Orange + Carrot + Rosemary Ice Pops

Orange + Carrot + Rosemary Ice Pops www.sparklepantsgirl.com I can hardly believe that it’s the last week of school for my kiddos. Arizona schools get out for summer so stinkin’ early. I guess it has to do with the heat, but  heck, it’s still May! Of course no treat screams summer more than ice pops. It’s time to get creative, sneak in those veggies and introduce some new, yet subtle flavors into those little mouths. There’s no better way to kick off the summer, but with some ice pops! Orange Carrot Rosemary www.sparklepantsgirl.com That picture is way too serious. I mean we’re making ice pops here… Orange Carrot Smile www.sparklepantsgirl.com Thats more like it. Those gorgeous carrots and rosemary came from my Chow Locally box. Aren’t those colors splendid? You’ll need a juicer to make these ice pops. Or maybe not. Could you use a blender? I don’t know. I’ve never put carrots in a blender. You’ll also need popsicle molds. I use the Norpro Ice Pop Maker, but there are a gazillion different types of molds. Some are super cool, check some out here. Don’t forget popsicle sticks!

Orange + Carrot + Rosemary Ice Pops
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 oranges (I used the Cara Cara variety)
  • 8 carrots
  • 1 to 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup simple syrup (see instructions below) or sweetener of choice to taste
Instructions
  1. Juice the carrots with the rosemary leaves. Be sure to start with a small amount of rosemary and then add more if for more rosemary flavor if need. Pour into a separate container. Juice the oranges.
  2. Mix the two juices together, a little at a time, until you get the perfect balance between carrot and orange.
  3. Add simple syrup until you reach desired sweetness. I use less than ¼ cup.
  4. Pour into the mold leaving ⅓ of space at the top.
  5. Freeze 6-8 hours or overnight.
  6. ***For the simple syrup, put 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a pot. Heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Store in a mason jar in the fridge.***

Orange Carrot Juice www.sparklepantsgirl.com The juices may separate a bit while it’s freezing. But that just makes it prettier! Orange, carrot and rosemary ice pop | www.sparklepantsgirl.com

Stay cool!
xoxo
{This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small compensation to help pay for the blog.}

Eat Pretty Veggies – Not-So-Sweet-Pickled-Beets


Not So Sweet Pickled Beets

Howdy folks! Welcome to another installment of Eat Pretty Veggies, where I get creative with the the vegetables that come in my CSA box that I don’t quite know what to do with. {Like my Chicken Fennel Salad recipe.}

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For a couple weeks straight, there were beets from Blue Sky Farms in my Chow Locally box. In the past I have thrown them into my juicer, with some other veggies and made a delicious and nutritious drink. But I’m not so into juicing lately, so I had to figure out what to do with these rascals. Thankfully, they last for a week or two in the fridge, if stored properly.

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Pickling the beets was the first thing that popped in my mind. I’ve had pickled beets before, but they were sweet and had a cinnamon flavor. I like cinnamon in french toast and cinnamon rolls…not so much in my beets.

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Not-So-Sweet Pickled Beets
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 beets - medium size
  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper (to taste - I like to use lots!)
  • 2 quart size canning jars with lids
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and cut the leaves off the beets, leaving about one inch of stem on.
  3. Line a roasting pan with enough foil to make a tent over the food. Place the beets, whole garlic cloves, one red onion that has been quartered and sprigs of fresh rosemary into the foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold over the foil to make a tent and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the beets are cooked and the peels come off easily.
  4. Once the beets are roasted, let cool until they are not too hot to touch. Gently rub the beets until all the skin has been peeled off. You can discard the rest of the roasting products.
  5. In a sauce pan, heat vinegar, water and sugar until boiling and sugar has dissolved.
  6. Thinly slice beets and red onion, and layer them into sterilized quart jars.
  7. Pour vinegar/water/sugar mixture over the beets, making sure they are submerged in the liquid.
  8. Tap the jars to make sure there isn't any air bubbles.
  9. Finger-tighten lids to jars and place leave on counter until they are cool enough to put into the refrigerator.
  10. Refrigerate for 1-3 days prior to eating.
  11. Keep in the refrigerator.
  12. Use within 3 weeks.
  13. Enjoy!

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Roasted Beets

Look at the color of those beets! I used regular white distilled vinegar. You could use cider vinegar, but I didn’t want the fruity flavor the cider would bring to the beets. Remember…not sweet!

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Yup they taste ahh-maz-ing! I can eat them right out of the jar, but I’m craving them on a salad. Stay tuned for a recipe of course!

