Monthly Archives: September 2012

Mint Condition

The following is a guest post that is appearing on The Lovely Lemon in a few weeks. Sara is a sweet friend of mine and I would totally love it if you would check out her blog. If you like Homemaker Chic you will LOVE The Lovely Lemon. She is so creative and unique and if you don’t follow her blog you will be missing out big time.

Sara and I go waaaay back to church youth group days. I always remember her being quiet and behind the scenes, and I never knew she had all this creativity in her. About a year ago we reconnected on Facebook and I was so pleased to find The Lovely Lemon. Between her crafty goods, her gorgeous photography, and charming writing style, she’s made a loyal reader out of me!

When Sara asked me to do a guest post for her I was pretty sure I knew what it would be about. As I began to research the colors, textures, patterns and trends that are inspiring me these days, the theme MINT kept coming up. Mint in every area. The color, the fashion trends, the flavour! I absolutely love how trends these days are filtering into every aspect of pop culture. Haute Couture Fashion Designers started added Mint fabrics to their spring collections and soon the color was showing up in jewelry, craft stores, paper goods, on walls and home decor, in nail polish, on a partridge in a pear tree. Here are a few ways mint is inspiring me.

FASHION

Mint Dresses, Jeans, Jewelry and Heels are all the rage these days. Mint is so soft and feminine especially when paired with sweet chiffon fabrics and girl bows and florals.

HOME DECOR

Mint is a surprisingly subtle tone to add to a cool color pallet for a serene living space. I love the use of this color in combination with both rustic distressed environments as well as slick modern decor. It is so very versatile. Try color blocking with strategically placed furniture pieces, or get bold and paint the ceiling!

WEDDINGS

If I hear another bride tell me her wedding color is purple I’m going to scream. Can’t we get more creative with the color choices? Mint is such a wonderful option for a wedding! It is soft and classy, and creates a magical look for that special day. Why not be gutsy and wear a mint wedding gown! Wouldn’t that be unique?

FOOD AND DRINK

I’m not sure if its the southern gal in me or not, but I am a HUGE fan of the Mint Julep. What’s not to love? Its sweet, its cool, its minty, its bourbon- So refreshing. Well what if you took all the wonderful things about Mint Juleps and put that in a cupcake? Wow. My mind has been sufficiently blown. (Click the image for the recipe)

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Crockpot Beef Stew with Pumpkin Beer

Well in Florida the weather is still balmy and warm, but the odd breeze gives me hope that Fall will be falling on us in the coming weeks (okay maybe months).

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of crockpot recipes on Pinterest and I figured it was time for me to invest in one of my own. I had one awhile ago but it was broken during a move and I never replaced it. I saw this really cute damask pattern crockpot at Target for only $25 so I picked it up along with some beef, carrots, onions, potatoes, celery and mushrooms.

Here’s a super easy recipe for a hearty fall stew.

What you need:

  • 1 lb stew beef cubed
  • 4-5 small/medium potatoes (or 3 large ones), cut into medium cubes
  • Half of a red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1-2 cups chopped celery
  • 1-2 cups whole baby mushrooms
  • 2-3 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons of tarragon
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 beer, ale or dark beers are best

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the crockpot, turn it on high. Mine takes a good half hour to heat up, so you may want to start this before you even chop the veggies.

Chop all your veggies. No need for precision here. This is a rustic stew, so make them as large or as small as you want. I try to make all the pieces uniform in size, about 2/3 of an inch.

Next, toss all the veggies plus the whole mushrooms (you can cut them too if you want but I like them whole) and the beef into a large bowl. Add the herbs, salt & pepper, and garlic and toss so everything gets coated. Then pour everything into the crockpot. (If you have a larger crockpot you could do this inside the pot but mine isn’t large enough to toss everything, so I find it easier to do this step in a large bowl.)

If you like my thyme spice bottle, here’s how I made my spice bottle collection.

 

Pour one entire beer over everything. I used Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat because that’s what was in my fridge, but normally I’ll use a darker beer like guinness or Newcastle. You can use whatever you want. I recommend a more deeply flavoured beer to compliment the beef, something like Corona or Budlight wouldn’t really give you the nice round flavour that you’re looking for. Any kind of autumn ale would go nicely in this stew. Fill the empty bottle to the top with water and pour that into the pot too.

 

Sometimes the beer can give a slightly bitter taste to the stew. If you don’t prefer that flavour you can add about 2 Tbsp of sugar and stir it in. This will cut the bitterness and I promise it won’t make the stew sweet. Put the lid on, and forget about it for the next 6-7 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like a nice thick stew. If you do too, you can make what is called a slurry to thicken it up. When you’ve got about an hour left, ladle out about a cup of the beef stock from the pot into a small bowl. Add 2-3 Tbsp of flour to your hot stock and whisk until it is completely incorporated and there are no lumps of flour. It may help to sprinkle the flour in a little at a time to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Pour the slurry back into the pot and give it a good stir.

