Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Perfect Party Appetizer- Meat and Cheese Tray

IMG_1540This is a great universal appetizer that is a huge crowd pleaser.  They can be made in so many ways to cater to whatever kind of function you are having, from a intimate evening watching a movie with your loved ones, to a huge wedding or anything in between.  You can also make it simple using very tame meats, cheeses and crackers for kids or more exotic for your foodie friends.

Choose at least three different cheeses, and at least 2 meats.  For a mid range platter try slicing a stick of pepperoni and a stick of summer sausage.  Cube up some orange cheddar, some monterey jack, and some colby jack cheeses.  All of these are mild enough for the average person.  Then add some Carrs crackers and your all set.

Shop our unique aprons like this fun tuxedo apron, perfect for your next get together!

Shop our unique aprons like this fun tuxedo apron, perfect for your next get together!

For a kid approved tray try using regular lunch meat ham and turkey and using a small circle cookie cutter, cut them into cracker sized circles. Or if you don’t have a circle cookie cutter, just cut the slices into little squares. It is easiest to cut the lunch meat in stacks.  You could even layer the stacks ham, turkey, ham, turkey, etc, and cut large stacks no more than an inch square (or round) and stick a fun toothpick inside instead of separating them.  Add some mild orange cheddar, some colby jack, and a mild white cheddar.  Add some ritz crackers and your all set.  It makes a great after schools snack especially for a play date.  It can also be a much healthier, and cheaper alternative to lunchables for a kids lunchbox.  Not too mention you can help expand your childs pallet from the typical processed American cheese and sodium filled ham that is packed with preservatives.

 

IMG_1541And for the foodies, your options are endless.  Try some prosciutto, soppressata and salami.  Add a soft cheese like a nice wedge of blue cheese, or my favorite, a brie.  Add a nice aged cheddar, and another exotic cheese like a smoked mozzarella or a sheep’s milk cheese. The last two have been my favorites lately.  I didn’t use to be a fan of exotic or sharp tasting cheeses but I am learning to love some of the stronger cheeses as I try them.  The smoked mozzarella we ordered at a little restaurant near Las Olas called Rice and Dough. It has a unique Asian Italian mixed menu. Think sushi and a side of meatballs. Something for everyone.  I am still planning to go back and try their sushi that I didn’t get to try last time we visited. You can visit their Facebook page below.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rice-and-Dough/255711334487571

I have tried several smoked mozzarella’s since then and have yet to find one as good.  They tend to vary greatly.  Some are your more typical soft stringy texture of mozzarella, but the one I loved was much firmer.  Add some of the flavored Carrs crackers like the cracked pepper or sesame seed crackers, and if you want to get a little fancier try buying from the bakery (or making) a loaf of bread, spraying or wiping some olive oil all over it, sprinkling some of my favorite seasoning from the melting pot, their garlic and wine seasoning and throwing it in the oven on 350 degrees for 1bout 10 minutes or until its nice and warm and the crust is a little crispy. Tear some off into pieces and place on your platter to serve with the meats and cheeses. Pair with your favorite Cabernet wine and your all set. Don’t forget to get a unique apron to wear like our fun tuxedo apron pictured above to add a whimsical elegant flair

Add some fresh fruit and veggies and you have yourself a meal.

 

How to Make Homemade No Bake Yummy Key Lime Pie

photo_1Today I am going to show you how to make my favorite key lime pie.  A recipe that is a huge hit with all key lime pie lovers that I know.  I can’t make enough of these pies to fill the demand, so I always make at least 3 at a time.  I also do 3 at a time because it is cost effective. A large thing of heavy cream makes enough whipped cream for 3 pies plus some extra for serving.  A box of graham crackers has 3 packs so it also makes 3 pies.

This is a great recipe to make with your kids since it doesn’t require baking.  Be IMG_8432sure to check out our shop to buy matching personalized aprons for girls and their 18 inch dolls.  The little doll aprons fit most any 18 inch dolls like American Girl dolls, Teddy Bears and our own handmade Summers Closet Seasons and Custom Dolls. 

Don’t forget to watch the video below for more detailed instructions on how to make the key lime pie.

