Monday, November 24, 2014

GORP ...and catching up...

Hey!  So, it's been awhile since I've posted...  again.  Over a month, jeeze...  and even longer since I've done a "sit down and chat with whoever reads my blabbering on" kind of post.

Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that my awesome best friend bought me a "late birthday" gift recently.  A book that I've been eyeing for quite some time: Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan!!!  I love it so, so much.

It's beautiful, isn't it?

I was browsing Pinterest recently and came across this board full of beautiful illustration inspiration...  the works by Carson Ellis caught my eye and I decided to start doing some research on this talented artist.  Turns out that, not only does she do album art/band posters/etc. for one of my favorite bands (The Decemberists), but she's married to the Colin Meloy, the lead singer!  I adore them both.  

Continuing my research, I found that Meloy and Ellis have created a series of children's fantasy books together, The Wildwood Chronicles.  Check out this video to learn more about the books and to watch Ellis draw a coyote soldier (also to prevent me from going on and on and on about it!).  I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good story.

Also gorgeous.

Anyway, you might be wondering why I'm going on about two seemingly unrelated books, but they have something in common that had been on my mind before ever picking up either book: GORP.  Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts.  Trail mix!  Food in Jars has a recipe for GORP granola and in Wildwood, Prue -the main character-, grabs a bag of GORP to take along on her adventure....  We have an abundance of raisins in our house, peanuts were on sale at my favorite grocery store and Halloween left us with a heap of M&Ms...  this was obviously all meant to be.

Not to mention that it's easy enough that my six-year-old was able to make it (almost) on his own.

GORP (Good Ol' Raisins & Peanuts Trail Mix)

3 cups roasted, lightly salted peanuts
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups M&Ms (we used half regular and half peanut M&Ms)

Toss it all in a bowl.  Mix it up.  Enjoy!  ...but don't pick out the chocolate and leave the peanuts and raisins (Prue says it's illegal!).

GORP recipe from tinsnips & scissors

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Creamy Potato Soup

Dinner was so good the other night...  Creamy potato soup that I jazzed up according to individual tastes...  I loved it, the kids loved it, my husband went back for seconds (which is very rare for him)!

creamy potato soup recipe from tinsnips & scissors
potato soup topped with cheddar cheese

Creamy Potato Soup

12 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 c. butter
1 medium red onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups (64 oz.) vegetable (or chicken) stock
kosher or sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Boil potatoes in a large stock pot in salted water about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.  Set aside.

In the same pot, melt butter and sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until softened and translucent.  Stir in flour and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in vegetable stock and continue stirring until most of the lumps of flour are gone.  Add half of the potatoes to the pot and puree using an immersion blender (or carefully using the blender you use for smoothies...  just be sure to cover it with a towel to avoid any hot liquid spattering).  Loosely mash the remaining potatoes with a spoon and stir into the soup.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in heavy cream and serve as is, or top with whatever sounds good to you!


creamy potato soup recipe from tinsnips & scissors
The kids and I had our soup with leftover broccoli,
chopped carne asada and a little sharp cheddar.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chia Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

Chia Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bowl recipe from tinsnips & scissors

Chia Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

adapted from this recipe
makes 1-2 servings

1 cup Greek Yogurt (I used vanilla)
1/2 cup [your favorite kind of] milk [or kefir] (I used almond milk)
1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar [or honey], or more to taste
1/4 cup chia seeds

toppings/mix-ins of your choice (I stirred in about 1/4 cup of thawed mixed berries, then topped with 1/2 banana, sliced and 1 Tbsp. slivered almonds)

Combine yogurt, milk, agave nectar and chia seeds in and airtight container (like a mason jar or tupperware).  Stir, seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the chia seeds to absorb moisture and become gelatinous.

Add fruit, nuts or other toppings and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Carrot, Ginger, Grapefruit & Orange Juice

carrot, ginger, grapefruit & orange juice recipe from tinsnips & scissors

1 grapefruit, peeled
1/2 medium orange, peeled
2 small-medium carrots
1" knob of ginger

Juice, stir, enjoy!

