Monthly Archives: August 2012

I’ve won the Sunshine Blogging Award!

Well would you look at that? I’m always looking at other people’s blog wondering how they got so many awards, and in the mean time someone has gone and awarded me! That someone is Kim from SheWinesSometimes. Any friend of wine is a friend of mine! She has a charming blog and you should all check it out.

The Sunshine Award is given to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire other bloggers”. Thank you, Kim, for taking the time to pass this along and giving me a chance to do the same!

Here are a few rules of the nomination:

1. If you are nominated, blog a post linking back to the person/blog that nominated you.

2. Answer some questions, then nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post!

3. Comment on your nominees’ blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.

So, here are the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?
Jesus Christ. He’s more of a Savior than a philosopher, but I live by His philosophies – the Bible.

2. What is your favorite number?
I don’t know. I guess 3? Not sure why.

3. What is your favorite animal?
Cow. In steak form. (sorry animal lovers, lol)

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?
Twitter: @homemakerchic | Facebook: www.facebook.com/HomemakerChic

5. What is your favorite time of the day?
Evening when Adam is home and it’s snuggle time.

6. What was your favorite vacation?
Always Key West.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?
Dancing! :) I don’t mind the elliptical from time to time but dancing is way more fun.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Lately I’ve had a pitcher of cold green and herbal tea in the fridge. Its tasty!

9. What is your favorite flower?
I’m a sucker for pink roses.

10. What is your passion?
Serving God, loving my husband, teaching women to be better homemakers, raising children. I suppose all of the above could fall under the title Homemaker!

And now…10 other blogs you should check out! (in no particular order…)

Sandy Sandmeyer

The Lovely Lemon

All tied up with string

Gluten-free-zen

Chao Bella

Lynn Wilkerson

Creative Noshing

The Bead Den

Pillows a la mode

Local Food California

 

Free Etsy Earrings Giveaway! (Closed)

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – Congratulations to Mary who won!

Stay tuned for my next giveaway coming up near the end of September. :)

Hello folks! I am just pleased as punch to announce that today I will be offering Homemaker Chic’s very first giveaway! I couldn’t be more excited about the product that one of you lucky dogs will be getting for FREE. If you remember my Etsy Inspiration – Tangerine post you’ll remember these charming little Chrysanthemum earrings. Well Darcee from Silver Lotus Designs has graciously offered to send one of you a free pair, in any color you like! I am so super jealous. I wish I could enter this thing myself :) Here are the colors you can choose from. She has nine adorable color options. If you win I will contact you for your preference. Yay! (I like the turquoise!)

So, since I am so generous I have come up with FIVE ways for you to enter. That means you have five chances to win! That’s pretty great.

Here’s how to enter:

1) I would love to find out what you all want to read. Leave a comment to this post, sharing a topic that you would like to see featured on Homemaker Chic. It can be anything cooking, craft, baking, decorating, or homemaking related. Let me know what you’re dying to learn about!

2) Like HomemakerChic on Facebook. If you’ve already done this, you get an entry for it too!

3) Follow @HomemakerChic on Twitter.

4) Like Darcee on Facebook

5) Favorite Darcee’s Etsy Shop Silver Lotus Designs on Etsy.

Leave a comment listing each item that you have completed. Please number them… your post should look something like this.

“I have completed the following:

1- Liked Homemakerchic on Facebook

2- Liked Darcee on Facebook

3- Favorited Darcee’s Shop”

Can’t wait to see who wins! Good luck :)

Etsy Inspiration – Globes and Maps

I love to travel. I’m so blessed and fortunate to visited so many amazing places in my life. I also love maps. This probably started as a child when my family would take long road trips every Christmas. My mom would give me the atlas and ask me to help keep track of where we were. I though I was really helping, but truly it was just a clever way to keep me occupied in the back seat. Not only did I get a keen sense of direction, but I also developed a love for globes, maps, atlases and anything related to travel.

My living room has a subtle map theme. I have a map pillow, a tiny globe, faux vintage prints on the wall, and the crown jewel… A real nautical map from one of the ships at Princess Cruises. I interned at Princess Cruises Corporate in Los Angeles when I was in college. The map has real captain’s writing on it which is just so unique and amazing. I love it.

Lately I’ve been noticing some interesting trends regarding maps et cetera. Its not just for navigation anymore. Etsy shop owners are getting über creative, using maps as an inspiration for things like jewelry, clothing, and stationary. I thought I’d share some things that I’m really into right now! Click on the images to visit the corresponding shops.

