Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{Recipe: Strawberry Heart Meringues}

I can not profess to be a master in the art of delicate confections. Meringues can be a tad frightening; almost up there with the soufflĂ©' but not quite. However, they are not as labor intensive as you may think, and the fact that they utilize few ingredients, makes prep work and clean up a cinch.  Plus, what could be more fabulous than passing these heart-shaped beauties out to friends and family on Valentine's Day? I'm thinking they'll elicit some major "oohs and aahs!"

You will need:

  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1 Tbsp seedless strawberry jam (room temp)
  • 5 drops red food coloring
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • Parchment Paper
  • Pastry bag fitted with large star tip
  • Glass or metal mixing bowl
  • Mixer

Put egg white in a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300°.

Combine jam and food coloring in a small bowl.

Combine granulated and powder sugar in another small bowl.

Uncover eggs and add cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Add sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until all sugar is dissolved and stiff glossy peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).

Fold 1/2 cup of meringue mixture into jam mixture. Gently fold this mixture into the remaining meringue.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper

Pipe meringue into 2-3 inch hearts using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
Tip: Start from the top center of your heart and pipe the meringue to the bottom point. Come back to the top to pipe the other side. Don't try to form the heart in one pass. 

Place baking sheets in oven and turn it off. Let them cool in the oven for about an hour or until dry and crisp. Gently remove. Makes about 20 cookies.

Recipe is a very slight variation from Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2005, Raspberry Meringues

Monday, January 28, 2013

{Framed Fabric Art}

I have been racking my brain trying to come up with inexpensive art to fill the empty space above Avery's bed. I had four white picture frames sitting in an open box beside my sewing area and framed fabric art came to mind. They were so fun and easy to make and there was no method to them. I just picked fabric and pieced the different elements together as I went along. 

A happy, inspirational word was sewn onto each one. If your machine is not capable of stitching letters, try fabric transfers or stamps!

Add bits of lace trim for a touch of shabby chic.

This piece has rolled fabric flowers on a ric-rac vine. Presh.

Just go with it! This was such a relaxed and fun project and my daughter just adores them!

Friday, January 25, 2013

{iPhone Friday}

We're taking the girl bowling for her birthday tomorrow. Not something I would have picked for a 3-year-old but home-slice insisted on a "Strawberry Shortcake bowling party". Yep. So, today I've been baking and making cake pops that look like little strawberries. The whole process ended up being easier that I had anticipated, helped by the fact that I cheated and used one of those Bake Pop Maker thingies. You know, the glorified waffle iron with rounded spaces instead of waffles? I don't know where I'm going with this. Anyways, it's iPhone Friday so here's my week in photos:

Oh haiiii!

Serenading the dog. He looks thrilled.

How 6-year-olds do bath time.

We're starting a gang called The Blue-Eyed Tongue Twisters.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{Kitchen Gear I Can't Live Without}

1. Blender. We make smoothies here almost every morning. They're my way of shoving quick, healthy fruits any veggies down my kid's throat before school. Our go-to mix is banana, spinach, and blueberry.

2. Rice Cooker. We use it at least twice a week for perfectly fluffy rice--I wouldn't cook it any other way! This model also comes with a steamer basket, which I'll admit I don't use much because I cheat and buy those microwaveable steamed veggies. I have, however, used it a few times to make killer dim sum!

3. Global Knives. Invest in some good knives. They will last and you will be able to cut shit up like a pro. "Hey, I just cut my finger off--like a BOSS!"

4. Food Processor. Hummus, salsa, mayonnaise, soup, pizza dough, dip, icing--the list of tconcoctions I whip up with this thing is endless.

5. Crock Pot. The king of throw-it-in-and-forget-it-dinners. We use ours to make large batches of shredded chicken to throw in soups, tacos and barbecue sandwiches over the course of the week.

Pictured: __1__2__3__4__5__

Monday, January 21, 2013

{Make: Bow and Headband Organizer}

This is the first offering in a series of fun, handmade decor ideas for a sweet little girl's room.

My girl's collection of hair accessories was getting a little bit out of hand. They were shoved haphazardly into a old box that sat on her dresser. Consequently, I found myself picking up piles of hair bows whenever she decided that dumping the box would be an enjoyable activity. Here's a fun and cheap solution to bow and headband clutter:

You Will Need:
  • Spray adhesive (optional)
  • Foam board*
  • Ribbon and/or lace trim
  • Fabric, size depends on the size your foam board
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissor or rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine (if making a section for headbands)
  • Command strip or something similar to mount it to a wall
*Foam board can be found at any craft store in the floral section. I found mine at the Dollar Tree for (you guessed it) a dollar.

(Optional) Spray adhesive on your foam board and place it down on your fabric piece.
(Not optional) Cut fabric around the foam board leaving an extra 2-3 inches all the way around

Hot glue opposing sides of fabric down onto the foam board.

Think of this part like wrapping a gift. Fold a corner of fabric down to make a little triangle.

Then fold the side over and glue. Repeat this on all four corners. Glue down any loose edges.

Now it should look like this!

If you plan to hold headbands, you will need to sew loops into a piece of ribbon like this:

Pinch the ribbon to make a loop. Fold it down. Sew the loop closed. The loop size will depend on the thickness of your headbands. Avery's are all small and thin so these loops are only about an 3/4" long. Repeat the loop every 1-3 inches.

Position your ribbon and glue the ends down on the backside.

Turn over and admire your handiwork.

Use a Command strip to mount it to the wall. Hang all your girl's pretties and admire.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!

Friday, January 18, 2013

iPhone Friday

Dumping the phone:

Check out this gem. If you don't know who this is, I doubt you were a child in the early nineties. And also two words: rat tail.

My thinking spot

Jaxx found something good

Spin art fun

Homemade mayonaise in the food processor. So yummy!

Late Christmas present (scarf)

The boy started piano lessons

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It's cold and rainy once again which is doubly depressing following a beautiful couple of days. I'm cursing myself for wishing summer away during the dog days of August. Anyways, I've been searching for and have pinpointed my dream-weather city: Charleston, South Carolina. Urban living, close beaches, southern charm? Yes, please! I check the weather in "Chawlstun" daily and research fun facts like: Did you know it was named Most-Polite city? Yep, I was for real just as surprised as you! Is it weird to be a city-stalker? I don't even care. I have to imagine elaborate shit to make it through January and February. They are the worst. For today though, we'll be taking a stroll through sunnier, happier times (like last weekend).

Sun so bright, it even hurts the eyes in photograph form. Nothing better.

Jaxx. Full name: Jaxx Big Beef. 

"Hey, uuuuh did you know it's 79° in Charleston today?"

He wanted to dig up this little tree and name it "Sawyer." How original. He's not conceited at all.

Who's kid needs blocks? Not mine.

On our way to my favorite spot. Follow the gray gravel road.

So this is pretty much our backyard. Take that Charleston!

I have fun projects coming to the blog soon if it would only stop raining long enough to take decent photographs. Actually, I'm hearing whisperings of snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I sure hope it's true! There's a big hill out back and possibly a kayak or some other piece of boating-turned-sledding equipment calling my name!