Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining in on Ginny's yarn along.

Well I finally made not one but 2 dishclothes and I'm on my way knitting a third one. I don't what to call these things. I just wanted something to wipe down the table and counters and it gave me a chance to try the Tunisian crochet. I apologize the picture isn't so great. I did enjoy making these even though they came out a little crooked I really like that they feel more like a waffle texture. I hope that one day I can do another tutorial on the Tunisian stitch.

What's new for reading material is The Red Garden that just came out yesterday. So excited Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors. Her books are also translated in Italian. Hope someday to get some Italian copies to add to my library. For now I'll enjoy her latest.

I'd love to hear what you're making.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Blog

Well friends I started a new blog. YesI know 5 kids and all that goes on with life and 1 blog already why start another one? This is our first year homeschooling all 5 children. I have wanted to post about it many times and share experiences and ideas but there never seemed to be a good time. I realized this blog is more about crafting, recipes, organizing and any other ideas that pop into my head. The homeschooling just didn't seem to mesh here. So why not start another blog and keep the two separate. I thought it would be easier on the readers for the ones that enjoy reading about homeschooling and related experiences they can click on the button on the right, follow it or pass it along. For my readers that aren't interested in homeschooling and enjoy This Little Kitchen as it is no worries just hope you keep enjoying it.
So here I go come on over and join me over at 5 Good Reasons.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Very Cold Monday

What have we been doing on these very very cold New England days...

Last week when the power the went out I had to scramble to grab flashlights and candles. Just the day before I was about to get rid of votive candles that have moved me with for the past 20 years luckily I didn't. I didn't have enough candle holders so the next best thing were mason jars.

There was lot of yarn rolling this past weekend and browsing these books for inspiration.

Cozing up with a good book, coffee, my computer, pen and paper.

I don't really have any Monday links but I wanted to pass along this hand me down knit swap at This Cosy Life she has great idea what to do with those outgrown knits and random projects.
Hope you to are having a cozy Monday :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yarn along Wednesday

Continuing along this Wednesday with Ginny's yarn along. I'm still trying out different stitches for a dishcloth. Right now my new favoritie stitch is the Tunisian Crochet. It gives it a waffle texture. I hope I get through 1 dishcloth by next Wednesday.
As for reading I haven't complete my novel but I have been browsing a couple of my favorite Betty Crocker cookbooks. I have had good luck with the recipes but I ignore the weight loss in the titles. A recent recipe I tried is Black Bean Salad from the book on the left. It was little spicy and made a really good lunch with fresh bread.
A note about this recipe it called for 1 tomato but because I got tired of buying tasteless tomatoes last winter, this past summer I diced and froze tomatoes. I took a few from the freezer, thawed them and added it to the salad. When the salad was ready the tomatoes were soft and the juices blended really well with dressing. I don't know if I would do it for a lettuce salad but it was well worth it to freeze them like this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In the sewing studio & Monday Lists

This is a a very late night Monday post but it's the coldest and quietest time of the day for me. It's too cold to head into my basement and work on some other projects so why not snuggle up with my computer, crochetting and a book. Since last week I'm proud to show you the progress in the sewing studio.

I'm breathing a sigh of relief because it's finally cleaned. Everything has been thoroughly sorted, organized and refolded. Phew!
Part of the sorting was going through my hope chest and seeing what fabrics and unfinished projects were in there. A lot has accumulated without any direction so I decided to leave a list in the basket along with a few items that I have specific projects in mind. It's a place that I can go to throughout the year when I want work on something.
While refolding clothes I found about 5 shrunken sweaters and since it is cold I thought how about turning those sleeves into legwarmers. The same worked for tights that the little one out grew.
Legwarmerss for everyone of all ages.

Now just a quick Monday list of links.

  • Don't you just love this kitchen table?
  • My favorite post even grown ups like to daydream.
  • I want to try these doilies too.
  • Love her felted hat .
  • I like the design of these doilies I was thinking I should trying different textures and make a few for scrubbing pots.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lo Mein as promised

A friend passed along this recipe and said it was really good so why not give it a try. In this recipe you can use either chicken, beef, shrimp or skip the meat. I boiled the pasta and vegetable and marinated the beef in teryaki sauce in the morning so I wouldn't have to do all the steps at dinner time.

Lo Mein
beef or chicken cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups of spaghetti broken in half
1 cup baby corn (optional)
1 cup carrots cut julienne
1/2 pound snow pea
1 1/4 cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger finely chopped
1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional)

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil then add spaghetti, carrots, snow peas and corn. Cook till pasta is al dente. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In a small bowl mix water, sugar and cornstarch. Then add soy sauce, broth garlic and ginger.

In a non stick skillet or wok heat 1 tablespoon of oil then add beef or chicken. Cook till beef is no longer pink or chicken is white about 2-3 minutes. Add in broth mixture, pasta and vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes.

