Sweet Summertime Treats

Happy First Day of Summer! This post is brought to you by ALL the gluten and sugar. Yes, this is quite a departure from my usual low carb posts, but I have co-workers and family who are willing to taste-test! These cupcakes and cookies are perfect for those summer birthday parties, cookouts and pool parties.

These are the pastry decorators and tips that I used. I prefer the plastic decorator over the vintage, aluminum one, because the plastic handle plunges more smoothly.

See those tiny teeth marks on the table?
They were made by my niece when she was three and the perfect height for table-gnawing.
She turned this piece of furniture into a family heirloom!

Clam Shell Cookies
Did you know that clams can make pearls? They are not as prolific as oysters, but they make them as well!

Is it just me, or do these pearls look like tongue piercings to you, too?

Materials: Shell shaped cookies (two for each completed clam shell), white frosting, candy pearls, blue food color, mini chocolate chips, pastry decorating kit with star tip and medium round tip

Divide the cookies into tops and bottoms. The tops will face up, and the bottoms will face down. Using white frosting and the round tip, pipe dots for eyes onto the top cookies. Press a mini chocolate chip into the frosting circles. Tint the remaining frosting pale blue. With a star tip, pipe the frosting onto the bottom cookie in waves. Pipe a second row of waves on top and a thin row of frosting along the back of the cookie.

Top with the upper cookie, positioning it so that the clam shell appears to be hinged in the back. Place the pearl candy in the frosting on the front of the cookie.

Sea Turtles
Materials: Cupcakes in tan papers or sleeves (unbleached parchment papers would be great), white frosting, peach ring candies, assorted gumdrops, candy fruit slices, mini chocolate chips or gummy blackberries, pastry decorating kit with star tip and small round tip

I followed the instructions linked here, except that I do not have a fondant cutter. Any cookie cutter with a small, rounded shape will do. Santa’s sack worked just fine. For eyes, I piped the tiniest dot of white frosting onto each side of the head. Then I pressed on a drupelet (learned a new word!) from a gummy blackberry.
https://family.disney.com/recipe/squirt-happy-turtlecakes/

Pirate Ships
Materials: Cupcakes in pirate themed papers, 6″ wooden skewers, decorative paper of your choosing, washi tape, scissors, small hole punch, (I found that a regular size hole punch was too large. If you don’t have a small hole punch, you could carefully cut slits in the sail using an x-acto knife.) pastry decorating kit with star tip

Cut scrapbook paper to 2.5″H x 2.25″W. Trim into sail shapes as pictured. Punch small holes into the sails, top and bottom. Fold washi tape over the skewer at the blunt end and press to seal. Trim the tape into triangle flags. Slide the sail onto the skewer below the flag.

Using the star tip, frost the cupcakes. Skewer the ships with the sails toward the front of the cupcake.

Sand Dollars
Materials: Round cookies, white frosting, slivered almonds, pastry decorating kit with medium round tip, milk or cream for thinning frosting

A note about the frosting: If you are thinning this type of pre-made frosting, it will not set up firmly. That was fine with me, because I did not plan on stacking the cookies. If you need to stack or transport your sand dollars, use royal icing instead. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/royal-icing-recipe-1941917

If you’re pressed for time, make these! I piped frosting in a circle to create a border edge. Then I mixed whipping cream into the frosting, one teaspoon at a time, until the frosting flowed smoothly.

Fill the center of the cookie, and add the almonds in a star shape.

Here’s your homework: Go fix some sweet treats, and see how often you can insert the word ‘drupelet’ into casual conversation! Have a great weekend!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Nautical Gift Wrap

Here’s a quick and inexpensive way to add some interest to gift packages. Tie varied knots using lightweight rope instead of ribbon. In addition to being unusual, these embellishments are practical because they will not flatten during transport.

