Author Archives: Homemaker Chic

About Homemaker Chic

The author is a homemaker, baker, DIYer, undomestic goddess, interior decorator, incredible mother to imaginary children, housekeeper, executive chef of the kitchen du noelle, and craigslist aficionado. "There is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman making dinner for someone she loves." ~Thomas Wolfe

Beet Juice Recipe PLUS Juice Pulp Muffins!

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Recently I’ve gotten into juicing! My dad loaned me his Jack Lalaine juicer several months ago and I’ve been meaning to try it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when a friend introduced me to a new vegetable stand about a mile from my house that sells organic veggies at great prices that I finally got the itch to make some tasty juices! I decided to start with beets. After trying a few different blends I finally came up with one that is so delicious, surprisingly sweet and super nutritious. Beet+Carrot+Cucumber+Apple.

I was shocked by how quickly the juicer did its job! In just a few minutes it had pulverized my fruits and veggies into a glorious deep red beverage, and spit out about 8 cups of pulp just as quickly. I was really surprised by how much pulp was left over. And I felt like it was such a waste to throw out all that good stuff, so I figured why not whip up some healthy muffins while I’m at it? So today you get a bonus Carrot Beet muffin recipe.

JUICE RECIPE:

  • 2 med/large Organic beets
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 small apples
  • 6 large carrots

WHAT TO DO:
Prepare the beets by cutting off the hard stem area, and peeling them. It is very important to use organic root vegetables because they are steeped in the soil and if that soil has pesticides in it you will have pesticides in your juice. Yuck. The first time I made this recipe I did not peel the beets and I found it had much too strong of a “dirt” flavor even though I thoroughly washed them. Cut the beets into small enough pieces that they will fit easily into your juicer. Craftsy The apples should also be cut into halves or quarters depending on the size. The cucumbers and carrots should fit just fine. Now juice! Since we are only using the pulp from the carrots, beets and apples, juice those first then set the pulp aside. TIP: After trying this recipe a few times I found that I was left with quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of my jug of juice after it settled in the fridge. To eliminate this I decided to pour my juice through a coffee press. You could also pour it through cheese cloth. This helped a lot!

carrot-beet-muffins-homemakerchic.com-juice-pulpMUFFIN RECIPE:

  • 4 cups juice pulp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, oil, and eggs. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture and blend well. Fold in juice pulp, raisins, and blueberries. (Be sure to pick through your pulp firstto make sure it doesn’t have any large pieces that didn’t get chopped up by the juicer). Grease mini muffin tins with cooking spray (the kind with flour mixed in). Fill the cup almost completely full as these muffins do not rise a whole lot. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Eat them HOT! Enjoy. :) P.S. My toddler loves these healthy muffins!

 

Corona-rita Lime Cupcakes

margarita-lime-tequila-corona-cupcakes-recipecoronaritaIf you’ve known me for any time at all you might know that I happen to love Key West. And two things that I love to enjoy while I’m in Key West (or anywhere!) are Margaritas and Corona. The fresh lime flavor just sends me to paradise in a way little else can. So a few years ago when I learned that the Coronarita existed I had a mini-heart attack and had to order one as soon as possible. It tastes just as magical as it looks. But then I thought, how could this delightful marriage of tequila, lime and corona get anymore fabulous? And the magic continued…

I had seen recipes for margarita cupcakes floating around pinterest. And I’d used beer in cake before (like the guinness in my irish coffee cupcakes). So I had the idea to blend the two and make a totally new recipe.

I give you the Corona-rita cupcake.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Lime Cake Mix
  • 1 bottle Corona beer
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 limes
  • Sea Salt for garnish
  • Tequila for brushing (about 2 T)

For Frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 T tequila
  • 1 T freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice

use-corona-in-cake-batterDirections:

Prepare the cake mix but make the following substitutions. Instead of water, use the same amount of corona called for on the box. Instead of oil use the same amount of melted butter called for on the box. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with cupcake liners filling the cups 2/3 full. Bake as directed. Allow cupcakes to cool. Brush tops of cupcakes with Tequila.

Tip: Bake your cupcakes in plain white cupcake liners, and save your pretty liners for after they come out of the oven. Double up the liner so you have a bright and fresh look on the outside. You could also make custom cupcake wrappers if you’re feeling crafty.

tequila-lime-corona-margarita-cupcakes-recipeFrosting:

In a mixer cream together the butter, sea salt, lime juice, and tequila. Add the powdered sugar one half cup at a time, stopping periodically to scrape down the bowl (or try the new KitchenAid mixer attachment that has a spatula attached to the side and automatically scrapes down the bowl as it beats! I love this thing!) You can add more or less tequila and lime to suit your taste. I ended up adding more than I originally planned because I wanted it to really taste like a margarita.

