Happy summer days, filled with fond memories and new beginnings bring us back to nature and let us explore places, people and ourselves. Time to chill out, have fun and relax and, perhaps, try out a few recipes and a craft. Enjoy – fall is still a while away!
Owls, cupcakes and Oreos have been all the rage for a while. Combine them and you have a winning party centerpiece and cake for birthdays or special occasions.
The great thing about cupcake cakes is that they´re easy to make, totally different and you don´t have to worry about cutting or portions. You don´t even have to bake the cupcakes (buy madalenas instead and cut off top). Use any color frosting you prefer – just make sure you position your eyes and wings correctly.
Make individual little owl cupcakes for each guest to go along with the big wise old owl if you don´t want to dismantle the cake too soon.
• 10 round cupcakes any kind or flavor + extras for individual owls
• 1 cup or 250gr vanilla frosting any kind – buttercream, cream cheese etc.
• food coloring
• grated coconut
• 8 Oreos
• 7 cashews or peanuts
• gummy gelatin candies
• Pretzels, or Spanish barquillos
Full video tutorial in our show En Casa Contigo.
You´ll never believe how easy it is to make this recipe. First – no need of ice cream machines. (The ones we all bought, but so rarely use because we forget to put the bowl in the freezer overnight or we don´t have room for that huge bowl in the freezer) The ingredients are easily available. And no eggs, so there´s no problem with salmonella. Plus you don´t even need an electric mixer. And last but certainly not least, you don´t have to check on it and mix every 15 minutes until it´s frozen if you´re making it without an ice cream machine.
When I set out to make this recipe, I thought it was nigh on impossible to do all of the above and get a nice cup of ice cream. Was I surprised and you will be too. This recipe is quick and painless and your family will love it. Great after a meal instead of a cup of coffee. Coffee lovers love it because it isn´t overly sweet and has a real coffee taste. It´s creamy and not too strong and is an excellent pick- me- upper at any time if you make it with regular coffee. Of course you can also make it decaffeinated for the little ones.
And for the not so little ones, add a couple of spoons of brandy, rum or your preferred liqueur to the recipe.
Optional to decorate – Whipped cream, sprinkles, liqueurs, chocolate syrup …
Remember those Dairy Queen ice cream cones with the hard chocolate shell? I´m going to show you how to make an instant chocolate shell for ice cream. It´s easy and very tasty. The kids will love it. It only takes seconds to harden after dipping o pouring the chocolate syrup on an ice cream.
The secret: edible virgin coconut oil – You can buy it in pharmacies or supermarkets o specialized store. This is the only edible and tasty oil (tastes mildly like coconut) that immediately solidifies on contact with cold. It is solid at room temperature.
It not only great on ice cream but also works with any frozen fruit – like bananas. Freeze a banana on a stick and pour our Magic Shell over it – you´ve got an instant low calorie banana pop.
Makes 2 cups. Lasts 1 month in the fridge.
A classic pastry basic. Fill cakes, or make lemon meringue tarts, lemon mousse, on cookies, toast or English scones… Absolutely essential for an English tea party.
A refreshing taste, not too sweet nor too tart. Easy to make, lasts a week in the refrigerator.
Quantity: about 1 1/2 cups
• 3 large eggs
• 150 gr – 3/4 cup sugar
• 80 ml – 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 60 gr – 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• Put the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a bowl over gently simmering water (bain marie)
Cover well and Cool in the refrigerator. Last 1 week in fridge.
Do you need an air freshener but don´t like those artificial scents? Are you are aware of the danger some of the chemicals found in commercial air fresheners pose to your health? This may be just your thing – A Natural Aromatherapy Reed Diffuser.
Take advantage of the benefits of natural essential oils, choose your favorite or mix them to your taste – you can even use your own perfume instead of oils. Reed Diffusers are very easy to make and inexpensive alternatives to all those chemicals we breathe into our bodies every time they spray in our homes. They are gentler and will not harm children or expectant moms and you will save a lot of money. You can buy essential oils online, in pharmacies o nature stores.
• A clean narrow neck bottle or container so the content does not evaporate easily
• Bamboo reeds or thin bamboo barbecue sticks or skewers
• 1/4 cup – 32 gr. mineral oil (Johnson´s Baby) but you can use light vegetable oils such as safflower or sunflower or sweet almond oil – not olive – too heavy. This carrier oil will rise up your reeds taking with it the essential oils.
• 2 tablespoons undiluted and unflavored vodka. It makes the carrier oil lighter.
• 15 to 25 drops of essential oil or blend your own mix. Some popular combinations are lavender oil and lemon or orange and cinnamon or mint and basil.
• You can also use your favorite perfume.
• Stir together the mineral or vegetable oil with vodka until well blended.
• Add the drops of essential oil or perfume
• Stir well and pour into prepared clean container.
• Insert as many reeds as will fit in the container mouth
• Turn the reeds upside down every week for optimal diffusion of essential oils.
Lavender: calms, soothes the nervous system and helps you sleep
Lemon:a natural antidepressant, soothes anxiety
Orange: Refreshes and relaxes
Basil: for headaches
Rosemary: stimulates mind and improves memory
Clove: against nasal congestion, aphrodisiac
FEATURED IMAGE by Irkata, public domain: http://pixabay.com/es/users/Irkata/
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