Pickled Beets

 

 

xoxo

Canning Jar and Chicken Wire Lanterns

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Ball jars, Mason jars, canning jars… Whatever you want to call them, they are fun and they have made their way out of the kitchen and into home decor. Somewhere I had seen some canning jars covered in chicken wire being sold for $25 to $30. Well, there was no way I was going to pay that much for something I felt like I could make myself.

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Supplies: Chicken wire, canning jars, flat nose plier, cutting plier, spray paint, wire (24 gauge) candles or LED tea lights

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So start by lining up the  lip of the jar at the smooth edge of the chicken wire. Cut the wire so that it wraps all the way around the jar, and overlaps an inch or two. I  used the hexagonal rows as my indicators. You want one or two inches  of the chicken wire to hang over the bottom of the jar.

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Twist together the ends of the chicken wire together, pulling it pretty tight, particularly at the top portion of the jar. Use the flat nose pliers or wear protective gloves and make sure you’ve had your tetanus shot, those edges are pokey little buggers. Then pull out the jar from the bottom so that you can really wrap the wires tight.

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Wrap the wires and tuck them in themselves the best you can. Snip off any ends of wires that are poking out.

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Now is the time to add a handle if you want to hang it. I added the handle after painting it so that the handle showed up better in the picture. Slip a long length of 24 or 22 gauge wire through the top of the chicken wire. You are then going to double-up the wire, wrap the wire around the chicken wire a couple of times to secure it, then twist the  doubled up wire until the end. Wrap the loose end of the handle on the opposite side of the chicken wire. Wrap it so that it’s tight and will handle the weight of the jar if you choose to hang it.

***DISCLAIMER: I had a lighted candle in the jar and the handle did get hot. Be cautious of this so that you don’t burn your fingers.***

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Take the chicken wire outside and spray paint it. Obviously, I chose gold, because I loved it with the blue Ball jars. But the ones I saw for sale were clear jars with oil-rubbed bronze chicken wire. Or get colorful! I’d love to see some with neon painted chicken wire!

Once the paint is dry, slip the jar back into the chicken wire from the bottom. Tighten the wire as best as you can, being careful, because you don’t want to scrape of  the paint.

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Start pinching together the chicken wire at the bottom of the jar. Cut off any amount that looks to be extra. Then wrap the wires at the base of the jar together so that it is tight and will hold the jar. Try to keep it as even as possible, because you want the lanterns to sit flat.

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Put candles in them, use them as a vase or plant some succulents in them. These are going to be perfect for our lovely suppers we will be eating outside (at least until the weather gets too hot!)

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I adore the way they look hanging on the cement wall!

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xoxo-

Jessa

 

Linked to these fabulous blog parties – Moonlight and Mason Jars, Project Stash, The Makers, Link Party Palooza, Be Different Act Normal, Think Pink Sunday, Nifty Thrifty Things, Tip Me Tuesday, The Creative Collection

Kaleidoscope Easter Eggs

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Happy spring! With Easter coming up in a few weeks it’s a great time to add a little color to your decor. The color of these straws that I found at Ikea screamed spring, and were my inspiration for the colors in these Easter eggs. I really enjoy the painted geometric angles and the hints of gold on these eggs. Gold is super popular right now, but I’m ridiculously slow to embrace it and add it into my decor. Baby steps here, baby steps.

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So run to the craft store and pick up a couple packages of paper maché eggs, gold spray paint, a sheet of craft vinyl and some paint.

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Go outside and spray the eggs gold. I did do some white ones, but they didn’t look as great. While the golden eggs are drying, cut small strips of vinyl, like about 1/4 of an inch wide. I used a paper cutter, and the sizes of my strips varied, but they were all close to the right size.

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Once the golden eggs are dry, wrap the vinyl strip on the egg. You can place it strategically or haphazard, whichever suits your fancy. Just make sure the vinyl is stuck smoothly on the egg, so you can minimize paint seepage.

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I used DecoArt’s Americana paints, in Poodleskirt Pink, Peony Pink, Bahama Blue, and Lemon Yellow. I also mixed the yellow and Peony Pink to make a pretty orange. No, this post isn’t sponsored by DecoArt, I’m just a big fan of their products.

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Use a quality paint brush to dab the paint on the egg, varying the colors.  Try to stay within the lines (Sometimes I still have problems doing that). I left some spots empty, so that more gold shows. Yeah, I’m daring.

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Let them dry completely and apply a second coat of paint. Once your paint is dry, gently peel off the vinyl. Make sure you pull straight up, or you might take some of the color off with the vinyl. I did that and I was pretty sad about it.

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That’s it! Now you just need to find a pretty way to display your Kaleidoscope Easter Eggs. Put them in a bowl on the coffee table, hanging from a little tree, or stick them on a candle stick.

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Here are the white ones… Pretty, but not striking like the gold.

