22 May 2015

G is for Gathered Green Gown

I found the perfect spot to take pictures.  
But Cupcake is a runner, so this was the only one I got.

I thought her new umbrella would be a fun prop, since 
she played with it for hours yesterday.  But that was yesterday.

Instead, there was lots and lots of twirling .. .

... and talking to the neighbor's dog.

I drafted my own pattern inspired by a combination of 
this pattern from Shwin & Shwin that I've been wanting since it first came out, 
and the pattern for this month's Project Run & Play from The Crafty Cupboard.

And my little girl is getting opinionated and independent.
She likes to pick out her clothes (usually dresses) and put them on BY HERSELF.  
So I made this dress roomy enough to put on easily
with no buttons or closures so she doesn't need my assistance.

As frustrated as I was, trying to take pictures, I'm happy how the dress turned out, with ducks on the top and chicks on the bottom.  I'm happy that the weather was beautiful and the grass is so green.  I'm happy that Daddy surprised us by being home on time.  I'm happy that I have a sweet, healthy and energetic little girl.

20 May 2015

39: Cheddar Quick Bread

Another recipe from Canadian Living's Family Cookbook, Cheddar Quick Bread.

2 cups flour
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter, melted
6 green onions, finely chopped

In bowl, stir together flour, cheese, powder, sugar, and spices.  Whisk together egg, milk and butter; add to dry ingredients along with onions, stirring until combined.  Spread in greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan.  Serve warm.  Makes 1 loaf.

12 May 2015

the outside part of homemaking

Part of homemaking is the OUTSIDE of the house too. We started our garden in February with a bucket of mixed potting soil and stuff and some water. Yay MUD!! Mix it up with your hands and then make it into blocks with a piece of PVC pipe.

The garden blocks have the seeds pressed into them, and then are put in trays under grow lights in our basement. We have a mister to water them once or twice a day, and in about 10 days, we have this! JE's petunia flowers were the first things up this year.

In April, at LONG last, the snow was gone and the ground softened up. Last year, our garden was in the back yard but it didn't get enough sun. So this year, step 1 was for Adam to till under most of our front yard. We laid out pallets with compost dumped into them (the girls helped spread the soil with their kid-sized snow shovels), and ultimately ended up with 6 garden boxes. Last year, we had 4.

Lots of mulch all around. Flowers on the street side, in front of the pallets. Down at the end, near the driveway, we have some small berry bushes as well. The sister missionaries helped one evening with filling the boxes with compost, and planting more flowers.

It ain't gardening without at least one ride in the wheelbarrow.

Still in the laying out stage - there are now 2 more boxes in the stretch of dirt at the top of the picture. Adam also added some dark green wire fencing in the boxes for the peas and tomatoes to climb. The dirt area in the front is where herbs have been planted.

And in the past few days, we've had our little field of tulips, and the peas have indeed starting climbing their fence!

So if you've been wondering why I haven't been posting about sewing ... THIS. This is what we've been doing. (And when it was still snowy outside, I've been working on my first ever pieced quilt. It's awesome, but it's full sized for a bed so it's taking a REALLY LONG time!)

Recipe 37: Peanut Butter Cookies

I've had this recipe stuck on my fridge for months now, and even with a bunch of sewing projects on the go, I manged to squeak out enough energy to make these cookies.  Thankfully, not a lot of energy was required for these four ingredient cookies.  I got the recipe from Aaron's Grannie's recipe collection.

1 cup peanut butter (I used the real, refrigerated stuff)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
vanilla (1-2 tsp)

Mix all ingredients together.  Roll into balls.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

I was surprised they turned out as well as they did (except that I burnt half of them).  A crunchy, little, peanut buttery cookie that melts in your mouth.

18 April 2015

E is for Elsa dress

We have a birthday at our house this weekend, and an Elsa ensemble had been requested. Grandma and Grandpa provided the accessories, and I made the dress.

I used the general idea from Made By Rae's Christmas present for her daughter. I got the white t-shirt at Target - it has smocking on the top so I thought it would be "fancy" enough. I had the blue in the pile of fabric I got from my mom when she downsized her house a couple of years ago. It's actually a fairly sheer layer of ... something - I have no idea what it's called, and a darker blue of the satiny lining stuff underneath. The white sheer train was from the home dec fabrics at Hobby Lobby. I put it together the same way I do all my regular play t-shirt dresses - cut the skirt fabric to the length I want, run a gathering stitch around the top, and attach. This was a little more tricky because I was attaching 3 layers, and then added a thin silver ribbon at the white/blue seam. If you click to enlarge the picture, you can see the silver better.

