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Spicy Pickled Carrots – A How-to!

30 Jun

I haven’t pickled anything since last summer when I went over to a friend’s house, and a group of us had an afternoon of pickling and preserving. Before that I hadn’t pickled anything, well…, ever. We made pickles, dilly beans, spicy carrots, and a blueberry jam (which never quite set up but was great on pancakes). These were our creations, minus the blueberry syrupy/jammy whatever-it-was.

Pickled Carrots!

So this weekend, almost a year later, I decided to take on some spicy carrot pickles all by myself. They turned out pretty well! I haven’t tasted them in their final stage yet because they need a few days to marinate, but I’m really hopeful. The best part was that they were incredibly fast and easy to make. So here’s a how-to in case you’re interested in making them for yourself.

Spicy Pickled Carrots: a how to

Actually, before I start, let me tell you one thing: if you ever want to feel what it might be like to have non-functioning lungs, try chopping some jalapenos then boiling some vinegar. Then you’ll know what that feels like.

So now that that has been said, here we go:

All you need is 3 1- pint jars, 2 pounds of carrots (the big bag, if you buy your carrots from the grocery store), about 4 cloves of garlic, 1 jalapeno, 4 cups of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of salt.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

First you peel the carrots. It’s a lot of carrots to peel, but it’s worth it. Don’t judge me by how clean my sink is, but rather, judge me for how fast my hands are moving and my cool and retro yellow colander.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to
Then you cut the carrots into sticks about the size of your little finger. That’s a lot of carrots to cut.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Slice up the garlic and jalapenos. This is the part where your husband starts to complain about how spicy things smell and how they’re “bothering his nose.” Just ignore him; he is not as tough as you when it comes to the kitchen.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Next, you take three pint jars and put the garlic and jalapenos in the bottom (divide them up evenly, or you can experiment with different amounts of spice between the jars if you’re not sure what you’re up for in the heat department). If you like things super spicy, add an extra jalapeno or some crushed red pepper flakes.  Add the carrot sticks to the jars, making sure they’re short enough to leave about 1” of room at the top. Note: Make sure your pint jars are very clean; I had my assistant who is also my webmaster who is also my lawyer who is also my husband wash them for me while I chopped the veggies.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Boil your vinegar on the stove in a non-reactive pot (stainless steel, glass, and enamel are fine; aluminum, copper and cast-iron are not fine). Try not to breathe. Add the sugar and salt when the vinegar is boiling, then stir to dissolve.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Once the vinegar/sugar/salt solution was all dissolved, I let the brine sit off of the heat for a few minutes so it wasn’t super duper hot, then I poured it over the carrot jars with the help of a ladle. Make sure you have liquid about 1/2” over the top of the carrots, and that you then leave about 1/2” of space between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar. Then, cap those jars and you’re DONE. That’s it. I said it was easy!

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

These will be ready to eat in about a day, and will keep in the refrigerator for about a month. Keep in mind this is cold-packing and not preserving. So you can’t put these in the pantry and expect to pull them out for Thanksgiving, know what I mean? That would make your mouth pucker for an entirely different, really unpleasant reason.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Let me know if you make these or if you have any other good pickling recipes. I’m a sucker for vinegary things, so I’d love to hear about it!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

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Recently on Pinterest…

7 Jun

It’s been a long two weeks. Between work being busy and tending to a sick kid’s mystery illness (he’s fine…no longer a mystery) I haven’t have much time to blog. One thing I have been doing though, is pinning things to Pinterest. At first I regarded it as another site to demand my time, but now I’m finding it more and more useful. I still feel the same way about Twitter though, which is to say, I find it redundant and pointless and a tedious effort. (Sorry, tweeters.)

Here are five fun things I’ve recently “pinned.” If you like them consider “following me” on Pinterest!

 

An unconventional, super neat mantle-scape:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

A kitchen island with personality:

Recently on Pinterest....

 

A celebration of imagery from the Dutch Postal Service:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

15 DIY crafts you can make from a paper box!

Recently on Pinterest...

 

And last but certainly not least, this cake roll:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

Please follow the links thru for proper image crediting, as well as how-tos and more info on these fun projects.

Have a great weekend! Mine is already filled with clients, swim class, a baby shower, and a TRUCK TOUCH!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Eggs in Every Color…an Easter Craft Round-up!

29 Mar

Coloring eggs this weekend? Here are five fun methods to try for all skill-levels.