You will need:
Nautical theme gift wrap (Maritime designs, maps, paper in beachy, bright colors would work as well)
Gift Wrapping Tape
Scissors
Nylon clothesline or other rope – $2
Spring Link – optional – I call them caribiners – $2
Lighter – optional
Large letter stickers and tags – optional

Unless you’re a knot-tying expert, (I’m knot! Get it? Heh.) watch the videos that I’ve linked below. You can play the video and pause when you needed, or click the right or left arrows to see one step at a time.

Bowline Knot – After I formed the first loop, I hooked the caribiner through the tail end of the rope.
https://www.animatedknots.com/bowline-knot

I struggled with this knot until I realized that the loop looked like a lowercase “g”. Do you see it?

After I tied the bowline knot on one end of the caribiner, I wrapped the rope snugly around the package a few times. Then I tied another bowline knot at the other end of the caribiner. Push the knot close to the caribiner before tightening, so that the rope stays fairly tight around the package.

Careful adults only step:
I sealed the cut ends of the rope by melting them with a lighter. If you do this, please don’t set yourself (or anything else) on fire, and take care not to breathe fumes from melting plastic. Don’t attempt to seal the ends of cotton rope. We call those ‘candle wicks’.

Single Rope Braid – I didn’t know that you could form a braid like this with a single piece of rope. This braid is simple, so I added a paper tag with the recipient’s initial.
https://www.animatedknots.com/single-rope-braid-knot

Carrick Bend Knot – Because I wanted the knot to lay flat, I doubled up the rope and did not tighten the knot down in the final step.
https://www.animatedknots.com/carrick-bend-knot

Use a square knot to tie the loose ends together on the underside of the package.
https://www.animatedknots.com/square-knot

And there you have it! Simple nautical (knot-ical?) gift packages. I hope you will try this out. If you do, I’d love to hear from you in the comments or via email: arthurized dot home at gmail dot com

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Favorite 10% Food Products

One of my goals is to eat real foods as much as possible. I define real food as “made in nature, not in a factory”. If you define it differently, that’s great! Do what works best for your health, lifestyle and budget. We shoot for 90% natural foods and less than 10% factory foods. The products in this post are some of our favorites, and run the gamut from barely processed to very processed.

Almond Flour (Aldi) – Almond flour is our go-to for gluten-free and now keto baking. We use it for muffins, pancakes, biscuits and breads. It’s pricey compared to wheat flour, but very nutrient dense.

Elmhurst Milked Almonds – Simple ingredients; almond and water. This is a good all-purpose milk substitute. We found the flavor to be very mild.

Grass Fed Cheddar (Aldi) – I think that grass-fed cheddar is a hilarious word picture. I imagine little chunks of free-range cheddar just roaming the hills, filling their little bellies with all the grass they can stand! This cheddar is tasty and a great value.

Guacamole (Classic from Aldi) – Purists would turn their noses up at factory guac when it’s so easy to make. But this works in a pinch, and contains only ingredients you would use at home.

Hormel Natural Pepperoni – We love this stuff! No hormones, MSG, nitrates or nitrites added except those naturally occurring in the celery and cherry.

Lily’s Chocolate Chips – Mmmm, Lily’s. Not 100% clean, but pretty darn good. These are tiny, and pack a lot of chocolate flavor without the sugar buzz.

Portofino Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil – We’re late converts to tuna packed in oil, but it’s great for the light, summer salads we’ve been fixing lately.

Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise – We like the original, avocado oil and organic varieties. The original has a slight tang from the lemon juice, but it’s not overpowering. This is great in homemade dips and dressings. The avocado oil mayonnaise can be a little strong, so use it in dishes with bold flavors.

Tolerant Lentil Pasta – Two ingredient pasta is about as unprocessed as you can get for a factory noodle. When cooked to al dente, the pasta retain their shape and don’t get mushy.

Whole Earth Sweetener – We call this the “Green Stuff”. Low carb without the stevia aftertaste. Dissolves really well in cold drinks. One packet sweetens a 20-32 oz. beverage.

Zevia – We love Zevia because it scratches the soda itch without resorting to zero calorie drinks containing aspartame. Some flavors are caffeinated and some are decaf, but all of the flavors are free of food dyes.

