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Don’t think that drink umbrellas are not useable for anything but summer cocktails! Go ahead and use them for winter cocktails too, of course! My latest project requires a whole lot of drink umbrellas so either drink up or go and purchase a box at Smart & Final like I did.
Supplies: 1 foam wreath, about 50 drink umbrellas, ribbon of choice, scissors
I started by just poking umbrellas into the foam. I realized that they needed to be cut down to fit the foam better.
At first, I started placing in one section and worked around the circle.
I then realized to get the spacing more even, it would be good to place spacer umbrellas all around the circle and then fill in the gaps.
You could add a bit of glue to each umbrella before placing in the foam. I didn’t add the glue for this one though.
To dress it up a bit more, I decided to add a bow. Simple bow, loops, tied together. A drink umbrella stuck through the middle loop and into the foam secured the bow in place.
The whole project took about 40 mins. It cost about $10 total as well. Hope it adds some color and fun for Summer to your porch.
Let me know if you make one! I’d also be curious how you managed to get all of your drink umbrellas too!
I recently took a trip up to Northern California to visit my friend Lucas. He lives in a small town called Tailorsville in Northern California with 150 people. I think he makes it a booming 151 people now? He was a Southern California guy who decided to change his lifestyle. He says he’s learned to appreciate a slower, less traffic world and I don’t blame him for that one bit. It is a lovely place to visit and I always enjoy catching up with Lucas.
For this trip we had no plans mapped out so it was relaxing and creative. Lucas had made bird feeders out of thrift store dishes and he wanted to add to them. We had to travel 15 mins to the next town to go to the thrift store in Greenville. Everybody knows everyone everywhere and since Lucas is a 6’3″ red head, he’s not easily forgotten. We enter the store to welcome greetings from townsfolk and proceed to buy half of their dish supply. One of the retired gentleman rung our purchases up and did some quick calculations that I didn’t quite follow and came to an amount that would have been about $.10 a piece I think? We happily made a little larger donation and packed up our bird feeder treasures.
We glued a bunch of dishes together with E6000 glue. It definitely should be used in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors. Try to be neat but apply a generous amount. Use removable tape as needed to secure pieces while drying. Let dry for 24 to 48 hours. (The E6000 with the black cap is clear glue, the white cap is white glue. The white glue does not dry clear so only use on white dishes unless you prefer the look of toothpaste binding your bird feeders together?!)
You just need to be creative about how you want to make your dish bird feeders and it will be determined by what you find at your local thrift store or if you happen to have odds and end pieces hanging around your house.
Once you have bird feeders, you can fill them with appropriate bird seeds. Lucas did some research for a mix of seeds and dried worms (yuck!) that would attract blue jays and various birds in his area.
We made a birdseed cake kind of mixture with lard, cornmeal and lots of bird seed fixins. It’s simple, melt the lard, then add ingredients to create a pretty thick paste.
You can then spoon in the mixture into your feeders and let it dry and harden so the seeds aren’t falling out of the containers if they are hung from cup handles. The spoon handles of these feeders act as a ledge when it’s hanging from the handle that the bird can sit on while the eat the seed.
The mix of dish bird feeders are so cute in the large tree at his house. The birds seem to love the food especially since it was still winter and they got quite a bit of rain and snow this season.
Lucas hung most of the bird feeders with old belts from the thrift store which added to eclectic country charm in the back yard. I made a couple for my bungalow porch as well. It was a really easy project. I’ve seen them made with spoons for hooks and more complicated combinations of dishes but I like our simple and effective feeders. The birds do too as the dishes run out of food quickly! It’s always sign of a good restaurant even if it is for the birds!
I’m fortunate to have wonderful friends that are like family to me. I’ve known Erin since we were about 11 or 12, which is the same age that her daughter is now. We know each other so well because we grew up together and ended up being college roommates so she is the closest thing that I have to a sister. Luckily, we also only live about 20 minutes away now and in California that’s like being neighbors!
On most Sundays, I head over to Erin’s to go for a walk, grab brunch and chat about the past events of our week and upcoming mayhem planned for the coming week. This particular Sunday, I came over and Erin was casually making crepes for her daughter and her two BFFs. Crepes are traditional breakfast for the kids if they have a slumber party the night before. She said, “let me just whip up some crepes.” It was such a nonchalant statement. Whip up some crepes?! I always had in my head that crepes were terribly time consuming and took skill. I was honestly a little afraid of them. Erin happily convinced me otherwise and added “They’re better than cereal!” No argument there!
