5 Creative Uses for Latte Bowls

5-creative-ways-to-use-latte-bowlsYou might have caught wind of the fangirl level of adoration that I have for latte bowls in some of my previous posts (and my instagram). I can’t help myself. They are so pretty (all those colors) and useful too! So you can imagine my glee when Anthropologie recently picked up on my obsession and asked if I’d be interested in coming up with 5 creative ways to use their latte bowls for a special post on their blog today (and as part of their newsletter too). Um, yes…this is what latte fangirl dreams are made of!

free-printable-art-templateI hope you’ll join me over on the Anthropologie Blog today to see the full story (with all 5 latte bowl uses). Hint: I don’t want to give too much away, but one of the uses involves the creation of this pretty motivational painting. And because I love you all so much, I’ve made a free template available for you to print out and customize with paint, just like I did. There are two versions to choose from—with text or without. Download yours using the button below.

See you over on the Anthropologie Blog! xo Ez

free-printable-art-template-download

This post was created in partnership with Anthropologie. Find more from Anthropologie on WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Making: Gluten-Free Granola

gluten-free-granolaI’m going to blame this all on the Caramelized Peaches + Cream with Toasted Crumble that I shared a couple of weeks ago. Because after gobbling up the extra crumble topping with a dash of milk, I became obsessed with the idea of making homemade granola. Yes, the recipe I’ve been making is a bit like a dessert topping, but slightly less sweet…which is what I use to comfort myself as I scarf down bowl after bowl of it. No, I’m not eating dessert for breakfast…it has milk!

In any case, the basic recipe below is quick and easy to make, hearty, and delicious…and I love how simple it is to customize with different ingredients. Feel free to adapt it to your heart’s content. Some potential add-ins you might try could include:

  • Dried fruit | raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
  • Nuts | I recommend toasting them before adding them to your granola
  • Seeds | sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
  • Flavored extracts | vanilla, coconut, almond, hazelnut, etc. (be sure to check that they are gluten-free)
  • Spices | cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  • Zest | orange, lemon, or lime
  • Alternative sweeteners | Maple syrup, honey, agave, etc.

gluten-free-granola-2

Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

Loosely adapted from How Sweet Eats
Makes approximately 4 Cups of granola

Ingredients:
2 Cups rolled oats (gluten-free)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup honey roasted almonds (we buy ours from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 Cup toasted sweetened coconut
5 dried apricots, chopped
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

Prep:
▪ Place sweetened coconut in a pan over medium heat and stir regularly until toasted. Remove from heat.
▪ Chop dried apricots and set aside
▪ Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

Instructions:
1. Melt butter in the bottom of a large saucepan, over medium heat
2. Add in oats and stir until thoroughly mixed
3. Allow oats to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly
4. Add in brown sugar, and stir thoroughly
5. Allow oats and sugar to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly
6. Stir in coconut extract and turn heat off
7. Mix in almonds, toasted coconut, and apricots
8. Pour granola onto your prepared baking sheet to cool
9. Once fully cooled, serve and enjoy!

Store granola in an air-tight container

gluten-free-granola-1

I’d love to hear what creative adaptations you come up with it you make a batch! xo

Tried + True: Homemade Salt Water Taffy

tried-and-true-salt-water-taffy-2If playing with a wad of hot sticky bubblegum for 15 minutes sounds like fun, then have I got the project for you today! I’m kidding…kind of.

This past Saturday my daughter and I decided to try to make salt water taffy for the first time. I read through a bunch of recipes online, and one thing became immediately clear; making taffy is hard work and sticky…very very sticky! But I wasn’t going to be so easily scared off. I finally settled on a recipe (which we then adapted) from Cupcake Project. I chose her recipe, because she did a great job photographing the steps, I like the fact that her recipe calls for a lower final temperature (since I read on several blogs that their taffy turned out far too hard after using a higher final temperature), and lastly, because she said that the whole project could be done in an hour. That’s my kind of recipe!

For our adaptation, we used 1/2 teaspoon raspberry flavoring (we found it at Michael’s craft store) and 4 drops of blue food coloring; instead of the vanilla bean paste and candy sprinkles in her version. Once cooked to the correct temperature, we patiently waited for the candy to cool just enough so that we wouldn’t scald ourselves (we couldn’t stand to wait any longer than that), we then buttered our hands up, split the candy in two, and each started to taffy pull.

tried-and-true-salt-water-taffy1

Right away I had problems with the taffy staying together. I think I might have had too much butter on my hands. But then when the butter wore off of my fingers the taffy stuck to my skin…and I mean really truly stuck to them. It was nearly impossible to remove. For some reason my daughter didn’t have the same issue. While I was getting frustrated with my portion, and in a near panic trying to remove the glob of candy from my fingers without losing a layer of skin, she was quickly turning her piece into a beautiful bit of candy magic.