I use a 1M wilton tip to frost my cupcakes. Garnish with a slice of lime, a little sea salt, and some lime zest. Your guests are sure to love this refreshing treat! Now who’s ready for a trip to Key West?

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Hot Pink Potato Beet Soup for Valentine’s Day

hot-pink-potato-beet-soup-for-valentines-dayWhen I was in college in Los Angeles we had a very progressive and very gourmet cafeteria. They served things like sushi, quinoa (before it was popular), tofu, and wonderful homemade soups daily. One of those soups was this glorious beet soup that was a velvety hot magenta pink color. I absolutely loved it. Recently I picked up a bag of frozen beets at whole foods with the intention of feeding it to my boy (he LOVES frozen vegetables, he must like the icey cold feeling on his gums.) So when I offered him a sample and he spit them out I figured why not turn the rest of the beets into a soup?

You know how much I love a good vegetable soup. This was is ridiculously easy and only has 8 ingredients. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • 1 10 oz bag of frozen sliced beets
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 6-8 cups of chicken stock (depending on how thick or thin you want your soup to be)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 4 tablespoons of real butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium-large sized pot sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook them until they are aromatic and translucent. Just before they begin to develop color add the stock, beets, and potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are tender. Reduce heat and add the cream, butter, and cheese, then blitz it all up with an immersion blender. You can also add a little salt to taste. That’s it! Super easy. You can add more cream or some milk if you want a lighter pink color.IMG_1582

Mustache Bash 1st Birthday Party

mustache-first-birthday-party-boyWell 2015 is here, the holiday season is over (whew) and we officially have a toddler in our house. My little teeny tiny baby boy is not so teeny anymore. He turned 1 in October and he is surely giving me a run for my money. He is so fun, lively and active! Oh heavens is he active. When I started this blog 3 years ago I was not a mom-blogger. I now have a newfound appreciate for mom-bloggers and how in the world they find time to not only do crafty projects, DIYs and write recipes, but then they photograph and write about it!! How do they do it? In the 2-3 hours a day my prince is napping I have just enough time to clean up the house, do some diaper laundry, eat some lunch, and if there’s any time to spare I just want to stare at the TV and catch up on Parenthood (I can’t believe the series is ending!! Waaaaah!!).

So that might be why, over 2 months later, I still haven’t shared the awesome pictures of Luke’s Mustache Bash 1st Birthday Party! I spent about 3 months agonizing over details and I’m so pleased with how perfectly everything turned out.

Luke was obviously not interested in a family portrait. He also tripped and bit his lip just before the party started which explains the busted lip. Ohh boys. I thought it would be fun for my husband to grow a real mustache so he wouldn’t have to wear one for the party. So he doesn’t normally look quite this dorky, but he was a good sport. Lol. My poor husband is so cooperative with my silly ideas. I got the skirt custom made from BasiltheGirl on etsy. Isn’t it adorable?

mustache-familyMy vision for this party was a hipster, vintage, Atlanta style theme. I wanted chalkboards, burlap, and of course LOTS of mustaches. The exposed brick on our porch made the perfect backdrop for our hipster table.

First things first I hit Amazon.com. I found all sorts of amazing mustache goodies like the mustache straws, mustache cupcake picks, mustache napkins, mustache duck tape, fake stick-on mustaches, and the birch ware cutlery (don’t you just love the rustic look of those birch wood forks? I LOVE these!). I got chalkboard stickers and the chalkboard markers for the mason jar glasses at Michael’s. The chalk board signs also came from Michael’s. I tied twine around the mason jars to add a rustic touch.

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The food all had “manly” titles. Here is a list of what we had:

  • Big Cajones – Spicy Meatballs
  • “Was it the frank or the beans?” – Baked Beans with Hot Dogs (bonus points to the first person to get the movie reference!)
  • Stud Muffins – Chocolate Cupcakes
  • “Real Men Eat Their Veggies” – Veggie cups with Ranch dip
  • Bowtie Pasta Salad
  • Chocolate Pretzel “Cigars”
  • Manly Mustache Manwiches – Cookie Butter and Chocolate Spread Sandwiches
  • Mustache Brownies

I got the mustache cookie cutter on etsy. You’ll want a 5″ or larger cutter so you can get decent sized sandwiches. Mustache-manwiches

mustache-theme-baby-boy-birthday-party-dessert-table

I made the banner with Luke’s monthly photos of his 1st year, and also the “Luke Is One” banner using my sister’s Cricut, and hung them with some garden twine.

