Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Healthy BUT SO GOOD Apple Wontons

I've been trying out the air fryer option in my new oven and one of the first things I made were these healthy, but oh so good, Apple Won Tons.

These vegan won ton wraps were talked about on the Weight Watchers chat board so I thought I'd give them a try.

I peeled and chopped up about 5 apples (I could have done just three as this made a lot extra but I used extra to put on yogurt for breakfast so all good!)  I put the apples into a pan with about 1/4 c of monk fruit (sweetener substitute) which has ZERO aftertaste.  It's all I use now - it tastes and bakes just like regular sugar without that nasty, bitter, aftertaste.  You can find different brands on Amazon but I prefer Lakanto and can often find that in my local grocery store. You can also purchase directly from their website.  (Note: Not ALL of the Lakanto products taste good - stick to the sweeteners and the drinking chocolate and avoid the baking mixes!)

After simmering for about 20 minutes, the apples and monk fruit make their own, sweet caramelized apple mixture.

About a tablespoon goes into the won ton wrapper.  Wet the four edges with your finger dipped in water, fold over into a triangle and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.
I air fried mine for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through.  You could also just bake these in the oven and flip half way.

Terrible, fuzzy picture but I must have been in a hurry to eat them haha!  I would have dusted with powdered sugar but didn't have any!

Proof that a healthy dessert doesn't have to taste healthy!


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Vintage Step Stool Makeover


As my kitchen remodel is nearing completion, I knew I would eventually need some sort of step stool to reach the very top of my cabinets.  Before I had a soffit that was 1 foot long so my cabinets didn't go to the ceiling but that's all changed now (thankfully!). I found this beauty at an estate sale marked 12.00.  It was the last day so it was 50% off and I asked the lady if she'd take 5.00 for it and she said yes . . . SOLD!  It was very solid but not super heavy.

The top came off easily as it had four 'tabs' that slipped into holes in the top seat.  The bottom was missing the rubber piece altogether.

I had purchased these vintage bark cloth curtains at another estate sale.  I knew the faded sections wouldn't stand up (and they didn't as you can see) but there was still a lot of fabric to be used on projects even after washing and drying, including the step stool.

I also wanted a LITTLE more padding on this so I decided to add a layer of 1/2" batting.  I used the old seat to cut the batting and the bark cloth fabric.  I added a few inches when cutting the fabric so I could wrap around the seat back.

I made sure to keep the 'prongs/tabs' on back poking through the fabric so I was able to just snap this back into place.  
Like I said, this stool was in great shape so I didn't even have to sand it before giving it a few coats of spray paint.

The rubber step was a bit more tricky.  I found a chair tread at Home Depot but it wasn't quite deep enough. There was the 'bent' edge that is supposed to go over the edge of the stair so I used my heat gun and kept pressing it as flat as I could. It still has a bit of 'bend' there but I put that at the back of the stool so you really don't notice it. I used Gorilla glue to attach it to the metal.

And here she is!  All spiffed up and ready to live a new life! I'm pleased with the way it turned out!

I love the little curved back . . . this will also make a nice little extra seat if I'm working in the kitchen or when friends or family are here and we are hanging out in the kitchen.

And when it's not in use, it folds nicely and will slip between my new little china cabinet and the wall in the dining room right outside of the kitchen.

A very satisfying, practical and economical makeover!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Spice Organization


Who can relate?
Through the years I've tried lots of different ways of organizing my spices.  Since we are nearing the end of our kitchen renovation, I thought it was time to give in and actually purchase some quality jars.  After lots of research and searching Pinterest, I decided on these Swommoly 66 Glass Jars Spice Set for 39.99.  

I liked that they had round lids but are actually square jars so they'll fit nicely together.  There were several things I really liked about these.

You get a list of all of the labels that are available and let me tell you . . . there are A LOT.  I thought I was familiar with just about every spice but Duqqa, Epazote and who knew there were so many options for Cardamom???

Another nice 'feature' is that there is a list that tells you what PAGE each label is on.

You get two sets of labels and all sheets are numbered.  These sheets are clear, rectangle labels for the sides of the jars.

These round labels go on the tops of the jars and are also numbered.  This is great because you can choose to store your jars on their side or standing up and still see what's in them!

The set also comes with a bunch of blank labels and a white marker for those rare times when you have a spice that ISN'T on this list (and yes . . . I had a few like Sazon, Adobo and a Lime Pepper.)

You also get a very useless funnel.  Useless because you'd have to wash it out after pretty much every spice you pour through it.  

It was just easy to use one of my measuring spoons.

Another 'plus' . . . each jar comes with a very nice lid for dispensing the spices in large or small amounts.

So after a few nights of therapeutic jar filling . . . this is now my new spice drawer.  And I'm glad these are labeled both top and sides because a friend is going to build me a pull out 'pantry' door to go next to my refrigerator. The spices will then be standing up in that, freeing up this drawer for something else!  I felt like this was a little bit of a splurge but definitely well worth the money and time.  And yes, I did alphabetize my spices haha!

Monday, May 23, 2022

Bleach Spot Rescue


We've all been there . . . the other day while doing a load of whites and adding bleach I obviously splattered some on a new dress that I've hardly worn!  Now the picture above doesn't look nearly as bad as it was because I neglected to take a picture before my first step which was to add some darning stitches over the stain to blend it a bit.  I did this because the contrast was SO stark, I wasn't sure my embroidery would cover it completely!

