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Tag Archives: DIY

FESTIVE DRINK -Hot (Chocolate) Shot

15 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 15

It’s the 15th day of Blogmas and we’re rounding out the Christmas drinks with a chocolate shot. 

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Vodka-Regular or flavoured; this one happens to be chocolate flavored because it happened to be on sale but a marshmallow or vanilla flavored one would work too. 

2) Chocolate milk– Or chocolate almond/cashew/soy milk.

3) Mini Marshmallows – for topping.

4) Brown sugar– For the rim

5) Shot glass.



The ingredients 


WHAT TO DO 




1) Rim glass with using simple syrup (white sugar dissolved into water) then coat with brown sugar.

Glass rimmed with sugar



2) Pour shot glass 2/3 way with chocolate milk.

Milk



3) Fill remainder of glass with vodka and top with 3 mini marshmallows.

Vodka and marshmallows


4) Toast marshmallows- I used a long handled lighter. Be sure to let the flame touch the Marshmallows but not the shot itself (unless you want it flaming!)

Toasted marshmallows



Finished shot




The toasted marshmallows smell so good  (it’s fine with untoasted marshmallows as well). The rich chocolate flavour goes smoothly with the vodka. This a great little drink to get your guests in a party mood and it looks like hard work but is so easy and quick to do.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day.

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FESTIVE DRINK -Spiced Apple Rum Punch

14 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 14

On the 14th day of Blogmas we continue with festive drinks. This one is a punch with rum as the base along with apple and spices

.
WHAT YOU NEED
 

1) Brown rum– 16floz/500mL

2) Apple juice-32floz/1L

3) 1 large apple -or more if you like.

4) 2tbsp ground Cinnamon -or stick

5) 1 fruit teabag -I used a redfruits tea, you can use apricot, peach etc.

6) A punch bowl– I have none so I used a mixing bowl  (:

7) Glasses 

8) Yellow or orange sugar for rim.


Rum and apple juice



Sugar, apple, cinnamon, glass and bowl




WHAT TO DO 

PART 1- Prep the glass (es)

1) Choose a wide mouthed glass for easy filling with spoon.

2) Coat rim of glass with simple syrup  (white sugar dissolved in small amount of water) 

3)Coat rim with sugar– you can use orange or yellow  or even brown sugar. If you don’t have a specific colour, you can make it yourself using a bit of food dye and white sugar.

Syrup and sugar


Decorated rim

PART 2- “Spice the Rum”

1) Pour rum into microwave safe bowl or place in saucepan over low heat.

2) Add cinnamon-as much as you wish depending on how spiced you want it.


Rum and cinnamon 


3) Add apple slices and teabag

Added ingredients 


4) Heat for 3 minutes in microwave or simmer until apple slices are softened .

5) Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes . 


PART 3- Mix and garnish 

6) Pour apple juice into punch bowl adding cooled rum concoction to it and stirring to mix.

7) Cut an apple slice into quarters then make a slit wide enough to sit snug onto the edge of the glass.

8) Fill with punch and drink ! 


Finished drink




This drink is warm and comforting, the apple blends with the rum and the cinnamon and teabag add that extra flavour making it taste like no other rum punch you’ve ever had.

This is an ideal drink to serve at a party because its a real money saver. The priciest thing is the one or two bottles of rum you’ll use (depending on the size of your guest list or your penchant for rum!)

I also think this kind of punch could work well with cranberry or grape juice. What other spices and flavours would you add?

Thanks for reading, remember to always drink responsibly and have an awesome day ! 

DIY GIFT- Brownie Mix in a Jar

9 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 9

Today we do another edible DIY gift. This is Brownie Mix in a Jar. This could easily be cake mix or pancake mix or almost anything you like. For this I chose brownies.Whatever baked treat you decide on, you can select a recipe of choice and basically put the dry ingredients in a jar.