 

 

Let the stew cook for about another hour to cook out the flour, and then you are ready to serve! This stew is delicious with some nice buttery biscuits. Enjoy!

Savory Cupcakes, Cake Pops and More!

The past week or two have been a bit overwhelming for me. I have so much going on between school and family that I’ve barely even cooked, and I definitely haven’t crafted at all. I did manage to make some bread that I will be sharing with you soon, but in the mean time I figured a great way to get myself back into the blogging groove would be to post some pinterest inspiration ideas that I’m hoping to try in the coming weeks. Here are some things I hope to get to soon!

SAVORY CUPCAKES

These days it seems like people are making everything into a cup. Here are some clever ways to incorporate favourite savory dinner recipes into that oh so beloved cupcake shape.

Meatloaf Cupcake with Mashed Potato “frosting”

Lasagna Cupcakes

Mac and Cheese Muffins

SAVORY CAKE POPS

 

Cake pops are definitely every bit of the rage lately. I’ve seen every flavor combination under the sun available in cake form and on a stick. But, savory cake pops are the new kid in town. Here are some awesome ideas I can’t wait to try!

 

Crab Cake Pops

 

This recipe comes from the babycakes cake pop maker recipe book. Pop these babies on a stick and you’re golden!

 

 

Bacon Cheese Pops

 

OMG. Bacon and Cheese- on a stick! These look divine. I have a feeling these pops will definitely be making an appearance at my annual wine and cheese party!

 

Guntapongalalu (Indian Uttapam Veggie Pops)

 

These look awesome! Uttapams are a tasty indian pancake with veggies and a curry flavor to them. This recipe is definitely one to try.

 

 

CREATIVE CAKES

 

My mom’s birthday is coming up next month and she is a lover of chocolate and malt balls. When I saw this cake I knew I just had to file it away to make a birthday cake for my dear mother. She’s going to love it!

 

My sister in law is having a baby in November and her shower is coming up. I thought this would be such a cute idea for a baby shower cake! It looks pretty easy too. You would just need one large metal bowl, and two small ones. Bake the cake right in the bowls and then trim to shape and lay the fondant right over them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pinterest Flop – Pancake Cupcakes

So this one was a flop, though it wasn’t really the fault of the original poster. I saw this really cute idea on Pinterest for these little Mini Pancake Cups that have little craters that are meant to be filled with fruit. It almost looks like Yorkshire Pudding, and I was really excited to try it.

I wanted to find a way to make this a little more simple so I bought an instant pancake mix instead of making the recipe in the post. I guess that was probably my first mistake.

 

The pin implies if you just pour pancake batter half way up in muffin tins that it will automatically cave in and make these awesome hollow cups. But if you go to the actual blog link, the recipe involved folding melted butter into the batter. I’m guessing that had something to do with the center caving in, because mine did not cave in at all.

So I just ended up with these pancake muffins.

 

I played around with greasing some of the tins, and leaving some just clean. I have a non-stick muffin tin so they both worked fine, but I will say that the un-greased tins yielded a much nicer looking muffin. As you can see in this photo, the one on the left was the un-greased version.

 

Now, if I meant to make pancake muffins I’d be pretty happy with them because they were light, fluffy and delicious! This is what happens when you don’t follow the recipe. I will try them again soon following the recipe correctly and I’ll let you know how it goes. For now I’ll show you what you can do with Pancake Muffins.

I decided instead of filling them (since there was nothing to fill) I just sliced them in half and made little strawberry shortcakes! I used strawberry pie filling, and topped them with whipped cream. They were delicious! I had the leftovers for breakfast this morning, plain with a little butter. I highly recommend this if you don’t have muffin mix. It is a really nice alternative to what can sometimes be a more dense muffin. So here’s to another Pinterest trick gone wrong, but oh so right.

 

 

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How to Make Gourmet Campbell’s Soup

4 WAYS TO DOCTOR UP REGULAR CAMPBELL’S SOUP

I have always been a huge fan of campbell’s soup. It was the first thing I learned to cook on my own as a child, and its always been my go to for a quick, cheap, easy meal. At around 100 calories per can, it doesn’t add to my waistline either!

Over the years I’ve come up with a few ways to doctor up the regular ol’ campbell’s recipes. Here are a few of my favourites!

BAKED POTATO SOUP

  • 1 Can Campbell’s Cream of Potato
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp bacon bits
  • Salt & Lots of Pepper
  • 1/tsp dill or dill pollen
  • 1 Tbsp Sour Cream as a garnish
  • 1 Tbsp freshly chopped scallions

Add everything together and heat till cheese is melted. Finish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh scallions.

