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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cute Baby Present Ideas

My sister-in-law is pregnant with a little boy, and her shower was a couple of weeks ago (she's due in the end of June, if you are wondering)... thought I would share what I made for her!

They are doing a nautical theme for the nursery, so I made a cute little banner for them, complete with personalized anchors.  I made the fishy bias tape too, using this tutorial- super easy! (I love that blog, btw... how can I dislike a blogger with the same name as me?)

I really love this whale print!

I also made a little minky blanket.  I love minky because it's so incredibly soft, but it's kind of difficult to sew with.  I originally planned to use that grey blanket binding, but then remembered a.) how horrible it was to sew binding onto Z's blanket and b.) I realized that it didn't match quite as perfectly as I had hoped... so I just rolled the hems and called it a day.  She still loved it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Latest Farmer's Market Haul

There are a lot of new vendors at our farmer's market this year, but my favorite is this guy who sells roasted peanuts!  This is the second week that I've gotten them, and they are really good.  (Can you even remember the last time you ate a peanut from a shell? I sure couldn't.)  I also got some dried pinto beans, some roasted peppers (2 jalapenos and I forget what the big one is), and those magical yellow beans in the middle there.  They're from Peru and I've never seen anything like them before.  He says that they are a very creamy bean and they cook up like cannellini or navy beans- I'm going to try them in the crockpot with two of those roasted peppers.  

From another vendor I picked up all of those homegrown tomatoes, a giant cucumber, and the container of arugula (so good!).  Salad season has officially arrived at my house!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Garlic "Chicken" Pasta

Yesterday, we had nothing to eat for lunch.  So, inspired by this recipe and this one, I created a garlic "chicken" pasta!  I really like this Quorn stuff... it's very close to chicken in appearance and texture, with a pretty neutral taste that adapts to pretty much anything you throw at it.  I've used it in stews, stir fries, and pasta.  

Garlic "Chicken" Pasta

4 oz. pasta, weighed (or two servings)
1/2 package Quorn
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 an onion, also diced
1 tsp. garlic powder
a few dashes of black pepper
1/2 c. asparagus, cut into 3 or 4 pieces/stalk
1-2 handfuls fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped finely

Optional: parmesan cheese and avocado

Portion out your pasta and start boiling some water.  Add pasta to water and start cooking it!

Heat oil in a large frying pan and add your garlic.  Then add the onions, peppers, and Quorn. 

Cook until the onions are translucent and then add your garlic powder and pepper.  When the pasta is almost done cooking, add in your asparagus and spinach.  
Drain the pasta when it (and the veggies) are done cooking.  You want the asparagus to be bright green, not squishy!  Mix in the "chicken" and veggies.  

Serve topped with parmesan, and with avocado, if you so desire.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Chalkboard Paint!

I have an old table from IKEA that's seen better days, so I decided to paint it with some chalkboard paint!

First it needed a little sanding, so I put on my "power tool" hat and used an electric sander to smooth it out a bit.

Then I painted the first coat, with strokes going all in one direction.

It dries really fast!
Then I did a second coat, going in the other direction.

After letting it sit overnight, I needed to "cure" it.  This consists of rubbing chalk over the whole thing (in one direction), wiping it off with a wet cloth, then repeating for the other direction.

Still a little chalk dust, but it's all ready to use now!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Edibles in our yard

 Here are some things we are growing this year...





Horseradish and Sweet Bay (for bay leaves)- both new this year!

My crazy going-to-seed Rhubarb, Rosemary, and Oregano

Green onions, going to seed from last year

Sunchokes and Sugar Snap Peas

Garlic; I planted it in the spring this year instead of fall... we'll see how it does!


 More crazy strawberries, over rockery

These are not edible; they are succulents.  I like how they look like plants of the ocean!

Lettuce in the backyard

Fennel, back from the dead, from last year


And Kale starts, also in the backyard.

What are you growing this year?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

Do you ever feel like you have too many cookbooks?  I do.  Especially ones that I haven't cooked from enough.  Enter this month's challenge: use at least one new cookbook, and make more than one thing from it.  I present, Sprouted Kitchen

In the last month, I have made: Roasted Cauliflower Capellini (amazing!), Haricot Vert Salad with Avocado Goddess Dressing (also amazing, esp. the dressing), Braised White Beans and Leeks (that I added some farro to and made into a casserole), and Roasted Tomato Soup (pretty good, maybe would be better when tomatoes are actually in season).  In the next week or so I'm working on: Lentil Meatballs with Lemon Pesto, Walnut Crusted Salmon and a Tuscan Kale Salad.  So far everything I've made I would totally make again. (The only reason I'm not posting recipes is because I haven't adapted them at all, with the exception of the bean/leek casserole.)  All in all, I totally recommend this cookbook if you are looking to cook with more whole foods- it's not vegetarian or vegan or anything, but there are plenty of things for people of all diets to enjoy.  Oh, and this? Also looks amazing!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

10 Minute Homemade Applesauce

My awesome neighbor went to Eastern Washington a few weeks ago and brought us back some apples.  What to do? Make applesauce!!

While I was heating up lunch, I took 10 minutes (possibly even less) to prep.  Here's how you do it!

Peel and chop up your apples. (I had 6.)

Put into a small pot.  Add 1-2 cups of water, and a few dashes of cinnamon.  Heat it to medium high heat, then turn it down once it starts boiling.  Eat your lunch.  Add a bit more water when it gets low, and maybe a bit more cinnamon.  Clean up from lunch.  Smell the delicious apple smell now wafting through your house.  The apples still look hard? Add a bit more water (I think I did about 4 cups total for my 6 apples.)  If you want a thinner applesauce, you could add all of the water at the beginning, but I really wanted to make sure that my applesauce was thick and not watery (like that store-bought stuff that the baby prefers).  

Once the apples look done (i.e. more transparent), mash them with a potato masher to your desired consistency.  

My desired consistency
Some people add sugar and all sorts of things to their applesauce; but I like it simple.  Apples+water+cinnamon is good enough for me!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Painting is OVER!!

The bedroom is finally finished!! (Of course, the day after I took this, John put a giant mirror up there as a pseudo-headboard...)

So much yellow! So happy! So cheerful!

Even the plant is happier!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kid's Craft! DIY Felt Board For Spring

I was inspired by this post a few months ago, so on our last IKEA trip, I picked up a black NYTTJA frame to make Zephyr a felt board.  I also got a yard of teal felt from Jo-Ann's (seriously, there's enough here for at least 8 boards, kind of overkill on my part) for the backing.  

While she was asleep, I glued the felt to the cardboard backing that came with the frame, and then I got to cutting out shapes!  I decided to do an assortment of flowers, stems, and grass; and then threw in a butterfly just because.  (She also loves ladybugs, maybe I'll make one of those too.)

 Some other ideas I came up with: 

I'm attempting to store all of the pieces in a large plastic bag, we'll see how it goes!

The only trouble I've had so far is that she likes to push the board out of the frame.  Maybe I should secure it to something? Like the side of her octagon/play yard?  Or use a pile of duct tape on the back? I was avoiding that because I'd like to be able to change the color of the backing in the future, but maybe I'll just have to buy more than one frame.  She does really like playing with it though!  Next felt shapes? These ones, I think! :)