Friday, April 30, 2010

The Purity Myth

Even though I was considering reviewing some more non fiction books on this blog, I've decided that Sunshine and Bones will remain a "politics free zone." Of course not all non fiction books I read are political, but most are in at least some regards. Since I still plan on reviewing the books I want to review, I will now just link each review to my other blog. That way anyone who is interested can check it out. And anyone who'd rather not can do so as well.

See mom? I'm perfectly capable of compromising when it suits me.



Anyhoo, I just reviewed The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti over at Random Thoughts. If interested, you can find the review here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Music Thursday

New music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

Relator by Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn:



For some reason I'm really surprised I like this song, but I do.

Bruises by Chairlift:



More of You by Mozella:



Liquefy by The Servant:



Frontier Psychiatrist by the Avalanches:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fabric Rosette Brooch

If you're anything like me, then you have seen a lot of different embellishments and craft projects using fabric rosettes. Right away I was completely smitten and wanted to know how they were made. (I also crossed my fingers and hoped a sewing machine wasn't involved since I'm hopeless when it comes to sewing.)

Luckily they turned out to be super easy.

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While I originally intended on making a rosette necklace, I decided to make a brooch instead. Both are equally easy though (I just prefer earring to necklaces) and I think I'm going to make a hair barrette the same way.

Fabric Rosette Brooch

Supplies:

Fabric
Felt
Glue (I used hot glue)
An alligator clip or a bar pin (depending on whether you want to make a brooch or a hair clip)
Some embellishments

Directions:

Now, I'm not going to actually show you how to make the rosettes since this lovely little video is far better then any picture I could show you:


Easy right? The cool thing about this project is how pretty much any fabric can be used. (I especially like fabric that frays since you get little wispy pieces.)

1. So the first step is to make some rosettes. My only tip would be to make sure you don't glue close to the edges. Otherwise you'll see some of the felt (and I used black unfortunately).

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2. Decide on an arrangement you like. (I went with three since odd numbers look better in my opinion.) Once you have your arrangement, cut a small piece of felt and glue the arrangement in place.

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3. I decided to make some small fabric covered buttons to add to my brooch, but this step is entirely up to you. If I had some pretty buttons I would have used those, but I just worked with what I had on hand.

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4. Glue on an embellishments you want to add. Besides my two fabric covered buttons, I also added a little gem on each flower.

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5. Now this is what the back of my flower looked like. Since it was pretty ugly, I decided to put another layer of felt on the back. I also thought it would help with stability.

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6. Now you glue on your alligator clip or your bar pin and you're done.

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Now you can sit back and marvel at your awesomeness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chili Lime Chicken Salad

While I don't usually enjoy eating a salad as my main meal, there is just something about the combination of smoky chicken and the sour lime in this salad that just makes my day. Add in the velvety avocado and the freshness of the tomato and I'm in salad eating heaven.




Things I love about this recipe:

1. It's super easy.
2. It combines chili powder and lime. One of my favorite flavor combinations.
3. This dish is perfect for the warmer nights that are finally creeping up on us.

I like to marinate my chicken in extra lime juice before I cook it to make the lime more pronounced, but if I'm in a hurry I just skip it. I also prefer to cook the chicken on a grill for this dish, but it's definitely not necessary.

Will I make this again? Definitely. I've already been making it for years.

Chili Lime Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 pound Chicken tenders
2 tsp Chili powder
Salt and ground black pepper
1 Tbl Olive oil
3 Tbl Lime juice
2 Tbl Snipped cilantro
1 Tbl White wine vinegar
1/4 tsp Salt
Dash ground black pepper
6 cups Torn romaine lettuce
8 Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 Medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped

Directions:

1. In a bowl, toss chicken tenders with chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium. Cook 8-12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink; turn once.

2. Meanwhile, for dressing, in a screw-top jar, combine 1/4 cup oil and the lime juice, cilantro, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dash pepper. Cover; shake well. Arrange lettuce on 4 salad plates. Top with chicken, tomato and avocado. Drizzle with dressing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Week in Pictures

Unlike last time, this really is only a week too. I'm such an overachiever.


This week I battled crazy Utah weather, made a bunch of delicious food, had lunch at the Beehive Tea Room, bought a dress that could have been made out of my grandma's curtains (I heart grandma-chic), and had dinner at one of Ryan's friends.

The last picture is from the drive home from Ryan's friends. Since there is so little light at night (shocking I know), when you take a picture of someplace with a lot of little lights, like a strip mall, your shutter will stay open longer in order to compensate for the lack of light and you'll end up with these trippy light painting pictures. It's cool cause you never know what you're gonna get.

Kind of like me.

Cheers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

View the world (or at least your blog) through the eyes of a baby

There's this interesting project over at Tiny Eyes where you can upload any image and see a simulation of what a child would see a varying development stages.

Here's this blog:

Newborn

4 weeks

8 weeks

3 months

6 months

Adult

Pretty interesting.

-via The Seventh Sense

Friday, April 23, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

I don't think I've ever mentioned my undying love for buffalo chicken yet, but I'm pretty sure no one would find it too surprising since I always go on about my love of spice and chicken is my most favoritest thing to eat.

Well, at least besides chocolate. But that's not a very fair competition.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Anyhoo, when I saw this recipe combining buffalo chicken with macaroni and cheese my brain almost exploded. Seriously, why didn't I think of it before? These two things were just begging to be made into one delicious cheesy dish and thankfully someone took the initiative to make it happen.

I'm adding "initiative" to my Christmas list.

