March 23, 2013

Herbed Bath Salts

Spiced bath salts
     Hello again! I'm going to share another project I worked on during my crafter's break. The last few months for me (as well as for a lot of you, I'm sure) have been somewhat chaotic in my life. I am in the middle of switching jobs and wanted to give a token of my thanks to the lovely ladies I have been working with since I got to Texas.

     Since I work at a spice store (and I love a good bath soak), I got interested in making bath salts for my coworkers. I had all the spices I needed for this project on hand already, but I did need to pick up a few extra things at the store- unscented Epsom salts and powdered milk aren't things I normally keep on hand in my pantry/house. However, they were fairly inexpensive and added a little bit of extra spa-luxury to the bath tea's I made. Spring break might be over, but you can still relax and enjoy!
  • Epsom salts (1/2 c.)
  • salt (1/2 c.)
  • powdered milk (1.5 c)
  • baking soda (1/8 c)
  • corn starch (2 tbs)
  • spices (cracked rosemary and lavender (1/8 c. each); cinnamon (1 Tbl.) and vanilla bean)
  • muslin/silk draw string bags 
  • glass or plastic containers (optional)

March 10, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Stock

     This week is spring break in Texas (also known as SpRrianNnnNnngggG BreEaaakkKkkk for those still in college).  I am not going anywhere exciting this year, so instead I am going to try and have a "crafter's-break" instead; do a craft once a day or so and hopefully document it here. Please chime in if you have any good ideas for quick crafts that I can try!

      I see food as craft, so for today's post, I made chicken stock. Luckily, it was very hands off after the initial chopping of the vegetables and putting them in the crockpot, so I had time to make baklava, fix lunch, clean, and do some laundry while I was waiting for the stock to be done.

     To make a stock, you need only four simple categories of ingredients: a carcass, vegetables, herbs, and water. There are some traditional ingredients (carrots, onions, celery), but I often use whatever I have on hand (in this case, fennel stalks, asparagus ends, and braising green stems). Each stock turns out tasting a bit differently this way, which I like.
     After the stock was finished, I let it cool then poured it into muffin pans and popped them in the freezer for perfectly portioned (2/3 c.) chicken stock popsicles to use in future recipes.

March 4, 2013

Scrapbooking Demo- easy double page spread

   In high school, I was forced to scrap book as part of a team bonding for, of all things, volleyball. It was something I dreaded doing as I have never been much of a girly girl (as I wrongfully assumed all scrapbookers must be.)

finished scrapbook 2-page spread
     However, once I actually started scrapbooking, I realized it was something I could really get into. After all, I love stickers, bright colors, and organizing information. I did two more forced scrapbooks during high school and a couple of scrapbooky things during college, but didn't have time for more than that.

     Now that I have left college however, I find myself with all sorts of paper junk that I collected over the four years I was there. I sorted it all by year, month, then event and began the process of making scrapbooks for each year I was in college. I finished my freshman year and thought I would share my process for making a scrapbooked double page spread, my way (aka re-purposing leftover pieces of paper and having a unified color theme to create a cohesive look and feel to the pages).