Monday

Thai Curry Chicken–made with homemade coconut milk

My brother sent me this recipe, he said it was AMAZING.  So, when your single brother sends you something, you know it must be good because hey, he’s never sent a recipe to me before!

thai coconut 019 copy

I have to say, it was delicious AND easy.  I was able to use my homemade coconut milk and if you haven’t tried that yet – go over and make some today!  I promise, it’s a piece of cake. 

thai coconut 003


Thai Curry Chicken: (enough for 2 people)

Chicken Breast (about 1 large breast) cut up and lighty sautéed in pan.
1 2/3 c. coconut milk
1/2 red pepper sliced
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. Red or Yellow curry Paste (it’s medium with this amount +or- to taste.)
1 tsp. white sugar

OPTIONAL but DELICIOUS:

Fresh basil leaves
Pineapple Tidbits
Bamboo shoots or water chestnuts
Minced Garlic

Directions:

Lightly fry up cubed chicken breast
Pour in coconut milk and simmer for 5 min.
Add curry, fish sauce, and sugar.
Add optional ingredients now (simmer another 3-5 min)
Add slices of red pepper last (they don’t need to be cooked long)

I found this to be a little runnier than I had wanted so I added some cornstarch to thicken it up a little.  Either way is good though.

Serve over steamed Jasmine rice.Smile with tongue out

blog thai coconut curry

ENJOY and thanks to my brother (the one I did the home Before and After) for passing this along!
~ CreativeJuicesDecor~

Friday

Fess Up Friday and Shutterfly Photo Book Giveaway

When my 4 year old daughter came down the stairs with my iPhone in hand exclaiming, “I take pictures mommy!”  I didn’t realize that what she meant is she took nearly 100 photos of herself and the occasional wall shot. 

Even though it took me forever deleting one at a time (I am still figuring out how to do the multiple deleting)  and I told her she is NOT allowed to take pictures on my phone (let alone go take my phone up the stairs to her room)  I had to laugh at the discovered photos I saw.

template 9 photo square collage

I suppose I’m going to have to work on her vanity……or maybe just stop taking 1000 photos of her myself. (Do you see those pouty lip shots!) 


On to my next story.

When you do have a child that lean towards the “girly girl” side of life, I shouldn’t have been surprised when having given her a little bag of very light colored makeup (just my old rejects) she came down early the next morning clinging to her new “make-up” pouch wearing her pretty pink lipstick.  I think she slept with that pouch.  Here are some 7am “pretty shots” of my girly girl.


1 lipstick3 lipstick
(Ah, the days of waking up cute with flawless skin and shiny hair!)

Talking about cute PHOTOS Shutterfly has offered to give one of my readers a free 20 page 8x8 hardcover photo book! (you do pay for shipping and he said it was between $5-8 depending where you are located)

I have used them for creating a quick "brag" book for my mother in law of all her grandchildren.  They have templates that you can just insert your digital photo. (very easy!)  If you are a scrapbooker and want to just insert your digital pages you can do that too. (that's what I plan to do!)

They also make amazing Christmas Photo Cards and Photo Gifts like computer mousepads which I have also made for family members.

All you need to do is leave me a comment with your email so I can contact you if you win!
Bonus Entry (new comment) is if you decide follow me (any of the ways) or if you already do, just let me know.

(Giveway ends Tuesday September 6th)

Linking up to Kira's Fess Up Friday

Life can be fun, just depends on how you look at it. Smile  
~ CreativeJuicesDecor~

Wednesday

Date and Nut Power Bars (gluten free!) w/ Coconut Peanut Butter Giveaway

Congrats to Caren Random Generator #9 - winner of the Butter!!

When I received my jar of Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter I have to tell you it was hard to pry my nose away from sniffing the AMAZING aroma.  The taste, well let’s just say it tasted like it smelled and I really had a hard time not plopping down on the couch and start dipping in a chocolate bar!  OH my!  I resisted the urge and just ate a spoonful. They make it from organic dried coconut and organic Valencia peanuts.  Scroll down with how to enter to win your own jar!



Now on to my recipe!  This is one of my favorites.  It is good for you, completely fills you up and reminds me of a dense Lara Bar.  Usually I use almond butter, but for fun I used the Coconut Peanut Butter.  It was delicious.

blog nut bar2
Can you see the great texture? If you don't like tasting actual nuts grind it up more.


Date and Nut Power Bar ~ yes! Gluten Free and Sugar Free!!!
(adapted from ElanasPantry)

2 c. Almonds

1/4 c. Chia seeds (or any seeds ground in coffee grinder or blender)

1/2 c. Dates (or any extra sweet dried fruit)

1/2 c Shredded coconut (unsweetened)

1/2 c. Coconut Peanut Butter (or “butter” of your choice)

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1/2 c. Coconut oil (melted)

1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar (maple syrup or honey works too)

3 Tsp. Vanilla extract

Optional: a few squares of dark chocolate or carob, melted for topping.

