Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ramen Broccoli Coleslaw

Ramen Broccoli Coleslaw
Summer is the time for outdoor gatherings with family and friends. Today I have a very easy side item that is sure to please the entire crowd (yes, even the non-salad/coleslaw lovers) at your next soiree. has all of the wonderful, quick steps to this delicious ramen broccoli coleslaw.
*If you can't find broccoli slaw at your grocery store, I would suggest julienning broccoli, carrots, and cabbage to create your own broccoli slaw.
I did make two revisions to the above linked recipe. First, I would recommend roasting the ramen noodles and nuts before you place them in the salad for an added crunch. Second, I decreased the sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup to help ease the calorie count, and it was still just as wonderful as ever!
Ramen Broccoli Coleslaw
Ramen Broccoli Coleslaw
This recipe does make a large quantity, ideal for a group gathering. It also stores very well in the refrigerator if you should have any leftover. 
Ramen Broccoli Coleslaw
I hope you enjoy this recipe along with your next summer get-together.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

I would like to wish a very happy father's day to all of the fathers, soon-to-be-fathers, and fatherly figures everywhere. I hope you know how important you are to the ones you take care of, have taken care of.

Happy Father's Day

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DIY Summer Tote

DIY Summer Tote

Lilly Pulitzer is all about beautiful florals and vibrant colors. My kind of designer! So I was very excited to jump into the next edition of the Style Soiree! - Link Party Summer Series, featuring Lilly Pulitzer. Last month, when Kate Spade was showcased I featured my DIY gold polka dot shirt.

I still don't have the perfect summer tote, so I was inspired by Lilly Pulitzer to create one. I was drawn to Lilly's First Impression print for my tote.

Lilly Pulitzer's First Impression
Today I am linking up at Our Fifth House, Pinterest Told Me To, Rain on a Tin Roof, Southern State of Mind, and Effortless Style to showcase my very simple DIY Lilly Pulitzer inspired summer tote.

This project is what I feel every project should be. It was very much like summer, because it was fun, easy, and allowed me to be free with my approach. I didn't want the lines and colors to be perfect. I wanted to create a free-flowing, watercolor-look like much of Lilly's prints.

For this project, you will need: a canvas tote (I purchased mine at Michaels for $3.99), stencil, stencil brushes, paintbrush, acrylic craft paint, and cardboard to place inside the tote to prevent paint from seeping through (I used leftover packing foam).  

Tools for DIY Summer Tote

After you iron the canvas and free it of any wrinkles, place your cardboard or any flat surface inside the canvas so that paint doesn't seep through.

You can choose to have a design or you can roll with it. As I mentioned above, I was very free with my process. So I placed my first stencil down, and applied the paint with a flat stencil paintbrush. 

Flower Stencil forTote

DIY summer tote

Flower Stencil

I continued to apply stenciled flowers in open spaces on my bag. Once I was happy with the look and amount of flowers, I started to paint color in between the flowers. I wanted to leave some white in areas, so I wasn't very heavy with my paint approach.

DIY decorated tote

Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Tote

You can decide to stop here. However, I added some light pink inside the flowers to give them more texture. I also added leaves by using two shades of green and white paint. Once one side was complete and fully dry, I turned the bag over and repeated the process on the opposite side. 

DIY Summer Tote

DIY summer tote

Hope you enjoy creating your own bag, and I hope you are enjoying the summer months.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Homemade Crock Pickles

I would like to apologize for my absence. I was very busy with work last week. I hope your week has started off on the right note.

The smells and tastes of today's homemade recipe remind me of sweet summertime, just as much as squash does. I recently showed you how to make homemade dill pickles. Today, I will show you a much simpler and faster process that will  lead to homemade crock pickles. They are the perfect addition to any summer soiree, and they make wonderful gifts.  

Homemade Crock Pickles

For this recipe, you will need: water (I used 6 cups of water), pickling/canning salt (I used 1/4 cup of salt), white distilled vinegar (I used 1/2 cup of vinegar), recycled mason jars (I used 2 mason jar quarts), dill (I used 2 sprigs), onions, garlic clove (I used 1 garlic clove), cucumbers, and grape leaves (this ingredient is optional).  

