Archive | April 2014

Summertime Hair Accessories

Been working on hair scrunchies for my Etsy shop.  With summer almost here we’ll have to get our our pretty hair accessories and for keeping the hair off your face and neck are some cool scrunchies.  Will soon be listing more colors and patterns.  

https://www.etsy.com/listing/187688920/pretty-hair-scrunchie-accessory-polka?ref=shop_home_active_1

Summertime Trend Hair Accessories

Summertime Trend Hair Accessories

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I can smell summer

Back at the cottage!  The snow is still lingering, but much of it has melted.  The lake still grips its icy form but I am sure in a few more weeks it will all be gone and more fun boating adventures will begin.  It was a perfect day, a little cool but biking is so much more enjoyable on cooler days than those hot steamy ones.  I love being up north, it’s sooo quiet and peaceful…stress? Doesn’t exist here.  I could not have asked for a better day!  After a few hours of exploring and biking all the hills I was ready to relax on the deck, take some sun and enjoy the amazing views.

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Cupcake Catwalk

Share Time! Village Sweets and a few of their cupcake designs.

Village Sweets

Playing around with different designs for some cupcakes.  Ideas and possibilities are endless.  Cupcakes make great favors for parties, weddings and other events, especially themed occasions. You can easily just go crazy decorating them.  Here is a sample of some of my many cupcake designs, they are doing their best on the “Catwalk”.

Visit my Etsy Shop for more Royal Icing Flowers  https://www.etsy.com/shop/VillageSweets

Mint Julep Cupcake with Love Me Lavender Roses. Mint Julep Cupcake with Love Me Lavender Roses.

Porcelain Blue Cupcake (color) with Kiss Me (color) Roses. Porcelain Blue Cupcake (color) with Kiss Me (color) Roses.

Calypso Coral Cupcake (color) with Chocolate Flavored and Peaches & Cream (color) Roses. Calypso Coral Cupcake (color) with Chocolate Flavored and Peaches & Cream (color) Roses.

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Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti

One dish meals,  I think they are my favorite.  So much less clean up after dinner and more of relaxing time.  Tonight I prepared spinach stuffed manicotti.   You can prepare a few things ahead of time for this recipe, like making a fresh spaghetti sauce, chop up the onion, wash and chop up the spinach and prepare your pan to receive the shells after boiling.  I had my homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer (I do a lot of cooking and prep and freeze to have homemade meals rather than make a fast food pit stop), so I simply took it out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the refrigerator.  So lets get to it…

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti               Makes about 20 stuffed shells.

–   1 small onion, chopped

–  2 cloves garlic

–  1 T. Olive Oil

–  1 package Manicotti shells (I had 20 shells)

–  9×13 inch baking dish, lightly oiled  (I used a glass lasagna dish)

–  Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and oiled lightly with olive oil.  (This prevents your shells from sticking to the pan while they cool).

In a small pan on medium heat, add olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and sautée for a few minutes.  Remove from heat.  In a large pot, fill with water adding a drop of olive oil to the water and bring to a boil.  Add the manicotti shells and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes.  They should be somewhat firm, do not overcook or they will break when you are filling the shells.  When they are done, remove the shells to your prepared cookie sheet, in a single layer, do not put them on top of one another, they will stick together.  Set aside to cool.  Begin your Ricotta mixture.

Ricotta Mixture:

–  1 tub of Ricotta (625 grams or  2 1/2 cups)

–  1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese  (grated fresh or the container kind)

–  4 to 6 cups Spinach, chopped

–  1 large pastry bag fitted with just a coupler or a freezer bag with the corner cut off about  1″  wide.

–  Prepared homemade spaghetti sauce or you can use a store bought variety  (I used about 3 – 4 cups)

–  1/4 cup heavy cream 35%

–  1 cup shredded Mozzerella Cheese

In a large bowl, add the reserved onions and garlic, Ricotta, Parmesan Cheese and the Spinach and mix well until fully combined.  Set aside.   Add your spaghetti sauce to a pan and heat.  When the sauce is hot, add the heavy cream and stir until combined.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spoon about 1-2 cups of your sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it to all the sides, make sure it is a thick enough layer.  Take your pastry bag fitted with the coupler and fill the bag with the Ricotta mixture.  Begin to fill your Manicotti shells, careful not to break any by overstuffing, fill one side halfway and then turn your shell and fill the other end.  Place your shell in the baking dish on top of the sauce and repeat these steps until all your shells are filled and in the baking dish.  They should be in one layer side by side not on top of one another.  Ladle some more sauce on top of the shells, be generous.  Top with the shredded Mozzerella Cheese.  Put in the preheated oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 minutes.  When you remove your Manicotti from the oven, let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with crusty bread and a wonderful salad.  Delish!

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Forgot to take a picture when they were baked….Oooops!

 

 

 

Cottage Life…Simply Beautiful

My best buddy and I headed up to my cottage yesterday for simply, a day off.  Got on our bikes and headed out for an early ride. OMG!  It was just beautiful.  Okay, yeah there is still lots of snow, but we just couldn’t wait.  We couldn’t ask for a better day.  Here in Québec it has been a long long, did I say long? Long winter.  It was wet and it was muddy, but I was just loving it.  We checked out some trails that we will be venturing on in the spring (if we get a spring?) summer and fall.  The Aerobic Corridor trails look like it will be very challenging, can’t wait!  And the great thing is….it’s Free! (For biking and hiking that is, fees for xcountry skiing and snowshoeing). The Lac-Des-Seizes-Iles lake is still pretty frozen, but I am just itching for a day to stick the boat in the water and simply having nothing to do but enjoy a lazy day on the lake!

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Village Sweets

Hello world!

Another share from Village Sweets.  Pretty royal icing flowers to decorate your own cakes and cupcakes.  

http://village-sweets.com/2014/04/11/royal-icing-pretties-2/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/VillageSweets

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Purple Pansie's

Purple Pansie’s

Drop Flowers

Drop Flowers

Pink Primrose and Pink Violets.

Pink Primrose and Pink Violets.

Shamrock Shake

Living in Quebec, I had a hard time finding these Milkshakes, after receiving several requests to “pick me one up on your way home please”.  Unfortunately, the McD’s around here don’t know what a Shamrock Shake is….Oooops!  So the next alternative was to make one myself.  I have never had a Shamrock Shake so I can’t compare.   I enjoyed this frothy cold minty delight.  

SHAMROCK SHAKE

–   2 Cups Whole Milk 

–   1/4 Cup 35% Cream

–   6-8 Large Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream (I used 8, I like it thick!)

–   1 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract

–   Several drops of green food coloring

–   ColdWhipped topping

–   Shaved chocolate for topping

–   Maraschino Cherries  (one with stems would have been even cuter)

You know what to do…Throw it all into a blender and process until smooth.  Top with some whipped topping, shaved chocolate and a cherry.  Voila!  You’re homemade Shamrock Shake.  Who needs McDonald’s anyways.  LOL!

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