21 before 22

So the other day I got inspired to create a list for myself of things to accomplish before I turn 22. So I now have less than 6 months to accomplish 21 things (which is why some of them are quite simple.)

I will admit that a lot of these are quite vague (such as he brave) and not quite quantifiable but if I give it a shot I think it counts as a check off on my list. So here it is ladies and gentleman, my list of 21 things to do before I turn 22!

1. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee
2. Create a more inspiring workspace
3. Keep Krafty Keely updated
4. Be brave
5. Attempt to snowboard
6. Teach myself to love running
7. Get my jewelry line into two more stores
8. Discover a new band
9. Go to an art gallery
10. Create a recipe binder
11. Discover a new restaurant
12. Leave 12 sticky note compliments for strangers
13. Serve dinner to the homeless
14. Cut out 90 percent of big box shopping
15. Move out!
16. Make creme brûlée
17. Start journaling
18. Develop my own cupcake recipe from scratch
19. Visit Europe (this made it on the list because the trip is already planned)
20. Graduate (also already happening unless I fail)
21. Don’t give up

So there it is, for the world to see, my challenge to myself for before I turn 22 in May, here goes nothing!

I’m back!

So I’m back after an extended hiatus, I apologize for my absence.  I would however like to make it up to you by offering a wonderful tutorial for a project that is practically free :)  Are you excited?  Cause you should be!

Here is the inspiration for the project (her Etsy store)

Inspiration

However I decided that I could make it myself with an old lace cami that I was eliminating from my closet as well as an old t-shirt.

Here’s what you need…

  • T-shirt
  • Lace cami (or lace from the craft store)
  • Rotary cutter (or just scissors)
  • Scissors 
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine

That’s not too scary of a list, right! Don’t let the sewing machine scare you, it’s a very nice tool not a scary one, I promise (that and you only need to sew three mostly-straight lines).

So let’s get started.

Grab your t-shirt and cut the bottom seam off using your rotary cutter (or scissors).  Then cut a 2.5 inch strip from the t-shirt.

Now set the big part of the t-shirt aside, you can use it later for necklaces, bracelets and other such pretty things.  Also, unless you can think of a genius use for the bottom seam, go ahead and throw that away.

Now measure your head around where you wear a headband (my head is 22 inches around, I always thought I had a pretty large head, but as it turns out the average for women is about 22 inches, who knew).

Cut the t-shirt down the the length of your head + .5 inch (for seam allowance).

Now on to the lace.  My lace cami’s get all ripped around the bottom after wearing them for a while, so I decided something could be done with the lace around the bottom.  So carefully cut around the bottom hem.  You need this piece to the be twice as long as your t-shirt piece (because you’ll cut it in half, one piece for each side).  I got lucky and mine was the exact same size, once cut in half.

Pin one piece of lace to your t-shirt strip.

Now sew (I promise it’s easy, just a straight line down the side).

Now repeat this whole process on the other side.

You’ll end up with something that looks like this

Now give it a quick little iron.  Since the lace is see-through try to get the seams to fold in on the color instead of out towards the lace.

Once it’s ironed pin the ends, right sides together, again trying to keep the seams folded in towards the solid color.

And sew…

Turn it right side out and ta-da, a headband.

Check it out.  I love when thins work out the way I want them to!

I’m totally going to rock this on ponytail days!  You should too!

I’m glad to be back, hope you’re happy to have me back!

Migas (easy and yummy)

I am so sorry, I have been gone for such a long time!  I have been busy and unable to really make much worth sharing and haven’t charged my camera battery in forever!  I realize that these are all horrible excuses, I know, I’m so sorry.

So I’m giving you a welcome back gift, a simple, delicious, and good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  O my gosh, mind blowing right.

I’m not kidding about simple however, depending on what you choose to put in this recipe it will take about 5 minutes to prep and about 7 minutes to cook, and you only need one bowl and a pan!  Fabulous!

So here we go.

I made my Migas with

1 strip of bacon

2 corn tortillas

1/2 orange bell pepper

2 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

salt and pepper to taste

Shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)

but you can really use anything (other bell peppers are awesome, onions are great, tomatoes if you feel like it, whatever you would like).

So here’s how it goes.

Fry up your bacon until brown a crispy.

Pour out about half of the bacon fat.  Cut the corn tortillas into strips and drop into the bacon grease.  Allow to brown, this takes about two minutes.

Once your tortillas are crispy you can go ahead and add in your veggies.

I didn’t let my peppers cook very long because I wanted them crispy, but you can do whatever you would like.

Then add in your two eggs, after scrambling them in a seperate bowl with the milk, salt and pepper.

Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until fully cooked.

Plate and then sprinkle cheese on top.  If you like spicy food, tabasco sauce is great on top of this, or salsa.  It would go great inside of a tortilla, but it’s also super awesome just on it’s own, enjoy!

No-bake Oreo Cheesecake

It’s summer, and here in Colorado it is HOT.  It’s also been raining almost everyday (which I love!) but it’s also been incredibly humid (probably not as humid as in places that you live, but still, incredibly humid).  (Check me out on Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou

So needless to say, as much as I love baking, I’m not a huge fan of turning on my oven right now.  When I was asked to bring dessert to a recent barbeque I had to come up with something that didn’t involve me turning on my oven.  One of the first things that popped into my mind was cheesecake, because it sounded delicious.  

I know what you’re thinking…cheesecake has to bake in the cake for over an hour!  That is the opposite of not turning on your oven.  Well here’s my secret.  I found this recipe for no-bake cheesecake.

Now in my mind this could be taken in a million different directions…Snickers, peanut butter swirl, salted caramel…so many ideas!  I am keeping this recipe near by…you know in my back pocket, it’s so handy.

However, I went with the Oreo suggestion this time around.

So here’s what you do.

No-bake Oreo Cheesecake

Crust

30 Oreos

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

1 cup half and half

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup flour

1 cup white chocolate chips, melted

4 blocks of cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

salt

12 Oreos

First things first, let’s make the crust (super easy)

Crush up the 30 Oreos.  You can do this in a food processor or by hand with a rolling pin or meat tenderizor.  Once you have a pretty fine crumb, pour in the melted butter and mix.  

Pour into a spring form pan and smoosh flat.  The best way to do this is to use a measuring cup and press it into the edges.

Put the crust into the fridge and allow to set for at least and hour.

While the crust is setting, let’s get to the first step of the filling.

Put 3/4 of the half and half in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Mix the rest of the half and half with the egg yolks.  Add in the flour and whisk until combined.

Once the half and half reaches a boil, slowly add it in to the egg mixture while whisking.  Be very careful to not let the eggs scramble.  Put everything back int othe pot and cook for another two minutes while stirring constantly.  

Seriously, I mean constantly otherwise you will have scrambled eggs…

I had to start again.

Moving on, once the mixture has thickened remove from the heat and whisk in the melted white chocolate.

Once everything is combined, pour into a bowl and put a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the pudding, put in the fridge and let cool at least and hour.

Once everything is cooled it’s time to bring everything together.  In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth.  Pour in the pudding mixture and beat until combined.

Now pour about a third of the filling onto the crust.  Sprinkle with 6 crushed Oreos and then cover with another third of the filling.  

Sprinkle with more Oreos and top with the remaining filling.  Use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.  Put in the fridge and let set for about 3 hours (or overnight, the perfect make ahead treat).

This will serve about 12 people very filling portions.  Enjoy!

Infusing vodka

It’s summer and summer means high temperatures and hanging out with friends.  I also have two friends who recently had birthdays and this is a great present for people (especially one who just turned 21).  It works great if you know what they’re favorite fruit is, that way you can customize it to them, which is what I did.

It took me about 20 minutes to create these 6 beautiful bottles of infusing vodka (they aren’t quite infused yet, that takes three days).  Part of the reason it took that long is because chopping pineapples and watermelons is not always easy.

Process adapted from Shutterbean

For two jars you need…

Plenty of fruit (I used a pineapple and a half and one small watermelon for two jars each).

750 mL of Vodka

Chop up your fruit of choice (you can really use any fruit you would like).

Fill the mason jar completely with fruit and then pour the vodka on top.

That’s all, then just let it sit for three days, shaking it once a day.  You can give it to your friend with instructions on how to care for it or you can make it a few days in advance and give them the fully strained and drinkable version.

Once it’s sat for 3 days you’ll need to strain it.  First strain it through a mesh strainer to get out the big chunks and then pour through coffee filter or cheese cloth to get out the pulp (unless of course you or a friend prefer pulp).

I figure you can just add some sprite or soda water for a super simple cocktail, or get creative and do whatever you think sounds good!  However this is a great, simple summer treat!

P.S.  the fruit is very toxic, it won’t taste like much, but it will get you intoxicated.

Camp baking part 4-Rolo Dream Bars

I love Rolos.  They’re not a very common candy but they certainly are delicious!  I need a recipe for camp that wasn’t cake related.  My original idea was to make chocolate chip cookies, easy and straight forward, but when I came across this recipe for Rolo Dream Bars I couldn’t resist!  Such a clever idea!  It also stayed pretty moist for the duration of camp (they were kept in a Ziploc bag).

