Posts Tagged ‘quick’

lucky buttons tutorial

lucky buttons tutorial on elsie marley

One of the odd, unwritten blog rules is “thou shalt not blog on weekends,” but I’m crazy like that I guess. Besides tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. And one of the unwritten rules of having school age children is “you must participate in every holiday no matter what.” Pi day? Talk like a pirate day? 100th day of school? Grandparents day? Crazy sock day? I have celebrated them all.

lucky buttons tutorial on elsie marley

I have also prepared for all of them frantically the night before or the morning of said holiday. If you are nodding in agreement, this craft is for you. If you are throughly prepared with crocheted red beards and cardboard leprechaun hats or if you are genuinely Irish and have been corning your beef for weeks (or however it’s done) then you don’t need me and my slap dash craft.

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summer journal: finish the picture

Super simple and super fun project. Cut out a square of a picture from a magazine or newspaper. Next, glue it to a piece of paper. Then finish the drawing. See what strange and hilarious things come out of it! Title of my children’s works appear below the pictures. (please excuse the crummy phone photos.)

finish the picture project

Alligator Loves His New Pants

finish the picture project

Two people sitting on a couch with their heads on fire and Monster 

finish the picture project

Pretty Darn Cute Cat

finish the picture project

Two Donuts

Have you done any good projects lately?

 

sweet potato salmon cakes

sweet potato salmon cakes

I’m on the fence as to whether or not that is an appetizing photo. You might just have to trust me that these salmon cakes (salmon burgers?) are delicious. Delicious and quick and heathy to boot. At dinner time, checking off two out of those three is usually a win. All three is a freakin home run.

sweet potato salmon cakes

This recipe is my (highly) modified version of this salmon burger recipe. A good friend of mine made it for me, kindly converted it to be gluten free, and it was amazing! I’ve made it many times since and have come up with a few more changes.

making mayo

The first change I made was to swap out store bought mayonnaise for the homemade stuff. Wait! Don’t go! Homemade mayo is not too fancy for you or too complicated for you. Just remember when you [insert thing you did and thought was going to be super hard] and it turned out to be pretty simple. Okay, insert making your own mayo. This stuff is lovely. I’m guessing you wouldn’t really enjoy eating a spoonful of mayo out of the jar. The homemade stuff will have you licking the bowl!

smoked paprika mayo

Add some smoked paprika and it gets even better.

sweet potato salmon cakes

I had never bought a can of salmon before, tuna, yes, but never salmon. Wow they shove the whole fish in there: bones, skin,  fat, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rogue eyeball one day. After you get over the initial eww, turns out it is a lovely and cheap way to enjoy salmon. The can I bought up there is “wild alaska salmon,” which I think is fancy ad talk to trick you into believing it’s wild caught. Since then I’ve found the same large size can at Whole Foods that really is wild caught. At 2.99, it’s two dollars cheaper too.

sweet potato salmon cakes

sweet potato salmon cakes

ingredients

for the salmon cakes:

  • 1 14oz can of salmon
  • 1 small sweet potato, cooked (in the oven or microwave), cooled, and mashed.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons homemade mayo (recipe below)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • small handful of parsley, minced
  • zest of one lemon*, and juice of half that lemon

for the smokey mayo:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • about 1/2  cup oil (light olive oil is very nice. I used a mix of macadamia nut oil and olive oil because that is what I had. Please don’t use canola oil, it’s really no good.)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of smoked paprika
  • salt to taste

sweet potato salmon cakes

directions

to make the smokey mayo:

Combine egg yolk and mustard in a small bowl (the french do it in a tea cup, or so I’ve heard). Whisk until blended. Add a tiny bit of oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, and whisk whisk whisk. Keep adding drops of oil and whisking until the mixture looks emulsified (i.e. not weird and oily). Gradually add remaining oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick. If you keep whisking, it’s hard to go wrong, but the internet is there if you do. Add the lemon juice and salt, whisk. Set aside 2 teaspoons for the salmon cakes. Stir the paprika into the rest. Voila!

to make the salmon cakes:

Drain the can of salmon. You can, in theory, eat all the salmon bones, but I remove the larger backbones. I suggest dumping the salmon in a small bowl and removing the bones. Then combine all the ingredients (including the salmon) in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Shape into small patties. They will be a little wet (if you don’t like this, use a larger sweet potato). Melt some butter in a non stick pan (cast iron, teflon, or my new favorite blue steel). I’d say about 5 minutes a side, maybe less.  Serve with your lovely homemade mayonnaise.

sweet potato salmon cakes with smokey mayo

*it’s easiest to zest the whole lemon, then cut it in half. I speak from experience, people. Then you can use one half for the mayo and the other for the salmon cakes.

 

kale and apple salad

kale and apple salad

When my kids ask me what’s for dinner and I tell them kale and apple salad is on the menu, they actually do a little dance. Crazy, right? I still can’t believe how much they love this salad. It is ridiculously simple and super healthy too. Doesn’t get better than that.

kale and apple salad

I think the appeal might have something to do with how I cut the kale. Big leaves of kale make your salad tough and chewy. But thin, noodle-y strips of kale make a light and crunchy salad. To do this, strip the kale leaves off the thick ribs and roll them into a long bundle (if it’s easier to handle, make two bundles). Cutting perpendicular to the bundle, with your sharpest knife, cut the kale into thin strips.

kale and apple salad

A grated apple and some vinegar-y dressing is all that is needed to finish this salad off.  I like my dressing to be almost equal parts vinegar and oil, which might sound a little strong, but works with a mild vinegar. Rice wine vinegar is my favorite, but either white wine or apple cider vinegar would work too. The vinegar also breaks down the kale a bit. It helps to massage the kale after you mix it with the dressing. I feel like a fool every time I do it, but don’t skip this step.  Massage your kale! Everyone needs a little love.

kale and apple salad

kale and apple salad

for the salad

  • one bunch kale
  • one tart apple (I like pink lady apples)

for the dressing

  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

 

Mix up your dressing in a medium-sized bowl. Cut your kale in thin strips. Mix the kale with the dressing. Massage your kale! Grate an apple on top. Mix and serve. You can make the salad ahead of time, but don’t mix the apple in until right before you serve it. Enjoy!

 

summer journal: chalk paint

homemade chalk paints

I never seem to remember to buy sidewalk chalk, but we always have the ingredients on hand for chalk paint. Making chalk paint is super easy; drawing with chalk paint takes a bit of practice.

chalk paint log cabin

Our first attempt turned out mostly colorful blobs, but the second time was a success. I was doodling quilt squares [sewing nerd!] and my kids wanted to learn how to make them too. They told me their log cabins had roofs, obviously.

corn starch + food coloring + water = chalk paint

chalk paint

materials

  • muffin tin
  • corn starch
  • food coloring (the cheapy kind, not the gel kind)
  • water

directions

  1. Put one tablespoon of corn starch in each muffin tin cup.
  2. Mix in a tablespoon of water (or a smidge more) into each cup.
  3. Put one drop of food coloring in each cup.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Grab a paint brush and go outside!

chalk toes

Be warned, fingers and toes will get painted.

chalk paints

But other cool stuff will be painted too!