Meet Maple

Meet Maple

Hi Friends,

As you know, I’m quite busy in my Make Shoppe cooking, baking, crafting, and sharing projects with you. Doing all this takes time and lots of patience and little ol’ me can’t possibly do it all alone. So, say hello to some of my Make Shoppe helpers!

As you will see, some are more helpful than others…

MAPLE THE MOOSE

Meet Maple! She’s a dear friend and loves to help out but she is really clumsy. Whenever there’s a mess in the Make Shoppe we’re always saying… “THERE’S A MOOSE ON THE LOOSE!”   Of course she’ll always claim her innocence…  

Hi, I’m Maple. Also known as “That Darn Moose.” And whenever there is a disaster somewhere in The Make Shoppe…I’m always to blame! What gives…?

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The Best Strawberry Compote, Ever!

The Best Strawberry Compote, Ever!

WARNING… when you make this Strawberry Compote and serve it to friends, they will be lined up at your door begging for more! They just may even stop by unannounced, insisting that they were just in the neighborhood and well what do you know they’re holding a box of strawberries! Ha Ha Ha…
Seriously, this will be one of the BEST desserts you’ll ever make and it may just even replace dinner all together.

Let’s start…

Ingredients
For Compote and Cake:
4-6 pints (green baskets) Ripe Strawberries
1 Entenmann’s Butter Cake or Duncan Hines “classic white” boxed Cake
Brown Sugar to taste
1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For Whipped Topping:
1 pint or smaller size Heavy Whipping Cream
Brown Sugar to taste

Put it together
If you plan to make your own cake, bake it ahead of time and set aside to cool. If you would like to punch up the cake flavor, add about 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the cake mix…yum! Next, wash the strawberries and remove the green parts. Cut each berry in half and place them in a food processor. Add some brown sugar and 1-2 tsp of the vanilla and blend until you have a nice puree. Taste the mixture and adjust the amount of brown sugar to your liking. Tastes good already, huh?
Now, for the whipped topping, pour the heavy cream into a mixer and add some of the brown sugar. Mix until you have a somewhat stiff consistency. Be careful not to over mix unless you like it that way. Taste the cream and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar to your liking.

Serve
Now that your cake has cooled, slice the cake into generously sized square cuts. Pour the strawberry puree on the top enough to cover but with a little cake exposed on the side. (see featured image) Now, add a healthy dollop of whipped cream to the top and you’re ready to serve.  Garnish with a sprig of mint, optional.
Tutu Notes:
Last weekend I took a trip to Topanga Canyon. The Strawberries used in this recipe came from a stand on the side of the road.( just look for the strawberry sign) The WOW in the dessert really starts with a good batch of berries. As you can see the color is beautiful and they were so fragrant. If visiting Topanga is not an option try your local Farmer’s Market, they should have some great choices there!

Enjoy~

Strawberries from Topanga Canyon Road

From me to you…

Tutu

Meatless Monday – Part II

Meatless Monday – Part II

Hi folks and welcome to Beans and Veggies Part II. To the folks that are just joining us I’m sure that read a bit strange, right? Well, just to update you, yesterday was Meatless Monday and I shared my Crock Pot Beans and Veggie Soup recipe. Today, I’m extending the meal to a second night making it part II…with some changes.

So, I’ve re-heated my soup in a large pot and added a few new ingredients to change things up a bit. My additions are: Yams that have been washed, peeled and cut into chunks, more tomatoes and broth and some all spice seasoning. Yesterday’s soup flavors were dynamite but for today, I think the all spice would really liven it up and compliment the yams. Simply just throw in your new additions and heat until the yams chunks are soft. This only takes about 20 mins.

Enjoy~

Tutu  

Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday!

Welcome beans…I mean Make Shoppers! I’ve been so excited to share my Crock Pot  Beans and Veggie Soup recipe with you I can’t even type straight. Plus, my paw mittens are always in the way. Oh well…whaddya gonna do about it? Thank goodness for spell check!
Just so you know, this was my first attempt with assorted raw beans. I don’t know why I was so afraid to cook with them before…maybe for fear of them not cooking through? So, I learned that soaking them overnight was the trick and the rest was a piece of blueberry pie! Now, I chose to use beans as the base of my soup but you could use just about anything. Potatoes, rice or orzo….whatever pleases you! Also, choose any spices and  assortment of veggies that are good for slow cooking in a crock pot.