I purchased this embroidery file from a great online site called Embroidery Library for 1.99.  Using my embroidery machine I sewed a few test runs on scrap fabric to determine where to align it to get the most coverage of my bleach spots. 

The exposure of the photo shows white areas but that's from the photo.  The bleach spots were completely covered. Now, of course the stain was seriously, smack-dab in the middle of the front of the dress so having just ONE flower in the middle was kind of weird so . . .

I added more! By rotating and mirroring the one design, I was able to achieve what I think is a pretty, random garland of flowers falling from one shoulder, across the dress and down to the other edge.

Saved!  Phew!  
Now I know not everyone has an embroidery machine BUT, you could also do hand embroidery on this. My daughter does hand embroidery that is simply amazing and there are lots of kits and YouTube video tutorials that you could check out. 

Another thing I've done is used a permanent marker on spots. Depending on the color of the item, I can usually find something that will conceal the stain. I may have to touch up from time to time after washing and drying but for small spots, it does work. One tip: Start out LIGHT! Just lightly 'feather' the pen over the area slowly building the color. Most likely your pen will not exactly match your garment (unless it's black) so you are going for "less-noticeable-in-your-face-hey-do-you-know-you-have-a-spot-on-your-dress?" look, rather than total coverage.

A new-to-me dye product, Dylon, could also be an option.  Yes, probably most of us grew up on Rit Dye but this is a newer powder dye that from what I've observed gives great results especially if you are just changing the color completely of say a white shirt.  But I came across a video by Julia Caban on YouTube where she shows how to cover spots using this dye. It seems to work quite well and my guess is you could combine colors to get a custom color as well.

I know a lot of people don't use regular bleach any more but even though there's a risk involved (i.e. collateral clothing damage) I still will continue to use it.  I'll just try to be more careful and not wear brand new clothes when doing my whites!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Photo / Slide Scanning App


Living in a 'digital world', we sometimes forget (or weren't even around!!) when you inserted a roll of film into a camera, took pictures, put that film into an envelope, mailed it off and eagerly awaited the arrival of the envelope (or box in the case of SLIDES) to see what you captured . . . or didn't!  Recently when my dad passed away, my brother and I (that's him above!) began going through boxes and boxes and bags of not just photos but SLIDES.  My dad took a lot of slides! Wanting to find an easy, economical way to access the slides, I came across an app called SlideScan.  There is a free version but for just 7.99/month you get the full version.  With this app you can scan photos AND slides, save them, download them, share them . . . whatever you want!

In scanning these slides (I'll explain the simple process at the end of this post.) we discovered some very interesting things!

For example . . . apparently wallpaper on the ceiling was a 'thing'?? As well as coordinating paper and draperies.  We also found it funny that my mom was only holding up my DAD's gifts and not hers haha! She was pregnant with my brother in these photos.

Now look at these next three collages of me and my brother. Can you find the common denominator in all of these photos???

We learned some interesting things about my parents' wedding as well . . . Just look at all those hats!

I was delighted to have found my mom's wedding gown and veil in the attic when we cleaned everything out and both are in excellent condition!  Take note of the cake picture and read on . . .

We could not figure out why there were apparently TWO receptions.  One in the basement of the church and one at this restaurant.  Upon talking with my aunt we learned that back then you had a LUNCH with the wedding party in all of their clothes at a restaurant and THEN, you went visiting those who were 'shut in' and couldn't come to the wedding! Can you imagine!? What if you spilled ketchup on your dress at lunch?? The wedding ceremony took place at 7 p.m.! My aunt said several of the places they visited were FARMS and they had to tiptoe through the fields of mud and dirt to get to the houses!!

So at the church, they would have cake and punch for all who attended the ceremony.  It was just not affordable to feed the crowd more than cake and peanuts.  

We also marveled at the beautiful outfits my mom dressed us in!  What she must have spent!  

AND, what we noticed also is that in almost every picture of HER, she is wearing the same black suit dress . . . that explains it haha!

Even on Easter it was the same dress (Although she DID manage a new hat each year! I have the one in the lower right corner photo.  My dad always bought her and I corsages every single Easter!

Now realize, these photos are all from SLIDES!  And  here's a really cool feature from SlideScan . . . you can colorize photos!

This is my Aunt (the one who filled us in on the wedding information) and my grandpa who was widowed with ELEVEN children when my grandma died at age 42.  Here he is with six of those eleven! He was such a godly man who loved the Lord and could pray like no one I've ever heard before or since!

We came across LOTS of gems like this photo of my brother (we think taken in Atlantic City) on a piece of playground equipment from the days when playgrounds were playgrounds hahahaha! Can you even imagine?! How hot do you think that metal slide got on the beach??? And if each rung is 10" that thing has to be around 40 feet high!!!!

This was my baptism when I was nine years old!! I had no idea my dad had taken any pictures!

I get no reimbursement for this endorsement but I highly recommend you give this app a try if you have lots of pictures and especially slides you want to convert to digital.

The app directs you to a website where you have a 'white screen' on your computer.  You simply hold the slide up in front of your screen, tap a button on the app on your phone and it scans the image.  But wait, that's not all lol . . . It then straightens, crops and color adjusts the image before saving it!

One feature I found after scanning about 700 slides . . . you don't even have to tap the button to scan.  If you enable your microphone, you just say "Go" and it scans!!

I did approximately 1000 slides and about 200 photos in two days and I probably spent about 3 hours each day!  That's it!

What surprises have you found when looking at old photos??