Ingredients:

1 graham cracker pie crust- click for recipe

1 batch homemade whipped cream-click for recipe

1/2 cup key lime juice-click for recipe

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Prepare pie crust according to recipe above.  Prepare whipped cream according to recipe above.  Prepare fresh key lime juice according to recipe above or use regular bottled key lime juice.

Mix whipped cream, key lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk together in an electric mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed, scrape bowl, and continue to mix on high until ingredients are mixed.  Do not over mix, as this could ruin the whipped cream.

Pour filling into prepared pie crust, spreading evenly.  Refrigerate overnight or at least several hours until firm.

You can top with extra whipped cream when your ready to serve.  It also freezes well, so make sure to make an extra to freeze so you have any easy dessert ready for guests or a special dinner.

How to Make Yummy Whipped Cream From Scratch

photo_2Today I will show you how to make a yummy whipped cream from scratch. It is so much tastier and healthier than store bought frozen whipped cream. It is fairly simple to make and is a great topping for pies, cakes, cupcakes, tarts, ice cream and more. How about making a flavored version to make a coffee house style coffee or latte? If your not a coffee drinker like me how about an iced chai topped with a little of this yummy whipped cream? You can also use it as a substitute for cool whip in jello recipes. The possibilities are endless. Don’t forget to watch the video below for more detailed instructions.

Also, don’t forget to enter your email to the right to follow our blog and make sure you don’t miss our next post on how to make the best key lime pie that you can use this yummy whipped cream in. Be sure to check out our past posts on juicing and canning key lime juice http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2013/07/30/juicing-and-canning-citrus-juice-key-lime-juice/
and our post on making a homemade graham cracker crust
http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2013/08/05/how-to-make-an-easy-no-bake-homemade-graham-cracker-pie-crust/
for everything you need to make the key lime pie.

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Shop our Personalized Matching Aprons for the Whole Family

Be sure to check out our shop for adorable personalized aprons for the whole family. Aprons for Dad. Aprons for Mom. Aprons for girls and boys. Even matching aprons for kids and dolls!

Ingredients:

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 tsp vanilla extract (try substituting other flavored extracts for a flavored whipped cream for coffee or other recipes)

1 Tbsp confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

Mix all the ingredients in an electric mixer using a whisk attachment until peaks form. Be careful not to over mix as this will turn the cream into butter and you can’t do anything to get it back to whipped cream.

How to Make an Easy No Bake Homemade Graham Cracker Pie Crust

In the next three posts I will show you how to make a DELICIOUS key lime pie. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to read my post on

Today’s post will be how to make the graham cracker pie crust. This yummy easy, no bake recipe, can also be used for many other pies such as chocolate, cream, cheesecake, and more. It is simple and only takes a few ingredients. Watch our video below for more details.

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Visit our shop for personalized matching aprons for kids, adults and even dolls!

Visit our shop to purchase a cute personalized matching apron for you and your child like the ones below!

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Ingredients:

1 package of graham crackers (1 box contains 3 packages)

6 TBS Butter

1 TBS sugar

Spray pie dish with non stick cooking spray. I use the olive oil spray for a healthier alternative, or you can also butter the dish.

Crush the graham crackers.  I crush them by hand while they are still in the package, just be careful not to pop the package open and have flying graham cracker crumbs!  You can also use a food processor to get them crushed very fine. I personally don’t mind a little crunch from the bigger pieces to my pie.

Melt the butter in the microwave, and add to the graham crackers. Add the sugar. Mix well, I use my electric kitchen aid mixer.

Pour the pie crust mixture into the prepared pie pan.  Press the mixture firmly but gently into the sides and bottom of the pan. Make sure to cover all holes with mixture. Freeze for at least 10 minutes while you prepare your filling.  You can also heat for 5 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven, if you prefer.  Don’t forget to follow our blog by entering your email at the right, so you won’t miss our later posts on how to make the yummiest key lime pie and whipped cream from scratch.

