Saturday, December 29, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
I had recently gotten a free kindle book called Slow Cooker Spoon Cakes and Desserts by Sara Winlet. As with many free kindle books, I think it was self published, as there were some errors I think an editor might have caught...such as none of the recipes stated what size crock pot to use.
Anyway, that book was my inspiration for wanting to make dessert for my potluck in my crockpot. I found some that were possibilities, but I searched Pinterest, too. There I found a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for Gingerbread Pudding Cake. Since I was trying to find something Christmasy, gingerbread seemed the way to go. It was very easy, and got many rave reviews from my friends. Here it is:
Gingerbread Pudding Cake (source: BHG)
1 box gingerbread cake mix (14.5oz)
1/2 c milk
1/2 c raisins (I omitted these)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
2 1/4 c water
3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks)
In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and butter. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly spray the inside of a 3 1/2-4 qt crockpot with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine cake mix and milk; it will be very thick. Stir in raisins, then spread evenly in the bottom of crockpot.
Carefully pour butter and sugar mixture over the cake mixture (do not stir), cover pot, and cook on high for 2 hours. Cake may still look moist in center, but will set as it cools.
Remove crock from base, uncover and let cool for 45 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream.
I had been concerned, because I have a 2.5qt pot, and I was worried it would be too small. But I gave it a whirl, and it was fine. It made a yummy caramel sauce in the bottom of the pot, and a thick cake on top. Yum.
In the kindle book, I found a recipe for Cinnamon Bread Pudding (similar ingredients as French toast, but a lot less work) that I was thinking of making as a breakfast on New Years Day (it would be nice for Christmas, too, except M is at her dads until late Christmas morning). I will let you know how that turns out :)
Cake mix in crock
After I poured butter and sugar mixture on top
A decimated cake during serving (I forgot to take a pic pre-serving)
A big spoonful of cake, sauce, ice cream and whipped cream
Saturday, December 22, 2012
This pic is of the two "fanciest" (read: fussiest) cookies that were made. Boss Lady saw the Santa cookies somewhere, and wanted us to make them. But they were way too tedious for 4yo kiddos to make, so I made them, with the exception of a few that a 10yo girl helped with. But she agreed...while cute, they were not easy.
The other ones were s'more sticks. A friend of a friend mentioned them on Facebook a week or so ago, and they sounded yummy. I made them as well, not because my kiddos couldn't dip something in chocolate, but because it is difficult to dip things in chocolate while sleeping. Yes, I made them during nap time. They consist of quartered graham crackers sandwiching marshmallow fluff. I then dipped them in melted chocolate, and gave a little sprinkle of Christmas sprinkles for pizazz. To speed up the process, I then popped them in the fridge for a bit to firm up so they wouldn't leave all their chocolate on the wax paper. They were my preferred cookie, mostly because I prefer brown chocolate to white chocolate :)
The kids then had a party while parents were able to go shopping (or whatever). They decorated giant gingerbread cookies and a gingerbread house, made little egg carton snowmen, and ran around and were silly. I, however, left and went home, while other people stayed and cared for the kiddos :)
In case I don't post before then, here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 16, 2012
After my initial attempt, I liked the proportions of arms, legs, head and body, but his head was a little cocked to one side...oops. So I diagrammed the base circle with the other parts so I knew where to put them. Then I tried again. And I did it!
So, here is my pattern:
Slst: slip stitch
Hdc: half double crochet
Tc: triple crochet
Make a Magic circle (google it if you don't know how)
R1: ch2 (counts as first hdc), 8hdc, slst into ch2 (9 stitches)
R2: ch2 (counts as first hdc), 1 hdc in same stitch, 2 hdc in remaining. Slst into ch2 (18 stitches)
R3: 1 hdc in one st, 6tc in one st, 1 hdc in next st. Slst next 2st. 1 hdc, 2dc, 1hdc in next st. Slst 3, 1hdc 3tc 1hdc in next, slst next, 1hdc 3tc 1hdc in next, 3 slst, 1hdc 2dc 1hdc in next, 2slst. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Add decorations as desired. I embroidered white yarn in zig zags on the arms and legs, looped a piece of red yarn thru the neck and tied a bow (I dabbed tacky glue on the ends of the yarn and the knot to prevent it coming undone), and stitched small black beads for eyes, and green beads for gum drop buttons. I then stitched a pin back onto the back, just under neck level.He comes out 2.5-3 inches tall.
