Saturday, December 31, 2011

Knitted Dish cloth with no purls

How many of you knitters like purling? Not me! :-) I've been told that the Portuguese style of knitting makes purling so easy! In fact, it makes the knitting part seem hard. That is something I will have to check into sometime as the local knitting store sells the pin and DVD. Andrea Wong teaches how. You can google it on YouTube.

I was thinking today about knitting dish cloths that didn't require any purling and there are so many ways to do this and still have a nice dish cloth.

There is the "Grandma's Favorite" of course.

Then, there is the way where you just knit every row. I like the way it looks especially when I use a variegated yarn. It's kind of hard to see, but the two cloths in the back are just plain knitted.

While purling isn't my favorite thing to do, I don't mind it too much. My favorite knit dish cloth to make is found here. The nice waffle weave texture scrubs dishes nice.

Only, when I make it I like to cast on 36 instead. I don't like overly large dish cloths since they stretch so much when they get wet. I like the size that my casting on of 36 makes. Seven to nine inches square based on the size needle. I use anywhere between a 6 through an 8.

Some pictures of the ones I've made. Here plain white and here shown with stripes, and here with variegated colors.

happy knitting!
until next time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to sew a crochet towel topper

Today I ripped out a crochet hat that I started a couple days ago. Instead of looking like a hat, it looked more like a triangle! It still fit like a hat but I wasn't happy with it.

Feeling very frustrated with myself since I also had to rip out the prayer shawl I started, (twice) I decided to work on a project that I knew I could do. I finished crocheting two granny squares today and took out the sewing machine to make these:




This way does require a sewing machine but it eliminates having to make a double flap to cover your stitches and uses a whole towel rather than one cut in half.

It took less than 30 minutes to sew both of them up. Almost twelve years ago, a dear friend of mine taught me how to crochet a granny square and sew these fun, fast and easy towel toppers. I've seen some made with just a crochet hook and no sewing machine required, but I always come back to making these.

To make them, you need some basic sewing skills, a kitchen towel and a granny square. If you don't know how to make a granny square, try this link.

I found when I made my granny square that each time I finished a round, I would chain 3 and then turn before making the double crochets.

You can make the granny square any size you want. I used a crochet hook "H" and made mine about 7 rounds. You can either pin and make pleats (I don't have any pins yet) or fold in half and put a basting stitch across the middle. It helps if you make two lines, but I usually just do one. Then pull the strings until it makes the folds like this:




You just want it to match the the length of the square, so adjust as necessary. The picture shows the back of the towel, but you want to be sure to sew the granny square to the top of the towel.


Then, with the basting stitch still in place, (to be sure it is right where you want it to be- believe me, it's easier to remove the stitches when you can see them!)

Sew down one time. Check to see if it's where you want it to be. Pin if necessary. Then, switch the stitching to regular stitches and sew down again. Back stitch the ends to secure:



Now all you have to do is sew the button on the inside as pictured. I usually have one side of the towel longer than the other so that becomes the front.


The buttonhole is on the opposite side. (the granny square hole is the buttonhole)

That's it! Wasn't that fun!?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Soap Saver and Soap Giveaway

This contest is open to U.S. only.

Simply Cleansing recently had a giveaway for 8 free bars of soap! The contest was here.

I said that if I won, that I would have a giveaway for a free soap saver and bar of soap, and guess what! I won!! Yay!!!

If you win, you will have a choice to pick between:
1. crocheted hemp soap saver
2. crocheted organic cotton (naturally pigmented) soap saver

For those of you that don't know what my soap savers look like, scroll down to see my Etsy store to see pictures and colors. Yours will be similar to them.

Also, you will be able to choose one of the following scents:
1. lemon
2. spearmint
3. patchouli


Leave a comment below and tell me which one you'd like to win and also be sure to leave me a way to contact you. I will have the drawing sometime on January 1st and ship item out shortly after. The exact date depends on when I go into town for that week. I will contact the winner and let them know when package ships.

If you have trouble commenting below (sometimes that happens) you can also email me at noelwright@gmail.com Just be sure to put "soap saver giveaway" in the subject line.