Lea Seguin of Ontario makes these adorable map envelopes. Aren’t they awesome? Think of the thank you cards I could send in these. I absolutely love this look. Wouldn’t these be great to take on vacation to use for writing notes back home. So unique.

I just adore this ring made with a cutting from a real vintage map of Miami. I would totally wear a piece like this. Kohana Jewellery makes all different map themed jewelry, accessories, and trinkets with every city you can think of.

This wallet is just darling! I love the colors and the kitschy vintage feel. Jennifer at Pete&Paul shop on Etsy makes tons of adorable wallets with florals, nautical and of course map patterns. Very cute shop!

I cannot express to you how much I LOVE this Florida necklace! Though I’ve been all over the world, my heart has always belonged to Florida. This necklace needs to join my jewelry collection soon! Stefano at StefanoArt makes other states of course :)

Leyya at Leyya bags makes these charming handbags. There are several different bag styles, and many other vintage style patterns in her shop. This would be great for school.

These Tampa cufflinks would make such an awesome groomsman or father’s day gift! I am definitely keeping these in mind for the men in my life. Sherry Truitt offers a wide range of map themed gifts, jewelry and accessories including lots of different city options.

Since you know how much I love Florida, you have to hear a little about how much I adore the Florida Keys especially Key West. I try to get there at least once a year if not more. This pendant is SO perfect. I just love it. The Pendant Emporium makes all different themed pendants including many maps.

Don’t forget about tomorrow’s giveaway! Be sure to follow or subscribe so you get all the details. Its gonna be great!

Southern Field Peas O’Brien

RECIPE FOR SOUTHERN FIELD PEAS WITH ONIONS, PEPPERS, & BACON

Down south we call them Black Eyed Peas, but the fancy schmancy name is Field Peas. I like to be fancy schmancy. Technically they’re different peas but to me they’re all the same. All I know is that they’re delicious and I eat them a lot!

Here is a tasty and healthy recipe!

FACT: Did you know that 1 Tbsp of Bacon Grease has the same amount of calories as 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil? About 115 calories for each. Butter comes in the lowest at 100 calories for 1 Tbsp. So don’t think you’re being all low-cal by using Olive Oil. Its all the same folks, so bring on the BACON!!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 strip of Bacon
  • 2 cups of Field Peas
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Creole Seasoning
  • 2-3 cups of chicken stock

Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Using a pair of scissors, cut the bacon into small strips. You could do this with a knife but I find that scissor make the job much easier. They don’t have to be perfect. Fry the bacon until crisp.

Step 2: Once the bacon is nice and crisp stir in the onions and peppers. Fry them in the bacon grease until the onions are sweating and the peppers have softened a bit.

Step 3: Stir in the Field Peas. I like to use Today’s Harvest Field Peas w/ Snaps. They come in the freezer section and I add them right to the pot still frozen. If you can’t find this brand at your super market they will probably have some kind of frozen field peas (or black eyes peas) and they are very easy to prepare right from the freezer so I highly recommend going this route.

Step 4: Cover the peas just to the surface with chicken stock. You don’t need to drown them, you just need enough to cook them down. All the liquid is going to cook out.

Step 5: Add the seasoning. I like to use S&P of course and a little bit of Tony Chatchere’s creole seasoning because it has a nice kick and there’s nothing else like it. I call it Chatch :)

Cover the pot and let the peas simmer for about 30 minutes on medium/low heat (About a 4 on my stove). Give it a stir every now and then just to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. You know its ready when the peas are tender and all the stock has absorbed. Enjoy!

Don’t forget we have a giveaway coming up this Monday, August 27th! Stay tuned…

lightly-tap-cake-pops-homemakerchic.com

How to Make Fool Proof Cake Pops

8 TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CAKE POP

As many of you know I get asked to make cake pops for various events. After having some major pop catastrophes and trying to make the best of the rolled cake pop method, I knew there just had to be a better way.

I had originally thought if hand-rolled pops were good enough for Starbucks then they must be easy enough to make. Wrong. Though I did find ways to make it slightly more successful, my cake pop grave yard was growing with sad little cake babies that had bitten the dust and slid off sticks into the candy, while drying, after being decorated… you name a point in the process and I had pops sliding off sticks. Plus, some people didn’t care for the extreme sweetness that came from the additional frosting. The rolled method really has the texture of cake batter rather than actual cake. The softness was part of the problem. I knew I needed something more firm to hold up on the stick. So when I was asked to do the cake pops for my sweet friend Kelly’s baby shower, I knew I needed to find a solution.

