Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lunch

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The tomatoes and Lemon cucumber are from my garden. That is all!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cupcakes

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So I promised you cupcakes right? Well here you go! The ones on the left are chocolate mint cupcakes with chocolate mint ganache filling and mint icing and the ones on the right are lemon cake with strawberries and a strawberry and lemon curd filling with lemon buttercream frosting. They were a hit at the party! Well, except not as big a hit as the birthday girl! Happy 1st birthday to my baby niece Addison!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Garden Caprese Salad

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I spent the day today making some yummy cupcakes for my nieces first birthday tomorrow. I will be posting pictures of the desserts including her giant cupcake smash cake. But in the meantime I wanted to show you my dinner tonight.

I have been trying my best to consume all my tomatoes and not waste a single one, and in that vain, I made a yummy tricolor caprese salad to go with my grilled beef sausage and corn on the cob. It was a lovely meal and we actually ate in the garden tonight, which despite the flies and heat, was actually very nice.

For the caprese salad I used some of my early girl tomatoes, green zebra striped tomatoes, yellow pear, and sunburst golden. I layered them with some fresh picked basil and some fresh mozzarella. To finish the salad I simply drizzled on some olive oil and added salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Browned Butter Blueberry Almond Muffins

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Blueberry muffins 2 

My sister made some blueberry almond muffins for mothers day and I just couldn't keep my mind off of them, so I made some of these delicious muffins last week. The recipe is below. Trust me, these are soooo good. But I guess I say that about everything I post. I think I just really love to cook and eat food.

Ingredients:

7 TBSP Butter ( I actually used earths Balance Vegan butter and while it didn't technically brown, the muffins still tasted amazing)

1/3 cup whole Goats Milk

1 Egg Plus 1 Yolk

1 tsp almond extract

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

1-2 cups blueberries (if you use frozen, thaw them and drain off the juice before you add them to the batter)

1/2 cup sliced almonds for the topping

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Heat the oven to 375° F and line a muffin pan with liners. Brown the butter in a sauce pan until it starts to turn golden and the crackling subsides then remove from the heat. Mix the milk, egg, yolk, almond extract together and then add the cooled browned butter. In a separate bowl add the sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt and stir to combine. Add the liquids to the flour mixture and fold the ingredients together gently. Finally add the blueberries and fold into the batter.

Spoon into your muffin cups and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake for appx. 18-20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool slightly and then enjoy when they are warm. Surprisingly they are still good (maybe even better) the next day. So you can definitely make these in advance for your next brunch or breakfast gathering.

Blueberry muffins

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden Veggie Pasta

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I was on a mini vacation in San Antonio Monday and Tuesday and when I got home this morning, all of these veggies were waiting in my garden for me! I got my first cucumber, which Madeline proceeded to eat right after I took the photo. And although it looks like I may be taking pictures of the same tomatoes, I promise you that these are new ones straight from the vines each day.


Unfortunately the bugs are coming now. I found two tomato hornworms on my cherry tomato plant and then killed them, and today I saw some stink bugs starting to swarm around the tomato plants. Hopefully they won't do that much damage. Like I said I killed the hornworms right away, but I still have to do some research on the stink bugs.

Well, since I harvested so many tomatoes and another zucchini, I figured I needed to work them into tonight's dinner. Sorry about talking about food right after the pest talk, but I wanted to show you what I was able to make with my garden veggies.

I made some multigrain spaghetti with alfredo sauce and then topped it with grilled sliced zucchini, grilled cherry tomatoes, and grilled chicken. It was yummy! And it was neat to be able to use veggies that I grew myself.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today's harvest

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Look at the squash and tomatoes! They are coming in quick now. I also have some baby Mediterranean cucumbers that are starting to grow. Can't wait for those! I love me some cucumbers!

