December 2013 | The Rising Spoon

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013: Top Recipes From The Rising Spoon Kitchen

The Best of 2013: Top Recipes From The Rising Spoon Kitchen |
Happy New Year's Eve, foodies! Only one more day until the start of 2014. Today and tomorrow are opportune times for reflecting back on the previous year and setting goals for the year ahead. Hence the reason why I'm creating this post, just like last year. Are you doing either in the days ahead? 

Since starting this blog back in 2012, I've embraced reasonable goal setting habits, which would surprise the heck out of my teenage self, who back then thrived on procrastination. 

How did I overcome those habits? 

I abandoned lofty goal setting and focused instead on smaller daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. The"dream" goals I clung to were so huge and abstract that I easily rationalized them away without taking responsibility for what I wanted to achieve. 

In contrast, the smaller tasks were finite and do-able, so I could chip away at the list, feel great about accomplishing things and then keep chugging away. 

If you're the type to make yearly goals, I definitely recommend dividing them up into monthly or weekly tasks instead. This method DOES work! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Make Basil Salt: An Easy DIY Gourmet Finishing Salt

How to Make Basil Salt: An Easy DIY Gourmet Finishing Salt

When my city was hit with a mini ice storm a few weeks ago, I had to move my basil and apple mint plants inside. There is even less light in my apartment (the balcony faces an awkward direction not ideal for plants), so they're slowly dying. The mint looked faded, but the basil was starting to form major black spots, so I decided to use that up first. 

I could have made basil pesto, but am so used to making kale pesto year-round that I wanted something a bit more special. I remembered stumbling across a blog post last summer that explained how to preserve homegrown herbs with sea salt and decided to give that a try. I'm so glad did!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix with a Kick

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix with a Kick |
I can't hold out any longer. Normally I'm extremely talented at resisting holiday baked goods at home because....simply put...I don't make them. Why? As soon as a pile or two of treats lands on my counter with no one to eat them but me (how sad), I lose all restraint. Then quickly turn into a real life cookie monster.

My head says, "why not have a cookie for breakfast with your coffee?" Then two hours later it's "time for a snack" and by then I fall into a hobbit-like chain of reasoning. "A cookie at elevensies, why yes indeed!"

But my cast-iron will has broken. I've succumbed to the scrumptious flood of holiday cookie photos that wash all over my social media accounts, especially Pinterest and Google Plus.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Leftover Pot Roast Stew: The Best Ever Excuse For Making A Pot Roast

Make your leftover pot roast do double duty by transforming it into a beef stew using homemade beef stock, fresh veggies and spices. This melt-in-your-mouth and flavorful stew is a great excuse for making extra pot roast.

See that little fleck on the red potato in the picture? It's a piece of rosemary, leftover from slow cooking a pot roast. Because I used dried herbs, red wine and aromatics when cooking the chuck roast in my dutch oven, the resulting broth was so flavorful that I didn't want to waste it. 

So after a day or so of noshing on the roast itself, I decided to stretch it further and transform the meal into a flavorful beef stew. Except it was a hundred times better than normal beef stew because the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

25+ Homemade Holiday Gift Projects To Start Right Now

25 Homemade Holiday Gift  Projects to Start Right Now |

One of my favorite things to do once the holiday season hits is make homemade gifts. Sometimes I plan ahead if the project takes longer, but mostly I start on handmade gifts after Thanksgiving.

And I ALWAYS choose projects that are utilitarian in nature. Nothing's worse than giving a loved one or friend a present that they'll never use. Especially random plastic thing-a-ma-jiggers. What a waste! 

Which is why I rounded up some quality DIY gift projects for you guys to make this holiday season. 

These homemade gifts are all: 
  • no-sew (for those of us without a sewing machine or stitching talent)
  • budget friendly (YAY!)
  • non-toxic (double YAY!)
So pick a few that catch your eye, gather the necessary materials (I've included some resources at the bottom) and get crafting, foodies!

Update (December 2015): If you're looking for even MORE DIY gift ideas, check out my 50+ Easy Homemade Gift Ideas for Happy Bellies & Bodies post! 

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