Thread & Pearl Bracelet {DIY}

Pearl  bracelet

“But pearls are for tears, the old legend says,” Gilbert had objected.
“I’m not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes—when Marilla told me I might stay at Green Gables—when Matthew gave me the first pretty dress I ever had—when I heard that you were going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I’ll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy.” -Anne”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne’s House of Dreams

There is something whimsical about a pearl.  Its luster and beauty is striking; especially when you think about how a pearl is formed.  It’s the only gem stone that doesn’t come from the earth but from the sea.   A tiny bit of sand or shell irritates an oyster and if it can’t be expelled the oyster starts a process to make it tolerable. So like a true optimist, the shellfish coats the irritant with nacre that it produces to make the object smooth, as long as the object remains in the oyster it will continue to be coated; thusly is a pearl made.  Perhaps it was Anne of Green Gables… no it was definitely Anne who instilled my love of pearls.  They are my analogy for life, when things get irritating just make them into something with polish and sparkle, smooth them out and turn that irritation into something beautiful!

These easy bracelets remind me of the friendship bracelets of my childhood with a grown-up twist.  After having spent an epic weekend in San Francisco with two of my best girlfriends I wanted to send them a little thank you note and small gift and these bracelets are perfection.  It was so healing to see my girlfriends, to completely immerse ourselves in each other’s company.  We laughed so hard our stomachs were sore, indulged in meal after glorious meal, explored the city, took a midnight trolley ride to the end of the line, visited the haberdasher all walking out with new hats on our heads and hat boxes on our arms, and danced the evenings away to our heart’s content.  But all too soon the weekend came to an end, the joy and the sorrow of live, the ebb and flow continues.  So make a wish, tie on one of these Thread and Pearl Bracelets and let it remind you to accept the sorrow of life with its joy.

 

Love to pearl Pearl beads

You will need:

  • Pearl beads
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Needle

How to:

  • Thread your needle with your chosen thread
  • Slide pearls one at a time onto the thread using the needle
  • Either knot on each side of the pearl or tie a knot around the pearl to keep it in place
  • Fill thread with as many pearls as you would like spacing for effect
  • Tie the ends together

thread and needle for Pearl  bracelet

Pearl  bracelet

To the joy and the sorrow and most of all to friendship,

Marcella Rose


Pearl  bracelet

Shakshuka {Gluten Free}

shakshuka

You wake up, you’re tired. Well maybe you aren’t, but I am and I can’t be alone in this feeling…right readers?  On the weekends I often feel like getting up and making breakfast is just too much, can’t I just stay in bed and have Charles (the butler I wish I had) bring me breakfast in bed, Downton Abby style? I mean life is taxing and you are hitting it hard.  Between work, family, obligations, friends, the gym and the home, finding time to make a healthy meal can often feel like panning for gold in the Mississippi, i.e. almost impossible.  So you often fall back on your go-tos; you know, things you make all the time.  Go-tos are a great thing, but go-to them too much and you can get palate fatigue.  You’ve got to spice things up!  Do something different, look outside the box or look to Marcella Rose’s! Well, if Sunday breakfast has you bored, do I have a new breakfast dish for you.  Shakshuka.  It’s fun to say right? Shakshuka!  Well it’s even more fun to make and by fun I mean easy, like crazy easy. Plus it’s insanely delicious and you can probably make it right now with ingredients you already have on-hand.  Some recipes of this dish call for crusty bread which is amazing for scooping up the heavy caramelized sauce but if you’re gluten free it’s amazing by the spoonful or with warm corn tortillas.  Shakshuka recipes often call for feta or goat cheese but really any cheese you have on hand will do, you can make it simple with salt and pepper or you can add spices to take the flavor through the roof.  Again my recipe is below, but play around and make it your own! I always feel it best to break all the rules in the kitchen.  It’s the one safe place to do it right?  Your Le Creuset pan can’t really fire you now can it?  Your olive oil won’t give you a ticket now will it?  So have some fun, spice it up, shake it off, or rather Shakshuka it off, and trust me you will feel like jumping out of bed to make this breakfast.

good morning eggs a blend of parsley, fennel, garlic, sweet paprika, and other spices shakshuka Canned Tomatoes

You will need

  • 3-5 cloves minced garlic – depending on how Italian you are…if you are Sicilian add some more
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 glugs olive oil
  • 1 quart jar of stewed tomatoes (plus the juice)
  • 5 eggs – or more if you have a bigger pan or more mouths to feed
  • Feta (optional)
  • Flat leaf parsley chopped – about 3 tablespoons (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spices – I used a middle eastern blend of a  parsley, fennel, garlic, sweet paprika and other spices

How to

  • Heat a pan over medium high heat and add olive oil
  • Sauté your onion until translucent; about 4 minutes
  • Add garlic, stirring to avoid it burning, until fragrant; about 1 minute
  • Dump in tomatoes and juice, smashing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon
  • Add spices (if using), salt and pepper then stir to incorporate
  • Allow the mixture to simmer until the juice cooks down and you have a thick sauce; about 5 minutes
  • Crack your eggs directly into the tomato mixture and cover with a lid
  • Cook eggs until yolks are soft but still runny; about 3 minutes
  • Top with cheese and parsley
  • Dig in

IMG_7050shakshuka shakshuka

Shakshuka for everyone!

