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
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!

18 March 2015

Knot Kitty

I know I already did one version of this dress for Project Run & Play, but who says I can't make another?  (If this is too similar, and against the rules, please let me know!)

Since we're spending Easter in Idaho with my brother's family, I figured I would make a matching dress for cousin Kitty.  But we won't be there for another 17 days, and I wanted to show off the dress now.

Kitty's mom requested something besides a maple leaf, so I had some fun changing up the flip side - a floral center panel (on front and back) with a light blue gingham.  I'm pretty proud of myself for creating my own pattern, I'm just hoping it's long enough for the little girl it's intended for, since I forgot to take some seam allowance into consideration (I remembered the hem, I forgot about the top).   

And thank you, little man, for modeling the dress - you were the only one around that fits in size 2.  I promise I will never use these pictures as blackmail.  But you do look adorable!  (Why can't I get such fabulous pictures of my own kid so easily anymore?)

10 March 2015

E is for Easter!

Project Run and Play posted this month's pattern last week - the knot dress on The Sewing Rabbit and I already had my fabric picked out.  The big flowers on the thrift store sheet are perfect for Easter, and with some tweaking, it works fabulously as a knot dress.  As much as my princess loves twirly dresses, I didn't like the idea of a waistline cutting into those flowers, so I figured an a-line would be more suitable for the fabric.  
I used the pattern provided, but skipped the keyhole back, duplicated the front, and then drafted my own a-line pattern onto it.  I absolutely love how it turned out - even better than I imagined it.  
And I just had to do it: I made it 
I didn't want to go to the store, so I searched through my fabric stash, realizing I don't have a lot of large pieces of fabric.  But I did happen to have another sheet.  And I didn't want just plain red, so I had to come up with something to paint on it.  So, much like Cupcake's Halloween skirt, I have created one outfit for two holidays: Easter and Canada Day!  
At two and a half my daughter is crazy full of energy.  She chased rabbits, climbed stairs, colored with chalk, danced with the broom and ran all over, and somehow I managed to get a handful of decent pictures.  After going through the pictures I realized with her hair down we lost the adorableness of the knots!  So I put her hair up and we went outside again.
 The photo shoot lasted about five minutes (which is fine because it was getting cool outside) and ended promptly when she ran and slipped in the puddle in the grass, landing on her bum.  
So which side do you like?  Easter floral or Canada leaf?

05 March 2015

Recipe 22: Lemon "Cuppins"

I found this recipe in an old book of Aaron's grandmother's - one of those community collections of recipes.  All things lemon sounds fabulous right now, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Lemon Buns
Cream together:
  1 cup sugar
  1/2 cup butter
  2 eggs
  1 cup milk
  rind of 1 lemon
Sift together:
  2 tsp baking powder
  2 cups flour
Add dry ingredients to wet and stir.
Bake in bun tins 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

The recipe called them buns, so I was picturing bread buns, but they are more like a cross between a muffin and a cupcake - very light and moist, with a nice lemon flavor.  I did swap out half the milk for some lemon yogurt, so that may have helped.

Because the directions were vague, I put half the batter in a lined muffin tin, and half in a sprayed one - they got a nice crust in the sprayed pan, which was nice when they were warm, but next time I'll just use cupcake wrappers (since I have a million of them in all patterns and sizes).

24 February 2015

Recipe 19: Hamburger Strata

This tastes a little like lasagna, and a lot like stuffed french bread (only easier to eat).  If I were paying more attention, I would have doubled this recipe.  Probably a good thing I didn't, since I've been cooking so much I don't need a lot of leftovers.  And my husband is picky, and doesn't like the tomato/cheese combo very often (except on pizza) so the small batch was perfect for me and Cupcake.  If making for a larger group, definitely double and use a 9x12 pan.

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion

In an ungreased 10x6x2 dish, layer
1 cup plain croutons
1 7-ounce can whole kernel corn (drained)

Spread the beef on top and then layer:
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup plain croutons

In a separate bowl, mix together:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pour the egg mixture over top, cover the dish in foil and bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Let stand for five minutes before serving.