Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Studio 5: Mango Sticky Rice

Last year, after 5 years of planning, we had our dream trip to Thailand.  It was incredible in so many ways; the people, the land, the culture and the food.  

But I will admit we were pretty obsessed about Mango Sticky Rice.

It took me awhile to start figuring out how to make this once I got back, but since I have I've made it a dozen times.  I've even made it while camping!


There is nothing ordinary about this dessert.  I love to see the reaction of people eating this for the first time.  It's such a surprising experience; sweet, but a touch salty.  Creamy, yet chewy and the perfect pairing of Coconut & Mango.




The best is, however, how easy it is to make.  5 ingredients & 45 minutes (most of that waiting for the rice to cook).

Let's start with the Rice.  You have to get to an Asian grocery store to buy this (visiting Ocean Mart in SLC is date night for us, love wandering the isles, talking to people and trying to decipher packages and cans and trying out new things).

Primarily you are looking for glutinous rice (this doesn't mean it's rice with gluten, it just means it's extra starchy, which makes it sticky).  Sweet Glutinous rice refers to the grain size (almost like Arborio), short and fat.  This is my favorite.  However, if you can't find Sweet glutinous rice, you can use simply Glutinous rice, which will be longer.



Besides being used for this dessert, Glutinous rice is a staple in South East Asia and used with many savory dishes as well (more on that later).

Most importantly and something I always forget is to soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours, but preferable overnight.  I use 1/4 cup per person.



This contraption is my set-up for steaming the rice.  It must be steamed!  If you boil it, it will wash away the gluten and  your rice will not be sticky.

If you have a proper rice steamer, by all means, use that!  My steamer doesn't have enough holes (and they are too big) for this rice.


Here, I've used a splatte
r guard (used for frying), available walmart and everywhere.  Find a pot with a circumference a little smaller than the splatter guard.  Fill with 3" or so of water and bring to a boil.
Place splatter guard over the pot and spoon the soaked rice in the center, spreading out into an even layer.

Place a bowl on top of the splatter guard/rice to capture the steam.  I like using a plastic bowl like you can see in the picture because it won't get too hot to handle like metal would...but still be careful when lifting; I use a knife to edge it up and a ove-glove (greatest invention!) to remove it.

Cook for 45 minutes.  It should tender, but still have a bit of chew in it (Al dente).  You can always grab a bit to taste if you're not sure and cook a bit longer if you want a more tender rice.


Not all coconut milks are the same.  What we're looking for here is the opposite of what I use when cooking my summer soups (re: last summer's Studio 5 segment) where I wanted a light version.  

This is dessert!  I want all that creaminess (ie: fat).
My favorite brand is Chaokoh, which you can find at Asian grocer as well. You can see here in my side by side comparison the striking difference.  Any brand will do in a pinch, but since you're at the Asian grocers for the glutinous rice anyway, pick up a bunch to keep on hand.

You'll need just one can for 4-5 people.  Place in a pot, bring to a simmer (do not boil).  Add 1/2 sugar and a 1/4 tsp salt.  This stuff is heavenly and would also be great over pancakes or waffles, with bananas, big flake coconut and chopped macadamia nuts...oh and while we're at it, a dollop of whipped cream!

Cook until salt & sugar are dissolved then keep this warm until ready to serve...easy, peasy!

Okay, let's talk about the hardest part of this dessert, preparing the Mango!  It's a delicious fruit, but tricky to get all that sweet, silky fruit out without destroying it in the process.  I've watched a lot of videos online, but I actually prefer mine.  But Before I show you how...let's give you the complete recipe.


Mango Sticky Rice
{serves 4 people)

1 cup glutinous Sticky Rice
1 can coconut Milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large Mango
opt: Toasted Coconut flakes

Soak rice overnight (or min 2 hrs).
Bring 3 inches of water to boil in a large pot.  Place splatter guard over pot and spoon soaked rice in an even layer on it.  Place bowl on top of rice. Steam for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, place coconut milk, sugar and salt in a small pot and heat gently until sugar/salt are dissolved.  Keep warm.

Prepare Mango (see tutorial below) and set aside, covered.

When rice is finished, cut rice into quarters and roll up and place in four dessert bowls.  Pour coconut syrup in each bowl.  It will soak in, so wait a minute and add more if necessary.  I like it submersed in the sauce.  Place chopped Mango on top and sprinkle with toasted coconut on top.  Serve immediately.  It really should be served right away. 

Enjoy!