Enter the Cake Pop Pan… I had seen these before but I wasn’t sure about them. I kinda thought it was a gimmick. It was not a gimmick… it was a GODSEND! These cake pop pans have saved my life. Seriously. No more rolling, scooping, measuring, freezing, shaping, rolling more, and ruining cake pops! Each pop comes out perfectly round. I picked these bad boys up from Target for $16 each. You can also buy them online.

Here’s how to make fool proof cake pops!

TIP 1: GREASE AND FLOUR THE PAN.

Definitely grease and flour the cake pop pan before you pour the batter. This will help the cake balls pop out easily. You want perfect little cake balls, not ones that are all mangled from you trying to pry them out with a knife. Do not skip this step, trust me!

TIP 2: CONSIDER YOUR BATTER

Use a batter color that contrasts with your candy coating. This gives a really nice effect when your guests bite into the pops. I used red velvet batter to match the hot pink candy coating. Also, the recipe I used called for 1/3 cup oil and 2 eggs. I adjusted it by only adding 1/4 cup oil and 3 eggs. This made a more firm cake ball that held up better on the sticks. One cake mix made 60 pops exactly.

TIP 3: FULL CUPS MAKE FULL POPS

Fill the bottom cups completely full. I know with cupcakes and such you might be used to filling the pan only 2/3 of the way full but that is not the case with these pops. You want the pops to rise and fill the top half completely so you end up with a nice round ball. If you fill them too shallow you will end up with lop-sided pops. Bake the pops for about 15-18 minutes.

TIP 4: LET THEM COOL

After you have baked the pops, let the cool COMPLETELY before attempting to remove them from the pan. Don’t even take the top pan off. Just leave them as they are and let them cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This will save you from having them split in half when you try to open the pan.

Once the pops have cooled, gently remove them from the pan and place them all in a bowl or on a plate. You will notice that they have a slight edge to them.

TIP 5: SHAPE THE POPS

You’ll want to gently cut off the edges using a serrated knife so the balls are perfectly round. Don’t cut too deep, just slide your knife gently around the circumference of each ball, shaving off the excess cake.

Now that the cake balls are prepared, its time to decorate!

TIP 6: USE SHORTENING

Add PLENTY of shortening to your melted candy. I added about 6-7 teaspoons for one package of candy. If you add more candy, add more shortening. You want a nice thin candy coating. If the coating is too thick it will be heavy and the pops are more likely to slide off the sticks. Also ensure that your candy stays hot and melted. If it begins to thicken it will cause problems. If you are using a double boiler like I am (two pyrex measuring cups) be sure to keep freshly boiled water on hand and refresh the water about every five minutes. Another option is to invest in a candy melter available at Bed Bath & Beyond or Michael’s.

TIP 7: PREPARE THE STICKS

Poke holes in the pops using the stick, then drop a little candy into the hole. Dip the stick into the candy and then back into the hole you created. This will give you double glue. It really helps! Let the candy and sticks cool and harden before moving on. I like to use a styrofoam piece to hold them.

TIP 8: GET IN AND GET OUT

And now for the moment of truth. Dipping the pops. If you have done all the previous steps correctly you should be able to dip the pops successfully without having them slide into the candy. I was so nervous trying it this way, but it really worked! Out of 60 pops I only had 2 fall into the candy, and that was because I had allowed the candy to cool and thicken.

You can do this! Don’t swirl around. Just get in a get out. Make sure that you have enough candy to completely submerge the pops without hitting the bottom. You may need to add more candy after dipping several pops. I promise it will work if you follow these tips. Look at this picture. That is a real cake pop dipped all the way into the candy! Gently tap the pop on the edge of the bowl until no more big blops of candy come off. Spin and tap. Don’t do this for too long, or too hard. If you knock off too much candy you will have spots where the cake shows through. Just a few taps should work.

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Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts!