I think he is rather cute :)
Small print: if you post this pattern somewhere, please link back to me :)
Saturday, December 8, 2012
The next problem was finding whole millet, which, it turns out, is not something most stores carry. I found millet flour once. I finally remembered to go to the Food Coop, which is our local version of Whole Foods. And lo and behold, they had millet.
It is a very simple recipe:
8 cups water
2 cans coconut milk
4 cups millet
Mix and cook on low overnight.
I halved the recipe, since I was cooking for two, not 21 like in Telkwa (we had another 17 or so arrive over the next couple days). We will still have some left overs.
It was yummy, and easy, and didn't require me to be fully functional. We end up missing some weekend breakfasts due to that :) The coconut flavor was not noticeable, so if you want to add flavors, I don't think you would need to make other adjustments. I topped mine with a little milk and maple syrup, and M had milk and Smuckers strawberry syrup, which she uses on lots of things.
My issues were that it stuck to the crock, and was cooked unevenly. The parts around the outside were almost mushy, while the middle was more grainy. Once I stirred it up, it seemed to even out. But I am afraid I may still have to soak out the stuck on parts.
I may try that oatmeal in the crock pot for tomorrow before church...but that is a post for another day :)
Sunday, December 2, 2012
I will post more about the party next week after the event. Wish me luck!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
The only changes I made were I only used a quarter of a small cabbage, and I used while caraway seeds, as I missed that part of the recipe, I doubt I could've found ground caraway at the local store anyway, and my grinder doesn't grind well :P
Also, because it is after thanksgiving, the only seasonal beer I could find were winter ales. So I found a local amber lager to use...Red Hook No Equal lager, made for Seattle Sounders fans. In general, I prefer ale, but it isn't bad, so I am able to finish the bottle after using some in the stew ;)
With the minor changes that I made, it is very yummy. I will probably put the full amount of cabbage next time, but wasn't sure how it would go over with M. But it got a thumbs up from her :) Can't ask for more than that!
Saturday, November 3, 2012
So today I cooked my beef and Guinness stew. Since we were home all day, and I didn't get my mojo moving early enough, I cooked it on high for about 3 hours. The recipe is my mental amalgamation of several different recipes I've gotten out of books and online. Here is what it was tonight:
1 3lb boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-2 in cubes
1/2 bottle Guinness (dispose of the other half as you see fit ;) )
Salt, pepper, dry thyme
Chopped onion, celery and carrot (I used half of a carton of pre-prepped mirepoix)
A big handful prunes, cut in half
Put everything in the pot, put on the lid, turn it on, and walk away. As I said, on high it was about 3 hours. Low maybe 6-8.
When it was done, I then added 1/2 to 3/4 cup instant potato flakes to thicken all the yummy stuff up. I was going to put in chopped red potatoes, but one was bad, and there wasn't room in my new little pot. Maybe I should get a smaller roast next time :)
Monday, October 22, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
It was yummy, served with a salad made of fresh lettuces and arugula from our garden. Hope i picked all the caterpillars out! ;)
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The pork tenderloin was rubbed with crushed dried rosemary, then cut into little steaks. The cook fast!
The sauce used raw rhubarb. I had never tasted it raw...it was quite puckery! The face M made was hilarious!! As it happens, our garden has a community herb area that had some rhubarb ready to pick, so that is where I got mine. Diced it, mixed it with the balsamic, a tad soy sauce, and olive oil, and let it sit for about an hour. The rhubarb lost it's pun puckeryness, so all that was left was the vinegary pucker. It was good...or at least I thought so. M made the same face as with the raw rhubarb. Oh well. She chose not to eat the sauce.
As the recipe suggested, I served it with turmeric spiced couscous. This M ate up! So apparently she likes bitter, but not acidic :)
It was all very good. The sauce helped cut the richness of the meat a little, and the turmeric added another flavor dimension. Yum!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
I got the idea here (http://thecraftsdept.marthastewart.com/2012/05/mothers-day-robin-card-with-rosa-clifford.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MarthaStewartsCraftBlog+%28Martha+Stewart%27s+Craft+Blog%29 it's the third card in the extra ideas toward the bottom). I believe the original artist hand cuts all her parts, but I used my cricut and the walk thru my garden set. Turtles, ladybugs and daisies. I did hand cut the flower stems :) I also used the cricut for the words (which I ran thru my xyron sticker maker to stick to the card...so much easier for words than trying to apply adhesive!). I jazzed up the turtles with a little glossy accents, and a dab of stickles star dust on the center of the flowers. Voila! I know my friend will appreciate the card, as she is a scrappy girl too ;)
Monday, May 14, 2012
We are having easy gazpacho. Here is a rundown of the recipe...I really don't measure, just add things to the bowl until it looks good. Chill all ingredients before making, as the soup is supposed to be cold.
