Chevron Canvas How-To

Chevron has been all over the place recently and I’m usually not a huge fan of stripes, however, for some reason, if the stripes are zig zagged I love them. Who would’ve thought? Anyways, I’ve been trying to find some way to incorporate chevron into the decor of my new room, but hadn’t figured out the perfect way until now: a canvas!

At first, I thought I would wing it and just try to free hand the stripes. Then I remembered that I’m horrible at free handing, especially when it comes to straight lines and angles, so I came up with a method to make sure my chevron turned out as perfect as possible!

I started with a 10 x 10 canvas and drew a grid of 1 x 1 squares on it using a ruler. Then I connected the corners of each square to make a chevron pattern, like this…

On the rows that are blank in that picture, I drew lines from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of each square.

I taped over the stripes that I didn’t want to paint the first color. I started to use duct tape, but it was wider than my stripes, so I had to cut it. That ended up being super tedious, so I switched to normal Scotch tape because it was the right thickness.

I used two different colors of green on the stripes that weren’t taped and ended up with this…

Once it dried, I peeled off the tape and put more tape over the green stripes so I could give the rest of the stripes two coats of white paint. This covered up the pencil marks and gave it a crisper look.

Then, to add a little bit of extra pizazz and because I really wanted to use my new green glitter paint, I gave the white stripes a coat of glittery, sheer green paint. After a little bit of touching up, this is the final product!

If I had used painter’s tape instead of Scotch tape, the edges of the lines probably wouldn’t have needed as much touching up, but I couldn’t find my painter’s tape and I’m still happy with how it turned out! I hope this helps if you decide to paint something with chevron!

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps were the last of the three recipes Carson and I made for the finale of The Bachelorette last Sunday. We ate these as an “appetizer” for the Puppy Chow and Cake Batter Dip and boy were they good! And very easy too.

We got our inspiration from this recipe at She Wears Many Hats which Carson had pinned on Pinterest a while back. Since we wanted to be sure our food was done before the episode started, we bought an already made hoisin sauce at the grocery store instead of making the sauce in the recipe. It was still delicious!

Here’s the recipe we used:

  • one package of chicken, diced
  • one onion, diced
  • three cloves of garlic, minced
  • canola oil
  • 1/4 cup or so of hoisin sauce
  • handful of cashew halves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lettuce leaves

Heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat and brown the chicken. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown, then add the hoisin sauce and cashews and stir until everything is coated in the sauce. Let it cook for a few more minutes to make sure everything is hot and then serve with the lettuce leaves! Makes about six large lettuce wraps.

I loved that this recipe used diced chicken instead of ground chicken and that it was so quick to make. We used Romaine lettuce leaves because they are easier to wrap up (which made them a little less messy). This could easily be served as a dinner too!

Mmmm Cake Batter Dip!

Along with the Puppy Chow, this Cake Batter Dip was another snack Carson and I made for the Bachelorette finale and it was SO GOOD! My friend Katherine had made it a week or so ago and told me how good it was, so we decided to make it too. Here’s how!

Ingredients:

  • box of Funfetti cake mix (or any other flavor)
  • a tub of Cool Whip
  • three individual cups of plain yogurt
  • Nilla Wafers for dipping

All you have to do is stir together the cake mix, the Cool Whip, and the yogurt and it’s ready to eat! So simple! Ours was about the consistency of canned icing, but you could alter the amount of Cool Whip and yogurt if you want it to be a little thicker or thinner. Eat it on Nilla Wafers or animal crackers or whatever else you would like. It’s delicious! And it isn’t too sweet, so you can eat lots of it 🙂 Make sure to keep it in the refrigerator though.

Next time I want to try it with a Devil’s Food cake mix and Carson thought brownie mix would probably be good too. Yum! Katherine had a good idea and made hers with greek yogurt. Getting protein from something that tastes like cake batter? Works for me!

Making the Perfect Puppy Chow

My friend Carson and I started a tradition last summer of making a big batch of this Puppy Chow to eat while we watched the Bachelor each week. Yes, I know… the Bachelor and Bachelorette are mostly fake, dramatic, kinda trashy TV shows, but we get excited about watching them anyways. Luckily, our Puppy-Chow tradition continued on this summer with the Bachelorette! For the finale last week we went all out and made three snacks instead of the typical one, but we made sure to have the Puppy Chow among them!

I know almost everyone has heard of Puppy Chow (aka Muddy Buddies) and the recipe is on the box of Chex cereal, but over the past few summers Carson and I have perfected it. Here are some tips to make your Puppy Chow even better!

  • The original recipe doesn’t have quite enough chocolate and peanut butter coating, so we use almost a whole bag of milk chocolate chips and a big scoop of peanut butter to make sure there’s lots of the good stuff. The more the merrier!
  • Just use the whole box of Chex… who eats the last little bit that doesn’t get put in the recipe anyways?
  • I usually leave out the vanilla. It’s one less ingredient and I really don’t notice if it’s not there.
  • We melt the butter, chocolate, and peanut butter in a huge pot on the stove and add the cereal to the giant pot instead of microwaving it and pouring it on the cereal in a bowl. I definitely don’t have a bowl big enough to stir all of that in.
  • Stirring… This is the hard part and Carson and I always try and make the other person do it.  Even though the pot is big enough, we always feel like we’re crushing the cereal and yes, Puppy Chow crumbs are quite tasty, but we prefer the big pieces. This is how we stir the cereal into the chocolate and peanut butter: add about half the cereal to the pot, tilt the pot towards you a little bit and run your spatula around the outside of the pot. It sort of spins the cereal like clothes in a dryer and coats it without smashing it! The same method works for adding the powdered sugar.

Hopefully these hints are helpful in making your next batch of Puppy Chow. If you’ve never had it before, definitely make it, but beware because it’s seriously addicting!

Edamame Dip

I know… Edamame dip sounds a little bit odd. I thought the same thing when I first saw it on the menu of a restaurant across the street from campus, but then I tried it and it was surprisingly good. It’s packed with protein and if you use part-skim ricotta, or even greek yogurt, you can make it a bit healthier than it already is.

Ingredients:

  • bag of frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted
  • head of garlic
  • ricotta cheese
  • basil
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • pretzel chips, vegetables, crackers, etc. for dipping

First, roast the garlic. I did this by slicing off the top of the head of garlic, drizzling it with olive oil, wrapping it in foil, and roasting it in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When it is done, squeeze the garlic out of the skins. While the garlic is roasting, make sure your edamame is defrosted.  Put it into the food processor with a scoop of ricotta cheese, six or so leaves of chopped basil, the juice of half a lemon, garlic, and a little bit of salt.

Pulse until it is all blended together, then add olive oil and process until you get it to the consistency you like. I left mine a little thick so it’s more like a spread, but feel free to add more olive oil.

Pretzel chips are my favorite, so that’s what I served with my edamame dip, however sliced veggies or another type of cracker would be good too. It’s a perfect snack or even a light lunch. Use any leftovers as a yummy spread on a sandwich!

This recipe is the simpler version of the Roasted Garlic Edamame Spread at myrecipes.com!