Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

  1. elderflower champagne cocktail

    December 31, 2016 by Angie

    Happy New Year! Bye bye, 2016!

    Robbie, Sookie, and I are ringing in the new year at home where we can bark at the fireworks. I fell in love with St. Germain and champagne cocktails on our vacation to California in 2014. Today I got a bottle of St. Germain and whipped up a single serving of this elderflower champagne cocktail from the Kitchn.

    elderflower champagne cocktail

    Here is the single serving recipe, in case your significant other won’t drink champagne cocktails either 🙂

    1. In a wine glass, add ice cubes.
    2. Add 100 mL of champagne, prosecco, cava, whatever you got. I used a new to me prosecco called Bolla.
    3. Add just shy of an ounce of elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain.
    4. Add 1.5 ounces of club soda.
    5. Stir to mix.
    6. Throw in small slices of strawberry. Garnish with a strawberry if you’re feeling festive.

    Happy New Year!


  2. Sharpie mugs

    December 17, 2016 by Angie

    I like to make little gifts for my college library co-workers and hand them out before our winter break. Last year I made soy candles. This year I made decorated coffee mugs. I made 17 mugs with either the first letter of their first name, a reindeer, or a Christmas tree.


    Materials

    • The cheapest, crappiest, plainest mugs you can find – you want mugs with no coating on them so the cheaper the better. I got mine at Dollar Tree.
    • Oil-based Sharpie markers (I used a gold marker and a silver one.)
    • Stickers, or sticker paper and a printer
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Q-tips

     


    Instructions

    1. Wash the mug. It doesn’t hurt to clean the surface you’ll be decorating with rubbing alcohol. Let it dry completely.

    2. Apply a sticker centered in the area you want to decorate. I used some alphabet stickers intended for scrapbooking. For the rest of the designs, I found images I liked online, slapped them into a Word document, and printed them on sticker paper. Print them in grayscale to save some ink because you’re throwing them out in the end anyway. Cut the designs out of the sticker paper carefully. You want to choose designs that work well as silhouettes. I used a solid tree shape and a reindeer head.

    3. Start using one of the markers to make dots all around the design. You want to outline the design so the shape is clear. I started by going around the design with one marker and then slowly spread out from there making the dots more sparse. Switch to the other marker and do the same.

    4. Wait until the marker has dried – probably two hours. Carefully peel off the stickers. At this point, you can use rubbing alcohol and Q-tips to fix any mistakes. Some of the dots got under my stickers which messed up the appearance of the shape. I was able to erase those with rubbing alcohol. Add any new marker dots you feel you need.

    5. Let the design dry for 24 hours.

    6. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.


  3. spinach artichoke dip

    December 14, 2016 by Angie

    I’ve tried several spinach dip/spinach artichoke dip recipes. This one is the go-to. It’s never too soggy, too tart, or too rich. It’s a Cooking Light recipe so it’s a little less terrible for us than some other recipes out there. It also doesn’t call for any mayonnaise (blah!) which means it’s the cheesy, delicious kind of spinach dip rather than the far inferior, mayo-based variety.

    I used this Cooking Light recipe posted on myrecipes.com with slight variations.

    Ingredients

    1 8 oz package of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
    4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    2 8 oz blocks light cream cheese, softened
    10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
    crackers or chips for serving

     

    spinach artichoke dip on a triscuit
    Enjoying some of my spinach artichoke dip at the campus potluck

    Instructions

    1. Open the package of spinach and place the frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Flip and microwave for two more minutes. After that, I stirred the spinach around to expose the frozen bits and microwaved for one more minute.

    2.Put the cream cheese blocks out on the counter to soften them.

    3. Construct a spinach draining apparatus. I put a double layer of paper towels in a colander over a plate and poured the thawed spinach in there. I put another layer of paper towels over that and squished the water out. I had to change the paper towels again. You want to be sure the spinach is drained really well.

    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    5. Drain the artichoke hearts. I again placed a double layer of paper towels on a plate (RIP trees), picked the artichoke hearts out of the can and placed them there, then topped with another layer of paper towels. Press them paper towels to get the water out. Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces.

    6. Mix 1.5 cups of the shredded Mozzarella, the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, the black pepper, the minced garlic, and the cream cheese blocks together in a large bowl.

    7. Add in the spinach and the artichoke hearts. Stir everything together until it’s a beautiful dip.

    8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees on the middle rack or until it starts to get bubbly.

