ah, memorial day. summer is finally here. it was a long/late winter here in colorado and I couldn’t be happier to have the final snow melted and the sun blazing. along with the rest of the country, I spent the weekend outdoors, playing tennis, swimming and celebrating with friends. welcoming summer again with open arms. and cocktails. I recently have been obsessed with watermelon juice and knew that i had to come up with a cocktail using it. These watermelon gin fizz slush drinks (or water-fizzes, as I now refer to them) are delicious, refreshing and summery. Here’s the recipe:
4 cups of watermelon juice (from approximately half a watermelon)
1/2 cup of fresh lime juice (approximately 4 limes)
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
Zest of two limes
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves chopped
Gin (or Vodka if you prefer)
Juice approximately half a watermelon. This can be done with a juicer or by cutting into chunks and using a food processor or blender. I used my stick/immersion blender. After it is pureed, run through a mesh strainer/sieve to remove any pulp or seeds. There can be some pump but you want it to be mainly juice.
Then make simple syrup by combining the juice of 4 limes, zest of 2 limes, 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 1/4 of chopped mint leaves in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil making sure to stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature and either strain the mint leaves or use your stick blender to puree them into the syrup.
Combine simple syrup and watermelon juice with 1 cup of Gin (or Vodka is you prefer). Pour into quart containers leaving at least an inch of room at the top and freeze over night.
To assemble, remove the frozen quart container from the freezer and using a spoon flake it and scoop into a glass. Then pour a shot of gin or vodka and enough soda water into the glass until the slush is covered, stir until they are combined and have a slurpee-esque consistency. Add a straw, garnish with a lime if desired and serve. This recipe should make about 12 healthy servings.
I’m heading to Austin after work for Quilt Con 2013. Looking forward to learning new skills, catch-up with family and friends and visit some of my favorite restaurants. I’ll be tweeting and instagraming as much as possible, so please feel free to follow. If you’re down there, come join CityCraft for Happy Hour at the Lustre Pearl on Thursday from 6 to 8pm. Cheers! xo Kristi
I decided to make mini aprons for all my single girlfriends this Valentine’s with Alexander Henry’s “Game of Love” fabric paired with Moda’s Pink Ombre fabric. I mean, who wouldn’t want to receive this on Valentine’s right? Right.
– 1/2 yard for the front, cut 22in x 18in
– 1/2 yard for the back, cut 22in x 18in
– 4 ft of coordinating ribbon
Place front fabric and back fabric right sides together. Cut the 4 ft of ribbon in half. Place and pin one ribbon in the upper left corner 1/2 in from the top (between the front and back fabric), with about an 1in of the ribbon sticking out. Repeat the same process on the right hand side.
Pin the rest of the sides together, sew the fabric with a 1/2in seam, but remember to leave an opening at the bottom of the apron. Turn apron right side out. Iron bottom seam close and top stitch with 1/4in seam.
Music has the amazing ability to transport me to a time and a place. I still remember what I was wearing when Milli Vanilli first told me toBlame It On The Rain, the moment that Purple Rain narrated a hard breakup and when Justin taught me that I could bring Sexy Back. Songs have always provided a soundtrack to my life through love, loss, sadness, happiness, laughter, tears and more. A few years ago, I started making monthly music mixes so that I could track what I was listening to and if I felt like it, travel back in time for a few hours by playing one of them.
I noticed a pattern this year, January is pretty much the same mix as everything I was listening to in November and December (minus the holiday music). And come February, I more or less have no interest in listening to any of those songs ever again. Which results in spectacular mixes in February with brand spanking new music. Since it’s so hard to find new music, I thought I would share this mix with you.
Last week I jetted off to Amsterdam with my best friend from high school and her mother, who grew up in Delph. The mother daughter duo visit the Netherlands every December and I was thrilled to be part of the trip this year.
We stayed at a fabulous boutique hotel called The Dylan. Definitely recommend it if it fits within your budget. The staff were wonderful and the hotel itself was quiet, cozy and beautiful.