You know how much I love these kitschy old signs. Here’s a cute one that I thought was fitting for my readers. I know how much you all love sweets! Try not to get too stressed with back to school and all the fun stuff you have going on in your lives! God is good, and so are cupcakes :)

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

For some reason I’ve been on a fish kick this week. I picked up the individually packaged frozen tilapia fillets from Publix and they make eating fish so convenient! While I would prefer fresh fish, the frozen tastes great, and it doesn’t go bad sitting in my fridge waiting for me to get around to cooking it! They thaw really quickly and make a wonderful and quick lunch.

I love a good crust on my fish, so here’s a really simple crust to make and store in the fridge for a quick dinner. You could use this for any type of fish but it works nicely with a light white fish. I made this for dinner on Saturday and stored the extra crust mix in the fridge for lunch on Monday. I also had leftover Tarragon Potatoes from Sunday Brunch which were delicious with the fish! You can find the recipe for the Tarragon Potatoes here.

I don’t measure this at all but I will try for your sake.

For 2 pieces of fish here’s what you need:

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Creole Seasoning like Tony Chatchere’s

1-2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine

1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Mix all the ingredients on a plate. Rinse the fillets and shake off the excess water. While they are still damp press them into the mix making sure to coat completely. Flip over and repeat on both sides. Cook in a non-stick skillet coated with an equal parts mixture of HOT butter and olive oil. You want enough to coat the entire bottom of the pan but it doesn’t have to cover the fish. Fry the fish until crisp, only about 4 minutes on each side. Tada! You just made delicious Parmesan Crusted Tilapia!

P.S. As a side note, I wanted to let you all know that there will be a verrrry special giveaway coming up next Monday! Be sure to stay tuned and subsribe via email so you don’t miss it! Hint: Its something really adorable that you can wear! Yay!

Easy Iced Tea

Being Southern I grew up drinking a lot of sweet iced tea. While I’ve skipped the sweet these days I’m still a huge fan of cold iced tea on a summer’s day. I love iced green tea, it is so yummy, refreshing, and it is chock full of antioxidants and other amazing health benefits. I’ve been making tea since I was a kid and together my mom and I came up with a clever way to make brewing iced tea a little simpler. We’ve been using this nifty little trick for years.

Start by pulling off the paper tags and staples from the strings. 

The gather the strings together and tie them around the handle of a wooden spoon. I find that a slip knot works nicely, but a regular knot is fine too.

Then just rest the spoon across the edge of your tea container and fill with enough water so that the tea bags are fully submerged. Let the tea steep then just pull the tea bags out by lifting the wooden spoon. No more fishing around trying to get the tea bags out. And you don’t have soggy tea tags floating around in the tea! Add a little honey or splenda. I just like a little sweetener in my green tea. This keeps it low calorie. Of course if you’re wanting true southern tea, like the kind my momma makes, you can add about a pound of sugar.

Etsy Inspiration – Tangerine

Like so many of you blogger/pinterest/crafty types I am in love with etsy. I used to sell on etsy until I ran out of room and time. Hopefully I can start it back up again soon. In the mean time I am satiated by creating color, pattern, and style treasuries that totally inspire me. Since summer is rapidly coming to a close I figured I’d give tangerine its proper place of prominence as a transition into the darker colors of fall. Tangerine is the perfect bridge from summer cocktails to autumn pumpkins. Here are some products I’m just loving. Click on the images for links to the etsy shops. Support home crafts and small businesses by shopping on etsy. :)

Bread and Badger makes this adorable Tangerine Mustache Mug. Isn’t it just the cutest thing? It comes in some other really cute colors too. I definitely need a whole set.

As you can guess, I have a soft spot for Chevron. This fabric is the perfect combination of two of my favourites! Chevron and Tangerine. Sew Gracious makes this awesome throw pillow and lots of others with the most darling patterns.

Don’t you just love these hand made epoxy earrings? They are so charming. The would look so lovely with a white summer dress. Silver Lotus Designs makes gorgeous bridal and customized jewelry.

Wouldn’t you be inspired to save money with this precious little piggy bank from Desert Arts Pottery? I know I would. I sooo need this!

I might just have to make this bad boy. Then again I could save myself some time and order it from Ruby and Lucy Frames. The one they’ve made is gorgeous! I have a picture over my bed that is just too small for the wall. I need a great big frame to beef it up and this one is just fanstastic! I love the color combination and the rustic look.

 

 

After my post about note writing, you know all about my obsession with quality note cards. These beauties definitely need to be a part of my collection! They are so whimsical and I know I would be totally cheered up if someone sent me one these delightful cards by Green Grass Press.

