Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vegan Cashew Dill Dip

This is a great healthy alternative to a store bought dip. It is easy to throw together and is made with fresh healthy ingredients. One recipe makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups so you can keep some on hand in the fridge to snack on. Great with fresh veggie or pita chips.

  • 1 cup raw unroasted, unsalted cashews
  • grapeseed oil (about 1/4 cup or less)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Pulse cashews in the food processor. While pulsing stream in the grapeseed oil. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Next dissolve the sea salt in the warm water. Pour into the food processor and pulse to combine. Now add the rest of your ingredients to the food processor and pulse to combine. You can add more water to thin the dip. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. The dip will thicken more as it chills. Use within a couple weeks or freeze.

*Recipe modified from The Healthy Cooking Coach

Monday, July 22, 2013

Carley's Colorful Book Themed Baby Shower

This last weekend we celebrated my sister-in-law and baby Raelynn with this colorful book themed baby shower. Carley loves to read, and this is their first baby so a book theme seemed perfect. The colors that Carley chose for the nursery are very fun and colorful, so we were able to incorporate those with the shower as well. You can find more details about the shower below.

Diaper cake tutorial HERE.
Free chalkboard reading quote print HERE.

Free Jane Austen reading print HERE.

Felt balls were purchased on Etsy from Hand Made Only.
I then strung the 2cm sized balls onto twine using a large needle.

Fresh gerber daisy flowers were placed in jars on each table. We found gently used children's books at thrift stores to use as centerpieces. 

We used baby links as napkin rings, that were then gifted to the Mommy-to-be. 
The napkins and table runners were made with very fun fabrics. Simply cut to squares and large strips and the edges sewn with a serger. 3 yards made 3 table runners and 2 yards made about 24 napkins with some extra scraps leftover.
Fabric from Fabric Bubb

Make your own tissue poms to add some color to the shower!
Tutorial HERE.

Yogurt Parfaits served with fresh fruit and granola.

If you look closely there is a tiny baby frozen in that ice cube. Fun baby shower game... Freeze tiny babies (found at craft store) in ice cubes. Give each guest one as they arrive. The first guest that gets their baby out of the ice cube must yell "My water broke!" and wins the game. 

As prizes for the winners of each game we gave them each one of the Mommy-to-be's favorite books.
Each book was also wrapped with a colorful headband made of jersey knit fabric. Tutorial for headband HERE.

We served Chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered bacon as dessert for a morning brunch style shower.
We used striped paper straws, twine, and washi tape to make the pendant banner with baby Raelynn's name on it. 

We also used fun colored washi tape to create quick and easy straw flags that were labeled with each guest's name.

We put Rochelle to work doing all the writing! She has beautiful penmanship and we had her address all the invitations,  write on drink flags, food labels, and anything else that required pretty writing!

As guests arrived we took their picture with the Mommy-to-be to place in a photo album for her to remember the special day. 

Served orange juice, mimosas, and cucumber mint water.

Fabric garland using a variety of colors and prints looks so cute! Carley will also be using it as a decoration in baby Raelynn's nursery.  

Served several kinds of quiche and breakfasts braids.

Presented Carley with a letter written to her and baby Raelynn from Matt (Daddy-to-be). 

As party favors for each guest as they left we made bookmarks with a reading quote by Jane Austen, along with a tea bag.
Download the free bookmark files in different colors HERE and HERE.
It was a very special morning with lots of love for Carley and Baby Raelynn!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Diaper Cake Tutorial

Today we celebrated My Sister-in-law and baby Raelynn! I can't wait to meet that sweet baby girl and so excited that Piper and her will grow up close in age. I had a lot of fun making this diaper cake for the shower. Can't wait to share more pictures of the shower. It was a book themed shower with lots of fun bright colors. We modeled the colors of the shower after Raelynn's Nursery. You can find a tutorial below on how to make the diaper cake.

You will need:

-Size 1 diapers (i used 78 for the 3 tiered cake)
-twine or ribbon
-cake pans or pots in 3 sizes

To Decorate:
-3 Burp bloths
-Baby headband
-Felt balls (about 50)
-Wooden letter

Step 1: Create a line of diapers all going the same direction and evenly spaced.

Step 2: Curl the diapers into the first cake pan, adding more if needed so the pan is full.

Step 3: Tie the diapers tight with twine.

Step 4: Carefully remove the diapers from the pan. Slide twine to center of diapers. If using Pampers it will run right along the yellow line on the diapers. Now you will need to slide the diapers to fill in any larger spaces.

Step 5: Once all of the diapers are evenly space you may have a hole in the center. (shown above)

Step 6: Roll up 1-2 diapers and place inside the hole.

Step 7: Your first layer is done! Repeat Steps 1-6 for the next two layers.

Once your layers are done you can stack them, making sure each layer of diapers is going in the same direction.

To Decorate:
Create a topper by rolling three burp cloths and wrapping a headband around all three. I made the burp cloths using cloth diapers and fabric from Fabric Bubb. You can buy felt balls online in all different colors. I ordered mine on Etsy from Handmadeonly and strung them on twine using a larger needle. For the Letter I wrapped grey yarn around a wooden letter that you can find at a craft store. I used a hot glue gun to hold down the yard in certain spots.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blueberry Plum Crumble

This is such an easy and yummy summer dessert. You also can use different fruit to change it up a bit each time. I altered a recipe from Barefoot Contessa that originally had peaches instead of plums. I've made it with peaches before too, and it is really good. This time I made it with plums because we had lots of plums to use up from our tree. 

10-12 firm, ripe plums
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

Ingredients for Crumble:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove the skin from the plums, cut into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar, flour, and blueberries. Gently toss. Let the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Next divide the mixture into ramekins or you could place into a baking dish. (I was able to fill 6 of the ramekins shown above)

For the crumble topping, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry knife or butter knife to blend the butter into the dry ingredients. You can also use your hands to mix the ingredients until they form into crumbs. Then sprinkle the crumb over the fruit. Place the ramekins or baking dish on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top!

*Recipe altered from Barefoot Contessa's Peach Blueberry Crumble