Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Kettle Corn!!!

I don't know about you but I am a HUGE fan of Kettle corn. I love the sweet salty taste and the smell when you go to a fair and they make it fresh for you. Here in Las Vegas they just opened up a popcorn shop and it made me think of all the varieties of popcorn I love. (Warren brought some white cheddar home the other day and it was awesome)

They sell a pretty good kettle corn at Fresh and Easy and I've tried one brand from Smiths but I always eat it in like a day or two and now I have to buy more. So I thought, Why can't I make it? Does it require some special huge copper kettle pot? I didn't think so, therefore I did the best thing.....Google it. And Ta Da!! How to make your own kettle corn.

It pulled it up on with some pictures and step by step instructions. So, I wasn't feeling that great today and we stayed home from church so I figured it was the perfect time to try it out.

It came out amazing! Just as good as the stuff you get at a fair and better than the stuff you buy in the store. This is now my new favorite snack and I think I will make it as a little gift to give people for christmas because it was sooooo easy and it came out super good. I can see adding cinnamon to it or using brown sugar or maybe a little chili pepper so it is like sweet spicy popcorn. So cool.

Here is the basic recipe so you can try it out.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
1. Heat vegetable oil in a large kettle over medium heat.
2. Then, toss in three kernels, and place the lid on the kettle.
3. Wait for the kernels to pop.
4. Once popped, quickly stir in the sugar, and add the remaining kernels.
5. Replace the lid, and listen for the kernels to start popping.
6. Then, remove the kettle from the stove, and shake to keep the kernels from burning.
7. Return the kettle to the stove for a few seconds; then, lift and shake again.
8. Repeat until all kernels have popped.
9. Then, salt to taste, and enjoy!
I got these salt and pepper grinders from costco that use whole sea salt so I put that on its finest setting and as soon as the popcorn was all popped I sprinkled that on and stirred it all up then added some more. You have to wait a few minutes for the popcorn to cool down because the sugar is liquid and has to cool. Someone mentioned that you can use powdered sugar so I'll have to try that next time.
 Hope you are having a wonderful fall season and a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

SummER Yumminess part 2

The same evening that I made the fig dish I also made this dish.

Spinach and Feta Pasta

In my bountiful basket I received a container of mushrooms, a large bunch of spinach, and 5 tomatoes on the vine. I knew I wanted to use all of these ingredients together because they complement each other so well so I found this recipe and tried it out. It was superb. A nice one pan dish that cooks up fast and gives you a healthy meal. So lets get on with the ingredients.

1 (8 ounce) package of pasta, I used rotini or you could do penne
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 C chopped onion (about 1/2 an onion)
3 C chopped tomatoes (make sure they are good and ripe)
3 cloves garlic minced(use your masher, Soooo much easier)
1 C sliced fresh mushrooms
2-3 C spinach leaves, packed(they cook down so if you have extra, throw it in)
Salt and pepper
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
8 ounces feta cheese crumbled
optional: italian seasoning(one that has a little bit of everything, I like Emeril's italian seasoning)

1. Get all your ingredients ready. Squeeze out your tomatoes because you don't want seeds in your meal. I minced my garlic and that is such a pain, just use a garlic masher. Make sure you rinse off your mushrooms and your spinach unless you buy that prepackaged spinach, which is a great time saver. The spinach really cooks down so you can add extra.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic and cook until golden brown (yum smells so good. ) Mix in tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Season with salt pepper and red pepper flakes. (you really need the red pepper flakes they add just the right amount of heat). I also added in a couple shakes of italian seasoning because it smelled like it needed some more seasoning. Cook 2 minutes until tomatoes are heated through and spinach is wilted.

4. Reduce heat to medium, stir in pasta and feta cheese, cook until heated through and then serve.

I made this with a caesar salad and the fig dish and it was an exceptional meal, if you want it to be a little more hearty you could add some grilled chicken to it.

