Win with ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape

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Wow, it’s been a long time! I’ve been busy thrifting and crafting and have a lot to share. But first I wanted to let you know about another great contest from ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape.

To enter just create and submit a home project using ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape and costing under $100 in materials. There are so many possibilities! I have a can of nice chalkboard paint so I think I will do something with that. Perhaps a new chalkboard for our basement? Or adding some chalkboard areas to bins for sorting or decor?

I had such a good time with the last ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape contest. Remember my tray?

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I am now using it for a centerpiece and cheese board in the dining room.

ScotchBlue TM Painter’s Tape has a new Advanced Edge Lock TM system making for crisper lines and easier application. To enter your project just follow the instructions by clicking HERE.

Good luck! And please send me some photos of your projects. I would love to see what creative ideas you come up with.


Cabbage Slaw

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If we’re friendly on Facebook you already know that I am inundated with cabbage at the moment. I’m growing it in the garden, buying it at the market and receiving it in my CSA:

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The CSA cabbage is a Murdoc, an organic hybrid that gives it that pointed top. I still have this one and plan to try it tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and also fried with butter. But before I can break into that one I had to tackle the one already taking up some serious real estate in my crisper.

In the past I made a cabbage and corn slaw that I loved but cannot locate the recipe for it. So I decided to improvise and came up with this delicious crispy slaw with corn and radishes.

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Born of the ingredients I happened to have on hand this slaw is one of the best I’ve had (if I do say so) and it comes together quickly. The fresh dill and thinly cut radishes make it but I do think you could sub in some sliced red peppers and try a different spice for a new experience.

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Cabbage Slaw

Serves 2-4

1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped

corn from one ear sheared off with a knife (raw)

6-8 radishes, halved and thinly sliced

1 tbs fresh dill, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and cover with dressing:

1/2 cup mayo (I used low fat)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbs agave nectar (can sub honey or simple syrup)

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all dressing ingredients in a measuring cup and pour over slaw. Toss to coat.

The slaw is good to go as soon as you finish but the flavor intensifies after spending an hour chilling in the fridge. You can adjust your dressing to suit you, I wanted it tangy so I used a good amount of vinegar balanced with the agave. I felt like I needed more agave than I would have honey if I had some on hand. So if you sub in honey try 1 tbs and taste it.

Enjoy!

 


ScotchBlue Painters Tape – Upcycled Tray

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I’m back! Recently I worked with my Dad to come up with a project where we could use ScotchBlue Painters Tape to create a fun item to submit for a contest. We went back and forth on what to make and settled on a serving tray/cheese board. You all know how I feel about cheese.

Since everyone automatically thinks “lines” when using tape we decided to go outside the box and create a stencil.

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We crafted our tray over the long Fourth of July holiday so naturally the Stars and Stripes were on our mind. Originally we were going to make a flag design but decided on something that could be used everyday.

To create the tray we used a piece of pecan from an old dresser drawer. My Dad created the handles and feet from bits of wood he had lying about but I think you could use metal drawer pulls for handles and either pre-crafted bun feet or wooden knobs for feet. Or you could even skip the feet and have a flatter tray. We created the outline for the red areas using the ScotchBlue Painters Tape and then gave it one coat of red spray paint. We liked how the flecks from the wood grain came through the paint so much that we only did one coat but you could do more for a more vibrant color.

I then layered the tape over wax paper to create a sheet and drew on the stars with a marker. I used a utility knife to cut them out and then peeled off the paper. It did stick a bit more than I had hoped for but once we had cleared it from around the cut out stars it stuck nicely to the tray. We used a white spray paint over the star cut outs and did two coats. Once dry we gave it a coat of clear acrylic to seal it and make it food safe. Finally we attached the handles and feet and voila! A darling serving tray.

Thank you to ScotchBlue Painters Tape for supplying the tape and for getting the creative wheels turning. The best part was collaborating with my Dad. We haven’t made something together in awhile. We are already planning the next project. Stay tuned!

 


Let’s Make Something

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Wow. It’s been awhile. I have to admit that this never ending winter has put me into a serious funk. It just makes me want to do nothing. Honestly I’ve been living. Laundry, work, bills, a few fun family and friend events but mostly just hibernating awaiting the spring thaw.