A few years ago, she said she went in search of a recipe because she felt like eating crepes. She tried Julia Child’s cause, don’t you have to? For anybody that sews, we determined Julia Child was like following a dificile Vogue pattern as opposed to a Betty Crocker recipe which would be the easy McCall’s pattern. Needless to say, Betty Crocker became her go-to crepe recipe. (Note to self: definitely have a go-to crepe recipe in your life!).
As Erin proceeded to get her mothers’ inherited Betty Crocker book out, I continued to doubt that this crepe making process would be easy. She proved me wrong! It was easy and fun!
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Erin followed the directions pretty closely, mixed flour, sugar, baking powder and salt then in her mixer added milk, eggs, butter and vanilla. It was very similar to making pancakes but this has a much more liquid consistency. (Similar to buttermilk or even a little thicker.)
She used a non-stick skillet, which I would highly recommend. You should still grease the pan either with butter as Betty Crocker does or with any oil of your choice. You need to grease in between each crepe. Erin poured about 1/2 cup of crepe batter into the pan, then swirled the pan until the batter thinly covered the bottom of the pan.
Let the crepe completely dry on the surface. You’re using about a medium to low flame on the stove. Use a spatula to loosen the edges of the crepe all the way around. Flip the crepe once it is lightly golden on the edges.
You can also try flipping it in the pan with a quick wrist motion! Have a dog around for any failed attempts!
This recipe made about 20 crepes. The girls filled them with Nutella and bananas but you can fill them anyway you like.
In the end, there was plenty for everyone!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I made these cotton flour sack dish towels a few years ago for my aunt and my mom. I kept one for myself too cause it was too cute not to!
I chose remnants of 5 different coordinating fabrics and one solid.
one cotton flour sack
embroidery needle and thread in color of your choice
light weight fusible web
I cut a 4 1/2″ for a border for two edges. I used the iron to fold it over and also tuck all edges. It was easiest to iron it and then pin it to the fabric. I thoroughly pinned it to the edge so that it wouldn’t shift or move. I then did a blanket stitch around all of the open edges making sure that I incorporated the front of the fabric to the back of the piece evenly.
I lightly ironed 4 coordinating fabrics to squares of the light weight fusible web material just to tack the material together. I then cut 3 different sizes of hearts of the fabric and fusible web. I also did the same for the solid red, cutting five small hearts.
Then iron the hearts to the cotton flour sack in the design that is appealing to you. I used a pink thread to tightly stitch a blanket stitch around each heart.
Each year, I break it out as a table covering rather than use it for a kitchen towel. It’s a Valentine’s favorite! Hope you make some of your own. Happy Valentine’s Day!
What made the carrot blush?
He saw the salad dressing! Hahahaha
I’ve been on a carrot kick lately. I was at my parents and cooking dinner this week. We typically like a protein and some veggies so I made a simple chicken and tried a maple glazed carrot. We also have to make white rice for dad cause it’s not a meal for him without it. It all sounds simple but I made a few things more complicated, not on purpose.
First of all, I preheated the oven but forgot to take the stored pots out of the oven first! We unfortunately don’t have a large mansion so a few pans get stored in the oven. Luckily nothing was damaged or melted. I got the chicken in the oven after mom and I took the pots out and cooled everything down.
I’m experimenting with carrot dishes because I’m actually working on a menu for Easter. It sounds good to have a glazed carrot but each time I’ve made them, I’m not wowed by them. I’ve tried brown sugar glazed, maple syrup glazed and a brown butter glaze. They’ve all tasted fine but nothing was extraordinary.
I’ve decided that there’s nothing wrong with any of the recipes but they need finishing by roasting and letting the glaze carmelize more before serving.
Try your own recipe or use this or a variation:
2 lbs of carrots
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
you can also add about a tsp. of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
First, I put about an inch of water in a skillet and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes or watch and cook to desired tenderness of your carrot. Drain the water once the carrots are cooked. Put the cooked carrots aside.
