Beet this!

I love me some pickled beets.  I like them a bit on the sweeter side and not too many spices in them.  Since beets are in season right now I thought I would give it a try making them.  When I was little either my mom or grandmother made pickled beets.  Unfortunately my mom doesn’t remember, so I didn’t have a recipe to go on.  I read a bunch of different ones and used the one from the Ball Blue Book of preserving as my base. 
First things first.  Go to the farmers market and shop.  I don’t know about you, but I love the farmers market.  The atmosphere, being outdoors, talking with local farmers, it is just fun.

I looked around and decided on 10 of these regular beets.  They had beautiful candy cane and golden beets but one thing at a time, right?

When you get them home, wash them like you would potatoes. Then place them in water and bring the water to a boil.  Keep them boiling for 15 minutes.

Now you get to peel them.  I have some really awesome gloves that came with one of those Ronco rotesseries no one wants to admit they own.  The gloves are amazing though. lol  Basically I just scraped the peels off of them with the edge of my knife and rinsed with water.

Mix the following together in a pot:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of the water that you boiled the beets in
Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While this is cooking, slice your beets into discs.  When your mixture is done cooking, remove the cinnamon sticks.  Pack beets into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Pour or ladle the hot liquid into the jars measuring the 1/4 inch headspace.

Remove the air bubbles.  Clean the rims of your jars and adjust the 2 piece caps.  Place in hot canning water and process for 30 minutes. 

Let them cool thoroughly.  If they all seal properly, they can be stored for one year.  I went ahead and enjoyed some the next day.  I was really tickled with the way they turned out.  Quite like I remembered!!

Gel Polish Remover Miracle!

Now and then I like to get a gel polish manicure.  They are so pretty and typically last 3-4 weeks for me.  The problem is removing the polish.   If you go back to the salon, they use the heavy artillery to remove it….and half of your nails.  Not great if you like your natural nails.

I was out and about shopping for some sweet polish for the nail polish swap coming up and I stumbled upon Gelish Artificial Nail Remover.  I thought it was worth a try for $5.  Mostly because I spent the previous night scraping the polish off my nails for way too long.  Not a fun time.

This stuff is bomb.  Serious.

First, rough up the top of the polish with a file.  Squirt some remover on a cotton ball and then wrap foil around your fingertip to keep the cotton ball on your nail.  Looks cool like this….cyber fingers!!!

Set your timer for 15 minutes.  Then take them off one at a time and scrape away the polish with your fingernail.  Comes off super easy.  Like you wouldn’t believe it easy.

 No polish.  No nail damage.  AWESOME…..

Too hot to cook dinner?

It has been hot here.  Like ridiculously hot.  When it is this warm who wants to turn on the oven?  Here is a super simple dinner that you can make in 5 minutes…not counting stopping at the store.

Swing by the grocery store and pick up one of those fabulous rotesserie chickens. 

Once home, gather your supplies.

After 2 min

Pull the chicken off the bone and put in your KitchenAid mixer bowl.  Add 3 Tbsp of taco seasoning.  Put on the normal paddle and mix at speed 3 for about 3-4 minutes, until your chicken is shredded.

Heat some water for minute rice, microwave some black beans if you like.  After that, you are just assembling what you like in a chicken burrito.  ENJOY!!!

Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cake

We had yet another birthday at our house and this time the request was to use raspberries.  With the weather being so hot I had ice cream cake on the brain.  This inspired me to create the
Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cake.  Turns out, it was a big hit.  🙂

I started by making a box mix of brownies.  I choose a dark chocolate Ghirardelli mix.  You really can’t go wrong if that is your base, right?
Mix the brownies according to the box and pour into a sprayed springform pan (like you use for cheesecake).  I baked it for about 25 minutes.  You will need to watch it because it is a pretty thin layer.
 Let this cool.

While waiting I made a basic fudge recipe, for topping ice cream.  This is so easy, you should never buy the store made stuff.

Mix and boil until thick:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

After you are done you can stir in 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla.  I skipped this and it was not lacking.

 Once the brownies are cooled, top with fresh raspberries….then fudge

Spread on softened raspberry sherbet and freeze for a couple hours.

Now spread on Cool Whip topping, more raspberries and some chocolate chips and freeze for another couple hours.  I would suggest cutting up the raspberries on top as they were a little difficult to eat whole and frozen.  Don’t worry, we struggled through it!

I think the best compliment I received was my son saying it was the best cake I have ever made!  Yay – seriously make it, you will NOT be sorry!

Grocery List:
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie mix and what is listed on the box to make
Raspberry Sherbet (almost an entire container)
Fresh Raspberries ( I used about 2 of the small containers)
Cocoa Powder
Corn Starch
Chocolate Chips
Cool Whip