Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Build Your Own Seltzer Maker

If plastic soda bottles are piling up in your recycling bin, perhaps it’s time to make your own seltzer maker! With a little tinkering and the right components, you can build a contraption to dispense the bubbly stuffwith the help of painter and seltzer enthusiast Randy Stoltzfus.
Once your carbonated water is at the ready, a whole world of spritzers, sodas, ades, punches, and other effervescent beverages is at your fingertips. Try making an infused simple syrup or plum and ginger carbonated juice, then top it all off with a mustache drink topper, if you feel so inclined.
I’ve always loved fizzy stuff. It’s made its way into my art (take a look at my paintings — those could be bubbles) and definitely into my diet. However, my partner Callie and I started to get a little bummed about all of the bottles we were lugging from the store and subsequently pitching into the recycling bin. After learning about the soda price conspiracy, open-source cola, carbonation history, and physics, by reading Richard Kinch’s pioneering website, I set out to create a home seltzering set-up. Here’s how to make one of your very own.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • CO2 tank. You can buy one empty or just go to a welding gas supply company and pay a deposit for the tank. We purchased a refurbished tank from a dry ice supply company. This tank holds 10 lbs of CO2, the biggest that would fit upright under the kitchen sink. It lasts the two of us over a year before it needs a $20-30 refill.
  • Regulator. We got ours from the same place we got the tank. You need this to step the gas pressure down to around 50 psi. The dial gauges show you what the pressure is in the tank, the hose and when it’s time to refill. Make sure you have a regulator that will work with CO2.
  • Vinyl tubing. You’ll need enough to reach from the tank to wherever you want to fill your bottles.
  • A tire chuck. Look for this at an auto parts store.
  • A 1/4 turn ball valve. Since the tire chucks are leaky, you’ll want an easy-to-operate cut-off valve. While you don’t absolutely need this valve, it is convenient, and anything that keeps us from wastefully adding CO2 to the atmosphere is good, right?
  • Snap-in Schrader tire valve stems. You can find these at any auto parts store.
  • 3 hose barbs, sized to fit your hose. Use these to thread into your valve and tire chuck.
  • 4 hose clamps
  • An empty plastic soda bottle with a lid
  • Teflon tape
  • Gloves
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • A 15/64″ drill bit and a drill
1. Cut the hose to length and slide a hose clamp on each cut end.
2. Thread your hose barbs into the chuck and ball valve. Wrap a bit of Teflon tape around each threaded end of the hose barbs.
3. Slide all the hose barbs into the hose ends, move the hose clamps into place and tighten. Be sure to wear some gloves! The clamps can be sharp, and you want to be able to focus on doing a good job lining things up so you don’t have any leaks.
4. Attach the regulator to the tank. Make sure the special washer is seated inside the regulator nut. You don’t want any Teflon here.
5. Open the tank valve and listen for leaks. Do this someplace quiet. Even the tiniest leak will empty your tank quickly. Adjust the regulator so you are getting about 50 lbs on the low pressure dial.
Here’s a close-up of what you need for your bottle fill-cap. A couple of extra screw tops are nice to have on hand:
6. Drill a 15/64 inch hole in your bottle cap. Use a Brad-point drill bit so that you get a nice centered hole.
7. Thread your tire stem through the cap and work it into place.
8. Now you have your complete assembly!
9. Make some seltzer! Fill your bottle with water. Leave some empty space (maybe 1/5 the bottle) at the top for CO2. Then just fill the bottle the way you’d fill a tire. You will be able to hear the gas moving, and feel the bottle getting full. Then give the bottle a good shake. You can actually feel the bottle get softer as the CO2 dissolves in the water. I usually repeat the fill-and-shake routine a few times, but it’s your seltzer: make bubbles to your personal taste. To maximize your carbonation, chill your filled water bottle before adding the gas, since cold water adsorbs more CO2.
Here’s how the seltzer machine looks installed under our sink at home. The cut-off valve makes a convenient place to store the hose, which is long enough to reach the sink. Installed this way, it’s impossible to hang up the hose without turning off the ball valve, a nice feature. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Zucchini Candy
10 cups peeled diced zucchini 1/2 inch cubes ( I use "worms" about 3 inches long and 1/12 inch thick and wide. The little dice would be good in muffins, though.
3 cups water
2 pkgs. unsweetened  Cherry Koolaid
2 1/2 cups sugar
Peel zucchini, dice or slice, removing seeds. Mix the liquid syrup together. Add zucchini. Bring to a boil and them simmer for 25 min. Drain. Put on dehydrator trays. Dry 14 hours at 125 degrees. Turn pieces over and dry another 4 hours. This will feel dry and not sticky when done. Store in jars or other tightly sealed containers.If you dip in sugar when you turn them, they will be more like "gum drops" on the outside. 