Alternatively, if you don't have a juicer, you could put all of the ingredients in a blender, then strain through cheese cloth.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cushy Bobble Bath Mat {crochet pattern}

cushy bobble bath mat crochet pattern from tinsnips & scissors

Cushy Bobble Bath Mat


9mm/M hookAran cotton yarn, doubled

Stitch guide:

sl st: slip stitch

bobble: pick up next stitch, yo, pull through, yo, insert hook into same stitch, yo, pull through, yo, insert hook into same stitch, yo, pull through (6 stitches on hook), yo, pull through all six stitches

sc: single crochet

ch: chain stitch


Chain 50, ch 1 turning stitch
(increase in multiples of 2 stitches)
*bobble 1, sl st 1*; rep from *to* to end, ch 1 turning stitch

Repeat row 1 39 more times (until mat measures approximately 24" x 15")

cushy bobble bath mat crochet pattern from tinsnips & scissors

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coconut Chocolate Chip Chai Hot Chocolate Cookies

I don't know if it's the recent chilly weather or that the kids are going back to school soon, but I'm already going into fall mode (and August hasn't even started!).  I'm in the mood for spicy, warm goodies.  

Holy crap, you guys...  these things are so freaking good.

...and, yes, I'm sure I could've come up with a shorter name for them...

Coconut Chocolate Chip Chai Hot Chocolate Cookies by tinsnips & scissors

Coconut Chocolate Chip Chai Hot Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from this recipe.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup instant chai drink powder (I used Trader Joe's pumpkin chai mix)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips and coconut.

  • In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and chai powder. Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in chai-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. 

  • (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week)

Coconut Chocolate Chip Chai Hot Chocolate Cookies by tinsnips & scissors
Best served alongside a homemade foamy mocha
topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quinoa, Chickpea and Red Pepper Patties

Quinoa, Chickpea and Red Pepper Patties by tinsnips & scissors

Quinoa, Chickpea and Red Pepper Patties

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp mild ajvar (or Trader Joe's red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic)
1/4 of a red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 of a small red onion, finely diced
about 2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, yolk broken

avocado oil or olive oil, for cooking

Combine chickpeas and quinoa in a bowl and mash loosely, using a potato masher or fork.  Stir in other ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Using a fourth of the mixture for each serving, form a patty (just like you would form a hamburger), by smashing the mixture between your hands.

Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat.  Cook about 4 minutes per side in a *hot* skillet, searing both sides to form a crust on the patty.  Use caution when flipping them, they might want to crumble.

HINT:  If you end up with leftovers (or a crumbly one), add it to your scrambled eggs in the morning!  Yum!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Curried Veggies and (no-fail) Saffron Rice

Curried Veggies and (no-fail) Saffron Rice by tinsnips & scissors

Curried Veggies

  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • sprinkle of ground cardamom
  • sprinkle of ground cloves
  • 2 Tbsp avocado (or olive) oil
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • salt to taste
*Veggies of choice*  ...just try to keep proportions close to what I've listed here...
  • 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz bag frozen Florentine vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower)
  • 12 oz bag frozen Brussles sprouts
  • you could also try peas, sweet potatoes, cabbage, potatoes, etc.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, cardamom and cloves to oil and stir so spices and oil thicken to a paste.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Cook, covered,over medium heat for 20-30 minutes (or until the veggies are fork tender), stirring periodically.


(no-fail) Saffron Rice

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (or use salted and omit the extra salt)
  • salt to taste
  • small pinch of saffron
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Continue cooking, covered, for another 15 minutes at 50% power.  Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New "Items for Sale" page on my blog!