Here's a photo tutorial on how I prepare my Mango.  Click on the image to embiggen.

Mangos have this nasty oblong, sticky pit that can be a pain to work around.  But I breeze through my Mangoes now with this technique.

Hold Mango upright (small end up).  With a sharp filet knife (long and thin), start slicing just off-center until you hit the pit or some resistance.  Slowly move the blade away from the pit and continue cutting downward and around the pit.

Repeat on other side.  You now have 2 beautiful Mango cheeks!  But wait, there's more!

Turn what's left of the mango with the cross section facing you.  Starting at the top, slice around the pit to get the last of the meat off.

Here's the best part...cooks treat!  There's still a little bit of Mango lusciousness left on that pit.  Impossible to cut off, but perfect to nibble on!

The last hurdle is taking the skin off.  The two last bits are easy, just slide your knife along the skin to remove the meat.

The cheeks are a little trickier.  Many tutorials have you hold the cheek in your hand and then run your knife along the length, but just through the meat, stopping at the skin.  Ok, I don't know about you, but I try to avoid running sharp knives anywhere near the palm of my hand, so DON'T. DO. IT. :)  A simpler and safer way to accomplish this is to place the cheek, skin down on a cutting board.  

If you're using a ripe Mango, which goes without saying, your knife will slip through the soft meat and stop at the skin naturally, just have a soft touch.  

Once you've cut your slices (about 1/2" apart), flatten the cheek, almost turning inside out (this breaks the tension of the skin and will make it easier to lay flat).

Holding the cheek flat with one hand, start cutting with the knife on one end. As you move forward with the knife, move your hand back towards the end as you continue cutting through to the other end, releasing all the meat.  At this point you can cut the strips into pieces.

Sometimes, if I haven't flattened the cheek enough, not all the skin will be cut off.  Just turn the cheek around and repeat from the other end.  (of course, this is what happened to me on tv!).

Toasted coconut!  This isn't traditional, but I love it!  It add some nice color and texture to the dessert.  (Traditionally, toasted sesame seeds are used.)  I like using non-sweetened large flake coconut.  Broil for just a few seconds (don't leave!!!!).















Monday, August 1, 2016

Q's Creative Cards: Dream Catcher

I've had a bag of Guinea Feathers (those pretty brown/black spotted feathers) in my studio for a year now...just waiting for an opportunity to use them in a class.

When I found some Tribal inspired paper I knew I had a match!

I didn't mean to be trendy, but ever since I designed this class, I've seen feathers, arrows, dream catchers & tee-pees everywhere, especially in home decor.

I'm also excited to use feathers on these cards...they really are perfect!  They add a soft texture and are light and thin.  I've also, for the first time, included washi tape in a class, as well as gems, brads and nailheads.  (see detailed pictures below).

Sentiments are varied, from birthdays, encouragement, sympathy and my favorite and a first for Q's Creative cards, a New Home card (check out the 2 part sentiment, makes me smile).  Of course, all the printables are included with your purchase, so you can print and create again & again!

Each Q's Creative Kit includes a step by step photo slideshow with easy to follow instructions.

This kit will start shipping August 17th!  If you aren't attending a local class, please add shipping to your order from the drop-down menu.

Dream Catcher Cards


Class Schedule 
Tues., Sept. 6th        South Jordan Hobby Lobby        5:30 - 7:30 pm
Wed., Sept. 7th  
     South Jordan Hobby Lobby        10am - noon
Wed., 
Sept. 7th        West Valley Hires Big H              6 - 8 pm
Thurs.,  
Sept. 8th     American Fork Senior Center      6 - 8 pm
Friday, 
Sept. 9th      Layton Hobby Lobby                  10am - noon
Friday, 
Sept. 9th      Layton Hobby Lobby                  2 - 4pm
Friday, Sept. 9th      Layton Hobby Lobby                  5:30 - 7:30 pm
Mon., Sept 12th      Sandy Hobby Lobby                   2 - 4 pm

What you'll need: 


Adhesives:  Roller-type adhesive for putting cards together.  

Foam squares, THIN foam squares, 1/2" foam roll.

Glue dots (Micro and Mini)


Tools & Supplies:
Scissors (long & fine-tipped)

Paper Piercer
Frayed Burlap Distress Ink & Sponge
Craft Mat
Large lid or small container to place small items from kit

Yellow Stickles (glitter Glue)

If you have any questions, please let me know.
...and would love if you posted these pictures to Pinterest!
 





















































































































































































Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cool-the-Kitchen Greek Dinner


I'm always looking for cool summertime meals that don't heat up my kitchen and takes advantage of all the fresh produce at the market and in my garden.   I'm making this tomorrow and thought it was time for a repeat in case you missed it the first time.  I did this on Studio 5 in 2013...enjoy!