Also, my spaghetti squash leaves are showing some signs of disease, but I am not sure what it is. Any ideas?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Renegade Craft Fair Booth

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Hey All! Out at my booth today selling my pretty things! Take a look at the booth and free lemon berry cupcakes I am giving away to customers.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tequila Box Shelves

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Sorry for the lack of posting the last few days. I have been busy trying to finish up product for the renegade craft show going on the weekend here in Austin. If you are in town, you need to come check it out. It is free to get in and there will be tons of cool goods to look at, pictures to take (free photo booth anyone?), and crafts to try out.

Anyway to make up for a couple days of being absent, I wanted to show you a cool idea my sister had for some small floating shelves in her guest room. She had some old tequila boxes (you can find them here: http://www.tequilasource.com/cuervoreserva/) from when she worked at the Four Seasons Hotel here in Austin. After wondering what to do with these cool boxes, she decided on some cool floating shelves with hidden compartments. All she did was screw them in the wall (making sure they were level) and voila! Instant art and shelving space for the bedside. What do you think? Pretty neat, huh?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Update 5-15-2012

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It is time for another update on my garden. Aren't you lucky?!

Well, the thing that I am the most happy about is that I have finally attracted some bees to my garden. I have been hand pollinating my garden for the last week or two, but now that the bees have come, they can do that work for me. Another wonderful thing is that it has been raining fairly consistently here for the last week. Which means I haven't has to water. Here in central Texas, it is rare to get any rain in mid May, so it has been a nice surprise.

Due to all the rain and not super hot temps, my garden has been doing amazing! However one of the biggest disappointments is that my celery experiment failed. The pill bugs started to eat the decomposing celery and continued until they ate a hole all the way through the center of the bunch. There was no way the celery could root with no center. So that failed, but I have started a new bunch and I think I might keep it inside in a window sill to keep the bugs away and see if I have better luck. I know that there have been many people that have had success, so I just have to find the right conditions. below is a picture of my new celery growth.

Other than that, my zucchini, yellow crookneck, and spaghetti squash are growing well. My cucumber leafs are huge and spreading everywhere. I have only had one cucumber so far, but now that the bees are here, I am sure that more will be pollinated soon. My green bush beans have produced several small harvests and my tomatoes are still going crazy! My little cherry tomato plant has over 200 tomatoes on it, and I have already picked and eaten 4-5 cups of tomatoes.

My pineapple plant has also finally taken root and there is a good amount of new growth coming out of the middle. Anything else you guys want to know about? Just let me know!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

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So happy to be a mom to this little girl and to have a wonderful mother of my own! Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rosemary-Parmesan and Chive-Onion Potatoes

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I saw a recipe on Pinterest from the Pioneer Woman for Crash Hot Potatoes. This recipe seems to have become very popular around the web, and the other day they just looked too good not to try. I decided to add a little extra to them, and OH MY were they GOOD! She was so right when she said that they had optimum "Flavorful, Crispy Surface Area". They were so crispy and just plain wonderful!

I decided on two variations to her recipe that you can find in the link above. For half the batch I added chopped rosemary from my garden and then about 5 minutes from the end of the baking time, I sprinkled on some shredded Parmesan cheese and popped them back in the oven for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. For the other half I used fresh chopped chives (also from my garden) and when they came out of the oven I added some caramelized onions to the top.

Now go try some for yourself. I bet a version with melted cheddar and crumbled bacon and chives would be amazing too!

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Backyard Sandy Beach

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Apparently I am lucky because I don't have any cats and there aren't any in my neighborhood (just lots of dogs), so I am able to have this super awesome backyard sand pit for the kids to play with and not have to worry about cats using it for a litter box.

I made this last year early in the summer and it has held up very well. I did add several more bags of play sand a month or so ago to fill it out a but more, but overall it is a fun sandy area for the kids to scoop, dig, and build in. Just notice all the random scoops that have wound up out there.

Anyway, to make the sand box, I first enclosed the area with chop stone on one side (luckily the other sides are bound in by the fence and patio concrete). Then I covered the ground with landscape fabric so no weeds would pop up. I then cut a small hole in the center and pushed the umbrella in deep so it wouldn't fall over. Last came the sand. I can't remember how many bags I got, but the sand is about 6-8" deep. Now all that was left was to add some cute adirondack chairs and some sand shovels and buckets and let the kids loose.