Good afternoon!  If you follow either my personal or my blog facebook pages, you've probably seen that I've been making wire jewelry.  I've decided to put together a page here on my blog where you can order directly from me.  Just click on the "Items for Sale" tab on the top of my blog to see what I'm currently offering.

handmade wire jewelry by tinsnips & scissors

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Refrigerator [sweet] Pickles

Refrigerator pickles are one of the easiest things to make and they keep my kids and I happy on warm summer days...

The very basics that you'll need for any kind of refrigerator pickles are:

  • produce to pickle
  • vinegar
  • filtered water
  • salt
The combination of the vinegar and the salt are what do the actual pickling/preserving for you.  From this very basic recipe, you could make so many different kinds of pickles!  Just change up your seasonings and you could have a whole new flavor combination.

refrigerator sweet pickles from tinsnips & scissors
This is how I make my sweet pickles...


Refrigerator Sweet Pickles

  • cucumbers, cut into coins
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup filtered water 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1/8 tsp dill seeds
  • 1/8 tsp celery seeds
  • a sprinkle of turmeric
  • a sprinkle of ground cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder (though I prefer adding thinly sliced red onions instead, tonight it was an afterthought, so I opted for onion powder)

Wash and chop the cucumbers (and red onions, if you're using them) and place in a sanitized pint sized jar (or similarly sized air-tight container).  Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds, turmeric and cayenne (and onion powder, if you're using it) to the jar.

In a microwave safe container (that's easy to pour from), combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until the salt and sugar have mostly dissolved.  Pour this liquid over your cucumbers (there should be enough liquid to cover the tops of the pickles), close up the jar and give it a good shake to evenly distribute all of the seeds and spices.

Wait 24-48 hours before eating to allow the cucumbers to absorb all of the flavors.  They should keep well in your fridge for at least a couple of weeks (maybe longer).....  if they last that long!

**PLEASE NOTE that this recipe is written strictly for refrigerator storage...  DO NOT try to process these pickles in a water bath or pressure canner!  


Monday, April 28, 2014

This week's menu... 4/28/14-5/4/14

4/28/14-5/4/14 menu plan by tinsnips and scissors

Monday:  BBQ chicken legs & garlic mashed potatoes

Tuesday:  Brats and sauerkraut

Wednesday:  veggie curry

Thursday:  pizza night

Friday:  leftovers

Saturday:  veggie stir fry

Sunday:  smothered chicken (recipe coming soon)

What's on your menu this week?

Monday, April 7, 2014

4 week cleaning schedule

Gah!  There's so much going on that I want to share right now, but I've been told that I have to wait...

...So for now I'm sharing a cleaning chart that I made incorporating At Home With Nikki's "1 Hour Home Cleaning Routine".  It works when I remind myself to do it...

PRINTABLE 4 week cleaning schedule by tinsnips & scissors

Monday, March 10, 2014

Homemade "Pedialyte" Mix Recipe

There's something going around my kids' schools...  Whatever it is, it sucks.  The kids don't think they're sick then out of nowhere, lots of vomit.  Sorry for the detail, but it is what it is.

Anyway, two of my three kids are sick, and the third says she feels nauseated when she stands up.  Oh, my husband is home sick today too...  I, on the other hand, feel fine (if not entirely exhausted from taking care of everyone).

Needless to say, electrolyte drinks are highly valued at times like these.  It's just so expensive...  and nearly impossible to run to the store when everyone but me is sick.  So, the last time one of my kids was sick, I tried making some from [the first of three recipes that I found on] this website (via Pinterest, of course).

She loved it.

She said it was better than the store-bought stuff.

So, when I needed to make more today, I figured that I might as well make as much as I can so I have it on hand when I need it.

Homemade "Pedialyte" Mix Recipe by tinsnips & scissors
I made a double batch of the drink to
hold us over until the kids feel better.

To make the dry mix, you will need:

  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/3 c (one 3 oz. box) flavored gelatin (I used pineapple Jello)
Mix the ingredients well and store in an airtight jar. I used a one quart mason jar.