Let’s get started…

My Ingredients:
4 cups of Assorted Beans (rinsed and soaked overnight)
1 Onion chopped
5 Ribs of Celery chopped
3-4 Carrots chopped into disks
2 Roma Tomatoes chopped
Fresh Parsley chopped
2-3 Garlic Cloves crushed
6-8 cups Veggie Broth
Seasonings:
Kosher Salt and Pep to taste
Celery Salt to taste
Onion and Garlic Powder to taste

Put it together:
Set up the crock pot and turn it to low. Add all of the ingredients above EXCEPT the tomatoes, give it a stir and cover. To avoid a mushy texture, add the tomatoes during the last 1/2 hour of the cook time. Let the soup cook for about 6 hours and then turn the setting to high and let cook for another 2 hours. I found the extra heat towards the end really softened the beans to a nice texture. If you don’t have this much time you could always set the crock pot to high and cook for less time. Check the beans a few times during the process to make sure they’re done!

Serve:
Scoop out the veggies and beans and put them into a nice soup bowl and serve with warm bread…mmm…

Enjoy~

From me to you…

Tutu

Tutu Clix Nature Pix

Tutu Clix Nature Pix

What do you see?

Greens in the Distance

White Blooms

Thanks for posing, little squirrel

The trees in the breeze

It’s Lizzy on land!

Nature welcomes you…

Oops!

Broiled Skirt Steak with Orzo Pasta

Broiled Skirt Steak with Orzo Pasta

I’ve made a delicious meal! Broiled Skirt Steak with Orzo Pasta! It was easy…but of course I didn’t let my guests know that. I want them to think I’m a CulinaryRockstar even though this really only took less than 30 minutes to cook up if you exclude the marination time. Ok, so let get started…

Ingredients you’ll need:

(For the Meat and Marinade)
1Lb of Skirt Steak
Hand full of Fresh Cilantro
Hand full of Fresh Parsley
1/2-1 chopped White Onion
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

(For the Orzo Pasta)
1 Cup of Orzo *Note follow cooking instructions on box to cook al dente and boil in salted water*
1/2  Cup chopped Red Onion
Hand full of chopped Green Onion
Hand full of chopped Parsley or Cilantro
1 large Cucumber chopped
1/2 Cup of sliced red or orange Grape Tomatoes
Red Wine Vinegar to taste
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Crumbled Feta Cheese to taste

 Put it together:

Skirt Steak: Take all of the ingredients listed for the marinade and process them in a food processor. Remember that when you add oil to any marinade, you always want to drizzle it in while the processor is processing! After everything is well blended the consistency should be  slightly think but not too watery. Next lay your cuts of meat down in a dish and smother with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. After the marination time and the meat is ready to cook, turn the oven to broil. Shake off any excess marinade and place the meat in a oven safe dish lined with foil.  For medium cooked meat, broil each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Cook less time per side for medium rare and more time for well done. My suggestion is not to exceed more than 5 minutes per side! When the meat is cooked to your liking remove it from the oven and transfer to a cutting board, cover and let it rest for a few minutes before cutting.

Orzo Pasta: Boil about 1 cup of uncooked Orzo in a nice pot of salted water. Cook according to the al dente directions on the box. Once the pasta is ready, remove from the heat and drain. Place pasta in a large bowl and refrigerate to cool completely. After the pasta has cooled, add the olive oil, vinegar salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Next add the tomatoes, onions, cucumber and parsley or cilantro. Toss again. Finally add the crumbled feta and lightly toss to combine.  

How to serve: By now your skirt steak is ready to cut. Slice thinly and serve alongside a generous helping of the Orzo Pasta. Garnish with parsley and TAKE A BOW. ((((((APPLAUSE))))))

From me to you…

Tutu

hello…thinking of you…bon voyage…?

hello…thinking of you…bon voyage…?