In the same skillet, melt the butter, brown sugar and spice (if you choose) over a medium heat. Heat until it becomes a bit thicker and bubbly. Add the carrots.
At this point, I plan to put the skillet in the oven and roast for a few minutes. There was nothing wrong with the dish without roasting, I just want a richer, darker, thicker glaze and dimension of flavor to the carrots. I think it’s worth a try. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
If I don’t like it, I’m returning to basic carrots sautéed in butter and salt. For now, I’m not going to carrot all!
I’ve had a winter hiatus from the blog. For those of you that know me, know that I’m a marketing manager at a shopping center and that I can’t seem to handle much more than work, sleep and eat during November and December. This season was incredibly busy. I have missed cooking, crafting and experimenting so it’s time to get back to DelishTish! I have lots of fun planned for this year, so hope you read and subscribe to the blog.
A Lentil Bit Wiser
I think lentils are always a smart choice to cook in a dish. They are a great fiber choice, good for your heart and they give you energy! All are wonderful traits in a food except how do you make a brown or green variety lentil look appetizing? You definitely have to add a bunch of other ingredients!
Several years ago, I entertained being a vegetarian. When I told my Filipino dad who I learned a lot of cooking from, his answer to vegetarian cooking was to add more vegetables to his regular meat dishes. It was reminiscent of the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Aunt Voula learns Ian Miller is vegetarian. She says, “It’s OK! I make lamb.” I appreciated the sentiment of dad at the time but I had to do some research on my own to find dishes that I could embrace a meatless lifestyle. My research took me to a lentil shepherd’s pie.
This recipe is adapted from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson, pg. 123.
I found that this recipe was great in the crockpot or my dutch oven on the stovetop did the trick too.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped onions (about one large onion)
4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 to 3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp salt ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 ½ cups brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 can course chopped tomatoes, including juice
2 cups vegetable stock
The recipe calls for 4 cups of mashed potatoes but I tend to use about 2 cups and just add a thin layer, about 1/2” thick covering. ½ cup of bread crumbs 1 or ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
To start, I chop and prep everything so that when I get to put it all together I can pretend I’m on a cooking show!
In an effort to use one pot, I did everything in my dutch oven. If you use your crock pot as the recipe intended, you would use a large skillet through boiling ingredients then transfer to your crockpot.
Heat the oil and saute, on medium flame, your onions, celery and carrots until they are soft. Add the garlic and spices (salt, thyme and peppercorns). Let that simmer to incorporate these flavors for a minute or two.
Next add the tomatoes with the juice and add your rinsed lentils. Bring the whole thing to a boil. Add the vegetable stock, cover and put on a low flame. Let the dish cook for two to three hours. Add water or vegetable stock if it starts to dry out.
In my experience for this dish, you can make any kind of mashed potatoes that you prefer – garlic mash, cheesy mash, creamy or chunky, it’s all good. Even cauliflower mash works but this can be watery, so be careful to drain and add just a little milk or butter at a time.
To make basic mashed potatoes, I peeled, coarsely chopped three russet potatoes. Cover them with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about five to ten minutes. I tend to poke them with a fork to know when they are done and soft to mash. I drain them, add about ¼ cup sour cream and ¼ milk. I use a hand mash tool and add the ingredients slowly so that they are thick and creamy consistency. You may need to add more milk or sour cream to work towards a creamier texture.
For the crockpot, you can cover your lentils with this potato mash and cook for seven to eight hours on low.
For the dutch oven, I transfer the lentils that I’ve cooked on the stovetop to a casserole dish, cover with potatoes, sprinkle bread crumbs and cheese then back at 400 degrees for about 30 mins. Baking in the oven gives the topping a nice crust that doesn’t happen in the crockpot version.
This is a really adaptable meal to fit your tastes and comfort level of cooking. And….when you’re not feeling vegetarian you can add chicken or ground beef.
This meal also freezes well or is a great dish to make ahead. You can prep the lentils on one day and then add the topping and bake on the next day for your gathering.
Even though I am not a vegetarian today, I can still have a meatless Monday or become a lentil bit wiser with an occasional vegetarian meal. This is a great one to save for yourself all week long or to enjoy with a group of family and friends.