Well I am tired of waiting. It is time to snap out of it. Who is with me? I have a board on Pinterest called Homestead Kitchen. This is where I pin recipes for jams and pickles, how to dry herbs, make cheese and spice mixes, etc. Anything that goes above and beyond “home made” in my opinion. I have a few other boards with items like these (such as Sauces, Gravies & Toppings and I Scream for Ice Cream) in an effort to not only eat as fresh as possible but also to learn new techniques. This weekend I am pickling green beans. I am not even sure if I will like them but I am going to try.

Recently I have been trying my hand at French cuisine (so far so good) and tried my first infusion by making a delicious ginger cordial called Nim Nam:

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It is vodka infused with ginger root, lemon, vanilla and honey and it tastes just as good as it sounds. I was very happy with it. Adding an ounce to sparkling water makes for very grown up ginger ale. Original recipe and post found HERE. I love the Bojon Gourmet and look forward to new posts. Check out the extensive list of recipes HERE.

So here is to getting out of the funk and making something. Anything.

PS – also in the works – planning the summer bingo with the fab theme of Ship Wrecked. Ideas welcome!


Better Late, Right?

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Sooooo . . . . this post was supposed to go up on the 14th. At least it is still February. Ahem.

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My anniversary was on February 17th. We’ve been married for seven years. Since Valentine’s Day was on a Friday we decided to have our celebration then. We started with some lovely coffee and treats.

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We don’t usually do a big thing for either but since it was a weekend and I’d been making Valentines recently I was kind of in the mood.

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I love how Louie’s Valentine turned out. It is HUGE. That box is one of those photo boxes from the craft store.

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I also made one of those “52 Things I Love About You” card books that are all over Pinterest. Want some wine with that cheese? Hmm?  I made a lot of them funny (like his terrible Sean Connery impersonation) so we had a good time reading through them.

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Also seen on Pinterest were these little card men. So cute. The one in the back was made with a mini deck and I like him better than the full size. I will hang them on my Christmas tree going forward.

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And what is a celebration without bubbly? We enjoyed cava with Creme Yvette. It was yummy and also pink so win-win. I made the chocolate dipped strawberries. I always forget how simple they are to make. I use one of those mini crock pots to melt the chocolate chips which makes it even easier. Chocolate covered strawberries for every event, yeah!

So it was a lovely (though cold) weekend and a total blast to feel fancy and decadent. We also enjoyed a lovely dinner at our fave Italian place (only a short 3 block walk) and perhaps a few more glasses of bubbly. ;)

Cheers ~ Rebecca


Time keeps on slipping . . .

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I’ve gotten way behind this last week or so but I have quite a bit to share as far as thirty crafty goodness goes. I’ll post soon about the fun Valentine I made for my husband and how we spent our anniversary. I also finished a long forgotten project (it only took me 4 years) and tried a few new recipes. Oh and I did something with those kumquats.

And since we can’t have a pictureless post, here’s my desperately in need of a bath Boozehound Kaiser Peanut:

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Ciao for now  . . .


Valentines for Veterans

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My dear friend Nina put the call out for friends to make or buy Valentines for a Veterans retirement home near her Air Force Base. She and fellow coworkers had organized a Christmas gift drive and it was a heart melter for everyone involved. So while I was cleaning out the old craft dungeon I sorted out supplies in your typical red, pink and white and got to work.

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I loved making these. Not only would they brighten the day of someone who selflessly served our country but it brightened my day as well.

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It was fun to just play with the different papers and embellishments.

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To create just for the sake of doing something nice and not over worrying how it was going to turn out.

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And you know what? I think they turned out great. The one above is made with some of my very sacred vintage wrapping paper and might be my favorite.

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I forgot how much fun it is to fold paper in half and cut out hearts. Thank you, Nina, for organizing this and for letting me send and receive a little joy. Happy Valentines Day.

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What to do with Kumquats

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Luis and I like to try new things. This week it was kumquats. Now I’ve seen them but never tried them before. Have you? They are kind of pretty.

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And they smell divine. But they are very very tart. Luis made me a Kin Kan sour which is muddled kumquats, gin, St. Germain and simple syrup (though it was hardly simple as we had some kind of schmancy syrup because that’s how we roll. More on Luis and his Sous Vide adventures later.) It was good and refreshing like the typical gin and citrus (read juice) drinks I like. It was sour on the finish though the St. Germain and simple syrup did balance it out. I liked it but wouldn’t go out of my way to have it. So that is how we used two of the kumquats. Now what?

