mini {how to} baking tip!

Ever run out of parchment paper or wax paper and had cookies coming out of the oven that needed to cool?

Really? Never?

Ok, well – WHEN YOU DO I have a tip for you.

Baking Tip!

You can place the newspaper right on the counter or over your cooling rack.

Baking Tip!Baking Tip!Baking Tip!

Then place your right-out-of-the-oven cookies on top to cool.

Baking Tip!Baking Tip!

Here’s the secret – the newspaper soaks up grease from the cookies. The cookies are still moist and delicious but no more shiny fingers (or faces) when you grab one for a treat.

Baking Tip!

When you’re done cooling all your cookies (can re-use for each and every pan per batch of cookies) you just recycle the newspaper. Easy!

Baking Tip!

I learned this tip from my mom when I was about my daughters age (6) and have been doing this since. We still buy wax paper and what not but this is one of those things that I saw over and over and over again that stuck.

Do you have any fun kitchen tips or tricks that you picked up from watching your mom/dad/grandma/someone constantly in the kitchen?

I can’t wait to hear someday what my kids remember most about the hours I spend above a mixer šŸ˜‰

How to: Make Avocado Salads

Description

Inspiration here.

I’ve done this every week since I saw it on Pinterest and l-o-v-e them. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to make Egg Salad for the stuffing, but please just sub Tuna or Canned Chicken or whatever your fav is for the Egg and you’ll make a delicious discovery.

You’ll need:

You'll NEED
How to: Make Avocado Salads

Eggs (or Tuna, Chicken etc), Celery, peppers, cilantro, avocado (not avAcado as I’ve been spelling it), mayo, mustard, paprika and salt/pepper to taste.

We’re going forward with eggs for Egg Salad:

How to: Make Avacado Salads

Put the eggs in a large pot and fill with cold water.

My creation

For a great tutorial on how to hard boil eggs go here – this is the method I follow every time.

Bring to that lovely boil, keep it rolling for a minute or two and then turn the heat off, but leave your pot on the stove. Let cool.

How to: Make Avacado Salads

Once that’s all done – you can get everything together – drain the eggs and prepare your base for the salad.

How to: Make Avacado Salads
How to: Make Avocado Salads

I have an Egg Slicer because we boil eggs all. the. time. And I add them to salads or snack plates whenever I have a chance – it’s nifty, I’ll show you why. (You could just coarse chop the eggs for the same effect, I do not like applesauce texture for egg salad so I love the chunks this gives the salad.)

How to: Make Avacado Salads

You place the egg between the layers and then push the top down – it’ll cut through the egg nice and easy.

How to: Make Avacado Salads

See?

How to: Make Avacado Salads

Then I pick the whole thing up, no big deal, turn it 180 degrees and chop again:

How to: Make Avacado Salads
How to: Make Avacado Salads
How to: Make Avacado Salads

(That would be marker on my finger from my son, the picaso of this house – his entire body ALWAYS his canvas, and today – my hand as well.)

And DUMP in the bowl. Rinse and repeat – I had 6 eggs, so I did this six times.

How to: Make Avacado Salads

Chop the celery (I used 2 stalks) and your pepper (I used 1 baby red pepper)

My creation

Coarse chop some cilantro and throw it in the bowl.

How to: Make Avacado Salads
How to: Make Avacado Salads

Stir to combine.

How to: Make Avacado Salads
How to: Make Avacado Salads

Halve an avocado (and for a great tutorial on that go here.)

Fill with a spoonful or two of your egg salad, top with a sprig of whatever herb you have on hand (cilantro works well, oregano, thyme, chives … ) and ENJOY!

How to: Make Avacado Salads

(I know, I know – you all want measurements and exacts. Welcome to my kitchen: every recipe is a suggestion – rules are made to be broken. I almost never make the same thing twice. TRY IT!)

Things We Love To Do

We’ve had a pretty exciting week (ok, couple weeks.) We paid our last debt! And this free printable budget goes lovely with the theme of this week.

I’m super excited that one of my How To recipes as a Contributor for CurvyGirlGuide went buzerks on Stumbleupon.

We have a yard these days so outdoor fun is always something I’m looking to create: Golf game or target practice? Both look doable. I’m in.

I have days/weeks where I’m in a creative parenting rut. You? Sometimes it’s not home until you bake some cookies. Mermaid tails will fit the bill. And score me some points with a certain someone in my house. Bonus.