Brownie Mix Ingredients 

For this Brownie Mix I used a slightly varied version of a recipe on Joy of Baking. Everything this lady does is golden. I substituted white sugar for brown sugar and added walnuts and pecans.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) 150g of chocolate chips

2) 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

3) 2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened ) powder

4) 1 cup brown sugar -I used coconut sugar (most brown sugar will be less sweet than granulated  sugar, you can substitute it with that if you want it more sweet)

5) 3/4 cup flour

6) 3/4 cup pecans and walnuts (mixed)- you can add  whatever you like here; MMs (or Smarties), pretzels, crushed oreos etc (just make sure it’s dry)

7) Transparent jar with lid for storage.

WHAT TO DO 

1) Assemble your ingredients and place a funnel or makeshift funnel  ( I rolled wax  paper into a cone shape and taped it) into the jar so your ingredients can land where you want.

PROTIP : Do not be like me and use the wrong  sized jar, try to estimate what size jar will fit the ingredients beforehand. 

Jar with funnel 



2) Pour in your first layer, flour and tap bottom of jar to counter to make it as level as possible.

Flour layer




3) Add second layer, sugar in similar fashion. If you are using granulated sugar you may want to place the cocoa powder between the sugar and flour for contrast. 

Sugar added


4) Add the next layer which for me is cocoa. Next time I would put the flour between the cocoa and sugar for more contrast.

Cocoa layer


5) Add chocolate chips and nuts on top.

Add toppings and extras




6) On a large tag or piece of paper, write the name of your mix (Brownie mix), list the ingredients included as well as what will be required and write the instructions on how to prepare.

Tag and twine




7) Add to jar with twine and it’s ready to gift!

Finished gift


When your giftee is going to make her/his treat advise them to carefully scoop out each layer so they don’t end up getting mixed together.

This gift is visually pleasing and as much fun to give as it is to receive. You can get as creative as you want adding whatever toppings and extras you think your friend or relative will love making it really personal. The cost of this gift depends heavily on the ingredients you choose however most basic baking supplies are inexpensive and if you plan on giving multiple people this gift it will really cut your cost down.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day ! 

 DIY GIFT- Christmas Bark

8 Dec

BLOG-Mas Day 8

Welcome to Day 8 of Blogmas and welcome back to DIYS . This is one in a series of edible DIY gifts , if that’s your thing. As with crafty DIYS ,  sometimes baking your own gifts can be more costly and definitely time consuming BUT if  you are savvy and do it in bulk it can turn out more budget friendly and of course it is made with loads of love.

Today’s DIY is Christmas Bark which is essentially chocolate filled with many things and broken into shards of deliciousness. Please stay tuned…

Ingredients 

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Chocolate – I chose Cadbury milk chocolate .  You can use chocolate chips or candy melts as well, I personally find candy melts a bit too sweet in large amounts hence my choice of regular eating chocolate.

2) More chocolate – To compliment your main chocolate . I chose white candy melts but you can use any colour or type of chocolate you wish. I think peanut butter chips(like chocolate chips but out of peanut butter)  would go well with this.

3) Stuff– What I mean is, miscellaneous morsels such as dried fruit, nuts, candies etc. I used a trail mix I had containing dried cranberries, salted cashews, almonds and dark chocolate chips.

4) Wax/Parchment paper– To line the container you use.

5) Pan/Cookie Sheet– Alternately you can use a silicone mat.

WHAT TO DO

Line your sheet ahead of time and clear some space in the refrigerator . 

1) Melt the chocolate in microwave in 30 second bursts  (or use double boiler technique )

Melted chocolate 

2) Spread milk chocolate onto sheet.

Chocolate spread

3) Add white chocolate  (or other colours ) in marble fashion . 

White chocolate added

4) Press in additions (nuts, candies etc) throughout chocolate . 

Add “stuff ”

5) Refrigerate and let harden-I left mine overnight . 

Hardened bark

6) Using hands or long sharp knife, break into shards.

Broken up bark




7) Wrap and gift!

Wrapped in wax paper

The bark tasted delicious ,  the contrast of the very sweet cranberries with the salty cashews and the mild cocoa flavour from the milk chocolate is a winning combo.

This is a cute gift. It’s great as a stocking stuffer or for a large group of persons e.g coworkers. The cost varies depending on the chocolate you use and what kind of toppings you add but no doubt it can be a fairly economical gift.