IMG_1348Seeing Luke’s month by month photos all in a row really made this last year feel like it went by so fast!! I can’t believe my little butter-ball is a running, hopping, vibrant little toddler now!

I spent a lot of time on the Chalkboard sign. I used a large sewing measuring stick to measure out my letters so each letter was the same size. I mapped out sections for each milestone and measured everything so it didn’t turn out wonky. Then I looked up fonts that I liked online and just copied the styles freehand using chalkboard markers. It took me a few days of working while Luke napped but I’m really happy with how it turned out! I waited until the day before his birthday party to measure him and weigh him so I had the most up to date numbers. P.S. You can buy these black foam boards for $5-$8 dollars at craft stores but I found them for a buck at the dollar store!! Always check the dollar store for craft supplies because they often have just what you’re looking for at a fraction of the cost.

first-birthday-chalkboard-sign

 

We also had a fun “Guess That Mustache” game. I did a google image search for famous mustaches and printed out 25 of the best ones. Guests were given sheets with 25 spaces, and instructions to write down their guesses. I took the extra time to wrap the pencils with twine using little dabs of hot glue as I wound the twine around. It just added another custom touch! mustache-party-table

Later in the party I read out the answers. My brother guessed every single one correctly and won a set of Mustache Chip Clips. Everyone had a blast trying to guess! (Btw, check out my awesome Bahamian blue ceiling on my porch! My husband surprised me by painting it while I was out of town a few months ago. We love the tropical Key West look it brings to our porch!)

party-guests-playing-guess-that-mustache

 

mustache-smash-cakeFor Luke’s smash cake I made a little mustache cake. It was so simple to do! I just baked a chocolate cake in a 6″ round. After it cooled I leveled it and cut it into a yin-yang shape. Then I flipped one side over and placed them side by side. I frosted it using chocolate frosting and a Wilton #47 basket weave tip. *Here’s a great tutorial with photos that might help.

boy-first-birthday-mustache-cake

 

Luke thoroughly enjoyed his birthday cake! He’s such a sweet boy he wanted to share a bite with Mommy. And he went straight into the bath and took a nice long nap after a wonderful 1st birthday party!

Mustache-birthday-cake-first-birthday-smash-cake

 

 

 

4 Secret Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Smoothies

When I was pregnant I was a smoothie fiend. I was drinking one almost everyday. Now my son LOVES them! I love adding good-for-you ingredients to my own smoothies, because I’m a health nut and I like veggies, but its a great way to pack tons of nutrition into a sweet treat for my boy. Here are 4 awesome ingredients that you should definitely start adding to your smoothies, and your kids’! (P.S. Click on the image above for a delicious smoothie recipe ala Amy, from the Fearless Homemaker,!)

This week I am super excited to be participating in Williams-Sonoma’s Smoothie Week. Williams-Sonoma is a magical wonderland for cooks. I happened to have been in the store earlier this week getting my mom a Chinois for her birthday. My dad thinks its a potato masher ::shaking my head::

1) KEFIR

Kefir is like a thin yogurt that comes in a bottle. It pours out easily and blends in perfectly. If you’re already adding yogurt to your smoothies then you should definitely make the switch to Kefir. Its much easier to pour in, than having to scoop out of those tiny cups. It adds just the right touch of creaminess, sweetness, and is packed with pro-biotics that help support a healthy digestive and immune system. You can find Kefir in most supermarkets in the dairy section by the butter and yogurt. It is best to get organic Kefir if you can find it because you want the milk to come from cows who have not been given antibiotics, hormones and steroids.

2) SPINACH

Adding spinach is a great way to load up on vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. The reason I love adding spinach as opposed to other greens is because it adds virtually no flavor, and the soft leaves blend up very easily, even in cheaper blenders. I have a cheap black & decker blender and the spinach gets super smooth. I’ve tried Kale in the past but I found the stronger flavor was much more noticeable, and the tougher leaves didn’t get completely blended (I’m sure a vitamix would have done the trick. They happen to sell them at Williams-Sonoma and no they didn’t pay me to tell you that, I just know its a super awesome blender, and you can pick up things like fleur de sel or a fancy potato masher while you’re there!) I add about 2 handfuls. It will make your smoothie green but it still tastes amazing! Try it out!

