Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

I have to admit that I have had a hard time getting on the quinoa bandwagon.  I think the issue was that I was eating it plain and only seasoned with salt and pepper…boring, bland, blah!  I’ve recently come to the realization that quinoa is much better when you incorporate it with lots of fresh, flavorful ingredients.

With all the recent reports about the high amounts of arsenic in rice, I’ve been attempting to keep our family’s rice intake to a minimum.  Quinoa is certainly a great substitute because it is a great source of protein, iron, and fiber.  Quinoa is also a great sub for pasta as well.

I was originally planning on making a greek orzo salad to go along with Giada’s Tzatziki Salmon recipe last night.  I realized that I had no orzo in the pantry and thought it would the perfect opportunity to sub in some quinoa.  I found a Bobby Flay recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad and adjusted it a bit to my preferences.  I was so pleased with the results!  I think this greek quinoa salad will definitely be making it’s way into our side dish rotation.  I’m so psyched to finally say bring on the quinoa!

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Skip the rice or pasta and try quinoa for a healthy, but delicious substitute!
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to the package
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, cut in half or kept whole (whatever is your preference)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta (or use more or less based on your preference)
  • 2 green onions (green parts only), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package's directions. Once cooked, place quinoa in a medium-sized serving bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, start to make the Greek dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil and whisk together at the same time so that it emulsifies.
  3. Add the dressing to the cooled quinoa and mix until incorporated. Add in the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, green onions, and parsley and continue to stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving

 

Source: Adapated from Bobby Flay

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Strawberry Margaritas

Strawberry Margaritas

Happy Cinco De Mayo!  Are you looking for some recipes to celebrate with?   Well, you have come to the right place.   I love, love, love me some Mexican food so it isn’t too hard to find a recipe in my my collection to make around here.

Over the weekend, I mixed up a couple batches of these Strawberry Margaritas to celebrate with.   With strawberries on sale for so cheap around this time of year in California, it seemed like the perfect flavor  for our “margs.”  I love this classic recipe for Margaritas,but sometimes a little variation is needed.  The best part about this recipe is that you make strawberry simple syrup which can then be used to make other drinks like strawberry milk, pink lemonade, or even strawberry-flavored seltzer water by mixing in a few spoonfuls.  I recommend making the strawberry simple syrup ahead of time.  I also juiced my limes ahead of time so when I was preparing the drinks, everything was ready.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Margs

Strawberry Margaritas
Author: 
Serves: 2 drinks
 
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. triple sec
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • 5 oz. strawberry simple syrup
  • 4 oz lime juice
  • Ice
  • sugar and kosher salt, to garnish
  • lime slices and strawberries, to garnish
Instructions
  1. To make simple syrup- In sauce pan, heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, stir and heat until mixture is clear. Put in a mason jar and let cool.
  2. To make Strawberry simple syrup, put in 1 cup of cooled simple syrup and 1½ cups of cleaned, hulled strawberries. Blend until smooth.
  3. To make Margarita- Mix together all ingredients with ice. Rub a slice of lime on the rim of 2 glassed, dip glassed is the sugar/salt mixture so it sticks to rim. Add additional ice to glasses and pour mixed drink into glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and strawberries. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source- Adapted slightly from Tide and Thyme

Want more recipes for Cinco De Mayo?

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Classic Margaritas
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Guacamole
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Pico De Gallo
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Salsa Verde
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California Salsa
taco dip

Taco Dip
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Carnitas Tacos
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Black Bean Burritos
tres leches cupcakes {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}
Tres Leches Cupcakes

sisterk (2)

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

M and I actually got to spend over three whole days together this week while visiting our parents’ in Syracuse.  The stars aligned for our schedules to match up because I was able to find a plane ticket that I didn’t need to take out a small loan for and M had a free week because it was school vacation week for T.

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

As always, my mom had special meals and treats planned for us, but one of our favorite afternoon pick-me-ups (which I am learning is very necessary with two active babies running around) were the mason jar-brewed iced coffee.  She had made two different types made with regular coffee and a caramel flavored coffee.  The mixture of the strong smooth coffee with the rich caramel flavor, the creamy half and half, and sweetness of the condensed milk was the perfect combination.