    9. Serve with crackers or chips. I like Triscuits!

    pan of spinach artichoke dip

    The whole pan of dip – I bakcd it at home but forgot to get a photo. This is after warming it in the microwave at work.


  4. blueberry pie

    July 10, 2016 by Angie

    My parents and my niece came over for an early Independence Day hang on Saturday. I made mozzarella, cherry tomato, and balsamic vinegar appetizer and BBQ tofu and vegetables, black beans, and grilled corn on the cob for the main dinner. Dessert was this blueberry cream cheese pie I kinda invented.

    a blueberry pie


    Ingredients

    9″ prepared graham cracker pie crust
    12 oz light soft cream cheese
    1 cup confectioner’s sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 pint fresh blueberries

    Sookie investigates the blueberry pie

    Sookie has blueberry and cheese interests.

    Instructions

    1. Put the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Stir it around so that the confectioner’s sugar doesn’t explode on you when you start to use the mixer.

    2. Use a mixer to beat the mixture until fully combined and a little fluffy.

    3. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pie crust. Use a spoon to level off the top.

    4. Wash the pint of blueberries and remove any stems.

    5. Arrange the blueberries over the cream cheese mixture.

    6. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it.

    Blueberry pie sliced

    The easy to delicious ratio is in your favor.


  5. homemade soy candles

    December 30, 2015 by Angie

    Thanks to Candle Science, I was able to make 24 handmade holiday gifts very economically – in terms of time and money. I got most of the supplies online from Candle Science and followed their beginner soy candle making instructions.

    It was a lot easier than I expected. A microwave is involved! Before starting, calculate how much wax, dye, and fragrance needed for the number of candles you’ll be making. Prepare the containers by wiping them down with a paper towel. Next, use the stickers to put the wicks in place. Weigh the wax in a microwave safe container (it’s dead to you – you can never eat out of this container). Microwave the wax then add in the dye. Stir until the dye is completely broken up. Weigh the liquid fragrance. Add it to the dyed wax and stir to combine it. Do not heat the wax again after adding the fragrance. Pour the wax into the prepared containers. It’s a good idea to line the area with newspaper or aluminum foil to protect your counters from the dye. Use the wick bars to hold the wicks steady while the candles set overnight.

    making candles

    After the candles have completely cooled and set (the next day), cut the wicks pretty much as short as possible, about a 1/4″ long. Here are 12 of them. The size of my microwave and container made it pretty impossible to make more than six candles at a time.

    a bunch of candles

    I made labels with Avery sticker paper and my regular ol’ printer. I found a template from a blog Going Home To Roost that I used as a basis for my labels. I gave them out to my new(ish) coworkers and a couple of family/friends.

    labeled candle


  6. fancy hot toddy

    November 10, 2015 by Angie

    I fell in love with hot toddies during our trip to Denver in Fall 2012.

    IMG_0005.JPG

    Ingredients
    a mug of brewed tea (English Breakfast tea is a solid choice)
    1.5 shots of rye whiskey
    a teaspoon of honey
    5 whole cloves
    1 cinnamon stick
    the juice of about a quarter of a lemon and a lemon slice for garnish

    hot toddy components

    Directions
    1. Brew a mug of tea by nuking some water and steeping a tea bag in it for 5 minutes.
    2. In another mug, mix the rye whiskey and honey. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick.
    3. Pour the tea into the mug with the whiskey and stir.
    4. Squeeze in some lemon juice. You can garnish with a lemon slice if you’re feeling fancy.


  7. apple margarita

    October 18, 2015 by Angie

    I saw this recipe in an ad from Publix Liquors. It seemed like a delicious fall take on a favorite drink. Robbie made it for me and it is delicious.

    apple margarita

    Ingredients

    2 shots of apple cider (the non-alcoholic kind)
    1.5 shots of silver tequila
    3/4 of a shot of orange liqueur
    1/2 oz. lime juice (Robbie used the juice from half a lime.)
    apple slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)

    Directions

    1. Fill your glass with ice.
    2. Pour all of the liquid ingredients into the glass and stir. If you own a shaker, that would probably be better, but we don’t and it worked out fine.
    3. Garnish and enjoy!


  8. twice baked spinach spaghetti squash

    September 29, 2015 by Angie

    I cooked and ate spaghetti squash for the first time last week. I’ve never met a squash I didn’t like so I’m not surprised that I really loved this. I used this twice baked kale spaghetti squash recipe from Food52 as a guide.

    a savory bite

    Serves two people as an entree.

