This post is really two recipes in one, but both use watermelon as the base. Watermelon has been my favorite thing about summer for years; there’s nothing like cold watermelon on a hot day!
Watermelon Popsicles (or shot-sicles)
Bring the water to a boil, and then add the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Allow the water mixture to cool, then mix with the watermelon puree, and vodka if being used.
Pour the mixture into popsicle forms, and allow time to freeze. I didn’t have real popsicle forms, so I used some thin glasses that I had in the cabinet.
I had to put my popsicles in the freezer for an hour, before I was able to get the popsicle sticks to stand upright.
Prepare the watermelon mixture as above, but instead of freezing, mix with lemonade.
This recipe was so easy, that the only picture I took was of the final product!
Chocolate Cake Milkshake
Blend all the ingredients, except the ice, in a blender. Then add the crushed ice, and blend on high until the shake is thick and creamy.
Top with sprinkles and drink before the candle burns out.
Recipe modified from Eat what you Love by Marlene Koch.
A few months ago I asked my grandma to send me a few of her “old family recipes” for me to try, and when I got this one J got very excited. (J’s favorite flavors are banana and pumpkin!)
This is my grandma’s recipe for Banana Split Bread, although I consider it much more of a cake than bread. This recipe has most of the ingredients from an old fashioned banana split.
Banana Split Cake
First, grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (although I used a mini bundt cake pan for mine). Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Puree the bananas up to 1 cup. Combine all the ingredients, and stir.
Place batter in the pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Now grandma’s recipe had a vanilla frosting topping, but because I made mini bundt cakes, I wanted to make a glaze. While the cake was baking, I made a cherry sauce to go on top; what better to top a banana split with, than cherries!
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan, and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Top those lovely little bundt cakes, and eat up!
Cherry Sauce recipe modified from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.
This recipe is a great use of all the summer fruits that are filling the store shelves. The salsa can get a little messy, but its not a picnic unless you spill something, right?
The dip is very straight forward, but takes a bit of chopping.
Mix these ingredients in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill.
This part of the recipe takes a bit longer to complete, but is worth it. People often eat the chips plain, without the salsa!
First, preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Cut the tortillas into pieces using a pizza cutter. I cut them into 12 pieces, so they aren’t too thin.
Dip each chip into the melted butter, coating both sides.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a large plastic bag. Place the butter coated tortilla chips into the sugar mixture.
Shake the bag to coat the chips, and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake the chips for 8-10 minutes.
Repeat these steps, until all the tortillas are baked.
Serve the chips with the chilled fruit salsa! This is a great dish for summer parties and picnics.
This recipe modified from allrecipes.com
This recipe was inspired by this recipe. My new found love of Brussels sprouts made me want to try it, but I tweaked the recipe a bit and thought the flavors mixed well.
First thing is to roast the brussels sprouts in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. While the sprouts are roasting, start the pasta boiling, and cook according to the package directions.
Slice the kielbasa into the 1/4” medallions, and pan fry for approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan, and continue cooking until the kielbasa is browned.
After the pasta has been drained, throw the fresh herb ice cubes into the pasta, and stir until they melt. These cubes are herbs, frozen in olive oil; this is the main difference between my recipe and the inspiration recipe which used pesto (which I’m not a big fan of!)
Finally, mix all the ingredients together, and dinner is done! J really loved this, and it allowed me to use my frozen herbs in another recipe.
Here is an easy DIY project to show your valentine just how much they mean to you. All you really need is an 8x10” frame and a printer.
Print “I love you because” on a piece of paper or cardstock. I used yellow paper so it would stand out against the white frame. I also put our initials on it, which mirror what we had on our wedding programs.
Place the paper into the frame, and use a dry erase marker to write on the glass! It’s a really easy project, but it allows you to remind your valentine year round what makes you think they are special.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
After we finished the basement, we had a problem with how to store the dvds and cds J and I have collected through the years. And as J is a huge music fan, there was no shortage of cds which needed a place. I was inspired by a piping shelf I saw on etsy, and headed out to the home improvement store.
The first decision to make was the color and size of the pipes I would be using. I decided to use black stainless steel, because it fit better with my decor. They also had regular stainless steel, and copper. For the size, I choose 1/2” diameter piping. I wanted to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold all the disks.
Building this shelving was a lot like putting a puzzle together. To start, you need the base plates, which will attach the piping to the walls. Then I used a 3” piece to allow enough space from the wall so that the cases are able to stand. After those pieces, an assortment of elbows, tees, and different lengths of pipes will build the shelving.
Once the pipes were home, J and I had to remove the sticker labels, which was no easy task. We soaked the pipes in the bathtub, and then used nail polish remover to remove the remaining stickiness.
After the labels were removed, we started mounting them to the wall. This part of the project was much easier with J to help.
To mount the base plate, first place it on the wall, and trace where the holes with a pencil.
Then we used a stud finder to determine if there was a stud behind the wall. If there weren’t any studs we were sure to use wall anchors, since these pipes are heavy.
After the wall anchors are in, we placed the base plate over them and screw it to the wall.
After the base plate is mounted, we screwed the pieces of piping together into design we liked. We mounted more base plates as the piping got bigger, to ensure that there was enough support to hold the shelving.
Putting this shelving together was one of the more difficult DIY projects that I have worked on, but I love the results.
I was very excited about this project, and it was the real reason I bought my chalkboard paint. I started with a gold framed mirror I found at an antique store.
I actually didn’t want the mirror, just the frame, so the first step was to remove the staples holding the mirror together.
Once the frame is apart, I took the frame outside and started to spray paint it gray.
After letting the spray paint dry, I brought it inside and used white gesso paint to paint over the gray.
After letting the white gesso dry for a few minutes, I rubbed it off with a rag. This allowed the gray paint to come through.
While the frame dried, I covered the wood backing from the mirror with the chalkboard paint.
Then using a staple gun, I reattached the wood backing to the frame.
Then, add some chalk, and onto the mantle it goes! I love this projects, and it wasn’t too difficult to tackle in a day.
This was an easy project that really added some pop to my kitchen. J and I couldn’t get over how great the black paint looked in the kitchen, and the chalkboard allows us to write menus or messages to each other.
Using the chalkboard paint is no different than using regular paint, and only required a paint roller/tray and some tape.
Hope you and your family had a wonderful thanksgiving!