To prepare electrolyte drink, you will need:
  • 3 Tbsp dry mix
  • 1/2 c hot water
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
 Combine dry mix and hot water, stir to dissolve.  Top with cold water and serve.

I hope everyone in your family is staying healthy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I feel like I've been a slacker -as far as my blogging goes- lately...  I just don't know where I want all of this to go.  Not that it has to go anywhere, really, but I feel like it's turned into a place to plan my menus and that's not all that I want it to be.

So, for that reason, I'm taking a break from posting my menu planning on here (for now, at least).  I feel like I've done it enough to give you a good example of how to go about it, and I really don't think that anyone cares about what I'm cooking for my family anyway.  Really, the only feedback I've ever gotten have been negative comments from a guy that I hardly knew in high school that I repeat certain meals too often.  So I'm done with the sharing of my menus for the time being.

On a different note, I've been doing well with my #100daysofyogachallenge...  today was day 41!  Yay!  I'm feeling better and my general mood has improved.

Also, I started a challenge that I saw on Facebook this morning...  the "40 Bags in 40 Days 2014 Decluttering Challenge" (want to know more about it?  Click the link)...  I'm sure I'll share more about it in the future.

I've also created a printable cleaning chart and I hope to do a post about it soon.

Anyway, just putting all that out there for whoever might be reading my blog.............. there anyone who reads this?  ...or am I doing this for myself?

(I think every blogger has this question at some point)

If you're reading this, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This week's menu... 2/17/14-2/23/14...

2/17/14-2/23/14 menu plan by tinsnips & scissors

So last week was an off week... I kind of planned the menu in my head, but my life was too busy to make time for a blog post.  Frankly, I'm proud of myself for getting around to it at all this week, albeit a little late...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This week's menu... 2/3/14-2/9/14...

It's only Tuesday and so much has happened this week...  Life is full of experiences to learn and grow from.
...this week's menu...

Monday, January 27, 2014

This week's menu... 1/27/14-2/2/14...

Thanks to living in an arctic tundra (otherwise known as the Chicagoland area in the winter of 2014), the kids' schools were closed today...  and will be again tomorrow.  Thus preventing my usual early week grocery shopping trip, since I can't take the little ones out in these frigid temperatures.  Hence, the first couple of meals on our menu this week...

...this week's menu...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Don't forget to breathe...

I've been doing yoga fairly often for about a year now...  When I do it regularly, not only does my body feel better (stronger and less tense), but I feel more focused and driven in life in general.

The problem that I've run into is that occasional "bad day."  We all have those days.  The days where there's just too much to do, or I'm not feeling well or I just don't feel like doing anything.  "Rest days" get me, too.  I have a bad habit of letting myself take one day off from focusing on how my body is feeling and it turns into days, weeks or even months without giving myself time for my physical and mental well-being.

Now, since the beginning of the year, I've been doing better at holding myself accountable for focusing on my health and have been doing yoga most days.  However I'm still missing days at a time and that's not what I want.  As a mother of three human being, I need to take time for myself.

I need to make a point of giving myself time to breathe.

image from

Herein lies the challenge:  100 days of yoga!

I'm taking inspiration from my mom and a woman who made a video that has inspired her to work out everyday for 100 days (yesterday was day 15!  Go Mom!!!).

I think it's a good time to commit myself to a goal...  'cause why not today?  It doesn't have to be anything big, or crazy intense (although it should be some days!), just a way to get moving and motivate myself to build a habit.

So.  The question is, are you willing to do the same for yourself?  To allow yourself to breathe and give your body the attention it deserves?

If you want to join me, check out this group on Facebook and share what you did today!

What have you done for yourself today?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Resolutions and whatnot...

So, I figure that if I'm going to do a post about life changes and resolutions, I should probably do it before January comes to a close...

Last year, my resolution was simply to "be a better version of me."  Overall I would say that I did a pretty good job.  I lost 25 lbs (though I gained 7.5 back thanks to holiday bingeing and a new found addiction to pistachios)...  I've integrated yoga into my life...  I've done well with menu planning (and mostly sticking to it)...  I even yell at my kids [a little] less.

