Tag Archives: making mondays

Foodie Pen Pals #1

30 Sep

FoodiePenPals

This month for the first time I participated in the Foodie Pen Pals swap through The Lean Green Bean! It pairs you with another eater for a one-time swap of favorite foods, local foods, and specialty foods. It’s a great way to try some new foods and make new connections!

My partner was Colleen from Secrets from the Cookie Princess jump over to her blog to see what I sent her and check out some of her recipes. She’s an avid baker who’s been blogging for 3 years. I feel so lucky to have found her blog; it’s an absolute treasure trove of recipes with over 150 different cookies and bars! She has really put me in a baking mood, just in time for cool weather!

Here’s what she sent me:

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Popped potato chips
Homemade caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookies! YUM
Raspberry  yogurt pretzels
Peanut butter cups
Penzey’s Spices BBQ 3001
Apple Strawberry fruit leather
Trappist cranberry pepper jelly
Pumpkin spice chai latte mix
And two bonuses a raspberry ice cube tray and a mini recipe book!

Everything was great but I’m just going to highlight my favorites:

I tried the Penzey’s Spices BBQ 3001 on some chicken and it was great! It has a nice smoky flavor.

The Trappist Cranberry Pepper Jelly was good on a bagel with a smear of cream cheese, but I feel like it has more potential than that. I’m thinking of trying to make a glaze with it for a pork loin. Any other ideas?

The Pumpkin Chai Latte Mix from Trader Joe’s has been a long time favorite of mine! This stuff is so good, I always feel the need to stock up when it’s in season. It makes a yummy drink, but I’ve tried it in a couple recipes too. It adds such a great fall flavor to things.

I saved the best part for last, the cookies, they were unbelievable! Just the right combo of sweet and salty, my favorite! Caramel, pretzel, AND chocolate chip what could be better! She has clearly earned her title as the Cookie Princess, at least in my eyes. If you don’t believe me go try them for yourself, here’s the recipe.

Caramel, Pretzel, Chocolate Chip Cookies from SecretsFromTheCookiePrincess

I loved everything and I can’t thank Colleen enough. She really put together some yummy treats for my first swap, I know I’ll be looking forward to this every month from now on.

DIY postcard photobook

16 Sep

This is a simple book binding technique I found on PhotoJoJo. I used it to put together a quick photo book. This is perfect for photos from a weekend trip or a party. I used photos from a hike I took with my dad during my last visit to New Mexico.

#DIY postcard photo book by Making Mondays

Supplies:

2 postcards

photos

scissors

2 binder clips

glue (acid-free, PVA glue works best)

strip of paper (4inches by 1inch)

#DIY postcard photobook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

Cut postcards to match the size of the photos. Get photos in the order you want and sandwich them between the postcards. Make sure your stack is flush and use the binder clips to secure the stack together.

#DIY postcard photobook by makingmondays

Glue the top evenly.

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Prop it upright and allow to dry. Then repeat. Once dry, apply glue to the strip of paper and use it to cover the top.

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There you have it, a simple flip book of photos for about $5 ; 25 prints for 10¢ each (from Walmart), 2 postcards 50¢ each, glue $2 (but regular Elmer’s works too). It took about 30 minutes total to put together including drying times.

Scissors, Paper, Craft by Christine Leech at SewYeah

11 Sep

Scissors Paper Craft by Christine Leech

I recently won this beautiful book from Christine at SewYeah for my suggestion of a book on gift wrap. She insisted that her gifts are not usually well wrapped, but I find that hard to believe because my book arrived so cute; simply wrapped in tissue and bakers twine and when I opened it confetti flew everywhere, such a beautiful surprise. I’ve always loved gifts that were a little messy to open. I really appreciate that carefree moment of wondering what it is more than caring about who’s going to sweep this up, it reminds me of being a kid.

Anyway back to the book, it’s amazing and includes 30 paper craft projects. It’s one of the best craft books I’ve seen in a long time. There are tons of lovely photos, the instructions are very clear and easy to follow, most of the projects include a template, and the ideas are original (I haven’t seen them all on Pinterest already). Having looked through it, I can tell I’m going to put this book to good use. I can’t wait to make this mirror, how beautiful!

