Category Archives: Life style

Vacation Inspiration

keychain

Maybe it is just me, but when planning my vacations, where and what I am going to eat are top on my list.  That is probably why I need to exercise off weight once I get home!  Anyone one up for a walk to China?  Seriously, it is the best way to find out about a region.

Vacations clear the mind, making room for new inspiring ideas.  Inspiration can come from a book title, street sign, menu, or a conversation.

I was working on a Vintage Kitchen  Stack Cakes prior to leaving for vacation.  I had two versions planned and then ate what was possibly the best cupcake I had ever tasted at The Chocolate Moose Bakery  in Greenville, NC, leading to a third version of a stack cake.

What else may come to Vintage Kitchen from my recent vacation?  Cupcake Happy Hour for adults who want to make and take boozy cupcakes home (or eat them all in one sitting- no judgment at Vintage Kitchen.)

Homemade Gathering classes to get ready for the holiday season where we will craft and prepare foods for your hosting and visiting needs.

Before Halloween, the kids can get into the kitchen for Creepy and Cute Decorating of cookies and cupcakes.  No need to mess up your kitchen!

If you are interested in any of these, send me an e-mail.

Sandi

 

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White Chocolate Lime Bark

lime bark

It all started with an idea to upgrade a lime cupcake for a cooking demo…

I was scheduled to give a cooking demonstration at Woodloch Lodge that focused on using Young Living Essential Oils in recipes.  I had prepared lime cupcakes previously, and since it is my newest “recipe of the season” (expect to see the cupcakes appear frequently this spring), that was going to be one of the recipes for the demo.

Northeast Pennsylvania. March. Storm. No electricity.

The spa was running on generators (and doing very well with that!), and while I could have baked the cupcakes, I could not demo the frosting.  Time for plan B.

The “house” trail mix was available.  It contained dried fruit, cashews, nuts, and sunflower seeds.  A new recipe was born. And it is tasty.

Lime White Chocolate Bark

8 ounces white chocolate melts (preferable Ghirardelli)

Green paste food coloring

3-4 drops Young Living Lime Vitality Essential Oil*

1 cup trail mix of your choice

In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate. Once the chocolate is smooth, add the food coloring (liquid food coloring will mot work) and essential oil. Spread mixture on a sheet of wax paper or parchment. Sprinkle the trail mix on top of chocolate.  Press slightly.

Let chocolate set. When firm, break into pieces and serve.

*To order Young Living Lime Vitality Essential Oil, please send me an e-mail.

 

Slow Cooker Love!

It is no secret that I love using my slow cooker to get family meals together.   Here are my top three reasons for using the slow cooker:

  1. Foods can be cooking while away at work.
  2. Foods can be cooking without heating the kitchen during the summer months.
  3. Foods can be cooking while I am at home, spending my time entrenched in an activity…sewing, reading, sewing, working, sewing…you get the idea!

I use my slow cooker so much, I own two of them, and today, they were both being put to work.

dual crock pots

One is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Slow Cooker that often travels to tailgates, friend’s homes, sport concession stands, and family gatherings.  Today, I was preparing Tex Mex Potato Soup that was prepped during Jamie’s Tastefully Simple Freezer Workshop held at Vintage Kitchen.  To make clean up easier, I used a slow cooker liner.

The second slow cooker that I own has a divided insert.  I purchased it at a discount store years ago and it has been performing ever since.  Today’s dinner was one of the best recipes I have ever tried.  Slow-Cooked Italian-Style Braised Chuck Roast  was on one side of the slow cooker.  I did not adapt the recipe except to use the slow cooker instead of the oven. As I got closer to serving, I put vegetables on the right.  Dinner finished!!! (I don’t have a link to the brand I bought, but a similar crockpot is the Crock Pot Double Dipper.)

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Less is More

less is more

You’ve heard the saying before, “Less is more”.  I remember my mom telling me that in regard to make-up, when I was in 8th grade during the 80’s, you get the idea! Back then, I had a hard time understanding what she meant.  Unfortunately, there are pictures to prove her point!

Today, my home kitchen needed some attention.  It didn’t need deep cleaning, just some organization and it wanted to be cooked in.  I had the morning off and a lot of vegetables in the refrigerator and I didn’t want the vegetables to spoil. Life, with football, holiday parties, and county fairs, meant I was not going to be cooking them in the next few days.

Usually, when getting the early fall harvest, I will get a bushel of whatever veggies I wanted to preserve (my favorite method is freezing) and get it all done in a day or two.  More is better, right? This is where I had to change my thinking.

I had a mix of things…3 ears of corn, about 1 pound of green beans from my neighbor’s garden, some garlic scapes, 2 heads of celery, and a mix of peppers and chilies.  While I was not going to preserve enough for the coming winter, I certainly had plenty to use for meals in the future.  The corn was taken off the cob, the green beans were blanched, the garlic scapes and celery were sautéed, and the peppers were roasted!  All were flash frozen, bagged, and labeled!

This time, less gave me more than I had in the beginning!