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee
Author: 
Recipe type: drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
The perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup ground coffee, flavored if you prefer
  • Cold water
  • Half-and-half or milk
  • Sweet condensed milk
Instructions
  1. In a 1-quart pitcher or mason jar add in ⅔ cup of ground coffee. (We used caramel-flavored coffee). Fill with cold water and set on the counter for 12-24 hours.
  2. After the coffee brews, line a mesh sieve with cheese cloth and a coffee filter. Place over a 1-quart measuring cup. Start off spooning the grounds at the top of the jar into the filter. Slowly pour the coffee through the filter until all the liquid passes through the filter, cheese cloth, and sieve.
  3. While the remaining coffee is filtering, rinse out the pitcher or mason jar.
  4. Squeeze the remaining coffee out of the filter. Pour the filtered coffee back into mason jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. To serve:
  6. Fill glass with ice. Pour in the coffee, followed by a few tablespoons of half and half or milk and then 1-2 spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk. Stir together and serve with a spoon. Add sugar or sweetener if your prefer your drink sweeter. Enjoy!

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Deviled Eggs:  Four Ways

Deviled Eggs 4 Ways.jpg

One of the most popular posts on our site has been the Classic Deviled Eggs post from Easter last year.   M and I got a good laugh after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Superbowl Sunday because we would get so much traffic from Pinterest for the Deviled Eggs post.  I think we have only thought about having deviled eggs around Easter time, but we are so glad for to learn  there are hardcore deviled egg fans year-round!   I have been thinking of how I could expand on the original post to show more versions of deviled eggs.

Herb and Crumb

I personally love classic deviled eggs and had never ventured outside of my favorite recipe.  When I received this month’s Cooking Light, I was excited to see they had 12 different types of deviled egg recipes.  I knew I had to try some new recipe variations!

In one day, I made four of the 12 types, adapting them slightly based on ingredients I had on hand.  (I was quite impressed that I could make four types without buying any more items!):

  • Pickle Jalapeño
  • Pimiento Cheese
  • Herb and Crumb
  • Wasabi Ginger

The results (well, besides Matt and I being stuffed with eggs) were delicious.  My favorite of the four was the Herb and Crumb,  while Matt’s was Pimiento Cheese.   I predicted that would be his favorite since we are always making up this Pimiento Cheese Dip I shared with you last month.

Easter is the best time to make deviled eggs because of all the extra hard-boiled eggs from decorating eggs.   When my sisters and I were younger, we loved decorating eggs.  Since there was four of us, my mom had to make a lot of eggs so we could get our fill of coloring.   What did we do with all that extra eggs?   Deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches of course!  We hope everyone has  a great Easter Weekend!

Pimiento Cheese .jpg

Hard-Boiled Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
Instructions
  1. Gently place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water (water level should be 1-inch above the eggs.)
  2. Place saucepan on stove-top, set to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Fill a large-sized bowl with ice cold water while the eggs are sitting.
  4. After the 10 minutes, take eggs out of hot water with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water gently; let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Store in refrigerator or use immediately

 Pickle Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

Pickle Jalapeño Deviled Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1½ minced sweet gherkins
  • 1 tbsp. minced pickled jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • Thinly sliced gherkins, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients except for garnish and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  3. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  4. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg with sliced gherkins.

 Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs.jpg

Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped pimientos, drained
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • ¾ ounce reduced fat shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp. pecans, toasted and chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients except for garnish and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  3. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  4. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg chopped toasted pecans.

 Herb and Crumb Deviled Eggs.jpg

Herb and Crumb Deviled Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. light sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small fry pan, melt the butter and add the panko bread crumbs. Stir until toasted.
  2. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  3. Add in remainder of ingredients except for toasted panko breadcrumbs and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  4. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  5. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg with the toasted panko breadcrumbs.

 Wasabi Ginger Deviled Eggs

Wasabi Ginger Deviled Eggs
 
Ingredients
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus 2 tsp. for garnish
  • 4 tsp. grated ginger
  • 4 tsp. wasabi paste
  • 4 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients except for garnishes and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  3. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  4. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

 

Pickle Jalapeno

Source- Adapted slightly from Cooking Light, April 2014

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And here’s a bonus version- the classic recipe for Deviled Eggs for all those leftover Easter Eggs!

