Magnetic Photo Board DIY

I will just apologize now for these pictures.

They were taken in my garage/home when it was dark.

It just gets dark way too early right now.

I know, no excuses.

Anyways, I’m going out of town so I wanted to leave you guys with a tutorial before I go.

Here’s what it looks like:

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It hasn’t been hung up yet, but when it is, I will take a better picture!

If you want to know how to do this, here’s the directions!

Magnetic Photo Board

1 picture frame–I recommend a big one so it holds more than a few pictures.  Mine was 16×20.

Sheet metal that matches the size of your frame.

Enough scrapbook paper to cover the metal–I used 3 sheets.

Modge Podge

Paint Brush

Ruler

Magnets, Pictures, Notes, etc.

Lay down newspaper in a spacious area.

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Cut the paper to match the sheet metal.

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Modge Podge the paper to the sheet metal.  *Use a ruler or something flat to get the bubbles out*

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Paint the whole top in Modge Podge and let it dry.

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All done!  Mine still had bubbles because I did a bad job at the ruler part.  Which is why that’s important…

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Remove the glass from the frame, put the sheet metal in it’s place, and cover the back.  You’re all done!  You can cover it with pictures, magnets, notes, etc.

Let me know what you guys think, and I would love to see pictures of yours!

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Hashbrowns

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Hello everyone!

Today, at about 3:30 in the afternoon, I decided that I was majorly craving some hashbrowns.

But not those soggy, pale tan piles of mush that you will find at some restaurants that shall not be named.

Here is the perfect way to get crispy, french-fry like hashbrowns!

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Put your serving of raw, prepared hashbrowns in a bowl.  You can either buy them in the refrigerated section, or you can grate your own russet potatoes.

Prepare a tall glass full of ice water and let it sit for a few minutes.

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Pour the water to the hashbrowns.  Avoid adding the ice.

Let the hashbrowns sit in the ice water for 15-20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels.  Squeeze the excess water through the paper towels into the sink.

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Pan fry the potatoes in oil, butter, or a mixture.  I used half butter, half olive oil.

If you want to add extra ingredients, such as vegetables or meat, now is the time to do so.  However, I would recommend cooking them before adding them to the potatoes.

Cook them for about 5 minutes, or until desired crispiness.  Try not to make them too crispy so there is still a soft, potato-y texture.

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I served mine with Pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and ketchup.

*This ice water technique works on all types of potatoes.  Soak potatoes in water for baked french fries, potato chips, etc. 

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara

Guferati (Indian Green Beans)

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Hello everybody!

As promised, I have a recipe for the Indian Green Beans that I served with my Indian Butter Chicken

The green beans are spicy and flavorful.  If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, I suggest cutting back on the red chili powder.  However, since guferati is supposed to be hot, I wouldn’t recommend doing so.

Here’s the recipe:

1 lb. green beans, trimmed

2 Tbs. canola oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 Tbs. mustard (seed or powder)

1/2 tsp. red chili pepper

1/4 tsp. white sugar

1/4 tsp. ginger

Salt/Pepper

 

Boil water and add green beans for 4 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Drain them and rinse them with cool water so they stop cooking.  Set aside.

Heat oil and saute garlic until slightly browned, not burned.  Add the green beans, mustard, chili pepper, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper.  Cook until your desired consistency.  I cooked mine for about 8 minutes so they were softer, but still had a bite to them.

 

Hope you enjoy!  Let me know what you guys think.

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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The holidays were absolutely crazy and I did not have as much time as I would have liked to share my Christmas baking. However, these cookies were by far my favorite!

I first had Chocolate Crinkles made by my friend’s grandmother who makes them every year for Christmas.  These are super chocolatey, kind of like a brownie but with a cookie texture. They’re fairly simple to make and the dough can be made the night before!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas with your friends and families ♥

Ingredients:

1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted

1 cup white sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt, so if you use regular iodized, make it 1/4 tsp.)

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

In a mixer, combine the melted chocolate, sugar, and oil.   Add vanilla to eggs, but do not mix together.   Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.

Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Chill the dough for about 2 1/2 hours, or overnight.  The dough must be cold when you roll it.  If it is not completey chilled, keep it in the fridge longer.

After the dough is cold, use a scoop to form the cookies into balls.  Roll them in powdered sugar and bake them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

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Indian Butter Chicken (Crockpot Style)

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Hi guys!

I hope you guys had an amazing weekend like I did!  It was absolutely crazy, but definitely worth it.

On Saturday, I had a second Thanksgiving with my family.  Because we had a big family reunion, we didn’t get the traditional Thanksgiving we’re all used to and definitely needed a makeup.  So even though I’m still stuffed with food, I’m here with yet another recipe.

On Wednesday, I made an amazing dinner of butter chicken, brown rice, Guferati (Indian green beans), and naan.  All healthy (of course).

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Unfortunately, the naan did not work out.  Even though it looked good.  So I won’t give you that recipe.

But I do have an amazing butter chicken recipe that I made, paired with awesome guferati.  The recipe also calls for tandoori masala and garam masala which I have recipes for because they’re much cheaper than buying from any store.

Both recipes are by yours truly.

Butter Chicken

1 1/2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs canola oil
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 white onion, large dice
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp. yellow curry
3 Tbs. red curry paste
2 tsp. tandoori masala

1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (I found this really cheap at World Market. It was $10 at the grocery store)
1 Tbs. brown sugar
6 oz. tomato paste
1 can light coconut milk
1 regular sized container plain Greek yogurt
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat butter and canola oil and saute garlic, onion, and chicken for a few minutes. Add  yellow/red curry, tandoori masala, garam masala, cumin, ceyenne, ginger, brown sugar, cardamon, and tomato paste. Cook until the chicken starts to cook and the tomato paste is smooth.

