Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 31} - Rolling Perfect Pinwheels

I don't know about all of you, but my sister said she is terrible at rolling pinwheels. Just terrible.

This past Saturday I had to make nearly 200 of the little guys, so I got pretty decent. Here are the two main tips I picked up!

Quality or Quantity?

Since I was making these in bulk, I was definitely going for quantity here. And using super-huge tortillas, I got about 15-20 pinwheels out of each one.

If you are going for top quality though, I'd say expect about 4 perfect ones, or 6-10 good ones total.

Stuffing and Rolling

No matter what quantity you want, you won't be using the very ends of the roll, so don't even bother putting ingredients there. I left about 1.5-2 inches free on either end.

Fill with whatever other ingredients you desire, and it's time to start rolling! Grab the right or left side and start as small as possible.

Tight, tight, tight. Make it as tight as you possibly can. Don't worry, you won't over do it; it is, however, incredibly easy to under-do it.

Once I got the hang of it, my pinwheels started to have five layers of tortilla. Well, the ones from the very center of the roll did; the farther out you get, the less tortilla there will be. That's just what happens when you make a circle into a tube.

Fairly decent, right? I'd say so.

Now don't be scared to make these yourself, as my sister is. You can easily whip up a big batch of these in a party emergency! And you can make them fancy too; I really have the urge to try some smoked salmon ones.

Now that you've been off your duff for most of the month, don't give up! Keep trying new things, enjoying life, and making things for yourself!

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 30} - Tuna & Apples

I wanted to share with you all the strange combination of sandwich I discovered a few weeks ago.

Of course, the title gave it away, so it will come as no shock to you when I say the sandwich was: tuna and apples.

I was about to take a tuna sandwich to volleyball, and my mom suggested I take an apple with me too. We each thought,

Huh. Tuna and apples sounds strangely appetizing...

And so I tried it. I ate my tuna sandwich with sliced up apples inside. And it was indeed delicious!

Don't be afraid to try strange foods together. You'll be right more often then you'd think.

Other Sandwich Combinations

Well, seeing as how that was such a boring post, I'll tell you about a few of my other favourite sandwich toppings that I don't see enough of.

Egg Salad w/ Green Olives

I don't understand why this isn't considered just normal. Deviled eggs have green olives; why don't egg salad sandwiches? They are basically the same thing!

[Insert meat} w/ Vinegar

I don't like lunch meat very much, but on the days I am desperate enough to eat it, I love drizzling on some vinegar.

[Insert meat] w/ Kale Chips

Nothing adds excitement to an otherwise boring sandwich like the crunch of chips! I think I saw in a movie once somebody adding potato chips onto a sandwich. Of course, where there are potato chips, there should be kale chips!

Alright that's all I've got right now. Why don't you tell me about your favourite sandwich toppings?

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 29} - Lemon Thyme Tequila Spritzer

This is an amazing drink I made over the summer. I got the recipe from Sarah (who got it from Kelly Brisson at The Gouda Life) at Taste of Home. I think I fell in love with the both of them the moment I tasted these drinks.

Don't look at my pitcher. It's boring and my computer won't let me crop it out.

Now, as much as Sarah told us that she likes cocktails, she still just didn't convey how delicious these are. And neither can I; you'll have to try them yourself.

I say this now because the recipe I'm about to give you is for 1 pitcher, which just isn't enough of this incredible drink. You should go ahead and quadruple it... and then lock yourself in your home, put on some BBC Sherlock, and gulp sip away.


- 5 Lemons
- 1 package of fresh Thyme sprigs
- Sparkling Water to fill your intended container(s)
- 1/2 a cup of Tequila
- Ice
- 1.5 cups of Granulated Sugar
- 1.5 cups of Water

There is at least one commentor who says these drinks are too sweet, so she cuts down on the sugar. I honestly can't remember if I just followed the recipe exactly or not... I believe I did, and I liked how they turned out. But, I do not particularly enjoy the taste of alcohol, so I'm a little biased.

Now to Make...

Alright, do you have all your ingredients yet?? I'm so excited! Hooraaaay!

First, calm down, lest you burn yourself in the next part.

Now, you need to make the syrup that will give your drink its yummy flavour.

So grab a medium saucepan and put in:

- zest from 1 of your lemons - about 1 tbls worth (this lemon will also need to be juiced, so do these two things in whichever order you feel you need to)
- 3 thyme sprigs
- all 1.5 cups of your sugar
- all 1.5 cups of your water

Bring these to a gentle boil, stirring a little if the sugar isn't dissolving. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove from the stove and let it cool for ten minutes.

Juice 4 of your lemons, including the zested one. Juice from 4 lemons equals about 8-12 tbls.

Slice your remaining lemon into pretty circles and wedges for garnish.

Strain your cooled syrup into your pitcher (this recipe assumes you have a 1L pitcher), add all the lemon juice and tequila. Drop in some ice cubes, lemon and thyme garnishes, and fill up with your sparkling water. Don't worry, you're almost there!

