Recipe: Mango Sticky Rice

This stuff is so good. And takes little time and effort to make. I’m all about easy recipes these days since often I’m cooking one-handed (holding a baby has improved my juggling skills tremendously).

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Not long ago, Chris bought us a rice cooker. It’s one of those unitaskers that I wasn’t particularly jazzed about. Rice? Come on, it’s hardly the show-stopper for any meal. Ice cream and popcorn makers are far more glamorous. But it dawned on me that I could use this to quickly cook rice to use in soups, stir fry, and to make pudding. Ooo, I love my puddings!

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Mango sticky rice, even for non-mango lovers, is a real treat. The subtle coconut flavor melds with the rich sweetness of the mango. Top it with smooth unsweetened cream, mint and a little lemon juice and you have yourself an opera of flavors. You know, because it sings all vibrato, fancy-like in your mouth and has a taste range of several octaves. Yum!

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I didn’t have any fresh mango on-hand, so I used frozen chunks and diced them smaller for the presentation. As tedious as it is to chop cubes into smaller cubes, the texture was much better with the smaller chunks.

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Rice Cooker Mango Sticky Rice

Makes about 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups Calrose Rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar (regular sugar is great, but this adds a more complex flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • unsweetened whipped cream
  • lemon juice (a fresh lemon would be ideal)
  • mint
  • diced mango

 

Rinse the rice and put in the rice cooker with the water.

In a saucepan, heat coconut milk, sugar and salt until incorporated.

When the rice is about 10 minutes away from being done, open the cooker and add the coconut milk mixture. Close to cook. The rice will absorb all of the liquid. Just before it’s done, add about a 1/2 cup of milk or half and half. Stir to incorporate.

Serve warm with diced mangos, unsweetened whipped cream, mint chiffonade and lemon juice (lemon zest optional).

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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Enjoy!

Printable: 2014 Thank You Cards

2013 Thank You Printable2012 Thank You PrintableFloral Thank You Printable2011 Thank You PrintableDino Party SuiteStyled. Party Suite2010 Thank You Printable • 2009 Thank You Printable

It’s that time of year again! Here’s another ‘Thank You’ card printable. I had a lot of fun with this one. I love the idea of making a wheat-inspired bouquet. Kind of reminds me of the fall harvest. Very indicative of the time of year around here.

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I’ve been making lots of ‘Thank You’ cards for family and friends lately (so many things to thank them for!), so I thought I would make a printable that was in-line with the off-hand flourishes that I’ve been making lately.

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The printable is a simple double-sided post card design that could be sent as a post card, or printed single-sided and used with an envelope for more formal sentiments.

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I kept the design simple with just black and white line work. Embellish with sparkly pens, colored pencil, markers and more! Print out a bunch and let kids color and decorate at the Thanksgiving table! A great Thanksgiving-themed activity, if you ask me.

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Click the button below to download.

 

*This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Halloween Part II: Pic-Or-Treat

We bought a photobooth. It’s possibly one of the more exciting things we’ve purchased to date. More details forthcoming.

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So to test out the booth, I decided that we would open our home to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters to something a little different: Pic-Or-Treat. I have every intention to make this an annual thing at our house. Kids could choose a treat or a pic. We had lots of fun seeing all the costumes and getting the parents involved in the whole thing.

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Please ignore the fact that I wrote the ‘A’ backwards!

My favorite part: knowing that I could give our neighborhood parents something priceless: great photos of them with their kids on Halloween. It’s not often that I get to get in on a photo with my kids. And I have all sorts of photo equipment set up that would allow me to do so! Being able to give kids (especially those with food allergies) and their parents something to cherish was such a thrill. It was a great success, too! The little kids loved it. The teens? Oh!! The teens LOVED it.  

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As far as the nuts and bolts of it went, I set up a backdrop with a black sheet, then taped sliver and black fringe in front. I also lettered out some little signs and props for those without costumes to use in the photos as well. The whole thing came together rather quickly and made a huge impact on those who came to our door.

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Felix isn’t one to get in on the photo thing much, but he was so enthusiastic about getting in on the fun. Even though we didn’t end up taking him trick-0r-treating, he had a lot of fun entertaining all the kids that came through the door. He also had his fair share of fun eating tasty treats (as you can see from the above photo).

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If you’re looking to rent a photobooth like this for a future event, feel free to get in touch!

Halloween Recap Part 1: Black Widow Penelope

Several months ago I found a gigantic black widow spider in the garden. Since then, Penelope’s been obsessed with them. In a I’m-afraid-of-going-to-my-room-alone-because-I-might-get-bit kind of obsessed. When talking to her about Halloween costumes, she asked what was the scariest thing she could be. I returned the answer by asking her. She quickly responded, “A black widow spider!”

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I can’t remember where I put her costume schematics, but she was the one who planned this whole thing out. I just executed. The girl is so creative! I can’t get over it. In a way, I can’t wait for her ideas next year.

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Executing was simple. I bought an over-sized tee, appliquéd with a red hour glass, cut up the sides and inserted the stuffed legs.

If I had been smart, I would have bought a hoodie instead of a tee, so I added a hood to the tee and stuck on some googly eyes. Done.

Felix’s costume was far easier. I bought it from a neighbor. But it turns out that his head was too big to really fit it over his head. We got some cute Halloween photos of him, but not in costume. Next year I may be more on my game. I’m hoping that will be the case anyway.

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In all, the costume took about an hour to complete. It was a win-win. She got exactly what she wanted and I didn’t have to kill myself to do it!

I also love that we now have another gender-neutral costume that can go down the line to Felix and maybe some day Juniper as they get older. I’m a huge advocate of hand-me-downs!

What did you do for Halloween costumes this year?

The Pressure of Expressing Thanks

Since before the arrival of Miss Juniper, we’ve had so many friends, family members and neighbors lend a helping hand for our little family. It’s been a real blessing to have such great support. A considerable amount of it is from the great support network of my church. It’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine welcoming a new baby without that.

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With all of the help, I’ve tried so hard to stay on top of all of the ‘Thank You’s. It’s hard sometimes! Why would a self-proclaimed calligrapher have a hard time doing that? I tell you why –

For some reason, I put pressure on myself that if I don’t bust out the calligraphy pens or if I (heaven forbid) use a thank you that someone else designed the sentiment is cheapened. It’s like I’m cheating or trying passing off someone else’s work as my own if I use a store-bought card. Also if I use the same card twice.

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I’m not trying to complain. These thoughts are completely ridiculous, if you ask me. But no less real. Does anyone else suffer from the same psychosis?

I have found a solution to help me send those much-deserved ‘Thank You’s:

  • Always have a variety of colored envelopes and blank flat cards on-hand so I can mix and match as I choose.
  • Always have a stockpile of stamps (which reminds me, I need to order more!)
  • Keep a list of owed ‘Thank You’s at my desk so when I have a spare moment for practice work, I can work through the list.

I didn’t implement these things until about July of this year. And I’m still working out the kinks in the process. If I were smarter, I would have a pile of hand-lettered cards like you see above already completed. All I’d have to do is write a note on the back. Maybe I’ll get on that bandwagon in the next few months. Change happens so slowly around my neck of the woods. :)

So how do you make sure those ‘Thank You’s get out?

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