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Click Here!

sisterk (2)

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Even though it’s snowing today (ugh ugh ugh), I still wanted to make a batch of this Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day.  I found this recipe in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop ice cream cookbook and knew I had to make it for this weekend.  My husband and I both love Guinness, chocolate, and ice cream and this recipes incorporates all three!

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe incorporates milk chocolate and Guinness in its base flavor.  The milk chocolate balances well with the Guinness and neither one overpowers the other in terms of flavor.  I kicked the chocolate flavor up a notch by adding in mini chocolate chips towards the end of the mixing process to add a bit more chocolate goodness.  Plus, as K has mentioned before, the best part about cooking with Guinness is that there is always a bit left over to have a little sip for yourself!  If you are looking for a slightly different St. Patrick’s Day recipe this year, I highly recommend this Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream.

I’ve been so focused on organizing and working on a few house projects since the new year that I haven’t prioritized making new recipes and blogging about them.  I’m hoping  to share a few more of my favorite recipes that I’ve made recently soon.  It was a lot of fun to finally get back into it!  Now that baby N is almost 9(!) months old, I feel like things are finally starting to get a little easier around here…until he starts walking anyway!

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: ice cream
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup Guinness (the rest is for you to sip!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place the milk chocolate chips into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
  2. Mix together the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the entire mixture back into the saucepan.
  3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. I recommend using a thermometer and removing the mixture from the heat when it reaches between 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Pour the custard through the strainer over the milk chocolate chips, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, Guinness, and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
  5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the mini chocolate chips in the last few minutes of the mixing process.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Perfect Scoop* by David Lebovitz (*Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link.)

Looking for more St. Patrick’s day recipes?  Try these below!

DIY Shamrock Shake

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Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes Filled Chocolate Ganache and Topped With Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chocolate Chip Soda Bread

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

sister m signature

 

Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip with Chips

Well, hello readers!  I originally made this recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, but ran out of time to post it before it happened.  Then, I was going to post this as an Oscar’s appetizer, but I am now too late for that!  Get it together Keelin!  I am officially sharing this recipe with you all so I don’t procrastinate it anymore.  This Pimento Dip is a quick and easy cold dip that makes a perfect last-minute appetizer.

Pimento Dip and Chips

A few years ago, I shared a hot Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese Dip with you and today I am sharing a cold one.  This dip goes perfectly with tortilla chip strips.  The best part about this dip is that Matt can pull it together all on his own and I just get to eat it!  I actually don’t think I have made this recipe yet, even this batch was made by Matt!  We always dip right into this as soon as it is ready.  If you plan to make this recipe ahead of time, store in the refrigerator and bring out 30 minutes before serving.  It’s still amazing when it’s cold, but this dips firms up when it is chilled and you will break your chips in it.  Nothing is worse than breaking your chips in the dip…well, there are probably a few more thing, but in the dip world it is pretty tragic.

Pimento Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. reduced fat Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2-3 tbsp. pimentos, or chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients until combined.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled with tortilla chips or veggies.

Source- Adapted from Paula Deen via the foodnetwork.com

Pimento Cheese Dip

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Soft Heart Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

Valentine's Day Soft Sugar Cookies

The most popular type of dessert in this house is by far cookies. It seems we have tried every type of chocolate chip cookie and frosted sugar cookie there is. I am always saving the latest and greatest recipes I find. While I was thinking about what I was going to make for Valentine’s Day, I knew that a soft fluffy cut-out sugar cookie with buttercream frosting was in order. Last years cutout sugar cookies with buttercream frosting were such a hit that I thought soft heart cookies would be worth a try. I made soft sugar cookies with buttercream frosting a couple years ago for a bake sale and they were heavenly. My mom made them for Christmas this year and between my boyfriend and I we ate at least half the batch! These heart shaped soft sugars are right up there with the my other two favorite recipes!

Cut Out Soft Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
I divided the original recipe in half because it made 6 dozen cookies. Since there is only the two of us in my house and we are both on Weight Watchers, we really did not need 6 dozen cookies!

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies

After decorating these cookies with pink frosting and Valentine’s Day sprinkles, I realized how similar these looked to last year’s cookies! I should have tried to make red or purple frosting, but oh well! They were delicious anyways.

