Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two-Sided Laundry Door Reminder with Mod Podge

Two-Sided Laundry Door Reminder by The Silly Pearl

Our laundry is out in the garage, so when I start a load, it’s always out of sight, out of mind! I needed a way to remind myself when my laundry would be finished. I do pass by the door all the time, so a do-not-disturb-type door sign was perfect. I didn’t waste the other side, however, so I used that side as a reminder for other things as we walk out the garage door. I was excited to use new products from Mod Podge to make my two-sided door reminder!

I received their new Podgeable Shapes and Podgeable Papers, Rub-On Letters and Stencils to try out, as well as some new tools, like the Silicone Mat. I am very excited to try these…so many possibilities!

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I also received some new formulas of Mod Podge, plus some old favorites! I am excited to try all of these. I know my girls will love using the kids Wash-Out Mod Podge (the green one, 2nd from the right).

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Here’s how to make a

Two-Sided Laundry Door Reminder Sign with Mod Podge

Materials:

  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Mod Podge Podgeable Shapes
  • Mod Podge Podgeable Papers
  • Mod Podge Silicone Mat
  • Wood Door Hanger
  • Two little chalkboards*
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Painters tape
  • Hot glue gun

Everything is available at Michael’s, including all the new Mod Podge products. Here they are at my local Michael’s…some were at the end of the glue section, and some were within the glue section. So many new things!

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*In place of the little chalkboards (which I found at the thrift store, but I think they’re also available at Michaels), you can use chalkboard paper (like I did here) or chalkboard paint.

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Directions:

First, sand and paint one side of the door hanger with acrylic paint. If you have chalkboard frames like mine, sand and paint the frame of two of them (one for each side…I know I only have one pictured, sorry!). Paint the edges of the door hanger, and also use painters tape so you don’t get paint on the chalkboard area. Set aside to dry. If you’re using chalkboard paint or paper, wait until the paint is dry before applying those (you can apply chalkboard paper with Mod Podge).

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Next, find the Podgeable images and lettering you would like to use from your Podgeable Papers. I received the Romantic and the Classic Podgeable Paper pads. I chose a clock because I’ll be writing the time my laundry will be finished on the chalkboard. Then choose a Podgeable Shape that fits around it. Some have a little loop at the top, which you can also use to make jewelry, and some don’t have a loop. I traced around the Podgeable Shape with a pencil, and cut it out with scissors. I did the same with lettering that was also in one of the Podgeable Paper pads, and chose a Podgeable Shape for each letter as well.

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I used an extra door hanger and chalkboard (because the paint is still drying) to position my Podgeable Shapes and chalkboard.

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I traced each Podgeable Shape used for the lettering onto some Podgeable Papers (in random places) to serve as a background for the lettering.

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Then I started Mod Podge-ing the paper to the shapes. I first brushed a layer of Mod Podge onto the front of the background paper for the letters, and stuck that on to the back of the Podgeable Shape.

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Then I applied some Mod Podge to the back of the letter, and stuck that to the front of the Podgeable Shape, and brushed more Mod Podge on top of the letter to seal it (I did smooth out the Mod Podge a little bit more with my finger…used too much so it looks goopy. But it will dry clear). Repeat this with all the letters, and also apply the clock to the back of the Podgeable Shape. Set them all aside to dry (I left them on the silicone mat).

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Next I worked on the other side of the door reminder. I will use a clothespin for us to clip mail or other papers, and another little chalkboard at the bottom.

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I decided to cover this side with three different papers from my Podgeable Paper pads. For the main section, I used this key paper. Maybe to remind myself to bring my keys when I leave the house! So I traced the middle section of the door hanger (catching some of the door loop) onto the key paper.ModPodge12

Now the paint has dried on the door hanger. I brushed the back with Mod Podge and matched up the shape with the door hanger.

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For the bottom part, I used this paper with handwriting on it.

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At the top, I used some paper with buttons and other little images which had some color. I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge over all the papers to seal.

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The Podgeable Shapes and the chalkboard frames have also dried, so I can start the fun part, which is embellishing the door sign. I used hot glue to adhere the Podgeable Shapes and the chalkboard frame to the “laundry” side.

