Monday, December 29, 2008

Teal Me No Lies

Pure, honest, luxury. These were the words that came to mind when I designed these earrings.
I paired peacock/teal green mystic quartz cubes with lustrous white pearls.
I loved them so much, I made myself a pair too :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Choco-licious Chewies

That's what I would name these yummy little bites.

They're actually called Almond and Chocolate Clusters (I substituted cashews). They were super easy to make but may be hazardous to fragile dental work. The caramel portion was really chewy. I don't know if it was the caramels I used or the fact that I let the caramels bubble a bit when they were melting. The recipe warns not to let the caramels bubble as they will become too hard. They weren't hard but they were chewier in the finished clusters than they were by themselves. I of course tested a few of the caramels prior to using them in the recipe ;)

I also had a problem with the cream causing the melting chocolate to ball up (did I say these were super easy?). I added a bit of skim milk and the chocolate became smooth and velvety. I think the cream may have been too cold when I added it, but the milk came right out of the fridge, into the double boiler and tamed that chocolate mess lickity-split. So, I'm not sure what the problem was. Next time I may just use the milk and skip the cream. Less guilt too.

The photo shows the clusters before I put them in the oven. I did let them cool completely in the fridge and I did dip them in chocolate. What I didn't do was photograph the finished product. Oops! I thought of this as I was munching down the last delectable delight. Oh well, maybe next year :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rib-sticking Goodness

Quick Pierogie Bake

This yummy tummy filling casserole was easy to make, but not exactly quick. Not for me. I think the problem may have been that I put all of the ravioli in the pan to brown at one time. I've since learned from watching the Food Network (sorry I can't remember which show) that one should not over-crowd the pan when browning.

I couldn't find pierogies so, as the recipe suggests, I substituted cheese ravioli for the pierogies.
I used two varieties of mushrooms, brown button and shitake. And, so I wouldn't set off the smoke detector, baked instead of broiled at a temperature of 375 for about 15 minutes.

I love casseroles, especially this time of year, if you have a favorite you'd like to share I'd love to hear it.

*Eagle-eyed readers who regularly visit my blog may notice the date on this post is the 11th. It's the 21st and, yes, I've been a bit delinquent in keeping up with my blog. Thanks for sticking with me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ruby Treasure

I adore pomegranate seeds; their gorgeous crimson color, their sweet tart taste.
It took me a while to figure out the best way to get to these little gems.

First, cut about an inch off the top or crown.

Next cut the pomegranate into quarters.

Now scoop out the seeds removing pieces of the white pith as needed. I use my fingers and the tip of a knife for the really stubborn seeds.
There are other methods for getting at these juicy little treats. If my suggestion doesn't work well for you try, try another :)

My favorite way to eat the seeds is by the bowl full with a spoon.
I've also sprinkled them on salads and on top of vanilla ice cream. YUM!

Here is a link to a large variety of recipes. If you try one or if you have a favorite way of using pomegranate seeds I'd love to read about it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good Hair Day (and warm ears too)

I love this headband. It keeps my head and ears warm without that 'compressed' feeling I sometimes get from a hat. A little kinder on the hairdo too :)

This is the Cable and Bobble Headband from Winter '06 Interweave Knits. It's knit in a bulky weight yarn, which makes it a super fast project.
Very beginner friendly for those who've never made a cable pattern, this is a great first project.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet and Squeaky

Spottedcowsoaps are so yummy looking one might be tempted to attack them with a spoon.
Whipped soap with sugar added promises to make your skin feel squeaky clean and moisturized. And add in the tart sweet fragrance of cranberry, I'm sold. What a treat after a long day of shopping, work or whatever.

Want to know more about this wonderful seller, please visit her blog!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Winter Blooms

I rescued these three Christmas cacti from the local grocery store several years ago. They were terribly water-logged and headed for certain doom. I just couldn't leave them in that state. I took them home and sopped all of the excess water out of their pots. They've rewarded me with lovely blooms every November/December since.

Also called Zygocactus or Schlumbergera, these plants require minimal care. Which is great for me! I don't exactly have a green thumb.