Canned petite diced tomatoes
Chunky salsa of your spicy choice
cucumber, peeled and diced
Olive oil and sherry vinegar
Put a few spoonfuls of tomatoes, salsa and cucumbers in a bowl. Add V8 to cover. Stir well. Drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar, and serve with croutons.
We are also having a Spanish cheese sampler and some gypsy salami (it has paprika in it) on roasted garlic bread.
Fast, easy, healthy, and yummy!
Saturday, May 5, 2012
1 7.75 oz can hot Mexican style tomato sauce
1 can refried beans
2 c shredded cheese (I used 4 cheese Mexican blend)
7 corn tortillas
1. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce in bottom of casserole dish.
2. Divide beans onto 6 tortillas. Place one in the center of casserole dish. Sprinkle with a thin layer of cheese. Dribble a little sauce on top. Repeat with remaining bean tortillas and cheese.
3. Place past tortilla on top and gently press down to flatten and even out stack. Pour remaining sauce on top and spread evenly. sprinkle with remaining cheese.
4. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Slice and serve with sour cream.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Here is the link to the original: http://cache.lionbrand.com/faq/587.html?utm_source=20120504_May04-remainder&utm_medium=Emails&utm_campaign=Weeklynewsletter&utm_content=DirectionsfortheEuropeanRose
Saturday, April 28, 2012
They were nice and crisp on the outside, soft inside, and quite yummy. And yes, I saved some for M, who would be royally grumpy to find I made these while she was at her dads...
Saturday, April 21, 2012
All that grass is used as a winter cover crop, to help reduce soil erosion, and fertilize the soil. The gardens are organic, so no chemical fertilizers allowed. So the first thing I had to do was chop all that grass up and turn it under. I will admit to pulling a lot of it out, as it had all been turned under once already about 3 weeks earlier and had grown back. Once that was done, we put a couple inches of compost on top. The Girl (aka M) was a big help, as she enjoyed using the big shovel and the wheelbarrow to fetch, which was a good thing, as my back was killing me from turning the while garden over the day before.
The next day (Saturday), we planted our first seeds...a couple kinds of lettuce, radishes, carrots, kale, and onions in the garden bed, and in cell pots in the green house we planted summer squash, bush beans, sugar snap peas, and Brussels sprouts. And yesterday, we had sprouts! Lettuce, kale and radishes in the plot, and bean, pea, and brussels sprouts in the green house!
Then today, we went to Van Wingerden nursery to get free starts. The nursery was giving away starts in the understanding that we would share our harvest with the Ferndale Food Bank. We got 12 free starts! We got 5 more lettuces, 3 cherry tomatoes, a green pepper, and 3 red cabbages. I also bought 2 everbearing strawberry plants (since that is the first thing M stated she wanted to plant if we got a garden). Isn't it pretty?
Hopefully, my brown thumb is solely due to lack of experience and skill, as opposed to truly being unable to garden. There are several people at the community garden I can ask for help, which I fully intend to do! Wish me luck in growing a bountiful harvest...which we will share with the food bank, neighbors, friends...
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Brown the meat. Sauté some onions. Add cinnamon sticks. Deglaze with brown ale (I used Newcastle). Bake for 3 hours until meat is falling apart. Done. She (and I) served it with polenta, but I am sure mashed potatoes, rice, or anything would work.
I have some meat left over, and a lot of broth. I may make some soup with it...add noodles? I'll let you know :)
Saturday, April 14, 2012
It was pretty simple, and doesn't really need a recipe, as a description will suffice. I cooked a pound of ground beef. When it was done, I transferred it to my baking dish (more on that later). In the same skillet, I cooked a chopped red onion and about 6 oz sliced (and broken) crimini mushrooms with salt, pepper and about a teaspoon dried thyme. I bought the package of sliced, and didn't quite use the whole thing. And I broke them into smaller pieces so they would mix in better. When the onions and mushrooms were about done, I added a can of green beans to warm thru. I then added all that to the baking dish and stirred it all together. I then made gravy in the same skillet by bringing a couple cups of beef broth/stock to a boil with several dashes worchestershire, then thickened it up with some Wondra flour (read the carton to learn how). I then poured this into the casserole.
