Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Can't Mess It Up Cranberry Sauce

Mmmmmm...it's almost here!  Thanksgiving!  Our family will be doing something non-traditional for us.  Usually we go to Georgia to visit my parents or we celebrate with our family in St. Louis.  However, since we moved to Branson we are going to stay here this year.  The family that my husband works for will also be staying here as well so we are going to celebrate together.  I am very excited to share Thanksgiving with them!  They have a great tradition.  Each family member gets to choose any side he or she wishes, so there will be at least one thing that he or she will eat!  Sure, we may have 10 starches and one green bean casserole but this day comes once a year so bring it on!  I am going to adopt this tradition for our family as well as my children don't eat much except maybe rolls and a little turkey. :/ 

We have chosen to split the menu in half, pretty much, to share the cost of this gargantuan meal.  One of the things I am bringing will be cranberry sauce which I made last night.  You can NOT mess this up.  My dad and I make it every time we visit for Thanksgiving.  I switched it up a little bit this time, though and I think it is even more delicious with the tartness from the tangerines!


Can't Mess It Up Cranberry Sauce

*  1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
*  1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar depending on preference. I did 3/4 cup
*  1/2 cup water
3/4 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (I had 3 tangerines and this is what I got)
*  zest of one tangerine

1.  Rinse your cranberries in a colander.
2.  Zest one tangerine.
3.  Juice your fruit.  I used all of mine, which was almost a cup. 
4.  Combine juice, sugar, zest and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.
5.  Stir in cranberries and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until your desired consistency.  Mine took 12 minutes.  I really like all of the berries to pop and gel. 
6.  Chill completely before serving.

                                     

I had to have a small bowl right off of the stove!  It is yummy cold but it tastes so good hot too!  My five year old even informed me she stole a taste while it was cooling and liked it too!  Score!  Most recipes are variations of this so adjust it as you wish.  Hope you enjoy! 




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SOAP, GLORIOUS SOAP

April of 2012 I quit my job at McDonald's.  I worked for McDonald's for 26 and a half years, starting when I was 16!  Craziness, I know.  It's definitely not for everyone but it was always there for me through high school, cheerleading, college and after.  I didn't know what I wanted to do even when I was in college, so I did what I was good at.  McDonald's. 

I was so excited to be a stay at home mom.  For a while.  Then I started getting restless!  No surprise for me considering at McDonald's I was always running and always had things to do.  During my time at home, my husband and I visited his aunt and uncle in Georgia.  It was there I saw what I wanted to do.  They do direct-to-garment printing, machine embroidery and heat press vinyl.  They had a SERIOUS craft room.  So, I got started and planned on doing all of this from home myself.  But then, I saw the cutest retail location in the little town of Festus.  Had to do it.  On November 9, 2012 I opened my store, FrivoliTees.  Get it?  Tees for tee shirts!  :) 

I really enjoyed doing what I did.  It was slow getting started but it was always fun.  I got to design cool shirts for people and make banners for first birthdays and make personalized tumblers and things.  It was so great.  Then my husband had an opportunity to accept a job in Branson and we took it.  I had to close my store on June 28, 2013 so we could come here. 

While I had the store, I asked my father to make soap just for my customers.  Well, now that the store is closed he is still making it and it is great stuff!  I just began selling it on Etsy so we can share it with other handmade soap fanatics.  I am excited and apprehensive as there are many great Etsy stores selling soap but I hope people will give it a try. 

His uses the cold process method.  This means he uses lye (the base) and mixes it with an oil or fat (the acid).  A chemical reaction occurs and you are left with soap. (salt)  Cold process soap is awesome because you control what you put in it.  Our soaps are fantastic because we put all kinds of good-for-your-skin butters and oils in them.  I wanted to share some of them with you today because I am very proud of what my father does! 

