Friday, November 15, 2013

Ramen Revisited

Ramen has been a staple in my diet and different points in my life, unfortunately not a beautiful freshly made ramen but the cheap Maruchan ramen from the grocery store. I even have some in my pantry now so I decided to try to dress it up a little

Instead of using the seasoning package I made a little sauce in a pot on the stove over low heat I combined
fresh ginger
coconut oil
sesame oil
peanut butter
soy sauce
rice vinegar
juice from half a lime

while that was warming, whisking it together periodically
I started the water to cook the ramen and washed and cut up vegetables
red pepper
poblano pepper

I also heated up coconut oil and cubed firm tofu and sautéed that in the oil until golden brown
I cooked the noodles and when they were about cooked I added the vegetables so they would soften slightly but I didn't want them to stay crisp.

Then I removed the ramen and vegetables and tossed with the sauce and garnished with bean sprouts,
scallions and the tofu.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Snow Globes

Last year I stopped in at an Anthropologie around the holidays and saw that they were selling 'dry' snow globes, mason jars and salt shakers with little winter scenes and glitter for snow and I thought, I could do that! So this year I decided to attempt it. 

I gathered up the following
some old jars - from salsa, peanut butter, whatever I had around
the tops of some bottles I cut
glitter - white and silver
small trees
little animals
small sled
small ornaments to use in the tops of cut bottles and to hold tree in salt shaker
styrofoam balls 
glue gun
mat board to be the bottom on cut bottles 
spray paint

first I spray painted the jar lids to cover up the branding on them, these will become the bottom of the snow globe that the winter scene will be attached to
I cut mat board to be the bottom of the cut bottles
then I laid out all the bottles and their bottoms and put together scenes for each of them
once the scenes were assembled I used the glue gun to secure them 
for the jars I added glitter and then screwed the bottoms on
for the cut bottles I used the glue gun to attach the mat board to the bottom then poured the glitter in through the hole on the top then glued an ornament in place on top to hold the glitter in

For this simple one I used a cut styrofoam  ball and two penguins

For the salt shaker I used a christmas ornament to hold a tree which adds an fun little tipsy element

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cleaning up a Cut Coke Bottle

I like the look of Coke bottles. I've repurposed them as glasses and they're up in my etsy shop  but the top of the Coke bottles is hard to use because it's got the logo on there. I tried nail polish remover and paint thinner but they had no effect.

The only thing I had luck with was scraping. Using warm water seemed to help a bit too.

Now to decide that to do with these bottle tops! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Salt Dough Ornaments

Christmas is coming so I decided to try this old classic for Christmas tree ornaments.
I've seen a few variations on recipe for these, not in the proportions but mostly in the bake time

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water 
3 Tablespoons cinnamon, optional to give a nice scent to the ornaments but it does also turn them brown 

Mix together ingredients, make dough and roll out on a floured board. Cut into whatever shapes you like and use a toothpick to poke a hole so after they're cooked you can add a string to hang them. 
Bake 325 for 1 hour 
They came out kind of puffy which I think could have been baking them at 325 for an hour instead of 250 for 2 hours. 

Once they're cooked and cooled you can decorate them however you'd like! I love that there's so much flexibility and creativity in this!

Simple rounds can be turned in to anything.

Before you cook the dough you can even try using a rubber stamp (dab it in flour first so it doesn't stick to the dough). Once it was cooked I hand colored the stamped part using paint pens. These are also a great add to the top of holiday presents.

For this "major award" I uses a cookie cutter and painted with gold nail polish and used a sharpie for the black details. 

I experimented with whatever I had on hand to paint, from left over paints to nail polish to pens… 

 I had a lot of fun with this! So much space for experiments and creativity and so inexpensive!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pork Tamales

We still had left over pork so I was trying to think of another way to use and it decided I'd try my hand at tamales again. 

I cut the pork up into small cubes and put it in a pot on the stove with a small can of salsa verde poured in and let it simmer for awhile.                 While that was cooking I made the dough following the directions on the masa package and spread it thinly on the corn husks then put a scoop of pork in each, then rolled up the tamales and folded the ends over. I then steamed them for about half an hour. 

I served the tamales with roasted zucchini, summer squash and mushrooms. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pork and Apple Sandwich

Left over smoked pork from the weekend became a delicious sandwich for lunch. 
Spread dijon mustard on rye bread, place a layer of sliced apples, layer of pickles, swiss cheese then pork. Lightly butter the bread and put it in a frying pan, flipping it once. When it's heated through and the cheese has melted it's time to enjoy! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Smoking Tamales for Dia de Los Muertos

Feliz Dia de Los Muertos. I've always been drawn to the art and images surrounding this day and am still relatively uneducated about it but always feel drawn to this day. My assignment before next year will to get more education about it.

My husband decided it would be a good day to use the smoker. I decided it would be a good day to repurpose the red kuri squash I cooked on Halloween. Thinking about the Day of the Dead I decided it would be a good day to try cooking some Mexican inspired dishes.

I started with some horchata. I used this recipe I found and incorporated some of the suggestions in the comments to make it.
In the morning I blended
1 cup of uncooked white rice until it began to break up
I put it in a pitcher with 5 cups of water
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
When I had dinner cooking, in the evening I pour it through a strainer to strain out the rice pieces and cinnamon sticks then I added

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond milk

and put it in the fridge to chill. When dinner was ready I served it over ice.

Squash Tamales 
First get the corn husks in warm water to soak so they'll be soft enough to wrap
I used left over red kuri squash I mixed with sliced poblano and padrone peppers 
and spices - paprika, onion powder, garlic poswer, oregano, salt, pepper
Then I followed the directions on the masa for the dough, spread it thinly on the corn husks and put a scoop of the squash in the middle. I also had some queso fresco so I added some of that too and then rolled up the tamales and folded in the top and bottom and steamed them for about a half hour. 

We ate them with a little avocado on top, beans on the side and some smoked pork.