Heart Cut Out Cookies
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Soft Heart Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
 
Ingredients
For Cookies:
  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 small eggs or 1 and ½ large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream or light sour cream
For Frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Smidgen of salt
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • food coloring, optional
  • sprinkles, optional
Instructions
For Cookies:
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in egg and mix until combined. Add in vanilla extract and sour cream and stir until everything is incorporated.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the butter mixture, with your mixer on low and making sure to scrape down the sides. Once all combined, divide dough into two. The dough will be sticky so you may want to lightly oil or flour your hands to prevent sticking. Place each dough half on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten to about 1 ½ inches thickness. Wrap completely, repeat for second half, and chill both halves for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Flour countertops and roll out the first dough slab to about a ¼th inch thickness. You may need to flour the top of a dough a little too if it gets too sticky. Lightly flour your cookie cutter and cut out your shapes, place each cookie on prepared baking sheet and leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Repeat until you use up all the dough. This recipe should make about 3 dozen but that all depends on the size of your cookie cutter (mine was about a 3 inch heart.)
  6. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookies start to turn golden on the edges. Using a spatula, gently move your cookies over to a cooling rack.
For Frosting:
  1. Cream together butter and vanilla extract in the bowl of you stand mixer set at a low speed. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and a smidgen of salt (half a pinch) until smooth. Add in heavy cream a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until the frosting has a light and fluffy consistency. Add your desired food coloring and mix in.
For Assembly:
  1. Once the cookies are cool, frost them with 1-2 tsp. of frosting with a offset spatula or a butter knife. If desired, add sprinkles to frosting right after before it begins to set. Enjoy!

Source- Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
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Valentine’s Day Gift Packaging

Valentine's Day Gift Jars

Valentine’s Day is almost here and if your haven’t started thinking about gifts for your loved ones, I have just the idea for you!  For my Christmas gift to my co-workers and friends this year, I made mason jars filled with homemade candy.  I then covered the jar with muslin fabric (stenciled with the holiday greeting “cheers!”) and tied it on with red and green ribbon.  Like most things around here, I finished it late the day before I was handing them out with no day light left.  Therefore, I never came up with a good picture to share with you all.

Getting Heart Jars Ready

After thinking about what I could make and write about on the blog for Valentine’s Day, I thought of re-creating the gift jars, except for a Valentine’s day gift.   Mason jars are such a cute way to gift and are usually less than a dollar.  The jars can be filled with whatever store-bought candy or homemade candy you would like to fill them with.  For Christmas I filled them with crock pot candies and peanut brittle.   The crock pot candy was so popular that I decided to fill my jars with them again because it was so simple to make.  I had originally planned to make homemade peanut butter cups for my jars, but had run out of time and calories!

Muslin fabric is one of the cheapest kinds of fabric you can buy.  I bought four yards at Christmas time and used a 50% off coupon so it ended up costing about four dollars!  I will have enough fabric to make gift jars for every holiday for the rest of my life!  As for ribbon, I always stock up on the 50 cent Offray ribbon at the craft stores in all the colors and different sizes.   For 50 cents, you just can’t go wrong!  I love combining different colors and sizes for a texture effect.  Mason jars can be bought at the grocery store, Target or even Amazon for less than a dollar each.

If this project is last minute for you, think about using store-bought Valentine’s Day candies such as conversation hearts, M&M’s, Reese’s, Mini Snickers, and or Hershey’s Kisses.  I also came up with a list of homemade candies that you could gift in these jars if you have more time (lucky!)

From our Blog:

From Other Blogs:

Gift Jar Supplies

Materials:

  • Muslin Fabric
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Fabric Paint
  • Foam Brush
  • Heart Stencil (or card stock paper with a heart cut out of it)
  • Rubber Band
  • Colored Ribbons
  • Mason Jars, cleaned and dried
  • Tags

Stenciling Heart

Cut muslin fabric in a 6-inch circle. Stencil the middle of fabric with heart by dabbing fabric paint with a foam brush.  Make sure to put scrap paper underneath because some paint might bleed through.

Stenciled Fabric

Let the fabric dry.

Fill Jar with Candy

Fill your jars with candy and close with lids.

Rubberband around Jar

  Take the fabric circle on the top of the lid and place rubber band to hold it in place around the lid.

Tie Ribbon on Jar

 Cut about 2 feet of each ribbon color you intend to use.   Double knot the ribbon on top of the rubber band and then carefully pull the rubber band out from below so that ribbon remains holding the fabric over lid.

