31 May 2015

41: Baked Chicken Wontons

This was a joint effort between me and Aaron, but it was something I could have done by myself so I'm totally going to count it for my recipe list.  We had leftover wonton wrappers from making jalapeno poppers (similar to this) so we had to come up with something to use up the rest.  I was saying that the poppers were somewhat labor intensive, like the chipotle popcorn chicken I made (recipe 15) and we were inspired - chipotle chicken wonton bites.  We referenced this recipe, but kept it pretty simple - shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and chipotle sauce (loosely based on this recipe).  It was fun to try different ways of folding the wrappers.  We learned that a tight roll is perfect for frying, but when baked (which is what we did for this recipe), exposed edges get wonderfully crunchy.  I look forward to trying out other wonton recipes - I found one for lasagna cups that looks delicious!

27 May 2015

Firefly Shindig

A friend of mine had a Firefly themed 40th birthday party last weekend.  What a great excuse to make costumes!

I went as Saffron.  I made my own peasant top!  After making only kid clothes for so long, anything my size seems ridiculously huge.  It doesn't go over so well for my ego, but I actually like the top and will wear it again.  

I was asked by the hostess to create this jumper for a little girl that would be attending the party.  She knew I'd be able to do it after seeing all the other sewing projects I've done.  She had no pattern for it but thankfully the girl's measurements were really close to Cupcake's, so I was able to reuse the Easter pattern.  I just HAD to add a zipper.  My very first one!  I put it in at the wrong time and had to finish it all off with bias tape, but it actually turned out alright.  I really need to remember to add seam allowance, and figure out how much to add for zippers.  I have exactly enough fabric to make one for Cupcake too, so I'll get more practice.

The most memorable outfit from the entire show is Kaylee's layer cake dress from the episode Shindig.  The birthday girl wore a beautiful gown, and I had permission to make a mini (kid-friendly) version for Cupcake to wear.  There were plans to make Aaron a gold vest to make him a proper "Captain Tight Pants" like the above photo, but it didn't happen, so he wore a blue vest we already had instead.

 I was able to borrow a serger to help with all the ruffles - thank goodness, or else I would have gone crazy.  It is now on my list of things to buy (eventually).  It was fun to learn a new machine.  Because of the weight of all those ruffles, it was much easier to make a separate skirt and shirt.  For the top, I mixed a t-shirt pattern with this ruching tutorial, and added a little leftover ruffle on the sleeves.

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.