DIY your own outdoor table (warning, pop up) but you get to play with concrete! And then plant mint or something savory to smell while you sip your margarita. Your summer just improved.

Are you organizing your kitchen again? Me to! These labels look useful and I love the color options. Time to break out those jars for display and make it homey.

Baby showers and wedding showers and brand new infant hair seem to be in the air right now, at least in West Michigan. Here’s an adorable printable for a little girls room, nursery or the add on to your shower gift.

Along those same lines of shower-extravaganza! Make these lovely hand stamped tea towels – color combos customizable to the kitchen of the new couple (or ok, your own kitchen.).

This is me promising myself to get my sewing machine out. Make ruffled market bags with this lovely tutorial.

BORING filing cabinets suck the life out of a space so liven things up and add a little unexpected to your work space.

Has it been raining an awful lot this summer or is it just me? Paper Airplanes and crafts of from my parent’s childhood arsenal have never come in handy more often.

So this pallet bed? IS A YES. ALWAYS A YES.

Magic paintbrush to the rescue! Can’t draw on those walls but if I give you this magic paint brush and turn on your imagination you can be Michael Angelo and my dining room = your Sistine Chapel.

More outdoor lovely this Ring Toss has you covered.

As if Hoarders wasn’t enough inspiration to throw away or find a use for all those newspapers you’re saving?? Maybe this will be.

Remember those cheap plastic army men with parachutes? These are cooler.

{How to} Build a fort kit!

Welcome! If you’re passing through from another site, thanks so much for stopping by! There’s a lot of great ways to stay in touch: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google + and Linked In.

Fort Kits

I built 5 fort kits for the slumber party favors. Um, today. So a little late but still. (Inspiration here)

Let’s get to it!

You’ll need for each:

2 Flat twin sheets
1 Pillow case
1 Flashlight
1 Rope
1 Pkg cable ties
Some clothes pins
Ribbon

I found the linens (a no sew option) at Thrift stores, then washed them. Everything else (save for the ribbon) was bought at a local Dollar store.

{how to} build a fort kit
{how to} build a fort kit
{how to} build a fort kit
Fort kits!

Once you have the linens washed and folded – just grab two flat sheets and stack them. Layer your clothes pins, flashlight, cable ties and rope on top.

{how to} build a fort kit
{how to} build a fort kit

Place it in your pillow case and tie off access with ribbon.

fort kits

Repeat as necessary …

{how to} build a fort kit

These were the sheets I used for my daughters Fort Kit (I think I used to have the rainbow pattern growing up).

{how to} build a fort kit
{how to} build a fort kit

Not all of the pillow cases were cases – I found out I bought shams, too. So I just tied them differently in the end. Still a no sew option and a great way to store the Kit for when you’re not using it.

{how to} build a fort kit

Forts were one of my favorite things as a kid. An alternate universe in my living room … the tree house I never had. What about you?

Featured on One Pretty Thing and CasaSugar.

{How to} Make a POUF!

Pouf is a technical term. Trust me.

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

While I’m processing photos and mentally recovering from the Slumber Party today I thought I’d share this fun and super simple project with you guys.

I made these for the shelving project I’ve been working on. (Inspiration for POUF! found here)

I was planning on using old book pages but while I was thrifting and hunting I kept seeing sewing patterns for dimes. And then it hit me. I could just use sewing patterns instead of books – there’s usually a bit more, visually, on a sewing pattern and the ones I found had some added color as well. Happy!

You’ll Need:

Styrofoam balls
Hot glue gun, glue
Sewing pattern (one per pouf)
Ribbon

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Start by cutting up your sewing pattern into squares (sorry, no photo) and crumpling each square as you go so that you end up with a bit of real estate in order to flue to the styrofoam ball.

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Make a mess.

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

And glue your ribbon on for hanging.

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

I found that holding each square down for a good 30 seconds was the way to go, but I got impatient after the 17th one … and then remembered why it’s not ok to be impatient with a hot glue gun. Using a pencil to hold it down will help you avoid burns. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea why. Ehum.

You’ll be left with this lovely bit of sewing inspiration to use in your home.

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

For a variation with much less individual gluing going on – just take the actualy pattern (a peice of it) and wrap a styrofoam ball. Crumple on top, glue in place … rinse repeat for a fun little bowl of POUFS!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Sewing patterns turned POUF!

Enjoy!