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Before I glued on the clock, I thought I’d take advantage of the loop that came with the Podgeable Shape and threaded some twine through it (I cut off the paper covering the back of the loop).

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Then I added glue to one corner of the chalkboard frame, and stuck the clock Podgeable Shape on.

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One more thing on this side…I cut out some button images from the Podgeable Papers and Mod Podge-d it directly onto the painted surface. Then I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge on top to seal. Done with this side!

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Finally, I hot glued the paper clip (which I covered with some Podgeable Paper and adhered/sealed with Mod Podge) and the other little chalkboard to the other side of the door sign.

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All done! Here’s the Laundry Reminder Side:

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Write the time your laundry will be ready (in an hour after you start it, usually). You could also write if you have anything in your load that needs to be drip-dried.

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Here’s the Everything Else Reminder side, for when there’s no laundry (is there ever no laundry?) to use for other reminders as you leave the house.

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I’ve only scratched the surface of my Mod Podge box of goodies. Will be sharing more with you soon! In the meantime, enjoy these other Mod Podge projects by my fellow creative bloggers:


Be sure to visit your local Michael’s store to check out all of these new Mod Podge products! You can also learn more and find inspiration by visiting Plaid on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Crafts and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

StephSig

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Tip Junkie :: Rook No. 17 :: How to Nest for Less::Oopsey Daisy :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tidy Mom :: Creation Corner::Whipperberry :: Sassy Sites::Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique::Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Mine for the Making :: Fine Craft Guild:: Mad in Crafts :: Finding My Way In Texas :: Creative Jewish Mom

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Using Herbs in Dessert Sauces with TCBY Frozen Yogurt #TCBYGrocery #CBias

Using Herbs in Dessert Sauces with TCBY Frozen Yogurt

This year I’ve been fighting my black thumb of death and I actually have been growing some fresh herbs at home, like basil and mint. I don’t have a lavender plant, but I love the scent and buy it often.

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I’ve been using them in savory dishes, but how about desserts? I’ve made three different sweet sauces infused with herbs to top three flavors of TCBY Frozen Yogurt, to celebrate National Yogurt Month! I went to Walmart and purchased Strawberry Swirl, English Toffee Crunch, and Mint Chocolate Chunk. I am always so excited to see TCBY Frozen Yogurt on the shelves, because it’s so rare around where I live.

Photo Jun 22, 10 28 39 AM

For more of my shopping story, please visit my Google+ album.

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The herbs themselves as well as the flavors of TCBY I chose were definitely inspirations for these sauces. First up is Strawberry Sauce with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar. I macerated the strawberries in sugar and a little bit of lemon juice, and added chopped basil. That blob in the little bowl is balsamic vinegar that I’ve reduced down to 1tsp, which I mixed in with the strawberry mixture. This was definitely the easiest sauce!

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The second sauce was lavender-scented caramel sauce. I made caramel for the first time!

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And added some lavender “tea”.

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Finally, I made a mint chocolate sauce, adding mint simple syrup to melted chocolate chips.

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You could pair the sauces many ways, either sticking with same/same (like strawberry frozen yogurt with strawberry basil sauce) or mix it up. Here I’ve got the strawberry basil sauce with the English toffee crunch. The strawberries were so sweet after they were macerated in the sugar, while the balsamic vinegar added some tang, and the basil was really flavorful as well.

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The caramel lavender sauce went with the mint chocolate chunk frozen yogurt. It was a really interesting and not weird combination. The mint tamed the floral scent of the lavender, which can sometimes be too strong. But the lavender lingered at the end and I loved it.

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The chocolate mint sauce was drizzled on top of the strawberry frozen yogurt. Because the sauce was still hot, my frozen yogurt was starting to melt. This is not a nice picture, but it tasted good. Of course strawberry and chocolate go great together, but the mint was a nice subtle, but invigorating, touch.

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It was FUN making these sauces. It was even more fun for me and the girls to clean up my photo props. I thought they wouldn’t like the herbs but they didn’t mind them at all. Well, except for the mint garnish I forgot to remove for one of my girls. I did get a yuck face from that!DSC_0407

Hope you’ll give these recipes a try…but remember that TCBY Frozen Yogurt tastes so good on its own!