Like many hand-me-down recipes, the measurements are not exact. So please feel free to experiment with your ingredients to get the desired taste that you want. 

Crock Pickles

After you sterilize your jars and clean your vegetables thoroughly, you will need to prepare your cucumbers. Start by cutting the ends off of each cucumber so that your mixture can disperse evenly into the cucumber. Since I used larger cucumbers, I cut mine into spears. 



Next, you will peel the skin off of garlic, and cut the onions up.

Ingredients for Pickles

From here, you will place the jar on its side, so that you can stack the cucumbers into the jar tightly. Then you will top your jar off with garlic, onions, and dill. 

From Cucumbers to Pickles

How to make pickles

DIY Pickles

DIY Pickles

In a separate bowl you will add your water, salt, and vinegar together. For two quarts of pickles, I used 6 cups of water, 1/4 cup of pickling/canning salt, and 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar. I had plenty of mixture left over.  

Once all ingredients are added to a large bowl, you can start to stir the mixture with a fork. Continue to stir until the salt has dissolved.

White Distilled Vinegar

White Distilled Vinegar

Now you will pour the water, salt, and white distilled vinegar mixture into the quarts and over the cucumbers. 


Then cover your filled jars with cotton towels, and set aside at room temperature for about 3 days. 

Homemade Pickles

After the third day, you can test your pickles. If they are the desired texture and taste, then label them and place them in the refrigerator. These pickles can last for several months in the refrigerator, but I guarantee you that they won't last that long. :)

Homemade Crock Pickles

I hope you have enjoyed this simple, yet very delicious pickle recipe. Have you ever made crock pickles? If yes, was your process the same or different from mine?

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Clean a Coffee Maker

This will probably be the most unglamorous, yet very necessary, post you will see. I love my morning and (sometimes afternoon) coffee, and I always prefer to enjoy a fresh (and clean) cup. Today I have a very simple way to keep your coffee maker clean, and rid of bacteria.

clean coffee maker
White distilled vinegar comes to the rescue again. I showed you how I use it to clean my yoga mat. And today I will use it to clean my coffee maker. Aside from being a fantastic acidic cleaner for mold and  bacteria; vinegar is also a very cost effective and environmentally friendly cleaner. For those reasons I prefer to clean with vinegar in the kitchen.

How to clean a coffee maker
Place a clean filter into the filter basket in your coffee maker. Then add half cold water, and half white distilled vinegar mixture to your coffee pot. (You can add more vinegar to the mixture if your coffee maker is in dire need of a good cleaning). Place the mixture into the coffee maker. 

 Cleaning Coffee Maker
Place the coffee pot onto the hot pad in the coffee maker. Let the water and vinegar mixture brew through the coffee maker and into the coffee pot. Then let the maker and coffee pot sit for 15 minutes.
Next, clean out the coffee pot and throw the used filter away. Add cold water to the coffee pot (no vinegar), and add the cold water to the coffee maker. Once the water brews through, let the maker sit for another 15 minutes. Then repeat the entire process with cold water one more time.

How to Clean Your Coffee Maker
Below is a before and after shot. Please don't judge my before picture. I wanted to be honest with the before picture to show you how well this process works. :)
How to Clean your Coffee Maker

How to Clean your Cofee Maker

You can also use the water/vinegar mixture and a cotton rag to clean water stains around the maker, and other places showing wear from the coffee grounds. 

I would also recommend using a pitcher or cup that is designated for the water when you brew your coffee on a daily basis. No matter how well you clean your coffee pot, it can still hold coffee ground residue that can get into the coffee maker if you use it to fill the maker with water.

I try to clean my coffee maker once a month. The amount you should clean your coffee maker should be dependent on how often you use your maker.

I hope you have a fantastic start to your day and week with a fresh (and clean) cup of coffee.
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