Monthly Archives: August 2012

Recipe of the Week

From MsFormaldehyde’s Kitchen, of msformaldehyde

I make this all the time. It is delicious!

Jalapeno Bruschetta
Serves: 8
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 2 min
Total: 12 min

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices (1/2 inch thick) cracked-wheat country bread, or 16 slices crusty baguette (sliced on the diagonal)
2 cans (6 ounces each) light tuna in water, drained and flaked
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped (wear plastic gloves when handling)
Ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Coat a barbecue grill or ridged grill pan with olive oil spray and heat to medium-hot. Using 2 tablespoons oil, evenly brush both sides of the bread slices.

2. Grill the bread, in batches if necessary, until one side has dark grill marks, and then turn to toast the other side. Transfer to a platter.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the tuna, celery, red onion, cilantro or parsley, lemon juice, jalapeño peppers, and black pepper to taste. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

4. Spread the tuna mixture evenly over the toast. If using the country bread, cut each slice in half.

Nutritional Facts per serving:
Calories: 167
Fat: 7.9 g
Saturated fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 12.8 mg
Sodium: 276.8 mg
Carbohydrates: 11.2 g
Total sugars: 0.5 g
Dietary fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 12.9 g

Recipe of the Week

From Ashley’s Kitchen of The McDonut’s

 

I just made this recipe last week for a surprise birthday party for my husband and it was a huge hit – plus it’s (relatively) healthy!  With football season coming up, this is a great recipe to have on hand:

 Almost Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 3 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (you can use spicier or more mild versions depending on your taste, add cayenne pepper for extra kick)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 10 oz raw (roughly 2 cups) cooked shredded chicken (canned chicken breast works well)


Directions: Mix the first 4 ingredients together until smooth. Add the shredded, cooked chicken and put entire mix in the crock pot on low for 3 hours or high for 30 minutes-1 hour. Serve warm.  Makes 8-10 servings.  Serve with celery sticks and chips.

 

Another, slightly different version of the recipe – with pictures – can also be found here:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/02/lighter-buffalo-chicken-dip.html

 

Summer Circus Wedding

Over the summer the Artisan Maskers collaborated with a whole team of amazing artists to put together a fantasy Circus-themed wedding shoot.  Here’s a quick spread of the carnival madness that ensued!

 

First, we have our Tightrope Walker bride.  She preps for the big day with a gorgeously bizarre assemblage of bridesmaids (below): a Clownette, a Lion Tamer, a Fortune Teller, and even a mustachioed Ringmaster!

 

Next up, our Clown of a Groom and his fabulous Groomsmen: the Magician, the Roustabout, and, okay, the “Lion”, too…

 

A few choice shots of the Bride and Groom…

 

And, then, the gang’s all here!  Time for the party to START!

So, what do YOU think?  Could a Circus be in your marital future?  ;D

 

 

Please, have a look at all of the incredible artists that made this shoot possible!

Mini Top Hats, Clownette Ruff, Dog Ruff, Feather Bouquet – Because It Sparkles

Crystal Bridal Headband and Belt – Clay Bouquet Shop

Bustle Skirt and Groom/Best Man Jackets – DAS

Little Miss Muffett Garter – Never A Plain Jane Designs

Corsets and Petticoat – Period Corsets

(Not pictured:  Wedding Streamers – Extravagant Exits )

Recipe of the Week

By Amanda of ArtisanMaskers

(Late Friday entry, borrowed from her personal blog: http://amandajphotos.blogspot.com/search?q=recipe)

Food Adventure: Date Cake

So, lately I’ve been wanting to branch out a little in the food department. At a book club I attend, we’d decided to do Middle Eastern Food in February. Not knowing ANYTHING about Middle Eastern Food, I relied heavily on google, and came up with this. The cake would be a good coffee cake, and Asher said it was “DELICIOUS!”, but I felt like the flavor was a lot like a recipe I’ve already got and was disappointed by the lack of “date” taste in the cake. But, hey. You win some, you lose some on a food adventure, right?

Boiling the dates…

Mixing them in…

And the finished cake!

I added a powdered sugar stencil of a dragon (NOT traditional… ;D ) in honor of the book we read: The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova

WARNING: Food adventures are not for the faint of heart…

Thinking of You

Check out this whimsical WedEclectic wedding collection by Keri over at DelaneyPhotoJewelry.

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Biodegradable Orange Peel Bird Feeders

By Delaney Jewelry Designs

Can you picture these hanging all around at your outdoor wedding reception? Maybe add some lemons and limes.