The thing about this recipe is it actually tastes better the next day (which is great since this recipe makes a crapload of food). As with all recipes this size, I divided the recipe in half and saved the second dish for later in the week (I just left off the topping and covered the dish with plastic wrap). Much to my surprise the second dish was actually significantly better then the first (and the first dish was still very good). Ryan said the leftovers he had at lunch were also super tasty.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Oh and if you don't like blue cheese then just leave it off (I did). I'd recommend pouring a little ranch over the top though.

Would I make this again? Most definitely.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
(via the Noble Pig)

Ingredients:

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2-1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

4. Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top. Put the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle with some wing sauce for color.

Garnish with even more wing sauce, blue cheese and sour cream if you like!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Music Thursday

Wow, Thursdays sure do come around fast. I only have two weeks of school left (plus finals) so I've been super busy. New music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

Lions by The Features:



The Mother by Xavier Rudd:



Karma by Lloyd Banks (Ft. Avant):



Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds:



Papillion by Absynthe Minded:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Want vs Need

I came across these Want vs Need pictures by Erin Hanson on Tumblr and I'm completely smitten.

These are my favs:


You can find her website Recovering Lazyholic here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lazy Daisy Cake

I made this cake about a week ago and I have to admit I ate almost half of it by myself. There is just something deeply satisfying about this cake's sweet, almost caramelized, topping in combination with the soft fluffy interior. Plus this cake just screams "Spring is here!" in my opinion.



It's really important that you use a pan that is broiler safe (Pyrex isn't). I ended up having to keep my cake under the broiler for longer than the 3-4 minutes and I still didn't get the topping as brown as I would like. Leftovers are especially good heated up in the microwave.

Ingredients:

For cake:
2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbls. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 cup granulated sugar

For topping:
9 Tbls. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 Tbls. evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut


Directions:

1. For the cake: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13, broiler safe baking pan (Do not use Pyrex). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Heat the butter and the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir in the vanilla.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium high until pale and thick, about 6 minutes. Fold half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then stir in 1/2 of the milk mixture, stir the other half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then stir in the other 1/2 of the milk mixture.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan, about 10 minutes. Heat the broiler.

4. For the topping: In a medium bowl, melt the 9 Tbls. butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar, evaporated milk, and the coconut. Spread the mixture on top of the cake.

9. Place the cake back in the oven and broil until the topping is bubbling and starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Serve Warm.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bowtie Necklace

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done any crafts so I decided to make this Bowtie Necklace yesterday.



The nice thing about this project is that most of the supplies are one’s people will have on hand (at least if they craft). In fact, I had everything on hand myself. Plus the project is very versatile. While the original tutorial was for a leather bowtie, any fabric/material can be used instead of leather. I used this fake vinyl looking stuff that I had bought a while ago at Joann’s. (I also saw one made out of corduroy and I thought it looked extra spiffy.) You can also make the bow as big or small as you like.

Bowtie Necklace

Supplies:

A strip of material (around 4x1"), plus a smaller strip for the front of the bow
Some jewelry chain
A clasp
Jump rings (I used the middle sized one that come in a variety package)
Jewelry pliers or something to close the jump rings (I use scissors most of the time)
Glue (I used hot glue)
Large needle

Directions:


1. Cut out your strip of fabric. Since it seems to be impossible for me to cut a strait line, I used a piece of painters tape as a guide. You can also see by my picture that my piece of fabric is smaller then 4 inches. I would like to claim that I just wanted a smaller bow, but the reality is I wasn’t paying attention. No worries though.


2. Cut the corners off of both sides. This will get rid of some of the excess fabric and make the bow lie more smoothly. It doesn’t have to be perfect since you won’t see it.


3. Put a small bit of glue in the center and fold both sides to meet in the middle. You’re gonna want to be careful with the amount of glue you use since hot glue is really rigid when it dries and can make it difficult to get your bow shaped properly.


4. Pinch your strip into a bow shape. If you want you can place little dabs of glue into the folds on both the front and back to hold it in place. Since my bow is so small the chance of me burning myself was exponential so I didn’t bother with it. Then you’ll want to run a small line of glue down the center of the smaller strip and wrap it around the bow.

Cut off any extra length in the back.


5. Using a needle, poke a hole in each side of your bow at the fold. You may need to run your needle through the holes a couple times to get it really defined. I pretty much jump at any chance to use my big upholstery needles, but they were way too big for my little bow.

I may or may not have taken this moment to use my upholstery needle as a light saber.


6. Insert jump rings on each side of the bow.


7. Measure out how long you want your necklace to be. I just used the measurements of a necklace that I liked the length on. Now you’ll want to cut your chain. The original tutorial says to cut your chain and then essentially cut away where you want the bow to be. But since I didn’t want to waste any chain, I just cut my chain a little over 3 inches shorter then the length I wanted in order to compensate for the bow. Then I just cut the chain where I wanted the bow to sit.


8. Now attack your chain to the bow. You can use separate jump rings or just slide them through the ones attached to the bow.

9. Use another pair of jump rings to attach the clasp to your necklace.


10. Now you can stop there, but as you can see I decided to add another chain to my necklace. I use an old necklace I had lying around so the chains wouldn’t match exactly, but whatever you want to do is up to you (obviously).


All I did was attach the second chain to the bottom jump ring of the bow and then slid the other end through the jump ring for the clasp. I think it just adds a little something and I am hoping the extra chain may help the bow stay where I want it.

-via Adventures in Dressmaking