31 August 2008

dairy free holiday treat (serves 8)

Like many other adults, I have had my bouts with Lactose Intolerace. I have experimented with this recipe for Flan/Creme Brulee/Custard to make it "milk-free". It's one of my holiday faves -- it's nice to have the oven on when it's cool outside and it makes the whole house smell nice!

For the Flan you'll need;
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk (this is non-dairy but still lends a yummy creamy flavor)

2 cups of vanilla soy milk

2 whole large eggs

4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. of Mexican vanilla (this is a secret)

Pinch of salt

For the caramel sauce you'll need;

1/3 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

For the caramel;
In saucepan, combine the water, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Mix until the sugar dissolves. Swirl pan for even cooking. Stop cooking when liquid turns golden. Immediately pour the syrup into a 1 quart souffle dish, covering the bottom and sides.

For the flan;
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In saucepan on medium, heat coconut milk and cream. In a separate pan boil 3 quarters of water.
3. In a large bowl, gently whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk warm coconut milk and soy milk into egg mixture slowly. (If you do this too quickly, you will cook the eggs.) When the mixture is creamy, pour it through a fine strainer.
4. Pour flan mixture into souffle dish over the caramel syrup. Fill roasting pan halfway up with hot (boiled) water. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to create a "bain-marie" (water bath) and place in oven. Remove the foila nd place the souffle dish in the roasting pan for about 1 hour or ramekins for 30 minutes. When knife inserted in center of flan comes out clean, it's done.
5. Remove flan to cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
6. To loosen flan from dish, slide knife around mold. Place serving dish on mold and invert. Shake gently if flan does not release.

Enjoy dairy-free! YUM!

30 August 2008

Lemonade Recipe

I found yummy jumbo lemons, so I had to make the perfect lemonade. It's simple and yummy - not too sweet, not too tart. In the meantime, I found these adorable cards in the shop of stubborndog. They seem like the perfect little stationery item as we wrap up the summer and try to move into fall. Check out her shop, she has many more cutie things to check out.

1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup of sugar (to taste)
3 cups of cold water

Stir together lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in water and chill. It's even prettier with a wedge of lemon on the edge of the glass or a sprig of mint on top.


29 August 2008


In a search for FINCH, here are some fun things I came across on etsy. This search is in honor of my friend who we call "Finch" which is her married name -- she moved away and we all miss her! To view items in their shops, please click on the image.

28 August 2008

Karma Crochet

I met Patricia the woman behind Karma Crochet at the Etsy Dallas BeerBQ event. Here's my interview with her... I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did. :)

Introduce yourself, please. (name, location, shop site, blogsite, etc.)
My name is Patricia and I currently live in Dallas, TX with 3 cats: Sam, Jessie and Melba. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to the US 10 years ago.
Shop site: www.karmacrochet.com
Blog: www.karmacrochet.blogspot.com

Is Etsy your primary “job”? If not, what else do you do?
I work full time for a software company, there I wear several hats but my main function is
to supervise the customer service and technical support team. I started my Etsy store in January this year and my current goal for it is to get supplemental income doing what I love: crafting. Long term, I see it as an occupation during retirement but that is wa-a-a-ay far away.

What’s your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is blue, it soothes me very much, however I go through phases with green, orange, pink, brown, gray and black. Sometimes I like to surprise myself with different colors.

If you could have a super power, which would it be? why?
Hmmm super power...I always liked the idea of looking at the magazine and being able to grab the item pictured and have it in my hands.

What have you created that you are most proud of?
Every item I create gives me a sense of accomplishment, however I made a wall hanging in filet crochet (this was years ago) that took me a year to finish. I treasure it.

What’s your fave snack and why?
I'm not a snacker, but if I have to I grab cheese - I love cheese all kind especially the stinky ones.

What kinds of things do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
More than doing something to motivate me I just wait until something comes to mind. I really do not force it I just go with the flow.

If you could be a fruit, what kind would you be and why?
I will say strawberry, small and sweet.

How did you get started creating things and what is your best loved material to work with?
I started knitting and crochetting at an early age, (4 or 5 years old) for my Barbie, in Argentina you could not buy her clothes. I also sew and do embroidery but I always liked yarn. Still amazes me that from that stringy material you create very cool stuff. I also like fabric and paper, the colors and patterns make me feel alive.

In 10 years I'd like to be ...
able to do crafts from home full time and get away from the corporate environment.

If you could sign up for a class right now, what would it be?
Oh yes, piano lessons I would love to play the piano.

Thanks for taking the time to tell me about you, Patricia. I enjoyed it. Please be sure to check out her shop. She has fabulous gift items for your holiday needs or to treat yourself.

27 August 2008

PhotoShop Express is FREE!

