Monday, February 29, 2016

mushroom lights

I just finished this fun little project for my husband, and wrote up a rough tutorial to share.
pics were taken and manipulated with my cellphone, so I apologize for the grainy-ness of the pictures :)

* split log that will sit flat on table
* string of lantern lights
* paper mache supplies
* glue
* paint
* wire (any type)

Step 1:
place log cut side down and drill 6 large holes from top to bottom.  1/2" diameter should be big enough.

Step 2:
detach all the lantern shades from the string of lights

Step 3:
Cut the lantern shades in half with scissors.
Apply paper mache over halves and over stems made
from tube shaped pieces of cardboard.
Use the rubber rings from the original lanterns as a guide
for the top hole

Step 4:
Thread one light from string into each hole in log.
Pull up through cardboard stem, adjusting with scissors as necessary.
secure with rubber ring from original lanterns.

Step 5:
Use glue and globs of extra paper mache to attach cardboard stems to log

Step 6:
Cut two ~5" pieces of wire, twist center ~2" together.
Wind twisted portion around plyers or pen to make a loop
the size of the light bulb and spread remaining wire to form legs.
poke wire legs through shade and pinch around edge to secure

Step 7:
Paint the stems and touch up bark if necessary.
Paint inside and outside of mushroom caps.

Step 8:
Assemble!  Adjust wire loops of caps to fit snugly over lights
and adjust the wire as necessary to make it sit at the desired angle.
make sure to leave enough space around the light bulb
for heat to escape

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

mandala doodles!

It's been forever (again) since I posted something here!  Lots going on in my crafting life, but wanted to list the mandala doodles here.  Hopefully sometime soon I'll remember to update the blog re: cheeseboards and cutting boards, succulent tea cups, Rose Bowl Flea Market, etc!

The first few were drawn at a girl scout camping trip (something to keep me sane)

then I made a template (very similar to polar graph paper), and made some in

and I printed out the template and drew a few more, some more successful than others:

to then I picked up some vellum (tracing paper) for cheap and used polar graph paper underneath, which came out really crisp and scanned very well:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

recipe: small-batch eggnog

Quick and easy small-batch eggnog

I tried 2 variation on the same recipe from (cut recipe in 6ths)

(a) 1 egg, 1/2c heavy cream, 1/3c milk, 1/6c maple syrup
(b) 1 egg, 1/2c heavy cream, 1/3c milk, 1/2t vanilla extract, 3 T dk brown sugar.

Blend until frothy.
Hardest step is letting it sit in fridge for several hrs :)

result: yum!  the maple syrup version is tasty but the maple flavor is overpowering.  the vanilla version was by far everyone's favorite, though a little less vanilla would probably be even better

whipped cream and a light dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon make it perfect :)

Just made up a full batch: 3 c cream, 2 c 2% milk, 1 c brown sugar, 1 T vanilla extract, 6 eggs

Doesn't taste right until added a little nutmeg, maybe 1/4-1/2t ground? Helps bring out the egg flavor but only use a touch 

recipe: small batch heavenly cocoa brownies

I wanted chocolate, but didn't want to share or eat a whole batch by myself
so I did a little math, quartering this recipe: (which I had never tried before)

Small Batch Cocoa Brownies (modified from Alton Brown recipe)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ounces melted salted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 5 T cocoa (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 T flour
  • dash of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease or use cupcake liners in 4 openings of muffin tin
In a bowl, stir eggs thoroughly. add sugars and stir.  add all other ingredients and stir until almost smooth.
Pour the batter into the 4 muffin cups (will fill each about 2/3 to 3/4 full) bake for about 30 minutes*. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean.  Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes before digging in!

These came out rich and moist, with a little bit of chewy/crispy around the edges.  If you like the crispy/chewy edges like I do, greasing the muffin cups would probably work better than paper liners.  They will come out a lot cleaner if you let them cool, but we all know how hard that is :)

* I used my convection toaster oven, would probably take longer in a regular oven

(that's a saucer/desert plate :)

recipe: savory broccoli

3 oz of broccoli (3/4 cup) - cut close to florets so falls into small pieces
1 T salted butter
3 medium cloves garlic (this seems like a lot, maybe just 1 clove?)
1 T grated 100% parmesan

chop broccoli into small pieces.
melt butter in frying pan over medium heat.
add garlic (use garlic press or mince fine), saute until garlic is slightly browned.
add broccoli, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently,
until broccoli is bright green and barely cooked.
add parmesan cheese and cook for another minute.

serve immediately so broccoli stays crispy and garlic/parm bits are still crunchy

makes 2 small or 1 large serving

nutrition info (calculated on per 1 large serving:
130 calories, 12.5 g fat (3 g saturated), 7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 5 g protein
4 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 328 mg potassium
58% vitamin A, 136% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 4% iron

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

recipe: spicy sweet pecans (low carb)

Spicy Sweet Pecans (low carb)

Something more interesting than just plain nuts for those on a low carb diet, these pecan halves have been coated with a sweet-spicy flavor.  They have 2 grams of net carbs per 1/4 cup serving

2 cups raw pecan halves
2 T salted butter, melted
1 T chili powder
½ t cayenne pepper
1 t Splenda Essentials with fiber

Combine melted butter, Splenda, chili powder, and cayenne pepper
Add raw pecans and toss to coat
Bake at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes, just enough to dry coating
Cool and store in airtight container.

Makes 8 servings, ¼ C each

Nutrition information per ¼ lb serving:
239 calories, 24g of fat, 3g of protein, 5 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber

recipe: Nutty Parm Chicken Nuggets (low carb and gluten free)

Nutty Parm Chicken Nuggets (low carb and gluten free)

1 lb of chicken breast tenderloins
½ C almond meal
½ C grated parmesan
¼ t salt
½ t basil
½ t oregano
1 egg (nutrition info based on ½ egg, since lots of it stays in bowl)

Trim and cut the chicken into big cubes
Mix dry ingredients in shallow bowl
Mix egg and a bit of water in another shallow bowl
Dredge chicken pieces in egg then dry ingredients
Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or foil
Bake until golden brown (sorry, no temp or time.  Maybe 20 min at 350?)

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition information per ¼ lb serving:
240 calories, 12g of fat, 30g of protein, 3 g of carbs, 2 g of fiber