DIY BITTERS RECIPES + FREE PRINTABLE LABELS


I don't know if these are technically bitters, but I do know that they're fun to put into drinks!  If you like experimenting with interesting new cocktails or spicing up the old ones- you'll really like these.

For the free printable labels, go here to download and print them.  Read on below for the recipes for each of the bitters.


DIY PAPER MID CENTURY CHRISTMAS HOUSES


https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9lX15rLaMHpbk9wMHlGZGE2STA&usp=sharing
 
I love the look of vintage mid century paper houses.  They're so quirky and fragile with their cardboard roofs and chunky glitter snow.  I got overly ambitious and decided to make a miniature of our house, which is a complicated Victorian and I would not recommend it unless you have a lot of time on your hands or are really, very bored. 
 
Luckily, I had both of those while I was stuck at a dead-end desk job where I had a lovely view of a wall all day and sometimes didn't see another human for a week at a time and had unlimited office supplies on hand.  Anyhow, I've made some simpler patterns for you to download here.  If you're feeling ambitious and want to make your own house I can tell you how below. 

HOW NOT TO MAKE HAM POT PIE

Let me start this post by saying, less is more in the kitchen.  You know how they say that you should take off one accessory before you leave the house?  Well, I need to take that advice when it comes to my recipe inventions.  I just get crazy and start adding all sorts of things and before I know it, I've got some whackadoodle concoction that my poor husband has to bravely eat his way through.  He may actually be pawning it off on the poor dog, but at least I'm oblivious to it.

I had it in my head all day that I wanted to make a pot pie for supper.  It's cold and both the Man and I are in sweaters all the time, so what's a little bit off extra puff around our middles going to hurt?  Bring on the comfort carbs!

I was so proud of myself because I was going to use up a store-bought pie crust that had been lurking in the freezer, just waiting for me to forget about it for a year or three. I tried to thaw the pie crust in the microwave, which resulted in a molten blob of crust wrapped tidily in a plastic tube.  The dog was happy with that at least.  Off to make a real crust.  In retrospect, I should have known it was an "off" cooking day for me and I should have just made spaghetti, but I was determined.

DIY GIFT IDEAS FOR MEN


It's hard to find good DIY gifts for guys that aren't froufy or feminine.  Aside from the occasional manly DIY I find, they are usually something that my man would feel really silly using or wearing. Here, I've rounded up some of my favorite DIY projects that I think the manly man in your life will appreciate.

1. infused vodkas + free labels
2. the greatest fire starters
3. cork or wood sunglasses
4. ranch dressing seasoning mix
5. manly leather wallet + easy pattern instructions
6. diy whiskey making kit
7. tiny desk desert
8. sweet & spicy pickled onions
9. garlic soy pickled green beans
10.homemade bitters + free printable labels

If you're looking for more ideas, you should check out The Art of Manliness blog.  It's one of my favorites and is always full of manly man ideas for the modern gentleman.

GROWING GARLIC IN IOWA & FREE PRINTABLE


sketch line drawing free printable craft images graphics
click on the image to download without the large logo
If I could have only one condiment/spice/flavoring for the rest of my life it would be garlic.  I put it in everything and have more than once been told to tone it down a bit (my brother was once eating some shrimp scampi that I'd made and had to put his foot down about my allium love when he brought a scoop of scampi to his mouth that was 90% minced garlic).

The problem is, I just can't seem to get it to grow.  Well, that's not totally true- one year I planted it too early and it sprouted, but then it died after the first frost.  Another year I planted it too late and we also had a harsh winter and none of those sprouted.  This is my last-ditch effort to grow garlic this year and I'm determined to get it right.

No sources that I could find could give me anything more specific for Iowa garlic planting than "___ weeks before first frost".  I don't know if those people have ever been to Iowa, but "first frost" could happen any time from late September to November and even then it could get warm again or freeze earlier than that or later- who knows.  In fact, just last week I was outside working in a t-shirt on Sunday and it was 20'F and snowing on Monday; we haven't even gotten to the craziest weather of the season.

VETERAN'S DAY FREE PRINTABLE CARD

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9lX15rLaMHpMTN1M0JSY2xRQ00&usp=sharing

Thank you to all the veterans out there who have served our country in both peace and war time. 

I've made a simple little Kilroy Veteran's Day Card for you, in case you couldn't find a card at the store or you'd rather just print one yourself.  Click on the photo above to download the PDF file.  You can either print it or send it as an email attachment if you aren't able to mail it.

Enjoy!