Be sure to leave me a way to contact you, if you're the winner!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sewmor and Brother Machines

Well, thanks to a friend's tip I found a manual to order for the Sewmor machine. However, my aunt emailed me to today to tell me that the friend that had it before me ordered herself the manual and now I have to give the machine back. :-(  It's such a beautiful machine.

So, I went and bought myself a Brother LX2500 from Walmart. I put it all together today and did some test sewing on it. And it sews wonderfully. No tension troubles at all! Just straight out of the box and I'm ready to sew!

I'm so excited!! For the next two weeks, I've got a lot of neat ideas to sew. I'll post up some pictures tomorrow of my machine, but if you can't wait, here's one to see now from the Walmart site.

Now, I'll be able to post up finished projects of my sewing as well as knitting.

I'm off to go knit some baby booties now. I've been promising the lady from the quilt store some Mary Jane booties with matching hats for a long time now and thought it would be nice to actually have some made up by the time school starts again. I've got so many things I want to knit. I just need to go do it now!

On a side note, one of my friends gave me a nice sized basket of yarn today. Now, to decide what to make with all of it.

It seems my yarn keeps multiplying. Not that I'm complaining. I've got so many things to make next I can't keep up with all of it!

until next time!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Singer

I found a picture of the Singer I used to have.


And good news, is that I found a thread guide for the SewMor. I'm not sure yet if it's for the exact model that I have but I think it will give me a good guideline to go by!

The link for that is here. I can't wait now to see if I can't get this one running. Maybe I won't need to buy a new one if this one works.

Picture taking and sewing machines

I always seem to forget to take a picture of something before I give the item away. My "aunt" came over yesterday and I gave her the baby bootie/hat set I made for her friend. I meant to take a picture of it, but completely forgot!

Well, the pattern I used was the same as the ones I made for the bazaar this year, but still, I meant to snap a photo. When and if this camera ever goes bad, I think I want one of those tiny cameras that I can keep in my pocket or at least on a belt strap, and then I never have to worry about being without my camera!

I did not get the socks done this weekend. But I plan to work on it every day until it's done and then give it to my friend for a late present. I'm beginning to already make my "New Year's Resolutions" which I joked to myself that number 1 on the list is to actually follow them. (since I always make them but never ever ever follow them!) ha! ha! I'm quite the list maker though. Always having to make a list before I do anything. I wonder though how much of that is due to me avoiding what I don't want to do, so I first make a list. ha!

Remember the sewing machine I acquired earlier this year from my Aunt. The one that I probably forgot to take a picture of?  Well, for some reason I can't think of what model it is. I have the image of the machine clearly in my head. Well, I sewed off and on with it but had more trouble with it than I care to ever have with a machine. For the most part, it sat in storage. Then, Nick found me a Brother machine at a garage sale for $5. I was so hoping it would do its job but sadly no. It sits too in storage. I can't get it to work right. I even took it into the local quilt store and while it worked perfectly for her, (go figure!) as soon as I got it home, I had problems with it again.

I was convinced I needed to save up my money for the next 10 years to buy a new decent one. -Still doing that, but in the meantime, I've been wanting to sew N-O-W! lol

Well, the one that my aunt gave me, since I had so much trouble with it, I didn't want to keep it anymore. Even though I do love the old metal sewing machines versus the plastic ones. Well, yesterday my aunt came over with a sewing machine and hoped I could get it working for her. I had never seen one quite like it before.

It is a SewMor Precision DeLuxe 202 model. Made in Japan. I tried to find a manual on the Internet about it just so I'd know how to thread the thing, but no luck. This machine was for my aunt's friend who couldn't get it to work. Then, I remember the Singer I had that she had given me. So, I dug it out of storage and got it threaded up and guess what! It worked perfectly! What!?

Even though I like the old metal machines, at this point, I'm ready for a new plastic one. One that works every time I plug it in. So, I told my Aunt she could have the Singer one and give it to her friend. She seemed pleased with the idea and told me that she didn't need the SewMor so she left it with me.