 
These are only a few of our FrivoliTees Suds! Aren't they pretty?  Give them a try!  I know once you enjoy the wonderful scents and lather and most importantly how great your skin will feel, you won't want to go back to your old bar or body wash.  If you are interested in purchasing some, please visit our shop, FrivoliTees on Etsy!  Any questions regarding our hand-crafted soaps?  I would be more than happy to answer them! (or submit them to my papa :)  Have a great day!


Friday, November 15, 2013

A foot stool for my little man

Hi!  Today's post has been brought to you courtesy of my little man!  Yesterday morning my children were brushing their teeth and were arguing about who could stand on the stool that allows them to reach the sink.  My cousin gave the stool to me and daughter as a baby shower gift.  It was the best gift because over 5 years later, it is a gift we still use!  She hand-painted it and put my daughter's name on it.  We use it to brush teeth and my babies (they're 5 and 4 and I still call them that. not sure why.) like to use it to help prep and cook in the kitchen and those sneaky stinkers also use it to reach snacks on the high shelves in the pantry!  Now that they are getting bigger they both can't fit on it and it got ugly today.  To fix the problem, I promised my son that after preschool we would buy him one and he would be able to decorate it any way he wanted.  That made him happy.  We went to Michael's (one of my favorite stores in the craft trinity-Michael's, Joann's and the king of all.... Hobby Lobby! the sky opens, a beam of light engulfs it, angels sing and my heart swells and all is right in the craft world. :)  We used the Michael's app to get 40% off, aw yea!


                 Then we brought that bad boy home and got to town. 

 
You will notice my little guy doesn't have a shirt on.  I asked him to change shirts but he insisted on painting shirtless.  Whatever works!  We just used a handful of the million bottles of acrylic craft paint that I have.  My name is Gina Love.  I'm a craft hoarder.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, am I right??   My children absolutely love it though, because we almost always have whatever we need to craft on any given day!
 
 
I only helped a little.  He painted and painted! 
 

                 As you can see, he was covered in paint.  He was so happy!


 
I helped guide him a little with his name.  I told him we could use the Cricut and cut letters out of vinyl but this is his stool and he chose paint.  I added a little sealer and it was good to go!

 
Here is the finished product in use by my handsome model and his beautiful sister!  Could that smile be any bigger?  :0  My child?  Happy.  Mama?  Happy!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Oh my gosh!  Do I have a recipe to share with you today?!  This is my version of Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup.  I was craving something different yesterday; no, not pork chops, already had sloppy joes last week, and brinner was on the menu a couple days ago.  I was so ready for something new.  I just typed in "soup" on Pinterest and THIS GLORIOUS PICTURE

    
scrolled into my eyesight.  I knew I had to make it.  It reminded me of the yellow curry chicken (medium, thank you very much) that my husband and I indulged in monthly when we lived in Herculaneum, Missouri.  The restaurant, King & I, located in St. Louis, has THE BEST yellow curry I have ever tasted.  If you are ever in St. Louis you must go!  The curry is so thick, rich, exotic and fragrant.  I have never tasted anything like it.  We would make the drive, a 70 minute round-trip, just to do take-out!  So, of course this was going to be a perfect choice for din-din last night!

I got the recipe from here: Food Wanderings in Asia.  She adapted it from a Cooking Light recipe.  I adapted it a little because I already had some things in mind I wanted to do with it (because I had yellow curry on the brain-a true medical condition....it is in my house anyway!).  Here is my take on this winner:

2 teaspoons canola oil
4 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 3 inch stalk of lemon grass halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chili paste)
1 tablespoon concentrated hot curry paste
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 can (13.66 oz) coconut milk
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped in bite size pieces
3 potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed

5-6 cups prepared sticky rice or steamed white rice
chopped cilantro, chopped green onion and lime juice to top your glorious creation



the doin:  (first make sure you have everything that needs to be cooked, cooked.  have everything chopped and ready because this goes pretty quickly!)

Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the ginger, garlic, lemon grass, and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add sambal oelek, hot curry paste and yellow curry powder; cook 1 minute.  Add chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar; bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes.  Add cooked chicken and potatoes to soup; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. 