Marcella Rose

shakshuka

Thai Chili Sauce

Thai Chili Sauce

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My little sister and fellow Cooking Spot contributor Nathalia of Creatively Conscious was married this fall in the loveliest wedding ceremony up in the pine-dotted Sierra.  She and her husband Loren then took off for an epic honeymoon of honeymoons to travel the world together for 7 months hand-in-hand. It really doesn’t get any more lovely or romantic than that.  It has been like a dream to be able to follow their adventures through their Instagram “Lov3_is_Key” and their Blog, LoveIsKey.net.  But, better than that, Loren and Nathalia invited family members to join them along the way.  I poured over their itinerary with my husband’s large atlas spread on the floor in front of me, my calendar to the right and my computer to my left, tracing what would be their epic journey, trying to decide where in the world would we fly off to see them, fantasizing about all the wonderful places, the amazing food and the people they would meet.  I knew a few things for certain, I wanted to be with my sister for a holiday, traveling can be hard and so can being so far away from your family so this was a priority. If I could make at least one holiday feel a little bit like home, I would have achieved my goal.  Also I wanted to go somewhere new, somewhere I thought I would never go, an adventure to top all adventures.  There it was, staring me in the face; my work calendar was clear, the tickets not too pricey and a holiday to boot.  So with the true attention to detail and care of a Virgo, I double, no triple checked the tickets and with a deep breath that felt like it came from my toes, I clicked the charge button and we were booked.  My husband Matthew and I would join Loren and Nathalia for 10 days in Thailand.

We had the most amazing adventures, we found ourselves wandering in and out of the epic markets of Chiang Mai.  We got lost in a tuk tuk, driving through Chiang Rai trying desperately to break through the language barrier and find a restaurant our research assured us would be glorious.  We ate on a roof top hotel with drinks that glowed as Bangkok twinkled some 60 floors below us quietly in the night.  We trekked through the jungle for two days from long tailed boats to the backs of elephants and then on our own feet marching, clinging, to the barely there path through the hills and valleys of northern Thailand, to explore the hill-tribe villages and the people that still thrive there.  We stayed in boutique hotels along peaceful rivers and big swanky hotels with the superb Thai service you read about.  Oh and we ate…and ate…and ate.  The food.  Oh dear lord the FOOD! For breakfast, lunch, and dinner we sat at tables full of the local dishes, bowls of curry, plates of rice pasta, ladles of spicy soups and always cold refreshing Thai beer to wash it down.  Passing spoons or forks across candle-lit tables, or over children running through the market streets or sliding dishes across bistro tables, all sharing and ogling over the presentation, the colors and the flavors.  Always on the table were peppers, sauce and condiments.  You could make the same bowl of breakfast noodles taste completely different from one day to the next by simply adding a little more of this or a little more of that.  Thailand certainly makes our restaurant table trio of ketchup, mustard, and tabasco to a sad and depressing shameful table presence.

After falling in love with the food and especially the dried chilies and sauces that dotted every table, we made sure to fill our bags with as many chilies as customs would allow.  However, these are not hard to find stateside, thank goodness for modern marvels! You can purchase them online and at most Asian markets.  I have enjoyed making a few sauces with the chili’s we brought back and scooping the spicy goodness into soups, pouring it over eggs, and generally sprinkling it on just about anything I put in my mouth.  My favorite use has been in my homemade Gluten Free Noodle Bowl that I shared on Marcella Rose’s a few weeks ago.  Now you can simply grind up these stunning peppers husk, seeds and all, and serve that dried, or mix it into a sauce.  Or you can remove the seeds to sprinkle on your pizza perhaps, or use the seeds to pack the heat into sauces.  I am going to share two sauces with you and I do hope you try them both to spice up you next meal!  These are of course variations as almost every restaurant, family or person may have their own favorite way of making these sauces.  So be brave and bold and make it your own! Read more and find the recipes at Cooking Spot

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Prik Namsom:

  • For Recipe just click the link to visit My Cooking Spot!

