Monthly Archives: June 2013

Freedom Fruit Pizza

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Yesterday I showed you how to create a festive 4th of July wreath, and today I want to share a great recipe I found on Pinterest from Skinny Mom’s blog.  Fruit pizza is always a favorite in my house.  Not only is it delicious, it’s also incredibly beautiful with the colors the variety of fruits you choose bring to the dish.  To add even more 4th of July flair to this years celebration I decided to make an American Flag version of this family favorite.  I’m always one to test out recipes before the actual event, so this blog will be about my prototype version! You can find the recipe and step by step directions here.

The supplies you’ll need include a 16 once roll Pilsbury Sugar Cookie dough (find it in the refrigerated section), a 8 ounce block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup Splenda, fresh strawberries, and fresh blueberries.

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I prefer to limit the amount of artificial sweeteners and sugar that I consume so for the recipe I cut out the Splenda and used less than ¼ cup of sugar, it was plenty sweet and cut even more guilt out of enjoying the treat!

CIMG2765First the sugar cookie dough was kept in the refrigerator until it was completely chilled (easier to work with). Next the dough was pushed into a rectangle compressing each side to make the shape.

 

 

 

 

CIMG2768After it was rectangular a rolling pin was used to thin the dough and spread it further on the cookie sheet.  It was baked in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and cooled completely.

 

 

 

 

CIMG2780As the cookie rectangle was cooling, the cream cheese and sugar were mixed together with a hand mixer until it was fully combined and smooth.  The fresh fruit was washed and the strawberries were quartered long ways. Once the cookie was cool the cream cheese mixture was spread evenly on the cookie.  Finally blueberries were added to the top left hand corner of the frosted cookie to represent stars, and the quartered strawberries were put in four straight lines to represent the stripes.

 

…AND Ta-Da!  The finished product was beautiful!

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This recipe is definitely Pinteresting. Not only did my family really enjoy the dessert, I also love that this recipe attempts to cut down on the sugar.  Most fruit pizza recipes add a marmalade glaze or powdered sugar to up the sweetness.  In Skinny Mom’s blog, the recipe incorporates both minimal amounts of sugar and Splenda, and 1/3 less fat cream cheese to cut down on the calories. Although the sugar cookie dough still contains fat and sugars, even cutting out minimal amounts of sugar can have a positive effect on health in the long run!

This recipe is worth a try.  It only took about 45 minutes to create, looks beautiful and was delicious! Try it out, and check out other recipes and tips Skinny Mom has blogged.  Her content is great.

Happy Pinning!

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Let Freedom Wreath

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Fourth of July is fast approaching and I figured I needed to mix a little Patriotic Pride with Pinterest in my blog! I love wreaths at Christmas time and when I find wreath ideas suited to different holidays I’m always on board to recreate them! I found a great pin for an American flag themed wreath.  For under $10 I recreated this festive clothespin wreath to add a little American flair to my front porch!

Supplies included clothespins, a floral wire wreath (I found one at Wal-Mart), blue and red spray paint, white poster paint and a small paint brush. The size of your floral wire wreath will determine the number of clothespins you need. I also used clothespins with different lengths to give it a less symmetrical feel.

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First the floral wreath was sprayed with red spray paint and let dry.  Then I painted 27 clothes pins red, left 36 clothes pins unpainted (my house is white, so white clothespins would have blended in when the wreath was hung), and painted 17 clothes pins blue.

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After all the blue clothes pins had dried, I took the white poster paint and painted four white stars on each of the clothespins. In the original pin, the blogger uses white star stickers.  This is an even better idea than painting the stars on.  I was trying to be extra creative… sometimes less is more!

After all the paint was dry the red and white clothes pins were pinned on to floral wire wreath in sections.  Each section contained 9 white clothes pins, or 9 red clothes pins, alternating the sections. All the blue clothes pins were placed on the wreath in one section.  Finally the wreath was hung on a nail that was already on the side of the house, with the blue section at the top left corner.  I found this project very simple with the most time consuming portion being painting the clothes pins and letting them dry.  The wreath really popped against my all white house and can actually be seen from the street!

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Not only is this pin a great option for a simple 4th of July decoration, it could be left up all year as an alternative to a traditional American Flag. I’m calling this project Pinteresting. It took less than two hours to make including drying time, and has gotten tons of compliments from the neighbors! Do you have any other ideas for alternative holiday decorations? If so comment and link them below!