Re Purposing Ugly Mis-Matched Glass Dishes

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This was a fun project that I have done several times. The plates in the picture were plain clear plates with a seashell design.  They were kind of dated, as we had used them for a beach themed wedding I designed years ago.  The glass was in good condition though, and I had a set of 4 and they were nice and thick heavy duty glass and a large enough size that they could be used as serving dishes.

I made these for my sisters recent wedding.  I bought metallic acrylic and glitter acrylic paints to match her wedding decor.  I decided to use the wave pattern in the glass to my advantage and painted stripes in metallic with opposite ones in glitter.  Some dishes I have done I bordered an edge in one color and another in the center.  Others I have skipped the glitter all together, or used a layer of glitter followed by a layer of the metallic after it dried to give it a glitter metallic look.  You can use virtually any color combination and metallic glitter combination for a world of possibilities.

Use the glassware for inspiration, if it has a raised design, flow with it in your painted design, if it is plain, make your own borders.

Step 1: Clean glass thoroughly.

Step 2: Using a small paint brush, paint the glitter portion first on the BACK of the plate dish (The side that food will not come in contact with), let dry, and repeat for as many coats to get the glitter effect you desire.  Let dry.

Step 3: Paint the metallic portion, let dry. Repeat with at least one more coat or until the paint is solid.

Step 4: Spray the painted portion with a clear or frosted glass paint to seal in the paints.

Let dry and use!

These plates must be hand washed with a soft cloth, and cannot be microwaved.  Make sure you don’t paint any portions that you will be putting food on as paint can be toxic if ingested.

This is also a great idea for the bottoms of glass shelves in a bookshelf or china cabinet to add some color and update your things. Or how about the bottom of a glass desk? The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to check out our adorable personalized aprons to update your dining wardrobe as well!

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Get your own Summers Closet personalized apron to update your kitchen wardrobe as well!

 

Free Movies- How to go to the movies for FREE!

movieMy boyfriend is a huge movie fan. Which means one of our most frequented activities when we go out is to the movies. It can cost a fortune if you frequent the movies as much as we do. I have been able to get us many free movies lately since I found gofobo.comhttp://www.gofobo.com/screenings/search

gofobo

It is a website that offers free pre-screening tickets to certain movies that are being promoted. Which is pretty cool to be able to see the movie before anyone else, not to mention getting it for free. They offer movies at many different theaters nationwide. Where I live in South Florida, there are quite a few theaters within driving distance to choose from, so I have gotten several free tickets for us. When you go to the website you will need to sign up for free, and then you can search to find movies by your zipcode. Many will have enter rsvp codes, (which you can often get from the movies facebook page or website).  They also have ticket drawings that you can enter, which most of the ones I’ve entered have given me free tickets. the other option is the open tickets that let you print a ticket right then and there if they haven’t reached their limit for the time and location.

I check back often as they are always putting new pre screenings up and new dates and theaters to choose from.

One thing to keep in mind, is that you must get to the theater extra early to get good seats since they over pack the theater to make sure it is full for the pre screening. Also depending on how busy the theater is or how popular the movie, expect to wait in line before they let you in the theater. We have gone to one of these movies too late and it was already full by the time we got there. But all in all it is well worth it than spending the $25 plus dollars for 2 people to see a movie.

You can’t have a movie without the popcorn, which will often cost you more than the ticket itself if you buy a drink or candy to go with it. I have made great use of our theaters promotional deals and card to save a lot of money on movies and snacks. Our favorite local theater is Regal. They have a loyalty card that you sign up for for free here or at the theater http://www.regmovies.com/Crown-Club.

The loyalty card gives you free movies, free drinks, and free popcorn based on how much you use it. We have gotten quite a lot of freebies with the card. Also many movie theaters have mobile apps that give you coupons and deals, as well as text message coupons. From Regals facebook page every Thursday you can have a mobile coupon texted to you for snacks. This weeks is $3 off nachos. Click below to sign up for these coupons.

https://www.facebook.com/RegalEntertainmentGroup/app_255294321183740

I also have gotten snack coupons from cinemark theaters from their Facebook and website, and I am sure there are many other theaters with promotions such as these. So a little extra time will get you a very inexpensive date night!