A home for all things crafty, health-conscious, cake-related, or in need of a wagon!



Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby Update and Brownies!

So, the baby is supposedly due in about a month, but I have a feeling it will be sooner than that! I've been getting together our supplies and compiling a huge Amazon list of things we'll need right away in an attempt to be more organized than last time.  This week I also finished his mobile! Secret Name Baby "S" is getting a space theme for his room. :)


I wasn't sure if I was going to like the sparkly bits, but I think this is my best mobile yet!  I used a wire frame for a wreath, hot glue, old flannel from my spaceship pyjamas, stars cut with my Cricut, a "D" ring for the top, and some ribbon and string.

My  helper! 
Today's been the first day in recent memory that it's not 5 million degrees in my house, so what am I doing? Baking brownies, of course!  I used a Ghirardelli mix (the best ones, IMO) with coconut oil instead of regular oil. Then I cut up some marshmallows and dusted the top with graham crackers to make Extreme S'More's Brownies.  I can't imagine anything could go wrong with that!

Before baking...

And after.... Nothing to see here! (except delicious melty marshmallows!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Granola Day!

What to do when it's rainy outside and you have no desire to leave the house? Make granola, of course!


It makes your house smell like cinnamon and oatmeal and general deliciousness.  I haven't made any for quite a long time, so we are definitely overdue.  I used this recipe, with 4 cups of oats, a variety of trail mix nuts and fruits, some unsweetened coconut, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and agave nectar.  I also added about 2 Tbsp. of almond milk, just to help it stick together a bit more.   

My counter: the aftermath

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Coconut Cherry Brownie Cookies



Do you feel the need for chocolate cookies, but are out of chocolate chips?  These cookies will make it all better. :) (and they are semi-healthy too)

Coconut Cherry Brownie Cookies
(adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)

1/2 c. unsweetened coconut "milk"- the beverage kind, not the canned stuff
2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
 (full disclaimer: I was out of baking soda, so I did 1 1/4 tsp. of baking powder and omitted the salt)

1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. dried sour cherries
1/4 c. cocoa nibs

image source

These are cocoa nibs.  They added a bit of crunch and healthiness to otherwise delicious cookies. Kind of expensive, but I've stored this container of them in my freezer for over a year, and they are still good!

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350* and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk and the flax seeds.  Mix.  Then slowly pour in the melted coconut oil while mixing.  (I used my stand mixer instead of a whisk because I didn't trust the coconut oil to stay liquid, but it did just fine!)

Add the extracts and sugar.  Then using a sifter (fun!) sift in the flours and cocoa powder.  Lastly, add the baking powder/soda/salt.  Once it is all incorporated, add in the cherries, coconut, and cocoa nibs.

These cookies spread a lot, so try not to put them too close together.  (Cookies that stick together always remind me of a scene in this old show called Steven Banks Home Entertainment Center.  It was so funny and not on DVD anywhere, but I did find it on youtube! I was also lucky enough to meet him once with Joyce when I lived in LA.  She knew him because he used to do the show live at the playhouse!  But I digress...)  These cookies are super soft and almost brownie-like (hence the name). Bake for 13 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Updates!!

After a long break, I'm back!  I've been finishing up a lot of projects around here lately (Cleaning out Z's closet! Getting rid of tons of books and magazines! Decluttering the craft room! Making stuff!) and starting on some new ones.  (Did I mention that I'm pregnant with baby #2, a little boy due in early August? :) That's a long term project for sure!)  Things have been a lot easier this time around, but still had a few weeks of on-and-off sickness.  Now, I'm getting my energy back, and things are starting to get back to normal.

15 weeks!


Zephyr is really into fish and all things aquatic right now, so one day I designed and sewed her a big cuddly goldfish.  I am most proud of the fins with the line details!


 It fits right in with all of her other sleeping toys.  :) (She fell asleep with her hand in a unicorn puppet there.  We both thought it was pretty funny!) (and yeah, she likes sleeping on the floor, little weirdo.  Getting her a big girl bed soon though!)


After many many moons, I finally finished my quilt!! It's a big lap quilt, so not big enough for a bed or anything, but I'm really happy with it!


Some handsewn details


And a heart in the middle!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Apple Upside-down Cake


This is the delicious cake that I made for Thanksgiving.  It was amazing.  (and I ate it for two days)  Think pineapple upside-down cake, but with granny smith apples and a cinnamon/nutmeg/sugar glaze.  So good!

It was from this cookbook:





This one is similar, but since I didn't deviate from the recipe at all, I can't post it here.  Super good though, and I totally recommend the cookbook.  (pies? check. ice cream? check. cakes? of course!)





Monday, November 10, 2014

Goals for the week

I'm thinking that if I post some of my goals for the week, I'll a.) actually feel accomplished when I do them and b.)post more frequently.  Really, a win-win all around!


Cooking Goals: 

PB &J Breakfast Bars from Thug Kitchen (man, this book is AMAZING)
Kale and Coconut Bowl from Joy the Baker



Craft Goals: 

Start on the next section of knitting scarf (which has scary new stitch in it!)
Embroider on quilt top
Open pop up shop on Etsy (!!! One of my New Year's goals, coming to fruition!)

General Goals: 

Get this kitten to stop biting me!

Oh look, he's so sweet!
There is a reason his nickname is "Bitan", but this isn't illustrating it.