    Ingredients

    1 medium spaghetti squash
    olive oil
    salt and pepper, to taste
    minced garlic, about a teaspoon
    yellow onion, diced
    a bag of fresh spinach, stems removed
    1/2 to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    red pepper flakes, to taste

    twice baked spaghetti squash

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Wash the spaghetti squash and then cut the top off of it so you can put it down without it rolling all over the place.
    3. Use your most serious knife to cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
    4. Scoop the seeds and pulpy stuff out of each half. Try to leave the part under that intact.
    5. Drizzle olive oil over the insides of the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves facedown on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes until the inside of the squash has softened and there are some browning, crystalizing parts.
    6. While the squash is baking, chop the yellow onion. De-stem the spinach leaves.
    7. Heat a pan with some olive oil in it. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until the onions are softened. Add the spinach leaves and cook until they have wilted. Set the vegetable mixture aside.
    8. When the squash looks ready, take it out of the oven, but leave the oven on. Heck, crank it up to 425 degrees.
    9. Using a spoon, scrape out the insides of the squash halves. It will look like spaghetti!
    10. Transfer the spaghetti looking insides and the vegetable mixture to a large bowl.
    11. Add the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir to combine.
    12. Spoon the mixture back into the squash shell halves. Sprinkle the tops with a little more parmesan cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes on 425 or until the cheese is melted and starts to brown a little.

    they are twins!


  9. fiona scarf

    April 5, 2015 by Angie

    My in-laws are going on a long-awaited vacation to New York City this month. The temperatures have continued to stay low so I made this chunky scarf to help my mother-in-law stay warm. It’s the Fiona Button Scarf pattern from the Fiber Flux blog. I opted out of the buttons and typed exactly what I did below.the end of the Fiona scarf

    All finished!

    Materials:

    9.0 mm Crochet Hook
    2 Skeins Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick Solids (I barely used the second skein.)
    yarn needle
    scissors

    Fiona Scarf

    A closeup of the stitches.

    Instructions:

    Ch 154

    Foundation Row:
    2 dc in 4th ch from hook, ch 1, *skip next 2 ch, 2 dc in next ch, ch 1, rpt from * to last ch, putting only 1 dc in last ch.

    Row 1:
    Chain 3 and turn. Work 2 dc in the first space, then ch 1, *2 dc in the next space, ch 1, rpt from * in each space across row to second to last space. Work 1 dc in the last space (turning chain space from previous row).

    Repeat row 1 four more times, for a total of 5 rows.

    Finishing:
    Weave in all ends and stitch buttons to one end of scarf.

    Angie for scaleAngie for scale (again).


  10. scrambled tofu with spinach and avocado

    April 5, 2015 by Angie

    Happy Easter! We enjoyed a tasty breakfast of scrambled tofu with spinach and avocado, toast, sliced strawberries, and mimosas! It was everything I wanted. There are a million recipes for scrambled tofu (and tofu scramble) online, but I really nailed this, if I do say so myself, so I’m sharing my version.

    scrambled tofu with toast

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    1 bunch of green onion, chopped
    1 small-medium red bell pepper, chopped
    1 tbsp minced garlic
    1 tbsp cumin
    1 tsp dried thyme
    1 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp mustard powder
    a pinch of cayenne pepper
    a sprinkling of ground sea salt
    1 block of firm tofu, pressed and drained
    drinking water, as needed to deglaze the pan
    1 cup of spinach, stems removed
    1/8-1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
    avocado slices
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Easter breakfast

    Instructions

    1. Press and drain the tofu. You don’t have to be as serious about this as usual because you want the tofu to remain on the damp side.

    2. Wash and chop the green onion and bell pepper.

    3. Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add the white parts of the green onion and cook, stirring.

    4. Add the green parts of the green onion, the bell pepper, and the minced garlic. I kept some of the green onion to add at the end. Stir and cook for about seven minutes.

    5. Add the spices from cumin to sea salt. Stir to combine. I added a small amount of water here to deglaze the pan and allow the spices to mix together better.

    6. Crumble the tofu in with your hands. Stir to combine with the spices and vegetables. While the tofu is cooking, prepare the spinach. Add the spinach, stir, and keep cooking – 10 or so minutes total. Add small amounts of water if the tofu is becoming too dry.

    7. When the tofu is cooked through, stir in the nutritional yeast and any reserved green onion. Serve garnished with avocado slices and salt and pepper to taste.

    scrambled tofu and sliced strawberries