Scissors Paper Craft by Christine Leech

Head over to SewYeah for a full preview of the book and a free printable of one of the projects!

DIY postcard notebook

9 Sep

Here is another quick notebook you can make from a postcard and some scrap paper.

#DIY postcard notebook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

These make great travel journals, since they are small enough to fit in your pocket. When I travel I try to write down funny quotes and moments from the trip, the little things you forget about; later these are the perfect captions for photos. I started doing this after I scanned all my family photos, most of them had notes on the back that gave me a better idea of what was going on. It bummed me out to realize when I look back at my own photos, how much I will have forgotten about those moments. So I try to record more and when I put together photo books or albums I include these little notes.

Supplies:

postcard

paper (cut to size)

2 small binder clips

heavy needle

embroidery floss

#DIY postcard notebook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

Fold postcard and paper directly in half.

Position paper inside postcard. Use the binder clip to secure the paper to the postcard.

#DiY postcard notebook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

Use needle to punch though paper and post card from the inside. If you are making a thick notebook, you may want to use a hammer and nail to punch the holes.

Run floss through holes and tie on the inside.

notebook1

Trim the excess floss.

If your notebook is thick, place it under a stack of heavy books to flatten it.

That’s all there is too it. Really easy to put together, it only takes about 5 minutes.

Cooking with Pinterest: Garlic Butter Pizza Crust

4 Sep

I made pizza! The crust was delicious thanks to this recipe from A Beautiful Mess.

Garlic Butter Pizza Crust

Chris worked at Papa John’s throughout college, so he is an expert pizza tosser. Thanks to this, he also used a bunch of technical terms to tell me I was doing it wrong. Like you really want to get the crust even so you don’t have a “gel line” (the line of undercooked dough you can see when you cut into the cooked pizza, if the crust is not spread evenly). And he insisted we put enough cheese around the edge to create a good “cheese lock” (if you don’t cover the sauce at the edge with cheese, then the cheese will slide off rather than sticking to the crust when you bite into it). All in all, my pizza may not have met Papa John’s quality standards but I loved it.

I don’t have extensive experience working with yeast, so I was afraid I would mess it up. For that reason, I didn’t change anything in this recipe. Luckily nothing needed changed, it was delicious. Perfectly seasoned! It was both fluffy and crispy. I did use a pizza pan, which helped the bottom turn out crispy.

Go make a pizza, it’s easier than you’d think.

PS I do have some more postcard projects in the works, I just didn’t get as much done over the long weekend as I’d hoped

Cooking with Pinterest: Cara’s Crispy Orange Cauliflower

29 Aug

Just like many of you, I have an overflowing Pinterest board full of recipes. In an effort to actually cook more of these delicious recipes, I’m starting a new segment. I will include a link to the original recipe (click the link or the image) to keep credit where credit is due, any substitutions, and a short review. I present to you my first installment of: Cooking with Pinterest!

Pinterest

This week I made Cara’s Crispy Orange Cauliflower from Vegan Richa (a guest post from Cara at Fork and Beans).

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

I did alter the recipe slightly. In the interest of not buying extra ingredients (I am not sensitive to gluten), I used flour instead of the gluten-free flour blend. Just a simple straight across substitution. 1/4 cup flour instead of 1/4 cup Cara’s gluten-free flour blend. I also omitted the 1 tsp oil in the batter. Everything else remained the same.

It was amazing. I cannot overstate how delicious this turned out. The cauliflower was the perfect amount of tender by the time the outside was golden brown. And the sauce was both sweet and tangy. Perfect, I’ve tried other orange chicken recipes and this was by far the best sauce I’ve came across. The green onion complimented the flavors perfectly. I served it over rice with a salad. Delicious and pseudo-healthy, what more could you ask for?

Head over to Vegan Richa and try it for yourself!

DIY matchbook notebook

26 Aug

CONFESSION: I buy too many postcards.

I’ve found a few uses, other than just sticking a stamp on them, that I will be sharing over the next couple of weeks. Here is a simple matchbook-stlye notebook. It’s the perfect pocket sized notebook to jot down a daily to-do list or other short notes.

#DIY matchbook notebook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

Supplies:

postcard

paper

scissors

stapler

Cut paper to size. Slightly smaller than the width of the card by half the height minus 1/2 inch. My postcard was 4 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch so I cut my paper to 4×3.