The dress is a bit longer than I'd anticipated - it drags on the ground a good amount. But the shirt is loose on her so that means she has PLENTY of growing room in it. And if her last princess dress is any indication, she'll be wearing this for a LONG time. Her other princess dress was made when she was 2 1/2 - she's now 5. Still wears it.

This was taken last Halloween - her 3rd year in a row of wearing that same dress. Looks like we have a new entry in her Halloween princess wardrobe. And holy cow - look how much she's grown up in just the last 6 months.

F is for Frilly Fuchsia Fairies

 Added some butterfly ruffles to the bottom of a pink shirt. 

To make it special I painted some wings onto the back of the shirt.

And even more special, I made two!  One for Cupcake and one for her cousin Kitty.

E is for Edited Elephants

I made a dress this morning.  An enormous elephant evening gown.  I liked parts of it, but the length of the teal was driving me nuts, and the elastic around the neck was too short.  It was annoying me, so I edited it.

The biggest change was trimming the teal, and making the whole thing a shirt instead of a dress.  I also lengthened the elastic in the neckline.  MUCH better.

I'm getting more comfortable with knits.  I especially love using pre-existing hems from old shirts - which I did for both the sleeves and the bottom.  That made this come together really quickly, even with all the editing.  And I love the colorful elephants - yet another sheet from the thrift store!

16 April 2015

Recipe 32: Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I found the recipe here, but I don't trust the site to always be there, and I thought this was worth writing down.  Not so much a recipe as a list of ingredients to dump together, but that's my kind of recipe anyway.  Fast, easy, and yummy.  Next time I want to add spinach.

  • chicken breasts (however many you need)
  • olive oil (just one dollop)
  • minced garlic (a smattering)
  • red pepper flakes (leave these out if you don’t like any heat)
  • marinara sauce 
  • Parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese (twice as much as the Parmesan)
  • croutons (we used Italian-seasoned)
Cut up chicken breasts (or leave them whole, but add more cooking time) and put in the bottom of the pan with the oil, garlic and pepper.  Pour sauce on top.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Add croutons (we crushed ours a little).  Add more cheese on top, if you want.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  

23 March 2015

Recipe 28: Mini Meatloaf Muffins

From Canadian Living's Family Cookbook

Mini Meatloaf Muffins
1 egg
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground beef
2 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
3 tbsp chili sauce (or ketchup)

In bowl, beat egg; mix in bread crumbs, basil, mustard, salt and pepper.  Mix in beef, onions and carrot; form into six balls.  Place meatballs in muffin tins; top with sauce.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink inside.

Tasted good, cooked fast.  And a bonus serving of veggies.

19 March 2015

Recipe 25: French Toast Churros

I found this recipe for French Toast Roll-Ups on The Girl Who Ate Everything.  And it was delicious - like fruit filled churros, leave a smile on your face, go back for more, yummy.  Here's the recipe off the website:

  • 8 slices white sandwich bread  *(make sure it is soft, or it will fall apart)
  • softened cream cheese, diced strawberries, or Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • butter, for greasing the pan

  1. Cut the crust from each slice of bread and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
  2. Place about 1-2 teaspoons of your chosen filling 1 inch from one end of the bread in a strip. Roll the bread up tightly and repeat with the remaining pieces of bread. 
  3. In a shallow bowl whisk the eggs and milk until well combined.
  4. In a separate shallow bowl mix the sugar with the cinnamon.
  5. Heat a skillet set over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter.
  6. Dip each bread roll in the egg mixture coating well and then place them in the pan seam side down. Cook in batches until golden brown, turning them to cook and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add butter to the pan as needed.
  7. Put cooked rolls immediately from the pan to the cinnamon sugar and roll until completely covered in sugar. You can serve with syrup for dipping but I think they're perfectly good all by themselves.

I followed her "inspired by" link and they had more suggestions for fillings - peanut butter, jelly, dulce de leche, marshmallow fluff, any kind of fruit, preserves.  I made some with jelly and some with bananas.  Yum.  I didn't dredge in cinnamon, just sprinkled, and that was plenty.  

I dipped the crust trimmings into the egg and cooked those up too.  They were like French toast French fries .. toast fries?  Appropriate to go with the "churros" - like carnival food.  Definitely a treat.

*Half way through March and already at 25 new recipes?  I'm well on my way to 100 new recipes in a year!