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Kaleidoegg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xoxo-

Jessa

 

Linked to –  Link Party Palooza, The Makers, Tip Junkie, Show & Tell, Be Different Act Normal, Inspired Weekends, Nifty Thrifty Things, Think Pink Sunday

Falling Shamrock Tea Towel

Make a shamrock tea towel at sparklepantsgirl.com

It’s March! Spring is here in for us in Arizona and just around the corner for the rest of you. As a child back in Oregon, I used to spend hours hunting for the elusive four-leafed clover with my grandmother. I guess because of that shamrocks are rather special to me. My kitchen needed a little green, so I made this shamrock tea towel using DecoArt’s Ink Effects, which is a fabric transfer ink that you can paint on to plain paper and then iron on to fabric. Fun, huh?

Make a shamrock tea towel at sparklepantsgirl.com

Now, Ink Effects is meant to be used on fabric that is less than 30% cotton for a more saturated transfer, but the towels that I used are 100% cotton and gave me this watercolor effect that I love.

Supplies: DecoArt Ink Effects in green, teal and blue, Ink Effects Base Coat, paint brush, plain copy paper, cotton dish towel (here), shamrock template or stencil, iron.

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Start by tracing or stencilling the shamrocks. I just traced around these felt ones that I bought. I traced lots and lots of different sizes. I also did an image search and traced some shamrocks right off of the computer screen. I guess I could have just printed them, silly me.

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Once you have quite a few shamrocks it’s time to start painting. The color of the paint appears really dark on the paper, but don’t worry, it will match the color of the cap of the paint. I promise.

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I painted the clovers in a thin layer of paint, then let them dry for an hour. I used way more green than teal or blue.20140305-163903.jpg

Once the paint is dry, spray the towel with the Ink Effects Base Coat. The Base Coat helps the ink transfer better to fabrics that are less than 40% synthetic material. Let the Base Coat dry for a few minutes while the iron is heating up. Heat up the iron to the hottest non-steam setting it has. I found a little travel iron that has a switch to turn off the steam and still be on a cotton setting. Between that function and its little size, it worked perfect for this project.

Cut around a shamrock or two, and lay the paper painted side down on the towel. Place a blank piece of paper on top of that and start ironing. The transfer needs about 3 minutes of heat from the iron. Make sure that the steam is off and to move the iron around so that you get an even transfer.

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Take off that shamrock and iron on another. I used some of the shamrock transfers more than once to get a lighter transfer. The effect looks like watercolor and I love the blues and the greens.

I read that on cotton the colors will fade a bit in the wash, even with the Base Coat. So I hand washed it in cool water and it faded very slightly. Yay!

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If you look closely, there’s a lucky four-leafed clover in there for you!

 

Bye for now!

Jessa

 

Linked to these lovely blog parties… Moonlight and Mason Jars, Link Party Palooza, Nifty Thrifty Things, Inspired Weekends, Think Pink, Sunday Showcase, Tip Me Tuesday, The Makers, Show and Tell

 

 

{This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small compensation.}

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Sparkly Wintery Wreath

I absolutely love making wreaths. Seriously. I mean for $15 (sometimes less) you can get all the supplies you need and craft something festive for your front door! This wreath is SUPER SPARKLY! (it was really hard to capture the intense sparkle in the pictures)
Wintery Wreath Supplies: 18 inch grapevine wreath, 18 silver berry floral picks (half of them glittery), pinecones, DecoArt Snow-Tex, glue, silver and white acrylic paint, glitter, floral wire, hot glue gun and glue, wooden laser cut snowflakes.

20131202-143340.jpgStart by tucking in the silver berry stems evenly around the wreath, using either the floral wire or hot glue to secure them in place.

20131202-103656.jpgI found a bag of pine cones left over from a couple years ago. Using the DecoArt Snow-Tex and a popsicle stick, I put a little Snow-Tex on each of the pine cone’s scales. Snow-Tex is cool stuff that DecoArt sent me a couple of years ago. It reminds me of grout for tile. It’s gritty and doesn’t seem to stick well to your project when it’s wet. But miraculously, it dries hard and sticks fast to whatever it’s applied to. I sprinkled the cones with clear glitter before the Snow-Tex dried. 

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Once dry, the pine cones were glued on in groups around the wreath with the hot glue gun.

I found the large wooden snowflakes at Lowe’s and the small ones in the button section at Joann’s. I painted some of them white and some silver. Then glittered them with coarse German glass glitter. I love this stuff. It doesn’t get more real than glittering with SHARDS OF GLASS. Hello sparkle!

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Glue the snowflakes around the wreath. That’s all! I love how easy this is!

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Linked to: Moonlight and Mason Jars, By Stephanie Lynn, Link Party Palooza