Place almonds, seeds, dried dates, shredded coconut, nut butter and salt in a food processor.  Pulse briefly for about 10 seconds.  In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat. Remove coconut oil from stove, stir sweetener and vanilla into oil.  Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste.  press mixture into an 7x11 baking dish. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour (or till hardens)

For optional chocolate lovers, melt chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.  Spread melted chocolate over bars and return to refrigerator for 30 minutes or till hardens. 
Cut into bars and serve!  Makes 12 bars.  Store in refrigerator or wrap each bar individually and freeze for a healthy fun snack on the go!. 

blog nut bar
Yep, I took a big bite out of it!








Of course I would LOVE to give you a chance to try Coconut Peanut Butter for free so here’s how to enter. ENDS: Wed Aug. 31 

1. Leave a comment below, have you ever tried these type of nut bars??

2. You don't need to be a follower or subscriber to enter the contest but while you are here Winking smile take a look around and if you like what you see and decide to become one, (or are one) please leave a separate comment letting me know as this will give you your second entry.

3. If you would like to subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter leave a comment you did so and it will give you another entry for a total of three entries.

Good luck my friends!

Monday

Decor Inspiration #3 - Stir Our Creative Juices - Vintage Bedroom

Seriously you guys, I look at this picture and want to SWOON!  I’m not even sure what it is that I like so much but it’s just so fun!  I do love the mix of old with the new.  It looks so “hip” and “up to date” but you throw in old signs, birdcages, and stacked end tables and look whatcha got!

just cool.....
After searching for the source, I found out that this photo is taken from DomesticBliss.  She has a store, and this photo is just a set up in her store!  All her shop vignettes are amazing!  Go check her out! 

Now look closely at what is behind the hanging light.  See it? Now THAT is awesome and may just be my next project!  It’s an old window pane (looks like glass was taken out, or I bet smashed out!) and they stuck a large LOVERLY poster right behind it.  I’m picturing right now a cute candid picture of my kids. You can send in your photo to Costco to get a large poster for not too much money.  (A 20”x30” is 25.00 at my Costco)




Let’s see, what else do I like……  I love the variety of textures in the space, the varying heights of the accessories.  Can you see how this designer framed in the bed?  Lamp on the left side and high greenery on the right, your eye easily goes from the left side of the room to the right and back around to the left again.  It’s all these little hidden design elements that really make a room.  Sometimes, it’s fun to find a picture you love and then dissect it.  I think you’ll end up learning a lot about your taste and what you really like (or don’t like!)  If you haven’t had a chance to read my 10 decorating tips stop on over, it’s full of fun info.Smile 

I was inspired and made a fun photo collage out of an old frame I bought for 2 bucks at a garage sale! Click the link to see where I ended up putting it and a tutorial how to do it yourself!




Till Next Time!!! 
~ Creative Juices Decor~

Friday

Homemade Coconut Milk and MORE

I finally just did it.  I had the recipe on how to make this for a long time.  Finally after staring at the can of coconut milk in the grocery store for $2.49 I thought, TODAY is the day I will make this at home.

blog coconut milk

Guess what……totally easy.  In fact, I’ll tell you what I did but once you understand the “how to” you really can’t do this wrong.  Just go for it!  You’ll be glad you did.

First off, in the BULK isle in most grocery stores they sell UNSWEETENED shredded coconut.  You’ll need that.  Smile

I experimented with three different ratios.  The largest water to coconut ratio would be for drinking and the smaller water to coconut ratio would be for cooking. 

blog coconut levels

          * Dump coconut FLAKES in your blender. 

           * Add hot filtered water. 

            * Pulse (high/low) in blender 20 times. 

             (optional: can let sit for 1 min than re-pulse 5 times)

            * Take out and pour in a cheesecloth. 

            * Strain out all “milk”. 

Repeat process with the leftover stained coconut in the cheesecloth to the consistency you want.  (SEE PICTURE ABOVE)

With my experiments, I found that pulsing the coconut verses just letting it sit on high for 1-2 minutes (which you can do) left this nice coconut oil/cream layer on top.  I liked it that way, I suppose it’s because I really like fat Smile 

thai coconut 008

For those who love visuals – here are a few more pictures.  I later just did it in a bowl instead of in a jar. (much easier!)

thai coconut 001thai coconut 002

It tasted great!  I can’t wait to show you guys a recipe I did using this milk.  It was a delicious.  (Hint: an EASY Thai dish…..oh, I’ll just attach a picture Smile )

blog coconut milkblog thai coconut curry

AND I can’t forget I made these MACAROONS with the left over coconut “pulp”.  Did I mention this was all in one day??  It was a crazy coconut cooking day. 

blog coconut macaroons copy

Have fun and all I can say is just go for it if you have ever thought about making your own coconut milk!

~ Creative Juices Decor~

Monday

Rosette Bobby Pens–great gifts and décor ideas!

