Friday Favorites No. 327

I’m about to embark on the longest trip I’ve ever taken away from home, both in time and distance.  It’s also my first time flying directly out of the country – the other times I’ve been out of the U.S. I was on a cruise ship. I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve never crossed the Atlantic. I’ve never spent an entire day flying. But all that isn’t even the most exciting part.  I get to see my son again! The last time I saw him in person was at the Portland airport last May. I absolutely cannot wait. It's kind of a miracle I'm not already sitting at the airport right now.

Monday is the big day, and I'll be gone until late May. Since I didn't want you left with nothing new to look at all that time, I've scheduled a new Friday Favorites for each week while I'm away. When I return I'll be sharing some photos from my trip (which will hopefully include an Italian fabric shop!) and new projects and ideas that are already waiting in the wings!

This post contains affiliate links.

If you're like me, and love the look of a sliding barn door but don't really have a place to put one, Shanty2Chic has a solution for us. This nightstand has the style without the need for so much square footage.

Necklaces made from yarn can get a little warm to wear, which is why I think this one from Chabe Patterns is a perfect transition piece for spring. 

Fruit pizzas are one of my very favorite desserts (and that's saying a lot). I particularly love that Hungry Happenings used strawberries and kiwi to make this one look like a watermelon.

I've made homemade tortillas before, although not as often as my husband would like. I've never thought to make them flavored, but thanks to Amanda's Cookin', now I know how.

A while back I shared with you how I made notepads using a padding compound I'd found. I recently discovered that Chica and Jo also sell it in colors! As I write this, they only have red available. So many great project possibilities with this! **Edit - Now there's purple too!**

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait

I find it a little difficult to find healthy snacks when I’m away from home.  It’s even worse that I often end up in the coffee shop, full of cookies and other fat-laden baked goods.  I’ve given up a lot of things for this diet, but I still budget in the occasional Starbucks drink now and then.  Recently, I discovered their yogurt parfaits in the refrigerated section.  The berry version is only 220 calories and it’s delicious.  It didn’t take long before I was wondering if it was something I could replicate at home.  Oh, yes I can.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 1
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 1

This actually doesn’t take a ton of different ingredients, and one batch can make 4 – 8 servings, so you’re set for breakfast for at least a few days. 

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 2
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 2

Start the granola first, so it can bake while you whip up the fruit compote.

Granola

  • 3/4 cup oats (gluten-free, if that’s how you roll)
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, then stir.  Bake for 15 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Pour onto wax paper to cool.  Once it has cooled, break up some of the larger pieces.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 3
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 3

Once the granola is in the oven, you can start the fruit compote. 

Strawberry Blueberry Compote

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (5 – 6 large)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water

Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium low heat until bubbly.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken, around 5 minutes.  Add the blueberries and cook just until they’re heated.  Remove from heat and cool.  Makes about 1 cup.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 4
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 4

You can also cook both berries together from the beginning, just be aware that while the flavor is there, your blueberries will not be recognizable in the final product.

To assemble the parfait, start with 2 tablespoons of the berry compote on the bottom for 8 servings, or 1/4 cup for 4 servings.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 5
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 5

Add 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt for either number of servings.  I like Zoi.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 6
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 6

Top with 1/4 cup granola for 4 servings or 2 tablespoons for 8.  You should have a little granola left over.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 7
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 7

After you’re done looking at how pretty it is, mix it all together and enjoy.  Oh, and it’s still pretty.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 8
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 8

One thing I really love about the Starbucks parfait is that the granola is in its own container so it doesn’t mix with the yogurt and get soggy.  You can just dump it in when you’re ready.  After a little brainstorming I solved that problem with my homemade version too.

Save and wash an empty applesauce container.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 9
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Crafty Staci 9

Fill it with the granola and top it with a piece of foil.  Put it upside down on top of the wide-mouth jar lid and twist on the ring.  The foil keeps it in place!  I shook this and it didn’t budge.

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Reuse applesauce container to hold the granola - Crafty Staci
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Reuse applesauce container to hold the granola - Crafty Staci

Here’s the REALLY good news.  If you make this recipe into four servings (as shown in the first photo above), each one will have 206 calories, which is 14 fewer than Starbucks’.  If you make it into eight servings, as shown in my awesome travel container here, it’s only 125 calories!

Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Reuse applesauce container to hold the granola - Crafty Staci 2
Greek Yogurt and Berries Parfait - Reuse applesauce container to hold the granola - Crafty Staci 2

Healthy on-the-go snack problem?  Solved.

Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad

I’m pretty sure talking about salad is a first for me here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love salad.  The closer the warm weather gets, the more often I’m in the mood for one.  But I don’t usually have a recipe.  Like my soup, whatever sounds good gets dumped together and called a meal.  Trust me, it’s more appetizing than it sounds.

This salad came after a trip to Costco.  I had a bunch of ingredients that suddenly sounded delicious together and, for once, I actually kept track of everything I put in just in case I wanted to repeat it.  At this point, I’ve made it many times, so it’s time to pass it on as a tried-and-true recipe.

Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 1
Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 1

For me, the star of this salad is the sugared pecans.  They need to be made ahead of time, because they reach their crispy peak when they’ve cooled completely.

Sugared Pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 cups pecan halves

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and the mixture bubbles.  Stir in the pecans.  Pour onto a greased baking sheet, spreading the nuts out as much as possible.  Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time.  Keep an eye on them as they near the end of the cooking time so they don’t burn.  Pour onto waxed paper and cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Sugared Pecans - Crafty Staci
Sugared Pecans - Crafty Staci

The next component that gives this salad its character is the dressing.  It’s fairly strong, so a little goes a long way.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 strawberries, mashed

1 tablespoon honey

pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a shaker or jar and shake until combined.  Shake again before each use.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette - Crafty Staci
Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette - Crafty Staci

The remaining ingredients for the salad, in whatever amounts you prefer, are:

fresh spinach

fresh strawberries

feta, blue or goat cheese

cooked shrimp or chicken

Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 2
Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 2

I’ve tried both blue and goat cheese and they were both delicious.  I love shrimp in this, but if you’re not a fan it would also be tasty with chicken, or no protein at all.

This is a perfect bite, with a bit of each ingredient.

Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 3
Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 3

My new favorite lunch.  And while we have some amazing strawberries in Oregon, thank you to California for sending some long before I can pick them here.  You’re my hero.

Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 4
Sugared Pecans and Strawberry Spinach Salad - Crafty Staci 4

Friday Favorites - Fruit

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit available.  I ate so many strawberries the summer I was pregnant with my daughter, she’s lucky she didn’t turn out red and covered in seeds.  When we moved to the house we live in now I was almost giddy to find several mature blueberry bushes.  We added a few raspberries, an Asian pear tree and apples.  We also have wild blackberries, whether we want them or not, and wild huckleberries.  Yep, I sorta like fruit, just a little bit.

I’ve been admiring this Porcelain Berry Basket from Etsy seller forestclearing for at least a year.  How cute would this be sitting around with fruit in it?

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My daughter has a thing for pineapples, but she’s going to have to learn to crochet if she wants this Pineapple Fridge Magnet from Pottage Publishing.

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These Lightbulb Pears from Todd & Lindsey Creating are a brilliant way to recycle old light bulbs.  I especially like the stick stem.

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This Watermelon Skirt from Sun Scholars looks pretty simple, not to mention adorable.

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Speaking of watermelon, have you ever heard of watermelon jelly?  I hadn’t, which is why I’m intrigued by this Watermelon Jelly recipe from Food in Jars.

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I’m filing this idea for Fruit Balloons from Oh, Happy Day under “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Everybody covers other fruit with chocolate, but Heather’s French Press went with Chocolate Filled Raspberries instead.  Sign me up.

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I can’t say I’ve ever gone out of my way for marmalade, but for some reason this Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate Marmalade from Simple Bites sounds delicious.

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I’ve actually made Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips before, similar to this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything, and I could pretty much replace any meal with it.

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And, just because it’s Friday, I leave you with Strawberry and Cream Elves from Weelicious.  Otherwise known on my Pinterest board as Ninja Strawberries.

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Friday Favorites–Apples

My kids love apples, so I buy them year-round at the grocery store. They’re shipped from far away, exotic places, I’m sure.  When they’re in season around here in the fall though, I buy them with the least amount of travel distance as possible.  There’s just something about a local apple.  They look better, taste better and signal the start of autumn. 