Overall I think it is a great addition to the backyard and a fun activity for Madeline.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

California Nachos

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I have been busy the last week or so preparing product for the 3rd annual Renegade Craft Fair here in Austin. The show will be May 19-20th, so if you are in town you should come out and shop. It is free to get in and there will be tons of cool handmade merchandise to buy. I will have lots of ipad cases, necklaces, tote bags, wallets, and sunglasses case. Oh and headbands and pocket mirrors too! Here is the flyer with the details:



In other news, tonight I was having a craving for nachos, but not any old nachos ones like I had at a restaurant here in town a few months ago. These "California" nachos are pretty much your basic nacho, refried beans, fajita chicken, colby jack cheese, but then they are topped with guacamole, sprouts, and fresh tomato. Yummy! I am sure you could even add some crumbled bacon to the top to make them even more awesome, but I didn't have any on hand, so I went with what I had. Take a look. Aren't those just amazing looking? I have to say that the sprouts add a nice crunch to the nacho and really alleviate the heat of the salsa and spiced fajita chicken. Anyway, they hit the spot. Now I think I might cut up some fresh cold watermelon for dessert.



And with that it is back to sewing for me...Later!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Biscoff Apple Pie Donuts

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Yes! That is right! Biscoff Apple Pie Donuts!

Apple Pie Doughnut Close up 

You remember a month or so ago when I made the Gourmet Peach Donuts? Well, tonight I had another can of biscuit dough just calling to made into donuts. To make these donuts I made the cinnamon and sugar coated donuts just like the peach ones, but then I added warm apple pie filling to the center of the donuts and drizzled on some Biscoff spread and sprinkled on some granola cereal. By the way did you know that Biscoff made a spread? It is super delicious! If you have never had their cookies or spread, you have to find it and try it.

Anyway, the donuts are super easy to make, but they taste sooooo gooooood! They are very naughty, but sometimes you need a little naughty reward for all your hard work exercising and eating healthy (normally).

apple pie donut ingredients Apple Pie Doughnut all

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Garden Tomato, Cucmber, Mozzarella, and Mint Sandwich

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IMG_3220 

Well, the tomatoes are ripening in my garden mighty quick right now and I have been eating them non stop. I think I may give a few to my mom and sister soon so that I don't waste them. But in the meantime I made this delicious open faced sandwich today on a toasted french baguette. I toasted the bread under the broiler and rubbed a fresh garlic clove on it after it was toasted to get a little garlic flavor. Then for the salad topping part, I mixed some fresh cut cherry tomatoes, chopped mint (both from my garden), and some English cucumber and small pearl size fresh mozzarella balls. I tossed them all in a bowl with a little salt and pepper to taste along with a drizzle of olive oil. Then I poured it over the hot garlic-y toasted bread and devoured it. It was so good and fresh tasting, you should definitely try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

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The other day while I was grocery shopping I found these little packets in the baking aisle called frosting creations. I figured I would try them out, and decided on the cotton candy flavor packet. I just finished making some yummy, but very sweet cupcakes with it. I wanted to post some pictures for you and tell you about these cute cupcakes.

I made my own yellow cake, but it didn't turn out awesome because I didn't have any regular all purpose baking flour, so instead I had to use some whole-wheat pastry flour and a little bit of bread flour which made the cupcakes very crumbly so I won't be posting the recipe on the blog. But feel free to use your favorite yellow cake recipe or a box for the cake part.

I also made a simple buttercream frosting with the frosting creations cotton candy flavored packet. Then I sprinkled them with blue sanding sugar and a little bit of cotton candy from those packages of Charm brand cotton candy. They were super cute, but very sweet. I probably won't get the cotton candy packet again, but I am up for trying out the caramel one with a little sea salt garnish on a chocolate cupcake. That sounds like it might take the cake! Ha-ha!