Be sure to try this one out and have an awesome day!

DIY GIFT-SUCCULENT SPREAD

4 Dec

Hello It’s December 4th. Know what that means? 21 days until Christmas! Today is the 3rd DIY gift tutorial so let’s get started.

Three succulents in a row


Succulents are great plants because even plant killers like myself have a hard time finishing them off. I’ve had one for over 2 years now and it’s still going strong(somewhat). For this reason, you can be comfortable gifting a succulent to anyone. It’s perfectly fine to give one small succulent as a gift but I think having a cluster in a pot looks even nicer and that’s what I did here.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Succulents – at least 3 but you can use as many as you like. I also recommend getting different colours and shapes. I was only able to get these three which are pretty similar in colour and size but still quite varied.

2) A plant pot -preferably with a wide opening, you can also use anything typically used as planters e.g wine crates, old bowls, tyres (tires)

3) Soil or potting mix

4) Decorative items– Decorative rocks or gravel are good for this, you can also use sand or other miscellaneous items. I used decorative gravel and wine corks (cause it’s what I had)

Wide mouthed pot

Decorative gravel 

Old wine corks – a testimony to my taste in wine (cheap)
WHAT TO DO 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a gardening extraordinaire so you might find better potting instructions elsewhere.

1) Place potting mix into pot.

Pot with soil
2) Remove succulents from their pots being sure to crumble away a bit of the soil and get the roots exposed. Place into pot and add more soil to cover up the roots.

TransPLANT your succulents 
3) Place wine corks in design around the plants.

Corks placed
4) Fill in remaining space with gravel.

Filled in with gravel (not sure what went on with the lighting there)
5) Add a tag and gift!

Finished product 



Review

This is a super easy DIY and it can be manifested so many different ways. You can use multiple colours of gravel (my initial intention but I found none) and create different designs, you can also use coloured sand, weathered glass, woodchips etc. 

Cost

The cost of this type of project can vary quite a bit depending heavily on the number and type of succulents you select, the ones I used cost 2.99 US each but they can run you all the way up to $12 or $15. The other major determining factor is the pot. I bought this muddy coloured clay  pot and saucer brand new and it cost me $10 US but you can use something you already own, plastic pots etc. The decorative items I already owned but garden gravel and sand are typically inexpensive . Regardless ,  this project is affordable . If you were to buy something similar from a garden store it would likely cost double or even triple what it costs you to make. 

This gift gives the recipient something to take care of but without too much responsibility  (like a pet but WAY easier). Plants also always add organic decor to any space. I think this is an excellent one of a kind gift.

See you tommorrow and have an awesome day !

DIY GIFT- SALT SCRUB

2 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 2

Welcome to day 2. Day 1 gave some ideas of gifts to give and today is the same except this is a DIY gift; a salt scrub. Salt and sugar scrubs are great, they are good for exfoliating and polishing the skin and the oils help moisturise. I did a previous blog post on sugar body and lip scrubs  but I wanted to try a salt scrub to compare.

The salt scrub I am making is a simple lime scrub, but of course you can add whatever fragrance and oils you wish. Some common ones I’ve seen include coconut and avocado. Just ensure they are skin safe.

WHAT YOU NEED

1) 1 cup of Salt- I chose table salt because it’s what I had  in my kitchen and I wanted a fine grain.You can also use sea salt which will have a more course  texture.

2) 1/2 cup Coconut Oil- Again, chosen because I had it but feel free to use your preferred oil.

3) Lime- For this I used both juice and zest. 

4) Zester or grater

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO

1) Pour 1 cup salt into a bowl and add oil slowly, stirring until it reaches desired consistency.

Add oil until desired consistency 


2) Squeeze a slice of lime, I added about 1/4 tsp of juice as I didn’t want it too acidic.

3) Zest lime to create flecks within  scrub.

Zest lime




4) Mix together until homogeneous texture

Mix together




5)Place in jar and gift!