This Apple Vase from Craft is a great project for combining the end-of-summer flowers with the first fall apples.

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These Harvest Apples from Bright Ideas would be nearly impossible to eat, but it’s definitely worth a try.

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These Autumn Apple Print Tees from Twig and Toadstool would be fun to make with the kids…maybe with a quick reminder not to take a bite out of their painted apple!

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Another fun kid project, since you already have to clean up paint anyway, are these Apple Placemats from Bloesem Kids.

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All that painting and fruit is going to make everybody hungry.  Try this Peanut Butter Apple Sushi from On a Whimm.

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If I didn’t work from home, I would have to buy an Apple Cozy from Etsy seller UnravelMe.  I might need one anyway, just to get my apple from the kitchen to my office safely.

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This Apple Applique from Wee Folk Art would be cute on lots of things.  There’s also a bonus Apple Crisp recipe in the post.

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This Apple Journal from the Split Stitch would be a great make-ahead gift to keep on hand for the holidays.  Yes, I said it – the holidays are coming!

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This Apple Thank You stationary from Paperglitter is adorable.  I need to find someone who needs a good thanking.

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Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday Favorites–Pie

A couple of months ago, I asked my kids to suggest themes I could use for my Friday Favorites.  They came up with a few things, but the one that didn’t surprise me at all was from my son – pie.  That boy loves pie.  Pumpkin is his favorite, which he’s had instead of birthday cake for the last few years.  Lucky for him, his birthday happens to be in October.  So, Tucker, this one is for you.

If I were stranded on a deserted island, I would want this Cookie Dough Cream Pie from Love and Olive Oil.  And seafood.  But not together.

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This Lemon Pie from Dabbled looks delicious, but I especially like the photo collage of the steps they used to make it.  There’s another one for blueberry pie here.

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Watermelon happens to be another of my son’s favorite foods, so he’ll love this Watermelon Pie from Make and Takes.

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I’ve made Cream Cheese Pie before, similar to this one from Glorious Treats.  I actually like it better than cheesecake – it’s lighter and doesn’t overpower the fruit.

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My sister made Pie in a Jar like these from Not Martha for Thanksgiving one year.  They’re fun to eat with a fork right out of a jar.  You’d think the fact that they’re individual might help with portion control – not so much.

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I liked this Rocky Road Brownie Pie even before I read the post and found out Gingerbread Bagels is a fellow Oregonian!

I love berry pie in the summer.  This Triple Berry Pie from Instructables user kathrynl is so pretty I would kind of hate to cut into it.

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I’ve made my own version of peanut butter brownie pie before, but this creamy, fluffy-looking Mile-High Peanut Butter-Brownie Pie from Pillsbury seems perfect for summer.

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This last pie is actually a pie-cake hybrid.  A turducken of sorts…a pie baked inside a cake.  I can imagine so many combinations I wouldn’t know where to start, except to go with this Chocolate Pecan PieCake from Making Life Delicious.

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I seriously have to stop writing about food – gotta go make a pie now.

Friday Favorites–Independence Day

I’m back from hot, sparkly Las Vegas, just in time for the 4th of July!  It won’t be hot here, but we can count on sparkly. 

Years ago, when we moved into our house, we were thrilled to discover we can watch one of the large, local fireworks displays from the comfort of our back deck.  I don’t think we’ve left home on Independence Day since.  There’s food, sometimes music, and always bug spray.  I’ve rounded up a few ideas today we might throw into the mix this year.

I like the simplicity of this Apothecary Jar from Makoodle.  Great for the 4th of July, but subtle enough it could be left out year-round.

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I never make Jello anymore.  I don’t know why, because I actually like it.  I think this American Flag Jello from Polwig is the perfect opportunity to jump back in.

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There’s always that lag between dinner and dark enough for fireworks.  This Fourth of July Balloon Dart Game from Roots and Wings Co would be a great way to spend that time.

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I love dipped pretzels, so you can imagine how I feel about this Pretzel Americana from Poca Cosa.

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I’ve attempted an American flag quilt or two in the past, but they don’t compare to this one from Etsy seller justsewquilts.

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I’ve seen this cake on several websites, but So Wonderful, So Marvelous has great directions.

