ENTERTAINING in April: Guaranteed to Put a SPRING in Your Step!

EntertainingTime Out

3 Minute Chocolate Frosting, Scrungie, Pizza Sloppy Joes, Lollipop Ring, Vanilla Milkshake ,
Mini-Terrariums, Double Chocolate Cookies, How To Wear a Square Kerchief


By Mary Canovas


3 Minute Chocolate Frosting

Sometimes you really need a great chocolate frosting for cupcakes, muffins or cakes, but you don´t have the time or the know-how. This chocolate frosting is super easy, made by hand, with no beaters or kitchen appliances (although you can use them if you want to do the clean up) and takes about 3 minutes. Just remember to refrigerate after you´re done to make sure it reaches the right consistency.

•2 cups (250 gr confectioner´s sugar). Make your own at home – much cheaper than in stores – with our video.

•1/2 cup (115 gr butter at room temperature or margarine). Butter is always better but not necessary.
•1/2 cup (65 gr sifted cocoa powder, not Nesquick etc.)
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 – 2 tablespoons milk

• Beat butter, sifted cocoa, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of milk together until well mixed. •Beat in the confectioner´s sugar in 4 parts
•If you find the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and beat until it reaches desired consistency. Please note that the frosting will harden once it is placed in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Refrigerate before using.


They´re baaaaaaaaaaaaaack…! No, Not the Poltergeists But the Scrungies!

Scrungies are all the rage again on the fashion runways. Big ones, tiny ones for ponytails, pigtails, buns or with almost any kind of hairdo, they are practical and now fashionable. A Missonite scrungie can set you back $95. However, anyone can make a scrungie in about 10 minutes AND you can customize them to match or complement your outfit. You can make them out of any fabric from cotton to satin to organza or lamé, decorate them with sequins, pearls or Swarovski crystals. Wear them at the beach, gym, office or for a night on the town. Anything is possible in the scrungie world!

Our video tutorial is in Spanish but easy to follow in any language:



Pizza Sloppy Joes

By the way this is not a Sloppy Joe Pizza but a Pizza Sloppy Joe Sandwich.

For those of you who have never eaten a Sloppy Joe, it´s basically a ground beef sandwich with lots of tomato sauce. It isn´t neat or dainty and is meant to be eaten with extra paper napkins on hand. Kids adore them and they are a great way to make a little meat go a long way when there´s a crowd for lunch.

This is a different Sloppy Joe from the original. It isn´t ”ketchupy“, which is what many non-Americans object to . This is an Italian Deli version – ground beef in a tomato sauce (no ketchup) with Italian seasonings, onions, peppers, pepperoni (or chorizo Pamplona in a pinch), and gooey, delicious Mozzarella in a toasted hamburger bun. So if you love pizza and are longing for a true comfort food dish, this just might be it.

Ingredients for 6
•1/2 kilo ground beef
•1 medium onion, chopped
•1/4 cup chopped green pepper
•1 3/4 cup tomato sauce
•80 gr. sliced pepperoni or chorizo Pamplona, finely chopped
•2 teaspoons garlic powder
•2 teaspoons oregano
•1/2 teaspoon dried basil
•Salt and pepper.
•6 hamburger buns, split
•6 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese

•In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper and season with salt and pepper.
•Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
•Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook until it is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain if necessary.
•Stir tomato sauce, garlic powder, dried oregano and basil and chopped pepperoni (or chorizo de Pamplona) into beef mixture in skillet. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
•Season the mixture with more salt and pepper, as desired.
•Spoon beef mixture onto each lightly toasted bun, sprinkle with cheese.
•Place on a baking sheet. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
•Replace tops.


Lollipop Flower Ring or Brooch

The latest in jewelry is plastic and unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. I´m going to show you how to make a lovely, trendy brooch or ring out of soda pop bottles. Talk about recycling! You can buy similar costume jewelry on the net from recognized designers at outrageous prices or you can make your own totally unique work of art.

All you need is a soda pop bottle, a candle, a little bit of glitter, glue for PVC and a ring or brooch base (get these at the local mercería or notions store). You can also use these to make necklaces or for scrapbooking or decoration. The basic tutorial works for any size. ONE NOTE: Don´t use a hot glue gun, use special glue for PVC.

Follow my 12min. EnCasaContigo video tutorial for easy instructions.



Copycat McDonald´s Vanilla Milkshake

We´ve made Frappuccinos, but this is the real classic – the milkshake – in this case, vanilla which is the basis for many more flavors: peppermint, coffee, caramel etc. The difference between the two is: milkshakes have very little milk, lots of ice cream, whereas the Starbucks Frappuccino is just milk with flavoring and ice.

Our McDonald´s copycat vanilla milkshake is thick and creamy and, yes, yummy (no counting calories here) but at a quarter of the cost and, I promise, the easiest recipe you´ve ever made. Plus, you know the quality of ice cream you are using and that is very important in this day and age.

Ingredients for 2
• 3 cups vanilla ice cream – take it out of the freezer a little before so it´s a little soft
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• Whipped Cream, Sprinkles – decoration
•Pour milk, ice cream sugar and vanilla in a blender or use a hand blender. If necessary, stop the blender and stir with a spoon and continue blending until the shake comes out creamy.
• Pour into glasses and top off with whipped cream. Decorate with sprinkles.


Mini Terrariums


A great gift to celebrate Earth Day – April 22 or for Mother´s Day which is right around the corner. Make your own Mini Terrariums with recycled containers and tiny plants or even weeds from your garden or flower pot. Every plant, especially those we don´t consider cultivated, is interesting and captivating when it is spotlighted alone or within a miniature garden like those we present in this video. Easy to make, easier to maintain, you will be surprised at how lovely a mini terrarium can be. Perfect for your desk or night table to remind you of just how incredible Mother Nature is.

Don´t forget to give it adequate sunlight every day and go light on the H2O!


Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies with Walnuts

There are two kinds of chocolate lovers, “kinda” and “nitty gritty”. This is a cookie for the latter. Chocolate on chocolate plus nuts – for the true chocolate devotee. Enjoy!

You can follow this recipe on the EnCasaContigo 7 minute video:

Ingredients – 3 dozen
• 1/2 cup – 108 gr butter at room temperature or margarine (not light)
• 1 cup — 200 gr sugar – (you can also use half white and half brown sugar)
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups – 190 gr flour
• 4 tablespoons – 30 gr cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup – 150 gr chocolate chips or home chopped chocolate
•1 cup – 125 gr chopped walnuts

•Heat oven to 190ºC
•Grease or line baking sheet with oven paper
•Mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
•In another larger bowl beat the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and cocoa powder beating until all ingredients are well mixed and fluffy.
•Add the flour mixture, gradually stirring until well blended. It will be hard to stir at the end – that´s normal, these are cookies not cakes.
•Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts until they are evenly distributed in the mix.
•Drop a teaspoon of the mix onto the baking sheet for each cookie leaving a space between them as they will spread out.
•Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. They should be soft in the center.
•Remove immediately from the cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack. They will appear very soft – they will harden when they are cold.
•You can make the mix ahead and refrigerate it up to 24 hours before baking or freeze up to 2 months.
•Freezing the excess mix is very handy because you can always have freshly cookies at any time, any day.


How to Wear a Square Kerchief

Square kerchiefs – we all have them locked away in our drawers. They are lovely to look at, but what can we do with them aside from using them as a kerchief? Here are two videos to show you 7 different ways to wear them. Perfect for a change to your everyday look and lovely for spring.




Featured image/Oberholster – ArtsyBee from Pixabay