I hope you’ll give some of these products a try. What are your favorite 10% products? Let me know in the comments or via email at:
arthurized dot home at gmail dot com

I’m not in partnership with any brands referenced in this post. I simply enjoy their products, and I hope you will too!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Cooking with Edible Blooms

I’ve recently learned that so many of the blooms in my yard are edible: Dianthus, Impatiens, Scented Geraniums, Dandelions (of course!), Apple Blossoms, Lavender, Cherry Blossoms. The list goes on and on.

Scented geranium

Edible blooms can be used to simply to brighten up a visually uninteresting meal, like these dianthus flowers in Paleo Egg Roll in a Bowl. It’s been said that we eat with our eyes first, which is a good thing. When taste tested, my husband and I decided the dianthus tastes vaguely like grass!

My lavender plant was battered by recent storms, so I purchased organic culinary lavender and dried hibiscus blooms from a natural foods store (Roanoke Co+op, if you’re local) and began experimenting with them.

The butterflies and bees have finally found the herb garden! I love watching them there.

“Experimenting” is probably a poor choice of words to describe what I’m doing. I feel very comfortable eating organically grown blooms from my own yard. I’m certain of what they are, and I know they have been grown in a manner that will not poison me.

Dianthus

Avoid eating:

  • Plants that have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals
  • Commercial, non-organic and florist flowers
  • Plants grown near a roadway

No blooms of your own to harvest? You can purchase edible flowers from the produce section of your grocery store or online. Now, let’s get to the recipes!

Hibiscus Tea:
At our last home, we had a hibiscus with blooms the size of platters! I miss that thing. Note to self: Plant some hibiscus! I omitted the sugar in this recipe. The cinnamon and orange would make this a nice, hot tea in winter.
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/hibiscus-tea-recipe-1945450

If you’re concerned that lavender foods will remind you of soap, start by following recipes exactly as written. Most recipes require 1 tablespoon of lavender, or less. Once you’ve determined your own flavor preferences, you can adjust the recipe if needed.

Lavender Lemonade:
I love that this recipe is infused with culinary lavender, not essential oil. I’m very certain that 1 cup(!) of honey would make this amazing, but I left it out because, keto. I colored my lemonade with one drop each of blue and red plant based food color.
https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/lavender-lemonade-with-honey-recipe

Keto Lavender Scones with Lemon Glaze:
These little goodies are so tasty, you’ll forget that they are low carb!

I modified this recipe as follows:
Keto Lavender Scones
1 1/4 C Almond Flour
1/3 C Coconut Flour
8 packets Whole Earth sweetener
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Dried Culinary Lavender
1/4 C Almond Milk
1/4 C Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
In a mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat™, form the dough into an 8″ round. Slice into 8 wedges. Bake at 350º for 18 minutes.

You can stop right there and serve these with fresh butter, or for extra credit, make them even more gorgeous and delicious with this glaze!

Keto Lemon Glaze:
2 packets Whole Earth sweetener
4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
4 Tbsp canned, unsweetened coconut milk cream (not the milk), at room temperature
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Optional Garnish – lemon zest and culinary lavender
Whisk sweetener, oil, coconut cream and lemon juice together until smooth and glaze the scones. While the glaze is still wet, garnish with a light sprinkle of lemon zest and lavender, if desired. Refrigerate to harden the glaze. The scones will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for a month, if they last that long!

Scones with butter. Gotta serve ’em on legit English ironstone!
Serve these glazed beauties on Grandma’s china, with a proper cup of tea.

What do you think? Do you cook with flowers? Is this something you would try?

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Beach Week Capsule Wardrobe

Now that school has let out for the summer, it’s time to hit the road for some fun in the sun! Once a year, my family gets together for beach week. Maybe we’re strange, because beach week is spent on the beach; we rarely leave the island. We read, go shelling, run and walk, play in the tide pools, build sand castles, people-watch and doze under the umbrella. The men, nieces and nephews boogie-board for hours on end. We try to solve the Mazematician’s puzzles.

