DIY pineapple Christmas tree ornament

This year I’ve finally got enough space at home for a Christmas tree. Now I get to use some of the souvenirs that I bought in Peru earlier this year. So my Christmas tree has now an andean angel, a rainbow coloured chullo (hat with earflaps), and a llama. However, after adding all the ornaments, the tree was still a bit empty and I needed some more to fill it up.

When I came across the idea of pineapple ornaments on Instagram (by Awwsam), I was immediately sold: it’s an easy to make DIY for christmas ornaments, one of my favourite fruits and it’s an extra tropical touch for my Christmas tree.

Pineapple Christmas ornament

What you’ll need:

Materials

  • pinecones (clean and dry)
  • yellow paint (acrylic or spray paint)
  • string
  • green tissue paper
  • all-purpose glue
  • glitters or glitter glue (this is optional, in case you want to add sparkles to it)

Tools

  • scissors
  • small paintbrush

Instructions

Here’s how you make the pineapple ornaments:

  1. Paint the pinecones, and make sure that all the brown areas are covered. I’ve used acrylic paint and I needed quite some layers to cover the pinecones completely. Make sure to let the paint dry between each layer; acrylic paint dries in 10 to 30 minutes. To save time you can use yellow spray paint instead.

DIY pineapple ornament for the Christmas tree

2. This is optional: if you want to give it a festive touch, add some glitter to the pinecones.

Once your yellow pinecones have dried, it’s time to add the leaves.

3. Use scissors to cut pointy leaves out of the green tissue paper. Next, glue the leaves to the top of the pinecone, and make sure that they form a closed circle. Let the glue dry and then you can carefully fold the leaves a bit to give the pineapple a more natural look.

DIY pineapple ornament for the Christmas tree step 2

4. Cut a piece of string, wrap it around the pinecone, and make a knot.

Now your pineapple is ready for the Christmas tree!

Pineapple Christmas ornaments in the Christmas tree

 

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How to select a good avocado?

Eating an avocado or aguacate is best when its ripe. Then you’ll really taste the smooth, buttery, and nutty flavour. However, selecting the right avocado for your guacemole or other recipes can be hard, so here’s a small guide on how to select a ripe avocado, how to open it, and how to store it.

Selecting

Press opposite of stem
To see if an avocado is ripe press at the end opposite of the stem of the avocado. Ripe avocados should have a bit of a give to them; it should not be completely soft to touch, but neither too hard. The meat ripens from the stem down, so if it yields a bit when you press the end farthest from the stem, you know that the rest of the avocado is at least as ripe. Check the rest of the avocado as well, because people often manhandle it and you’ll end up buying a squishy avocado. Also important is to find out if an avocado is not overripe. Gently shake the avocado near your ear and if you hear the seed rolling, it’s overripe. Choose another one. Lastly, the avocado should have an even coloured skin all over.

Avocados don’t ripen until picked which is why the avocados sold in supermarkets are often under-ripe. The best thing to do is to buy your avocado 3 or 4 days in advance, and let it ripen at the fruit bowl. In case you need to speed up the ripening process, you can store the avocado a day in a brown paper bag together with some bananas or apples.

Opening

Cut the avocado all the way through in the length and turn the halves in opposite directions. The meat of a good avocado will be light-green of colour. If it’s brown or black it’s rotten. Sometimes you’ll find some brown spots. Just remove these as the rest of the meat will be fine. If the avocado is ripe, you can easily peel the skin now it’s cut open.

Storage

Leave unripe avocados on the counter to continue to ripen. It’s best to eat ripe avocados immediately because the taste will be stronger. However, if you have to, you can keep them in the refrigerator drawer for fresh products to last them several days longer.

If you just use one half of the avocado, save the part with the pit attached, and put a bit of lemon or lime juice on the cut side. Wrap it in plastic foil and keep it in the fridge. You can save it up to 2 days. Cut avocados turn brown quickly, and the lime juice, and plastic foil slow down the browning process.

Guacamole

The ingredients for guacamole

Guacamole is my all time favourite recipe. It’s easy to make, everybody loves it, and it’s very healthy too. Because a good guacamole is all about avocados, make sure you’ve got some ripe ones. If you’re not sure how to select a ripe avocado, read my tips.

Like with all recipes there are a lot of variations of guacamole out there. One is spicy, the other mild, or chunky or smooth. I’ll be sharing the recipe I got from my Mexican roommate when I was living in Mexico City. It’s a mild guacamole, because Mexicans add enough chilli sauce to their food, but you can spice it up with some cayenne pepper if you want.

Of course guacamole contains some of the main ingredients of Mexican cuisine: coriander or cilantro, lime and salt. To be precise, you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice of half a lime
  • roughly 1 table spoon or to taste of fresh coriander, chopped up
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 (roma) tomato seedless and diced
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Mash the avocados

Mash the avocado with a fork.

Add other ingredients

When it’s a smooth texture add the onions, tomato, and the coriander. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed properly with the mashed avocados.

Add lime juice

Finish it off with a squeeze of lime juice. Again, mix it well with the other ingredients.

Guacamole and tortilla chips

You’ll end up with a bit of a chunky texture. If you prefer a smooth guacamole, just put all the ingredients in the food processor to chop it up fine. Transfer it into a bowl, and serve the guacamole immediately. It’s as easy as that! I’ve added a big bowl of tortilla chips to dip, but you can also chop up some veggies like carrots to dip or put the guacamole on top of tortillas.

Store your guacamole with plastic foil on top

If you want to store the guacamole for a while you can add some extra lime juice, and cover it with plastic foil. But the tastiest is to eat the guacamole straight after preparing.

How to eat tunas

tunas

This week when I was passing by the Arabic shops in my neighbourhood, I discovered it’s tuna time. I really love these edible cactus fruits which I ate for the first time in Mexico. It can be a bit tricky to cut them because of the small hair-like spines. But with these tips you should be able to cut a tuna or cactus fruit without problem.

be careful with the spinesI cannot stress this enough, be careful with the spines.

This is why you've to be careful when cutting a tunaI’m clearly not the best person to give a good example 😉 Watch out for the hair-like spines. They are very small and can cause a lot of pain and/or skin irritation. You’ll end up finding them everywhere, and they are hard to spot.

Hold the tuna at both ends

To avoid the spines, hold the tuna at both ends.

Cut one end of the tuna

Cut off one end of the tuna while avoiding the spines…

Cut off the other end of the tuna

…then cut off the other end of the tuna.

Cut the tuna lengthwiseNow you can cut the skin lengthwise, still holding both ends of the tuna.

Remove the skin of the tunaFinally you can remove the skin. This can be tricky because you still have to be careful of the spines and pull the skin at the same time. Watch carefully where you’ll place your fingers.

Look at the colourLook at that beautiful orangey red colour! The grainy flesh is the part you can eat. The first time it feels a bit weird to eat the small seeds, but it’s delicious. It tastes a bit like a juicy pear but sometimes they can be a bit bitter too.

Cactus figs come in many different colours such as green, white, yellow, pink, brown and red. Also the flesh comes in a rainbow of colours: white/yellowish, light green, orange or like now red/purple. In Europe they are available from August through October. A ripe tuna should have an intense colour, and the fruit should yield slightly to the touch, just like a ripe pear.

Go and have a look if they sell tunas in your neighbourhood. Remember to hold the tuna at the end when you buy, and cut it.

Tell me, how was your tuna?