This was a pretty simple recipe that took me way longer that it should have because it was my first night baking in someone else’s house and I had to run to the store in the middle of it to get eggs…no fun! However if that hadn’t happened it would have taken me about 10 minutes of active time (it does, however, bake for an hour).

So here’s what goes on.

Rolo Dream Bars

recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

Shortbread base

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

2/4 cup sugar

2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 300.

Take your room temperature butter and mix with salt and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add in your flour.  The mix will be pretty crumble, but don’t worry, you have to press it into the bottom of your pan so it will all come together.

Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

When shortbread comes out of the oven line it with Rolos so they get a little melty.  I used 12 Rolos for this part

Let everything sit and cool a bit while you make the filling.

Dream Bar Filling

2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 cup shredded coconut

20 or so Rolos (I didn’t really count, I just used a bunch)

Mix brown sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs together in a medium bowl until the mix comes together.  This should be pretty liquidy.

Pour on top of the shortbread base and then sprinkle coconut and Rolos on top.  You can also add nuts of any kind or maybe even some chocolate covered sunflower seeds.  Be creative and make these your own!

Bake for another 30-35 minutes.

YUM!

Let cool completely and remove from pan to cut (this is really easy if you use an aluminum pan.)

Enjoy!


Camp baking part 3-Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling

These were a big hit at camp.  The great thing about these cupcakes is that they lasted for a long time, so they were able to hang out at camp and be grazed on throughout the week.  They are made with sour cream and filled with lemon curd so there is a lot there to keep them moist, it’s wonderful!

Unfortunately in all the craziness I didn’t get a finished picture of the cupcakes, but they looked pretty awesome.

Here’s the run down of what you need to know.

Sour Cream Lemon Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Cupcakes Plain and Fancy

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

salt

2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.  

In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar.  Whip for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.

Add in vanilla and lemon zest, your lemon should look like this when you’re done. (Remember to not get the white part, just the bright yellow part.

Now it’s time for the usual 3 parts dry ingredients 2 parts wet ingredients system.  Combine all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add in about a third of the dry goods and mix until just combined.  Then add half of the sour cream and mix.  Repeat until everything is mixed in, ending with an addition of dry goods.

Fill 24 lined cupcake tins about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking you can work on your lemon curd.

Microwave Lemon Curd

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

3 lemons, zested (do this before juice them!)

1 cup fresh lemon juice (requires about 8 lemons)

1/2 cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, whisk to combine.  

Microwave in 1 minute incriments, stirring well after each addition.

When it comes out looking like this…

It’s done.  It took me about 4 minutes.

It should also coat the back of a spoon.

It will be really thin when it first comes out, but it thickens as it cools.

When the cupcakes are cool, use cut out some of the middle and use a piping bag to fill each one.

The top with cream cheese frosting, or lemon butter cream and enjoy!

Camp baking part 2-Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes.

Sheesh, sorry about that title.  This camp treat was by request from a friend who recently changed her diet and is avoiding gluten, eggs and dairy.  I gladly accepted the challenge and then it slowly started to sink in what I had signed myself up for.

I thought to myself, “I’m supposed to baking something that doesn’t contain any butter, or flour or eggs?  O dear, I must be crazy!”  However, I did not give up.  I had Joy the Baker’s gluten free strawberry cupcake recipe in my back-pocket and it was already dairy free, I just had to get rid of those pesky eggs.

I googled “egg substitues” to find that there is no designated way to substitute eggs.  I found instructions that used oil and baking powder and corn starch to sub in as one egg, I found others that called for 1 tablespoon of corn starch and one tablespoon of water per egg and then another that called for 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 3 tablespoons of water per egg.  I was confused, I was lost and didn’t know where to go, but I decided on subbing in 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 3 tablespoons of water for each egg (it seemed like the closest in volume to an egg), along with 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil (for the whole recipe) to add some fat back into the recipe.

Here are my four “eggs” for the recipe.

Now that we have that figured out, we can get on our way with the cupcakes as a whole.

Here’s what you need.

Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon corn starch (or arrowroot powder)

salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 12 tablespoons cold water

1/2 cup agave

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup diced strawberries

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl combine the corn “eggs”, agave and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.

Add in the coconut flour, corn starch, salt and baking soda and whisk together.  At first the mixture will feel very loose, but keep whisking and it will start to thicken up.  The good things is that since there is no gluten, you can’t really over beat this batter.

Now dice up your strawberries (I know it’s a pain the butt to dice strawberries, but your patience will be rewarded).

Aren’t they pretty?

