Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recipe: Red Wine Sangria (Bobby Flay Remix)

When I was searching online for a sangria recipe, this Red Wine Sangria I found from Bobby Flay got amazing reviews!  But... it wouldn't be like me to follow a recipe exactly now would it?  So, here's my variation.  My apologies, I didn't think to take pictures while I was making it -- but it is really simple to make!

3 bottles cheap red wine (I used Fisheye Merlot)
1½ cups brandy
¾ cup triple sec
1½ cups orange juice
1½ cups pomegranate juice
¾ cup simple syrup, or more to taste (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, cooled)
4 oranges
3 apples
2 peaches
1.5 cups fresh raspberries
cinnamon sticks
Squirt soda

In a large airtight bowl, combine wine, liquors, juices, simple syrup, and a couple of cinnamon sticks.  Slice 2 oranges and 2 apples, then add to bowl.   Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

If desired, remove soaked fruit and cinnamon sticks before serving.  Dice remaining 2 oranges, 1 apple, and 2 peaches, and mix in a small bowl with the fresh raspberries.

To serve, add a scoop of the fruit mixture to a glass with ice.  Fill with sangria and top off with a splash of Squirt.

(You could just serve the sangria with the soaked fruit, as is traditionally done.  Add any other fruits you like!)

Mod Podge Magnets

While browsing Pinterest one day, through a series of clicks to different blogs, I stumbled across a blog called Two Girls Being Crafty.  There was an awesome tutorial for these adorable DIY Glass Magnets, so I decided to give them a try myself!  In the tutorial, they used scrapbook paper, but I decided to use some fabric I found.  These magnets are going to make excellent (cheap) gifts :)

Here's what you'll need:

  • Glass Gems (You can usually find these large ones at Joann Fabrics or Dollar Tree)
  • Fabric with a print that you like (I bought 6 inches of each print and had plenty left over)
  • Mod Podge
  • Small paint brush
  • Magnets (also purchased at Joann fabrics)
  • E-6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive (or any other kind of strong glue)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors (fabric shears work best)

Move the glass gem around on the fabric until you find a design that fits.  I of course needed to take advantage of the Penn State fabric I found.

Trace around the gem so you have an idea of where to cut.

Cut out each design and match up with the gems that fit best.  Trim each fabric circle to fit if necessary.

Paint the back of each gem with Mod Podge.

Place the fabric on the back and add another coat of Mod Podge to secure it.

After the Mod Podge has dried, add a drop of glue to the center of the back.

Press a magnet into each glue drop and hold it in place for a few seconds to make sure it won't slide around.  Allow these to dry completely before trying them out on the fridge!

Here are the finished products -- all ready for Christmas gifts, and 4 months early at that!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glazed Expressions

Let me first say that I absolutely LOVE paint your own pottery places.  My first experience was in Pittsburgh, PA at Color Me Mine with my aunt Cindy.  I chose a tall skinny vase and painted it yellow with red and blue paint pen flowers, and to this day my mom has it on display in her hutch at home.  During college at Penn State, I paid a couple of visits to 2000 Degrees in downtown State College, making things ranging from mugs to shot glasses (of course).

My most recent visit to a paint your own pottery place was to Glazed Expressions in Chicago with my roommate Taylor.  Taylor made a vase and I opted for salt and pepper shakers (before firing and after firing pics below).



Here's how it works:  You go in and pick what piece you'd like to paint (prices range from $5 to quite expensive).  My salt and pepper shakers were $14 I believe.  On top of that, you pay a studio fee of $8 per person.  So, it is a little pricey, but it's great for a fun rainy day activity or a special treat for kids.  The person working there was very helpful, gave thorough instructions, and played a nice mix of Beatles and 90's music while we were there :)

Anyways, if you're bored or feeling creative and need something to do, check out a paint your own pottery place near you!  I completely didn't mean for that to rhyme :)

Made by Maria

I make all kinds of things.  Crafts, food, dessert, pottery, you name it -- so I need a place to share everything!  This blog is going to be a mish mash of a bit of everything, including planning for my wedding (once we finally set a date!).  I hope you enjoy my creations and that you'll try to make a few yourself!