Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Orchids, Soap, and Tabbouleh

"Orchid Spray" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on Canvas
I find orchids unique and beautiful. They are one of the few flowers that can grow well indoors. 
A few tips:
Water only every 5-12 days. Overwatering is the most common mistake. 
Not blooming? Try more light.
The leaves are an indicator of enough light; they should be bright green. 
(Dark green, not enough light... Reddish green, too much light)

SIMPLY CREATIVE: Sparkly Clean, 
Fine Wine Dish Soap Dispenser

Fine Wine Dish Soap Dispensers
Last week for Valentine's Day, I made up several of these for gifts for friends. It makes a clever thank you gift or hostess gift as well. Pair it with a cute dish towel to complete.

1. Soak empty wine bottle in warm water for a few minutes and then scrape off the label. Take off the remaining glue with BarKeepers Friend, or other mild abrasive cleaner.

2. Re-label with a permanent label (many shipping labels are removable). This label is Martha Stewart brand found at Staples...permanent and water resistant, perfect for the kitchen. 

3. Create a label. Before attaching, I opted to pencil on my design and go over it with Sharpie permanent markers, as the ink from my computer kept smearing.

4. Fill with dish soap. Or, fill with bath soap instead for the tub.

5. Cork the bottles using old corks. I then used sealing wax and a stamp over the top (optional). 

6. Tie on a spout, like the kind used for olive oil or shot pourer.

RECIPE: Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh, Mid-Eastern Salad

This wonderful salad originates in Syria. Fresh, healthy, and full of flavor! I think my Syrian Great-Grandmother Jalayla would approve :)

1 cup bulgar (or use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
1 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 c finely chopped green onion
1/2 c finely chopped fresh mint
2 med tomatoes chopped
1/3 c lemon juice
1/3 c olive oil
2 cucumbers cubed

Soak bulgar in hot water for 10 minutes to plump grains. Drain well and add parsley, onions, mint , tomatoes, lemon juice, and oil. Toss well. Season and decorate with cucumber.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Valentine
This piece was born out of experimentation and whim. It is layered with images that make me smile, and ended up looking like a big homemade valentine...the best kind.
"My Favorite Valentines" mixed media on canvas by Tina C. Wells

SIMPLY CREATIVE: Valentine’s Day Celebration

I grew up in a home where we always celebrated Valentine’s day as a family. Both my parents always had a small gift and cards for us, as well as decorations and a special dinner. Our family still gets together for Valentine’s day. We gather together for a great meal; small gifts are exchanged, often something homemade. This year, the kids and I will be decorating valentine cards, and making heart-shaped pizzas as part of our celebration.

Sweet homemade valentines incorporating photos,  kids art, handprints, etc.

I like to display past valentines on  branches, attached with wooden clothes pins

Valentine Pizza with goat cheese, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes

Pizza tips:
I haven't found the directions on the back of raw pizza dough (trader joe's) to work very well, so here is how I have made it and had it turn out well (thanks to some guidance from my friend Laurel).

Preheat oven to 450. Roll out the dough with a little flour. Stretch and shape the dough into a heart shape (or just round). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Poke multiple times with a fork (like pie crust). Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from oven and brush with olive oil; add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake 5 more minutes. ENJOY!

Having fun with pizza dough!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: LOVE!

"Love Never Fails" Acrylic on canvas by Tina C. Wells
I absolutely love Valentine's Day! While viewed by many as a romantic celebration, I think of it as a time to shower a little affection on all those I love...friends, family, kids, spouse. The nice thing about Valentine's Day is that there are not a lot of expectations; no one expects a valentine card or gift, except perhaps your significant other. A sweet little remembrance in the form of a card or homemade goodie is then an unexpected treat that delights. 

"Love Never Fails"...inspiration from I Corinthians 13.
RECIPE: Buttermilk Waffles with Heart Strawberries

Homemade Waffles topped with Heart-shaped Strawberries
These delicious homemade waffles were a Saturday morning favorite growing enjoyed by my kiddos (I freeze whatever is left and heat up in the toaster). Strawberries are easily cut into hearts...great for a sweet Valentine breakfast, or top with ice cream for dessert instead.

cut a V shape out of the top, and then slice in half
Buttermilk Waffles

4 Eggs
2 cups Buttermilk* 
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 TBS sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter melted
*Don't have buttermilk on hand? Who does? easy substitute: in a liquid measuring cup, add 2 TBS cider vinegar, fill to 2 cup mark with milk, stir

In a mixer, blend ingredients together on medium speed, in above order. Bake in waffle iron.