I love to cook, but in the summer I want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible and create as little heat in my house as possible.

Hopefully you have tomatoes and cucumbers and maybe even peppers & onions growing in the garden, but if you don't, they abound at farmer road-side stands and are inexpensive in the grocery stores. 

Staying seasonal and grilling outdoors meets all my summer-time demands with a tasty Greek street food known as Souvlaki.

Souvlaki is basically meat on a skewer.  Typically this is made with lamb or chicken, but I think Shrimp would be great too.

The method that makes Souvlaki special is using typically Greek ingredients and marinating the meat before grilling.  Pita bread, Tzatziki Sauce and a Greek salad round out the flavor and nutrition of this perfectly light and summery meal.

Chicken Souvlaki  (serves 6)

1 1/2  lb chicken breast
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

 Directions:

Slice chicken diagonally so you have strips (about 1/4" or so thick).  I like to thread my chicken on the skewers (back and forth) instead of cubes.  I find the chicken cooks more evening, the chicken won't rotate on the skewer and you get more crispy bits.

Place in a bowl with all the marinade ingredients and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours, but overnight is better.

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes before adding meat.  Otherwise skewer meat onto metal skewer in a back and forth method until the skewer is almost full.  You want the meat snug but not overly tight.

Cook on a medium/high grill until each side is seared, about 8 minutes total.  Look for no pink in center of chicken.  You can continue to baste chicken with leftover marinade as long as it's cooking.  Do not baste chicken after it's cooked.

Sprinkle with finishing salt (coarse kosher salt).  Add a  lemon wedge on the plate for an extra lemon-punch.  Serve with warmed pita, shredded lettuce, Greek Salad and Tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 whole English cucumber (no seeds), grated
2 cups Greek yogurt (or strain reg. plain yogurt until thickened)
1 Tbsp (about 4 cloves) garlic, minced finely
1 heaping Tbsp fresh chopped dill (or 2 tsp. dried dill)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt (to taste)

Directions:

Place grated cucumber in a strainer over a bowl.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  This will help to reduce the amount of moisture in the cucumber.  Let sit for 20 minutes or so, then push against strainer to remove excess moisture.  You can also dab with paper towel.

Add to the rest of the ingredients.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.  I would make this ahead of time as it tastes even better when it has time for the flavors to marry.  Will store in the fridge for as long as the yogurt says (a good week or more).

Greek Salad

1/2 English Cucumber, sliced in quarters, then 1/2" pieces
3 vine ripe tomatoes, quartered, then slices in 1/2" pieces
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopper
1/2 cup Kalamata black olives (sliced or whole)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Feta cheese

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Red wine Vinegar
1 Tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions:

I've give you measurements for the salad dressing, but you'll save time and get a perfect salad if you dress and taste.  Add dressing ingredients directly to the bowl without measuring.  A round (pouring olive oil from a spout one full turn) is approx. 1 Tbsp.   So 3 or 4 rounds.  3 or 4 shakes of the vinegar will equal approx. 1 Tbsp.  Taste...need more salt?  More vinegar?  Just add a bit more.  Try it!

Add all ingredients together except the cheese, sprinkle it on after it's done.


**Low carb version:  Use Sour cream instead of Yogurt (or half & half) for the Tzatziki.  Use a low carb wrap instead of a pita bread.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Studio 5: Pinwheels & Giveaway!



When I plan my Studio 5 segments, if possible, I try to tie into my current class and in this case, it's all about pinwheels.

I had so much fun making this cute pinwheel for my upcoming "Red, White & YOU" class, that I decided to immerse myself into pinwheels... I almost drowned!  So many cute ideas and so little time.


This was right before I left on a long trip and I didn't have enough time to do everything I wanted.

It became clear to me after a lot of research that the We R Memory Keepers Pinwheel punch board was the way to go.

I'm not much of a uni-tasker (a tool that only does one thing), but I have to say, this tool is completely worth purchasing if you're only doing one party.  The time you save is invaluable!  So, today, I'm showcasing pinwheels made from the Pinwheel Punch Board and a great little template (hand-cut or die-cut) I used for my class and that I still really love, as it has a different shape and is good for smaller pinwheels.



But first, let's give a Pinwheel punch board away! 