Now grab your glass, or glasses if you are being forced to share, and add desired garnishes and ice cubes. Then fill to the top with your scrumptious concoction!

Repeat daily for most divine results.

And don't blame me (or the other two girls) if you become addicted to these cocktails.

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 28} - Compliment Someone

Okay, Day 27's post is going to be short, sweet, and to the point. Just like a compliment.

Do you remember the last time you got an out-of-the-blue compliment from someone?

If you answered yes, then remember how that made you feel? Wouldn't you like to do that for somebody else?

If you answered no, then don't despair! Once you start complimenting other people, you start to feel better about yourself (funny how that works), which leads to you carrying yourself a little straighter, smiling a little more, and before you know it, BAM! somebody hits you with a compliment.

It's really a very simple concept. You can start small; just dole out one compliment a day.

I see a ton of the same customers on a regular basis, so I can tell when it looks like somebody took a little extra effort to look and feel nice. And I'll make sure to let them know it worked with a simple,

"That scarf looks great on you!"

"What a pretty haristyle!"

"I love the colour of your sweater!"

You get the idea. You don't have lie or rave about how gorgeous they are or say anything you are uncomfortable with; just give them something little. Because trust me, it won't feel so little to them.

So, today when you are out and about and off your duff, throw a few compliments around! It'll make both you and the recipient feel great about yourselves.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 27} - A Berry Cream Treat

Have I mentioned I sometimes hate being lactose intolerant?

This little dessert/drink/snack thing is so delicious, but my stomach always hurts afterwards.... definitely worth it, but not all the time.

For those lucky people who can, go enjoy this!

Here it is

So amazing.

I'll take better pictures the next time I make it... this one is old.
But they don't make this drink taste any worse, so it's okay.

And so, so simple. Just four ingredients:

- Half -n- Half
- Frozen Raspberries
- Mint Leaves
- Sugar

Start with a pretty cup (it tastes better! It does!) and fill it just an inch or so from the top.

Plop in your frozen raspberries.

Pour some fine grain sugar on top... some days I don't add any, some days I add lots. Whichever you are up for!

Tear up and add some fresh mint leaves! I just did that part over the summer, and man was it the perfect addition!

Done! Enjoy with a long, fancy spoon.

Now get off your duff and make one of these! Now!

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 26} - Make Your Own Body Scrub

If you've ever looked into it, you know how easy it is to make your own body scrub.

The only controversial problems I've seen out there is how long it lasts and what measures you can to to preserve it. But unless you are planning on giving it as a gift, you needn't worry about that problem.

Side note: even if you do intend to give as a gift, just don't mix it ahead of time! Make cute jars or other containers to keep the separate ingredients in, and print out a cute recipe card. Problem solved!

As for yourself, the same thing applies; just make a fresh batch before you get in the shower or tub! It's really so simple, it'll take you about 30 seconds once you know what you like.

Here is what you need, although this is in no way a fully comprehensive list:

Carrier Oil

  • Jajoba - one of my favourites. Leaves your skin feeling so soft and moisturized.
  • Grapeseed - this oil has never really done anything for me for some reason, but it is a nice inexpensive oil that won't feel heavy on your skin.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - A great, inexpensive, very common oil. However, make sure you get the right kind!
  • Sweet Almond - Here's one that I usually have in the house. If I'm out of Jajoba, I'll use this. It is inexpensive and light.
  • Avocado - I haven't used this on my body yet, but I am loving it for my face. It makes my skin soft and glowing.

Scrubby Part

  • Salt - something fine-grain is best, so it doesn't rip at your skin. I have a really nice pink mined salt that I love. Salt will kind of dissolve in your oil, so you may need a little more than you think.
  • Brown Sugar - a very inexpensive basic. Nice for sensitive skin, and holds its own in the oil

Essential Oil (not strictly necessary, but great for your body and a nice aromatherapy session)

  • Mint
  • Orange
  • Lavendar
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Lime
  • Etc. etc....

Once again you can't really go wrong here! Pick your favourites from each category, mix it up, and enjoy!

As with OCM, I love keeping these ingredients separate so that I can choose what I want/need each time. Some days I want lots of exfoliation, so I put in some extra sugar/salt. Some days I'm mostly looking for hydration, and I'll put it about equal amounts of oil and scrub. And of course, some days I want to smell a particular scent, so I just go crazy.

Here are two of my favourite recipes thus far:

Sweet Orange Brown Sugar

Brown sugar and Jajoba Oil in about a 2:1 ratio, 2-4 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil.

This is a very calming, soothing scrub that I really love to use now in the colder weather.

Margarita Scrub

Ahhh this one is invigorating.

Fine grain salt and almond oil in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio, depending on how quickly the salt is dissolving. 3-5 drops of Lime Essential Oil.

Warning: don't use right after shaving, unless you like burning legs!

There you have it! Making your own body scrub is incredibly easy, and can be extremely inexpensive if you want. There is no excuse; don't deny yourself this treat any longer!

Let me know about any recipes you already love/discover that you love!