Month: July 2020

Ingredients Needed:

 This is a “Single Ladies” Serving Size (2 serving size)

Shrimp:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Adobo to taste
  • A handful of medium-size shrimp, no shell and no tails (raw or pre-cooked is fine) (also clean shrimp in water and lemon juice)

Guacamole:

  • 1 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/4 a medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 mini peppers (any color) deseeded and chopped 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • (Optional) Jalapeño deseeded and chopped 

1 Green Plantain:

**Depending on the plantain size and how to cut the green plantain, one plantain can yield 6-8 pieces. After cutting the plantain into 1 inch pieces I soak them in salt water and rub off the starch film. Then remove water and pat dry with a paper towel. ** 

Directions

Step 1: Make Guacamole

Gently combine all the prepared ingredients for the guacamole. Set aside in the refrigerator. 

 Step 2: Cook Shrimp

Cook on medium to low heat for 2 minutes on each side. Shrimp will look like a “C” when cooked and an “O” when overcooked.  

Step 3: Dice shrimp and add to guacamole

Step 4: Cook Tostones

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches oil, and heat over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry plantains until golden, about 4 minutes, flatten plantains with a Tostonera (Don’t have a Tostonera to flatten the tostones? Just use a saucer, a spatula, or the flat bottom surface of a glass cup) until very thin. Return oil to 350 degrees. Refry plantains until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer tostones to a paper-towel-lined plate, and season a dash of salt.

Step 4: Divide and add shrimp guacamole on top of tostones

These are best eaten fresh. I believe cold or stale tostones are disgusting. So if you are making these as an appetizer, make don’t cook these too in advance. 

Besitos,

Melizza

If you’re in the mood to become a “Handy Mandy” and do a DIY project for your  master bedroom, stay tuned as I’ll quickly show you how to make your own diamond tufted headboard.

Your headboard creates a fashionable focal point in your sleep space that gives your bedroom an elegant oomph. My older sister, LaToya, was building her house and wanted her master bedroom to look luxurious.  LaToya is amazing at building things from just looking at a photo, but isn’t the greatest with fabrics. And that’s where I come in. LaToya built this entire bed from scratch and because I’m not that handy, I just upholstered it. This project can be completed alone but it better with helping hands and power tools.

 

Materials

 

Measurements

I’ve provided you with the measurements for the spacing so your diamond tufted  headboard is symmetrical. I’m a visual learner and tried to just create the design using a spacing of 10.5 inches between each and it did not come out correctly. So I went to Latoya, asked for her mathematical skills, and she gave the exact measurements needed. Which, I’m giving you to make your life easier.

The headboard measures about 48 tall by 84 wide. You’ll need to measure your bed to figure out your sizing or you can just use ours. We had a 5-inch border, with 5 rows alternating between 7 and 8 buttons. The 7 button rows were spaced 10” 5/8 between each button. The 8 button rows were spaced 9” 1/4 between each button. Each row was spaced at 7” 5/8. Note that because we have a 5” border all around our workspace in 74” instead of 84”.

Instructions

Step 1: Purchase Foam
Foam is a petroleum-based product, so it goes up with the price of gas. Which makes it expensive. I’ve seen others purchasing mattress foam pads as an alternative because its cheaper but we didn’t have that option in St. Croix because everything was sold out. So we purchased 3” thick foam from Divi Fabrics in Christiansted. We could have gone with 2” instead. I used a drill with a hole saw attachment and to cut through the foam because it was so thick.

Step 2: Measurement out and pre-cut you tufts
We used a ruler, chalk line, and a marker to measure and mark where our tufts would be before cutting the foam. Remember to measure twice and cut once!

Step 3: Cover the foam
Once the foam is down, after using adhesive spray, you want to secure it with a layer of batting and then a thin fabric like muslin. This ensures your fabric is smooth and soft. We secured it with an electric staple gun. I HIGHLY recommend using an electric gun because it is faster and once you add more layers the handheld staple gun requires more pressure. I cut through the batting and muslin so when it came time to nail the linen it would be easier.

Step 4: Cover with upholstery fabric
We nailed where our tufts would be instead of drilling through the plywood. The corners can get tricky, so start with the middle, then each side, pulling tight each time. This is when an extra pair of hands come in handy.

Step 5: Make your own fabric-covered buttons
Purchases fabric button making kits and use the scrap fabric to create the buttons. Because our fabric was thick I using a hot glue gun to make sure the fabric stayed put. Our kit came with 5 buttons each but Amazon has larger amounts. We bought 8 kits because we needed 38 buttons. After you make the buttons, apply them with fabric glue. Make sure you apply pressure to secure them. I used a wire cutter to remove the back loop that’s intended for the thread.