...but isn't that what life is about?  Being the best that you can be, doing the best that you can and trying to make changes when you realize that you were in the wrong or that thing aren't going as planned...

That's what I want my life to be, anyway.

So, I think that this year's "resolution" (if that's what you want to call it) is the same thing as last year.

I'm hoping to continue sharing what works for me -and what doesn't work- and maybe some of you will be able to learn from my accomplishments and mistakes.  A few areas that I'm hoping to continue improving upon include (but are most definitely not limited to):
  • being more HEALTH conscious (it's not all about weight loss, it's about eating right and moving more as well!  Also being aware of my mental well-being! )
  • being more environmentally aware (reduce, reuse, recycle more!!!)
  • loving on my kids more (not reacting so much and hugging and saying, "I love you" more!)
  • ORGANIZING and being honest about what should be purged!   (a constant battle in our home, myself included)
  • daily journaling (even if it's just a little note on gratitude in my to-do book)
I'm sure I could keep listing off things that I would like to change/areas to grow in, but part of all of this is not overwhelming myself and just doing the best that I, as an individual/mother/human, can do.

thoughts from tinsnips & scissors

Did you make a resolution this year?
Are there specific areas in your life (that you have control over) that you'd like to change?

Monday, January 20, 2014

This week's menu... 1/20/14-1/26/14...

...this week's menu...

Monday:  leftovers

Tuesday:  lemon chicken thighs and potage parmentier (never got around to it last week, what with a sick husband, then getting sick myself...  don't worry, a post will still be coming up on Create! Don't Consume! sometime this month)

Wednesday:  campanelle with Nikki's and my homemade marinara

Thursday:  pizza night

Friday:  BBQ sliders on pretzel rolls (the ones from Costco, YUM!) with peas (a "use what's in the freezer" meal)

Saturday:  beef and broccoli stir fry (another "use what's in the freezer" meal)

Sunday:  brats with homemade buns and corn

What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

This week's menu... 1/13/14-1/19/14...

Menu planning went incredibly smoothly this week.  Country ribs were on sale last week, so I picked some up for this week...  Nikki and I did our planning for Create! Don't Consume! and I decided to try out potage parmentier (I've been reading Julie and Julia and am feeling inspired to try some classic recipes)...  and tonight we found a family pack of steak on sale.  It just all fell into place.

...this week's menu...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Roasted Duck with Baby Carrots and Baby Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Duck with Carrots and Potatoes

duck (about 7-9 lbs)
2-3 lbs baby fingerling potatoes
about 4 cups baby carrots

The following ingredients are all to taste:
dried marjoram
dried summer savory

Preheat oven to 425°.  Prep duck by removing anything inside it, rinsing and drying thoroughly and tying the legs together.  Salt generously, then using a metal skewer (or another long, skinny metal object), poke lots of holes through the duck (yes, through the entire bird)...  this will allow a lot of the fat to drain from the meat.  Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and roast at 425° for 20 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and poke at the duck with the skewer again (keep doing this every so often to ensure that the fat continues to drain through the roasting).  Reduce the heat to 350° and continue roasting for another 3 hours.

When there's about half an hour of roasting time left, it's time to start your veggies.  Rinse them well and boil them in lightly salted water over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.  Set aside until the duck is finished roasting.

When the duck is done, remove it from the pan to a serving plate to rest.  Add veggies to the roasting pan and toss in the fat and cooking juices that the duck left behind.  Season to taste.  Roast in the 350° oven for  10-15 minutes, or until they're done to your liking.  Transfer veggies to the serving plate with the duck using a slotted spoon (so you don't bring all of the fat with it).

Serve while hot and ENJOY!

This week's menu... 1/6/14-1/12/14...

Apparently I'm in the mood for Italian food this week...

...this week's menu...