Prep time: 25 min    Cook time: 15 min   Ready in: 40 min  Servings: 4-6 people

I wanted a beautiful picture of it all plated but we were hungry so we just got down to eating it. :)

SUMMER Yumminess

 Feels like it has taken me a month to really get into summer. I love summer because of all the wonderful produce that is available which really inspires my cooking. This past week I bought a bountiful basket and part of my basket were a container of figs. Now, I've never eaten figs before so I did a search on to check out some fun reviewed recipes. Figs are a savory fruit that are mildly sweet so they are better if you can caramelize them in some way. So I decided on a recipe of

Figs and Toasted Almonds Brie

I love to pair cheese and fruit together so I thought this would be wonderful. So here are your ingredients.

1/3 C Brown sugar
3 Tbs. water
6-7 fresh figs, stemmed and sliced into eighths
1/2 C toasted almonds chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) round 4 1/4-inch diameter round Brie Cheese
1/2 tsp chili powder, or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C) If you have raw almonds, place them on a cookie sheet inside the oven. Check them in about 10 minutes, they should have dark spots and a couple might be splitting a little and you can usually smell them.

2. Slice the tops off your figs, rinse them in water and then slice into eighths.

3. Heat brown sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add your sliced figs and cook for about 10 minutes until softened.

Optional ingredient: After making this dish I thought it needed a little something. I thought a little spice would be wonderful in it so you could add a dash of chili powder or a little red pepper. I think it would add a great depth of flavor to the dish.

4. Add the chopped almonds and vanilla.(you'll notice I used whole almonds for mine, it would be much better if they were chopped a little) Place the Brie wheel in a baking dish. (I cut off the outside crust  on my brie. I was also in a rush to find some Brie that wasn't super expensive so I bought a Brie log from trader joes and sliced off the outside crust. It needed more brie so next time I will buy an actual round.) Pour the fig mixture on top of the cheese and place in the oven.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened but not melted. Serve with crackers. (I used ritz crackers)

This was absolutely delicious, it got rave reviews. I had some left over for the next night so I just microwaved it. It would be enough for 8-12 people or if you brought it for a party it would be perfect.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Make your own canvas

I've been cruising around on the blogosphere and I came across a great blogger who does all kinds of artistic stuff (which I'm always a fan of) and she had this great idea to change soap boxes into canvas. Canvas is kind of expensive and I have no money but I do have lots of little boxes from food and so I took her idea and used it to make my own art boxes. She uses soap boxes which is a nice idea since they are small and the cardboard is a little stronger but I don't buy soap in boxes so instead I used a fudge mix box and a barilla pasta box. I buy old books at the library store for like 25 cents and then you can use the pages. So here's a quick run through if you don't want to click on the link.

1. Find some boxes that can close up (my torn up cereal boxes Ella keeps ripping open, don't work)
2. Rip some pages out of an old book (book pages are good quality paper and the ink doesn't smear)
3. Use some masking tape to close up the box and reinforce corners to make it stronger.
4. Put layers of modge podge and paper on boxes.
5. Be sure to have a nice area of newspaper set down so you don't get modge podge anywhere.
6. You are done, let them dry and then add cool art to it. (I'll show you my completed art when I am done)

Love all the creativity out there, hope you all are doing great, maybe if I get going again I can get some more followers which would be totally sweet. Have an awesome Memorial Day!

(p.s. Awesome book to check out that gets you in the thankful for our armed forces spirit is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Last year I grew my own tomato plants, then I almost killed them, and then they came back at the end of the year. This year I bought some plants from the nursery and I put them in containers so I could move them around.

I also tried something new because usually my tomato plants get  huge and take a while to get tomatoes going so I read a book on growing tomatoes in las vegas and it said to limit the amount of water and fertilizer until the plant produces fruit so the plant produces faster and doesn't put as much work into growing. So that's what I did and voila I now have tomatoes growing and my plants aren't huge.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good Bye Water Street Studio

Yes, it is soooo long to that idea. It was a great one and I'm sure it would've succeeded but the Lord has other things in store for me.

