Thursday, July 31, 2014

diy: tie dye with dye baths

A couple of summers ago I worked at a camp and I became obsessed with tie-dying things. It got a little ridiculous. They had a whole tie-dye setup so I was really easy to dye whatever I wanted. At home, it isn't as easy. You can buy tie-dye sets, but they are a little more pricey than I prefer. And I don't want a whole setup, I just want to do one tie-dye set in the colors I choose, without spending a lot of money. For some reason I thought that using dye baths wouldn't give a very successful tie-dye look, but luckily I was wrong! This is by far the cheapest way to tie-dye a bunch of fabric. I did about 8 yards and spent around $2 on the dye.
You will need some dye powders in the colors of your choosing, white fabric, rubber bands, salt, hot water, buckets, and gloves if you'd like to keep your hands clean.

I layed my fabric out and just gathered it from side to opposite side, crumbled it up and put a rubber band around that section. I repeated this up and down the length of the fabric.  I didn't want to do anything really fancy with the rubber bands, I wanted a simple tie-dye look/pattern.
To start, add 1 cup salt to each container. This helps the fabric absorb the dye better.
Next add your dye powder and the hot water. Look on your dye for instructions on the right amount of water. Stir the mixture until the salt and dye is dissolved.
Put your tie-dyed fabric in the dye bath. If you want the fabric to be all one color, submerge it completely. Otherwise, only put half of it in the bath and leave some of the fabric out. Another method is dye the fabric completely in a light color, rinse it out and then re-tie it and dye it again in a darker color. I did this with a couple pieces of fabric and it worked really well.
Leave each piece in the dye for the amount of time your dye recommends. I left mine in for 20 minutes each. Next, just cut off all the rubber bands and rinse each piece of fabric with cool water.
I put my fabrics out in the sun to let the dye set in a little more before I washed them. There was still dye in mine after washing them out for a while. After this, I washed them with like colors in the washing machine. I will be making some kimonos out of these whenever I get a chance! And a few of these we have taken to the beach to lay on. Love 'em all! I don't know what it is, but I really like tie-dye. A little too much, I know.

xo, Savannah

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

recipe: homemade drop biscuits

I was house sitting recently and found myself with a little extra time in the morning. It's weird how you stay at someone else's house and your routine is just not the same. You don't have access to all the things you usually have access to and it strangely becomes pretty freeing and then you make homemade biscuits for breakfast. These biscuits are really easy though so I should really add them to my breakfast repertoire. 
Homemade Drop Biscuits
Ingredients:
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- Tbs. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/3 cup cold Unsalted Butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup Buttermilk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
3. Add butter and break down the butter and mix it in with the flour mixture with your hands or a fork. Stop when you have pea sized butter/flour pieces.
4. Add the milk and stir it just until incorporated.
5. Drop the biscuit mixture into a buttered casserole dish, in 12 equal pieces.
6. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until they are just a little golden on top.

I ended up making some white gravy to go on top of these but you could serve them with some butter and jam too! More butter, always good. 

xo, Savannah

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the beeswax cleaning process

We have mentioned this before but earlier this summer, we got bees. It's really exciting! We only have one hive so the bees really aren't really much work to take care of. We got our first bit of honey when the bees first got here, and it's delicious. We won't be getting much honey for a while now though. We had a tiny bit of beeswax and I decided that I wanted to learn how to clean it. When we start getting a steady flow of honey, I would like to know what I'm doing. This small amount was really good for experimentation and I apologize for the un-glamorous photos. Beeswax isn't all that pretty. So, the first thing I did was put the wax chunks in a pot of water.
Bring the pot to a simmer just so the wax is all melted.
Turn off the heat and let the pot cool completely. The wax will begin to harden on top of the water. The honey will sink to the bottom. The bee debris will separate from the wax for the most part.
Pull the wax out of the water and rinse off any loose debris.
At this point I remelted the wax and poured it through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the rest of the debris.
When it hardens back up again, you can remove it from it's container and use it for whatever you would like!
Beeswax is good for a lot of things, stay tuned to see what I used it for recently!

xo, Savannah
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Monday, July 28, 2014

recipe: chicken tortilla soup

There is a restaurant here in Nashville that is one of our favorite places to go, because it's delicious and it never fails. Taco Mamacita. Awesome-ness. Anyway, they have this tortilla soup that is to-die-for. I mean.... it is soooo good. The way they serve the soup is also pretty interesting. They give you a soup bowl that contains avocado, chicken, cheese, tomato, cilantro, and maybe something else and then they serve the broth on the side. So when you are ready to eat, you pour the broth over all the ingredients. We decided that we needed to find a way to have this at home, anytime we wanted it, and that is exactly what we did. I don't think this recipe will ever get old. Now the secret is in the whole experience. I promise you will get done with the broth part of the soup and think... this broth isn't that impressive. Trust me. Keep going, it'll be worth it.
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Ingredients:
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 2 medium onions
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- The juice of one lime

Toppings
- 1 lb. cooked pulled (or cubed) chicken
- avocado, diced
- fresh tomatoes, diced
- goat cheese crumbles or greek yogurt or sour cream
- lime wedges
- cilantro
- tortilla chips or strips

Directions:
1. Dice onions and bell peppers.
2. Cook onions and peppers over medium heat in olive oil and butter.
3. Add garlic, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper and coat the onions and peppers in the seasoning.
4. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Blend the whole cooked mixture together with an immersion blender or carefully pour into a blender and blend in parts. Either way, blend it until it's all one liquidy texture.
7. Add the lime juice to the broth and season to taste.
8. To serve, add a little of each topping to your bowl and pour the broth over top.

The last time we ate this (maybe 2 days ago) we used greek yogurt and it was pretty delicious. Just the right amount of tang. Goat cheese crumbles are good too because they melt so well in the soup, it's almost like a cheesy sour cream-y ness in your soup. You could also could use some queso fresco crumbles. All are great options! Now, I think I've talked this soup up too much... Lower your expectations and then go make this soup. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

xo, Savannah

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

the way everlasting

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" -Psalm 139:23-24

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