I actually served this soup over our favorite rice called Nishiki sushi rice.  I purchased it from Wal-Mart.  You heat it in the microwave in one portion containers.  My husband needed more than one because he loves rice.  It soaks up the liquid deliciously and you will want to eat up every last drop. 



Although this was so yummy and totally beats the Thai restaurant we have down here, we are going to tweak it some more.  I really want it to be thick instead of a soup.  Also, know that you can add more or less of the garlic or chili paste or curry paste.  We like things pretty hot.  We are thinking that large shrimp along with the chicken would be really yummy too. 

Well, hope you like my Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup!  If you love Thai, I bet you will love this.  Have a great day!










Sunday, November 10, 2013

Handmade cards

Today I wanted to show you some cards I made a while ago.  These I based off of a card I saw on Pinterest.  My friend Linda and I were at Archivers when I made them.  I sure miss hanging out with her and crafting there!  It is my favorite place to "craft!"  There isn't an Archivers even close to me now.  Boo-hoo!!  We just moved to Branson, Missouri from St. Louis, Missouri four months ago.  I used to have to drive maybe 35 minutes to get there and every one of them was worth it! :)  Now it is at least a couple hours from me no matter what direction. Makes me sad.....sniff sniff... Ok, so I digress.  These are the cards I made one evening....
I cannot remember the line of paper I used at the time but I know I used my paper punches for the scalloped circle and flourish for the sentiments.  I also used my martha stewart score board to make the medallions.  Both took less than a half hour total.  Many times I will make two coordinating cards at the same time.  It is true what they say that assembly-line work actually makes the job go faster so while you're making one, it doesn't take much more time to make a second as well.  Do this every time you get a moment to craft and you will always have one ready for those last-minute gifts.  (I'm ALWAYS last minute!)  Gotta love a big bang for your buck!  Try making these today!
 
Ingredients:
3 different coordinating papers of your choice
Paper punches or your favorite die cutter
Adhesive
Buttons or pins for embellishing
Scissors or your paper trimmer
 
 
 
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Christmas ornaments


Good afternoon!  I attended a craft fair this weekend.  I sell soap that my dad makes and whatever else I come up with for myself.  This time I brought ornaments and jewelry as well.  The fair was pretty slow and it was disappointing but I did meet some nice people.  That is the best part.  My booth neighbors on the left and I tried to brainstorm ideas for how we could maybe make the next one more successful.  I plan on writing the coordinator and giving her our ideas.  Anyway, I wanted to share



some pictures of what I made.  The first three pictures are those very large ornaments you can purchase at Hobby Lobby.  They have a bunch of foam balls in them.  I almost dumped them out and threw them away when I first purchased them, but then when I figured out what I wanted to do with them I thought they were perfect because they look like snow!  I used my Cricut, permanent vinyl and ribbon to make them.  I used Winter Frolic for the snowman and the hot cocoa ornament.  I used Simply Charmed for the cute pengies!  On the last picture, I used acrylic disks to make the ornaments.  It came to me to use them one night when I couldn't sleep and I was trying to think of how I could use the disks in ready-made gifts to sell.  It is definitely a challenge trying to get the vinyl centered and bubble-free.  Even with finding some great tutorials on Pinterest, I still struggled. 

These are the glass ones I made.  They are pretty small.  I was thinking I could use the deer ones (Cindy Loo cartridge) for baby ornaments and use paint pens to personalize them.  The tree is from Winter Frolic and the cupcake I cannot remember at this time because Cricut has soooo many cupcake cuts to choose from! 




So here they are.  Just some little Christmas tree jewelry for you to hang.  I hope I can sell more at the next fair I attend in two weeks.  I will post the other items I make between now and then.  I'm thinking I might make some pillow envelops for gift cards and things of that sort.  We will see!  Anyway, thanks for looking!  Have a great afternoon!