Happy Pinning,

Pitch Perfect Pockets

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Baseball has always had a huge influence in my life.  Not only did I play baseball and softball growing up, my dad also played and coached Major League Baseball for the Houston Astros.  My sisters and I have always had a passion for the game, and for our hometown team the San Diego Padres.  When I found this pin for baseball shorts my sisters were beyond excited, and since one of my sisters will be spending her 15th birthday at a Colorado Rockies game, she insisted the shorts be one of her presents. You can find the original pin and detailed directions here. I love that the blogger who created the original pair is a Padres fan as well! She has great baseball themed ideas for jewelry and clothing on her blog.

Supplies include a pair of white shorts (I think denim would be great as well), red crochet thread, a needle, a ruler and a pencil.

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The blogger put her laces on the sides of her shorts, but I preferred the laces on the pockets.  I started by drawing a faint curved line from the top left corner of the pocket to the bottom left corner and then did the same on the right side of the pocket. The process was repeated for the other pocket. Then straight stitches were sewn on meeting in the middle of the pencil line.

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Although it took a good amount of time to create these shorts, they are definitely Pinteresting.  Not only are they super cute, it’s a new way to display your love for the game.  Grab some shorts, get stitching and catch a game or two!

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Happy Birthday Maddie!

 

 

 

 

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Happy Pinning,

Marble Nail Mayhem

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Interesting nail designs seem to be a hot trend the past couple seasons.  From leopard print and stripes, to ombré and paisley, crazy nails are in! When I saw this pin on Pinterest it really caught my eye.  I was really interested in how they could get the nail to look as if it was marbled. To my amazement the directions (which you can find here) said to use a bowl of water with nail polish swirled throughout to create this beautiful design.  Seemed easy enough, so I knew I had to try it.

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Here’s the example picture on the original pin

 

 

CIMG2711I followed the directions exactly.  Applied a base coat and let it dry completely. Then took a cup filled it with room temperature water and began swirling.  I started with the lightest color first and let a large drop of the color float into the water.  I continued with my other colors until the polish was assembled in concentric circles within the cup.  Next a toothpick was used to drag the polish from the outer ring of the circles to the middle of the cup. I did this a couple times to get a neat looking design.

 

 

 

 

 

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The directions said to put scotch tape around cuticle and finger tips to limit the polish adhering to skin (thought this was the smartest thing ever). I then dipped my index finger into the polish water until the whole nail was submerged.  A toothpick was used around the outside of the nail to remove excess polish.  I let the nail dry for about 15 minutes. Just to make sure it was set.  After, the tape was removed from the finger.

 

 

 

And Voilà … Well actually, not even close. Thank goodness I only did one nail!

 

The final direction was to add top coat to the nails, but with and end product looking like this…

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I decided to forgo any medium that would make this manicure last any longer than it needed to! The colors looked muddled and dull… not to mention it’s a complete mess to clean up… AND cleaning up this catastrophe ruined my  new dish brush.

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It WAS brand new!

I’m claiming this one a Pintrocity. Save yourself time and the mess. Skip the homemade marbled nails and just go buy Sally Hansen Nail Stickers!

 

Happy Pinning,

Almost Paleo Banana Nut Bread

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One of my favorite  treats has always been banana nut bread.  Making homemade banana bread was always one of my best childhood memories. I loved helping my grandmother measure out the ingredients, getting to use the hand mixer to combine it all together, and the sweet smell that infused the kitchen as it baked. Banana nut bread is still one of my favorite treats as an adult, but my dietary choices have changed quite a bit.  I was extremely excited when I found a Paleo version of this recipe from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body’s site on Pinterest.

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Instead of using regular flour and all sorts of sugars, this recipe keeps it simple, to the point and has great flavor.  I’m calling my version of this pin “Almost Paleo Banana Nut Bread” due to the fact that my sisters are beyond picky eaters.  I enjoyed making the recipe as is, but they insisted on adding a ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of walnuts to curb their ridiculous chocolate cravings.   I also bake my bread in muffin tins, not only is it a great portion control, it’s easy to take and eat on the go. You can find the original pin and recipe here. The recipe is incredibly simple and only took me 20 minutes to make and about 35 minutes to bake.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, honey, almond extract and coconut oil in a food processor (my food processor magically disappeared before making this recipe so I improvised and used my blender).  After the wet ingredients are well combined, add in the almond meal, salt, and baking powder.  Mix well until combined.  Finally, if desired, add in the walnuts and chocolate chips. I baked my muffin tins for about 35 minutes, checking every 10 minutes for done-ness with a toothpick.