3) CARROT JUICE (or any vegetable juice!)

You can pick up organic carrot juice at Costco for a good price. Or you can find it at any regular supermarket (maybe not organic). I love adding carrot juice because it adds little to no vegetable flavor, but it is packed with awesome benefits. You could easily add all sorts of vegetable juices to your smoothies, like cucumber juice, beet juice, or celery juice. This is a great way to sneak in veggies if you don’t like them, or if you have a hard time getting your kids to eat them.

4) COCONUT OIL

The benefits of coconut oil for our skin are pretty well known, but did you know that consuming about a Tbps of coconut oil a day can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight? Plus it adds a lovely light coconut flavor to your smoothies. That’s a good enough reason for me! You can also get a huge jar of coconut oil from Costco for about $16. One of these jars lasts me almost a year! That’s about as good as it gets.

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How to Organize Your Craft Supplies with an Art Cart

Now that I’m a mom things have gotten super busy around here, from playdates, to nap time, to doing cloth diaper laundry, I don’t always get time to blog as often as I’d like. However, I know how much you rely on HomemakerChic for all your creative juicing needs (you do right?), so I’m not leaving you hanging. In the weeks that I’m not able to post, you’re going to be getting the super awesome joy of hearing from some dazzling friends of mine. I have some uber crafty and clever friends so you will not be disappointed one bit.
Today you’ll be hearing from my sweet friend Shawna, who is a talented photographer and blogger over at Perfection is My Enemy. We took a fun trip to IKEA recently to come up with a solution for her kid’s craft troubles. I had some adorable bottles that I got from SKS Bottle awhile ago. I had great plans for using them to organize my craft room but alas they were gathering dust, and that just wouldn’t do, so I offered them to Shawna and the kids with the ulterior motive of having her do a guest post (I’m so very sneaky). So without further adieux… Meet Shawna!
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As a homeschooling mom I’m always trying to think of good ways to get the kids’ creative juices flowing, especially since we just started a new school year. I want to keep the “I’m bored” comments at bay and the requests for screen time to a minimum as well as get some creative breaks into our school day.
Confession: I’m not a super crafty mom.
 I like the idea of crafts but I don’t ever actually do them.  
My daughter on the other hand is totally into them.  She would craft and draw or paint all day if she could.  The problem was that all of our crafting and art supplies were tucked neatly away into boxes where you couldn’t see them.  I prefer things put away, but I could see that the out of sight, out of mind mentality was a little too prevalent with this storage method.  I decided to get everything out in the open and in one place. I headed to Ikea where I got the Raskog kitchen cart (along with a few other things, how could I not!).  After a surprisingly easy assembly it was ready for our art supplies!  
 
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The good news is that the only thing I had to buy was the cart. Everything else I already had on hand! Plus, my lovely friend who writes this lovely blog donated a box of craft jars for me to use.  
I love that this cart has open trays.  You can see everything at a glance and you can’t knock anything off because of the deep sides. My absolute favorite thing is that we have a whole jar full of freshly sharpened pencils!  If you are like us then you know how hard it can be to find a pencil when it’s time to do an assignment and this has saved us many wasted minutes searching for them.  
The top tray has most of the items that we use on a daily basis like markers, crayons, glue, tape, scissors, and colored pencils (kept in the pencil box since we often take it with us places).  
 
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The middle shelf is reserved for paints and other craft supplies.  This is where the jars came in really handy.  I love that they have lids to keep all those beads and shells from spilling.  
 
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We also found other craft stuff we had forgotten we even had, so we added some thread and various fabric scraps and modeling clay in the wooden box.
 
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The third shelf is where we are keeping our paper supplies.  There are coloring books and paper pads and doodle books along with card stock and construction paper.  Originally we had the paper in a tray but it always ended up a mess so the loose leaf stuff like construction paper is now kept in that sturdy purple folder and seems to be working much better at staying neat.  
 
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The box was one of the original art boxes we had, but now it holds paper scraps and ribbon instead of all those bottles of paint!  Some things do need to be kept in a box in my opinion, but you could always opt for a see through box if you want everything truly out and in plain sight, I just wanted to use what I had on hand so I went with what I had.  
 