It’s supposedly Fall? There’s pumpkin spice lattes, Fall decor, Halloween costumes…it all looks like Fall except it’s 100 degrees outside?! I am in the mood for Fall now, but I have to be realistic and not put on a wool sweater. Instead, I made an easy pot of chili that didn’t heat up my house too much too. That was probably the most important part of this recipe.
1 package of ground beef
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 cup of carrots
1 small can of black beans
2 sausages of your choice
1 cup of mushrooms
I sautéed the onion in coconut oil, added the ground beef and cooked until brown.
I put the tomatoes in a Dutch oven, added the onion and the meat on a low flame. I then cut up the carrots and added those along with all of the spices. Add the can of beans and let everything cook for an hour.
Note: I put in 1 tablespoon of chili powder first then after each hour decided to taste if I added more to the mixture. You can also add a jalapeño for some more heat to this if you like.
I then decided to cook the sausage, cut it up and add to the Dutch oven. I added the mushrooms and let everything cook for another hour.
I added whatever vegetables that sounded good and had on hand to make this a one pot meal suitable for lunches all week. Hope your weather isn’t quite as hot or you have air conditioning too. Try this chili in any weather! And make some cornbread too!
I love classic movies. I learned a love of old movies from a young age. My mother is a fan of old movies, musicals, movie stars and the studios. She and my aunt are super fans.
I always loved musicals but developed an appreciation of older classics when I was in college. I attended the “Mom School of Movies” my entire life but when I started taking cinema classes at Pasadena City College and USC, movies had so many more stories and information beyond the silver screen.
I have far more than five movies that are in my faves, but I’m starting with a solid group of five. They are all amazing movies in cinema history and are a pretty good variety.
5. The Quiet Man, 1952. I’m not a John Wayne fan, but this film is not his typical Western genre. This romantic comedy in a Technicolor Ireland is packed with many charming characters and beautiful scenery. John Ford is the director and captures a 1950’s Ireland with a brilliant color palette. It was nominated for seven Oscars and won two – Best Director and Cinematographer. I saw this film before I was in college but then was privileged to view it on the big screen for a USC class. I have yet to go to Ireland but when I do, I’m sure the soundtrack will be in my head during my travels.
4. You Can’t Take It With You, 1938. This movie was a Frank Capra film with as much quirk as my own family at times. Perhaps that is why it is an endearing movie to me. I’ve walked into my parents house before and each person was doing a unique activity. I suppose we all tend to beat to our own drum some days, similar to this family and friends. This film was nominated for seven oscars and received two, Best Director for Frank Capra and Best Picture.
3. How Green Was My Valley, 1941. John Ford directed this movie and frames each scene so beautifully. I think if you just took screen shots through this film, you’d have a gorgeous array of black and white photographs. It was nominated for ten Oscars and won five including Best Picture. It was filmed during WWII so they could not shoot in Ireland. A Welsh mining village was recreated in the Santa Monica Mountains.
2. Gaslight, 1944. There was color available at the time of this movie for sure but the director chose to film in black and white. The dramatic effect of the lighting in this film is as much a character as the incredible actors Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. It was also a introduction of an 18 year old Angela Lansbury. Nominated for seven Oscars and won two for Best Actress and Best Art Direction. I first saw this in a film class at Pasadena City College. My teacher had been a cameraman for Taxi Driver and was showing us one of his favorite movies. I watched it on the smallest TV in an uncomfortable desk but it quickly became one of my favorites too.
1. Jezebel, 1938. For some reason, I always find myself watching this movie during the Christmas season? It is not a Holiday movie but I think it’s a favorite escape to a great movie while all the mayhem of Christmas planning, shopping and decorating happens. It was released in 1938, a year before Gone With the Wind. Bette Davis, like all of the other actresses of the time, wanted to secure herself as the quintessential Southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara. As we know, she was not cast. I think this movie was offered to Bette Davis when Tallulah Bankhead couldn’t take the roll due to illness and Bette wasn’t cast as Scarlett. This little consolation prize got five Oscar nominations and won Bette Davis the Academy for Best Actress and Fay Bainter for Best Supporting Actress.
These movies aren’t my only favorites. There are so many great movies in the universe to choose from! Eventually I’ll share more faves. If you haven’t seen one or any of these films, try them out and let me know if you liked them too?
