This has been an incredibly busy week for me. I’ve been making patterns for some great tutorials and merchandise for the Etsy shop, I’ve been working hard on a big project (that I can’t wait to tell you about!) that included a photoshoot, I re-stocked all the headpieces in the shop and I’ve been trying a few new recipes out to share with you as well! All that being said, I feel like the website’s been a bit neglected this week so I have an amazing craft today that will make up for it! These little sleeves are for your iPhones (or any cell phone, you might just have to adjust the size a little) and they are great! I know we’ve all been there… you’re out and your phone rings from somewhere in your purse and by the time you locate it, you’ve missed the call. These are perfect because it protects your phone, looks chic AND it has a swivel hook so you can clip it to your purse, your belt loop, etc to ensure you’ll never have trouble finding it again! It also has a pocket on the back that you can fit anything from your iPod with headphones to your business and debit cards as well as your driver’s license making it an instant wallet that’s perfect for a night out! If you don’t sew or don’t have time time, I made extras so all the sleeves seen in the pictures above are for sale in my Etsy shop! I’ve also added direct pay to the shop so you don’t have to have Pay Pal to make purchases, you can use any credit card! As I previously mentioned, I have also restocked all the headpieces and added a couple new ones. If you follow me on twitter then you already know but if you order before the 4th of July, you can get 15% off all the casserole carriers in the shop (use coupon code CASSEROLE15). Okay, I think that takes care of all the business (lol!) now let’s get to the tutorial! Click here to get the step-by-step tutorial!
What I’ve noticed from going vegan in the summer time is that not all recipes are good for you just because they’re vegan. A lot go heavy on the oils and other fats to replace things that can’t be used. I follow this great blog called the Fat Free Vegan and what I love about it is that she doesn’t cook with any refined fats (oil, margarine or shortening). As I was looking back through some older recipes I stumbled upon this one, which contained one of the greatest finds ever for me… a dry roux!! A roux is the base for a lot of creole/cajun dishes and having made seafood gumbo many-a-times I was familiar with the normal process of making it which requires you to constantly whisk either oil or butter with flour FOREVER until it turns the perfect shade of brown. This then serves as the thickening agent in your gumbo later on. For this recipe, you obviously can’t use butter and she doesn’t use oil so she just dry cooked the flour and blended it with vegetable broth and voila! It wasn’t quite as good as a real roux but it was definitely delicious all things considered. Étouffée is a french word that translates to “smothered” and is usually a stew-like seafood dish made with crawfish and andouille sausage served over rice. This recipe takes out the seafood and uses soy sausages and is really delicious! CLick here to get the recipe and see how it’s made!
I used to not eat any seafood at all, but I’m so glad my husband has gotten me into trying it over the years because it’s opened me up to all lot of great recipes! This one is amazing because it’s light which makes it perfect for the summer, but its incredibly fresh and bright flavors make it so satisfying. The tilapia filets are rubbed with a spice mixture and grilled then topped with a delicious cherry salsa. This is great served on its own for a lighter meal, or add some steamed veggies and rice on the side to make it a little more substantial. Click here to get the recipe and see how it’s made!
We live right up the street from a huge and beautiful beach right on Lake Erie. We’ve been spending all our free time there this summer and I’ve been coming up with some quick solutions to some common beach-going problems. I found myself loading up the bottom of our beach bag with all our miscellaneous items and then clawing through the bag aimlessly once at the beach to trying to find them. I always worried about my headphones getting crushed, my books getting crumpled, losing my iPhone/iPod and I could never seem to find the suntan lotion…. so I came up with this! I took one of our oversized beach towels and sewed pockets into the bottom of it. All the essentials fit snuggly into the bottom of the towel and then it gets rolled up so it not only saves space while protecting everything at the same time, the days of digging through my bag to find things are over! This is a great project because it’s easy and quick so you can make one in time for the beach this weekend! Click here to get the tutorial!
