Thursday, November 26, 2009
With a little extra time over the Thanksgiving holiday I was able to get out the sewing machine and finally attempt to make some softies. I made three in all and we christened them with the names Pinky, Red Hot and Bobo. Little Bobo was my first attempt and admittedly I made some mistakes but in the end his quirky charms won Tess over and he was her favorite of the three little monsters. I timed the last of the dolls to get an idea of how long each was taking and it came in at about an hour and 12 minutes from start to completion. I had a lot of fun and plan on making a few more softies for the holidays as gifts. Each doll comes out a little different and you can play with hundreds of fabric combinations and facial details. The best part was watching T covet her new dollies knowing that I made them and they came out better than I had hoped.
Wool Felt - 4 colors (face, body, eyes, mouth)
Yarn- 2 colors (eyes & whip stitches)
Thread - 3 colors (eyes, mouth, face)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Since having a baby I have become a huge fan of grab and go food. I am always looking out for healthy alternatives to store bought packaged treats that I can pack in my bag. Snacks that won't fill me up with empty calories or leave my on the down side of a sugar rush. I love those fruit and nut Larabars but they can get expensive so I decided to try and make my own version of the ever popular "energy bar". I used the nuts I had in my freezer, honey, some agave nectar and crystallized ginger for some zing. I wasn't completely sure how long or on what setting to "cook" the bars so it was a of bit of trial and error. Here is the rough recipe and a photo of what I ended up with. I think you probably could make them in an oven with slightly higher temps. For me the key was to flip the bars so they would completely dry out.
1 cup rough chopped raw almonds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. agave nectar
zest of one large lemon
1/4 rough chopped crystallized ginger
spread mixture out in thin sheet in dehydrator and "bake" at 118 for 16 hours.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
There's not alot of show stopping Fall fireworks here in East Texas. While rest of the country is starting to get chilly days and experiencing the first of the light freezes we are all still running around in tank tops and flip flops. I can't say I don't miss the autumnal bright yellows, oranges and reds but we enjoy what we do have and in my garden it's agave, succulents and aloe. T and I were outdoors today and picked some of the new sprouts and brought them indoors to create a tiny terrarium. The succulents when they divide let out small offshoots called pups we collected these and some river rock and moss to create our little green world.
Assorted plant clippings
Friday, November 6, 2009
I have been on the lookout for the perfect hat for T. There are plenty of great options out there to chose from but since I have just discovered that sewing is actually fun I thought I would give making one a try. The process was pretty simple and from start to finish it only took 45 minutes. I found the basic ski cap directions online at http://www.p2designs.com/ShipSkiCap.htm and used left over wool felt scraps I had on hand. I cut small butterflies out of the felt and hand sewed them to the cap last night while I was watching Project Runway. Spoiler alert... I think everyone on my holiday list is getting a beanie for the holidays.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I have always loved Halloween. It's not just the dressing up and getting your neighbors to shell out free candy it's everything about the "spirited" holiday. The crispness of the weather, costume making, mingling with neighbors and the unmistakable feeling of something special in the air make Halloween magical. This year did not disappoint and was extra special for our new family. It was our daughter Tess' first real dress up Halloween and she went as a baby owl. I was ecstatic to finally have an excuse to try out my never used Singer despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. I popped open a bottle of wine and got to cutting, pinning and sewing hoping for the best. The entire project took about 4 hours to complete and with the left over materials I even had enough wool felt to sew up this sweet treat bag.
Wool felt - grey, white, black ,gold
Grey hem tape
4 hours start to finish
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Let's face it Halloween is about the costumes & the candy and I couldn't imagine having one without the other. We were invited over our friend Colettes' house for a Halloween shin dig and our baby was going to be just one of many toddlers running about trying to wrestle some sweet treats from the goodie bowl. I wanted to try and make up some bites that were kid friendly and somewhat nutritious for the the little ones. I found a recipe for Toddler Truffles online that used black beans as the main ingredient and modified it to accommodate any kids who might have tree nut allergies.I substituted nuts with quick oats to give some texture and cut the final "truffles" into small rectangles so they would be small enough for the little nibblers. The recipe was a big hit with the kids and the parents loved having a chocolate treat alternative that was packed with fiber and actually good for them. Here is the recipe. ENJOY
Toddler Truffles Modified from The Toddler Cafe
Makes about 24 mini squared
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Spray or butter an 8 by 8-inch pan; set aside.
In a large, deep bowl, combine the beans, sugars, quick oats, butter, baking powder, and salt. Using an immersion blender or food processor, thoroughly blend all ingredients. Once blended, add the eggs and combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until firm and the edges get slightly crisp. Cool and cut into small cubes. Dust with powdered sugar.
Store covered, up to 5 days in the refrigerator.