Mazematician throwing us a curveball. No left turn?!

In the evening, we play all sorts of games. Some favorites are Codenames, Telestrations, Exploding Kittens, Apples to Apples and Balderdash. Those with more patience for board games (bored) than I, play Pandemic for hours on end. Our evening Mad Libs sessions on the porch are legendary. Some of our favorite inside jokes and malapropisms are born on the porch during beach week. We plan one evening for the entire 20+ person group to go souvenir shopping at the local gift shop.

Shutting down the beach at sunset.

Beach week is very casual. Tee shirts and shorts are the order of the day. Because we have laundry facilities in the beach house, we can pack lean and throw clothes in the wash as needed.

Mexican Blanket Flower growing on the dunes.

Recently, I’ve started packing capsule wardrobes for travel. They’re amazing because they are like Garanimals™ for grown folks! Grab a top and some pants and they coordinate. No thinking necessary, and it doesn’t matter what’s in the wash at the moment!

Here’s how I plan our capsule wardrobe:

Decide on the number of outfits needed. I’ll pack four tops, three bottoms and we’ll wear one of the capsule outfits on our travel day. (Because nudity is frowned upon during family beach week.) With this small capsule, we have the potential for 12 different looks and won’t have to repeat the same outfit during a week long vacation. In case of cooler weather, I’m adding one jersey and one pair of jeans.

Pick a color scheme. It’s red, white, blue and khaki for us this year. Look at the colors you wear routinely. What do you have on hand? Which colors are most flattering on you? If you are able to dress the whole family in the same color scheme, even casual snapshots will be color-coordinated.

Each top must work with each of the bottom pieces. Outfit coordination is easiest if only the tops or only the bottoms are patterned, not both. Pattern mixing in a capsule wardrobe is expert level. If that’s your jam, go for it!

Pack shoes that will work with each outfit. Neutral colored flip-flops and a pair of kicks are all we need for the week.

If you’re fancier than we are, pack coordinating accessories. I’ll pack one everyday necklace and one set of earrings. Maybe throw in a scarf? Hubby keeps his accessories minimal with a leather wrap bracelet.

These bags contain all of our clothes for the week plus bathing suits, cover-ups, running clothes, lounge wear, pajamas, socks and underwear, We had enough room left over to pack hand towels and washcloths in the tote bag.

So, that’s the sum total of my capsule wardrobe knowledge. This makes packing for any trip so much easier. Now, it’s your turn! Will you give this a try? Are you already a capsule wardrobe expert?

Pro tip for flying to your vacation destination: In each piece of checked luggage, pack at least one complete outfit for every member of your family. If the airline misdirects a piece of luggage, you each still have a fresh change of clothes.

Have a wonderful, relaxing vacation!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Meal Prep for Week of 6.9.2019

Welcome to another week of clean eating! We’re trying out loads of new recipes this week and we’ve already found a couple of keepers! Noatmeal is a nice change to our usual egg-based breakfasts and fun to come up with new topping combinations. Strawberry/Peanut Butter is my favorite combination so far.

I’ll let the pictures of the Chicken Pot Pie and Philly Cheesesteak Skillet speak for themselves.

Here’s this week’s menu:

Breakfast:
Noatmeal – Toppings: Strawberries, Walnuts, Unsweetened Coconut, Lily’s Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter
https://www.healthysweeteats.com/my-favorite-noatmeal-aka-low-carb-oat-free-porridge-the-basic-recipe-and-6-variations/?cn-reloaded=1

I mixed up double batches in sandwich bags. Because these have flax seed meal in them, they need to be stored in the fridge. When I empty a bag each morning, I fold it up and put it back into the storage bag; that way we’re not using as many plastic bags from week to week.