Now pour them into your batter with the lemon zest and mix.

Fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full with batter (it doesn’t rise a whole lot)  You should be able to make about 9 cupcakes.

Bake for 25 minutes.

The frosting was a little bit tricky, no cream cheese, no butter, no meringue.  In my search I came across a shortening frosting, but I don’t do shortening so I subbed in shortening for coconut oil (it’s also solid and room temperature).

Coconut Oil Frosting

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-4 cups powdered sugar

Whip the coconut oil and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually add in powdered sugar until your desired constancy is reached.  Done.  That was easy

Now smear that on top of your cooled cupcakes and ta-da, you did it.  Gluten free, dairy free, egg free cupcakes.  Didn’t know it was possible, did you? 

 

Enjoy!

Camp baking part 1-Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I’m going to a camp this week and all of my friends going with me requested that I bring baked goods.  I was totally ok with that, so I came up with a nice list of stuff to make.  I’ll tell you all how to make everything, starting with these.  Red Velvet Whoopie pies.  It’s pretty much a cupcake but instead of the frosting on top, the frosting is sandwiched in between two cake cookies.  That’s what I like to call them at least, cake cookies, there’s really no better way to describe what they are.  

Not only are there red velvet cake cookies on each side, but there’s brown sugar cream cheese frosting is smooshed in the middle, how can we go wrong!?! 

This is pretty simple, the recipe for the cake cookies is from The Brown Eyed Baker, and the brown sugar cream cheese is from Joy the Baker and the recipe can be found here.

Here’s what you need

Red Velvet Cake Cookies

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

salt

1 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 teaspoons red food coloring (I used a whole tube of liquid food coloring)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl whip the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined.

Once the butter mixture is well mixed, add in the vanilla, food coloring and cocoa powder and mix.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 installments, alternating it with the buttermilk (beginning and ending with the flour, you’ve done this method before, you know what’s up).

Now you have a nice bright red batter.

Using a medium size ice cream scoop, scoop out cookies onto a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cake cookies for about 12 minutes, or until the bounce back when pressed on.

Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.

Now take your frosting and pipe it (with a medium round piping tip) around the bottom.  Like this…

(It doesn’t have to look super pretty, you’re going to smoosh another cookie on top of it)

Now take a second cake cookie and place it on top of the frosting.  Done!

Told you that was easy.

Now pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy your well deserved whoopie pie.

And make sure to check back for more posts about what I took to camp!

Check out this post on Skip to my Lou

Spicy Mango Cupcakes (that’s right, SPICY)

My friend B at work eats a mango almost every day with his lunch.  Another co-worker brought in mango cupcakes a while ago and he was all over that.  He is also a huge fan of spicy food (he puts habanero tabasco sauce on everything, and he had me try a drop and I thought my mouth was going to melt away).  So when we were talking about cupcake ideas I threw out the idea of a spicy mango cupcake.

He was curious about it.  This cupcake was invented for B’s sake and it was inspired by the street food in the Caribbean that I’ve heard of (spicy mango on a stick).

I also really wanted to make this cupcake for the shock value of it.  No one is expecting a dessert treat to have a kick to it (I may have given them too much of a kick, but the recipe is adjusted for you, just add cayenne to taste).  

B was a fan of the finished product and the other 14 people at the office who tried them seemed to agree.

Here we go.

Mango cupcakes (yields about 21 cupcakes)

Recipe adapted from The Culinary Chronicles

3/4 cup butter (room temperature)

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

2/3 cup mango yogurt (I used Chobani)

2 teaspoons mango extract (found online)

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

1 cup mango puree (takes about two mangos)

Preheat oven to 350

In a large bowl whip butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, blending each one until well incorporated.

Once the eggs are added, mix in the yogurt and extract.

Mix together all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne) and measure your puree.

Alternately add flour mixture and puree, starting and ending with the flour mixture (three additions of flour, two additions of puree).  Mix until incorporated but do not over mix!

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill each one about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and let cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling let’s get to work on the frosting.

Mango Cream Cheese Frosting

You’ll need…

8 oz. (1 block) cream cheese (softened)

1 1/2 sticks butter (room temperature)

1/3 cup mango puree

4-6 cups powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

In a medium bowl whip together the cream cheese and butter.  When the mixture is light and fluffy add in the mango puree and whip until combined.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar (I rarely measure powdered sugar so the measurement is approximate.  Keep adding in sugar until the frosting reaches a good consistency and flavor).  Add in some cayenne (go light at first, this is where things can get too spicy for your cupcakes!)

Pipe on to cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Check it out!  You can see the flecks of cayenne!  Yum!