This is my daughter, Delaney, demonstrating how to make an Orange Peel Bird Feeder. She loves to stop dead in her tracks and listen when she hears the birds singing. We’ve even had to track down a few to identify them.

Scraping out the fruit can be a little messy.

But very tasty.

 Choose big Navel oranges with a thick peel for the best results. Cut off the top 1/3 of the orange, and scrape out the fruit using a big spoon. We made 6 feeders at one time, so we made an orange smoothie once we were done. I’ve read that oranges not only strengthen our immune systems, but they help protect against cancer, and even help people with asthma and arthritis.

Poke 4 holes in the skin all at approximately 1 inch from the top.

Cut 2 pieces of twine (equal in length) approx 3’ to 4’ each.

Thread your twine.

Poke each piece of twine in one side, straight across, and out the other. Your twine pieces should cross in the center

Fill the orange peel with bird seed.

I must advise you to tie your twine ends in a knot before you fill it, so that your seed doesn’t spill; we learned the hard way. Now you can easily hang it on a branch at least 6’ from the ground keeping your orange level. We chose a bird seed that would attract song birds to our yard, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

It becomes a colorful surprise, and one that the squirrels don’t seem to bother.

Refill as many times as you can. Eventually it will fall to the earth and degrade.

Side note: If you place all of the orange peel tops into a mason jar and fill it with vinegar, in a week or two you can pour the liquid into a squirt bottle and you will have a great household cleaner. The orange peels help reduce the vinegar scent and aid in cleaning.

Written by Keri O’Hara from Delaney Jewelry Designs

Giveaway alert!

Get in on the action…

The giveaway ends in 2 days, and there are only a few entries. Good luck!

$25 gc to www.claybouquetshop.etsy.com

http://www.weddingthingz.com/1/post/2012/08/giveaway-2500-clay-bouquet-shop-gift-certificate.html

Keep Calm and Carry On – Introduction and in-laws!

By  KittyKanzashi

 

Hello Wed Eclectic readers, we all know planning anything is fraught with danger since things can go wrong for no reason.  This generally leads to one thing, STRESS!

 

Now stress makes us do some silly things but we need to remember one thing, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!  In the end of the day, the show must go on or you would have wasted your time and money so in this series of KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON blog posts I will attempt to address potential problems which as a bride or groom you will face while planning a wedding.

 

So I would like to kick off the series with pestering relatives and in-laws.

 

 

All of us either know someone or heard of someone who has in-laws/relatives from hell.  These stories generally boil down to the in-laws/relatives butting in when they are not needed but lets examine the reasons as to why they do this?

 

Firstly, they could honestly believe that they are being helpful!  They know weddings are very important and stressful times so they offer suggestions and “constructive criticisms” (which are never really constructive).  Secondly, they want to be part of the wedding.  They do not often get involved with weddings so when someone close to them is getting married they want to be part of it and just barge in.  Thirdly, they feel an obligation or duty to help.  This is different to the first reason because these people do not really want to get involved but feel they have to because they are expected.  And fourthly, they are cruel people and want to make your life hell.

 

Lets sort out in what my opinion the most easiest one, the fourth reason.

 

If it is the fourth reason, I’m afraid the answer it to ignore them as much as possible and do your own thing.  These people will never be happy with your choices and even if you cater for their every whim, they will still complain.  They are the sort of people who probably find fault in everything and it is not your fault if they are sulking in the corner on your wedding day.  In fact, if you want to get your own back on them, make their life hell on your wedding day.  Do something that will annoy them and have a good laugh about it.

 

Now the next one is the third one, the ones who feel obligated to help but don’t really want to.  This can be tricky because you do not want offend them especially if they are one of your elderly relatives who have a high standing in the family hierarchy.  Maybe gently tell them that it is not necessary for them to do anything will be enough to get rid of them because they have never told before.  However if they still feel the need to help then give them something simple to do like herding the guests on the wedding day or passing out wedding programmes.  It will give them the feeling of helping without them getting under your feet.

 

The first and second reasons require a little bit more diplomacy and I recommending delegation here.  Treat them like an employee and you, as a manager would like their help on say table decorations or wedding favours.  Give them a brief that you would like them to follow, people they have to work with and deadlines that they have to meet.  This should give them a warm feeling that they are being helpful and involved on your special day and hopefully keep them occupied so they are not constantly bugging you.  Another good thing about delegation is that they will be doing all the legwork for you and hopefully all you will be doing is making the executive decisions while enjoying a nice glass of wine/cup of tea. But remember you will have to be firm but not strict with them because you don’t to come across as a bridezilla.  Of course the opposite effect of delegation is that they could be scared off but that could be seen as a positive thing as it means they are now out of your hair.