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I’ve heard a rumor that soon toilet paper won’t have that little cardboard tube on the inside anymore.  You better start saving up so you can make these cute Confetti Popper Rockets from Alphamom.

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I think these ribbon sticks from A Girl and A Glue Gun would be a great alternative to sparklers for the little ones.

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The thing I love about these 4th of July Shirts from Make It and Love It is that there’s a boy version  and a girl version.  Having one of each myself, I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of thing.

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Everywhere I turn lately, I see Star Spangled Strawberries like these from From Glitter to Gumdrops.  I think that means I need some.

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Have a happy and safe pre-Independence Day weekend!

Friday Favorites–Bunnies

Easter is really close to the end of the month this year, making it much easier for me to stay on top of it.  Since I can see it on the calendar for over three weeks, it isn’t going to sneak up on me.  Not like last year.

To kick things off, today I want to share with you some cute bunny crafts I’ve found recently.  I’d just like to point out, not a single one of these bunnies is made from chocolate.  Or felt.

I love paper chains and this is a great technique from 4 Crazy Kings.

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These Marshmallow Bunnies from Cute Food for Kids would be fun to make out of some of those giant marshmallows that have been in the grocery store lately.

Country Living explains how to make these Play It By Ear headbands using bias tape.

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Great Amigurumi has a link to the pattern for these Linguine Bunnybuns, originally posted on Craftster.

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Everything I’ve ever seen on Allsorts has been cute and this Fluffy Stuffy Bunny is no exception.

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So, maybe you want to cut down on the kids’ Easter candy consumption?  Busy Bee Kids Crafts has a healthier alternative– Fruit Bunnies.

These Bunny Sachets from Craft Passion would be a great addition to the Easter baskets.

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I originally noticed Made by Joel because he shares my husband’s name.  He has tons of easy-to-make kids’ toys, like these Tumble Bunnies.

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These Bunny Pancakes from Muffin Tin Mom are way too cute to eat.

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I might make one of these Bunny Easter Buckets from Sun Scholars just to set in the middle of the table.

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Come back for more Easter features next Friday!

Friday Favorites - Fruit

My not-so-little kidlets are home on spring break this week.  They’re old enough to come and go without me, make their own lunch and brush their teeth without being threatened, uh, I mean told, and yet it still seems to affect my ability to get things done when they’re around.  I’m not complaining.  I can see the day on the horizon when they’ve gone away to college and I’m wishing someone would interrupt my typing mid-sentence to ask where we keep the fire extinguisher.

I’ve asked them both during the last couple of weeks if they have any suggestions for a theme for my Friday Favorites.  I won’t give away the boy’s idea, since it was a good one and I’ll be using it soon, but the girl immediately piped up with “Fruit!”  So, with thanks to my daughter for the idea, here’s a fruit salad’s worth of favorites.

This Whimsical Fruit Centerpiece from a Creative Jewish Mom says spring, and boy, do I need something to feel like spring right now.

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I love strawberries.  I ate so many when I was pregnant with my daughter I was afraid she’d come out all red and covered in seeds.  How can you go wrong with strawberries and chocolate?  These Brownie Cookie Shortcakes from Pillsbury are definitely going in the recipe box.

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This felt fruit looks good enough to eat.  The pattern is available from the talented fairyfox on Etsy.

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I love Crafts by Amanda’s take on French Fruit Wall Art.  I think her version is cuter than the original she was inspired by.

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My kids had sewing cards when they were little, but I never thought to make some myself.  These Fun Fruit Laces from C & T Publishing would be at the top of the list.

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This isn’t something I’ve ever pictured myself saying, but I want a blueberry pillow.  All of these Recycled Sweater Produce Pillows from Fun in the Making are cute, but that blueberry…got to have.

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The combination of fabrics on this Pear Pin Cushion from Sewing in No Mans Land is adorable.  So many possibilities.

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I know technically these Orange Rind Votives  from Beekman were intended for the holiday season, but I can picture them at a summer backyard barbeque.

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Who would have thought I’d find a star fruit craft?  Thanks to Matching Pegs for this Star Fruit Cushion Tutorial!

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And, we’re back to strawberries.  Told you I love them.  I’ve seen these little bags in stores for a couple of years now, but as every good crafter knows, it’s better if you can make them yourself.  Thanks to Ikat Bag for the Strawberry Bag instructions.

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