Friday, January 29, 2010

In the kitchen

What's going in the kitchen while it's below freezing outside.

Sticky applesauce playdough ::

Shampoo playdough from Mudworks ::

Sorting through those paint samples from Home Depot

While all this is going I'm either at the sink with the dishes or preparing for the evening meal. When the shampoo playdough was in progress dough was being mixed for calzones. I mixed my usual pizza dough and let it rise. When I went back to it later I cut it in half and rolled into a 7 inch circle. On one half of the circle spread tomato sauce then put sliced ham, chopped onion, sliced black olives and either provolone or shredded mozzarella cheese. Then around the perimeter of the circle brush lightly with water. Then I took the side without the sauce and covered all the goodies and pinched the sides closed. Brushed the top with a little olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

A warm treat to use up lunch meat. Omit the cheese and it's dairy free. Omit the meat and create your own delicious vegetable calazone. I hope to try to make more of these I forgot them from one of my favorite cookbooks. Anyway you like it just brings warmth.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Simply Living

Been away from the blogshpere for a few days doing some reading, embroidery, thinking of the next knitting project (I'll talk more about that one later this week.) and mostly just trying to capture some special moments with my family. Time can escape us soo quickly that I just wanted to be in the moment be part of it and record it in my journal before it was gone. What have I been doing in between spending time with the kids....

Almost finished embroidering a canvas bag to carry around small projects or needlwork hooks. I used a fabric pen to write on the bag.
Been doing some reading. I usually don't go for the daily devotional 365 day books because I just can't keep up and sometimes they can be overly religious. But this one I did not mind Simple Abundance. I look forward to it and reflect how it does actually fit our life today to live simply and real. Whatever happened to how people used to live and why does all this new technology and stuff that's supposed to make our life easier only add more of something else that complicates our lives and actually doesn't simplify. Something to reflect on in 2010.

And lastly I discovered a new recipe. Earlier in the day I had made some meatballs and rice and put it in the fridge. Around 10:30 last night found this recipe from Redhead Recipes for barbeque meatballs. The sauce are you ready for this ? Mix good chili sauce and grape jelly. I told Jimmy and he saw the picture and it looked good. Well curiosity got the best of us. Into the kitchen we go warm up the rice, meatballs and a piece of brocoli. In bowl mixed grape jelly and very spicy chili sauce warmed it up in the microwave and then drizzle over the meatballs and rice. It was spicy sweet! Maybe a little less chili sauce or better chili sauce but very tasty. As I write this for a vegetarian variation instead of meatballs how about tofu? Something to ponder.
Now let's see what the rest of this week's adventures will be?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jewelry Finds

Why am I showing jewlery from the thrift store? Lately I've looked at my wardrobe and thought it needed a spruce up. Instead of going out and buying brand new clothes or accessories I wanted my own personal touch. I wanted to add pieces to my life and wardrobe that actually meant something like homemade scarves and thrifted jewelry. I think women when they become moms life changes drastically and can be unexpected. We can lose ourselves rather quickly by always putting our little people first. Then we can't go back to what we used to wear before children or wear things that don't bring out our best. Instead why not bring something to ourselves that can be unique, thrifted (with a story behind it), something new from something old. A little something to add a little pizzaz and smile. It will certainly make our little ones smile too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This past weekends fun finds. The River King by Alice Hoffman, Good Harbor by Anita Diamant, Vintage Quilts by Bobbie Aug, and Simple Abundance A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

This week may be a quiet week on the blog. I'm expecting a couple of full days morning till night so I'll try to pop in at the end of the week or at least post a picture.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hoping this weekend

Dreaming in this weekend while praying for Haiti. Please help in any way that you can through prayer, positive energy, Doctors Without Borders or any organizaiotn your comfortable with.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Activity Bag

Most days not all I'm on the go and I have hours of wait time on benches and in the car so I ususally bring something to do in a bag. I call it my activity bag. My dilemna has been I put away my summer activity bag but I don't have a sturdy one for the cooler seasons. Now I could have easily just went out and bought a canvas tote or pretty bag but I thought I need another crooked sewing challenge. So here goes refurbished from a shower curtain from the thrift store.

Some of the inside seams are not so pretty. Made 2 inch handles 36 inches long and then cut them into 1 inch because they were too wide. One of the handles got so frayed and torn up I had to cut another strip to make the handle. Good thing there was a lot of shower curtain left. I gave you a close up of the handles because well why show not show you the not so good raw edges. I'm not so sure about how I spaced the handles. Oh well. The bag pattern I used is from Handmade Home. The straps were inspired from the most recent Joann Fabric flyer. The straps are stitched right on to the top before assembling the bag.

In the bag right now books for reading and quiet time inspiration and canvas bags waiting to be embroidered. What you can't see in the bag we carry around here are thoughts and prayers to Haiti .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter comforts

Scarves for the boys.

Made this green set last week. The seams still crooked and one of the fingerless gloves I accidently sewed it inside out. Ooops! I added pockets to the scarf.

This one for my husband needed bigger pockets. Instead of just sewing along the edge to create a border I did this one different. After sewing the 2 pockets on to a piece of polar fleece I took another piece of polar fleece put the 2 good sides together and sewed it but left a small opening. Turned it inside out then sewed the opening. I hope I explained that ok. Again a little more crooked sewing before dinner last night (with many interruptions).