So, now I've got this pretty blue sewing machine and still trying to find a way to get it to work. Once I do figure it out, I'll probably sell or give it away. I still have my eye on a new one. From Walmart. Yes, I know! I hate buying it from Walmart too, but at this point in time, I don't want to fork over $400 for a machine that I will use seasonally. I still imagine that I will knit and crochet way more than I sew.

I talked to a friend of mine when I was convinced that the Walmart model wouldn't be suitable enough for my needs and she reassured me that it would be fine. She's been using hers for several years now and uses her expensive Janome as backup. She likes its portability- which is one reason I wanted a non-metal one. I'd like to take it on trips and to sewing classes.

I'll post up some pictures of the SewMor later this week and also of the one I'm planning on getting with some Christmas/birthday money. I've got so many sewing project ideas in my head that I can't wait to begin the actual process of sewing them!

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simply Cleansing Soap Giveaway

Who doesn't love a freebie! One of our friends here in Missouri is having a soap giveaway. Click here for more details. No purchase necessary!

I love to use their soap in my soap savers and to give as gifts. One of the reasons I love their soap is that they don't use any chemicals or fragrance oils in it. Only pure 100% essential oils. No dyes to irritate my skin.

They have 8 wonderful scents to choose from. Click here for their soap website.

If I win, I'll have a giveaway on my blog for one of my hemp or organic cotton soap savers and a bar of their soap.

until next time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Knitted facial scrubber



I was thinking of face scrubbies the other day and realized I posted a pattern for a crochet one but not a knitted one. So, I grabbed some yarn and a pair of knitting needles and had some fun!

I wanted to make it square with a nubby texture, so I decided to do a seed stitch pattern. It took me several tries to get it right because it kept turning out like a rib stitch instead.

I used size 6 needles and casted on 23 stitches. Must be an odd number but can be any number.

The rows- Knit 1, Purl 1, (repeat across.)

**You'll end with a knit stitch (which is important for the seed stitch to look right. If you end with a P1 then it will be a ribbed stitch. Not what you want.

Then do it again. And keep repeating it until it's square or the size you want.

I'm not done with it yet, but will post up a picture when I'm done. I love the way it's turning out so far. And the nubby texture is just perfect! Soft, yet scrubby!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Knitted dish cloth with ridges

I was bored today and instead of working one of my projects that has to be completed this month, I decided to tackle a completely new project. (which is what I usually do, when I'm stressed out!)

So, I grabbed a ball of dish cloth yarn and some size 7 needles and just had fun. I casted on 30 stitches and after either knitting or purling, wrote down what I did. Once I found out it made a pattern, I just repeated it over and over again until it was the size I wanted.


The back looks like garter stitch.

Here's the pattern:

Size 7 needles
Cast on 30 stitches (or however many you want)
Used sugar and cream 100% cotton yarn.

For every first stitch, I slipped it. (if the row was knit, I slipped it knitwise. If the row was purl, I slipped it purlwise.)

1- Knit across
2- Purl across
3- Knit across
4- Purl across
5-7 Knit across
8-Purl across
9-Knit across
10-Purl across
11-13-Knit across
14-Purl across
15-Knit across
16-Purl across
17-19 Knit across
20-Purl across
21-Knit across
22-Purl across
23-25 Knit across
26- Purl across
27- Knit across
28-Purl across
29-31 Knit across
32- Purl across
33- Knit across
34- Purl across
35-37 Knit across
38- Purl across
39-Knit across
40- Purl across
41-43 Knit across
44- Purl across
45- Knit across
46-Purl across
47- Bind off in knit.

Finished dish cloth approximately 7 inches square.

Let me know if I made any errors. I wrote it down after I did each row, but may have mistyped something.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hmong Sauce

Last night I made some Hmong sauce. I started to follow a recipe but wasn't happy with how it turned out. Mine did not look as runny as the picture did, so I changed some things and did this:

24 fresh Thai peppers
3-4 tsp. sugar
7 garlic cloves

Pounded in mortar and pestle until chopped finely. (I LOVE the mortar and pestle my mom gave me when she came to visit. It's large but not too big. It's deep so stuff doesn't splatter. It works great! Thank you, mom!!!)