Have you all tried any of the flavor packets? I wonder if you can put them in a box cake mix too?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today's Harvest: 5-3-12

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Look at the goodies I harvested today! Lots of green beans, black berries, and tomatoes. Tomorrow for lunch I think I will make a green bean and tomato sauté with caramelized onion. And those black berries, those are gone. Madeline could barely wait for me to take this photo. How is your garden growing?

My New Bag!

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Yay! I finally got my new shipment of laptop bags in today. While most of the shipment was reorders of other bags that I already have for sale, I did get in one new bag design. This is the Green Circles Casual Laptop Tote:


What do you think! Isn't it pretty! If you want to buy it, head on over to my website now and order one. Use coupon code Save15 and get 15% off!

If you like this one, just wait until July when I will get several new styles in. And those ones are going to be AMAZING! At least I think so...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Poptarts

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Remember how I mentioned the other day that I made a strawberry and rhubarb pie to take to my friend's house? Well, I also made some mini poptarts with some of the strawberry rhubarb filling and extra pie dough. Aren't they cute!?

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To make these little treats you will need the following:

Refrigerated Pie Dough
Frozen (or Fresh) Rhubarb
Frozen (or Fresh) Strawberries
Sugar
Powdered Sugar
Sprinkles

To make the filling I used appx. 1/2 cup rhubarb, 1 cup strawberries, and 1/8 cup sugar. I then cooked it over medium low heat for about 30 minutes or so until everything was soft and the filling started to thicken into a jam consistency. Once the filling was done, I unrolled the pie dough and used a small square cookie cutter to cut out the poptart pieces, filled them with the filling, and used an egg wash (one yolk mixed with equal parts water) to stick the two pie pieces together. I then pricked three holes in the top of the poptart with a toothpick, used a fork to seal the edges, and brushed the top of the dough with more egg wash. I baked these little guys in a 400 °F oven until golden brown (can't remember how long it was but probably around 8 minutes or so). When they cooled I spread on a little powdered sugar mixed with water and sprinkled with pretty sprinkles.

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The possibilities are endless with this little tart and they taste much better than store bought ones. Some other combo's that I think would be good are Nutella/dried fig and a lemon rosemary curd.

For the pie that I mentioned above, I used 2 packages of frozen strawberries and 1 package frozen rhubarb along with about 1 cup of sugar. I cooked the ingredients as I did above and then added some cornstarch mixed with water to thicken the filling. On the top of the pie I added some streusel topping made with flour, brown sugar, oats, and vegan butter. All in equal parts and pulsed in the food processor until crumbly. Then I baked it at 350 F until the pie crust and topping looked done. I let cool for a few hours and then served it with vanilla ice cream. So good!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DIY: 3D Color Pop Frame

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Well, I am finally making good on my offer to show you another photo frame craft idea.

First I found a nice large frame with about a 2" flat surface to paint on. I then free handed a swirly design on the frame with some puff paint and let that dry overnight. Please pardon the horrible drawing, next time I won't free form paint, but sketch it out first. I am just not that skilled in the art department.


Once the puff paint was dry, I used a bright colorful spray paint to completely cover the frame and drawing. After I did this, it really helped to hide my awful drawing and made the frame look awesome. Before spray painting, just remember to either cover the glass in the frame with paper or remove it from the frame.

You are now welcome to stop at the point since you now have a pretty, colorful photo frame. I wanted to use this frame to display some of my new necklaces that I have been working in for the renegade craft fair that I am selling at on May 19-20 here in Austin. In order to get the frame ready for jewelry, I took out the glass and replaced it with cork covered foam core. I used the sticky back cork contact paper and covered a piece of white foam core and cut it to fit in my frame. Then I just secured it in with some glue and staples and voila! Cute jewelry display frame! Now I just have to finish the 8 others I have waiting for me.



About Me

I am a handbag and accessory designer and mom to a wonderful baby girl.

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