Friday, November 7, 2014

My First Quilt!


It has taken me forever, but I've finally finished my quilt top!  I started on this journey years ago when I found this book.  I cut all of the pieces, and started making squares.  Then I'd put it away for months and months until I felt like making squares again.  After getting some tiny baby quilts from my friends, I decided that maybe this didn't have to be a 100-piece quilt after all.  Maybe a throw quilt would be fine for my first project.  Then I made some more squares.  


The other night I was feeling crafty, but no desire to spend more money or cut out a new pattern...and I busted out my quilt bits again.  I pieced them together this week, and here we are!!  A finished quilt top!!  There was one part that didn't come together exactly perfectly, but I just added two more strips of fabric to even it out.  I'm hoping that you won't even really see it once I add some binding and put it all together.


Here is part of the reason that my posts have been so sparse lately.  


This is Titan! We adopted two kittens at the middle of September, and they have been happily sucking up a lot of our free time.  They are both orangers and are getting spoiled rotten.  (Yes, I made up the word "orangers".  I think it's hilarious, and John was sick at the time that I first said it, so he couldn't fight me too hard about it.)

Upcoming crafts: Resin Jewelry!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Homemade Applesauce!!


Lately, Zephyr has really wanted to "cook".  This usually means putting on her apron, hitting things with a spoon, and tasting all of the ingredients.
I couldn't be happier.

The other night, we decided to make applesauce together.  All of us!


Step 1: Peel apples

Step 2: Cut them up and put them in a pot
Step 3: Add a little water and cinnamon.  Cook until they start to break down.


Step 4: Mash until desired consistency.
Step 5: Eat!
(Also, hit some pots with spoons for good measure.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Learn to Knit with me!

image source
It is Fall, and this means that it is the time of year when I usually take a (small) break from sewing and start doing lots of yarn/fiber-based crafts.  I can crochet decent scarves and irregularly shaped afghans, and we all know I love needle felting... but this year, I am challenging myself to finally learn how to knit.  I've tried a few times in the past, but always given up once it comes time to decode the weird language of knitting patterns.  Not this year!  I have discovered this great program of sorts through a site called Tin Can Knits.  It's called the Simple Collection, and it has easy to understand, step-by-step directions.  They have free patterns, tutorials, videos, and cheat sheets that you can print out.  My first project is the scarf above (as though I need another scarf? But whatever.) called "Wheat".  Here's how much I've gotten done so far this week:

I love this yarn color!
What I like about this whole process is that you are learning different stitches as you go, and working on them for a little while before you get something new.  I think that might really make it stick this time.  
This gorgeous hat is what sucked me back into the knitting world.  It might take a while to get to the point where I can make it, but I'm going to do it!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Zucchini!

Have you reached a point where you have so many zucchinis, you don't know what to do?
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Crafty Cakewagon to the rescue!!

First off, let me congratulate you on being able to grow so many squash successfully.  At our house, we managed I think 4 this year; and 2 of them were thick-skinned and less than delicious.  (insert sad trombone here)  However, here in the PNW, we have had an AMAZING summer, so I'm sure that many many people have more zucchini than they know what to do with.  Here are some ideas:

Image source and delicious recipe!
Ratatouille.
No, not just a movie with a rat who cooks, this is actually a pretty delicious and versatile dish.  I like to make it into an entire meal by adding chickpeas and some dried pasta to the mix, but you can really make it your own pretty easily.  Zucchini+eggplant+tomatoes+basil and whateverelseyouwant.  (Try some ricotta or fresh mozzerella in there! Mmmm....)  Basically, slice, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for a long time at 350*- try an hour or so, if you're like me and cut thick pieces.  I really like eggplant when it's super done and squishy, so that requires a long baking time.  You can also serve it with some crusty French bread if you don't add pasta/the piles of extras I throw in there.

Image Source and Recipe

Zucchini Cheesecake
This recipe is from I Quit Sugar, and with a few tweaks, I think you'll like it!  I made this a few months ago, and it was just a little bit too salty and lemony for my taste; I would reduce the salt by half and same with the lemon zest.  If the idea of a savory cheesecake weirds you out, then just tell yourself it's a quiche.  :)


Image source
Zucchini Noodles
Are you pretending that you want to eat less carbs? Or you just want to trick your kids into eating a huge pile of zucchini? Try making noodles out of them!  You can make them into wide ribbon "noodles", or you can buy a fancy gadget that will make spaghetti-looking strips.  Either way, they cook up really fast, and then just disguise them with some sauce and you are golden.

Image Source
Some people prefer to do sweet things with zucchini; maybe originally out of desperation to use up the vegetable, but then out of deliciousness (my grandpa made zucchini cookies, I remember them being really good!).  If this is you, I have to introduce you to a few bloggers. Have you ever read Smitten Kitchen? If not, you are in for a treat!  She has a whole section devoted to zucchini, and I remember that her zucchini bread is especially awesome.  And if for some reason that doesn't float your dessert-laden boat, try Happy Herbivore's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins- super good!! (I think I threw in a few chocolate chips for good measure.)

If after all of this you are completely sick of zucchini, you can freeze some for winter.  Just blanch it a bit first in some boiling water, then freeze in small-ish quantities (amounts that you will actually use in one sitting).  Then you can enjoy your summer bounty for months to come!