Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kitchen Fun

As if Facebook didn't already take me away from my own writing projects, there's a newish game in town called Pinterest.  When I first heard of it, I thought, eh, that sounds like a waste of time....and then I decided one dull day to check it out.  In case you've never delved into the fascinating world of pinning, Pinterest is a way to save things you find on the internet for future use, and to share your interests with friends as well.

Has this ever happened to you?  You see a recipe, or a great pair of jeans, or a fabulous shade of lipstick, or a review for a product you don't need at the moment but might want to try someday....and when you are ready to buy or cook or have a makeover, you can't remember where you saw it!  Pinterest to the rescue!  You make "pinboards," using any title you like.  Then, when you find a tidbit that you want to reference later, you use your handy "pin it" button that you've downloaded to your toolbar.  Friends get to see what you're looking at, and they can repin at will.  You can peruse your friends' boards too, as well as hundreds of general categories where you will find things by pinners you don't know. It's kind of an interesting sociological study when you see degrees of separation played out by people around the world as they repin things you saw a week ago!

Anyway, all of this is to say that I have been pinning for months now, and it has inspired me to try a lot of new recipes as well as home projects, garden inspiration, clothing, and about a million handy tips for the home, such as cleaning products you can make with items from the pantry, or a sugar scrub that saves me a bundle because I used to but it from Burt's Bees at $13 a jar, and making it at home costs pennies.  All of which is very helpful when you have daughters who can use up a jar in the space of a week!

Favorite baked items include a "buttercream" frosting that begins with a white sauce, uses far less sugar, and tastes far better than traditional icing, homemade Snickers bars that were to die for, pumpkin muffins filled with a cream cheese concoction and topped with streusel, cheesy zucchini rice that is delicious as a side dish or a vegetarian meal, and lime ice cubes.

Lime ice cubes, when put in the above list, sound ridiculous, I know.  If I read that, I would say forget lime ice cubes!  Tell me about the homemade Snickers bars!  But really, they are adorable and delicious and I am thinking about making gallon Ziploc bags full of them for the freezer.  I am even thinking of making lemon, orange, peach and strawberry ones!  They are easy, but oh so nice.

All you have to do is take a tabespoon of sugar and put it in a measuring cup.  Squeeze the juice of a lime into it and stir so the sugar dissolves.  Add 1 1/2 cups or so of water and stir.  This is a basic limeade and in my ice trays it made one tray of ice, so plan accordingly depending on how many ice cubes you want.  Pour the limeade into your ice tray(s). Take one more lime and slice the ends off, cutting close so you're cutting the rind part off but leaving most of the fruit. Slice the remaining lime into 4 round slices, and then cut each slice into quarters, leaving you with 16 triangles of lime.  Drop one into each ice cube and freeze.  (If you have any triangles left over, simply squeeze the juice out of them right into the cubes you're making, so there's no waste!) 

Use these cubes in drinks--we love it in fresh lemonade, Sprite when we let the kids have soda, water and cocktails, too--one of my favorite drinks is gin and tonic, and these are awesome in there!  They add a kick to your drink and don;t water it down.  YUMMY!