Anyone know the movie “Love Actually”? For the few of you that may not know it, it’s a 2003 romantic comedy with a bevy of English actors. It intertwines eight, varying stories of love during Christmas..
Some of my girlfriends and I can probably act out the movie for you, but I would highly recommend watching the original, not that we wouldn’t be entertaining but we may not give it its true justice.
Not all of the story lines end happily, such as the story of unrequited love of a guy with his best friend’s wife. There’s a moment in the movie where Keira Knightly (object of guy’s affection but married to the best friend guy) asks guy played by Andrew Lincoln, if she can look through the video that he took of their wedding cause her wedding video didn’t turn out well. In an effort of self preservation he gives her the impression that he really can’t stand her. Keira shows up at his door with…Banoffee Pie to ask him if she can look through his videos and be friends with him.
There is way more to this story and all of the others in the movie but the important part here is…Banoffee Pie. For years, my American self and friends were puzzled by what is a Banoffee Pie? We couldn’t even figure out how to spell it or imagine what was in it? It sounded made up, a fictitious pie altogether!
But, with the magic of the interwebs, I looked up several recipes and attempted a simple one.
Once I knew that the pie was toffee and banana, hence Banoffee, I wasn’t sure that combo sounded delicious to me? I decided to make it for friends and to test it at a recent trip to Palm Springs. (And yes, we were back in Palm Springs again!)
It’s a pretty simple recipe that I cut corners on cause I was in Palm Springs and lacking supplies like a pie pan and a double boiler.
1 graham cracker pie crust. You can definitely make your own with graham crackers and melted butter but I didn’t have a pie pan. I decided to buy the premade pie crust already in a pie tin.
1 can sweetened condensed milk (note: there’s another version where you boil the can of sweetened condensed milk without stirring and labor, but I’ll have to try that next. It sounded like a magic method and I didn’t trust it but I’ll attempt it with the next pie)
heavy whipping cream and sugar to taste
I started by slicing three of the bananas and layering them in the pre-made pie crust. Then I found two pots that I could improvise as a double boiler. I placed water in the bottom pot and brought to a boil while I had the condensed milk in the second pan, stirring constantly. You want the condensed milk to get thicker. It’s obviously the toffee portion of the pie. My double boiler didn’t seem to be doing the trick so at some point I just eliminated the water pot but my toffee was lumpy and had problems for sure. Since I was convinced that this was a throw away pie and it was just to appease a very long obsession with the “made up pie” in the movie, I decided lumps were acceptable!
So, I thickened the condensed milk to the best of its ability in my borrowed Palm Springs kitchen and poured it over the bananas in the pie crust. It still didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t take pics of too much of the process cause I was a disbeliever in Banoffee Pie.
Next, I whipped the heavy whipping cream and added some sugar. I didn’t add a ton of sugar as the toffee and bananas were already very sweet. I also only had raw sugar which was pretty granulated so there was texture for this whipped cream, haha. All in all, I was executing a pretty bad pie at this point with brown bananas, lumpy toffee and gritty whipped cream in a store bought graham cracker crust. Yum!
I decided to just put the whipped cream on top, garnish it with sliced bananas from that fourth banana and cover it up and present it for dessert later as just a joke for the movie reference.
I knew the pie would create excitement from my friends that knew the movie, but I came armed with the disclaimer that we can try it but let’s not think we’re going to like it! I had low expectations.
The pie presentation was a hit! Everyone was impressed that I attempted the unknown movie pie and was eager to try this concoction. I had guinea pigs.
I sliced into it and served small servings due to my lack of confidence in this creation. As we ate it, I didn’t detect the toffee lumps or anything wrong with it? It was surprisingly and happily delicious! Who knew that Banoffee Pie was sooooo good? We Americans had no idea what we were missing out on? As the rest of our party showed up through the weekend, each partook in a slice and each one ended up liking it. Comments such as “This is how I want banana cream pie to taste” and “My new favorite pie” solidified that I will be making this pie again. I might try the pie with a crust from scratch and use an actual double boiler next time. There weren’t any leftovers of this one!
I think the upcoming holiday season just became a bit sweeter for me as I’ll be watching Love Actually and making Banoffee Pie!