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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Unicorn Sushi, Poop and Other Tween News

Being the mother of tween girls is its own reward.  From a family with 8 girls, me being the 7th, I may know a thing or two about being a girl! Anywho, my girls have pretty firm likes and dislikes, from clothing to foods, colors to animals, dances to hobbies, which I try to appease, within reason of course.  My youngest told me at the beginning of the school year that her theme was "Unicorns and Doughnuts". I figured,Well heck, I like those things too, plus I had already purchased items for her and myself along those lines anyway; stickers, throw blankets and pillows (we all love them), notebooks, shirts, pajamas, you name it!
Being a fan of the whole Unicorn movement, I set out to create something with the same theme and quite by accident.
 I was showing a friend of the family how to make homemade ice cream, whipped cream and butter, some of the things you can create with a carton of heavy cream) partly to share what I know with another and partly because her young daughter was getting a bit restless.  I wanted to take her mind away from her malaise at hand and also give her something that she could physically do/enjoy then and there, but also later with her mom at their home.  They may in turn share it with others they know and so on... the circle of knowledge being completed.
I showed the pair how to make homemade vanilla ice-cream  using a zip type bag, the ingredients and some ice/ ice cream salt.  They were amazed and eager to engage.  Together they made enough for a hearty sample, and some remained in the bag, which I pushed to the bottom and across to make a sort of log.  I placed it in the freezer.  A couple days later, it hit me, when I was folding down a bag of Fruity Pebbles,  and just like that, the idea began to grow.
Recipe:
Vanilla Ice cream,
 Frozen into about 1 1/2 inch diameter logs, approx. the length of a qt. sized zip type bag
Fruity Pebbles
Frozen Mango,
cut into small cubes
Directions:
Lightly moisten rolls w/ a few drops of liquid, preferably milk.
Roll in Fruity Pebbles , pressing lightly, but firmly.
Wrap logs in plastic wrap and place back in freezer for at least 1 hour.
Slice Sushi roll into pieces with a moistened knife and press a piece of mango on each side or the sides facing up, it looks like Salmon!
Serve on chilled plates with chopsticks, if desired.
The dipping 'Poo' may be made with whipped cream, folded with softened cream cheese and confectionery sugar to taste. Add food coloring for more dramatic effect.
Garnish with colored sugars.
SERVE IMMEDIATELY or place on plastic wrap covered sheet pan and return to freezer immediately.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Hearts and Crafts: DIY Serving Boards

I recently purchased some bamboo cutting boards for the kitchen.  I wanted to 'trick it out' a bit to give it more personality and eye appeal.  I thought it would be cool to add some stencil work, but couldn't find anything suitable in the particular store I was in at the time.
When I arrived home, I decided to test out my idea by flipping the board over and practicing my design and testing the furniture markers I had purchased for the project.  I started with some freehand diamond shapes, because the tape I purchased to create the design, wasn't the proper tape and would not even remotely stay in place!  It was putting a damper on my creativity, but I kept on going.

My assistant, Aaron,  also aware of my current endeavor, came in with a brilliant idea, using a six pack ring as a stencil, with the positive and negative spaces seeming ideal for a contemporary and unique style. To my pleasant surprise, the design came out well.  I used coconut oil to finish the serving board after allowing it to sit. I have since set out on a search for even more "stencils" to adorn the flip sides of  my cutting boards.

I allowed the design to set for over 24 hours.  I also wiped the board with hot soapy water on a cloth and wiped dry.  I plan to do more serving and displays from this side more than anything.  I was concerned about possible transfer of substances, but after a bit of research, I decided it was safe enough considering the wood is actually stained and there was no further bleeding or wipe off.  Besides, I wouldn't want to damage the artwork.  I'm sure my next one will be even better. The imperfections of my first finished board add to its custom, hands-on flare.  These make wonderful personalized gifts too!

With Mother's Day coming up, this idea is a sure bet.  My sister Linda wants one and I can't wait to come up with her something that she will love.  I have 6 more sisters, so I may just opt for a series of smaller ones, that all fit the same motif, almost like a puzzle, with each one of them having a piece. Fitting, because all of my sisters and my two remaining brothers have a piece of my heart, and we are all a part of the big picture, created by 2 masterful artists; Mom and Dad, Douglas and Laura. My Dad is now my Guardian Angel and my Mom is my angel in this world, almost 80 years strong, my muse and my friend...an integral part of my heart and the reason it beats.


My personally customized boards shown with the Earlywood ™ Trifecta. I gifted these to myself for Xmas.
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Smokinhotchef
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