Lunch:
Hubs has requested stuffed peppers this week.
https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/stuffed-peppers-with-ground-beef-and-cheese

Dinner:

Slow Cooker Bacon Cheeseburger Pie – New Recipe!
https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/keto-slow-cooker-bacon-cheeseburger-pie/

Low Carb Chicken Pot Pie – New Recipe! One word: Delicious.
https://asweetlife.org/low-carb-chicken-pot-pie-with-cheesy-biscuit-crust/

Keto Philly Cheese Steak Skillet – New Recipe, and this one is so good! It comes together quickly too. Hubby rated this one a 10/10!
https://www.eatingonadime.com/philly-cheese-steak-skillet-dinner/

Mexican Cauliflower Rice Skillet Dinner – New Recipe!
https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/low-carb-mexican-cauliflower-rice/

Keto Cobb Salad – New Recipe!
https://www.ketoconnect.net/keto-salad/

Keto Snacks:
Celery sticks with either pimento cheese or peanut butter, green pepper strips, cucumber slices, boiled eggs
Beautiful Carb Snacks: Bananas, Oranges, Red Grapes, Tiny but Mighty Popcorn

Treats:
Key Lime Cheesecake Fat Bombs – The lemon version was delicious, so I’m trying lime flavored bombs next.
https://www.eatwell101.com/lemon-cheesecake-keto-fat-bombs-recipe

Velvety No Bake Keto Brownie Bites – New Recipe! Scroll about halfway down the page to find the recipe. I added a few tablespoons of milled flax seed, so maybe mine aren’t as velvety as the recipe indicates. They’re still tasty, though! I used a 1″ cookie scoop and got 5 fat bombs from a single recipe. The picture below is a triple batch.
https://hungryforinspiration.com/keto-brownie-bites/

I hope you have a great week!

Seriously, this Keto Philly Cheesesteak Skillet is amazing!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

How I Remove Rust From Cast Iron

Now that we’ve made it through our rainy, Virginia springtime; we’re overdue for some outdoor chores. At Arthurized Home, we use cast iron for our everyday cooking. We’re careful to season it regularly so rust is not a problem. However, I just bought a cast iron pot with some pretty severe rust on it. It’s not pitted, so that’s good. Actually, I would have passed on buying pitted cast iron. No amount of TLC can bring that back.

A quick Google search shows countless methods for removing rust from cast iron. The process I’m using is one that I have used successfully over the years. I burn the rust off the cast iron in a fire and then season it in the oven. This method avoids using noxious chemicals and hours (and hours!) of obnoxious scrubbing.

My cast iron is good quality and very serviceable, but solidly average. It’s not rare or valuable. I would not use this method on Granny’s heirloom cast iron. For that, I would get out the steel wool, get to scrubbin’ and develop tendinitis.

I can’t speak to whether vinegar baths, oven cleaner (seems toxic), electrolysis and lye baths work on rusty cast iron, because I haven’t tried those methods.

Cast Iron Care: Take care not to shock your cast iron, which can cause it to crack. Bring the cast iron to temperature along with the heat source. Never place cold cast iron onto a hot stove, into a hot oven or fire. Never place hot cast iron into the fridge/ freezer, cold water or an ice bath. Remember ‘hot with hot’ and ‘cold with cold’ and your cast iron will be just fine.

Pa Kettle decided to get in on the action by providing an actual kettle that he found in his basement when they bought the home. It’s been unloved and in Basement Purgatory for 50+ years. I’m not sure if it is salvageable, because the rust is thick and the pot is severely pitted. But, why not throw it in and see what happens?

This is a good project to start in the morning, as you need several hours for the fire and several hours for cooling. To prepare the fire, I placed a few logs into the fire pit and laid the pots on top. I positioned the pots so that as the logs burned down, they drop toward the center of the fire, not out of it. Then I covered the pots with more logs. The idea is to have the fire reach the entire pot, including the undersides.

Bring out a few of those great fire starters and put them to work. Once you have a roaring fire, it’s time to relax.

Contemplate the meaning of life, sing a few campfire songs and break out the hot dogs or s’mores fixin’s.

Without leaving the fire unattended, burn the cast iron for a few hours (I like a minimum of three hours) and then let the fire die out.