Hello from the Make Shoppe! Tutu needs your help! What type of occasion or event should this card be for? Hello, Get Well,  Bon Voyage, With Sympathy, House Warming, Thinking of you or maybe any of the above?  This card idea is so simple and can easily be used for any occasion. I always make more than one just to keep on hand. Let’s get started…

What you’ll need:
~ Tree Punches
~ Ink Colors
~Scrap Paper
~Card Stock as your card base
~Craft or Cosmetic Sponges

Let’s practice…

Materials

Using scrap paper, punch out the tree shapes

Use the punched page as your stencil

Use the sponge to absorb the ink and blot over the stencil

Repeat with differently colored inks

Experiment with stamp placement

 

Now that you’re comfortable try this on a real piece of card stock and create your card!

From me to you…

Tutu

Frog Card Evolution!

Frog Card Evolution!

Hey there Make Shoppers! As you all know, Father’s Day is this Sunday June 17th. Do you have a card ready for Dad? Well no worries because I’ll be sharing my Father’s Day card ideas with you!
As you can see in the featured picture all you need is some colored card stock and some basic punches to get things started. Try using your imagination to create certain shapes. For example, for the body of my frog I used a round circle, a heart shape punch for the legs and a maple leaf punch for the frog feet. Also, don’t worry about being too perfect…your card should have a handcrafted feel to it that Dad will love!
I would absolutely love to see your beautiful creations out there. So if you’ve made this card, email me a picture, PLEASE!  tutusmakeshoppe@gmail.com

HOPPY FATHER’S DAY!frog card for father's day

From me to you…

Tutu

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Goodness, Gracious, Great Bowls of Chili!

Goodness, Gracious, Great Bowls of Chili!

Hi Friends! Today I’m cookin’ in the kitchin’ with my crock pot and makin’ some chili! This is a great meal for your busy days when your attention is needed elsewhere. Hmm, that’s probably everyday right? Ha ha ha, well in that case, I promise to make and share more recipes like this one!

Let’s get started:

Take out your crock pot, turn it on and set to “low”

Ingredients you’ll need: 
1.25 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
1 chopped White Onion
4-5 minced Garlic Cloves
1 pkg Chili Seasoning Mix (or make your own, see Tutu’s notes)
1 can Tomato Sauce 15 oz
1 can Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz
1 can Golden Sweet Corn 11 oz
1 can Kidney or Red Beans 15 oz
a little Olive Oil
a hand full of chopped Green Onion for garnish (optional)

Ground Turkey and Diced Onions in Bowls

Turkey and Onion ready to cook!

Chili Trio: Red Beans, Corn and Diced Tomatoes in Bowls

Chili Trio: Red Beans, Corn and Diced Tomatoes

     

Put it together:
Dice up 3/4 of the white onion. Reserve 1/4 of the chopped onion for garnish.  In a pan, pour a little oil- just enough to coat the bottom. Add the onion and minced garlic and saute over med-low heat just until the onions are soft. Aroma should be fragrant! Next, add your ground turkey and increase the heat to med-high. Cook meat through, breaking up any large pieces. Careful not to over cook. Once meat looks done turn off the heat and add your chili spice packet. Mix well and add a little of the tomato sauce if mixture seems too dry.

Cooked Chili Meat in Bowl

How the cooked Turkey and Onions should look

Transfer your meat and onion mix to the already warmed crock pot. Finally, dump in the beans, corn, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Fold in to mix ingredients together, cover with the lid and let it cook low and slow, 3 hours.

How to serve:
Place the chili in bowls or large squatty mugs. Garnish with the reserved chopped white onion. Other garnish types can be green onion, cheddar cheese or all of the above!

Cooked Chili in Crock Pot

Cooked Chili in the Crock Pot after about 2-3 hours. Remember, low and slow!

Tutu’s notes:
~ Make your own Chili Seasoning Mix!
Add: pepper, kosher salt, garlic power, onion powder, cumin and zesty chili power. Adjust more or less of any spice to your liking.

~ A Healthier Option
Of course using Turkey is already a healthier start than using Beef, but you can also take other steps to lighten things up! #1 Use less salt and choose “no salt” options for your canned goods or look for lower sodium amounts.
#2 The fresher the ingredient the better! Choose live produce over canned options.
#3 Portion control. It may be hard to stop eating this delicious meal but less can be more! Especially by making this last 2-3 nights.

Enjoy~

From me to you…

Tutu