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I often forget it’s yogurt. Just can’t believe something that satisfies the sweet tooth so well is so much better for you than ice cream. 150 calories (or even less?!). Yes please.

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Wish there was more TCBY Frozen Yogurt available around where I live. Will try to savor these cartons until next time, but it won’t be easy!

Photo Jul 02, 3 51 42 PM 

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Strawberry Sauce with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar

Recipe adapted from Sustainable Table

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar for strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil and reduce it to about 1 tablespoon. This will sweeten the vinegar by removing some of its acidity. Cut the strawberries in small pieces after removing any leaves. Place them in a bowl, add the sugar, the reduced balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and the basil. Let them macerate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Caramel Sauce with Lavender

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried lavender

First, make some lavender “tea” by boiling 2 cups of water. You can just boil it in a kettle. Place the dried lavender into a bowl that can stand hot water, and after the water has boiled, pour it over the lavender in the bowl. Allow to steep, longer for a stronger flavor. Then make the caramel. Have all your ingredients ready to go, at room temperature. Add the sugar to a heavy-bottomed 2-3 quart saucepan (the caramel may expand) over medium-high heat. When it starts to turn color and boil, begin stirring vigorously. When the sugar turns to a dark amber color, stop stirring and remove from heat. Stand back as you add the butter (it might splatter) and stir until it melts. Then add the whipping cream and stir to combine. Allow the pan to cool a little bit, then pour into a heat-safe bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the lavender tea at a time, tasting the caramel along the way, until you like the strength of the lavender in the caramel.

Warm Chocolate Sauce with Mint

Recipe adapted from Gayle Gand via Food Network

  • 9 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

Make mint simple syrup by bringing the water, sugar and mint sprigs to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow the mint to infuse the simple syrup. Then make the chocolate sauce. In the top half of a double boiler, combine the chocolates over simmering water. With the heat still on, add the mint-infused simple syrup. Don’t add all of it, or the chocolate will be too watery. Stir to combine. Take out softened mint sprigs and use food shears to cut leaves into small pieces, and add them to the chocolate mixture.

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Find TCBY Frozen Yogurt on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and join the TCBY Twitter Chat in honor of National Yogurt Month! The chat is tomorrow 6/28 at 1pm EST, and you could win 3 $25 Walmart Gift Cards and 1 $100 Walmart Gift Card if you join! RSVP here!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and TCBY Grocery #CBias #SocialFabric #TCBYGrocery. All opinions are my own.

StephSig

Monday, June 25, 2012

Coffee Jelly Drink Recipe with Seattles Best Coffee #cbias #redcupshowdown

Coffee Jelly Two Ways by The Silly Pearl

I’m thrilled to be showing you a recipe in honor of Seattle’s Best Coffee’s Red Cup Showdown! I’ve got my red cup (bought from Seattle, 8 years ago right after we got married, so it has the old logo!) and here’s my drink recipe, inspired by a Asian dessert and sometimes a drink: Coffee Jelly (or Coffee Jello or Coffee Gelatin). Served with some flavored milk or with coffee itself, it’s a refreshing, different, and delicious way to celebrate the flavors of Seattle’s Best Coffee. And I’ve made it two ways…sweetened with just sugar, and with sweetened condensed milk.

Coffee Jelly Recipe 2 Ways

I purchased my Seattle’s Best Coffee beans from Walmart. They had levels two and three strength (higher number is stronger/bolder), plus a cinnamon flavor as well as decaf. You can also order Seattle’s Best Coffee in more varieties, as well as single-serve instant packs, from Walmart.com.

Photo Jun 22, 10 39 48 AM

For more of my shopping story, please visit my Google+ album.

Photo Jun 22, 10 43 37 AM

I have a French Press coffee maker at home, so I  coarsely ground my beans.

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Smells so good!

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I gathered my ingredients for the coffee jelly. First I made it with the sweetened condensed milk (in the jam jar…I had opened a can a few days ago) and then I’ll make another batch with just sugar.

