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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Special Announcement!

Starting next week, I will be writing a second blog!  In addition to Crafty Cakewagon (for crafts, cooking, and gardening) I'll be writing at The Creative Parent (for all things related to parenting, arts and crafts with kids, and how we manage to keep our household in one piece).  Hope you will join me over there as well!  You can find it at http://creativeparentandchild.blogspot.com and on Facebook.   I'll also start doing more regular Crafty Cakewagon post notifications on FB too, it's just kind of annoying to make sure that you get all of them. (because they want to charge me to make sure that all of my "followers" see my posts) (Here's CC's FB;  )

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

20 Minute Countertop Makeover, with Oilcloth!

One of the counters in my kitchen is horrible. It's a faux butcher block that is the same wood as our floors.  It hasn't been sealed correctly, and probably hasn't been unsticky since the 70's.   (Ok, the white laminate counters aren't so great either, but at least you can clean them and paper doesn't permanently stick to them!)  I came up with a brilliant plan to cover this counter with some oilcloth after reading "At Home with Modern June"- my Mother's Day present from the twins.  They don't specifically have any projects like this in there, but it gave me the idea!

(Side note: while I did order this oilcloth from the author of the book, I don't really recommend them.  After multiple emails, they sent me the wrong fabric, and then when I finally got it, it wasn't the discussed size.  It is a really beautiful print though!)

 How did I do this? I lined it up onto one side, cut the other side to overlap to the edge of the counter, and then folded the ends like a package.

I was initially planning to use sticky velcro to adhere the oilcloth to the counter, but once it finally got here, I wanted to just do it; so... I used heavy duty packing tape!

I put it along the entire edges, taping it to the underside of the counter.  Then it was a few inches too short, so I taped it straight up to the counter.  I then cut a small piece to cover up the end there; you can barely notice it.  

It even goes nicely with the dining room paint!  All in all, this cost me less than $20 and took about 20 minutes to do. Oh, and it's so lovely! Way better than sticky wood, for sure!

How it looks now, with real things on it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Portland Adventure: Bob's Red Mill

My sister and I went to Portland last weekend, and one of the highlights was Bob's Red Mill.  It was completely amazing!

In case you haven't heard of Bob (the guy on the flour), years and years ago, he and his wife started a flour mill.  They focus on using healthy whole grains, and have pretty much any kind of flour you can imagine.

Usually it's just a tiny section of your baking aisle, but this place is chock FULL of flours, grains, beans, g.f. mixes and flours... you name it, they pretty much have it.  They even have a small bakery section if you just want a snack, or a complete restaurant in the back!  We were definitely the youngest people eating dinner there (it was probably around 5:30, but we were starving!) and they had vegetarian/vegan/g.f. options.  It was pretty terrific! (I had a calzone with vegan sausage and cheese, Krista had a Southern-style stew with yams, greens, quinoa, and black-eyed peas.)

A nice lady who worked there even took multiple pictures of us, we were so excited to be there.  Did I mention there's also a bulk section, with things about half the cost of the packaged versions?  Also amazing.  I bought some soybeans, rye flour, a big bag of whole wheat pastry flour, some soft wheat berries, sesame seeds, and a bag of g.f. chocolate cake mix for my mother-in-law who's gluten-free.

One of the first stones they bought, outside the store.

Water mill that reminded us both of "Pirates of the Caribbean".

It was nice and sunny there, as you can tell!

It was very soothing to watch the water.  :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quiche Eggs

 I have a new way to make boring old egg breakfasts more exciting.... make them more like quiche! (but without the time commitment or crust necessity)

Quiche Eggs (serves 1.5= me + Zizi)

2 eggs (or 4 if for 2 adults)
about 1/2 c. vegetables (today I used 2 asparagus, some kale, and a couple of basil leaves)
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. Grey Poupon mustard (I like the seedy one)
a little butter
salt and pepper

Chop up your veggies and saute with the butter and a little water.

In a small bowl, whip up your eggs with the milk and dijon mustard.  You can add some salt and pepper too, if you like.

 After the veggies are cooked, pour in the egg mixture.  Scramble as the edges start to get done.  I usually flip it over after most of one side is done, and add cheese.

Serve with toast or fake meat products if you are like me. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dollhouse is finished!!

I have been working on this dollhouse for what feels like a very long time, over a month for sure.

 It was originally red on the outside, yellow on the bottom floor (that is now pink) and plain wood on the top floor (that is now blue).  I used just regular acrylics to do the colors, and white glossy interior house paint on the outside (of course right after I took this, I decided that I didn't like the white, so I painted it with some leftover paint from Z's room.)