Enter Pinterest:

Kumquat Marmalade with Star Anise & Cinnamon

Kumquat, Lentil & Chickpea Tagine 

Candied Kumquats & Kumquat Syrup (you could totally put this in gin just sayin . . )

Kumquat Tart

Kumquat Cardamom Cakes

Moral of the story? It’s fun to say kumquat. But seriously, I’m leaning towards the marmalade. What would you try?


Pintested: Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Breasts w/ Tomatoes & Cannelini Beans

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I am a fan of a casserole. I like putting it all in a dish, popping it in the oven and having a full meal come out at the end. I think this is also why I like baking. A lot of work in the beginning and then a lot of sitting around waiting for it to be done.

One of my favorite go to boards on Pinterest is my One Dish Wonders board. This is where I pin casseroles as well as pasta dishes and “bakes.” Luis and I try not to eat any processed food so most traditional casserole dishes don’t appeal to me. So many have those canned “cream of” soups or call for canned veggies. I try to be as natural as possible though I did buy canned beans for this recipe instead of soaking beans overnight.

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Breasts w/Tomatoes & Cannelini Beans

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Breasts w/ Tomatoes & Cannelini Beans by thecafesucrefarine: Simple, make-ahead, spectacular.  #Chicken #Mediterranean #Easy #Make_Ahead

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So yes, the photo got me on this one. Such lovely styling and I would love to have a baking dish and board like that in my own kitchen. But I also liked that it contained ingredients that we often have on hand. I don’t love chicken breast. It gets so dry so easily. So when I do buy it I always buy it on the bone. This recipe suggests cutting it from the bone before baking but I did not. They say the reasoning is for a neater serving experience but it was just us and well, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Basically you create a spice oil, rub your chicken with it, brown said chicken and then toss it in a roasting dish with beans, tomatoes and lemons that have also been doused in the spice oil. Then you create a yummy avocado yogurt sauce while it is baking away.

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It really is lovely and not too terribly expensive if you keep a ridiculous spice cabinet like we do. We had all of the spices (except for the fresh cilantro) already on hand. I will say that the spice oil (and the yogurt sauce) really make this dish. The flavors are prefect with the chicken and the different textures of the tomatoes and beans.

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And I’m no food stylist (is that a real job?) but I think it looks pretty darn appetizing if I do say so myself. This is a definite keeper. I have written it down in my personal recipe book and believe me, that doesn’t happen often.

Find the post with recipe at Cafe Sucre Farine HERE and the pin HERE.

Bon Appetit!


The Art of Cheese

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I have the worst cabin fever. Our car was buried under a huge snow drift (thank you, city of New York garbage plows) so Luis and I stayed in most of the weekend. Again. We did grab dinner at a local place Friday night but it was so bitter cold even the short walk home was miserable. So we decided to hunker down, watch movies and eat some cheese.

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I love putting together a good cheese plate. It feels more like a work of art than an appetizer. This is what I like to include:

Cheese (duh) – usually small amounts of three different kinds. The plate above has Boursin, cheddar with pepper corns and a jalapeno Muenster.

Meat – or the fancier “charcuterie” usually at least some kind of salami, sopressata or other cured meat. The plate above has hard salami (halved and folded) and shaved rosemary ham

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“Nibbles” – always olives (specifically picholine) and usually halved grape tomatoes and capers topped off with a little olive oil and herbs. For a sweeter nibble I like walnuts and golden raisins drizzled in honey. Sweet gerkins are also nice or any other kind of pickle, particularly half sour dills. I also like in season fruit such as berries, figs and apple slices.

Spreads – depending on the cheese I like fig, St. Dalfour Wild Blueberry Blueberry and really any kind of nice jam or preserves. Mustards work well, too, my favorite being Woeber’s champagne dill.

Breads & Crackers – French bread is always nice as well as any type of cracker you prefer. I like Breton Original Wheat personally.

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I try to match up flavors. In the plate above that white cheese on the left is buratta so the olives and tomatoes are joined by fresh basil and dried oregano with olive oil. The meats are hard salami and cured chorizo and that’s olive bread there on the bottom right. But sometimes I just put together whatever is on hand which is usually whatever was on sale at the cheese store or my grocer.

Needless to say we’ll be celebrating Super Bowl with a fancy cheese plate. Oh and pulled pork tacos and hot dogs. I suppose we can’t be fancy ALL of the time. :)