For the potatoes, I do like instant mashed potatoes. They are seldom lumpy, and you can flavor them however you want. These I made regular, seasoned with just salt and pepper. I made them a little thinner than usual to aid in spreading. I would recommend using a knife, and scooping some up and scraping them off on the side of the baking dish, as you want a seal around the edges to keep the gravy in. If you put dollops in the middle of the casserole to spread around, it displaces the filling and everything oozes out the edges as you go. Trust me on this. So anyway, spread the potatoes evenly across the top of the pie. Dab some butter all over (or spray with butter flavored pan spray) and broil until golden.
Now a note about baking dishes. Any Pyrex pan I have ever seen says not to broil it. So I have never tried. If you have done it, and it didn't shatter, yay for you. I am too chicken to try. So I looked for baking dishes that could be broiled, and found Le Creuset oval stoneware baking dishes. They are a little more pricy, but I got them when Macy's was having a sale with free shipping (they didn't carry them in store) and got 2...one equivalent to an 8x8, and the other to a 9x13. And an added bonus, *nothing* sticks to them. Not cheese, broiled on potato, lasagna. I love my pans :)
Our dinner was quite yummy, and there were left overs for me to have next week. Can't beat that!
Friday, April 13, 2012
The pattern calls for a chunky weight yarn, to make a chunkier sweater. I opted for a worsted weight cotton, and a size K hook (which is several sizes bigger then usual for this weight yarn). By using the big hook, the stitches are softer and looser, allowing the piece to drape better. This is my first time using cotton yarn, as I usually have gone with the more budget-friendly acrylic. But cotton yarn has a more defined stitch (it's less fuzzy), and I thought it would make a nice sweater. I like the feel of the yarn and the way the hex feels, but the yarn takes some getting used to, as it doesn't slide as well while hooking.
I will post more as it progresses...this is also my first garment created by hooking, so I am interested to see if it turns out!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I plan to wear this little beauty to church tomorrow for Easter. Cute!
Friday, April 6, 2012
I think the next ones I make will have all regular flour in them. I am also going to try aebleskivers, which are Danish mini puffs (poffertjes are Dutch). The aebleskivers also use buttermilk and baking powder and baking soda instead of yeast. I will let you know how they turn out :)
Monday, April 2, 2012
I am thnking of cranking out little cute things and selling them this summer at a local farmers market...better get busy!
Btw, I got the bunny pattern from a friend who posted a pic of it on Facebook...I am not sure where she got it, so don't know where to give credit :(
In the past for Easter, our church has had us bring fresh flowers to decorate a cross that we display outside by the street. This year, they are asking us to bring flowers in a vase that they will distribute to the various homebound members of our congregation. I am seriously considering crocheting my flowers...they last longer, and are pretty cute, if I say so myself! This daffodil is inspired by a pointy five-petalled flower on a blog at crochethealingandraymond.typepad.com. I added a petal to make it like a real daffodil then made my trumpet with a round of double crochets and a scallop edge. I then sewed it onto the middle of the flower. I am in the process of trying a slightly differend edge on my next trumpet, so we will see. Creating things is a trial and error process! I am trying to decide if I want to try other flowers as well...hmmm...
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
All these adorable patterns are from attic24.typepad.com (the shamrock is mine, but the hearts are hers) :)
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I got the pattern on a blog (http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/summer-garden-granny-square.html). I used a variegated yarn and didn't switch between rounds. Once I mastered the bobble stitch, it was pretty brainless :)
The blog also gives instructions elsewhere on how to crochet the squares together, and how to do an edging. I did most of the edging...it was two rounds of chain loops and then a round of scallops. I skipped the scallops, partly due to time constraints (the shower is today at 4!) and partly because I wasn't sure I had enough yarn for the round of scallops and don't have time or money to go buy another ball of yarn. I think it is pretty cute with just the chain loops :)
Friday, February 17, 2012
It is a pillowbox cut from a friends Cricut cartridge. We then cut a piece of paper the same size as the front, used I giant circle punch to punch all four sides to make a vest, and glued that down. I meant to ink the edges of the vest, but forgot, so I inked the edges of the whole box instead. Then we attached bottle caps as eyes. They had a slightly bigger circle attached to the back of them that we fringed after gluon on to make eyelashes. Inside the bottle caps was a large white circle and a smaller black one for the eyes. It is then embellished with a little flower. You can put candy (kisses won't fit, so Hershey miniatures work best), and write a note on the back. I wrote "Owl always love you. Love, Mommy" <3