Lime salt scrub




Review

So upon making this, I of course had to test it out. It feels like bathing in a margarita (which for me is a good thing). I love that the salt grains are much finer than even granulated sugar and it feels more like polishing than scrubbing. Because I made it more liqiud, there was more oil residue which felt good over my elbows and other dry areas-  if you don’t like the residue add less oil. The lime adds a nice fragrance but you can use whatever you wish.

Cost

So let’s talk about cost. This is the problem with many DIY projects, by the time you buy all that you need, you could as well have gone in LUSH and bought a scrub there. For me, a worthwhile DIY should be cost effective or easier and of course, be more personal. This scrub costs less than  $1 in ingredients and the jar costs approximately $1 bringing the total cost to under $2 for a personal gift. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Be sure to try this out for a friend who loves hand made items or loves scrubs and have an awesome day!

Ten Baking Hacks

20 Nov

Household baking items




Hello

I love a #lifehack. There are hundreds of YouTube videos and websites dedicated to “hacks” but the truth is that many of them are totally pointless and useless . Some times they involve one hundred steps and cost loads of money and generally make your life harder. That being said ,  when you find real hacks, the ones that save you money or calories or make life easier, it makes it all worthwhile . 

I have curated 10 hacks that pertain to baking . Some of them may be obvious ,  some you may have heard before and some may blow your mind but ALL have been tested by me at one point or another and they all add some benefit to your life and use items that most of us have in our homes most of the time. So enjoy…


1) Cake Flour

You may see quite a few recipes calling for this and if you’re anything like me, had no idea there was a difference between cake flour and regular flour. Until now.

Use: Regular baking flour + cornstarch .  For every 3/4 cup of flour add 2 tbsp of cornstarch . 

Cake flour

2) Buttermilk

I remember feeling really pleased with myself when I first learnt this hack. Now it’s practically common knowledge . Still, it’s worth mentioning for anyone who may not already know. Lots of baking recipes call for buttermilk and it is expensive ! 

Use: Milk + vinegar/lemon/lime juice. For each 1 cup of milk add 1 tbsp of vinegar and let sit for at least 10  minutes.

This creates a clotted or soured milk not unlike buttermilk.

Milk and white vinegar 


3) Substitute milk with buttermilk
.

For all your recipes that DON’T require buttermilk but just regular milk, swap it out for buttermilk . It makes the cake smoother and moist.


4) Piping Bag
 

This hack will cost you less than purchasing disposable piping bags. You can also push the tip into the bag and use that way.

Use: A ziplock bag + scissors/tip

DIY piping bag


5) Weigh and measure using metric units

I’m aware this is a point of controversy for many and I don’t even take my own advice half the time but the truth is the truth, metric measurements are more accurate and baking is all about accuracy . 

6) Egg Substitute 

There are actually a number of egg substitutes including bananas,  oil and yogurt but my preference is apple sauce.

For every 1 egg use approximately 1/4 cup of apple sauce.

Eggs and applesauce


7) Wax/Parchment paper cupcake cases
.

This is something I didn’t know was a “thing” for quite a while. My sister did this once as a money saving idea and I loved it.

8) DIY Coloured Sugar

Coloured sugar can be a bit pricey considering what it is: coloured…sugar. Fortunately it’s easy to do.

Use : Granulated sugar + food dye. Mix until dye is fully incorporated . 

White granulated sugar 


Add a drop of food colouring

Mix

Continue mixing 

Coloured sugar 




9) Swap out butter with oil

This makes the cake softer and fluffier, more like a chiffon cake. I find it useful for chocolate cakes which can always tend to be on the drier side.

Swap an even amount of butter for oil in your recipe . 

10) Confectioners/Icing Sugar

Out of necessity comes brilliance . One evening I was baking and realised I had no confectioners sugar but I had granulated sugar. I knew they had to be related somehow so I googled. It was so easy! I feel as if I would never purchase confectioners sugar again because it can tend to be a bit pricey compared to granulated sugar.

Use: Granulated sugar + Food Processor /Blender /Nutribullet .  Blend for a few seconds (literally ) and you have your confectioners sugar . 

 Granulated sugar(left) and confectioners sugar (right)
Thanks for reading. Maybe some of these hacks will help you on your next baking adventure .  Have an awesome day ! 

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