For dinner shepherd's pie.

Made this yesterday morning for dinner while the dirty dishes piled up in the sink and across the counter. Didn't want to show you the dirty dishes just the food.

Much needed comfort food and warmth on these cold winter days.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Never too late

Is it too late to learn something new? I say never unless it's physically impossible. I have always been impressed with those beautiful birds on Genine's Art Blog. I wondered how does she make those? So last week with the kids at the library I found a book on how to draw birds and thought why not give it a try. Grabbed my sketchbook and a pencil and just gave it try.

Another something new and fun to learn alongside my kids.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekend In

Too cold to go out this weekend so spent the weekend in hibernating and baking.
Granola again. The third batch was cinnamon with orange craisins. Yummy with cereal or by the handful.

Dried Apricot Butter I forgot the honey and didn't dice the the apricots very well but the taste was sweet.
The best baking of all was chocolate cake for my 9 year old's birthday celebration.

We had fun with the colors and decorating.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hearts and Flowers

Earlier this week inspired by the cold weather I had a couple of nights of sewing polar fleece. Night #1 made 3 scarves for the girls. I bought this fabric about 2 months ago, cut it last month and finally started it for the new year. The 3 scarves are just cut pieces of polar fleece and to make them different I stitched borders all the way around. For one scarf I did a straight stitch twice. For the other 2 scarves I did 3 rows of stiches with a combination of some straight and some zig zag lines. It gives a plain scarf a nice border.
The next night I made fingerless gloves. It was tricky to measure but I did ok. The seam did not line up on the hand the way I pictured because I cut the thumb holes in the wrong spot. I figured out to do a nice little seem at the top of the glove.
What I also figured out is I'm a slow sewer and a bit messy. What's worse is that I have a lot of trouble sewing straight! I think it's because I was tired. Well looking forward to continue sewing in 2010 till I get it straight :)
Happy winter weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Article

Hello friends! For those of you who have known about me only through the blogsphere may have noticed that I like to cook and bake. Like this past weekend I did go over board on the baking . What I may not have made clear yet is that our families' meal have always been challenged by food allergies since we started our family. Some of my children have not had foods with eggs. One of my children has never had anything with nuts or dairy. That's why you may see a lot of baking without the usual ingredients.

I'm happy to share what I have made especially if some of my recipes are allergy friendly because I hope that it appeals to everyone. I hope that it takes away the wonder of some foods that with substitions it doesn't have to look or taste strange.

Recently my best friend who I grew up with (and who I have a lot of recipe conversations with) debutted her new website Cooking with Luv. She's is a meal planning guru and has tons of tips for me on how to prep food ahead of time. She had asked me recently if I could contribute an article about food allergies and any tips I could give. I said sure and submitted my first artcle that I have ever written *gulp*! My nerves got the best of me and I couldn't go back to read my own article about our family experiences with food allergies so instead I registered and got on the mailing list. Whether you like to cook, bake or prep ahead a little help in the kitchen can go a long. So here goes to my first article ever The Wonderful World of Food Allergies .

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby blanket

Baby blanket for a gift.

Baby blue softness crocheted for the whole month of December. One row double crochet then one row single crochet. For the border 3 rows of single crochet.
Next I'm thinking crochetting doilies and knitting another bag:)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blog Lists

After reading everyone's blogs this past holiday season there has been so much inspiration I couldn't keep up so I decided on making a list of things I'd like to try to make, bake and read.

From: Angry Chicken

Marshmallows dipped in chocolate

Holiday Napkins from Dec. 17, 2009


Apricot Crumble

Marshmallows I'm excited about this one because I didn't know you could make homemade
marshmallows without eggs!

From: In the Purple House

Linen scarf I'm thinking for me and the girls.

Autumnal Wreath For our home or a gift.

headbands Can never have enough of those.

wall hanging made with buttons

I'm going to need a lot more buttons I'll be on the wathch for those.

Articles of interest: because I'm always wondering how others do it.

The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting

down--to earth: Living a deliberate life

Unschool Days

Books: Simplicity Parenting

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday Baking

What to do on a snowy Sunday morning?? Bake :) And yes I may have gone overboard and I also did make pancakes for lunch and fish with vegetables for dinner. I couldn't think of a better way to stay warm on winter day.

Oatmeal cookies requested by Sophia and Valentina

Not apple pie but apple turnovers. I thought I'd use my apple pie filling and pie crust to make turnovers instead of a pie for dessert or breakfast.
Snickerdoodles yes that's really what they are called.
Bad snickerdoodles.
Good snickerdoodles.
I had to make a second batch of snickerdoodles because I was up for the challenge of trying to get it right. My usual baking powder mixture to replace the egg just didn't do it. So here is the recipe I adjusted. I also recommend if unsure when baking just half the recipe.
1 cup dairy free margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce (or 2 eggs)
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Topping: In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Mix thoroughly margarine, sugar and applesauce. In separate bowl sift dry ingredients then add to mixture. It will be form into dough . Roll into balls then roll in sugar in cinnamon. Place about 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. If they bake too long they may burn or turn hard see the bad cookie pictures:)
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