a bonus, they are pre-measured! Each cube is approximately 1 Tbls.

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I've since discovered that this works with almost any herb as well as:
  • Chopped onions
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Egg whites
  • Wine
  • Tomatoe paste

Monday, February 13, 2012

Smoothie Packs

Continuing on with ice week, I have another project using an ice-cube tray - smoothie packets.

Have you seen the smoothie packets in the freezer section at the grocery store? Homemade smoothie packets require minimal prep work, which means it offers the same convenience but is much less expensive.

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All you need is yogurt and a bag of frozen berries. You simply put a tablespoon of yogurt into each "cube" of the ice cube tray and freeze them. When they are frozen, put three yogurt cubes into a Ziploc freezer bag with a cup of frozen fruit.

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Store them in the freezer, and when you feel like a smoothie, put the contents of one bag in the blender with 1/2 cup of orange juice and blend. This post is linked here: Organizing Junkie

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stained Glass Ice Luminary


By February in Minnesota everyone is sick of being cooped up indoor, so a bunch of ice-themed events start to pop up - ice festivals, ice hockey competitions, ice sculpture contests, even entire bars made out of ice right down to martini glasses made of ice.

In honor of Minnesotan's obsession with ice in February, I'm doing a series of ice related photos this week, starting with a stained glass ice luminary.

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  • Make colored ice cubes by filling normal ice cube trays with water and using food coloring to color the ice.
  • Place a small plastic container in the center of a one-gallon ice cream pail. Put rocks in the smaller container to weigh it down (this keeps it from floating away when you add water) and fill the gap between the smaller container and ice cream pail with ice cubes. Return the pail to the freezer.
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  • Fill a measuring bowl with water and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You don't want it to freeze, but you want it as cold as it can be without freezing to prevent the ice cubes from melting and causing the colors to run.
  • Pour the water into the space with the ice cubes until it covers all of the ice cubes and return to the freezer (or place it outside if it's cold enough).
  • Once completely frozen, remove from the freezer, take rocks out of the smaller bucket, fill it with warm water and remove it from the ice mold.
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  • Run water over the outside of the ice cream pail until the mold comes loose. A little water may seep under the smaller bucket, making a very thin layer of ice at the bottom of the ice cream pail. If this happens, just run warm water over the area until it melts away.
  • Place the luminary in your yard and place candles in the center.
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Light up the candles at night and enjoy the colorful glow!Photobucket

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