I have seen quite a few questions on Etsy about what to do with photos and how to fix dark images etc. I know that for a small business owner buying the full version of PhotoShop can be cost prohibitive. So here's a cool solution...PhotoShop Express is FREE! Check out this link for the download and details!

To get started, you create an account, upload our photos and you can edit photos, order prints, blah blah. It's worth checking out...have fun!

26 August 2008


Pinking shears have fascinated me since I was a kid. I realize that they are practical for sewing purposes. But for other purposes they are so cool -- paper, gift wrap, labels -- I could go on and on.

Ok, so let me bask in the glow about them a little for just a moment. I went to a craft store with a 40% off coupon and got a great deal on these deluxe pinking shears. You can tell by the color of the handles what brand they are. They are the large pair with the uber comfort handles. Did I mention how excited I am to have these?

I will give them a good home and be eternally grateful that they will not bruise my hands the way other non-luxe scissors have in the past. I am truly thankful to have them! What tools are you delighted to have?

I would do a happy dance but I have told not to run with scissors. :)

25 August 2008

Green Living - Brick & Mortar

Over the weekend, I explored a really cool "green" store here in DFW called Green Living. Don't fret if you don't live close (it's located in Lakewood) because they have a website too!

Here's one of my favorite things I saw while I was there. It's a Cosmic Swirl Skirt made from hemp and cotton and dyed with low impact colors. It looks like it would be perfect for the summer/fall transtition here in Texas. The colors are great!

Be sure to check out their site they have great stuff that's earth friendy. Everything from baby things, floor tile, cleaning supplies, clothes, gifts, cards, bags, water bottles, recyced jewelry and earth friendly carpeting.

22 August 2008

I got a treasury! It's been so long...it's so nice to have one again! Check it out -- you might be in it! :)

addiction to Greek salad...

Ok, I have to confess...I have a new addiction. Greek Salad from Panera Bread (nutrition info at right) -- I promise the dressing has to be laced with crack or something!

It's made from yummy fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, feta cheese, and pepperocini. You can order it with or without chicken which is yummy and peppery.

I must caution you -- if you are going to try this salad -- be prepared for a NEW addiction!! They sell the dressing in the bakery for take home purposes. I have purchased it and tried to recreate this salad at home with NO success! Perhaps part of what makes it yummy is that someone else makes it for you?

What foods do you feel addicted to?

21 August 2008

The latest on Jenny the Elephant...

I recently posted about a situation here in Dallas with the local zoo.

Jenny will not be alone but she will be staying at the Dallas Zoo. This Fall a new companion elephant will be brought in to keep her company. The zoo is also increasing the elephant area to four acres so the elephants have more room to play. I still think Jenny would be happiest in Tennesee but I am very glad she will not be going to Mexico. It seemed a general consensus here that Jenny should go to Tennesee to retire.

20 August 2008

Congratulations Cejudo!

This American wrestler was totally the underdog. He worked hard and came out on top with a gold medal! He is the son of illegal workers here in the US. He was raised by a single mother and says that she is his hero. He plans to give his gold olympic medal to his mom. This is such a cool story -- read more here.

17 August 2008

Jenny the Elephant

In the DFW area we have been hearing a lot about Jenny the Elephant at the Dallas Zoo. After the death of her companion elephant Keke, the decision was made that the Dallas Zoo, alone, was not the right environment for Jenny. There has been debate about whether she should go to a drive thru safari in Mexico or an elephant sanctuary in Tennesee.

The sanctuary is a great place for Jenny to retire and the cool thing is that there is a live elephant cam where you can check out what the elephants are up to. Jenny has been at the Dallas Zoo for 22 years and has shown significant signs of stress. Please take action for Jenny. By calling or writing you can help the city make the right decision for Jenny.

16 August 2008


So this week's name to search on Etsy is -- Rhoda! Here's the fun stuff I found! Please click on the pictures to check them out in their current habitats.

15 August 2008

The Show Pony Show is this weekend!

This Show is going to have a REAL miniature pony as well as costumes for the kids to put on and have the picture taken with the pony. I met the coordinator last month -- she was almost more excited about the pony than the show -- it was really cute! A lot of work has been put into putting this show together -- so mark your calender to check it out - it'll be fun. At last check there were over 2 dozen vendors participating.

Hope to see you there!

14 August 2008

Texas Tax Free Weekend 2008

This year's tax free weekend begins tomorrow August 15 and goes through August 17th. For a complete list of tax free items, check this out.

Most clothing, shoes, backpacks and uniforms at $100 or less qualify. It's a great time to get those back to school clothes and not have to worry about the state and local taxes. Get out there early. Based on previous years, it get a little nutty out there.

Happy Shopping!

13 August 2008

Six things...

