Freshen Up!

I get so excited when I make up a recipe that I really enjoy and feel is worthy of others tasting. It makes me dream for a fleeting moment that I’m a real cook. So, I have to share…

This concoction came about quite haphazardly. I had cubed some honeydew melon and stuck it in the freezer a few nights ago thinking it would be a refreshing, healthy snack. I thought it a novel idea since it wasn’t the typical frozen fruit of choice for dessert. (I’m always looking for healthier options to satisfy my sweet tooth.) It was eh. But it gets better…

This evening I was puttering about the kitchen putting away groceries and pulled the melon out of the freezer, ready to eat some more, when I thought: “I bet this would make a pretty fabulous smoothie.” And it did!! I put some melon in a blender, a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, and milk. I have no specific measurements which, I know, is irritating. Sorry. But the beauty of it is that you can make it to the consistency of your choosing. I started off with very little milk and had to keep adding more as my melon was still too frozen and there wasn’t enough moisture for it to blend well.

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I like it thick. Really thick. You know, like when you’re tempted to turn the glass upside down to see if it will fall out or not? That is the only instance that I enjoy working to eat my food (unlike eating bone-in fish or shelling your nuts before popping them in your mouth). It’s like a game to get more smoothie in a mouthful without it slipping out of the glass and landing all over your face.

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I love this recipe because it tastes like a vanilla milkshake with a twinge of fruitiness but without the super sweet bad-for-you stuff. Plus, it has a entrancing subtle green hue, which you can’t really tell from my pictures.

So I think I’ll be stocking up on the melons while they are still available this summer! You could do some fun variations of this too. Use water or coconut milk and soy protein powder for a lactose free or vegan option. I also might add some savory spirits to this at some point.

Have you created a favorite recipe that you pull out every summer? Feel free to share!

The Gift of Recipes

I love giving gifts! It makes sense since “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (The Bible, Acts 20:35) I find it fun to think about the person and try to guess what he/she would like.

Do you struggle giving gifts? Do you know that person well and what their interests are, hobbies, favorite colors? What is going on in that person’s life right now? If you don’t know those things or need help, try asking someone who knows that person well for some ideas.

Throughout the years that I moved out on my own and got married and even up to today, I collected recipes – tearing them out of magazines, sharing with friends, finding them online, etc. I felt I needed one place to compile them all and have on hand while contemplating what to cook for dinner. Although, I am still often partial to paper and am not 100% digital. I had some recipe cards I had picked up and one day realized that they are the same size as a standard photo. So I found a photo album I liked and started to fill it with recipes cards. It’s taking me a while to fill the album, but I get excited each time I fill out a new card and slide it in the plastic sleeve. I pick up recipe cards whenever I can find cute ones on sale. I feel they are hard to find, so it’s a good thing I have a stockpile to last me for a while.

Some of the cute recipe cards I've collected for use.  Some of the cute recipe cards I’ve collected for use.

The recipe album shown below is mine and I have divided into categories: Sweets, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Extras. Of course, you can choose any size of photo album you like. You could even add photo corners to a scrapbook to hold the cards and then decorate the pages to your desire with other papers, stickers, ribbons, and the like to spice it up.

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Because I enjoyed mine so much, I decided to gift a recipe album to a friend getting married a few years ago. I found a small photo album with approximately 20 sleeves or so. I added recipe cards to each sleeve and filled out a few of them with recipes I liked. The rest were left blank for her contributions. I cut the plastic sleeve carefully that held the ugly cardboard cover, threw it away and made a new cover. I embroidered a pattern from one of my crewel design books onto a piece of embroidery fabric, cut it to the size of a card, and added it to the front sleeve.

I enjoyed gifting this because it was somewhat original, simple and inexpensive, yet I spent time putting my own craftiness into it. I wish I had pictures of it to show…

What are your favorite gifts that you have made for someone?

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Un Inizio

“This isn’t at all what we were lead to expect.” So is the first line of one of my all time favorite movies. I can’t begin to guess at what you expect of this blog but can only tell you what I expect. I expect this to be a personal journey of discovery, as I have many times attempted to begin blogging but have failed many times to follow through. Since a child I enjoyed writing but never felt the desire or the need to share it with others. I have also had a desire, as long as I can remember, to create. I enjoy making jewelry, sewing, knitting, crocheting, making cards, dabbling in fashion, and many of various forms of crafting, creating, expressing myself and sharing with others. Since high school I have had a notion to engage in a business venture with various crafts either I or my family would make. My inhibitions and other things have kept me from engaging in such a venture to this day. But I thought that perhaps what was missing and what might be a stepping stone would be to share my crafts in more than just a profitable venue. Thus, I decided to take the plunge, accept my friend’s advice, and blog about crafting. I have enjoyed following other creative blogs for a short while now and hope to join in this community of sharing.

I hope you are not disappointed and encourage a constructive interchange of comments and ideas. Caio!