Ever since I did my post on individual Beef Wellington’s, I’ve been wanting to do something similar using chicken breasts. Instead of layering with paté and mushrooms, I decided to stuff the chicken breast with a cream cheese filling mixed with onion, garlic, fresh herbs and spices. As if that doesn’t sound great on its own, I decided to take it up one notch more but encasing the whole thing in buttery puff pastry. The result is a beautifully browned crust that once broken open reveals a perfectly moist chicken breast with a rich gooey filling. This recipe makes 2 stuffed chicken breasts, but can easily be multiplied to serve more. Click here to get the recipe and see how it’s made!
We have two miniature pinschers, Weezy and Sebastian, and yesterday was Weezy’s 4th birthday! We got her when we moved to Ohio after my husband was picked up by the Cleveland Browns. Back then he was gone at the facilities all day, I didn’t have my car there yet and I didn’t know any one so Weezy really kept me company during the time we were there. After my husband resigned with the Bills and we moved back to New York she joined us while my parents graciously let us live with them until we found a place in Buffalo. She was a trooper when we got her brother (who is much bigger than her and a real bruiser!) and had to give up her “only child” status. She’s so sweet and loving and we really were so lucky to have gotten her. I’ve been looking for a really great homemade dog treat recipe for a long time, but wasn’t sure how it’d go over because Weezy is such a finicky eater. I decided yesterday was a great time to try one since it was a special occasion and found a great recipe on this blog. I just made couple tweaks to the measurements and was sure to use organic ingredients when I could. Weezy LOVED these… she really couldn’t get enough of them which is saying a lot for her. This made over forty 4″ treats which was too much for our little dogs so I’ll probably halve the recipe when I make it next time but other than that this was perfect! CLick here to get the recipe and see how they’re made!
If any of you are looking for the perfect finishing touch to your Father’s Day presents then this post is for you! I always like to send out handmade cards whenever I can, but I always stumble a bit when it comes to the men in my life. I saw these in Martha Stewart Living a few year’s back but then instructions were very vague and misleading, and with no pictures it was nearly impossible. After watching a couple YouTube videos about similar folding, I figured it out and thought this would be a fun post to share. The best part is that there are so many decorative papers out there that really do look like men’s dress shirt fabric which makes this all the more fun! CLick here to see more pictures and see how they’re made!
We recently celebrated my niece’s 4th birthday, which prompted me to look through some pictures of her 3rd birthday. We threw her a really big “Beach Bash” themed party and I thought I’d share some of it here to give you some ideas if you’re throwing any parties this summer. I like the idea of a beach theme because it’s so easy to find supplies during the summer months and it can be used for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc! Obviously we had this party before I started this website so I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I would’ve liked and the ones I do have were mostly snapped on my blackberry so I apologize for the quality. We had such a great day at this party (my niece still asks my dad where her beach is every time she goes to my parents house) and the possibilities really are endless for this kind of a theme! Click here to see more pics and get some inspiration for your party!
I love this dish because it’s so inexpensive to make but it’s still delicious. It gets a creamy texture from the lima beans, a bit of crunch from fresh corn and sautéed onion, a juiciness from the tomatoes and lots of bright flavor from fresh herbs making it a dish with the best of all worlds! This is great to bring to party or to serve for a luncheon because it’s served cold. This serves 4 people as an entree or 6 people as a side dish. Click here to get the recipe and see how it’s made!
Yesterday one of my moms co-workers (and friend) had an Alice in Wonderland themed baby shower and I was asked to make the cookies. The shower was wonderful… her mother, mother-in-law and friends put so much thought and detail into the tea party idea that it felt straight out of the movie! I had originally planned on doing a cake or cupcakes, but what I love about sugar cookies is that you can work on them at your leisure so far ahead of time, freeze them and then just take them out the day of the party. These were a little more tricky than normal just because I didn’t have character shaped cookie cutters so I had to design my own. I hadn’t seen the movie in years so when I watched it I made a list of who I wanted to make cookies of, took screen shots of them on my computer and then used those to sketched out the characters and come up with a plan. The key to making really impressive looking sugar cookies is to build up with two layers of icing: the bottom layer is the foundation that lays out the key parts of the character and then the second layer adds on detailing and outlines. This was a fun project because the characters are so silly they had me cracking up while working on them and it was nice to be able to add a special touch to such a great day! Click here to see more pictures and get the tutorial so you can make them!