 

 

 

I’m not just a fan of the color, but I love the smell and flavour of Tangerine. This tangerine shea butter handmade soap by Eco Chic Soaps looks divine. I love the look of handmade soap as opposed to liquid soap. I have just the right silver dish for this soap.

 

 

 

Julia Child’s 100th Birthday #cookforjulia

Today is the late great Julia Child‘s 100th birthday. In honor of her amazing cooking legacy bloggers all over the world are participating in #cookforJulia. I was really excited to participate because I am the recent owner of my very own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking! My original plan was to make something fantastic from the cookbook, but holy cow! Her recipes are really hard, and I’ve found myself short on time this week, as I had a final and a wedding cake. Though I didn’t make one of her recipes, I cooked lovingly, a dish reminiscent of the coming fall. I cooked for Julia. So today I’m going to share my recipe with you as Julie and Julia plays in my apartment.

One comment about the movie. A short google search of Julie Powell yielded some pretty unsavory responses. One thing that was portrayed in the movie that I think is wonderful, is that while Julie complains, moans, and has temper tantrums, Julia shone in every parallel scene. She had such a gracious and forgiving manner about her. She was so grateful, confident, and authentic. My brother, Nathan Lippy, had the amazing fortune of meeting her while he was in school at the Culinary Institute of America. He told her to “keep on truckin.” She laughed and smiled and said he reminded her of her nephew. She was cool. That is what I love so much about her.

So what I made in honor of Julia was a Turkey Roulade with Sage Sausage, Walnuts, Cranberries, and a side of Mashed Cauliflower & Butternut Squash with sauteed Kale.

Though it is really hot still in FL, the occasional breeze and back to school sales make me think that Autumn is on its way. This subconsciously made its way into my brain and I decided to make an early deconstructed thanksgiving dinner.

Here is what you need:

  • 4 turkey breast fillets (sliced about 1/2 and inch thick)
  • 1/2 package of Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped craisins
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower or 1 small/med head fresh cauliflower
  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash (frozen) or 1 small butternut squash
  • 4-5 handfuls of fresh kale
  • 1 slice of bacon
  • Sage, Tarragon, Thyme, Salt, Pepper

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350. Saute’ the sausage until browned, being sure to break it up into small bits. When its brown add the walnuts and craisins. No need to add any butter or oil because the walnuts and craisins will cook in the sausage fat. Set aside.

 Lay a piece of plastic wrap over your turkey, and pound it out until its about 1/4 inch thick. The plastic keeps bits of turkey juice from spraying in your eye. I don’t have a meat pounder but I do have a rolling pin, so that’s what I used.

Season the turkey with sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper. Go heavy on the Tarragon, medium with the sage and light with the thyme. Then drizzle olive oil on a cookie sheet and lay the pieces seasoned side down.

Spoon some of your sausage filling along the center of each piece, and then carefully roll up the turkey. There is no need to use a toothpick to secure them if you flip the roll over so it sits on its own tail. When it cooks it will seal up and you will have a perfectly closed little roll. Bake for about 30 minutes.

While the roulades are cooking, begin boiling the cauliflower until tender. While it is boiling, cut one slice of bacon into tiny strips using scissors. Brown the bacon until crisp. Add the Kale, some salt & pepper, and about a teaspoon of sugar, then toss so the bacon grease is incorporated. A drop or two of chicken stock or water might be necessary to help the kale cook down.

I’ve really been into mashed cauliflower lately, as you know, and my absolutle favourite way to punch it up is by adding mashed butternut squash. There are 3 options for doing this, you can buy fresh squash and roast it, then scoop out the flesh discarding the seeds (but that is pretty involved.) You can find frozen cubes which are great, but my new go-to is the pre-mashed little carton you can find in the freezer section. It is perfect for this side dish! After you’ve boiled the cauliflower, drain it and set it aside. In the same pot melt the frozen squash. It only takes a minute or two. Add the cauliflower back to the pot and then blend it all up with an immersion blender. The only thing I add is a bit of salt and a drizzle of honey. No butter or cream needed. It is delicious and healthy!

The plating for this dish is very simple. Just make a nice neat pile of the cauliflower mash, position the roulades on top and add some kale around it. 

I had some of the filling leftover so I made a delicious omelet with it for lunch today! It was really good, and I may make this filling for this purpose in the future. It is so good! Its a great filling to use with chicken or fish or anything really. I love it!