Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Apricot Raspberry Smoothie

Experiencing a dreary winter?  A smoothie filled with sweet, ripened raspberries and bright apricots with soft skin, is the perfect stimulant.  This smoothie recipe is good for you and easy to make.

3 to 4 apricots, pitted 
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
2/3 cup apple juice 
1/2 medium banana 
1/4 cup crushed ice 
1 tablespoon honey  

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until thick and creamy.  Add more ice if it’s too runny. Enjoy! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valentine's Day Wreath

The most romantic day of the year is just around the corner.  I wanted to make something for Valentine's day, so I thought it would be fun to make a wreath.

While in the thrift store one day I stumbled upon this heart-shaped wreath for cheap.  I used it as the base for my wreath.  I covered the wreath with fresh baby's breath and pink paper flowers.
I wanted to jazz my wreath up a bit, so I attempted to dye the baby's breath.  I filled the sink half full with water then added a couple ounces of red food dye to the water.  I dipped each bouquet into the water a few times until the color began to set.  I left the flowers outside to dry overnight.
The color is very faint, but I love the shades of soft pink mixed in with the white flowers.

I finished it off with a simple bow made of jute ribbon. I love to use very simple and inexpensive supplies.

Do you think it's pretty?  I love how it turned out!  I hope you're inspired to make your own. 

You can view last year's Valentine's Day projects here and here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Steamed Clams Served wih Shallot Butter

Earlier in the week my family and I gathered around the table and enjoyed a bowl of steamed clams.

Clams in the winter?  You bet!  They were delicious.  I used middle neck clams and served them with shallot butter.

This is a great recipe if you love clams.

Ingredients- Shallot Butter
1 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat butter in small saucepan.  Stir over low heat until butter melts.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and parsley. 

Ingredients- Steamed Clams
100 middle neck clams
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 
2 cups water

Scrub clams clean to remove dirt and sand in cool water.  Remove and discard all broken or opened shells.  In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic; saute for 1 minute, or until tender.  Add water and increase heat to medium-high until water is brought to a simmering boil.  Add clams, cover and cook until all clams open, about 7 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Serve with warm shallot butter.

I am linking this post to: Savvy Southern Style
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Handmade Gifts

My daughter is very creative.  She writes beautiful stories, is a great problem solver and thinker.  She is the bossiest and most caring big sister to her brother.  I am so proud to be her mom.  There are so many things I want to teach my daughter(my children) in life. I am humbled by the lessons she has taught me.

My daughter wanted to learn how to knit.  After watching countless YouTube videos, she found it would be much easier to learn to knit by using a knitting loom.  So she received a set of knitting looms as a gift.  I tried to learn to knit with her, but instead I ended up with a tangled mess! : )
She's been happily knitting for hours.  

So today, I wanted to share with you a few scarves and hats she made.

You can also make creative things by finger knitting.

She's been making gifts for her friends and family.

The simplest gifts bring joy and pleasure.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Quick Tip: Use an Air Pump to Blow up Balloons

My daughter celebrated her 16th birthday last month.  There wasn't better way to celebrate her birthday than with a party!

In addition to food and drinks, decorations are an essential part of the party.

Her friends were due to arrive and I still had a bunch of balloons to blow up.  I considered purchasing a helium tank, but they can be expensive.

Then I remembered the cheap air pump that we had stored in the garage (used for inflatable swimming pool toys).  The pump worked great!  I was able to inflate the balloons with ease.

Next I hung the balloons from the ceiling using a clear decorating strip purchased from Party City.  After tying the balloon into a knot it easily threads through the holes for a secure fit.

Planning a party?!  I hope you found this tip helpful.