Tuesday, July 19, 2016

DIY Beeswax Bowl Covers

It has been SO hot here in New York these past few weeks.  During the warmer months, cold salads, fresh cut fruits, etc. are a must. The only problem is that I find myself turning to plastic wrap to cover bowls for the fridge (...boooo for plastic).  After falling in love with a beeswax sandwich wrap I was given at Christmas last year, I decided it was time to whip up some of these beeswax bowl covers I'd been seeing everywhere as an alternative to plastic wrap.

I couldn't believe how easy it actually was to make a set of these, the hardest part was choosing between all of the beautiful fabrics at the store.
You will need:

-Favorite bowls for tracing
-Cotton Fabric (tightest weave possible. Looser weaves, like linens, will not take the wax well.)
-Scissors
-All natural beeswax  - block to be grated, or pellets ( approx. 0.5oz per cover)
-Parchment paper
-Baking sheet & Oven
-Pinking shears

-Preheat oven to 185 Degrees-

Step 1: Gather your favorite bowls (the bowls you'll primarily want to use the covers on). I chose a small, medium, and large bowl from my kitchen. Next, iron your fabric to release wrinkles and creases. 

Step 2: Lay your fabric on a flat surface, good side down, and place your first bowl (face down) on top. You'll want the finished cover to be 1.5 - 2" larger than the bowl so that you can "wrap" it. Measure (or eyeball) about 2 inches out from the lip and trace. Now cut out your circle.

Step 3: Place your fabric circle onto a parchment lined baking sheet, pretty side up, and sprinkle with grated beeswax (or pellets if you chose them). 
***Here is where I found it most important to watch what I was doing.  You do not need a lot of wax.  I had the best results when I sprinkled it sparingly all over the fabric... sparingly but super EVENLY.  The key was definitely even spacing, making sure that the sprinkles were spaced all around circle - up to, but not off, of the edges (see photo below).  By the first one I started see what the perfect amount would be. You want the wax, upon curing, to be thin and sturdy.

Step 4:  Slide the tray into the oven and bake for about five minutes, or until the wax has liquefied. Once it has, immediately remove to a cool counter and allow to set.

Tip: If you notice that you missed a spot, simply add a tiny piece of wax and return to the oven.  Some people like to spread the melted wax with a paintbrush, I did not find the need to do this once I had the right amount of wax down pat, but you may want to try it.

Step 5: Remove from the parchment paper and trim the edge with the pinking shears and you're done!

Your cover will mold down around the edge of the bowl by the warmth of your hands.
Your bowl covers should last about 1 year with proper care. To wash, use mild soap (like castile, or diluted dish soap) and cool water.  Do not expose to heat or flame, do not run under hot water or the wax will begin to melt. Because they are heat intolerant, it is a good idea to keep them away from raw meats. 

The cloths can also be used for treats outside of a bowl, like wrapping a hunk of cheese or a sandwich!

"How will I store these when I'm not using them!?"


How to store your wraps:  Roll in a piece of clean dry parchment paper and store the rolls in a drawer ( maybe where you used to keep the plastic wrap! Wink, wink). Or, if you have the space, lay them out flat in a kitchen drawer.

























I hope that if you make these, you'll feel as successful and happy as I did.  This was one of those projects that was extremely pleasing, and I've already been using my covers like crazy here.  Enjoy!

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Kiwi Melon Slush

Warmer weather is here!  Monday will bring the Strawberry Moon and the first day of Summer, which means it's time for cool summer treats...
Weekends at our house are spent down on the lake, and after a day of swimming and sand there is nothing better than a cold, icy drink.  This fresh, all-natural "Kiwi Melon Slush" is made in two minutes and can be sipped slowly as an afternoon treat.

Kiwi Melon Slush 
Makes 2 servings, double recipe for 4.

1/2 fresh cantaloupe
1 - 2 ripe kiwi
1 lemon
1 Tbs raw honey
2 cups ice
(Optional: Sprig of fresh mint for garnish)

Remove seeds from half of a cantaloupe and scoop out the fruit into a food processor or blender, careful to get the residual juices into blender as well. Add kiwi fruit, juice from lemon, honey and ice.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into tumblers and serve immediately, adding fresh mint sprig of desired.


Cool, refreshing, and healthy! It doesn't get much better than that!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Homegrown

Summer's here and being back outside in the garden is seriously the best thing ever. I am happiest out there in the yard; digging, snipping, planting, and pruning. It's even better when I have something yummy to bring back indoors with me at supper time.  Right now we're enjoying loads of fresh Green and Red Leaf lettuce, baby kale, and collard greens.  The herbs, in their metal wash tub, couldn't be happier and I've been finding ways to sneak basil into everything because it's my number one favorite scent and flavor of summer...