Fold base of postcard up about 1/2 inch.

Place stack of paper under the fold and staple it. Since it is wider than a traditional matchbook, I stapled it twice.

#DIY matchbook notebook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

Fold the top down over the paper and slip under the bottom flap to close.

#DIY matchbook notebook by makingmondays.wordpress.com

Beers & Beans Contest

20 Aug

Greetings-from-El-Paso-Texas_via-creativecommons_Boston-Public-Library_sm.jpgYAY! I was one of the five winners in this Beers & Beans/National Car Rental giveaway. Finally all my time in the Southwest is paying off! The contest was for recommendations to El Paso visitors. The winning part of my lengthy recommendation was:

Check out the Hoppy Monk (4141 N. Mesa) it has a huge selection on tap and a nice patio. They have some regional brews, I recommend trying Santa Fe Brewing’s Happy Camper IPA.

For more travel tips and recommendations check out Beers & Beans! Their site is full of amazing photos from around the world and great tricks for traveling on a budget. I really love their photo tips and their section on transportation has some incredibly helpful links! Overall, I love their site and I’m super stoked I was able to contribute something through this contest! Hopefully I will have lead someone to a good beer!

DIY friendship bracelet kit with *FREE PRINTABLES*

6 Aug

I put together this friendship bracelet kit to send to a certain 9-year-old I know. She doesn’t have any experience making bracelets, so I went with a really simple design. If you want something more complicated there are lots of patterns around the web.

#DIY friendship bracelet kit by makingmondays

Supplies:

embroidery floss in a few colors

cardboard

safety pin or tape

instruction sheet

envelope

I went to the trouble of putting my floss on spools, because it will be much less likely to turn into a tangled ball. Since it is going to a 9-year-old, this is very important. It also allows you to use up embroidery floss you already have.

#DIY friendship bracelet kit by makingmondays

Cut your cardboard into spools. You can cut a template out of graph paper or just wing it. I cut the cardboard into 2inch squares then cut in the indentions freely. Cut a slit in one end of the spool to secure the loose end of floss. Then just wrap the embroidery floss around the spools.

double knot bracelet pattern by makingmondays

Click on the image above to open it full size and print out the instruction sheet.

Then follow the instructions to include a completed bracelet as an example.

#DIY friendship bracelet kit by makingmondays

Put it all together in a cute envelope and you’re done. I made my envelope out of vellum; I like that it alludes to the contents yet, without knowing you still can’t quite guess what it will be.

#DIY friendship bracelet kit by makingmondays

DIY galaxy prints with *FREE PRINTABLES*

29 Jul

I was elated when I discovered that Hubble Telescope images are public domain. That’s right! You can access and print amazing celestial scenes for FREE (or at least just the cost of printing). The HubbleSite provides incredible high resolution images and tons of information. I got lost in it for a few hours when I was picking my images. If you have time, check out how they are colored.

#DIY galaxy prints by makingmondays

Because I know you’re wondering, the above image is under the wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s closest neighbors.

To add focus and because I didn’t want to bother with mats, I used Photoshop to make my images round with a white border.

To do this to your images:
1. Download the highest quality image and open in Photoshop
2. Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool
3. Set it to a fixed size and use the same number for the height and width so that it will be a perfect circle (i used 2000px)
4. Select your circle
5. Copy the area
6. Create a new document (I used a 2400px square)
7. Paste

Or if you’d rather skip the work and use the images I chose, just click on them, save, and print! Even the image above with a title is printable, just click and the title will disappear. The images are 8 inch squares which is perfect for a home photo printer, but you can make them larger if you’re willing to take them to a print shop.

#DIY galaxy prints by makingmondays

Above is a jet in the Carina Nebula.

#DIY galaxy prints by makingmondays

This one shows a cloud of gas and dust being molded by radiation in the Small Magellanic Cloud.

#DIY galaxy prints by makingmondays
This one is the Crab Nebula.

I recommend printing the article that corresponds with each image and attaching it to the back of the frame for future reference. If you’re anything like me, you will undoubtedly forget and wonder just exactly where your looking. Click on the description to access the article.

All image credits go to NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Thanks for showing us beyond our world.

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