07/01/15

DIY Concrete Star Votives for July 4th

I was getting an itch to do another concrete project, so I made a little something for July 4th…star shaped candle votives and paperweights.

You can use these all summer long, or give them as a hostess gift if you’re headed out to any Fourth of July BBQs this weekend.

Seeing Stars: How To Make Concrete Star Shaped Votives for July 4th

Materials:

star shaped kraft boxes (mine are from Amazon) // rapid setting concrete mix // tea light candles // cooking spray // bucket (that is okay to get messed up) // water // trowel or large spoon for mixing (that is okay to get messed up)

How To:

1. Remove the lids from each star box and spray the inside of the both parts (lid and bottom) with cooking spray. This may sound a little strange, but I’ve found that it makes the concrete 100 times easier to remove from the box when it’s hardened. So don’t skip this step.

2. Add four parts concrete mix to one part water into a bucket and stir. The amount of concrete mix you’ll need will vary based on how many star containers you plan to fill.

3. Quickly pour the concrete into each box and lid. Do not fill the concrete to the top.

4. Give the concrete a minute or two to setup slightly. Then, place a votive candle in the center and push down into the concrete. You may need to give the star box a couple of taps on a flat surface after you place the votive, to smooth out the surface again. Repeat this process for all of the star shapes that you want to make into votives. Leave a few untouched if you want any paperweights that don’t have a tea light in them.

5. Wait for the concrete to harden. If you’re using a rapid setting concrete, like I did, it should be completely dry in 3-5 hours (depending on the temperature, etc). Then, rip the container away to reveal the finished star shaped votives and paperweights.

How To Make DIY Concrete Star Votives for July 4th

(optional) If you want to get extra fancy, you can paint the sides and top of the concrete or even use a gold foil for extra sparkle. I used a liquid gold leaf on a few of the pieces and it worked like a charm.

Here’s how the finished project turned out…

DIY Concrete Star Shaped Candle Votives for Summer Entertaining

DIY Concrete Star Shaped Candle Votives

DIY Concrete Star Shaped Candle Votives for Summer Entertaining

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

P.S. If the food in these pics is making you hungry, I’ll be sharing that summer salad recipe tomorrow…It’s really good!

What are your Fourth of July plans? Anything exciting going on?

Like this project? More concrete DIY projects like this one.

06/30/15

Homemade Syrup and Waffles Ice Cream Recipe

So this might just be the strangest food holiday to date, but ‘creative ice cream flavor day’ is tomorrow. And I couldn’t let it pass me by without sharing some of my favorite ice cream concoctions that have been dreamed up from around the web.

Some of these flavors may be a little strange, but they ALL sound completely delicious. And definitely sit into the ‘creative’ category.

There’s plenty of time to make a batch or two before July 4th, if you’re feeling motivated too. Ready to play? Here we go…

1. (above) syrup and waffles ice cream recipe

Earl Grey Ice Cream (with honey toast)

2. earl grey ice cream (with honey toast) from Sugar and Charm

Funfetti golden oreo ice cream

3. funfetti golden oreo ice cream from Blahnik Baker

Blueberry buttermilk ice cream

4. blueberry buttermilk ice cream from A Calculated Whisk

Graham cracker ice cream

5. graham cracker ice cream from Dessert for Two

No-churn blackberry chip ice cream

6. no-churn blackberry chip ice cream from How Sweet Eats

Apple Crisp Ice Cream Recipe

7. apple crisp ice cream recipe from Fabtastic Eats

Strawberry Angel Food Ice Cream Recipe

8. strawberry angel food ice cream from A Beautiful Mess

Macron Ice Cream Recipe

9. homemade macaron ice cream from Sugar & Cloth

Peanut Butter Cayenne Ice Cream Recipe

10. peanut butter cayenne ice cream via A Beautiful Mess

Coconut Ice Cream with Pistachio Crumb and Blueberries

11. coconut milk ice cream with pistachio crumbs from Top with Cinnamon

PB & J Chocolate Ice Cream

12. peanut butter and jelly chocolate truffle sundae from The Sweetest Occasion

Sweet Corn Peach Ice Cream

13. sweet corn peach ice cream from Heart Beet Kitchen

Cotton Candy Ice Cream Recipe

14. homemade cotton candy ice cream recipe

Pistachio Mint + Brownie Ice Cream

15. no-churn pistachio mint olive oil fudge brownie ice cream from Top with Cinnamon

What’s your favorite unique / unusual ice cream flavor? One of my fave (store bought) varieties is Jeni’s sun popped corn. And my favorite homemade option is the syrup and waffles combo (#1 on the list). You have to try it!

06/29/15

Lemon and Herb French Fry Recipe

I’ve been in kind of a citrusy mood lately, which I’m guessing has something to do with summer. So, today I have a citrus-inspired french fry seasoning recipe that you can use all summer long.

Cut your own french fries, if you’re feeling extra fancy or use this simple seasoning on any store-bought variety to make your fries taste super fresh. It really adds a lot of flavor too. Perfect for Fourth of July weekend, to serve with cheeseburgers and hot dogs. Yum!

Recipe // Lemon and Herb French Fries

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- zest of one lemon
- salt and pepper to taste (we used 1/2 tsp of each)

Steps:

1. Toss everything in a bowl and combine.

2. Then, when the fries are done baking, sprinkle the mixture on top, while the fries are still hot, and enjoy!

You can use this lemon and herb mix for nearly any summer item your can think of… grilled corn on the cob (which I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks), roasted chicken, smashed potatoes, etc.

Lemon Herb French Fries

Herb Seasoned Fries in Newspaper Cone

Also… DIY newspaper cones are a fun way to contain your fries on the go. They’re super easy to wrap up and tape off. Just tighten the bottom part of the cone as you roll it up and keep the top loose. Then, tape off the end to secure. Easy peasy. Add a layer of wax paper to the inside if you don’t want your fries to touch the newsprint.

Lemon and Herb French Fry Recipe

Lemon and Herb French Fry Recipe

Recipe by Linda Jednaszewski
Styling and photography by Brittni Mehlhoff

Curious to know… What’s your favorite Fourth of July meal? Clearly, mine involves french fries. But I’m curious to know how you celebrate.