Then, I added one bunch of cilantro, minus the stems. Well, I picked out the majority of them, though there are still a few left. I chopped it up first, then rolled over it with my herb cutter then added it to the pepper mixture. Also added one bunch of green onions. Was going to just use the white part but wanted more, so I added the whole thing. Washed and rinsed first of course.

Also added the juice of one lime and several dashes of fish sauce. Kept pounding it further until it was nice and juicy and chopped up.

I was only wishing I had something to eat it with last night. It smelled so very good! I did try a spoonful of it alone and boy was it good!!! It was very spicy!!! It kind of smelled like papaya salad which makes me crave it all the more!

So, I think I'll pick up some cucumbers and make some cucumber salad instead since no one around here sells green papaya. :-(

I was surprised that it only made one jelly jar size, and I have plenty of peppers leftover. So, I'm going to pick up some more cilantro and green onions this week and make a couple more batches.

I promised some friends this sauce so I divided it into thirds and can't wait for them to try it.

Ready to eat: 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Refrigerator dough experiments part 3

Well, it didn't look like they were raising much but I went ahead and turned on the bake function. (which I LOVE about my bread machine by the way!)

And about thirty minutes later, I popped these out of the "oven"


I made a thin icing to drizzle on top but they were plenty sweet on their own. And not even 15 minutes later, they were all gone! It reminded me of a monkey bread version. It was delicious!! The recipe I used is found here. (on an earlier post)


Tomorrow, the experimenting continues. I made the whole batch of this dough and have the other half in the refrigerator. I plan to try making regular dinner rolls to go with lunch. Not sure if there will be any "raise" to it left, but I'll keep you posted!

Finished hat picture





Well, before I gave the hat to "M" I realized I did not have my camera with me, so I'll have to have her bring it back so I can take a picture of her wearing it. Until then, you'll have to see the picture taken with a friends camera phone:



I really like the colors of it. I never would have thought to put those colors together, but that is what she picked and I like it so much I may make another!

One big difference I have noticed with these style hats versus the other style of ear flapped hats I've made in the past is that the with the other ones, the hat covers more of the back of your head and neck. This one fits just like a cap on your head plus the ear flaps. I almost like the other style better because my neck stays warmer. Even though the ear flaps cover more of my chin.

The pattern came from here, I think.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to finish your nylon net pot scrubber

A couple of you have asked how I finish out the pot scrubber, so I thought I'd try to show it in pictures below. Descriptions will be above each photo.

As you can see the hole is closing up. Not much left to go.



Hole is closed up now.


I take my loop and make it larger. and then


Poke my crochet hook from the other side, doesn't matter which hole you poke it through.


Poke it through the loop (that you made larger) grab the netting piece that is left and pull it through 


 to the other side.

Then take the little bit of the end piece that is left and weave in the end. That's it!

In case you missed the beginning tutorial on how to make a pot scrubber, go here.

Happy Crafting!

Face scrubbie turned dish cloth

I had some leftover facial scrubbies that did not sell at the local bazaar's and I set them in the bathroom for myself to use. Nothing like a mini soft wash cloth to scrub your face clean. I love it!

But tonight, I was doing the dishes and using my nylon pot scrubber. I pretty much have quit using cotton dish rags since I've been using the net scrubbers, but every once in awhile, I'll want to wipe up a spill on the counter. So, I took one of the new facial scrubbers which is about the same diameter of the pot scrubbers and used it to wash my dishes and wipe up the counter.

I loved it! Small enough to fit in my hand, yet big enough to do the job. I'm thinking about making up a bunch more and selling them as a set. I've still got my eye on re-opening my etsy store, but not ready yet.

I've been in the mood lately to knit some dish cloths even though I haven't even got the yarn yet. I've just got some color/theme ideas brewing in my head. I also want to try knitting with hemp yarn. I found a great shop on etsy and I've used her yarn before. Loved it!

I learned so much about hemp that I didn't know before. A nice place to read about it is here. Their hemp sounds nice too but when I get ready to order some, I'm going to order from Thoughtful gems. I've ordered from her before and I love her stuff!

