Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simple, Delicious, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I love homemade ice cream. The smoothness, the richness, the fact that I made it. There is no store-bought ice cream that comes close to the taste of ice cream made at home.  I have tried many recipes, and all come out great. But I was running late with dinner plans on Memorial Day, I believe it was (a perfect holiday to have a BBQ and ice cream) and I didn't have time to cook eggs and go buy more  milk, etc. so I came across this recipe from Eagle Brand, I had everything on hand, and I'm glad I did. This was creamy, rich, easy, and best of all had awesome vanilla flavor. And besides the obvious need of ice and rock salt it is only 3 (THREE) ingrediants!!




  • 4 cups half & half
  • 14oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons (or 3) vanilla extract
Mix all ingridents together in a bowl. Pour into 2-quart ice cream freezer. Follow your manufacturer's instructions. (Add ice and rock salt) When it is done your ice cream should look this creamy and delicious!


ENJOY!




Chhouy's Lettuce Wraps

I love the lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang's. Doesn't everyone though? Isn't that what they are best known for? I craved them...badly. But we weren't going to drive the 45 minutes to the nearest P.F. Chang's restaurant. So with some research, and a little rummaging through our cabinets (thankfully my husband is asian) this is what I came up with.
A delicious recipe for lettuce wraps. Not too spicy. My daughter loves to eat the meat with sticky rice. Serves 4 people.
  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean turkey
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (I like to use a food processor)
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 can water chestnuts; drained and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 C hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Asian chile sauce (Sriracha)
  • 1 tsp pure sesame oil
  • Mung Bean Noodles (thin clear noodles) soaked in water, and cut. Or Rice Stick noodles, soaked in water and cut in half.
Brown ground beef and turkey in a wok with chopped onions and garlic.
Add the soy sauce, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, chile sauce, sesame oil to the meat.
Add noodles and water chestnuts to the meat mixture.
Cook until the noodles are softened.
Cut core off the heads of lettuce, slice the head of lettuce in half.
Serve the meat in bowls with large spoons so everyone can scoop out the meat and place in their own lettuce leaf.
Optional sauce (adds the spice)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha chile sauce



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mason Jar + Salt Pourer DIY

I bake. I bake a lot. I'm actually trying to make a name for myself as a in-home baker of cupcakes, cakes, and thick-cut sugar cookies. (www.facebook.com/sweetemstreats)
So I keep flour, sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar at an easily accessable spot on my countertop. Baking soda and baking powder are now great because they come in easy-to-use plastic containers. But then there is salt. In the cardboard container. I just hate that it is in a cardboard container. I tried pouring it all into a glass jar on my counter. But that proved not easy to use because you only need a bit at a time...and it took me longer to untwist the lid to the jar. Then there is the mason jar with its wonderful canning lid. I kept the pourer and the rest is making history on my countertop.

Make sure your mason jar is dry.
Remove the inner seal of the lid.
Pour salt into mason jar (it probably won't all fit, I also filled a salt shaker, and just threw away the rest. Wasteful, I know.)

Peel off the label.
I then used an xacto (is that how it is spelled?) knife to cut the white part off.


Place the ring of the lid on the top of the container.
Line up the edge to match the side closest to where the pour spout it.
Trace around the outside of the lid.
Cut out the circle.


Pop the circle into the lid and screw tightly onto the mason jar.
Viola!
Perfect for displaying on the counter :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Little Ghostly Foot

It's Halloween time...which means pumpkins, ghosts and witches are popping everywhere for sale. I do love fall decor, however I have never really decorated for the season. I do have a "Welcome" sign on my front door spelled out in pumpkins and with a hint of glitter...but then I across a pin at pinterest and fell in love with the idea. A footprint ghost!

I love footprints and handprints of children, but I never thought of them in such a fun manner before! My daughter is 2 and a a half  so her foot is at a perfect size for this! It was inexpensive, and unlike the original poster from the link in pinterest, Sophia loved getting the bottom of her foot painted white.
I picked up a small wooden plaque at Wal-Mart one day while picking up dog food, and it cost a whopping 99 cents (before tax) I already had black and white craft paints and ribbons on hand. So we painted her foot one afternoon, used a black paint pen to dot on some eyes, hot glued a ribbon to make it girly, as well as some ribbon to hang it up with.
The result was great. Everyone in the family could do it and make a little ghost family! Now my mind is racing with so many print ideas for each season. I'm glad this one of of my first pieces of fall decor...and one I will cherish forever.




Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hide That Measuring Cup

Since I bake a lot, measuring cups are my best friend. However, they are bulky and awkward to keep in a drawer. They always seem to jam it up when I'm trying to open it in a hurry, they are always connected and I have to spend time undoing them from that little ring...the list of nuisances goes on and on!
After some searching on Better Homes and Gardens and Pinterest I found a few ideas and went with it! This is what I came up with:



The project was relatively simple and very inexpensive. I went to the hardware store and asked for some paint stirrers (he gave me 4 at no charge) and then I picked up a few packages of little twist hooks. I think they were under $1 for each package of 4. I picked up a larger hook and a smaller one also.

Then I cut the weird end off of the stirrer, the one with the notch/curve in it, to make it all rectangle.
I used a primer spray paint, then spray painted them brown, just to "match" the inside of my cupboard doors.
I had a paint pen lying around and so I wrote on the size of the cup or spoon above each hook.
I was going to screw them directly into the cabinet doors, but my husband had a better idea, he drilled a little hole directly through the paint stirrer into the cabinet, and then just screwed the hook in directly through that hole. It worked out perfect!
Each hook holds 3 measuring cups (that's what I have of each size, right now) :)
I think hunt up some more awkward utensils.
No more crazy drawer jams or hunting!

Cover That Ugly Sticker!

I have gone through the crayon boxes, zip-lock baggies, and random buckets to corral all of my daughter's crayons, markers, other little treasures in. I'm not sure why I never just went and bought her a pencil box before...oh yeah...because I'm cheap and like to try everything else before breaking down and purchasing something.
Which, I admit...after picking up a plastic pencil case at Wal-Mart for 97 cents, I don't really know why I just never bought one sooner. It is sturdier than the crayon box, than the zip-lock baggie, and obviously anything else I tried to store them in.
So we got it home, my daughter ectastic about her new box to store her colors in, and I quickly peeled off the sticker. The big, jumbo, unnecessary sticker on the top. Yep. The sticky backing was left. UGH.


Sophia could care less about the nasty paper left behind from the sticker. She never even noticed it. But I did. Everytime she pulled out her "box" as she just calls it, I cringed. "I need to just out the goo-gone" I kept telling myself, well that never happened. I really dislike the smell. But then I remembered I just picked up a jar of Mod Podge. I am a new Mod Podger...and wow, I am realizing the uses of it is really limitless. So during our Sunday afternoon coloring time I whipped up a little sign and Mod Podged it right over the nasty sticker left behind. The result left my Sophia happy and me happy to look at her "box" while coloring in Dora and Diego.

Happy Ugly Sticker Covering!
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