Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spicy N' Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

Summertime produce is in full force here in Southern Maryland and that means one thing: pickles! I am completely fascinated by the canning/pickling process but I will be honest, I find it quite overwhelming as a novice pickler. So, I decided to use my influx of garden fresh cukes to make an easier pickle recipe. I first tried "refrigerator pickles" when I was about seven years old and I fell in love. They are so sweet and tangy; to me, they just taste like summer! As I have grown up, I've developed a liking for a more spicy style pickle so made my own recipe but added a little kick via some crushed red chili pepper flakes. This recipe is super simple and the pickles should last up to three months in the fridge (that is if you can resist the urge to eat them all in one sitting). 


3-4 medium sized cucumbers
1/2 of a sweet vidalia onion
1/4 of a red onion 
1 cup of white distilled vinegar
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
2 tbsp of fine sea salt
1 tsp of ground turmeric
2 tsp of mustard seeds 
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of red chili flakes (or more! or none!) 


1. Begin by peeling the onion and slicing into thin strips (either rings or half-moons). 

2. Wash cucumbers and peel if you want (I like the skin so I kept it on). 

3. Slice the cucumbers thinly. Use a mandolin if you have one to prevent painstaking slicing with a knife. I used a cheap cheese grater and lost a knuckle in the process. I will be purchasing a mandolin very soon! The thinner, the better for these pickles.

4. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for approximately an hour. Once the excess water has drained out of them, transfer them into smaller, sealable containers and mix with onion.
5. In a small mixing bowl, combine vinegars, sugar and various spices. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved into the mix. 

6. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Don't fret if they don't cover them completely, just ensure that you stir them every now and then for the first few hours. 

7. Place in the fridge and enjoy! They get better with age so the longer you can wait the better. I lasted a whopping 2 hours! 

Hopefully my next pickle recipe will be the the real, true canned dill pickles. Until that courage develops, fridge pickles it is!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thrift Haul #4

Summer time is here and that means I have lots of time after work to hit up my favorite stores of the DC  metro area. Unfortunately, I did not visit any new stores this month; but, with that said, my "regulars" sure did not dissapoint.  

My sister's cat, Beast, enjoyed helping me photograph all my finds!

 The Goods:

J Crew Silk Top: $1.98
Goodwill on Richmond Highway in Alexandria, VA
This is a mint condition find! I love the yellow and gray print and the neckline is so fun.

Ecote Summer Linen Dress: $8.98
Goodwill on Richmond Highway in Alexandria, VA
This is a really light, linen dress. I am not nuts about the print but I loved the back! This is a brand from Urban Outfitters. 

BCBG Dress Pants: $5.98
Goodwill on Richmond Highway in Alexandria, VA
These have a great stretch to them and still had the front seam ironed. They look like they've never been worn. Score!

Silence and Noise Dress: $8.98
Goodwill on Richmond Highway in Alexandria, VA
I loved the structure of this dress. It is so flattering for all body types!

Max and Cleo Knit Dress: $4.99
Thrift Store Center in Alexandria, VA
This dress is jersey knit but looks professional enough to wear to work. What could be better than that? I love the pleated details.

Vintage Crop Top: $1.98
Thrift Store Center in Alexandria, VA
The embroidery on this top is so detailed and unique. It will look awesome with a pair of high waisted shorts. 

Forever 21 Jorts: $1.98
These are a summer staple. They were in great condition and have just enough stretch to them to make them the perfect jort!

High Waisted Khaki Shorts: $1.98
I didn't try these on but realized when I arrived home that they are high waisted! Super cute.

Tahari Sling Backs:  $4.94
This is one of my favorite finds of the month. These were in almost perfect condition and they are so great for work because the heel isn't too high. Not to mention, $5.00! 

Nine West T-Strap Pumps: $8.00
Vintage Values in Lexington Park, MD
These shoes were brand new without tags. Their soles showed absolutely no wear! Can you tell I have thing for patent leather? 

Nine West Elastic Espadrille Wedges: $2.50 
SMILE in Lusby, MD
The straps of these shoes are pure elastic which makes them so comfy. They are the perfect summer wedge!

Funky Coasters: $1.98
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
These were all shopping themed anecdotes. Very cute for my new room. 

Fashion Framed Art: $5.98
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
I normally do not even look around the art and housewares when I thrift but I have recently started to broaden my horizons. I am in love with this framed print an it was only $6.00!

Loft Metallic Espadrille Wedges: $9.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
Another score of mint condition shoes from the Columbia Pike store! These are a brushed silver color so they are perfect for every outfit!

Forever 21 Dolman Sleeve Sweater: $1.98
Thrift Store Center in Alexandria, VA
This was great, stretch dolman sleeve sweater. I picked this up in the middle of July because the price was spot on. 

H&M Silk Blouse: $1.49
Thrift Store Center in Alexandria, VA
I love a great silk blouse for work. This is gonna to look super chic with an ivory lace pencil skirt!

The Limited Sleeveless Blouse: $2.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
This is a perfect top to wear under a blazer. The front is silk but the back is a stretch cotton. 

Loft Geometric Print Blouse: $3.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
I was really drawn to the print of this top. It is a nice light chiffon so it will be great for work or a night out with a pair of skinny jeans.

Diane Von Furstenberg Sheer Tunic: $6.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
My first Diana Von Furstenberg find! This was originally a dress but has lost its inner shell so now it just a tunic. I am planning on wearing it as a swim suit cover up!

H&M Coral Tunic: $3.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
I love love love this color. It is the perfect pop of coral. This will look awesome with dark denim!

Banana Republic Silk Wrap Blouse: $3.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
This was one of my wild card finds. The print is not what I would typically choose but I thought I would give it a try. The wrap style is really flattering and the silk material makes it very comfortable.

Banana Republic Linen Floral Dress: $6.74
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
I love linen and Banana really knows how to do it well. This is a beautiful printed linen summer dress! Now I just need to find an occasion. 

Xhilaration Knit Summer Dress: $0.75
Vintage Values in Lexington Park, MD
This was one of my glorious "bin finds." This is a simple summer dress and for $0.75, who could pass it up!?

Silver Jewelry Dish: $0.96
Goodwill on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA
Another house ware find of the month. This looks great on my vanity with all my jewelry. 

And there you have it, another month of thrifting for the books!