How To Tuesday – Cactus Recipe Card Holder

make craft a cactus from clay Super easy little clay cactus friend that you can use to hold your recipe cards. You could also use him as a ring holder, or maybe just a little desk friend?

1. Open the white clay and save a small amount for the eyes. Press the rest in the bottom of your pot to help weigh it down.
2. Repeat step one but with the black clay. I found the clays on sale for 88¢ and the pot for 25¢, the toothpicks and foil I had on hand so the whole project is under $3.
3. Form your tinfoil into a base for your cactus. Leave a tail area that can be pushed into the black clay.
4. Check your form to make sure it’s a good size for your pot. Add more tinfoil as needed.
5. Roll out your green clay (save a small sized piece aside for nose)
6. Wrap green clay around the tinfoil form making sure all the foil is covered.
7. Use your hands to smooth the green clay
8. Make two small balls of white clay for eyes and two smaller balls of the black clay for the pupils.
9. Flatten eyes gently, peel up and use the side that was flattened against the table facing out because it will be smoother.
10. Gently press the eyes and pupil to face trying not to leave many fingerprints. You can also attach a green ball nose as this point. I pushed in a small piece of toothpick first to push the ball nose onto.
11. Roll out a small snake of the black clay for the mouth. You can flatten it slightly like the eyes before adding it to the face.
12. Push your cactus down into the black clay inside the pot.
13. Push in toothpicks all over his head. Make sure they are staggered slightly so when you push a recipe card in (after baking) you can weave it between the toothpicks. If any of your toothpicks feel loose after baking you can always glue them in, but because my toothpicks went down into the tinfoil center they seem very sturdy.
Now just bake the whole pot in the oven and bake according to the instructions on your package of clay.
***Oh and the adorable recipe cards can be purchased here they are by Miss Emily of course—her stuff seems to be all over my house this week :)

How To Tuesday – S’mores Bark

Today’s how-to is super simple, and very Summer inspired…S’mores bark. Like the candy cane bark you make at Christmastime, but with a Summer twist. The ingredients are super simple, kids can make it, and you can easily make it vegan by using rice chocolate & dandies brand marshmallows (they toast up brown too!).

Here is what you need:
12 oz of chocolate (you can use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chips or bars whichever you prefer)
5 graham crackers crushed (1/2 a sleeve)
1 & 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows
-Pre-heat your oven to 200F
-Line a cookie sheet with foil. Try to use a cookie sheet that has edges, or create an edge with the foil so when your chocolate melts it does not spill over the edge.
-Break up your chocolate and spread it around the foil covered cookie sheet. Place into the oven until it melts. Use a spoon to spread it around the pan into a somewhat even sheet of melted chocolate.
-Sprinkle on your crushed graham crackers and marshmallows.
-Turn broiler on high and put pan of s’mores bark into oven just until marshmallows are toasted. It will happen quickly so keep a close eye on it.
-Place pan in freezer or refrigerator until chocolate is completely cooled and hard. Then break up bark into smaller pieces. Store S’mores Bark in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Sunday Links – Coffee

I love coffee, and I really love flavoring my coffee and having something different about it all the time. I’ll usually buy flavored creamers from the grocery store because Tom uses soy creamer, and he doesn’t like flavored coffee (so we skip the flavored beans) but some times I get really bored of the creamer flavors that are out there. I know there are a ton, but I don’t like the ones that are designed to taste like a “latte” (they have a bad aftertaste to me) and some times when the days are cool and rainy it makes me really want to slip on a sweatshirt, sip some pumpkin coffee and pretend it’s fall. So I decided to finally try and make my own coffee creamer.

I picked up these bottles from The Christmas Tree Shop for $1.99. I had been looking for them online but the cheapest I could find on Amazon was $5.50and did not offer “prime shipping” which is a deal breaker for me, haha. You can also sometimes find sparkling lemonade in these sorts of bottles, so those can be re-used for your creamer as well.

For my pumpkin creamer I followed the recipe posted here. I did up the amount of pumpkin slightly, used almond milk in place of milk, used fat free half and half in place of the heavy cream, and added 2 more tablespoons of maple syrup. **Oh and forgot to add that I threw in one cinnamon stick. I did not strain mine because I really like the spices and small bits of pumpkin, but you could use cheesecloth if you wanted a pure creamer. They store in the fridge for 10 days and I would say make about 2 and a half cups. My bottles are looking a little empty because I used them a few times and brought it along to a dinner party for others to try. But, they were fast to make and I’d make them again for sure! You could make it vegan too by using vegan cashew cream in place of the heavy cream, which is great because vegan flavored coffee creamers do not come in a wide variety where we live. I think you can pick vanilla or hazelnut.

My friend Tasha suggested that I make flavored syrups and then just add milk to the coffee. This is a great idea too! A Beautiful Mess has recipes for vanilla, raspberry, and caramel. But a little searching and I found a big variety of syrup flavors like..
Rosemary iced coffee and rosemary simple syrup which sounds great for summer
Pumpkin syrup which is what I made for my syrup
cherry simple syrup could be great in a mocha like a black forest cake coffee
just to name a few, the possibilities are really endless…

I have also been toying with the idea of getting a Keurigever since I had a cup at Jessee’s house. At first I thought K-cups were something like the pod coffee’s, but I guess they are not? Anyhow I am still not totally convinced I need one, I feel like maybe we drink coffee too often, and I would keep our regular old coffee maker too…but that cup at Jessee’s house was pretty darn good. Any thoughts on these?

**p.s. our cute mug is from kinshippress