I thought everything was going well and then I tried to get a line of credit and that didn't work and I felt really low about that. I thought I would just dust myself off and go about it another way but the next day I couldn't shake this feeling that I was doing something wrong. So Warren and I prayed about it together and we got a muddled answer. Not really a yes or a no. Then Warren gave me a blessing and I realized that it wouldn't really work out. I mean it would, but it would also be very hard on my family and I wouldn't be spending enough time with Eleanor. So I figured it out, that the Lord was letting me decide. Which really kind of sucks because then I have to really weigh things, but oh well.

It would have been nice if I hadn't done this at all, but it was a good growing experience for me. *sigh* I'm getting kind of tired of trying sometimes. We will see what comes of this. Thanks for the feedback.

Summer break is in less than a month, I suppose I will be working on some projects then.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Water Street Studio here we come!

Yeah like the name? Water Street Studio

I was going to call it The Studio, but there were already companies with that name, and I like this one better.

I filed all my paperwork, got an IRS number for the company and I've done all my graphs and charts and my business plan! Whooo thats alot of stuff. I've been thinking about this constantly it feels like for the past month, but that is ok. I like staying busy, it keeps me sane. :)

Thursday night was a good night, we went to the temple, haven't been there in quite a while. Made my spirit all happy and I was able to do some great heartfelt prayers and feel a little closer to my Savior, which is always nice. :)

So now I am looking at financing. I'm going to talk to a couple banks on Tuesday and see if they can hook me up, if not than we are going to do it on our own. Not as much fun but atleast it will get going. I'm going to have to make a page on facebook, maybe a twitter account, and a website. Again, more work but thats good because I know that this is what I am supposed to do and we will do it. :)

Then all my lovely friends can come over and do some art, and it will be tons of fun.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Art School

Alright, so I have had an interesting month. March was kind of nasty, we were all sick for like the whole month. Warren, Eleanor, and I had a cough at the beginning, then we got better for a week and then Warren went on a trip and when he came home he shared some germs and I got Bronchitis, Ella got pink eye, then I got pink eye, then I got a sinus infection where my face was all swollen, ha it was sooooo much fun. So now it is the end of April. Spring break was pretty good, we had a friend from Panama visiting so I got to do the touristy thing all week. Also around that time I came up with an idea.

Art School

I thought about what I want to do with my time, and how I really can't continue subbing because we want to have another kid next year and I can't afford babysitting with my sub pay so I'd basically be at home. Which I don't mind, I've gotten better at it now that Ella is a little older and more fun to play with. She also understands and can answer stuff. So I thought of teaching art classes.

Las Vegas, even though it is a pretty big city does not have much in the way or art and creative places to go. You can take some classes at the rec centers, but that is about it. Now they are also cutting a lot of funding to the schools so they won't have much art either. There fore it would be a good business to be an art center.

So I am all jazzed about this idea, but let me tell you, it is a ton of work! I found a location, in downtown henderson which is awesome because they do all kinds of events and if you are a business there you get a free booth and free publicity! Also there are alot of art galleries down there and they do art events all the time. 

So here is what I am thinking for the art school. 
1. I still need to come up with a name, so any help in that area would be great.
2. It has 3 rooms, so 1 room will be a play area so little kids can play in there while an adult takes a class or while a sibling takes a class.
3. The 2nd room will be a regular studio room where we will have classes like painting, drawing, sculpture, and ceramics. Also probably some photography.
4. The 3rd room......Heres the thing I am trying to decide. I was researching art studios and there are some good ones in CA and one of them I really liked their idea. You pay a studio fee like 6$ an hour, then you pick out an object like a birdhouse, mirror, jewelry box, or something else then in this room you have all kinds of materials that you can use on your object. Kind of like the build a bear idea but it is a very creative environment with a brainstormng area, glue  area, and then all kinds of paints and cool stuff. 

So I could do that for a room, or I could have another studio space for teaching classes or knock out a wall and have a big studio space for classes. Any ideas? 

I am super jazzed about this whole thing, and I believe it will work out and this is the space to do it in, but I would also love some feedback from my friends because everybody always has good suggestions and ideas. 

I am hoping to open it up some time in July so I can get some kids in looking for good activities. 

