Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday:Still Christmas Gifts

The after Christmas week around here has been nice and quiet as I still work on late Christmas gifts that are turning into New Year's gifts. I swear after New Year's I'm making a Christmas oath to start working on Christmas 2012 handmade gifts while the ideas are still fresh in my head. Does anyone else want to join in on the Christmas oath?

So for this week's yarn along I don't have the pictures of the completed cowls (maybe tomorrow) but I have these 2 great Christmas gifts. One is an older knitting reference book and the latest issue of Crochet Today.  Love all the projects in this issue I actually gave myself a headache from all the ideas

Hope your enjoying some good reads or yarn project?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dollar Tree Pom Pom Garlands

We have been loving making pom pom garlands to decorate the doorways.  I had seen these last year on the blogs and forgot about them till a friend mentioned them and brought over some pom poms from the dollar tree.  Fun activity we worked on for 2 days. Some garlands were bunched up poms which are fun and happy.  I suggested using some of the craft beads to space out the poms and give it a different look.  Either way it was fun for everyone age 3 and up.
What you will need:
Poms from the Dollar Tree
Dental floss (holds up better than thread)
Beads any kind you like
Pizzazz and holiday cheer!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yarn Along: Elving with yarn

Quickly dropping in for the yarn along.
 The bodies of the 5 headless bears.  This is the worst kept Chrismas secret present. I'm pretty sure I can get it done by Christmas.
Making cowls.  I'm on my third and 1 more to go we'll see how they look. 
Happy yarning!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

:: Elving in the works

There has been loads and loads of elving in the making that I have been enjoying.

:: Endless drawings.
::  Using artwork to write our advent making for the calendar.
::  Pom pom making (I'll share soon in another post.)
:: Using lots and lots more tape everywhere.
:: Buying more tape.
:: Stefaina turning the tape boxes into gift boxes for her jewelry.
:: And the baking not by me at all.  Sunday turned into Gianfranco's day of baking with a couple of helpers.  Yes he did everything cookies, muffins more cookies and cinnamon rolls.  Even tried a new recipe.  I just stood by for stove duty.

Hope you're enjoying some elving as well. 
Happy Solstice!

Monday Links

Ok a day late on the Monday links but there has been quite a bit of elving and decorating and loads of tape dispensed around here that I forgot to post this yesterday.
Been collecting stain glass cookie recipes to make another year.
A neat claydough recipe.
Love roasting brussel sprouts (that's what's in the picture).
I like the design of this crochet bag with granny squares it just needs some color changes don't you think?
Gift tags in pinch these week.
I shouldn't even look at this post for a tote it's too tempting.
Don't think I'll make my own nutella  here is a recipe if anyone is feeling adventurous.
Simply awesome brown paper bag  and book pages gift wrapping.
Felt flowers for pins, ponytail holders maybe.

Hopefully I'll be back later with an elving post :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Welcome Back Meatloaf

 A few years back I used to make meatloaf but in between being pregnancies it was one of those foods I couldn't stand so I gave it up but now I'm ready for to come back into my kitchen for dinners with a side of tasty vegetables. 
 Italian Style Meatloaf
2 lbs ground beef (93%/7 lean)
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs (seasoned if you like)
1 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup soy milk
1 cup of tomato sauce (reserve some for topping)
If there is no seasoning in the bread crumbs add the following to taste:
garlic powder
fresh parsley

1.  Preaheat oven to 400 degrees and grease 2 loaf pans.
2.  In a bowl mix bread crumbs and seasoning and chopped onion.
3.  Add in meat, soy milk and tomato sauce.  Mix well then divide and press into 2 loaf pans.
4. Drizzle remaining tomato sauce and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour till top is a bit brown and internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
Enjoy for dinner or freeze for later.