Don’t pour water to extinguish the fire, as that could shock the cast iron.

Once, the ashes cooled, I pulled the pots from the fire pit. See that red stuff? It’s red rust. This is oxidation at high temperature when raw metal is exposed to the air. Not to worry, though. A quick scrub with a paste made of baking soda and a splash of water, will take most of that off. I’ve read that a thin coat of red rust helps the first layer of season to bond. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’ll soon find out!

Pa Kettle’s pot will need another turn in the fire.
I would like to get all of the brown rust off of it before moving on to the next step.

Thoroughly rinse the baking soda off of the cast iron. If all the old season has been removed and the raw cast iron is exposed, the pot should be matte grey.

I placed a large baking sheet onto the lowest oven rack and put the pot on the top rack. I turned the oven to 300° and left the pan in for about five minutes. This ensures that the pan is completely dry before seasoning.

After drying the pot, let it cool a little, then season with oil or grease of your choice. I spread an extremely light layer of bacon grease over the pot, coating it entirely. Wipe excess grease off with a paper towel and place the pot back into the oven upside down. This allows any excess grease to drip out of the pot onto the baking sheet below. I usually season my cast iron between 375° and 425°, so I crank the oven up at this time.

After about an hour in the oven, I turn it off and let the cast iron cool down. Then I repeat this step. Again. And again. And again; building thin layers of season each time. Once the season is built up on the pot, it is ready for daily use in the kitchen.

A few more tips on cast iron care: Moisture is the enemy of cast iron. Never let cast iron soak in water. After use, and while your pans are still warm, quickly rinse, dry and re-oil your cast iron. If there are food particles cooked on, use a plastic scrub brush to remove them.

Cast iron is for cooking and baking, not food storage. You’ll need some vintage Pyrex refrigerator boxes for that. *winks*

Because our kitchen is small, we stack our cast iron for storage. Scratches can damage the season, so we place a microfiber cloth between each pan.

Take good care of your cast iron and it will serve you for a lifetime. Who knows; maybe the grandkids will fight over your collection one day?

For more reading on caring for cast iron, here’s an interesting article:
https://richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp#seasoning

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Rescuing Clearance Rack Perennials

While shopping for deer fence T-posts, I happened upon several racks of clearance perennials marked down to $1 each. Of course I loaded up my cart! Some of the blooms were ready for deadheading, but the leaves looked fresh and healthy. I figured these underdogs were worth a chance.

Perennial flowers are fantastic because you do the work of planting once, and are rewarded with year after year of blooms. Given the right growing conditions, most perennials are easy care, requiring only deadheading and occasional dividing.

We purchased these for the herb garden, because that is the sunniest area of our property. They range in height from 6″ to just over 2′ tall, so they shouldn’t shade other sun loving plants nearby.

Thinking about their mature size, bloom time and relation to neighboring plants, I placed them around the garden. I like to arrange them in irregular shaped, odd numbered groupings of 3, 5 or 7 of the same plant. This gives the garden visual ‘flow’ and is more appealing than planting in straight rows, as you would in a vegetable garden.

Here’s what we planted:

Balloon Flowers – one blue, one white
I’ve wanted to try balloon flowers forever. These deer resistant plants are whimsical and fun. They both had tags showing blue flowers, so the white one was a surprise!

Poppy
This one is a mystery plant only because I misplaced the tag. Oops! I seem to recall that it is an orange variety.

Darling Daisy™ Shasta Daisy
Daisies were my husband’s great aunt Ruth’s favorite flower, so I remember her fondly when I see these. This variety is fairly compact, growing to just 12″ tall. I deadhead these about once a week, and they are blooming their little hearts out.

Dwarf Coreopsis
We picked up nine of these, and I’m hoping they will provide a sea of golden blooms. They grow to 12″ tall, and bloom from spring through fall.

Giles Van Hees Speedwell – These tiny flowers bloom in summer. They seem a little finicky and we’ve already lost two of the five that we purchased. (R.I.P., little guys) I’m holding my breath that the remaining three will settle into the garden nicely.

