Posts in DIY

DIY Frame Display finished!

DIY Frame Display Board

August 4th, 2016 Posted by Crafts, DIY No Comment yet

Here’s an easy summer project that you can use to decorate your office! It takes about an hour, plus time to let the spray paint dry. 

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Vanilla Cinnamon Almonds

June 3rd, 2016 Posted by DIY, Food, Snacks, Travel 1 comment

If you invite me to go on a road trip with you, anything that is an hour or longer, I will bring snacks. I will also bring extra water, sunscreen and music.

 
This is what happened on a recent trip to Medford, OR with a couple of girlfriends. Nothing makes driving more enjoyable then munching on some homemade almonds! This recipe was also inspired by a hiking trip with my cousin. We were eating some snacks during a hike and she brought up the idea of cinnamon almonds. “Mmm” I thought, “What a great combination!” Thus, this recipe was born. These spiced nuts are also EGG FREE! (yep, some spiced nut recipes use egg-white to bind the seasonings to the nuts, but since I’m egg intolerant, I like to find better ways…)

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diy vanilla extract

Make your own vanilla extract

January 22nd, 2016 Posted by DIY, Food 1 comment

Vanilla extract is one of those things that can be over looked in a recipe. It’s so casual to “add a 1/2 tsp vanilla” or “take off the heat and stir in vanilla.” But why must we take it off the heat? And why do we add vanilla extract in the first place?¬†All the answers are here, my friend.

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super ginger kombucha

Super Ginger Kombucha

January 12th, 2016 Posted by DIY, Drinks, Fermentation, Food, Non-alchoholic No Comment yet

 

Kombucha… it’s so delicious, refreshing and magical. I love pairing new flavors with the tart base of kombucha and the results are usually unexpected and delicious.

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citrus peels

Candied Citrus Peel and Christmas Treat Boxes

December 18th, 2015 Posted by Christmas, Desserts, DIY, Food No Comment yet

Every year I make a mess of my kitchen. I actually have to purchase brown sugar, and I start stockpiling butter in the freezer beginning in October (hey, butter is expensive! Buy it on sale and store in your freezer.) I make a serious Christmas Treat Box, my friend, and my family loves it. I absolutely love making them.

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citrus compote

Vanilla Orange Compote

December 18th, 2015 Posted by Canning, Christmas, Desserts, DIY, Food 1 comment

This is a great one to make when you’ve got a bunch of orange fruit to use up after making Candied Citrus Peels.

It’s wonderful over yogurt, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, muffins or just eaten from the jar. You could even use it as a flavoring in a marinade or sauce for chicken; I think it would be delicious in a homemade teriyaki sauce!

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Easy Strawberry Refrigerator Jam

September 26th, 2015 Posted by DIY, Homemade Condiments, Sauces No Comment yet

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam-8

So it’s the end of the summer season, but somehow there is still some really lovely, fragrant berries in the stores around here. I bought two pints of local strawberries on a whim (and they were on sale) last week and I needed to do something with them. I love eating them on their own, but these, because they were the end of the season I think, were juuuust a hint on the tart side. I decided I needed to make something that would make them last a little longer and sweeten them up. Refrigerator jam!

refridgerator jam collage

Making a quick jam like this is perfect when you have a bit of berries (two pints or so) and you just have a little time rather then the whole day it takes to put up jam.

This jam will last probably a month in the fridge, and mine came out a little runnier than proper jam. But it has a really fresh berry flavor and wins points for being quick and easy.

I think this recipe could probably apply to any type of fruit you want to use:

  1. Chop.
    Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
  2. Add sugar and lemon juice.Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-low head, until slightly thickened. Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
  4. Let cool, store in a jar.
    Strawberry Refrigerator Jam

You’ll notice my strawberries stayed in tact, and my jam is a bit chunky. I like it! But if you want to make a smoother jam, I would suggest pureeing half or all the strawberries, after cooking them with sugar and lemon juice, then let cool and put in a jar.

Recipe slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, I totally recommend it!

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam-14

 

Easy Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
 
Recipe Type: Condiments, DIY
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 jar
Ingredients
  • 1 quart (2 pints) fresh or frozen whole strawberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of sea or kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Hull the strawberries and slice them thin.
  2. Add them to a medium sized skillet, along with the sugar, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and gets syrupy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let cool. You can see how thick it is, and if you would like them thicker, continue cooking over medium for another 2-4 minutes.
  5. Let cool for at least an hour before putting in a jar and storing in the fridge or serving.
 

 

Blackberry Sage Kombucha

September 16th, 2015 Posted by DIY, Drinks, Non-alchoholic No Comment yet

Yes. We are in to cooler weather this week and that makes me so happy. This kombucha is also making me extremely happy… it has the last of the summer blackberries in it! Plus a lovely FALL ingredient: fresh sage.

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Quick Pickled Rosemary Cherries

July 1st, 2015 Posted by DIY, Homemade Condiments, Preserving 2 comments

pickled cherries

These do take a few days to pickle once you make them, but they are quick and easy to make. I think my favorite is that they don’t need to be canned, you can just put them in a jar in the fridge. I think I will pickle more things using this method, it’s quick and easy and I can experiment with small batches to find my favorite flavors. Try it will you? Let me know how you like it!  Start today and they will be perfect by this weekend.

These go really well with chicken, or in cocktails!

I got this recipe from Smoke & Pickles By Edward Lee, a crazy-awesome Southern/Korean cookbook that Joel got me for Christmas. There are a lot of inspiring recipes and ideas in this book! If you are looking to shake up your summer cooking, I highly recommend it. 

I tried this recipe with both rice wine vinegar and plain white vinegar, and honestly, they are both delicious. The rice wine vinegar is a little more mellow, and I do love the idea of using that as a pickling vinegar, so if you have some sitting around, try it. If not, plain white vinegar does just fine, maybe add just a pinch of extra sugar. 

quick pickled rosemary cherries

 

Quick Pickled Cherries
 
Recipe Type: Condiment
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 cup rice vinegar or white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (iodized or table salt is fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
Instructions
  1. Put the cherries in to a large glass jar that will hold 3-4 cups, depending on the size of your cherries is good. In a small sauce pan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and peppercorns in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cherries and put a tight fitting lid on it. It might seal, but these still need to be stored in the fridge. They will be ready to eat in about 4 days and will keep for 1 month.
  3. Try with chicken, or other poultry or in a cocktail. They are great as a snack too.
 
Notes
From Smoke & Pickles By Edward Lee

 

 

Small Batch Cold Brew Coffee

June 30th, 2015 Posted by DIY, Drinks, Non-alchoholic 2 comments

Sweet Jesus it’s hot. Hotter then it’s been in a loooong time, and it’s only the beginning of summer here. How does one stay cool and keep their inner thighs from sticking together? I rely on cold beverages and sunscreen. The sunscreen doesn’t really help with the heat, but my fair skin needs it. 

By now everyone is making cold-brew coffee. And with the heat like it’s been lately, how could I resist it? 

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