Finished Gift Jars for Valentine's Day

String tag onto of the ribbons and then tie bow on top. Ta da!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Valentine’s Day Round-Up

It’s officially one week until Valentine’s Day and I have got some serious planning to do!  I have yet to make a single treat or card and our V’day menu remains a blank sheet of paper.  I figured a Valentine’s Day round-up was in order to spark some serious inspiration!

Cutout Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

These heart-shaped Cutout Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting have recently been our most popular post and for good reason!  They are amazingly delicious cutout cookies without all the fuss that royal icing requires.

Valentine's Day M&M Cookies {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

I also love these these M&M cookies.  While I made them for the first time last year for Valentine’s Day, I made them throughout the year with various colored M&Ms.

Golden-Oreo-Truffles

These Golden Oreo Truffles are only 5 ingredients and are perfectly easy to make for your sweetheart!

chocolate_covered_strawberries

It’s also a great time of year to make Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (or pretzels or bananas!)

3 Layer Brownies- chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, and brownies together in one bar!

Or you could package up these amazing Three Layer Brownies to give out as gifts for Valentine’s Day!  The three layers include chocolate chip cookies, Oreos and brownies…wow!

Red-Velvet-Cupcakes-for-Valentines-Day_thumb.jpg

Our Red Velvet Cupcakes were recently selected as part of the Blog Better Boston {hub}LINKS newsletter as part of their “Let’s Talk Love” round-up.  Here were the other blog posts that were selected as part of this week’s theme:

hublinks-featured-blogger-LOVE

  • Looking to buy your sweetie a V-day gift? Mandy’s Money has a guide that covers gifts of various price points.
  • Who doesn’t love wedding photos? Lindsay’s Look takes us back to her wedding, 3 years ago.
  • DIY to your heart’s content with these Valentine’s Day DIYs (that aren’t cheesy) from Design Fixation.
  • Three words: Red. Velvet. Cupcakes. Two Sisters Two Cities has the recipe…and it involves cinnamon cream cheese icing.
  • This Valentine’s Day themed shoot from Stephanie Rita Photography is just too cute!
  • Want kissable lips? Cobbs Hill has the recipe for this two step process.
  • Inspired by grammar school valentines, Glitter Trim cooked up these adorable envelope cookies.
  • Wearing your heart on your sleeve is so last year! Style Tab recommends wearing it on your sunglasses instead.

Happy Valentine’s Day planning!

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Throwback Thursdays- The Root Beer Float

Root Beer Floats

Do you remember the days of letter jackets, Sadie Hawkins dances, and hanging out at the soda shop after school? Yeah I don’t… I wasn’t born yet.  I did have a poodle skirt and saddle shoes for a Halloween costume though.  I am also pretty sure I kept wearing the saddle shoes well after Halloween because I thought I was “wicked” cool.  (Wicked is a term used in the Syracuse and Boston area that in essence means really really or like totally… Yup that’s my technical definition.)

Vanilla Ice Cream for Float
Why am I referring to soda shops and saddle shoes? That’s because today’s recipe is the Root Beer Float, a favorite throwback recipe in my home.

Root Beer Poured into Float

My mom and I made some fantastic root beer floats when she came to visit in November.  Due to Thanksgiving sides, Christmas cookies, and appetizer craziness around here, I hadn’t had a chance to post about them.   While we were making the floats, we recalled how grandma called root beer floats, Brown Cows, and ones made with cola and vanilla ice cream, Black Cows.   This sparked a conversation and some googling to see what other types of floats are out there.

There are a lot of types of soda floats!  A Boston Cooler is when you made a float with ginger ale and vanilla ice cream (originated in Detroit not Boston- sorry M!)  A Snow White is a when you make a float with lemon-lime soda and vanilla ice cream.  Then, there is an Orange Cow with orange soda and Purple Cows with grape soda, both with vanilla ice cream.  You can get crazy with some Beer floats or Shakin’ Jesse, which is Guinness and vanilla ice cream.  Who knew you could make this many floats, but my favorite will always be the Root Beer Float!

Root Beer Floats
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Root Beer
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
Variations:
  • Cola and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Orange Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Grape Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Root Beer and Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Lemon-Lime Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Ginger Ale and Vanilla Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. In a glass add in two scoops of ice cream and then slowly pour in soda until glass is filled.
  2. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

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