Pantone Eggs (via How About Orange). Easier than you thought!

Egg Dyeing Projects

 

Sprinkle Eggs (via Studio DIY). An egg after my own heart…

Sprinkle Eggs!

 

Marbelized Eggs (via Camille Styles). Not food safe, but totally gorgeous.

Marbelized Eggs!

 

Wax Patterned Eggs (via Martha Stewart Living). Because is it really a craft round-up without a MSL project? No, it’s not.

Wax Patterned Eggs

 

Rubber Cement Swirls (via Parents). Genius, and reminiscent of my 80’s childhood with the rubber cement.

Rubber Cement Eggs!

 

As a relevant aside (is that a thing?) I read on Slate this week that the correct way to boil eggs is to immerse them in a pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil, then turn the heat off and let them sit there, covered, for 10 minutes. Not 8, not 12, just 10. Apparently this allows the yolks to cook-through completely without making the whites rubbery. Who knew?

Have a great weekend!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Car Valentines!

10 Feb

We just completed our Valentines for Thursday, ahead of schedule!

Car Valentines!

 

I’d love to claim credit for the idea, but I got it from Pinterest. We had an abundance of Hot Wheels cars, both new and very gently (read: never) used, so we were able to put this together very inexpensively. Each clear favor bag contains a card, a lollipop, and a car. My son made paper valentines for his friends on construction paper by diligently coloring, cutting, and applying stickers. It cracked me up that he chose the two police cars for his besties! I was really proud of his giving spirit and his ability to focus…my little guy is growing up so fast. 

I suspect we’ll be making more paper Valentines for neighbors this week. If you’re a neighbor, expect some scribbles under your door for the next few days!

Have a great week!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Beautiful Details.

8 Feb

My week has been filled with lots of little tiny perfect details.

For example, I visited a client this morning whom I have been working with on small projects for quite some time, and I just had to take a picture of the gorgeous architectural detailing in her Logan Circle row house.

This is the top of the beautiful built-in mirror above her mantle.

Beautiful Mantle

I don’t think I’d noticed until I looked at this photo that it has an “M” on it before! It’s very high up.

Here is another view of the whole thing. It makes me so happy.

Beautiful Mantle

 

Yesterday evening, when I was playing with my son, I decided to take on a quick but very gratifying 2-minute craft project. I found myself sitting on the floor with his (formerly mine) little tiny wooden rocking chair and a few rolls of washi tape. Wheels started spinning, and a few minutes later this is what I had:

Rocking Rocking Chair

I kind of love it. Such a small change and easy but it created a big impact.

 

And finally, this is the other small but uplifting detail that I’ve been coming into contact with daily – no, hourly…and sometimes every ten minutes. Cough drops.

Well Designed Cough Drops

Yes, they’re silly. But they truly do make me feel better in the midst of my constant winter cold.

So there you have it: a historical mantle, an old rocking chair, and some drugstore cough drops all have one magical thing in common: great details that are beautiful and inspiring.

Design really does make a difference, and often, it’s all in the details!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Fruit Stand!

14 Jan

While I’ve been relatively better at blogging the past 10 days or so, I’ll admit I’m straying quite a bit here from the actual kind of design I usually do.

So screw it. I’ll continue the trend, and today I’m going to show off a fruit stand that my son and I made this weekend. Check it out in all its crafty majesty…

DIY Fruit Stand

DIY Fruit Stand

DIY Fruit Stand

 

Very much inspired by my former-classmate’s unbelievable craftiness (I bow down to her pineapple), these “fruits” are made from balloons and construction paper. They’re propped up in a boot box that has been “upholstered” in a disposable vinyl tablecloth, and the signs are made of cardboard and pretty straws. Shockingly, it is still in tact after a few hours of use, with only a few strawberries lost.

Hope your weekend was as fun as mine was!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Balloon Countdown Calendar!

27 Aug

This weekend we made a balloon countdown calendar for my son, to count down the days until preschool begins. I can’t fully take the credit for this idea, because I saw it somewhere before I made it. But I don’t recall where…so…you saw it here first!

 

It’s very simple to make:

Step 1: Blow up some balloons.

Step 2: String them up.

Step 3: Write numbers on them.

(Optional Step: Clear the area of all people who are sensitive to balloon pops, such as my husband. And my cat.)

Step 4: Pop the balloons as necessary.

 

And you’re done!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.