 

When I was organising my wedding day I had the first and second problem and of course I went with delegation.  My parents was responsible for my wedding menu and cake while my mother-in-law was responsible for table decorations and maintaining contact with the the registrar and reception.  This worked well for me since I was planning a wedding that was 4 hours drive away, so it took some of the stress away and it meant my relatives were not constantly asking me for information.

 

So remember, if you have pestering in-laws/relatives, keep calm and carry on by either, ignoring them, assigning tasks or delegation.


Isla Wong
(aka Kitty Kanzashi)

Etsy store : http://www.etsy.com/shop/kittykanzashi
My gallery : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kittykanzashi_designs/

Recipe of the Week

I’m actually expecting my fourth baby right now.  That being the case crazy cravings hit me at weird times.  Just before midnight the other night, I NEEDED nachos!  With good, gooey, spicy nacho cheese, of course!  Well, I never buy Velveeta, so I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find a good recipe online that I’d actually have the ingredients for.  I was surprised that a lot of recipes were basically just a white sauce with sharp cheddar added.  Easy!  So, here’s the slightly spiced up version I whipped up to satisfy the craving.

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Easy Nacho Cheese at Home

2 Tbsp margarine

¼- ½ a small onion, diced (roughly 2 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp flour

Dash cayenne pepper

Dash black pepper

1 ½ – 2 Cups milk

Cheddar cheese to taste, sliced or grated

½ can diced green chiles (4 oz can; you could probably scoop in a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa, if you don’t have chiles on hand!)

Melt margarine over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in flour and peppers.  Gradually whisk in milk.  (Adjust amount of milk according to your own preferences on thickness.)  Whisk often until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.  (Don’t let the sauce boil or the milk will curdle.  Still tastes good, but the creaminess is ruined.  If you’re nervous, just watch it carefully, whisk pretty constantly, and lower the heat as needed. You shouldn’t have a problem.)  Lower heat and gradually add cheese.  When cheese is melted, stir in chiles (or salsa).  Cook just a couple minutes more to let the spicy flavors blend, then remove from heat.  Serve with or pour over tortilla chips!  This should make enough for you, your honey, and a couple of friends.  Or just you, if you’re expecting, too.  ;D

Unique Wedding Favor Trend: Donation Favors

By: The McDonuts

One of my favorite wedding trends right now is the wedding favor donation.  Favors donations are a truly meaningful way to give a charitable gift to a cause that is expressive of who you and your fiancé are as a couple – and all in honor of your wonderful friends and family!  In order to find the most meaningful donation favor for your wedding it’s important to ask yourself questions, such as what interests or hobbies do you and your fiancé share?  Are there certain causes that speak to you more than others?  What kind of difference do you want to make in your community, state, or even the world as a result of your donation?  Do you want to plant a tree, feed the homeless, save an animal, or promote education in third world countries?  The possibilities are endless and it is important to find the cause that means the most to you.

(Photo courtesy of weddingshop.theknot.com)

Many brides budget a certain dollar amount per guest that they want to spend on a donation favor.  For example, if you expect to have 100 guests at your wedding a $1 favor donation per guest will result in a $100 donation to the charity of your choice.  Additionally, donations can often be made online to many not-for-profit charities within minutes – it doesn’t get much easier than that!  Now, how do you let your guests know that you made a donation in their honor?  There are so many unique ways you can let your guests know that you’ve made a favor donation in their name for your wedding.  Creating a framed sign on an easel at the entrance to the reception with a personal note explaining that a gift has been made in honor of your wedding guests makes a bold, thoughtful statement.  These signs can be printed out or, for the more artistic types, can be drawn on a chalkboard or even hand-painted.  Another popular option I have seen is to place a personalized note on each table setting for your guests, where you would traditionally place a favor.

Looking for more inspiration?  Real couple’s share their favor donation stories and why they decided to have favor donations at their wedding: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-favors/articles/real-couples-wedding-favor-donation-stories.aspx?MsdVisit=1.  Martha Stewart also has easy-to-follow DIY instructions for making personalized paper favor donation announcements for your wedding guests: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/227331/favors-heart.

(Photo courtesy of marthastewartweddings.com)

With so many great causes and non-profits out there that are facing critical funding deficits, the favor donation is a great way to give meaning and purpose to the gift you give your wedding guests.  You are literally giving back to a cause in their honor.  I can’t think of a more distinctive gift to give on your most special day.

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