I cut some leftover foam core into pieces to make middle walls for the dollhouse, and covered them with cute scrapbooking paper and mod podge. The cutting was both easier and harder than you would imagine; easier when cutting the main pieces (just score and snap) harder for doing the doorway and getting it to actually fit in the dollhouse (I actually tried sanding some of it because I wanted them to be super tight and not just fall down.  I also wanted them to be stronger than a toddler's pulling strength.)

Walls in and princesses ready to play!

There's a tiny hook in the "bedroom" area that I think might end up with a tiny lamp or something.

Retro kitchen wall!

Princesses in the attic

Zephyr even decorated one wall; I liked it so much that I covered it with Mod Podge too!

She's not totally interested in playing with it yet, but when she is, it is DONE!  (Now I just need to find her some furniture...)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gardening Update!

This year, I've tried to grow a bunch of new things on our back deck.  It gets a decent amount of sun (more than the back yard, less than the front hill) so I thought I'd see if I could get anything edible (or generally sun-loving) to grow.  Here's what we've got so far:

 2 kinds of purple beans; pole ones climbing the er.. poles, and bush ones in the center, growing in a bush-like fashion.

Sweet peas!  While not edible, once they bloom, they will smell amazing and make me very happy.

Also hiding in there? Nasturtiums.  Technically an edible flower, but also a great pollinator-magnet.

Elephant Ear plant that I overwintered inside; still alive and kicking!

From the upper left; chives, zucchini/more nasturtiums, and tomato!
(I have kind of low expectations with the tomato since Z keeps stealing it's stake and playing with the dirt.  Also, the first flowers may have been stolen by a toddler.  We'll see if it makes it!)

Succulent update: They seem to like it here and both of the end plants are putting out new growth!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Pasta is a Lie

Have you ever seen this floating around Pinterest? I have, and with just a few minutes to make lunch today, I decided to try it.  With a few additions, of course.  The idea is that you throw these things into a pot together and they all cook down at the same time, leaving you with delicious pasta and sauce.  The reality was a little different.
damn you pinterest!

How mine turned out
Pinterest's Lying Caprese Pasta (still delicious)

4 oz. uncooked pasta
1/2 c. chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 oz. mozzerella cheese
a splash of olive oil

Put all of these things, except for the cheese, into a pot of boiling water. 

After about 10 minutes, realize that things are as cooked as they should be, and try to stealthily drain out the water.  Don't let things escape down the drain!  Return to stove with about 1/2 a cup of water still in the pot, and cook a bit more.  Then chop up your string cheese and throw it in there!

Serve with parmesan and pepper, if you like.  Be only slightly mad that the recipe required draining, because it still tastes pretty damn good.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Most Amazing Roasted Carrots of Your Life

I have been obsessively making these carrots as a side dish for over a month. They are THAT GOOD.  I normally make green vegetables for side dishes, if anything.  But these are completely amazing!

They may not look like much,  but these carrots will change your life.
Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Cumin-Coriander Tahini Sauce
only very slightly adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

Preheat the oven to 425*.  Get out a large baking pan or a cookie sheet.  Cut up a bunch of carrots.  Throw them in the pan and drizzle them with olive oil.  Sprinkle them with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper (each).  Also sprinkle 1/2 a tsp. cumin seeds and 1/2 a tsp. coriander seeds on there.  Toss everything around until the carrots are well coated.  Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes. (She says 20 minutes, but that doesn't seem to get my carrots very done.)

Roasty Goodness

Now it is time for the sauce.  The sauce!  You will like this so much, you will sneak tastes of it until the carrots are done (if you're anything like me, that is.)  You will probably also try to think of other vegetables or things to put this sauce on (Greek food!  Naan!  Broccoli!).  All of those things will be inferior to the carrots.. probably.  It can't hurt to try, right?

Cumin Coriander Tahini Sauce

2 Tbsp. tahini
Juice from half a lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt
1-ish Tbsp. water

Mix these things together in a small bowl.  I put 1-ish Tbsp of water up there because you may want to add a bit more, depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce to be.  In the book, it looks pretty thin (like drizzled over the carrots)  but she doesn't actually add any water to her sauce.  Try it with no water and then add it as you like, I guess.  :)

 When the carrots are done, put a bit of the sauce over them, and then prepare yourself for a taste explosion!  Try to take a picture before you finish eating all of them (again, if you are anything like me..) Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Today's Harvest

Today I harvested a large handful of two types of lettuce, and over 2 cups of strawberries! (Plus more with breakfast!)

I also finally planted the last of my zucchini plants and a flat of my favorite curly kale.  Hopefully it keeps growing in the backyard, and doesn't succumb to whatever's been eating the other (smaller) kale!