Other Resources

Now my sister hung up her headboard to her wall and I honestly don’t know how she did that. BUT, I thought myself how to create our headboard by following the tutorial over at Checking In With Chelsea . I watched her video like five times, then went out to purchase the materials, and my sister and I got to work. Annie from DIY Decor Mom has everything you need to create ANY size headboard. Go check her out! It also helped me. 

If I can teach myself how to make a diamond tufted headboard then so can you! Would I ever make a headboard that’s as large and as intricate for myself? No! But, at least now I know I can. Also, I’m a perfectionist and towards the bottom, our tufts weren’t as straight. That drove me insane but my sister was satisfied so I left it alone. I personally, prefer an experiment or machine getting it completely even! In St. Croix we don’t have access to all the cheaper materials like in the states. This project was expensive and time-consuming (in comparison to state-side standards). I’d rather purchase a headboard. But in St. Croix, that too would be expensive for the type of headboard we chose. 

Check out these DIY blogger that created budget-friendly headboards.

  1. Sweet Teal
  2. Thrifty and Chic

Besitos,

Melizza

I’ve always said I have a 1950’s Housewives trapped inside of me. Today, I’m suppressing her and sharing my quick orange cranberry pancake recipe. Many of the meals I’ve cooked I know how to make from scratch but the New Yorker in me prefers quick and delicious meal so I usually use short cuts. Work smarter not harder. 

One of my favorite weekend breakfasts is pancakes and when I’m short on time I use pancake mix. *GASP* I know I know. There’s nothing wrong with using the pancake mix. With a few extra ingredients to add much-needed flavor, your family or guests won’t even know you didn’t make it from scratch. If your inner Housewife is having a B.F., don’t worry. I’ve included my homemade orange cranberry maple syrup and pancake recipe below (30 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings). 

Orange Cranberry Pancakes

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE MY QUICK ORANGE CRANBERRY PANCAKES:

 

**This is a “Single Ladies Serving”. Yields about 5 Pancakes. Double the measurements for more**

Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix (1 cup) I use the Complete mix because you don’t have to use eggs. You can just add water. But I substitute the water for mix of whole milk and vanilla soy milk (as in the video).

Rolled Oats (1/2 Cup): Added for texture and to make pancakes more filing

Ground Cinnamon (1 Teaspoon): Added for flavor 

Dried Cranberries (1/4 Cup):  Cuts the time for chopping fresh or frozen cranberries

Vanilla Soy Milk (2 TBSP): I’ve found I like the texture of my pancakes and flavor when adding vanilla soy milk instead of water

Almond Extract (1/2 TSP): Added because we want FLAVORFUL pancakes to mask we’re using pancake mix. Also, I found that I use less syrup when the pancakes are already tasty!

Orange Juice ( 2 TBSP): Allows us to skip the orange zest if you don’t have fresh oranges available. 

Whole Milk (1 cup):  Used to substitute the water for the pancake mix

Melted Butter (2 TBSP):  Makes pancakes taste better. Other oils break down in high heat so butter is a “safe fat”. 

Directions:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients and dried cranberries  in a bowl
  2. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined. Then let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour batter (about 1/3 of a cup) onto a greased hot pan or griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes before flipping them over, or until small bubbles form on top. Cook on the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat with all pancake batter. 
  4. Garnish with more cranberries.
  5. Serve with maple or agave syrup.

Homemade Cranberry Orange Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cranberries, (fresh or frozen), roughly chopped in a food processor or blender
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated

Directions:

  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl; whisk well to combine. Add in the cranberries and, mix until they’re covered in the dry ingredients. Set aside until needed.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs and lightly beat them. Add in the milk, ricotta cheese, and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined. Then fold in the orange juice and zest, stirring until evenly combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter. Be gentle 😉
  4. Pour batter (about 1/3 of a cup) onto a greased hot pan or griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes before flipping them over, or until small bubbles form on top. Cook on the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat with all pancake batter. 
  5. Serve

Homemade Cranberry Maple Syrup:

  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen ( If you’re using frozen, thawing is not necessary)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

For the Cranberry Maple Syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cranberries, orange juice and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until they cranberries are soft and can easily be smashed. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Spoon the mixture on top of the pancakes and serve at once.

Either recipes create delicious and filing pancakes. One is just faster and uses less ingredients than the other. You can let your inner 1950’s Housewife out or suppress her. It’s up to you! Enjoy!

Besitos,

Melizza 

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