The first picture in this post is of the second batch of lo mein and I think I forgot the soy sauce. This is a picture of the other batch and how it would look with the sauce.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yarn Along

Continuing the yarn along this week. On my left is a throw for my bed that I'm crochetting at home. When I was out I brought with me on the right Crochet The Complete Guide by Jane Davis. I wanted to try a few stitches then unravelled it and tried another. I'm hoping to make crochetted dish towels with cotton yarn. We'll see next week.
Can't wait to see what you're reading and making.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cinnamon Playdough

At last the cinnamon playdough.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup warm water.
In a bowl mix dry ingredients then add oil and warm water. Mix with hands and knead till smooth. When done store in a sealed bag.
A fun winter activity escpecially for us New Englanders waiting for the snow storm tomorrow.

Random Tuesday

Today's post is a day late and a bit scattered. So here's what has been going on...

Cleaning up the consequences of Christmas in the sewing studio.

Finally finished this past Friday the Christmas gifts: grey scarf for Jimmy and a reader's wrap for my mom made of Lion's Brand Suede yarn. I tried to take pictures and write a tutorial for the wrap but it was getting confusing.
Tried a new Lo Mein recipe. I'll be sharing the recipe on Thursday.Started a new blog about our homeschooling experience. Hope to share this with you soon.

Another doily ornament I don't know why I started it I just couldn't stop. I either need help for my doily addiction or more doily patterns. Definitely more doily patterns.

And lastly the Monday list of links that inspired me in the past week.

  • Found out I can make my own I starch .
  • I really like these cute dolls from this blog the tutorial is here. Hmm....Easter or Christmas gifts.
  • I'm think of adding these wooden keychains as Christmas gift next year but I definitely want one for myself.
  • This cool chalkboard globe.
  • I love this crochetted hat so much I would love to work on it soon.

Well that's it for now. I'll be back later with the cinnamon playdough recipe.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

All that bread

A few months back I finally got into the weekly rythm of making bread and we have been enjoying it all. Some weeks we use only to 2-4 loaves and other weeks we go through more. Recently this got up into another routine bread crumbs and croutons. I was never able to buy bread crumbs and croutons because of the dairy. Well finally I started making my own croutons with the old bread and there are no worries over the dairy. Everyone can enjoy them. Here's my version I apologize for not having exact measurements
1 loaf or more of day old bread cut into cubes
dried parsley
garlic powder
a dash of Bell seasoning.
olive oil.
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Put diced bread in a bowl then sprinkle with parsley, garlic powder and bell seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil but do not soak bread because then the croutons will be too oily. Toss together then lay on a cook sheet and bake for 10 minutes or till they toasted and golden. Enjoy with salad and soups.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yarn Along

I have been seeing the yarn along on the blogs for a while and wanted to participate at least once. I hope I can keep going, I'm usually knitting or crochetting something and reading.

Right now I'm working on a belated Christmas scarf for Jimmy. At least it's still winter and he'll still be able to use it.

Activity Bags for the New Year

Well I guess I'm slowly easing my way into the New Year and into the blogspere. There has been a lot of excruciating sewing activity and late crochetting. I'm still working on those Happy New Year gifts (a.k.a. belated Christmas gifts). The sewing has been painful for me almost to tears. I have gotten into late night fights with the sewing machine. Everything has happend I have stabbed myself many times with pins, the bobbin has been fickle, the thread was constantly breaking, I put the needle in backwards a few times and broke at least 6 needles. I stopped counting after 4 needles. Now the bobbin thread won't come up at all I don't know what I'm going to with this machine. If the machine was an actual person we would be in therapy or possibly divorced.
Ok so what was the fuss? I was making new bags for the family. I love Ikea fabric and always dig through the "as is" bin. A few months ago I found blue sofa cushion covers. I love the color and finally found a use for them. I took one square and cut it into 4 smaller squares.While struggling to sew up 6 bags I started wondering what I was going to do about straps?
Look familiar? Yes it's leftover fabric from curtains I used in the basement to hide shelves.
After a lot of sloppy and crooked sewing the end result...

Four bags for the girls for when we are on the go. I still have Gianfranco's bag to finish I couldn't find any fabric for his straps. I'm almost afraid to finish it because of the sewing machine.
Oh yes I also made one for myself.
When I was almost done with my bag after all the frustration I thought hey I could use matching pouches. I know crazy right? The blue pouch is for the current book I'm reading. I've always wanted a book pouch to put in my bag so my book doesn't get wet from my water bottle. The black and white pouch is for gum, lotion and small note pad.
After all this we are all pleased with the bags that I made without a pattern. It did make me think about my New Years Resolutions. I have the usual on my New Years list
  • Be healthy
  • Excersice
  • More journal writing (haven't done enough of that)
  • Learn to knit sweaters (hope I have better luck with knitting than I did with sewing.)
  • Oh yes the kids definitely do stuff with them reading, drawing and walking.
  • Lastly get better at sewing maybe even follow a pattern. Maybe lol :)
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