Little Women Daylily – I’m not sure where we are in the bloom cycle, but I suspect that we’re done for the year. I bought three of these for their unusual, peach color which will pair nicely with the nearby lavender.

Hopefully our plants will be happy here, and provide some interest to the garden. They’ve already drawn the attention of neighborhood butterflies, so we think the bees will find them soon as well.

How about you? Do you take pity on the clearance rack plants, and take them home?

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Meal Prep for Week of 6.2.2019

This past weekend was a blink-and-you-miss-it blur. We did loads of adulting and gardening. Hubby had a 16 mile trail race, and we spent some time catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in awhile.

Last night we watched a couple of deer work their way through, sampling from the delicious buffet that is our side yard. They completely ignored the herb garden, which made us wonder if they had bumped into the new fence and were spooked by it. Time will tell.

Diving into this week’s menu:

Breakfast:
Cloud Bread – New Recipe! I made two flavors; Parmesan and Everything Bagel. Will serve these with a schmear.
https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a24749186/cloud-oopsie-bread-recipe/

Lunch:
We’re having a mixture of cold salads for lunch this week.
Mason Jar Spinach Salad – New Recipe! I made four of these salads. I substituted stevia sweetener for the sugar in the dressing. Instead of spooning the dressing into the bottom of the jar, I stored each portion in a tiny container.
https://www.theseasonedmom.com/wprm_print/57058

Zucchini Salad – New Recipe! I’m intrigued by the prospect of a low-carb imitation potato salad. UPDATE: We like this! I added a little extra mustard and three boiled eggs.
https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/zucchini-salad

Greek Salad – An old favorite
https://www.spendwithpennies.com/greek-salad/

Greek Salad

Dinner:
Meatloaf, Green Beans and Mashed Cauliflower – New recipe! I substituted almond flour for the oatmeal in the meatloaf, and used prepared mashed cauliflower.
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/meatloaf-dinner/

Keto Western Omelettes – New Recipe! We love breakfast for dinner.
https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/keto-western-omelet

Cauliflower Pizza – This is as satisfying as “real” pizza; and has become a default when we need some dinner inspiration. I use ground flax seed (from Aldi) instead of the psyllium husk.
https://thestonesoup.com/blog/2016/09/27/cauliflower-pizza/

Southwestern Squash Casserole – To make this gluten free and lower in carbs, I’m substituting coconut flour for the wheat flour. UPDATE: Do not do this! The coconut flour did not incorporate well and the casserole was gritty as a result. It didn’t affect the flavor, just the texture. I’ll try arrowroot powder next.
https://12tomatoes.com/southwestern-squash-casserole/

Lemony Avocado Tuna Salad – We’re slightly obsessed.
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/eat-clean-lemony-avocado-tuna-salad/

Snacks:
I’m finding that I need fewer snacks on keto.
Pimento cheese and celery, cucumber slices, pickles, walnuts, green pepper strips
Beautiful carbs for hubby: Pineapple, grapes, bananas, watermelon, Tiny but Mighty popcorn

Treat:
Fresh Strawberries and Homemade Whipped Cream with Lily’s Chocolate Chips on top – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I sweeten the cream with a packet or two of Whole Earth. This tasty keto treat is a good substitute for my nightly watermelon.

I hope that you will give some of these recipes a try. If you like them, let me know in the comments or via email at arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Everything Bagel Cloud Bread with a schmear.

This is not a sponsored post. I am not in partnership with, nor do I own any of these websites or the recipes linked here.

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Let’s Make Fire Starters

Years ago, we took two of our nephews and a niece on a white-water rafting trip in West Virginia. We tent camped that weekend and planned to roast our dinner (and s’mores) over a campfire. My niece and I got to work starting the fire. We had nice, dry firewood, sturdy matches and kindling gathered from the surrounding area.