Little tip I learned from my Aunt Barb, planting marigolds along the perimeter of the beds helps to keep slugs etc. away!  Adds a wonderful pop of color too, don't you think?

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Happy Belly Smoothie

Entering my early thirties has been wonderful but, while I don't feel much older at heart, I'm starting to notice some physical changes, mainly with my belly.  It's taking a little more mindfulness lately to maintain healthy digestion (no more guzzling down three slices of pizza and a milkshake on a Friday night, what the heck!) Aside from being mindful of what I'm eating on regular days (because pizza on the weekend is still necessary), I've found that adding a certain amount of healthy probiotics to my daily diet makes an enormous difference in how I feel. 

One of my favorite ways to keep my belly happy is to consume live active cultures, found in most healthy yogurts and certainly in kefir.  If you've never tried Kefir, I would highly recommend it.  It has a very "tangy" flavor similar to plain Greek yogurt- but a little more tart.  It's also drinkable, which makes it perfect for smoothies!

If the taste of plain kefir is too intense for you, adding berries and other fruits to the blender totally helps.  Here's a really simple, yummy way to make a probiotic smoothie:

Happy Belly Smoothie
Blueberry, banana, with kefir

1 1/2 Cups plain, unsweetened kefir
1/2 Cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Whole banana

Add kefir, berries, and chopped banana to a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!



The great thing about this smoothie is you can sub in different berries and fruits to keep it exciting.  Strawberries, mango, or peaches are awesome substitutes for the blueberries...mix and match!  Have fun with the flavors!

Cheers!

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A Slow Spring

It's been a slow spring...slow in a relaxed way, taking every day as it comes and enjoying small moments of awakening outside. Bonfires with friends, trips to the chilly beach in anticipation of summer days, and lots of garden prep and planting at home.


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Sunday, March 13, 2016

No-Mess, Washi Tape Easter Eggs




Two weeks until Easter! Egg decorating is one of the best Spring activities, I love trying out new ideas each year to create cheery, spring-inspired eggs.  This year I found some adorable washi tape, and some even cuter fabric washi tape, and took a few rolls to some beautiful farm-fresh eggs.  The end result? adorable, no-mess/no-fuss Eggs!









This little project is so easy, it needs little explanation, just snip, stick, & enjoy! 
Here are a few tips:

-Make sure eggs are clean, dry and room temperature before sticking the tape.


-Using sharp scissors, cut sections and pieces of tape for creating different designs and patterns.  I even cut some strips in half, length wise, for thinner runs of tape.


-Since the tape is straight and the egg is curved, you will get some creases in pieces that wrap around the egg.  Simply smooth any creases and folds down using your fingernail.  (The thinner strips will wrap easier than wider pieces.)


If you've hardboiled your eggs, simply peel off the tape, shell the egg for eating.


Happy decorating!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Travels in Color: Bermuda

When you step off of the last step onto the tarmac, arriving in Bermuda, the air just feels different.  There's fragrance to it that only islands have...and the bright colors that saturate the island have already begun, in the blues and pinks of the big welcome sign over the airport door.
This was not my first trip to Bermuda, we'd gone several times growing up.  But it was my first time as an adult, with my husband, and even though my memories of travels there had been pretty sweet, they hadn't prepared me for what I would see anew.
It was pouring rain when we arrived and the taxi to the hotel wound us through tight streets flanked with coral rock and lush greenery.  Grandma pushed her face against the smooth sea air  through the open cab window despite the mist of rain, as we flew past breathtaking view after breathtaking view along the coast.  My strongest memory from prior trips was of the famous Horseshoe Bay, and the driver didn't miss a beat, pulling the cab to the side so we could admire the bay from above.  Voted one of the top 3 most beautiful beaches in the world, the minute you lay eyes on it, or walk along sand between towering rocks, you understand why. Fortunately, the sun came out the next day and back to horseshoe bay we went - suits en tow. 

Perhaps the most intoxicating thing about the island is the vibrant color, everywhere you turn.  Houses in every candy-colored hue dot the hillsides, smiling cheerily in big groups, surrounded by little farms and jungle-like foliage. The classic "Bermuda pink"  bungalows and homes around every bend.  Bright yellow mansions tucked up at the ends of private drives that are dotted with palms and aloe, barely visible from the street.

Flowers, ocean, buses and boats...nothing is afraid to be colorful....



We spent four blissful days in our pink stepped castle by the sea...I had the best (red!) curried chicken and was introduced to a Fish Chowder that I'm really excited to learn how to make. Looking forward to sharing some travel inspired recipes here with you all...

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