In regards to food, I made it my mission to eat fries at every meal (excluding breakfast). Needless to say, we walked all over the city, so I didn’t feel guilty with the daily indulgence. My favorite sampling of fries was at George W.P.A., paired with a glass of champagne. Cheers to lunch on vacation! Other restaurant favorites included Cafe Luden – perfect spot for tomato soup in the afternoon. As for dinner, we ended up visiting BHIP twice as it was conveniently located across the canal from our hotel. The owner was friendly, fun, and gave us plenty of suggestions of where to go next. If you’re a history buff who enjoys beer, be sure to grab a drink at Cafe Hoppe – technically the oldest bar in Amsterdam. We had a great time visiting with the locals while playing a few round of cards.
As for shopping, our hotel was located on the edge of The Nine Streets. We had a great time perusing the boutiques and if you’re in the market for a new pair of boots, be sure to visit Fred la Bretoniere. Your check book may be sorry, but the store does not disappoint at all. Cheers! xo Kristi
Tutorials for painted and dipped spoons have been floating around the interwebs for the better part of this year. I have always loved them and intended to make my own but had never found the time. Last week as I was getting ready to head to a friends for a holiday party, inspiration struck and I decided to do these but with a holiday twist. These could not be easier and a matching pair work as serving spoons or as salad servers. Here’s what you’ll need:
+ wooden spoons (i bought two three packs of michael graves wooden spoons at target – not available online)
+ craft paint (red: haberno and white: wedding cake satin acrylic paint by martha stewart crafts at michaels)
+ 1 inch thick painters tape (my fave is frog)
+ paint brush
+ food safe shellac (zimmers bullseye)
+ scissors and/or pinking sheers
You want to make sure that you buy spoons that do not have shellac on them already but if you make the mistake and do purchase them, don’t panic, just take some sand paper to them and roughen up the surface so that you can paint it. Then, you want to prep and tape the spoons for the first layer of paint. I choose varying lengths for the painted portion of the spoons, it was about the 1/3 of the spoon and I tried to make them as even as possible by measuring and marking with a pencil before adding the tape.
Once the spoon was taped, I painted the first layer of paint one red and one white for each of the pair of spoons. Paint two coats and allow to dry for an hour or so. Then using your tape and scissors apply the tape for the lines on the paint keeping in mind that the areas under the tape will remain the color of the first layer of paint. Make sure that you press the tape down firmly so that you get as clean as line as possible. Once the tape is in place, paint two coats of the opposite color and set aside to dry. Since I painted both the front and back of the spoons, I found that the best way to allow them to dry was to place the spoons on my counter top with the painted handle hanging over the edge. Allow to dry for an hour and remove the tape.
Do touchups as necessary and when you are happy with the final product, spray with two coats of the shellac and tie the pair in together with a bow
I did a set where I created a zig zag stripe by cutting the tape with my pinking sheers. These were by far the most “homemade” looking of them all but I fell in love and kept them for myself. The others have been set aside to hand out as I head to holiday parties this year. Make sure you let the hostess know that these are not dishwasher safe (but you really shouldn’t wash wooden spoons in the dishwasher anyway).
In my office, I tend to be the person in charge of birthday celebrations (no surprise). I tend to take advantage of these special occasions and use them as opportunities to try out my craziest recipes. Today, I made these:
I had seen a photo of these on Pinterest but was unable to find a source website for this (if you know of one let me know and I will link back to it). Essentially these are the easiest things in the world. Here is what you need:
1 box Brownie Mix (My favorite is Ghiradelli)
24 Regular Oreos
Creamy Peanut Butter
Mix your favorite brownie mix according to the directions on the box and preheat your oven accordingly. Then place paper liners in a muffin pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Then sandwich two Oreos together with a decent layer of peanut butter between and on top of the cookie and place in the muffin pan. Once you have assembled 12 oreo sandwiches and placed them in the muffin tin, take an 1/4 cup measuring spoon and pour the brownie batter over them until covered. Then bake for between 20 – 30 minutes so that a toothpick comes clean when used to inserted into the brownie.
Happy Thanksgiving from both of us. We hope that you have wonderful weeks filled with family, celebration and good food. And don’t forget, if you need something to do with the leftover stuffing, consider our stuffing bread!