There were thunderstorms that day and the humidity was nearly 100%. We couldn’t get our kindling to ignite, so we started looking for paper to burn. Having none, we did what all intrepid explorers do and burned our atlas! (This was in the days before GPS, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.) Fortunately, that worked. We had a nice cookout that night and were able to find our way home at the end of the trip.

Shortly after that, my sister gave us these awesome egg carton fire starters and we’ve been using them ever since. The combination of wax and paper helps them to burn for several minutes; long enough to ignite a nice fire.

Disclaimer: I should warn you up front that this project is for careful adults only. Always use caution when working with fire, flammable materials and heat sources. I don’t want you to singe those beautiful eyebrows off. Or worse.

That said, and because I love an element of danger, let’s dive right in!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the fire starters:

  • Paper egg cartons with lids removed – do not use foam!
  • Wax from discarded candles
  • Flammable Filler, small pine cones, tree bark, sawdust, etc. The lid of the paper egg carton torn into small pieces will work.
  • Scented/Decorative Filler, dried citrus peel, cinnamon stick pieces, etc. – this is entirely optional
  • Double boiler for melting wax – Mine came from the flea market for $1. You can often find vintage, aluminum double boilers inexpensively at yard sales and thrift stores. I do not use this one for food.
  • Metal ladle – optional, but useful if you’re like me; not very accurate when pouring liquids.
  • Sturdy scissors – I used herb scissors.
  • Cardboard, plastic and newspaper or paper grocery bags for protecting your work surface.

This is a great way to recycle/upcycle both the egg cartons and discarded candles.

Cover your work surface with cardboard or plastic with layers of paper on top. The melted wax makes this a messy project! Children could help with gathering the supplies and arranging them in the egg cartons, but the wax melting and pouring is an adults only step in the process. You may just want to send them to Grandma’s (or at least out of the room) while you’re working with hot wax.

Remove the lids from the egg cartons, Set the lids aside for another use or tear them into small pieces to use as filler. Using scissors, cut in between the cups without cutting them completely apart, like the photos below. This will make it easier to break them into individual fire starters.

Fill the cups of the egg carton with your choice of flammables. If you are using scented/decorative filler, arrange that on top of any less attractive filler. I layered mine with torn egg carton lids, dried orange peel, hemlock cones and birch bark.

Gluten for you, gluten-free for me! Kidding. Don’t eat these.

Over low heat, melt the wax in a double boiler. Watch the wax as it melts. Do not leave it unattended and certainly don’t let it come to a boil. Also, don’t bother cleaning your stove until after this messy project!

Once the wax has just melted, remove it from the heat and carefully pour or ladle it into the prepared egg cups. Fill just the whole cup section. You can carefully press the filler materials down into the wax if needed.

I wish that you could smell these fire starters. I made two batches, one is from a vanilla bean scented soy candle and the other is cinnamon scented. Both batches smell amazing!

Let the wax harden completely, and then pull the cups apart. You’ll appreciate that you cut the cups before filling them. I forgot one time, and spent the next few evenings hacking at them with a utility knife. #blisters

To burn, just light a corner of the fire starter.

These fire starters make great gifts (hint: Christmas) for the outdoorsy people in your life. Or anyone who enjoys a fire pit, chiminea or wood burning fireplace. Fill a pretty basket or bowl with fire starters and a nice box of matches or a butane lighter. If your friends love a fire in the fire pit, give a pretty bag of these fire starters along with a cozy throw for chilly evenings.

Fill a cellophane bag with fire starters and place into a large gift bag with s’mores fixins’: a bag of marshmallows, a box of graham crackers and some Hershey’s chocolate bars. Go crazy, and add some Reese’s peanut butter cups to the kit. (Don’t grill foods directly over the fire starters, wait until you’ve got a roaring campfire.)

Throw a few of these into your pack when you go hiking or on a camping trip. As Pa Kettle says, “you just don’t never know” when you’ll need to start a fire.


I hope you will give this project a try. If you do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment here or email me at arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

I’m not in partnership with any brands referenced in this post. I simply enjoy their products, and I hope you will too!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.