Archive for February, 2014

2014, February 24

Mason Jar Matchbox

Mainly, I don’t camp out.
Sure, one-day trips with outdoor cooking are fine, but as far as a stay overnight in a tent goes – Estrella doesn’t do that.

Even though a few hours looking at the stars would be romantic, and sitting around a camp fire with friends is fun, I am way too crept out by an array of bugs and spiders, etc., wild animals and such pitch blackness being around me to actually sleep outdoors.

The few times I went to summer camp, we stayed indoors overnight. I still recall way-too-accurately the time when, flashlight in hand and all senses in overdrive, I ventured out in the middle of the night for a visit to the outhouse.
I couldn’t see anything past the weak light stream of the flashlight, it had rained earlier so the grass was all slippery, three things happened nearly all at once: in the exact moment a raindrop reached my nose from the tree leaves above me, I reacted (like I assume everyone would) by shining my flashlight above my head and spotting a HUGE spider in its web, just as a friend reached out and touched my shoulder.
Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t jump out of my skin then and there! You know, like they do in some cartoons (“Tom & Jerry” comes to mind).

Anyway. My urge to make a mason jar matchbox is only slightly related to camping; it is much more related to the fact that our matches absorb too much humid air whenever we have clothes air dry in the bathroom and/or kitchen, thus not igniting when we need them.
Plus, I also have this fear of fire that keeps me from wanting to strike matches to ignite too many times in a row, for they ignite unpredictably.

Hmm… I’m coming off very scared-bunnyish today, aren’t I? Oh well. Being perfect is overrated ;) Here’s how I decided to fix the problem of not having dry matches.

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Mason Jar Matchbox

Wash one small mason jar, peel off labels and leave aside to dry well.

Once it’s dry, take your strike-on-the-box matches and fill up the mason jar.

Cut off and affix a piece from the side of the matchbox onto the mason jar lid. That way you’ll have a secure surface to light the match.
I only had small boxes around the house, so I cut off a few and used double sided tape to affix them onto the lid, but I’ll buy a larger box next time we need matches, and will cut out a circle from its side and change it. Which is a good thing, as these things do get worn over time, so you can just replace when ever you buy more matches.

Add some embellishments on the jar, if you want to, like a ribbon, tag, label, etc., secure the lid onto the mason jar and you’re done.

Happy crafting! ;)

2014, February 17

Recipe of the Month: Crunchy Chicken Fingers

My preferred (so, favorite) meat is chicken. Probably because greasy food doesn’t sit well with me as you may have already noticed from the recipes I’ve posted here over the years.

Another thing I’ve been focusing on lately, is oven baking anything that allows it, as opposed to deep frying. I have even switched to oven-fries instead of French Fries over last summer!
That said, below is how I now prepare crunchy chicken tenders. It is a recipe from Lucinda Scala Quinn, whose cooking I like precisely because almost all the dishes are light, and easy to make :)

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Crunchy Chicken Fingers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to even thickness, cut into strips
  • 2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack, or with parchment paper. Combine buttermilk, mustard, salt, and cayenne in a nonreactive dish. Dip the chicken in this mixture and transfer to a dish with breadcrumbs, pressing to coat.

Transfer to your baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake until golden and chicken is cooked through, about 16 minutes. Season with salt.

Serve the crunchy chicken tenders to your/your family’s liking with dressing, creamy dill sauce, salad, hot sauce, etc.

 

Note: We make our own breadcrumbs as opposed to buying them from the store – there’s always leftover bread no one wants to eat, so I leave it to dry or pop it into the still-hot oven after I finish baking, then grind and store it in an airtight container.

Bon appétit! ;)

2014, February 15

An event that truly touched my little floral artist heart

Something one has always wanted to see, in real life, gets erased from your list. Life happens. Plans get derailed.
Want to know how you can make up for missing a world-famous Flower Festival?

Drop by Milliver’s Travels and read my travel article to find out how I was Making up for missing the Debrecen world-famous Flower Festival a couple of years ago; and by reading it, you’ll make up for missing it, too.

Hope it’ll convince you to drop everything and come visit Debrecen (and me?) this August.

2014, February 10

Wintertime Sore Throat Tea Base

I have recently seen this older article on the a little life blog, and have immediately decided to make it myself. It was the perfect thing to add to my War Plan Against the Sniffles.

We had two jars of honey nearly finished, and as always, had an extra lemon in the house that I could use. Plus, it’s a seriously easy recipe that goes a long way when battling the sniffles!

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Wintertime Sore Throat Tea Base

Cut up one lemon into thin slices into a jar, then add about one and a half cups of honey (I used half Acacia, and half Floral Honey to empty two nearly-finished jars). Stir gently.

Refrigerate until a sore throat asks for some soothing, hot tea or for when ever you’re craving a fragrant and yummy drink on cold nights.

Add 2-4 teaspoonfuls of the tea base into a cup, pour boiling water over it, then get all warm and cozy in bed so you can bounce back from the sniffles!

If you want to, you can add a few mint leaves, or some ginger for extra flavor, and as an extra measure against your cold.

Stay healthy! ;)

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