1.  The soymilk is to replace 1 egg.  In the orginal recipe it calls for 1-2 eggs.
2.  This meatloaf is moist but because it does not contain eggs it will crumble but worth the flavor.
3.  Another time I might  add in maybe another vegetable like carrots or spinach.
4.  Does this freeze well yes.  Once the meatloaf is competely cooled down line a cooke sheet with wax paper slice meat loaf into slices and lay on the cook sheet and freeze.  Once they are frozen  they can go into a bag.  I did this so I would have a fast food for a quick meal in a pinch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yarn Along: The finished sweater :))))

Joining in this week for Ginny's yarn along
 No headless bears to show this week.  But I do have my first finished sweater.  Love this pattern from New England Knits.  Can't wait to wear it soon and now I can't wait to try something else from this book like a bag, a vest or a skirt.  I think I'm getting ahead of myself better wait till after the holidays. 
What am I reading? Not a book but my recipe binders and found this Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publicastion : Soups magazine while grocery shopping and love it  for some warm soups for this winter. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Join me in the kitchen

Welcome to today's crazy kitchen cooking.  Thought you might like a peak of what went from morning till bedtime.

:: Loads of dirty dishes
:: A clean sink and counter *sigh* even if only for a short time.
:  Let the cooking begin!  Roasting vegetables, boiling sweet potatoes for soup, made fish cakes and sauteed a little spinach.
:: Then went on to try a new recipe Italian Style Meatloaf .  Definitely a hit a recipe keeper I'll share soon as soon as I rewrite it.
:: Lastly feeling like I should make cookies to feeze for before Christmas.
Most days are not like this at all.  Why all the cooking?  I have been trying to be better about having some frozen foods to reheat (like bread, soups, fish cakes, meatloaf) so I'm trying to incorporate a new rhythm the day or two after grocery shopping try to double up on a meal and cook some things to freeze so they are easy to grab to make a quick meal.  This helps me avoid buying premade foods and they only take a couple of minutes to reheat.  One of my short cuts I wanted to sharre. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

::A Very Short Monday List

Spending the evening cozied up with a very big ball of yarn to crochet and more yarn nearby for Christmas gifts that I can't show you right now.  But I did want to share a few links I love.

:: These absolutely cutest desserts.
:: So many things to browse in this catalog.
:: Found some helpful recipes here.
::My first thought after finding this Homemade Liquid Soap recipe great one less thing to buy at the wholesale club :)
:: She also has some neat ideas in DIY list.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yarn Along: Headless Bears

Joining in this week for Ginny's yarn along.

 This project look familiar?  Yes it's the same bear but instead of pink there is a grey version and soon brown that I'm starting today. I need to make 5 for Christmas so I decided on a system to make all the bodies first and then continue with the rest of the pieces.
On the coffee table right now Christmas books and Falalala Felt for elving inspiration :)
Can't wait to see what your making.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Late Monday Links

It's been a while since there were any Monday links but I came across these links lately and wanted to share all the inspiration and hopes to make some day.

:: This fabric is beautiful.
:: The words in this post are my favorite.
:: These cards are cute that I was thinking if I send any out next year to do this . 
:: Christmas boxes good idea for gift wrapping.
:: Yummy nutella cookies.
:: The colors and design of this crochetted afghan and this one.
:: My favorite video about boys & dance.
:: Thinking about these bandanas.
:: Love the cover of this magazine.
:: Found this neat magazine for kids.

Hoping your finding bits of inspiration today too :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Apple Bread

 A couple of weeks ago I made this apple bread and some orange juice muffins but didn't post either one because the recipes need some improving.  The muffins are on hold for now but I did remake this apple bread and it was sweet, yummy and ready to share.

1 cup whole pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a cup mix 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup dairy free margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and grated apples

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
2.  In a bowl mix all dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl cream together baking powder mixture, sugar and margarine. 
3.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients stir together.  Then fold in apples. 
4.  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour till golden brown or insert a tooth pick and it comes out clean. Cool completely
Goes well with coffee, tea or freeze till read to eat.

1.  The orginal recipe uses 2 egg which replaces the baking mixture.
2. Chopped  pecan or walnuts would be yummy!
I wasn't sure if everyone would like it but it turns out they do.
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