Someday I'd love to knit up a couple sets of hemp wash cloths and dish cloths. But first, I've got to tie up a few loose ends and finish my other projects first!

until next time!

Orange and blue hat picture

Well, remember the orange and blue ear flap hat I made the other day? I wasn't going to put ties on it mainly because I couldn't figure out how to attach them, but "J" wanted ties, so I got to thinking and figured it out.

I just snapped a picture of it in the car because I was in a hurry.

I asked "J" if I could take a picture of him wearing it and he agreed. I promised him his face wouldn't show though.

Okay, I'll admit it looks a bit crazy without a face showing but it's the hat I wanted to show you! lol



I never noticed before how much this kid likes wearing orange and blue! 

Remember the yarn I mentioned earlier, well,  I told "M" I'd make her a hat too. (his sister) and I gave her the color choices and she picked two from that bag of yarn I got. So, I started on it tonight. It's Vanna's Choice yarn and Red Heart simply soft and I'm not sure what to think of it so far.  The purple yarn is a category #4 but so far the hat is looking way too big! I won't know until I do more rows. There isn't a gauge to go by with this pattern since size doesn't matter that much, but oh well. Hopefully, it doesn't turn out too big. I'm also a bit concerned because it calls for a size 9 needle on the label and I'm using a size 8.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New thoughts on nylon net pot scrubbers

After someone commented on the post "How to make a pot scrubber" I got to thinking about what they asked and I realized I made a mistake. I had said that if you used 2 yards of material then your pot scrubber would be bigger than if you used just 1 yard. How could this be the way I was cutting it?

So, I emailed my friend who originally shared with me the pattern and asked her which way she was cutting it up. I assumed it was vertically. To my surprise she said horizontally. Which makes complete sense now. If I am using 2 yards of material, then the strips would be longer and thus the finished scrubbie would be larger.

So, I had an order for 2 black/red pot scrubbers and took the black netting and folded it to cut horizontally instead of my usual way. I was prepared to completely change my original pattern posted UNTIL I tried it!

And I decided it isn't worth it. I've made over 5 dozen pot scrubbers doing it the way I show in the post, and not in the way my friend does it. I like the way they turn out. So, I'm not going to change my ways.  I also think that the material feels different cut horizontally and that it feels more smooth less grippy, less scrubby. And, when I go to attach the strips together, they don't hold onto one another as well this "right" way.

So, I leave it up to you. If you want to try it this way, go ahead, but not for me! Not to mention that the strips were a lot shorter and my finished scrubbie was the size of a half dollar! So, if you want to cut it this way, try using 2 yards or more instead of one. Unless you want a doll size scrubbie!

Last thought, you could probably just snip off about a half inch to the sides instead of trying to get the scissors to go into the tube part. But that would waste a lot of the material...









It was in a big heap on the floor as I sorted through each piece finding which ones did not get cut in half. Never again! LOL!!!

Experiments with curry

Knowing I was going to be fixing my own lunch today, I really wanted the yellow chicken curry dish, but did not have any coconut milk and bamboo shoots. I couldn't imagine the dish without the rich taste of the coconut milk!

But I really wanted some curry today. So, I got out my frying pan and added some onions and some oil and browned them. Then, I added some diced chicken and a half of a potato leftover from breakfast. I added in a teaspoon of curry, and a pinch of red curry paste and a little water. Started cooking it and boy it smelled so good!

Then, I poured a little fish sauce in and some sugar. I did not measure anything! I tried it and it was wonderful! By this time I was wishing I had some rice, but did not feel like dragging out the rice cooker for the tiny amount it made. So I just dumped some rice in the pan. Only there was not enough liquid to cook the rice, so I added some water. Which diluted my yummy creation. So I added in more curry powder, fish sauce and sugar. I checked on the rice halfway through and the water was gone and the rice was still hard, so after adding more water, and more curry and seasonings, three  separate times! It finally tastes as good as it did when I started. Now I'm sitting here enjoying a tasty bowl!! I can't believe how good it tastes without the regular ingredients!

