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Lynn Andriani (187 posts)
For the mom whose middle name could be Wonka...
Isabella's Cookie Company's Blooming Blossom Sugar Rush Cookies. She'll flip for these flower-shaped goodies, which are made with butter, eggs and buttermilk, and frosted with creamy vanilla icing and sprinkles.
For the mom who never packed a lunch box without a candy bar...
Cookie Panache's I Heart Mom Cookies. These adorable sugar cookies are decorated by hand with red, pink and white designs. Each treat is as big as the palm of your hand; sweettooths will love that they can "just eat one" and still get their sugar fix.
Rick Bayless Mexican Essentials ($2.99) is an iPhone app with 35 recipes from south-of-the-border expert Rick Bayless for starters, "light meals" like tacos and tamales, dinners, "basics" (beans, rice, tortillas) and desserts. An alphabetized ingredient list explains items from achiote seasoning paste to vanilla (the Mexican variety, naturally), with audio pronunciations. The app's best feature, though is its 40 instructional videos, in which Bayless gives demonstrations of the stuff that great Mexican dinners are made of, like knowing where to press on an avocado to figure out if it's ripe, or how to know when to flip a tortilla to cook on the other side.
In the spirit of using everyday objects in untraditional ways, here are 5 more mom-would-never-do-this ways to repurpose kitchen and dining pieces. What are yours? Tell us in the comments.
1. Kitchen towels as napkins. If you buy them at a restaurant supply store, they're very cheap (such as these 100% heavyweight cotton ones, $12 for a dozen).
2. Mason jars for yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits. Adapt the craze for all sorts of desserts and sweets in jars to your breakfast.
Flower Popsicles: You can adapt this easy recipe from Family Fresh Cooking to any flavor pop, though clear or light-colored liquids will show off the colorful blooms best. Mix 16 ounces water, 1 ounce orange blossom water and 1 tsp. lemon juice, stirring in honey or another sweetener to taste. Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze (without sticks) for an hour, then remove from freezer and add a few rinsed, edible organic flower petals to each pop, pushing them into the molds with a long, skinny spoon or stick. Add sticks and freeze until solid.
Raspberry Ice Cubes: These are fantastic in lemonade, iced tea or seltzer. Boil a cup of water with a half-cup sugar. Add 1 pint of raspberries and let them simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat and gently mash the berries with a fork, leaving some small chunks. Cool, then pour into ice cube trays; freeze for 6 hours.
Sunrise OJ: Give a glass of orange or grapefruit juice--or a combination of both--a garnet-colored shot (and a dose of antioxidants) with pomegranate juice. Pour the red liquid into the glass last; it will settle to the bottom and create a beautiful sunrise effect on the way down.
7 homemade fresh fruit ice pop recipes
An edible bouquet from Cristina Ferrare
45 ideas for colorful salads
Richa Hingle-Garg, who blogs at Hobby and More, has cracked the Doritos spice mix code (or come pretty close, anyway). Her recipe, which happens to be gluten-free, incorporates onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and nutritional yeast (an inactive yeast that's yellow in color and has a nutty, cheesy flavor).
1. Bake the bacon. Durand pops it in a 375-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it's crispy. "You can fiddle with the temperature a little bit so that your casseroles are baking at the same temperature as the bacon--just slide the bacon in on the top rack during the last 15 minutes the casserole is baking."
2. Use that oven for toast, too. After the casseroles and bacon are finished, take them out and turn on the broiler. Slide in a tray of sliced, lightly buttered bread, and keep an eagle eye on it (it'll only take 2 to 4 minutes to toast). Flip the slices once so they brown on both sides. "This is so much quicker and more efficient than making rounds and rounds of toast in the toaster--and your oven is already heated up. Might as well use it!" Durand says.
Paper towels. You can reuse and wash Bambooee towels up to 20 times in the washing machine. It'll take you as long to use up one roll ($12.99) as it would go to through 60 rolls of regular paper towels. You can use them for everything from drying fruits and vegetables to mopping up spills.
Leftover food storage. If you're uncertain about microwaving your lunch in a plastic container, switch to Fridgex Silicone, which is free of PVC and BPA (a recent study found plastic food packaging is a major source of these potentially harmful chemicals). Fridgex's products are heat-resistant up to 430 degrees, and the 8-piece mini storage set ($24.99) is so eye-catching, it'll make yesterday's dinner look even better than it did last night.
Leeks: Most risotto recipes require standing at the stove and stirring the pot continuously; this simpler version lets the oven do all the work. Follow this basic recipe but substitute 1 large or 2 small spring leeks for the onions.
Asparagus: Rub the spears with olive oil and season with pepper, then gather 3 to 4 together and wrap them in a strip of bacon. Lay on a pan with slots or holes set over a jelly roll pan to catch the grease, and roast in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.
How is it that the iced version can cost anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar more than the hot stuff? As this recent post on Delish points out, it isn't just the straw that drives the price up (though that does add a few cents). The biggest contributors to the hike are ice (most shops have to rent an ice machine during the season to keep up with demand), cups (those clear plastic ones cost more than paper, which would disintegrate in hot and humid weather), and the coffee itself (the cold-brewing process--which ensures that your icy beverage won't taste watered-down--requires more beans in every cup). And as the post explains with anecdotes from indie coffee shop owners who dread iced coffee season, some businesses don't even make that much money, even though you're paying significantly more.
There are ways to prevent your habit from eating into your summer vacation fund, though.
1. Bring a reusable travel mug. Caribou Coffee takes 50 cents off if you bring your own cup, Starbucks discounts 10 cents, and Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons also offer deals if you BYO.
Donut Mini Wallet, $20. We’ve found the perfect going-out wallet, whether you’re meeting friends for drinks or headed around the corner for a baker’s dozen. Two interior pockets (one of them clear) and an outside pocket hold just the necessities.
Leather Earrings, $16. These handmade, gold and gunmetal leather, leaf-shaped designs are lightweight (so they won't drag down your ears), and the proceeds help fund literacy programs for Muslim women artisans and their children in Northern India.
Wall Prints, $25. Photographer Jen Gotch's high-quality scans of her happy Polaroid shots--flags, grapefruit, flowers, palm trees, shoes--are vivid, archival-looking ways to add some fun to your walls.
Fused Glass Garden Art Stakes, $10. Fade-resistant, handmade garden markers will help identify all the plants in your yard or window box. They’re customizable, too (our picks: fire-engine red for tomatoes and hot pink for French lavender).