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I poured about half of the coffee I made in a bowl with some gelatin mixed with water.

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Then for this first batch, I spooned in the sweetened condensed milk and stirred. The color is so pretty.

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I transferred the mixture to a glass baking dish. A larger one like this will produce a flatter jelly, while a smaller pan will produce a thicker one. So it’s up to you.

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Then I repeated the process without the condensed milk and just sugar.

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Chill in the refrigerator to set. Because it’s such a thin layer, it set very quickly, in about an hour.

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I cut them both into squares with a knife.

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And I lifted out the squares with a cake server.

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Shall we try one? Mmmm so refreshing, sweet and coffee-y.

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Here’s a square of the sugar-only coffee jelly. The coffee flavor was a lot stronger.

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It was a great contrast to the sweet almond milk (I bought unsweetened, and sweetened it myself with some sugar). I could taste a little bit of coffee as I sipped it with a straw, and I used a spoon to scoop up those yummy coffee squares. Note: If you just drop in the jelly squares, they’ll sink. If you place them lightly on top, they’ll float. My jelly squares were like finger jello, so more dense. If you decrease the amount of gelatin, they will be less dense and be more likely to float up top.

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As for the condensed milk coffee jelly squares, I realized there would be no color contrast if I put it in the almond milk! You could try iced black coffee, or chocolate milk, or you could whip up some whipped cream (hey pig, I see you eyeing my whipped cream, hooves off.)

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Pour yourself a cup of hot Seattle’s Best Coffee, dollop some whipped cream on top, and place a few condensed milk coffee jelly squares on top. A decadent alternative to cream and sugar, and I loved the hot/cold and textural contrast of the jelly and the whipped cream (I got that from watching Chopped).

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this twist on coffee. Let me know if you try it! Here’s the recipe:

Coffee Jelly Two Ways

Recipe adapted from The Food Librarian

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups strong brewed coffee, divided
  • 6 packs of unflavored gelatin, divided
  • 1 cup of cold water, divided
  • 2 Teaspoons of sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk (or to taste)

Directions:

  • Grab two large bowls and pour 1/2 cup of water each. Sprinkle 3 packets of unflavored gelatin into each bowl, over the water. Let sit for a few minutes. Pour 2 cups of hot coffee into each bowl. Stir to dissolve the gelatin.
  • In one bowl, add 1/2 cup of sugar, and in the other bowl, add 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and to mix the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Grab two glass baking dishes (go smaller for thicker jelly, larger for flatter jelly). Pour the two mixtures into each baking dish. Chill to set in the refrigerator.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and cut into desired size of pieces. Serve with flavored milk or coffee. If serving with a hot beverage, place jelly over whipped cream so the jelly doesn’t melt.

Notes:

  • As mentioned, use a smaller baking pan for thicker jelly, and a larger baking pan (like I did) for thinner jelly).
  • Use this amount of gelatin for finger-jello-like consistency. Use less if you would like the jelly to be softer.
  • Add sugar and condensed milk to taste. Think about how you like your coffee as a starting point.
  • You could also make this recipe with instant coffee packs.

One more thing…if YOU have a recipe to make with Seattle’s Best Coffee, you can enter your recipe to Seattle’s Best Coffee’s Red Cup Showdown with Jeff Mauro, Celebrity Chef and host of Sandwich King on Food Network. There are two ways to enter…scroll down on their Facebook page to see…

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Either on their Facebook page (left circle), or click to visit one of these state fair websites (right circle). Head on over there for more information on rules as well as their awesome prizes (like $10,000, for example!). Good luck!

SeattlesBestCoffeeRedCupShowdownEnter

In addition to Facebook, you can find Seattle’s Best Coffee on Twitter.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.

StephSig

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Tip Junkie :: Rook No. 17 :: How to Nest for Less::Oopsey Daisy :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tidy Mom :: Creation Corner::Whipperberry :: Sassy Sites::Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique::Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Mine for the Making :: Fine Craft Guild:: Mad in Crafts :: Finding My Way In Texas :: Creative Jewish Mom

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