Thursday, October 25, 2012

Super Easy Banana Pudding


I love finding old recipes I had forgotten about! I came across this recipe I found back in college that I used to fix for potluck dinners for my fraternity (For those of you who are wondering: yes, it is a fraternity, and yes I'm a girl, and yes it is a co-ed professional fraternity). Any-who, I only had to collect my dish at the end of the night and not worry about leftovers (well, it would have been nice if there were a little left over). This was super easy and delicious! I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (16 oz) package vanilla wafer cookies
  • 4 bananas, peeled and sliced
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, whipped topping, pudding mix and milk. Mix well.
  2. In the bottom of a glass serving dish, place a layer of cookies, then a layer of pudding mixture, then a layer of bananas. 
  3. Repeat until all ingredients are used.
  4. Refrigerate before serving.
Courtesy of: Uncooked Banana Pudding at Allrecipes


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Launching PharmCreations - an Etsy Shop


In addition to cooking, I have always had a passion for crafting and photography. The photography part I indulge in on a regular basis. Crafting inspiration (and now Pinterestspiration :) - I'm sure most of you can relate) I have gone through in spurts in the past, largely due to time constraints from work and school. 

The main reason I developed this blog was to have an online paperless resource for recipes I want to keep in my own "recipe book". Now that I have 60 published posts, I'm starting to miss have a good ole recipe book in the kitchen. I don't like printing recipes that I am fixing for the 3rd+ time; that's a waste of paper. Dragging a laptop or dealing with my phone is doable but can be frustrating as how my hands will be in raw meat and the phone turns off - grrr!!! Wash hands, turn back on/hit page down, get hands dirty again, repeat in a few minutes. 

So that got me thinking: I want a recipe book that I can add to easily and something that won't get disgusting if food gets dripped on it. Ideas start running through my head... My perfect recipe book needs to be bind-able and printable. That eliminates the old fashioned recipe box - I've always disliked those for some reason. 3 ring binders come to mind. Great idea - I can add to that, page protectors will keep the pages clean. Now to make it cute. Looking around Pinterest, I found fabric covered binders. Hmm... interesting. Why don't I check out Etsy and see what's out there for these fabric covered binders?? Cruise on over to Etsy... start checking it out... there are some great looking fabric binders that these sellers offer! Adorable!! BUT what happens if my beloved fabric covered binder is on the counter and something spills or I don't see that little puddle of water on the counter? Gross!! There's really no good way to disinfect/clean the fabric if it gets either stained or splattered with raw meat or something else that could grow bacteria. Ewww! Those thoughts turn my stomach. Ok, so what about vinyl? I can put disinfectant on that without a problem and it should wipe clean since it's waterproof. Great! Search on Etsy again...nothing really comes up. Have I come across the undiscovered country of Waterproof binders?? Surely, I'm not the only one who thinks this way about recipe books. Hmmm, the crafter in me starts thinking again. This could be dangerous. I could make this myself. 

So off to Joann's I go, to see what has surfaced in the fabric world since I have last bought fabric (Which has probably been about 5-10 years since my sewing machine has surfaced. College kept me busy most of the 2000's). Wow! I forgot how much I love that store! It was even better than I remember and the crafter in me started coming out even more. I collected a couple of sample materials to work with and returned home. In my pinterest adventures, I saw posts on how wonderful this Mod Podge stuff is for gluing/decoupage-ing/waterproofing. I had never used it in the past, but it claims to be the best thing since the invention of the wheel and Swiss cheese so I thought I would give it a whirl on some fabric. I wish I had saved the swatch of fabric I Mod Podged and submitted it to one of those Pinterest Fail sights. It was not pretty. Yeah, it may have sealed the fabric to some degree, but it was the roughest, stiffest fabric I have ever felt. It could have doubled as sandpaper. I was disappointed that the wonderful patterns of cotton fabric had not become an option for this project.Very sad. 


Onto the next experiment. I had also bought a remnant of vinyl tablecloth type material. This may work better. I grabbed some spray adhesive and went to work on adhering it to my binder. This is going great. It's smooth, waterproof, cute and cooperating! I then cut and adhered coordinating scrapbook paper to the inner cover. This looks wonderful! Now onto cover design. I got to learn more about Adobe Photoshop Elements in designing the graphic art for the front cover. Oh, the custom options are limitless! I adhered my design to the same color scrapbook paper as for a border. Hmm, how to make this waterproof. I didn't really want to get into the laminating business, that would require an even bigger investment and another trip into town. Let's try the Mod Podge again. It worked so much better on paper than fabric! Two coats dried later, I sealed it with some clear acrylic for good measure. I then adhered it to my binder. VoilĂ !  I was quite impressed with myself. That wasn't too bad either. Back to my original thought, the undiscovered country of waterproof binders. I could sell these. And so, PharmCreations was born! 

Take a look at my final product!

Water Resistant Fabric Covered 1 Inch 3 Ring Recipe Binder
            


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Memphis Red BBQ Sauce


I found this recipe in Taste of the South Magazine and thought I would try it out. I'm so glad I did because this sauce is delicious! The only modification I made to the original is I used dark Karo syrup instead of molasses because that is all I had in the pantry at the time. The next time we made it, we used molasses and the family agreed that it was better with the Karo syrup, so I will leave the modification in place. Feel free to make that judgement call yourself!

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark Karo corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well combined. 
  2. Store in air tight container and refrigerate up to 5 days.
  3. Like most sauces, they get better with a little time. You may want to wait a few hours before enjoying this delicious sauce to let the flavors blend together.
Courtesy of Taste of the South Magazine May June 2012


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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mint Honey Lamb Skewers - Grilled!


These tasty lamb skewers were my first experience "Kabob-ing" anything. It was fun and a little time consuming prepping and skewering all of the ingredients, but in the end it was definitely worth it. The original recipe called for a reduction made with apricot preserves, the marinade and white wine. I tried to make it as instructed but turned into a nasty smelling I-don't-know-what that never made it onto the skewers. They were wonderful without it so I didn't even include it in what I made below. Happy Kabobing!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 lb. cubed lamb stew meat
  • 1 lb pearl onions, peeled (or I used a regular sweet onion quartered)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper - rinsed, de-seeded and cut into 1 square inch pieces
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper - rinsed, de-seeded and cut into 1 square inch pieces
  • 1 small container Cherry Tomatoes,  rinsed 
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Directions:

  1. In small bowl combine mint, wine, lemon juice and honey. Stir to combine.
  2. In large bowl toss together lamb, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers  Add wine mixture and toss until evenly combined. Cover, and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.
  3. Place lamb, onions  onto bamboo skewers, alternating lamb and onions until ingredients are used. Reserve remaining marinade and set aside.
  4. Grill skewers until lamb is cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side. 


Inspired from: Mint Honey Lamb Skewers


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