“I’m In A Pickle,” said the tree!


Each week until Christmas I will post a simple, yet stylish holiday decor idea that can help get your home in holiday-shape. All projects are affordable and easy (level 1-2). We will celebrate today with one of the simplest ideas:

Pickle Jar Snowglobe:

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Needed: Medium sized pickle jar -cleaned and labels removed, decorative snow, village tree, school glue.

I love that Bick’s Pickle jars have a red/white flagged design on the edge of its lid. This makes for the most festive base to the Pickle Jar Snowglobe! A few things: the bigger the jar, the taller the tree you will need to fit inside -just make sure that the base of the tree fits through the opening of the jar. Places like Michaels sell bags of trees; all varying in sizes which makes it fun to create little forests. You can also find these trees pr-decorated with battery-powered LED lights!

Here’s all you need to do: 1/ Glue the tree to the inside of the lid. 2/ Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of decorative show in the jar. 3/ Insert the tree into the jar and screw the lid on tight. 4/Turn over -give it a quick shake to settle the snow around the tree and you have a super-simple snowglobe. Make 5 or 6 of these (using various sized jars/trees) and line them down the middle of your dinner table- sprinkle a few votive candles around and you will have a charming winter forest to dine in! One; placed on a guestroom nightstand adds a ton of simple, handmade charm. And all for the love of pickles!

To add a blizzard effect to the inside of the jar you can spray it with window frost or old-school hairspray. Once dried, it will look like wind-blown frost around your tree. Enjoy! KL

An Exotic Midweek Meal

Here’s one of my go-to weeknight meals that is easy, quick, inexpensive and really delicious to serve up.

Spicy Shrimp & Chicken Coconut Soup. Serves 2 to 4.

The main ingedients are very simple; a can of Thai soup, frozen veggies, shrimp (or any other type of meat/fish)… that’s really it!

I used the Green Giant Asian Blend frozen vegetables which has beans, barley and lots of veggies. For this recipe I used 1/2 a bag (about $1.75). I also used a can of Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Creamy Thai Chicken & Rice Soup. It has all the spice and flavour for this dish and I used one can (about $2.25). I added 4 large frozen shrimp, peeled (about $4) and 4 tablespoons of Sriracha-style hot sauce mixed with 1/8 cup of white vinegar. The hot sauce and vinegar added some extra heat to the dish that helped saute the shrimp. Here’s how easy it was:

Start with your two main ingredients: frozen Asian mixed vegetables and Creamy Thai Soup.DSC09984

In a wok or deep non-stick fry pan, add Sriracha sauce, vinegar and peeled shrimp (or chicken). Saute on high heat until ends of shrimp turn pink. 1 minuteDSC09985

Add 1/2 bag of frozen veggie mix and stir fry on high heat until shrimps are pink and veggies slightly soften. This will take about 4 minutes.DSC09986

Add a full can of Creamy Thai Soup and bring to a hard boil for 1 minute (this will ensure the shrimp is cooked), then simmer for 5-7 minutes. This takes 8 minutes.DSC09989

And in less than 15 minutes (and for less than $10) you have a fabulous meal! Serve as soup in a bowl (serves 2) or, serve over rice or crispy noodles (serves 4)… enjoy! DSC09991