Alright, hope all of you are doing good and thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peach crumble, Ooooo the goodness.

I have peaches that I canned last summer that have a delicious flavor so I decided to make a peach crumble. I used little ramekins so we could have individual dishes and they looked gorgeous in their own containers. :)

Here is for 2 servings

2 large peaches pitted and cut unto chunks( I eyeballed it since mine were sliced and canned)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs flour
3 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 Tsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
little less than a 1/4 cup of gold raisins

1/3 Cup flour
1/4 c rolled oats
3 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs white sugar
1/4 stick cold unsalted butter cut into pea size pieces
pinch of salt
1 Tbs cold water
Food Processor

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

Toss the peaches in a large bowl with filling ingredients and stir to combine. Divide between two ramekins.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor except for water. Pulse until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in the water, you want it kind of clumpy.

Top each ramekin with the topping. Sprinkle it and don't pack it down.

Place ramekins on a sheet tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until filling is hot and bubbly.

Art bleach shirt

So the other day I was doing laundry and I accidently  spilled a little on my green shirt. I was quite perturbed because I had just found this shirt in the back of my closet and I loved the fit of it. So I put a little bleach in a glass, put a towel inside the shirt and I painted this flower on the bottom with bleach. I added to the ones in the middle to give them a little different shape and voila! I have a cool, artsy looking shirt that happened because of an accident. Nice huh?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feels like a goodbye

Maybe you've noticed that I haven't been posting very much. Well, I am now working almost full time, I substitute teach 4 days a week and take friday off to run all my errands. I've also submitted my paperwork so hopefully I will be teaching art again in the fall. Why the return to work?

A couple reasons. 1. we have no money. So my income will help us out. 2. I'm not a great stay at home mom. I'm unorganized and I feel hopeless when it comes to being at home ALL the time. I haven't been really happy in a long time so we decided that I do better when I am working.

We found a great babysitter for my daughter, she has a son the same age so they basically play all day and she is the most wonderful loving mom I've met so I'm thrilled she loves to have my daughter with them.

I don't have time for crafts. I'm basically working, come home and relax for a bit then dinner, play with Ella, get her ready for bed, and then tidy up the house, laundry, and if there is any residual energy left I work on my hairclips. So I don't really have any stuff to put on my blog. I'm trying to get this craft fair going, which is pretty hard, and some nights I just want to go to bed as soon as Ella goes to bed. So I'm going to leave my blog for a bit. I'm sure I will be very active on it during the summer since I won't be working then, but otherwise I'll just moth ball it for a little while. I love having all the links to my fav blogs on here so I can keep up with them when I feel like it, so feel free to stop on by and check those out and we can chat later on. :) Love, and happy crafting.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Are you crafty and do you live in Las Vegas?

Alright, BIG NEWS over the holiday break I had a super brain storm. I was looking into showing my flowers at ren faires and I couldn't believe that it was like 450 dollars$ I'm like Heck NO! That is ridiculous. I wouldn't even make that much. So I looked into other craft fairs and it was the same thing. So I realized, well someone needs to change the world and I guess I'm the one to do it. So here it goes. I am launching the Las Vegas Locals Craft Fair. 
I thought, why do craft shows cost so much money? What if you have it at a place that doesn't cost anything? What if it is only for locals so you don't get a bunch of outside professionals who hog all the business? And what if you hold it at one of the nicest but unknown locations in Vegas? Boom Baby!! Success!!!

So on April 9, 2011 I will be hosting the first Las Vegas Locals Craft fair at UNLV. Exciting huh? Warren was amazed that I got a great idea and was able to make it real. Not like all my other stupid  amazing ideas. I created a blog. and right now I am putting the finishing touches on the application packet so people can start registering. It is 20$ to get a space. That will cover all the expenses and maybe have a little left over for next year.

Fun huh? I know you were thinking, boy Melinda hasn't done a post in a while, she is so lazy. Well Booyah! This is what I have been working on and thinking about. So if you have any friends who are crafters, have them keep that date in mind. April 9, 2011. And check the blog on Saturday for the application to download and send in.

Happy Crafting!