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This recipe is definitely Pinteresting! I am convinced these are just as good, or even better than my grandma’s recipe (probably because I feel less guilty after eating them!). With how quick, easy, and delicious this recipe is, there’s no reason to not try it! Head to the store grab the ingredients and get to healthy baking!

 

Happy Pinning,

 

Thirsty Thursday with Tahoe Blue

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Yes, Thirsty Thursday is still a raging trend in the college community, and with the summer heat creeping up on us it’s time to break out the “Mama Medicine” (as my mother likes to call it) to relieve our aching bodies from this week’s stressful workload. I myself am an avid whiskey drinker, and was never really a vodka fan until I found the epitome of all clear liquids, Tahoe Blue Vodka.  I was introduced to this wonderful spirit by one of the partners in the company.  He claimed it was the smoothest vodka I would ever taste… and boy was he right!

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Tahoe Blue Vodka is special, and unlike most vodka that is distilled from alcohol made from grain, Tahoe Blue is a three blend concoction. And also happens to be the number one prize winning unflavored vodka from the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Competition. This vodka is distilled from three separate vodkas; one made with sugarcane, one made with grain, and one made with grapes.  This vodka is so smooth you can drink it straight with none of that dry throat feeling left behind like with other grain based vodkas. When I found pins on Pinterest providing recipes using Tahoe Blue Vodka, I was beyond excited.

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The first recipe I tried can be found here.  A simple Tahoe Blue Tonic. It took me less than five minutes to make, and probably less than five minutes to drink as well! Combine 2 ounces of Tahoe Blue Vodka over ice topped with tonic water with a squeeze of lime.  Garnish with lime if you want to look fancy! I thought this vodka was amazing straight, but when I added a little lime and tonic water, it just got even better.

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Not only is this vodka purely enjoyable to drink, they also donate a percentage of the proceeds towards preserving Lake Tahoe.

How Pinteresting! A simple pin to complete, yes. But what an awesome way to promote a local product and enjoy a great cocktail at the same time.  You can find a map of your closest retailer of Tahoe Blue Vodka here.  If your located in Northern Nevada head down to Costco on Old Clear Creek Road June 22 and June 23 12:00 -5:00 p.m. for Tahoe Blue Vodka’s Costco debut.

Happy Pinning,

Not-So-Cafeteria “Cafeteria Cookies”

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When you hear the words “cafeteria” and “cookies” in the same sentence, most of us would probably cringe in fear.  When my sisters brought me this Pinterest pin begging for me to make them these “cafeteria cookies”, as they were calling them (they look like the cookies the school sells at lunch), I was skeptical.  But after a lot of reassurance from my sisters insisting if the cookies tasted anything like the ones they could buy from their school the recipe would be a keeper, I decided to go ahead and try it out. Luckily I had all the ingredients in my pantry, making the allure of the recipe even more inviting.  You can find the original pin and recipe here.

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The recipe starts by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl the butter and sugars were creamed until well combined.  Next the eggs and vanilla were added and mixed in.  Add in the flour, baking soda, salt and instant vanilla pudding mix. YES, I said dry instant vanilla pudding mix.  Odd right? Stir well to combine.  The recipe calls for Mini M&M candies and mini chocolate chips, but all I had in my pantry were regular sized semisweet chocolate chips and they worked fine.

After the dough was combined a medium sized cookie scoop was used to create round shaped dough balls on the baking sheet 1 inch apart.  The dough was then baked for 10 minutes.

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I’m claiming this pin a success! These were the most amazing cookies I have ever eaten.  Not only were they chewy in the middle, they had a crunchy outer ring that provided the perfect crunch to offset the tender center. It must be the magical dry pudding mix that give these cookies their perfect composition.

 

 

 

 

The recipe took less than 30 minutes including cooking time (definitely the fastest batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made). But, our batch did not yield two dozen cookies as the original recipe said; I’m thinking this is a good thing since the cookies were so delicious! These cookies are very Pinteresting! After trying out this pin I will never use my traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe again.

Next feat, ditching the chocolate chips and vanilla pudding, and adding almond extract, lemon instant pudding mix, and lemon zest for a summery take on these delicious treats.  Try this recipe, I promise you will not be disappointed!

Happy Pinning,