Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ribbons and Bows

We all know that making great bows is fantastic for wrapping up your cookie trays and gift baskets, but you can use those ribbons and bows for so much more during the holidays!

But let's learn how to make those great bows first!

I took an old pair of ice skates I had laying around that were going to only lead to broken bones and I decided to make them in to a decorative item.  You can also purchase some old ice skates at a thrift shop.  I clip some greens off of one of our trees outside since we have an artificial tree and slip those inside the skate.  Then I just add one of my big bows!!!  That's it!!!  Easiest decoration ever!

There is nothing I like better than to finish off my banister with a really massive bow!  I always leave the tails of the bow long so they trail down the sides of the newel post.

Did you ever think about decorating your kitchen cabinets for Christmas?  Well they are a great big area to decorate and to use for a very specific purpose that tends to give people a lot of trouble during the holidays.  So here is a very simple, elegant way to decorate them. Wrap the 2 1/2 to 3 inch wide ribbons around them and staple the ribbons ends to each other forming the ribbons into one large loop around the doors.  

Now, how to put them to good use.  When you get your Christmas or holiday cards and you don't know where to put them, staple the cards to the ribbons!!!  They make a great, festive decoration and it keeps them from falling all over your mantle, table, whatever every time the door opens and breeze comes in.  

I also love to make a nice bow to add to my floral arrangements.  It just adds a touch of elegance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Easy Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Found on Facebook

This recipe looks so simple and easy!

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling

Follow these easy instructions to create sweet salted caramel sauce at home. Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, sweet breads and more!

•1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
•6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces*
•1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream*
•1 teaspoon salt

1.Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
2.Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
3.Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
4.Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
5.Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
6.Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
7.Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
8.Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.

Additional Notes:

*Unsalted butter may be used instead, though I prefer salted. No other changes need to be made to the recipe if using unsalted.

*Heavy cream (approximately 36% milk fat) may also be sold as whipping cream. Light whipping cream (30% milk fat), or double cream (48% milk fat) may be substituted.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Great Summer Appetizer

Caprese Bites

  • 1/3 cup(s) of Bertolli Olive Oil
  • 4 Plum Tomatoes sliced
  • 3 cloves Fresh Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Loaves of 2 inch diameter bread sliced in ¼ inch slice
  • 24 Large Fresh Basil leaves
  • ½ lb. Mozzarella cheese 
  1. In a large mixing bowl mix together garlic, seasoned salt, black pepper and Bertlli olive oil.
  2. Gently mix in tomatoes. 
  3. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Slice bread on a diagonal about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Remove tomatoes from olive oil mixture and set aside.
  6. Brush tops of bread slices with Bertolli olive oil mixture.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for about 5 minutes.  Until just toasted. 
  8. Place a large leaf of Basil on each slice of bread and top with a slice of tomato.
  9. Scoop mozzarella cheese with a tablespoon size measuring spoon and top tomato slice with mozzarella cheese. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chicken Salad Supreme

Chicken Salad Supreme

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup diced white onions (small dice)
¼ cup diced celery (small dice)
¼ cup mayonnaise
Fresh Ground Pepper, Salt, and Garlic Powder to taste
Olive Oil (for cooking chicken)
Serve on a bed of Arugula and Tomato wedges
Brush Chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Grill on a hot grill for 10 minutes per side. 
Allow chicken to cool completely and cut in to a small dice.  Add chicken, onion, celery, and all spices in to a medium size mixing bowl. 
Add mayonnaise into mixing bowl and fold in to chicken salad until will combined. 
Tear leaves of arugula and place plates.  Slice wedges tomato and place on top of arugula.  Salt and pepper the arugula and tomato wedges.  Scoop chicken salad on top of arugula and tomatoes.
Serves 4.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Multi-functional Closet

This was a completely open alcove with the exception of the washer/dryer combination unit.  We put in two shelves, two wood poles (one for the curtain and one for hanging clothes) and a battery operated light.  

This has made use of the very high space that was going to waste.  It gives us room to store our comforter, a blanket, all of the laundry supplies, and hang clothes!  

In a tiny condo that has no other closets, this is a major improvement.

The curtain, just for reference, was one that I was sort of hording.  It was one I had in my other house, but couldn't use in this one.  I refused to throw it out because it was silk and cost me a good bit of money.  It was laying in my basement in a plastic zippered bag for a few years.  So I decided this was the perfect place to use it.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Coastal Design

Crossed Oars

I made these to hang in the condo at the shore above the TV in the living room.  There is a big blank space and I don't want to write anybody's name (sorry, I couldn't resist).  I was looking for an old oar online, but they were either too expensive or too far away to get.  

I found these smallish oars at Joann's Fabric for about $6 each.

I had some of this paint left over from the Salty Kisses stools, the color is "Serene".

Yep, some of this still laying around too.

I also had some white spray paint leftover form the lamp makeover I did a while back.  So I used up a bunch of leftovers on this one!

The only thing I bought for this other than the oars was some rope.

Here's my inspiration:

It's from Pinterest

Here's how I did it:

First just a coat of white primer, I am going to sand this later to look beat up so not need for a finish coat.

Next, some painter's tape and a coat of the blue paint.

Remove the paint and sand the edges.  Sounds easy, but there is a lot of elbow grease involved in this one and you can easily over do it!  Be careful in this step.

Subtlety is what you are after here.  

Then you want to cross the oars in the way you want them to sit and mark the spot.  You will then use a wood screw to attach them.  I then tied them with the rope and used some hot glue to make the oars steady and the keep the rope from untying.  I also put a little hot glue around the ends of the ropes to stop them from fraying.  I drilled holes in the corners of the oars to put rope through for hanging them.  One hint is is to make sure that you have the right size drill bit before you drill the holes  I made a mistake on the first one that is now covered up with the knot of the rope.  

I can't wait to see it in place.  Stop back for an update!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

By The Sea

This is a little stool (one of 2) that I made for our condo at the shore.  (Here in the Philly area we go "down the shore" and not "to the beach".)  They are for our Maltese who, for whatever reason, believes he can't get up and down off the sofas and chairs.  This is despite the fact that he jumps up on to the back of the sofa just fine which is a higher jump.  *sigh*

The picture above is not the final look, but I didn't get a photo of it after I sanded it down to make it look worn.  

Here's what I started with:

You can see the stamps I used on the sides.  I got an alphabet stamp set and a seashell stamp.  

This is the paint I used:

I found it easy to apply and it was nice and thick and covered easily.

After I was done sanding it all, I sealed it with this:

We are going "down the shore" this weekend and I will try to remember to get a photo of the finished product in place in the condo.  I will update when I have it.