Jaew:

  • For Recipe just click the link to visit My Cooking Spot!
  • IMG_7191

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Keep it spicy,

Marcella Rose

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Target Gift Card Giveaway!

We are so excited to bring you another fun giveaway from the fabulous contributors of My Cooking Spot and My Crafty Spot! It’s almost spring time and we know you have tons of things on your list to decorate your home, stock your pantry, etc! So we are giving away a $130 giftcard to one lucky reader as a thank you for your loyal support of our blogs!
CLICK HERE TO ENTER! 
target-giftcard-giveaway

contributors

The Speckled Palate | A Savory Feast | Butcher’s Niche | An Alli Event

Marcella Roses | Natasha Red | 3 Little Greenwoods | The Crumby Cupcake

Just Mom Matters | The Blue Eyed Dove | Flowers in My Hair

The Wetherills Say I Do | My Creative Days | My Cooking Spot | My Crafty Spot

CLICK HERE TO ENTER! 

Beer Tasting Party {Gluten Free}


Beer tasting party

A very dear friend of mine had an epic move recently.  Leaving behind a life in Chicago that she had cultivated for years to turn the chapter on new adventures.  She has taken a huge step boldly and courageously and is such an inspiration to me. She set off in style because, of course, she is fabulous.   I was lucky enough to get to see her around the holidays in the city she had called home for years and where many a high tea, oysters and martinis, and memories were made together.  I was sad not to be able to see her off, to throw her a goodbye celebration, to help her pack, or just to be there, as moving is one of the big stressors in life.  Psychologists say it’s only rivaled by death; shocking!  I found my mind drifting to thoughts of her constantly, worried about her drive over snowy roads, thinking about how her felines would adjust and of course, missing her all the while.  I wanted to do something she would enjoy and having recently turned to a gluten free lifestyle, I started thinking of recipes I could do to honor her.  Then it came to me.  Gluten Free Beer Tasting.  Perfection.  She is a fantastic hostess and I thought what a wonderful way to celebrate new adventure and make new friends by throwing a brassy beer bash that even those with sensitivities to gluten could enjoy.  So, from almost 2,500 miles away I threw a beer tasting party in her honor.

What I love about a tasting party is it gets people talking.  No one pulls out their phones, or talks about work, people are talking about the experience, the flavors; the tastes.  It’s a great way to mingle together different groups of people and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon if I do say so myself.  You don’t need much to make it happen; a few small glasses, a few bottles of brews and an open palate! I did a blind tasting at my party.  I feel that this makes people more adventurous, you may think you don’t like IPAs but are you really giving the beer a chance if you already have that opinion set?  Blind tastings make us a little more open to trying things that we may already think we either like or don’t like.  I used votive candle holders for my tasting cups.  I found them to be the perfect size and priced even more perfectly! I grabbed a few mini chalkboards and whipped up a little tasting template you can download here if you don’t want to make your own.  I choose 2 gluten free beers and 2 ciders for the people opting out of gluten and 4 beers of varying styles for the gluten indulgers.  I began with a lighter beer, like a pilsner, then a red ale, an IPA, and a stout.  If you need help picking out beers, someone on staff at the grocery store is sure to prove valuable and if you can’t find anyone, take a leap of faith! After all it’s just a taste!

I used old paper bags, cutting them to wrap around each label and numbered each 1-4 to correspond with the numbers I chalked up on the little boards.  Then set out your snacks in little bowls and get to tasting and talking.  Give your guests a little score card or note book so they can write up notes and when you reveal the beer they can be sure to write down their favorites to purchase later.  I have included my template below for you to use at your Beer Tasting Party.

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Perfect place setting - Beer tasting party


The Menu

Blue Cheese with Cayenne Pepper Honey

Gluten Free Pretzels

Balsamic Candied Nut Mix

Salt and Pepper Popcorn

Balsamic Candied Nut Mix - Beer tasting party

Balsamic Candied Nuts

  • Preheat your oven to 350 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Crack one egg in a mixing bowl and whisk
  • Add two tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon aged balsamic and 1 teaspoon salt to egg
  • Mix in 2 cups nuts (I used a mixture of cashews, pecans, and almonds)
  • Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool and break up any large clumps of nuts and serve – store in an air tight container

Blue cheese and cyan honey

Salt and Pepper Popcorn

  • Pop ¼ cup popcorn melt ¼ cup of butter and toss to coat
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cayenne Honey

Mix 2 tablespoon honey with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Beer Tasting Card

beer tasting party

Gluten Free Snacks - Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party
Caveman Blue Cheese with Cyan honey - Beer tasting party
Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

To friends and beer,

Marcella Rose

Beer tasting party