Category Archives: Tutorials

DIY Flower Power Platforms

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Here is an easy DIY that will breath new life into that pair of heels collecting dust in your closet. I had a pair of platforms that weren’t getting much use, so I decided to kick them up a notch by re-covering them in some fun vintage fabric. Now they are perfect for summer!

The fabric I used is very loud, but you can use any fabric you like. Remember that patterns like polka dots or plaid will be hard to match up when covering your shoes.

Here is what I started with (can you tell that I love crazy shoes?):

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Materials:

  • Pair of heels
  • Fun fabric
  • Modpodge or PVA
  • Thick paint brush
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

If your shoes are patent leather, I would use a nail buffer or some sand paper to rough them up so that the fabric will stick better.

Begin by cutting a piece of fabric that will fit around the heel. Make sure to leave some extra since you will be folding the edges under to give it a clean look.

Then paint the heel with PVA and adhere the fabric. Fold the edges in, paint with PVA and smooth them down to the edge of the shoe. I used a bit of ribbon at the heel so that it would match the platform. Just paint the along the plastic of the heel tip and wrap the ribbon around it.

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Play around with your fabric until you find the right placement. I covered my shoe in two sections starting with the back.

Simply paint the area with PVA and adhere the fabric. Since the shoe is curved, there will be little pockets where the fabric doesn’t stick. Once you trim the fabric and fold and adhere the edges, these will disappear.

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Make sure you are leaving yourself enough fabric when you cover the front of the shoe. With a little tugging, the fabric will become flexible in the glue so that you can pull it tight.

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The front is the most tedious, but once you get the fabric trimmed and the edges folded in and adhered, it will look great!

Always make sure to leave some extra fabric at the top to fold over and inside the shoe. This will keep the fabric from fraying or peeling off.

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Now you can paint the platform with PVA and apply the ribbon. You can also use the fabric you are using.

If you are using ribbon, I suggest doing it is strips one at a time. No need for pre-cutting, just pull from the ribbon roll, adhere, and snip. Then repeat.

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Use your scissors or a knife to trim the extra ribbon and make sure all the fabric is secure. Let them dry over night, and they will be ready to wear!

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I will be pairing mine with breezy dresses, fitted skirts, or even shorts.

Enjoy and happy summer!

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Xoxo,

Lily

Decadent Chocolate Blancmange

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This pudding is super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It was my first attempt at a blancmange and it turned out perfectly! This simple pudding is truly a classic. In “Little Women” Jo would make blancmange and bring it to her neighbor Laurie since he was frail and sick and she wanted to help him get better. Cute right?

I used a recipe from one of my favorite recipe blogs, and made some changes. You can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients
 Serves 6 – 8

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Extras: Melted chocolate and whipped cream to garnish

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Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler and reduce it to a low simmer. Whisk the dry ingredients in the top of the double boiler and place it on top of the simmering water. Then add the milk and half and half into the dry ingredients. Pour slowly and whisk well as you combine them.

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Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly until thickened. It should not be too thick, just enough to coat the back of your spoon evenly. Whisk any lumps out, and add the chocolate.

Stir in the chocolate, whisking if needed, until the pudding is smooth and a bit shiny. Make sure not to cook it too long at this stage.

Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps, then transfer into small serving bowls or glasses as I did.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. If you are worried about pudding skin, cover the surfaces with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming.

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To make chocolate flowers or swirls, simply melt a couple of ounces of chocolate over low heat. Then, using a toothpick, draw your desired shapes onto a piece of wax paper. Make sure your lines are thick so that you chocolate doesn’t break! Place your designs in the freezer for 30 minutes or more before using.

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When you are ready to garnish your pudding, whip up some cream (I prefer not to sweeten it) and carefully peel your chocolate designs off of the wax paper. Arrange them as you like and serve immediately.

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This pudding is very rich, so servings do not need to be too large. And it certainly satisfies those chocolate cravings!

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The unsweetened whipped cream is the perfect complement to the chocolate, so I highly recommend it!

You can also update this classic by adding spices, citrus zest, coconut, or fruit. You can even make some subtle changes by switching out the vanilla extract for another extract or flavor.

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Have fun cooking and make sure you take a moment to revel in the delicious result!

Xoxo,

Lily

If you liked this recipe, check out my Citrus & Falernum Pudding, or Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

Cardamom & Mango Biscotti

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This was yet another kitchen experiment that turned out well. I love cardamom in anything, and I couldn’t find any dates, so I used dried mango instead. These are spicy, sweet, and perfect with coffee or tea!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried mango

Extras: 1 egg white and 1/8 cup of sugar for the top of the biscotti

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and mix all of the dry ingredients together. Sift the flour to avoid any lumps.

Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla together and add to the dry mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be a bit sticky, so add more flour if you need to.

Roll the dough into a log on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 2 by 10 inches.

Butter a baking sheet and place the roll on it. Press the top down to flatten it a bit, and cook for 30 minutes.

Once the biscotti is slightly golden and cracked, remove it from the oven. Lightly beat the extra egg white and brush it over the biscotti. Sprinkle the 1/8 cup sugar over it, and place back in the oven for 15 more minutes until golden and fragrant.

Transfer the biscotti to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch slices. Arrange these on another buttered baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and slightly hard to the touch.

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Cool on wire racks until hard.

Enjoy with coffee or tea, or my favorite spiced latte. I made Naomi a cute latte today with touch of chocolate when I brought her a sample of my biscotti.

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A little messy, but yummy (or so I heard). I had mine with ceylon tea and it was delicious!

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The fun part about biscotti is that you can experiment with different ingredients. Try adding cocoa powder, cinnamon, pecans, dates, dried cranberries, or crystallized ginger.

Have fun!

Xoxo,

Lily