 

GREEN MINESTRONE

I love this minestrone soup but I like a little more green. Jazz up this soup by adding using chicken stock instead of water and add about 2/3 of a cup (a handul) of chopped kale right to the hot soup in the pot. Cook down for about 5-6 minutes. You will have a delicious and healthy soup full of tons of vitamins and nutrients!

 

 

 

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER

Make a quick corn chowder using Cream of Chicken Soup, one can of sweet corn (including the juice), and one chicken breast (cooked and cubed). Combine all the ingredients and use one can full of chicken stock instead of water. Be sure to add plenty of pepper and a little salt. A hearty meal in minutes! You could also do one can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of potato.

 

 

SPICED AUTUMN SOUP

Harvest Orange Tomato is new on the Campbell’s scene but it has quickly become my favourite! It has the warm smooth comfort of tomato with a deeper more savory flavour. Use one can of chicken stock instead of water, and add 1/2 tsp of allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and you’ve got a delicious fall soup! If you want to get really fancy add 8oz of frozen mashed butternut squash and melt it into the soup. It is to die for!

Exceptional Womanhood

Yesterday someone was was asking me about myself. She asked what my passions were and what I did with my time. I told her about this blog, and all of you. I told her about school and how I was getting my degree in counseling. She asked what my goal was with all of that. I don’t know if I had verbalized it yet, but as I shared with her my love and passion for homemaking I realized how God has been pulling all of these things together for me.

I suppose its about time to come up with a mission statement for Homemaker Chic. My passion is for teaching women and girls the value and worth in being a homemaker. I want young women to learn that being a mother, wife, and all around Proverbs 31 woman is a wonderful and worthy calling.

Today in church my pastor spoke about being exceptional. He said that the only way to be exceptional in this world, is to be abnormal. To be different from the culture, and to seek greater things. While other women are reading 50 shades of grey and watching Magic Mike, I want to be reading the Bible, learning how to be more like Jesus and learning how to romance my husband. While other women are letting it all hang out, I want to be modest and pure.

Today women often find worth in being a sexual object, in being better or more powerful than men, in having a successful career. It seems to be highly abnormal for a young girl to say “I want to be a mommy when I grow up!”

I get the strangest looks when people ask what I do and I say, “I’m a homemaker.” The next question is inevitably… “So what exactly do you DO?” I don’t mind being abnormal, because I have a passion for families. Homemaking is a cornerstone to fostering godly well-mannered children, a peaceful haven for husbands, and a place of rest for the entire family. Even women who work can put their families first, my mother is a perfect example of this. She found a way to help my dad support the family, while also homeschooling her children and maintaining a lovely home.

I want this blog to be a call to cultural abnormality and exceptional womanhood. I want this blog to encourage women to build up their families and husbands- not tear them down. Let’s commit to being a different kind of woman. Let’s forget what society tells us we should be, and realize that God is calling us to something exceptional!

I know there are women out there who in the eyes of the world are very abnormal, but in the eyes of God are truly amazing and exceptional.

I’d like to dedicate this post to some truly exceptional and abnormal women in my life :)

I hope you ladies don’t mind me pointing you out!

Tammy, who is an amazing wife and mother. A sweet and loyal friend. Whose children are the most charming and well behaved boys I’ve ever met. Whose husband is a godly man and father. Who is an inspiration to me.

Ara, who beams with joy every time I see her. Who is a precious mommy, who loves her children and has committed to raising them in the way of the Lord. Who is a godly wife and a charming woman of God.

Cessie, who is a shrewd and thrifty homemaker. Who faithfully teaches and shapes her children. Who supports and loves her husband. Who has always been generous, sweet, kind, and modest. Who I have never seen without a smile on her face.

Danielle- my sister, who, though she is a single working mom, strives to teach her boys to be respectful men of God. Who puts raising her children before all else. Whose boys are brilliant and adore her. Who is one of the most thoughtful and creative women I know.

Phyl – my mother, who faithfully raised her children in the way of the Lord. Who still teaches me things daily. Who is a faithful student of God’s word, and a fervent prayer. Who has committed her life to strengthening marriages and families. Who is an incredible grandmother, still teaching and mentoring the next generation in our family.

This link below is to a talk given by Dannah Gresh who is a speaker on purity and raising girls and children to be godly. In this talk she shares the importance of family, and teaching our children to want a family of their own. If you have 20 minutes or so I highly recommend you listen to it. It really opened my eyes to the importance of family and what it means for our society.

Why Your Family is So Important – By: Dannah Gresh

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