Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yarn Doodles: Tawashi flowers

Tawashi Flowers

Oh, my goodness! Time flies! We've had a busy time here, a new grandbaby, trips away, Christmas company and a major house painting project...

Yesterday, was the first day in ages that I seemed to find time to sit down, relax and do a little yarn doodling!

After completing two Christmas stocking projects for our 2014 grandbabies, I could not face anything wooly until now. Honestly, one of the stockings was being completed as Santa packed his sleigh – it was a real race.

Anyway, these little bitties are Tawashis – a free pattern from Ssh, I'm Counting. I've made them from little scraps of cotton yarn, using a 4.5 hook. Not only am I using up little bits and pieces, I'm getting into the swing again for a larger project – limbering up, so to speak. They're meant for washing your face...use once then throw in the washer when you do your towels. We'll see how they work!

Try some yourself. It's an easy pattern, great for when you're watching a movie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Meets Lasagna... an extremely easy weeknight supper

Korean Beef Bowl

Do you ever feel you're in a bit of a rut, cooking the same old dinners week after week?

Me, too!

So, a month or two ago, I started actively looking for some new recipes to try.

Recipes without LONG lists of ingredients...

Recipes that are easy to prepare...

Recipes that are healthy and tasty...

Recipes that are flexible, that can be changed up a bit, depending on what's in the fridge.

I've shared one already – Korean Beef Bowl. This is seriously good and you can have it on the table in twenty minutes. Click here for the recipe.

Today's suggestion is Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash from Dinner With Julie. Think lasagna without the noodles. Think spaghetti squash plus sauce plus cheese. That's it. Julie doesn't even really give a recipe, just some guidelines.

First, prep your spaghetti squash, either in the oven or in the microwave.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Microwave: Preheat whole squash 1 minute. Halve lengthwise, remove seeds and membranes. Place cut side down in casserole dish. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water. Cook on high for 12 minutes. Test to make sure it's fork tender. Drag your fork through the inside of the squash in multiple directions until you have a pile of strands. Leave the strands in your squash “boats”.

Oven: Cut your squash in half and remove seeds and membranes. Bake in oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Use your fork to stir up the strands.

While your squash is cooking, prepare a meat sauce. It could be as simple as browning some chopped onion and lean hamburger and then adding a jar of spaghetti sauce. Or, it could be like my latest version – a mysterious mixture of vegetables, black beans, cooked taco meat from the freezer, three tomatoes and the tail end of a jar of salsa. : )

Pile a generous layer of sauce on top of each squash boat (allow one per person) and then heap on some grated mozzarella.

Bake at 375 for half an hour. That's it! Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back from the Land of the Little People

Hello, everyone!

Back again after helping out in the Land of the Little People...

Our family welcomed a sweet little girl...

... healthy, happy, feeding and sleeping well! We're so pleased!

While her mum adjusted to the new addition, I spent a significant amount of time playing Little People, constructing tents out of blankets and reading stories.

I also sang "The Wheels on the Bus" at least a zillion times.... : )

Spending time with little ones slows life down.  That's a good thing.

Missing those cuddles already!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mrs. Baker's Spice Cake

A little stroll down Memory Lane today!

I've had this recipe since Grade 8. Mrs. Baker, mother of my best friend at school that year, passed it along. I loved it, especially when it was warm from the oven.

It's a simple cake, no special ingredients, no complicated directions, no icing required... a nice treat if people drop by for coffee kind of cake!

Mrs. Baker's Spice Cake

Mrs. Baker's Spice Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar

Rub together until you have light crumbs.
Set aside 1 cup for topping.

1 egg
1 cup sour milk (add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to milk)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Add ingredients to bowl and mix.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Sprinkle on the 1 cup of topping you set aside.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Try this idea with the fall leaves you pick!

I saw a great idea on Facebook this morning! 

Before pressing fall leaves, cut out some interesting shapes using a scrapbook punch!  Preserve the little shapes just as you would a regular leaf and use in future projects.

Not sure how to preserve leaves? Click here.

There were no written directions with the Facebook post, but I would suggest you take care to “clean” your punch afterwards by punching a number of paper shapes and allowing the punch to air dry thoroughly.

The possibilities!! Card making, scrapbooking, Thanksgiving place cards...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What's for lunch? Peanut Butter French Toast

May I just say, one of the unexpected perks of being a retired teacher is....

Grilled Peanut Butter Sandwich

Yes, it's something I'm “all caps” excited about.

Peanut butter was a no-no at our school. Allergies made it a risky proposition in a classroom, so peanut butter was restricted to weekend sandwiches on the ski trail.

Now, move over and make room for my jar of pb!

Today at lunch, we “taste tested” two interpretations of an upscaled version of the classic peanut butter sandwich: Grilled Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter French Toast. Am I the last person in Canada to try these?

If you really want all the nitty gritty details, lists of ingredients and directions, click here for Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana...

...or here if you feel inclined to whip up Peanut Butter French Toast.

Peanut Butter French Toast
Not that you really need a recipe. For the Grilled Peanut Butter I used raisin bread, peanut butter and a drizzle of chocolate sundae topping to make a sandwich. Butter the outside (both sides) of your sandwich and gently fry in a non-stick skillet until nicely toasted on both sides.

For the Peanut Butter French Toast version, after constructing my raisin bread, peanut butter and chocolate sandwich, I dipped the sandwich in one beaten egg, coating well. Again, gently fry in a non-stick skillet until nicely browned on both sides. Top with syrup, whipped cream or whatever you enjoy most on pancakes or conventional French toast.

The verdict? Both were delicious, with Peanut Butter French Toast edging into a first place finish. Just something a little different for lunch (or brunch)... : )

Talk later,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

All ready for baby! Peurperium Cardigan...

Puerperium Cardigan

Well, I had a bit of a “Ta Da!” moment last night...

Fresh off my needles, I'm pleased to introduce a sweet little newborn sweater designed by Kelly Brooker.

Entitled, Puerperium Cardigan, it's a free pattern knit all in one piece on size 4 mm needles using an 8 ply/DK weight yarn. Yeah! No sewing pieces together. It does have all those buttons to sew on, however! : )  Click here to get to Kelly's website.  She has a larger version for sale, but scroll to the bottom for the (free!) newborn pattern.

This version has short sleeves but there are directions for both straight and tapered long sleeves.  

Notice how my suitcase is packed? Yes! Any day now, a new little grandbaby! I'm ready!

Happy Saturday!