Not Martha

Pinata Cookies for Cinco de Mayo

Have you seen these yet? The genius pinata cookies? The sort of idea that makes me furious that I didn’t think of it first? I love these. The whole how-to by Sandra Denneler is over at She Knows, bravo.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I’m still on painkillers so have an extra margarita for me.

· comments [17] · 05-4-2012 · categories:food ·

Pretty foods suitable for wisdom tooth extraction survival

These are all prettier versions of the foods I’m eating after getting my wisdom teeth out this week, pulled from my Pinterest boards.

Coffee jello from That Winsome Girl. I’m going to be making this to be the first thing I eat because, grrrr, need caffiene.

Julia Childs Mousse Au Chocolat from Sprinkle Bakes

Citrus Sorbet from The Cinderella Project

Rainbow Jello Shooter from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

Layered Cheesecake Popsicle from Cutest Food (though the seeds here would technically pose a problem, I’m loving the idea)

Gelatin Typography at Plenty of Colour

Ice cream scoop on a stick at Martha Stewart

Sky Jello at Belladia

· comments [15] · 05-3-2012 · categories:food ·

links: craft

Styled Eats: DIY Picnic Baskets and Free Printable at Oh Happy Day. These are so cute, I look forward to a reason to make them.

Meet the Mini-Marthas! Suddenly, Hipster Homemakers Are Cleaning Up | The New York Observer.

How to Make a DIY Terrarium | Making it Lovely.

make grow gather – Posts – diy confetti napkins.

Cupcake Liner Mason Jar Tops · Edible Crafts | A very simply idea makes a handy punch-through top for straws.

· comments [2] · 05-2-2012 · categories:craft · links ·

Why jars are great for bringing food to cookouts

Thank you GLAD for sponsoring this post. Learn how you can reduce waste at your next party!

A few years back I baked pies in jars because I thought it was a cute idea. Later I brought pies on a weekend getaway and found the jars were a handy way to transport and serve them. I’ve been using jars as serving containers for parties and picnics ever since. I’ve talked about my love of jars before but I have not laid out all the reasons why, so here they are:

  • You can seal them up to contain any potential mess while transporting food.
  • After the food is eaten you can close the jars and contain any leftover stickiness until you get home to wash them.
  • If you’re making a baked good you can bake it right in the jar ahead of time. If you’re headed out to a vacation home you can prepare and freeze the dessert, then bake one at a time as people get hungry. I’ve found that particularly nice as it allows people to graze if they’d like.
  • If you’re seated on a picnic blanket I find them easier to eat out of than trying to keep a plate level. (I am a clumsy person and always end up tipping a plate at picnics.)
  • They are water tight so you can fill them with ice cream or pudding and stick them in a cooler without worrying that water from melted ice will ruin dessert.
  • They are a fun way to present the foods. Jars have become pretty well known on blogs and Pinterest but people at bbqs will appreciate the novelty and declare you a genius.
  • Individual portions eliminate the need to bring extra serving utensils or use plastic wrap to cover a serving dish that doesn’t have a lid.
  • Something I found at the last bbq I attended: it’s very simple to send extras home with people because the treat is already ready to go, you just hand them a jar.
  • Similarly if you bring home leftovers they are ready to be stuck in the freezer for later.
  • You can use jars to give out food as favors or as great packaging for a bake sale item. (Tip: I’ve discovered people are happy to pay a bit more for something in jar packaging.)
  • If you’re setting out a few dips jars work wonderfully. For a cookbook club I brought pretzel sticks with three different kinds of mustard and jars worked perfectly for serving containers.
  • My favorite: I have a very small kitchen and don’t have space to store the sorts of serving dishes that would be great to have for picnics but I can store a few stacks of jars in the back of my cabinet.

Small tip: Keep the box the jars come in, it makes the best tray to carry the jars either to your back yard or to a friend’s house.

The pies pictured above were ones that I brought to a friend’s house for a backyard cookout. After I got home and washed the jars I realized that nothing ended up being thrown into the trash through the whole process save the excess flour I wiped off the counter. Oh yeah, racking up those environmental points.

If you are using the jars for favors you can include a list of uses for after the contents have been eaten. Here is a list I included with a bunch of cobblers I made for a bake sale:

  • Shake a vinegrette for a salad (1 part balsalmic + 4 parts olive oil + salt and pepper + maybe a touch of mustard + a drop of water).
  • Use it to store dried annuals seeds in the back of the fridge until April rolls around.
  • Use it to store leftover lemon juice or zest in the freezer.
  • Use it to store that last 1/2 cup of buttermilk leftover from making pancakes.
  • Throw loose coins in it and save up for a really good chocolate bar.
  • Keep a stash of cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar.
  • Sip some nice bourbon out of it while sitting on a shady porch.

We use ours for salad dressing and bourbon more often than I would have suspected.

You can also use a larger jar to collect used flatware and transport it home where you can wash it:

Picnic season is almost here (yaaaay)! Do you have any tips for entertaining? Any clever things you’ve found that help keep trash to a minimum? Share so we can ooooh over your genius.

· comments [29] · 05-1-2012 · categories:food ·