Friday, May 24, 2013

DIY Easy Banner

The other day a friend at work asked me to make a "Thanks" banner for a last minute employee appreciation break.  I didn't have too much to work with except what I could find on hand here at the office.  So I gathered some blank pieces of paper and here is how it turned out...

I used regular 8x11 printer paper.  Four blue, three green and six white.

Print individual letters on each white piece and cut into triangles with a paper cutter.  Fold the blue and green pieces like an accordion beginning with the shorter side of the paper.

Use a hold punch to perforate the "fan" at one end.

Then thread a string or thin ribbon through each "fan" and each letter spacing them out evenly.

Flare out the bottom end of the "fan" and hang it up!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Just in time for summer

With summer right around the corner I've been looking for good recipes to make that are easy, healthy and delicious.  Today I made what I call Ruth's Rainbow Bean Salad.  The best part is that I didn't even have to go to the store but had all the ingredients on hand.  I love it when that happens!


Start by rinsing and draining 3 cans of beans.  I used Pinto beans, Southern Style Blackeye Peas, and Black Beans.  Place in a large bowl.  Chop up some purple cabbage, shredded carrots, one red bell pepper, half an onion and some fresh parsley.  Add some roasted red peppers chopped.  Mix it all together.

For the dressing I used seasoned rice vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Old Bay seasoning, cumin, black pepper, roasted garlic powder and salt.  Mix it all up and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the flavors all meld together.  Serve as a side to any summer meal.

Ruth's Rainbow Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz) Seasoned Southern Style Blackeye Peas, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) Black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
Parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp roasted garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate or at least an hour.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lovely mornings

Spring and summer are by far my favorite times of year. Flowers are blooming and everything looks lovely.  I love to wake up to the soft morning sunshine coming in through the window.  This was my view this morning at the breakfast table.  I am so blessed!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sourdough biscuits anyone?

Life has been busy and among some things that have been waiting for a bit of my time like my poor ignored blog was a jar of sourdough starter that a friend of mine had given me a while back.  I have a confession to make.  Even though I love cooking and baking I've always been a little intimidated by bread making.  So of course I kept putting it off... It kept staring at me on the kitchen counter and I kept trying to find time and a recipe I felt comfortable trying.  So this Saturday morning feeling rested after a good night's sleep I decided I would take on the jar of strange smelling goo.  I decided on a quick bread type recipe (I know, the safer choice!) and found one in a cookbook another friend of mine lent to me.  I've been wanting to try a recipe or two from "A Cowboy In The Kitchen".  Sure enough, there was a recipe for Sourdough Biscuits!

It look simple enough so I dove right in.  Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add 1 stick of butter cubed

Work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it's crumbly.

Time to add the mysterious goo... (sourdough starter) and mix until it comes together.  Don't over knead!

Turn it out unto a floured surface and roll out with your rolling pin.  One thing I would do differently is roll them a bit thicker next time (about 3/4 inch thickness).

 Cut out biscuits as close as possible with your biscuit cutter.

Place biscuits on a greased parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let rise for about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400.

Place in oven for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Butter the tops of the biscuits while they are hot for a little added goodness!  Serve warm with butter and honey... Enjoy!

~A Cowboy in the Kitchen by Grady Spears and Robb Walsh, page 95

Sourdough Biscuits 
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, chilled
3/4 cup Sourdough starter