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My children have been crafting and creating art much more since we introduced the art cart so I would say it’s been a great success.  It also looks great!  And it’s on casters so if you did want to hide it out of the way for any reason, you can wheel it around easily. I hope you and your kids enjoy crafting much more this school year!
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About the Contributing Author:

Shawna is a wife, homeschooling mom, photographer, recovering perfectionst and writer of the blog Perfection is My Enemy

rustic-raspberry-lemon-buttercream-layer-cake

Rustic Lemon Raspberry Buttercream Layer Cake

raspberry-lemon-layer-cake-homemakerchic.comI love family get togethers because it gives me the chance to show off my baking chops and to try out new recipes. Which really benefits everyone, especially you! Well maybe it benefits my family slightly more because they get to sample the delicious treats! This summer I made this fabulous Lemon Raspberry Layer cake which was equally as scrumptious as it was gorgeous. And the rustic messy buttercream frosting is so splendidly simple to do.rustic-buttercream-raspberry-lemon-layer-cake-homemakerchic.com

You will need two batches of your favorite vanilla cake recipe or vanilla cake mix. Its surprisingly easy to find organic and gluten-free cake mixes now! They’re a bit more expensive than your usual Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker mix, but they don’t have all the garbage in the ingredients. Check out your local supermarket (super Target, whole foods and Trader Joes have great selections) for products from Bob’s Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills or you can grab them on Amazon and have them delivered to your door!

 

Here’s what you need for the cake:

  • 2 x vanilla cake mixes (or your favorite homemade recipe)
  • 2-3 lemons (you will need 2 for the juice and zest, and one for garnish)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (plus 8-10 extra berries for garnish)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 cups seedless raspberry jam
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Pink food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 x – 8″ cardboard cake round

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 7.5 cups confectioners’ sugar (one 2 lb bag)
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat until blended.
  2. Add the milk, lemon zest and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

 

Make the following adjustments to your mix-

Lemon Cake:

  1. Substitute half lemon juice and half water for the liquid called for in the instructions.
  2. Substitute melted butter for the oil called for in the mix.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of freshly grated lemon zest.
  4. Add 5-6 drops of yellow food coloring.
  5. Pour into two 8″ greased cake pans. I like to use Baker’s Joy cooking spray with flour added. Bake as directed

Raspberry Cake:

  1. Substitute cream for the water called for in the mix.
  2. Substitute melted butter for the oil called for in the mix.
  3. Add 1/2 cup pureed and sieved raspberries (about 1 cup of whole berries). Be sure to use fresh, ripe, sweet berries. Its best to let them ripen for a few days before you make the cake, so they are at their peak sweetness. Sieve them through some cheesecloth or a chinois (which is really just a fancy pants version of a fine strainer) to remove all the seeds. Because let’s face it, no one likes raspberry seeds.
  4. Add a few drops of hot pink food coloring, and 1-2 drops of red food coloring to get a nice deep raspberry color.
  5. Pour into two 8″ greased cake pans. Bake as directed.

Assembly and Frosting

yellow-and-pink-layered-cake

To make this glorious layered effect we are going to be torting this cake. To tort a cake just means you are slicing each layer in half and adding filling in between. This makes your cake slices look beautiful plus it gives you more filling which makes for a much more delicious cake.

I recommend using a cake slicer (or cake saw) like this one from Wilton. You can use it to level off the tops of your cake, then drop it down to the lowest setting and slice your cakes in half. Be sure to do this on a level counter or table or your cakes will end up lopsided.

Slice all four cakes in half. Then begin by smearing a little frosting on your cake board then place the bottom raspberry piece down. The frosting will keep the cake from sliding around. Add about 1/2 cup of jam in the center and spread it around leaving about 1/2 inch of space all around the edge (that way when you place your next layer on the jam doesn’t smush out the sides.) Next, add a lemon layer and more jam. Continue layering one raspberry, then one lemon layer, with jam in between until you get to the top. Make sure your top piece is a “bottom” layer of one of your cakes. That way you will have a smooth top and not too many crumbs. Does that make sense?

Now for the frosting. Just drop a big blob of frosting on the top of your cake and, using a large offset spatula, begin working the buttercream down the sides in smooth swirly motions. Don’t worry about making it too smooth. Just make sure you have a nice even layer. Then go back and using the tip of the spatula make some nice rustic swirls. Finally, slice your lemon and stick a few slices around the bottom of the cake and add a few berries for garnish. That’s all she wrote friends! I hope you enjoy this delicious and delightful cake!

lemon-raspberry-with-lemon-buttercream-frosting-layer-cake