Just leave a comment on this blog post today and tomorrow morning I'll randomly pick a winner...Good luck!

You'll get the Pinwheel Punch Board and a set of 10 attachments (these are invaluable!) and extra long straws.











Moving this nostalgic child's toy into today's DIY trend is all about size.  Using the simple, charming and playful shape in different sizes can tie a party together and create a custom look quickly and inexpensively.

Go BIG (more on that later) for drama & the WOW factor...these large pinwheels can fill real estate in a flash, perfect for backdrops and hanging decor.  And because these are so light, they are easily attached with pins or thumbtacks.







Go Small for those tiny touches that really leave a big impression!  From food picks to invitations and place settings.

Go traditional size for functioning favors, garlands, treat toppers, hat toppers and more.









Apart from size, you can add your own creative touch to pinwheels by adding a center to your pinwheels.  

Punches, pins, brads, pompoms, printed elements (like my wedding words), buttons etc...










You can also add streamers to the back of your functioning pinwheels for added movement, like in this example, I added cascading ribbons that I tied to the top of the straw.  Just be sure that your streamers don't interfere with the movement of the pinwheel.




To see a step-by-step tutorial on using the Pinwheel Punch board, click on this image to enlarge.















To make a SUPER big pinwheel, I used the large sheets of cardstock I'm starting to see in craft stores, specifically my local Hobby Lobby.  I found the large gold sheets (Strathmore Chromolux 19/5" x 26") in the art department, next to the poster paper and core board.  

We R Memory Keepers also has a line of patterned large sheets (22" x 28"), which I found right next to the Pinwheel Punch board and supplies.




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Q's Creative Cards & More: Red, White & YOU!

On December 7th, 2000, I became a US citizen. It was a special day for me.  

I will always treasure my Canadianism, but growing up with the cultures of my immigrant parents (Austrian & German), as well as the unique French culture of Quebec, I never felt quite at home.

I can still remember my first flight into Salt Lake City. Those mountains!  Lump in my throat, I just felt like I was home and this was years before I actually moved here.  Maybe it's because my husband is American and I've adopted his family's love of country, but regardless, I really do love the Red, White & Blue.  Everything 4th of July screams summer to me...I can smell the Bar-b-ques, taste the watermelon, feel the warmth!

Instead of creating specific holiday projects, I've borrowed from it's colors & icons to design a celebratory kit that can go so many ways...birthdays, celebrations, parties etc...  3 cards, 2 gift bags (think party favors or hostess gift) and my favorite, a functional pinwheel! 

I can still remember my Mother buying me those inexpensive plastic pinwheels from the grocery store and holding them out the window on the way home, thrilling at the sound and speed of it.  This whole kit makes me feel like a kid again and that is a good thing!

Please join me in class in Utah (schedule below) or I'll mail the kit to you to make at home with my easy to follow photo slideshow.  Kits start shipping Monday, June 20th!  Please add shipping from the drop-down menu if you want it mailed.  Otherwise I will bring to class.



Red, White & YOU: Cards & More


Class Schedule 
Tues., June 21st        South Jordan Hobby Lobby        5:30 - 7:30 pm
Wed., 
June 22nd       South Jordan Hobby Lobby        10am - noon
Wed, June 22nd        West Valley Hires Big H              6 - 8 pm
Thurs.,  
June 23rd     American Fork Senior Center      6 - 8 pm
Friday, 
June 24th      Layton Hobby Lobby                  10am - noon
Friday, 
June 24th      Layton Hobby Lobby                  2 - 4pm
Friday, 
June 24th      Layton Hobby Lobby                  5:30 - 7:30 pm
Mon., June 27th        Sandy Hobby Lobby                   2 - 4 pm

What you'll need: 


Adhesives:  Roller-type adhesive for putting cards together.  

Foam squares, THIN foam squares, 1/2" foam roll.

1/8" tacky tape (or similar product)
Glue dots (Micro and Mini). Scotch tape.

Tools & Supplies:
Scissors (long & fine-tipped)

Small Pair of Pliers
Small 1/8" piercer tool (picture below) or something similar to wrap 'firecrackers' around.








regular Paper Piercer
Brushed Corduroy Distress ink & Sponge

Craft Mat
Large lid or small container to place small items from kit

If you have any questions, please let me know.
...and would love if you posted these pictures to Pinterest!
 







Studio 5: Spicy Corn Fritters

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"The art of being
HAPPY lies in the
POWER of extracting
happiness from
COMMON things."
~Henry Ward Beecher

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