Rosebud Collection had an award on her blog that was passed onto her by another etsian and she passed it on to all of us...her readers...the award is about gratitude and asks that you list 6 things you're thankful for...so here goes...

Six things I am thankful for today
1 My and my family's heath
2 Airconditioning in Texas
3 Living in the USA
4 Discovering and being involved in Etsy (does that count as two?)
5 Grosgrain ribbon (green)
6 Giggling

Ok, I will pass along the Rosebud Collection's challenge...please make a list where ever you like of six things you're thankful for. :)

12 August 2008

New ideas for common item...

I see this item regularly. If you drink anything from a half gallon carton on a regular basis you see them too. Everytime I pull one of these little ring sealer do-dads off the soy milk container I wonder what other purpose it could serve. So, I thought Etsy is full of creative minds - let's pose the question to the Etsy brain trust. What else could this little thing be used for? Please post your ideas here...

11 August 2008

Olympic Fever

I've caught it. I watched the 4 x 100 swimming heat last night and was amazed by the results. I was truly impressed with the sportsmanship and maturity the team members showed. This year's Olympians are kicking butt and taking names. I can 't wait to see what happens next.

The USA gymnastic girls had a bad night last night but they hung in there all the same. They lost a team member to injury, had some spills on landings and had some odd things happen. Can't wait to see them pull it out in the finals.

What Olympic sport keeps you glued to your tellie?

10 August 2008

Trash Talking...Olympic Style.

I just finished watching live coverage of the 4 x 100 medley relay race. The French relay team had publicly trash-talked the USA team TO THE PRESS. The French team stated that they were at the olympics to "smash" the Americans. Well, that trash talking can be some REALLY dangerous stuff. The French team just had their patooties hand to them by the USA team. All I can say is if you trash talk, you better bring your "A game". GO USA! And as if that wasn't enough...USA is currently leading in the medal count!

August 10th...

Happy Birthday, Mom!

08 August 2008


Now through August 31, 2008 I'm offering buy one, get one half off on all earrings in my shop. After you check out, I will send you a revised invoice. This is a great time to get some holiday shopping out of the way early or treat yourself and a friend. Happy Shopping.

07 August 2008

Count down to the olympics...

Well finally, the Olympics opening ceremony is almost here -- it's tomorrow evening! Yea!

A neighbor of mine is having an opening ceremony party complete with authentic Chinese cuisine and plenty of cheering.

If we set aside the political conflicts, it is really exciting that athletes on this very elite level are getting together to compete. I find it really interesting to hear the stories of how people became athletes or their story of how they got to the olympic level.

I love to watch the water sports -- swimming and diving. The track events always keep me on the edge of my seat. And the gymnastics event always amaze me -- those gymnists are incrediblly nimble.

What's your favorite Olympic event?

04 August 2008

The Show Pony Show

This Show is going to have a REAL miniature pony as well as costumes for the kids to put on and have the picture taken with the pony. I met the coordinator last month -- she was almost more excited about the pony than the show -- it was really cute! A lot of work has been put into putting this show together -- so mark your calender to check it out - it'll be fun. At last check there were over 2 dozen vendors participating.

02 August 2008

ice cream and bellyaching

Here in Texas we have a yummy brand of ice cream called Blue Bell. It's incredibly delicious and if you didn't know better you'd think someone's grandma mixed it up and got her grandkids to crank it in the old-fashioned maker with ice and salt. Ok, so with that said, I was waiting in an incredibly long line at the grocery. There was a little girl (I'm guessing about 2 years old) in the cart in front of me and we were making faces at each other to pass the time.

Then I overheard this conversation coming from over my shoulder and I had to smile. Their was a very deep voice carrying on about the price of half-gallon containers of Blue Bell. Asking how he was supposed to get through the Texas summer with out his Blue Bell. His female companion let out a big sigh and asked, "How long are you going to go on about this?". To which he replied, "Ask anyone in this line what they think. Babe, last week they were selling it for $2.69 and this week it is back up to $5.69! How can they possibly look themselves in the mirror without seeing a thief? I mean, it costs more per gallon than gas! " By this time, everyone in line is listening sort of non-chalantly and waiting to see what will happen next.

By this time, it's my turn to pay and I'm wondering if the deep-voiced ice cream lover will hold his tongue when it's his turn to pay or what. As I pick up my bags and head toward the door, I can hear him ask the cashier why Blue Bell ice cream went up $3 in one week. Oh boy...

01 August 2008

$3.77 WOO HOO!

Ok, so I filled up my car this morning -- gas was only $3.77/gallon! Yipee! The most I had paid a gallon was not too long ago at $4.12. So happy it is headed back down.

Oh, and it's Friday! TGIF! Hope everyone is having a good Friday! :) Anyone have anything fun planed fr the weekend?

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