I have to admit,  I am GIDDY about this project.  I have seen them on blogs before but I never just “took the bull by the horns” and attempted to make one myself until my friend Kira showed me how (in person, yep I’m that special.) I bought fabric remnants at my local thrift store for pennies. (Really, as in .35 – 1.00 for LOTS of fabric) AND you don't even need a sewing maching! 

collage rosettes

THESE ARE SO EASY FRIENDS!  As in even my dollar store glue gun pulled these off beautifully.  (I’m serious, this crafty gal only owns a dollar store glue gun.  One day I plan to “play with the big boys” and get myself a real one.) 

Step ONE:
Cut a piece of fabric anywhere from 12'” – 24” long and 1/2” – 1” wide. (no rules on this)  You can cut just one strand or fool around with the effects 2 strands has on the rosette. (as shown below)

blog rosette

Step TWO:
Tie a KNOT at the very bottom. That will be the center of your flower.

Step THREE:
Start loosely (or tightly for a different look) wrapping around and twisting the fabric.  Add hot glue every once in a while to keep the twisting together and continue making the flower.

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Step FOUR:
Cut out two circles of felt that will be used on the backside of your flower.  Hot glue one piece to the back.  With the second piece cut a tiny hole in it and thread your bobby pin through.  Next glue that piece over the felt already attached.

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Can you believe it?  You’re done!  They took me around 3 minutes a piece to make!  (Can you understand why I am so giddy?)

I don’t know, I just assumed that it was really hard to make.  You can embellish these with feathers, buttons, glitter – anything! 

collage 2 rosettes

You can also use these on lamp shades or other home décor (obviously you won’t need the bobby pin!)  Or put them on hats or a t-shirt to Jazz things up a little bit.


rosette blogred wht rosette

My kids neighbor friend enjoyed being the model for this one.  Did I mention she has gorgeous raven brown hair down to her waist!

These would make great gifts for your artsy friend or for a little girl. 

kaelah rosette

Jackie from EveryPrettyThing (her etsy shop) did a cute rose by cutting chiffon fabric in circles and then buring the edges to form the curl on the petals
Click for tutorial from MintGreenWithEnvy.


How about using the rosettes on FRAMES or PILLOWS?  The creativity just doesn't stop!



Enjoy! Till next time I become Giddy with a project!

~Creative Juices Decor~

Friday

Summer Watermelon Icy – Easy and Refreshing

When my son declared “this is the BEST icy ever!” I decided I must blog about it.  (you guys don’t get tired of the best – right?)

I’m actually not a huge watermelon fan but this drink was so delicious and refreshing that I’ll be making this every time I buy a watermelon.

blog watermelon

Watermelon Icy (inspired by Pie Birds and Pinterest)

3-4 cups FROZEN watermelon cubes

1 banana (frozen or non frozen is OK)

1-2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. agave nectar (or sugar, maple syrup etc.)

1/2 cup water

Throw into your blender and serve right away!  EASY and I promise you’ll be delighted by the taste Smile

blog watermolon ice copy

Enjoy!

Linking to YHL Spring Pinterest Party!

Monday

San Juan Camping Trip - My Summer Vacation

I just love camping, but camping in the San Juan Islands beats it all. 

 I was lucky enough to go there quite a bit growing up because my grandparents have lived there since I was 10.  This year my extended family all met at the San Juan County Park and spent 5 days camping.


Fun quick re-cap of our trip:


My son and his boy cousins, a few feet away from our campsite.  Many times you can catch a pod of Orca Whales just swimming along this view!
1 ryland gabriel austin


The sunsets were BEAUTIFUL!
1 san juan sunsets


I love this picture of my grandpa (Opa) My kids’ Great grandpa!
1 Opa


Buoys on my grandparents waterfront property in Wescott Bay (near Roche Harbor) – I am such a sucker for texture.  If he would let me, I would take these home and put them in my house.  I don’t know where but I’d find a place.  BTW, those are barnacles not bird poop on the top of the buoys.  (at least I think) Smile
 
1 buoy


My oldest kayaking in the ocean bay. (or at least walking her kayak.....) It's such a fun area to paddle board, kayak or paddle boat!
1 aria kyak


My youngest “playing” with the captured dungeness crab.  (yes, they were alive, I probably should have been watching her hand near the pincher's instead of delighting myself in picture taking!)  Just use some clams as bait, set out your pots and get yourself a bunch of them! (make sure to get a license first!)
1 Kaelah and crabs


Last but not least, my middle child, my only BOY jumping the rocks. (maybe it’s a good thing I only have one boy, they tend to make your heart skip a beat! He did make it to the other side for those who are wondering!)
1 ryland jumping


Thanks for letting me show you our trip!  I love the summer, hope you're having a great one. Smile

If you want to see my other blog post about San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor just click the link!


~CreativeJuicesDecor~

 
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