In the end we determined that my hands were much warmer than hers, and this might have been the cause of the overly sticky situation. At one point I started working with my hands over the air conditioning vent, and that seemed to help quite a bit. Unfortunately my arthritic joints eventually gave out, so my daughter stepped in and finished pulling the rest of mine for me, while I wrapped the cut pieces of taffy in parchment paper.

tried-and-true-salt-water-taffy-3They say that all is well that ends well, and in this case that is most definitely true! Even though my particular batch was stubborn, my daughter managed to salvage it, and we had a great memory making experience. Oh…and the finished candy turned out deliciously too! A winner in my book! Find the original recipe we used right here. Just prepare yourself ahead of time for a thorough arm workout!

Photos taken with iPhone 5c

Spice Jar Organization with Free Printable Labels

spice-jar-organizationI’ve been meaning to post about the quick facelift that I gave to our spice jars for a while now…and hooray, today I’m finally doing it! I feel like I should first start out by saying that I don’t see anything wrong with anyone leaving everything in the original bottles. I’m not typically such an organized person, but because of the extremely limited storage space in our kitchen, I knew that I needed to streamline the hodgepodge of containers that were filling the space if I planned to hold anything else besides spices inside them. Plus, after painting the interiors I couldn’t really stand the thought of putting the old jumble of jars back inside.

spice-organization-beforeHere’s what I was working with. Not my fave.

spice-jar-organization-3And here they are now! The project turned out to be surprisingly simple! I picked up some glass spice jars and clamp-lid jars from World Market (I have to admit that it was a bit painful shelling out money for empty bottles), made up some simple spice identification labels to print onto adhesive paper, filled the new bottles up, and stuck each label on. Tada!

I have to say that the results really have made a world of difference for the functionality of my kitchen! I actually enjoy looking inside my less cluttered cupboards while cooking now, and everything is as easy to find as it is pretty to look at.

spice-jar-organization-5If this project sounds like something up your alley and you want to get a jump-start on things, I’ve made the printable spice labels that I used available as a freebie through the link below. Please note that they are not sized to fit a specific label template (I was too tired to try to figure that out when I was initially creating them for my project), so I just printed them onto full sheets of adhesive label paper, and used a circle craft punch to cut out the labels for the small spice jars.

download-spice-labels

Of course you might have a different assortment of spices in your kitchen than the ones I included on these labels. If so, you can use the free font Miso (the one I used for my labels) to create any additional labels that you need.

spice-jar-organization-4Juni gives this project two paws up!

Tried + True: Caramelized Peaches + Cream with Toasted Crumble

caramelized-peaches-cream-crumbleI spotted this Caramelized Peaches + Cream with Toasted Crumble recipe over on Pinterest last week and immediately knew that it was going to become my next test project/recipe for the newly-minted Tried + True series.

caramelized-peaches-cream-crumble3Happily, the recipe was a huge success (I’ve actually made it twice now), so I get to share the results with you here today! Woot woot! The caramelized sauce paired with the fresh sweetness of the fruit, topped off with the crunch of topping is pure nirvana. I have a feeling this gem of a recipe is going to continue to be a Summertime regular in my home from here on out. And I know it’s dessert and all, but I’ve also enjoyed eating the leftover chilled fruit for breakfast…with yogurt (that makes it healthy right?).

caramelized-peaches-cream-crumble2Needless to say, I’m urging you to skedaddle on over to check out How Sweet Eats for the original Caramelized Peaches + Cream with Toasted Crumble Recipe pronto. You will not be sorry!

Here are few notes from my experience:

  • Instead of the coconut cream, I whipped up some heavy whipping cream with a bit of granulated white sugar, and a splash of bourbon vanilla, for a delicious addition.
  • I also added a dash of bourbon vanilla to the peaches during the carmelization phase. Yum!
  • Because the caramelized peaches are very sweet (both from their natural sweetness and the brown sugar), I recommend not over-sweetening the cream.
  • Bonus…if you make sure to use gluten-free oats and gluten-free vanilla, this recipe is deliciously gluten-free

caramelized-peaches-cream-crumble1All photos taken with iPhone 5c