Pour all of it into a crock pot. Mix in coconut milk, yogurt, and salt and pepper. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10. Serve with rice.

I made this in the crockpot, but if you cooked the chicken with the onion, you could probably make it in a pan and just simmer it with the coconut milk and yogurt.

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Garam Masala

1 Tbs. cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander ground
1 1/2 tsp cardamom ground
1 1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves ground
1/4 tsp. nutmeg ground

Combine all ingredients.

Tandoori Masala

1 Tbs. garam masala
1 Tbs. cumin
1/2 Tbs. coriander
2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
pinch fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ginger

Combine all ingredients.

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I hope you love this recipe!  It is so good.  Tastes just like it came from an Indian restaurant!  Let me know what you think.

*Edit*: I made this recipe on the stove and it came out beautifully!  I just cubed the chicken, browned it, added all sauce ingredients like in the crockpot, and simmered it for about 10 minutes.  I also added 1 c. of chicken broth because it’s thicker on the stovetop than it in in a crockpot.  Enjoy!

XOXO Sara

The Best Mongolian Beef Ever Made

Hello everyone! 

A few weeks ago, I decided to try a Pinterest recipe that I thought looked delicious.  The result was an amazing, almost restaurant-like style of mongolian beef.  But better.  Because it’s healthy!  My family, especially my mom, has been begging me to make it for weeks!  Plus, if your significant other likes Asian food, this could get you major props!  It looks gourmet, and it’s easy!  (If I get it boyfriend approved, I’ll let you know).

And even though it is mongolian beef, I’m sure you could always make it with chicken so it is a little bit healthier.

Some information:

This recipe came from Pink Bites and I think this woman is awesome for introducing this recipe!  I am seriously that in love. 

Since I’ve really hyped up this mongolian beef, I hope you guys like it.  Let me know what you think!

Mongolian Beef, slightly adapted from Pink Bites (link above)

Ingredients:

1 lb. flank steak, cut into strips

1/4 c. cornstarch

1 Tbs. canola oil, divided

1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated (I may have done just a little bit more)

3 cloves garlic, chopped (I love garlic so I added a lot.  You can reduce according to taste)

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce (you can use regular too, but it may come out too salty for a sweeter meal)

1/3 c. brown sugar (original recipe calls for 1/2 c. but 1/3 was healthier and just the perfect sweetness!)

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I probably actually used closer to 3/4 tsp.  Mmmm)

Green onions, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces (I used about 4, but you can use what you like!)

How to prepare:

Dry the meat with paper towels.  This is an important step because the beef won’t cook to the right texture if the cornstarch is soaked in beef juice.  I would do this before and after slicing the beef.

Place beef in a Ziploc baggie and add cornstarch.  Shake until all of the pieces are covered.  You could mix in a bowl too, but this ensures even coating.

Heat about a teaspoon of oil in your wok (or pan) on medium heat and add garlic and ginger so that it infuses the flavor, but is not burned.  Normally, it is ready when you can smell the flavors strongly.  Add the water, soy sauce, pepper flakes, and sugar.  Stir and cook for a few minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to another bowl.  The sauce will not be thick yet, but will thicken from the cornstarch later.

Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the rest of the oil.  Add the meat and cook through.  I cooked it longer so that it got that dark brown crispy-ness on it.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re missing out.  Try it.  (And if you do it right it won’t make beef tough, I promise!)

Add the rest of the sauce and simmer to the desired consistency.  I did it in-between so that it wasn’t runny, but wasn’t syrupy either.  Plus, I wanted enough to add some sauce to rice!

Lastly, take the beef off of the heat, add the green onions, and stir.  You want the onions to stay green!

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I served it with brown rice and Asian-Style ZucchiniSooooo good.

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I apologize for these photos.  My camera was dead.  They were “oops I forgot to take pictures, let me take them as I’m eating my meal” pictures.  You know those…

Anyways, I hope you like this and thank you againt to Pink Bites!  Let me know what you think!

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara

Asian Style Zucchini

Hi everyone! 

A few weeks ago I made some amazing Mongolian Beef with brown rice and this zucchini recipe!

The original recipe is by Sage Recipes and is actually a green bean recipe which is also really, really good.

But zucchini is my favorite vegetable so I decided to try it out.

Here’s the recipe:

Asian Style Zucchini, slighltly adapted from Sage Recipes (link above)

4 zucchinis, cut into coins

1 Tbs. sesame oil (I use slightly less)

2-3 cloves garlic (I use 3 for zucchini.  Original recipe is 2)

2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce

Pepper, to taste.  I like a lot!

1/3 tsp. red chili flakes (original recipe is 1/4 tsp.)

1 tsp sesame seeds

How to prepare:

Heat oil in a pan and add garlic.  Saute until slightly browned.  Add zucchini and cook for a few minutes.  When it starts to become translucent, add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook until it is your desired texture.  I like mine cooked well, but other people like it crunchier. 

A sad thing: the only picture I have is really bad 😦  I meant to get pictures, but my camera was dead and I was trying to just get dinner on the table!  But anyway, here it is:

 

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Hope you guys like it!  Let me know what you think.  And thank you again, Sage Recipes!

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara