Simple Dutch Oven Vegetarian Chili 0
1 (28 oz) Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Kidney Beans
1 Can Garbanzo Beans
1 (medium) Chopped White Onion
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Sauté Chopped Onion and Garlic in Dutch Oven on Medium for 2 minutes then add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
We recommend topping with Monterey Jack Cheese, Sour Cream, and Avocado!
- KC Smith
Spread the Love! 0
Valentines day, love it or hate it, is right around the corner. Maybe the day holds sweet memories of your doilied up shoe box in second grade, holding the "Be Mine" Power Ranger sucker card from that special someone, or it is the still raw memory of attending not one but all of your junior high Valentine's Day dances alone. Not that we have any specific good or bad feeling about the day, or think about it much, or ever. Seriously completely neutral here.
Some would argue that it is just a hyped up fake day promoted by Hallmark to sell cards but we think the opportunity to have a little fun and say "You're pretty great!" shouldn't be wasted. If you're in the camp of "this is a fabricated commercial event" we challenge you to bend it to your will and use it for good! We're big fans of "Galentine's Day", which is one big day of shout out to your girls. But why not use the actual day - the 14th - to spread some love in some unique and unconventional ways?
If the day is straight up about romance for you we'd humbly offer up that we carry a seriously badass gift to please him and her alike, our American made 12 ways to say you love you journal - something they'll keep for ever and is light years better than the stuffed Snoopy holding a heart you gave last year. Seriously one of the most romantic gifts we've seen and wished someone would gift us.
If you are thinking that it would be a fun way to tell your child what is super special about them and how much you value them, we've got a thing or two for that too with some unique American mades toys and activities.
But we'd like to suggest that we all consider using the day to show others - whether that's a neighbor or the world - we love them. So we've come up with our humble list of "Spread the Love" ideas:
1. Visit a nursing home and drop off a bouquet of flowers to the nursing station.
2. Better yet, at said nursing home, bring two bouquets and spend a few minutes with a resident the nursing staff tips you off to that doesn't see many visitors.
3. Get the kids in the action by having them cut out paper hearts and write kind messages on them and hand them out to strangers at the post office, DMV or other high traffic locale.
4. Make some yummy cookies, we've got a great American made cookie cutter for the task, and then take them to your local fire station, police department or library.
5. Whip up a heart shaped pizza ala our fabulous American made pizza pan and drop by a neighbor's house you've never met, yet lived next to for years.
6. Don't forget our furry friends! Collect up old towels and blankets and drop off at a local shelter.
7. Spend the day going out of your way to compliment at least one person you see everywhere you go. Don't just admire the tattoo on the person in front of you in the grocery line, tell them how cool it is!
8. Have the kids write some notes to friends and family telling them what exactly they love about them. Grandpa will love hearing he has the best jokes around, and everyone likes to get something in the mail that isn't a bill.
9. Donate to an amazing cause in someone's name and let them know. Being thought of and being the inspiration for helping someone else is enough to make anyone swoon.
10. Spend the day saying 'I love you' to all the people you do. Sky writing is suggested but even a text will do.
Get out there and make this day about more than having a date. We could all use a little, actually a lot, of love so let's make this happen people! Comment below to share your best idea on how to spread the love. #spreadthelove
Dia de Muertos! 0
Our skull cakelet pan is just too amazing to only use once. So we gathered up our mini- Main Streeters again for a baking day and decided to mimic the sugar skulls used to celebrate Dia de Muertos with cake. We all enjoyed learning about this day, did you know marigolds are the flower of the dead?
We thought our skull cakelet pan would be perfect to emulate the sugar skulls that are popular for this holiday. The more we learned about the holiday the more we love it. A traditional Mexican holiday where families remember and celebrate their ancestors and passed relatives the sugar skulls aren't meant to be scary but rather symbolic of passing from life to death. The colorful and fun decorations applied to the skulls is meant to symbolize the beauty of their life. How great is that? We let our mini Main Streeters get creative with some basic store bought icing tubes and our favorite cake stands which have become a baking basic - gives a nice elevated surface and contains all the fun.
Families start up to a week before setting up an altar with pictures of beloved family members, sugar skulls and flowers, and marigolds or paper flowers. Great link here on how to make your own paper flowers:
We came across this fun video to watch with our mini Main Streeters to help them better understand the holiday and it's distinct history.
Enjoy celebrating your loved one's and the beauty of their lives!
Fall Baking Adventures 0
We enlisted the help of a few mini Main Streeters to do some baking using our Autumn Cakelet Pan and created some yummy, fun treats to share with you. We used a tried and true carrot cake mix from a box and tried this icing recipe from King Arthur flour to attempt our fabulous Fall petit fours:
Using our favorite mixing bowls from MainStShop.com we set up for mini cake perfection. What we love about the icing recipe is that it is made with white chocolate chips, as if icing could get any better??
Pro-tip, you want to fill the cups just almost to the brim to avoid puffy cakelets....
Once we got our portion size down, and sampled several puffy ones - quality control measures of course - we were ready to put together our icing. Love the idea of petit four icing to allow the kiddos to drizzle the icing over and add some fall color to these perfect fall shapes. Mad debate ensued as to whether the pumpkin, acorn, leaf or turkey were in fact the best cakelet shape. Our baking experts did weigh in that shape did not affect their yumminess.
The experts at work.
We found the icing recipe easy to follow and worked as written. We suggest melting the chocolate in the microwave, worked great and simmering and double boilers confuse us. It was messy, but deliciously so, and all decided this is the perfect fall treat for dessert, thanksgiving, or a tea party under a pretty fall tree! Showcased of course on our favorite mini cake stands because presentation is everything. Happy baking!
Ghost Hunting Day 2016!! 0
October 1st is "National Ghost Hunting Day", which despite our deep love for Halloween is not a day we are going to actively participate in due to our unhealthy fear of the paranormal (thanks 1980's version of "Poltergeist"). But, if you are all about getting in touch with the afterlife we have some suggestions for you!
Perhaps you'd like to visit one of the creepiest places in the US, surely you'll find a ghost or two here:
Or if you are looking for verifiable hauntings this list may give you a better chance at a bona fide contact:
If the above are maybe a little too much work you could always go directly to what might be a potential super store of hauntings, one of these cemeteries should have some activity, or a lot...
If you don't want to make contact yourself but are looking for a second hand account, or a resource on the what and why of contact here is an expert resource:
Finally if you are like us and love the idea of ghosts and feel they are must have decorating element for this month, but are not interested in meeting one, you could opt for our spooky luncheon plate here:
Happy Hunting no matter what kind of ghosts you are searching for!
Yellow Pig Day Calls for 17 Random Things to Do 0
July 17th is Yellow Pig Day which is actually a celebration of the number 17! This unofficial holiday was created in the 1960s by Princeton mathematicians to celebrate the number 17, which is not only a prime number but is the sum of the first four prime numbers – 2,3,5, and 7. The holiday’s mascot is a Yellow Pig with 17 toes, 17 eyelashes, and 17 teeth...because, why not?
Here are 17 Random Things to do Today
1. Pick up 17 pieces of trash from your local park or beach.
2. Draw a yellow pig or make one out of clay/play dough.
3. Invite 17 friends to an impromptu pool party and see who shows up!
4. Bake something sweet for someone sweet as a surprise.
5. Listen to only tracks 1 and 7 on all of your favorite CDs.
6. Bob Ross it up and paint a landscape.
7. Walk 1.7 miles. Practice your "power walk" before the summer olympics. Remember, you have to keep on foot on the ground at all times.
8. See how many Pokémon you can find within 17 miles of where you are right now.
9. Play a game of Geominos. Get your geek on with these math inspired dominos.
10. Leave a thank you note on 17 veteran’s cars.
11. Meditate for 17 minutes.
12. Donate blood!! Summer brings a shortage of blood supply in our hospitals. Find a blood donation center near you.
13. Write a song or story about a yellow pig.
14. Leave 17, $1 bills in random places for strangers to find.
15. Play “Chopped” in your own kitchen for family dinner. One family member picks four ingredients from the cabinet or refrigerator and the "chef" of the family has to make dinner using all four ingredients.
16. Read 17 books with your kids.
17. Send 17 of your friends or family cards—just because.
- KC Smith