Sunday, April 29, 2012

Musical Reminiscings

I've lost touch with music, and it makes me sad. I sat down last night and attempted to "re-vamp" my running playlist, and realized that my computer didn't have half of the CDs I own on it. So I sat down with my huge CD case and started flipping through the pages, which ended up reminding me of my high school/college days. It's crazy how songs, artists, or albums can act like a sort of time machine - that any time we hear them we're transported back to a specific event or moment in time. I've forgotten how big of a role music used to play in my life, and I'm determined to get it back (I think I have a good chance now that I know about Spotify). Since I was reminiscing, I thought I'd share some of the albums from my past. I'm also curious to know - what music takes you back?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

If you enjoy salty sweet desserts like me, then you'll LOVE this Strawberry Pretzel Dessert.

This is my go-to dessert for the spring/summer, is a family favorite, and is very simple to make. Since I was charged with bringing dessert for Easter dinner, I thought I'd share the recipe. Here is what you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8oz. cream cheese
  • Cool Whip
  • Strawberries
  • Strawberry glaze 
First, you'll need to crush your pretzels and melt your butter:

Then you'll combine the crushed pretzels, melted butter and brown sugar and press the mixture into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes and let cool.

Next, you'll beat the sugar and cream cheese together and fold in the tub of Cool Whip. Spread over crust.

All that's left is cutting up the strawberries, mixing it with the glaze, and spreading it over the cream cheese mixture. I typically use almost an entire carton of strawberries, but it's up to you how much you want to have in it. Ironically, even thought Tom doesn't like strawberries, this is his favorite dessert of mine. I always section off part of it as "strawberry-free" just for him :)

And there you have it! A deliciously simple, salty sweet dessert perfect for backyard BBQ's, spring bridal showers, or a random Thursday night. Happy Easter and God bless!

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    DIY Vintage Tin Container Magnet

    I'm a big fan of DIY. I'm an even bigger fan of easy DIY. I'm an even bigger fan of easy DIY that involves anything vintage and/or antique. I got this great idea from a friend, and thought it was pure genius. Due to how many antique stores I've been in, I actually couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before! It literally took me about 30 seconds to make - not including the time spent shopping for the tin - and I think it's a fun way to display a vintage tin.

    I found this cute Red Owl tin for Whole Caraway Seed at Midtown Antiques in Stillwater, MN. If you know me, it was a perfect find as I'm a fan of owl and historical memorabilia (especially when it relates to MN). Here's a brief history of the Red Owl grocery chain:
    • Red Owl was a grocery store chain in the United States, headquartered in Hopkins, Minnesota. Founded in 1922, it was initially owned and operated by Gamble-Skogmo, opening its first store in Rochester, Minnesota. There were eventually stores throughout the upper Midwest, including Bismarck, North Dakota in 1927, and briefly into the Chicago area. In 1980, Gamble-Skogmo was acquired by Wickes Corporation, which sold the chain to three executives in January 1986. At that time, the company operated 441 stores in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota. In December 1988, the rights to the Red Owl name were obtained by grocery wholesaler Supervalu Inc.
    • Brownlow's Red Owl was located in Le Roy Minnesota, closed November 1, 2010, and is now a locally named small, town grocery store. The store contained a Red Owl memorabilia collection that was utilized in the Cohen Brothers film, "A Serious Man." - Information from Wikipedia and the Facebook page of Brownlow's Red Owl.
    Ok, now back to the craft. You only need four items: a glue gun, a small tin, and two magnets.

    Step 1: Clean out the tin. I don't understand why people sell old spice tins with the contents still inside. Obviously I'm buying the tin for the tin, not the 50 year-old whatever is inside of it. Yuck.

    Step 2: Glue magnets to the tin. I used ProMag magnets which are stronger than the usual "magnet roll" type due to the weight of the tin and pens/pencils. (Note: depending on what you decide to put in your tin, you may not even have to use glue since the tin is magnetic)

    Step 4: Allow 10-15 seconds for glue to dry, add writing utensils and you're all set! Put it on the fridge next to your grocery list to eliminate the search for a pen!