Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DIY Mickey Ice Cream Bar Ear Headband

Want Mickey ears like the ones I had for my ice cream bar costume?
I'll show you how to make them!

You'll need:
- 2 craft foam circles (I found these at Michaels in the floral section)
- a headband (fabric covered is best, not plastic)
- white felt (one sheet)
- brown felt (two sheets to be on the safe side)
- hot glue & glue gun
(I ended up not using the embroidery floss)

For each ear, shave down one of the edges so that the ear will lay flush against the headband.

Put your headband around something to mimic it being on your head. Use the hot glue to attach to the headband, centering the circles. 

Don't forget: On one ear, chisel out the bite of the ear. :)

Take the headband with attached ears and lay one ear on the brown felt. Trace around the ear, adding a 1/2 inch extra around the ear. Mark the points at the base of the ears where it meets the arc headband. Wrap the felt around to the other side of the ear and mark the points at the base of that side of the ear. Trace around that side of the ear, again adding an extra 1/2 inch around the ear. You should have something that resembles 2 circles connected by a short rectangle/square.

Repeat for the other ear, being careful to go around the bite.

Glue the brown felt to one side of the ear (you'll have that 1/2 inch hanging over the edge), then wrap the felt around the headband to the other side of the ear. That little part in the middle will ensure the ear doesn't pop off your headband. Now glue the other side of the felt to the ear. 
Now let's work on the extra around the ears. Clip the 1/2 inch of extra brown felt and glue each piece down. The round flat circles of the ears should be covered, but you should still see some foam on the curved part. 
Cut a strip of brown felt the width of the foam circle. This will go around the circumference of the circle. Glue the brown felt, paying close attention to the edges.

Repeat for the bitten ear, also cut a strip of white felt the width of the foam. Glue the white into the bite, trim excess if needed.

And you're done!

As a last minute addition, I sewed a small piece of elastic between the two ends of the headband to make the whole thing tighter. I didn't have to adjust them the entire Wine & Dine half marathon, even through the rain!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Crunchy Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

I am always on the lookout for tasty lunch options. I love salads, but sometimes they just aren't filling enough and by the end of the work day, I'm shoving quarters as fast as I can into the break room vending machine.

I love to make this delicious Thai Crunch Salad w/ Peanut Dressing for work, but I wanted something more filling. So when I found this recipe for a Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad w/ Ginger Peanut Dressing, I knew I had to give it a try.

I ended up using a combination of the two recipes- the dressing part of the first recipe (modified a bit) and the salad part of the second recipe. I found the dressing for the quinoa salad to have too much soy sauce and was way too salty. Plus, I already prefer the taste of the other dressing.

It's an easy salad to make; cook the quinoa, chop all the veggies, blend the dressing in a food processor, toss and voila! Yummy salad!

Crunchy Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups red cabbage, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup cashews or peanuts
1/2 cup edamame, shelled and cooked

1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1/2" square ginger, chopped
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cilantro leaves
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes (optional)

* When making the dressing, don't forget to taste test and tweak it to your personal preferences. I rarely follow the recipe to a T, I add a bit more here and there until I like the flavor. I enjoy spicy, so I add more chili flakes! :)


Cook the quinoa first. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is gone.

While the quinoa cooks and cools, chop and prep all your veggies. If you need to, cook the edamame.

I love the vibrant colors of the salad!
Red onions, carrots, red cabbage, red bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro.

Let's make the dressing!
Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend. Add move olive oil if it's too thick. Don't thin it out too much; it should be the consistency of a sauce.

After letting the quinoa cool, mix all the ingredients together. Don't add the dressing all at once. Add a little at a time as the dressing can definitely overpower the salad. I found that I did not use all the dressing I had made.

Since I'll be taking leftovers to work, I didn't add the cashews yet. I'll add those the day of.