Surprisingly, they aren't too sweet at all...more sweet-and-sour. The more they sit in the brine, the more Kool-Aid they absorb. I think they're at their best between 24-48 hours.

1   46-oz. jar of Kosher pickles (whole)
2   small packs of cherry Kool-Aid powder
2   cups warm water
1   cup sugar

Open the pickle jar and dump the brine. Remove pickles and slice each pickle in half lengthwise. Pack pickles back in jar. Mix warm water, Kool-Aid, and sugar together; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour Kool-Aid mixture over pickles. Cap the pickle jar and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. For more flavor, leave pickles in brine for several days.


deep fried kool aid image

Ingredients for Deep Fried Kool Aid:
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 3 2/3 Cups of Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 1/8 Cup of Cherry Kool Aid
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • Vegetable Oil For Frying

Making The Batter:
Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the milk while beating slowly. Add all of the dry ingredients, and beat until the mixture is slow and creamy. The batter should be a bright pink color. Add more kool aid as desired.

Cooking Directions:
Cook in hot vegetable oil for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the hot oil when the fried kool aid batter is golden brown and is crispy.

If desired, the deep fried kool aid can be rolled in a mixture of powdered sugar and cherry kool aid after it is fried. Use about 1/8 cup of kool aid to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Allow the Deep Fried Kool Aid to cool a bit before eating. They will burn you badly if eaten too soon. Fried Kool Aid taste best with a fresh glass of Kool Aid!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We are dying to try this new lip minx trend!

You cut them to fit your lips, pad them with a wet sponge, peel them off and viola you have patterned lips! The temporary lip minx lasts for 8 hours and can be removed with a wipe and a little baby oil.We could totally see Rihanna, Beyonce or Lady Gaga rocking these. They are not for everyday wear for us common folks!

Temporary Lip Tattoos? This may be the strangest fashion trend we’ve seen in a long time. Yes, even weirder than the knee jewelry.
Violent Lips is a temporary lip tattoo line that offers vitamin-enhanced applications for your lips in prints and patterns ranging from glitter and polka dots to fishnets and rainbow stripes.
It’s totally FDA-approved, contains no animal products, and can easily be removed with baby oil and a textured wipe. And with a lasting effect of 4-8 hours, that’s longer than some regular lipsticks.


            I could so ROCK this one!!

This new brand is the creation of Athena Elliott (Minx Houston). She is currently accepting pre-orders at the end of April. I'll be updating this post as more information is available.


Step 1
Print off the tattoo sheet using an inkjet printer,

Step 2

When you buy the tattoo paper you get an adhesive sheet which you stick over the top off the printed sheet. Remember to let the printed sheet dry for at least 1/2 an hour before you attach the adhesive sheet.

Step 3
Rub the two sheets together to make sure you have got rid of all the air bubbles.

Step 4
Cut out the designs using a craft knife or a pair of scissors.

Step 5
Peel off the protective film to the front of the printed tattoo. You will be left with a sticky surface.

Step 6
Place the design face down onto the skin.

Step 7
Using a damp sponge, saturate the tattoo with water and rub gently. Continue this process for about 30-45 seconds.

Step 8
The white backing paper will start to easily slip off. Dab the tattoo with a dry cloth to get rid of any residue and it is finished.

Now coat your lip tattoo with any extended wear lip gloss.

Monday, June 20, 2011



  • 6 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
  2. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.



Today my neighbor decided he was going to replace his deck floor with a composite one. He said I could have all the old boards for FREE!!! I'm going over today to drag them all home. Hmmm...what to build.

Pictures of my make shift pantry going down basement steps before makeover. Not proud of this!!.


                        AND AFTER....

All the 5 gallon buckets on bottom contain my flour, sugar, pet food,etc. 

      Now I'm ready to can, can, can...

Thursday, June 16, 2011


O.K...So  it's 1 am., and I'm on a mission to figure something unique to stake my tomato plants up. I found a roll of copper tubing in the garage, and seeing I have a copper roof, and my lightning rods, and weather vane is copper also.....perfect, right?

This is my idea.....something of this nature.

Rainbow Tomato Spirals - 4 Foot Tomato Supports
   Sturdy, rustproof, no fastenings. The plant is supported by growing through the spiral. And most of all stylish hmmmm.....stylish tomatoes. 

  Anyway, I bent the copper around a pole I had in the back yard. This is what I ended up with, now I only need 8 more. 

The only thing missing is something decorative for the top. I guess that will have to wait. I'll keep thinking.........but now it's night night time. 

O.K now that it's daylight I've finished  6 spirals.

Of course there has to be "BLING".I added Swarovski crystals with some wire.

You can't see it in pictures, but when the sun catches the crystal it's incredibly BEAUTIFUL!!!
                 Have a great weekend !