And along with this meal I boiled some sweet potatoes, topped it with a nice tablespoon or two of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Mashed it in my bowl and ate the whole thing!  This is my comfort food today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fried what?


Fried this up for dinner the other night. Can you tell what it is?

Beat egg, dip meat in egg. Roll in flour mixed with seasoned salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and meat is done.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crocheted and knitted baby hats with booties

Pink baby set:


The knitted pink baby cap pattern is found here.
The mary jane style booties is found here.


Blue set:


The blue baby hat pattern is found here.
These quick, fast and easy baby booties pattern is found here. The original pattern calls for ties which I may still add. It is found on the Bernat's website, which you'll have to sign up for. It's free and allows access to FREE patterns. Worth it!

Yellow set:

The yellow beanie cap pattern is found here. Takes only 20 minutes!
The baby bootie pattern is found here.

White set:



I haven't decided yet which hat/bonnet goes with the set, but I'll just include them both and/or probably crochet up another pair of booties (like the blue ones) to go with one or the other. 
The crocheted beanie is the same pattern as the yellow one.

The knitted baby bonnet pattern is found here. Scroll down to view Little Shell Lace Baby bonnet. 
The baby bootie pattern can be found here.




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Feeling much better

Okay, after I made that last post, I looked up a couple more sites and started a new pattern for some baby booties. I started around 4 so it took me about 45 minutes but not bad since I had to learn a few new stitches. This is the pattern I tried on the Bernat site. If you're not a member it may not let you look at it but it's worth joining for FREE! I'm off to make the other half. I really like how they turned out. I just have to learn a better way to make the ties. This type yarn kind of unravels and is not being nice! lol

If I can get the pink booties done tonight along with the other half yellow one, I'll be super thrilled!

Until next time!

Starting to freak out a little

I got an extra week to finish these baby hats and booties and now I'm wondering if I'll even get them done or not! I spent all morning and mid afternoon working on half of a baby bootie only to find out that I did something wrong and don't know what. The eyelet row is not working to thread the tie through. I don't want the ties to be something that baby's foot can get caught in and that is the only way it threads through evenly. So, scrapping that pattern and trying to find another! I found plenty of great sounding patterns that call for yarn I don't have! It's quite frustrating!!

I did finally finish the blue ribbed hat and just need a pair of booties to go with it. I also still need to make a pink set of booties as well as a yellow one. I guess I can get it all done by Tuesday if only I can find another suitable pattern. I'm not interested  right now in trying another hard pattern that I may or may not be able to figure out!

I will try to remember this time to take pictures of everything before they get sent out.

I did find a crochet pattern using the exact yarn on the Bernat website, but even though it's rated easy, I'm not sure I can figure it out. I still consider myself a newbie crocheter.

What is the most frustrating is that my hands and fingers keep snagging on the yarn!

On a happy note, I finished the white lacy baby bonnet that I found here. I remember when I first found the pattern and fell in love with it. It looked so difficult that I put it aside for later. But then I wanted to try it and though I spent more time taking out my first one, I have since made several and it's really not that hard of a pattern as long as you take it line by line. The only thing is that I realized I used the wrong sized needles for all the previous ones. The white one I finished last night was made correctly and turned out great! It looks so tiny but it is for a newborn and fits a small grapefruit. -was told that would correctly fit a newborn.

You know, I forgot about this pattern, and it turned out pretty cute and was fast. Only I had to sew up the toe part not the back part. I think I did something wrong. I also made a white set with this pattern. I had wanted to make four different types of baby booties but I'm getting desperate, so I think I'll just pick one of these and start knitting!!!

There are some really other cute things I want to make too but I won't even think about them until I finish the baby items!

Speaking of other things, when Nick walked in the house today he said it smelled like a country farmhouse! He was referring to my meatloaf that I had cooking in the crock pot. It has been cooking all day since 8 this morning and now it's starting to smell really good! It's one of my favorite recipes and will post it up tomorrow or later tonight. I just love my new crock pot!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

This morning I loaded up the crock pot with some red beans to have "Red beans and rice" for supper. I made this dish awhile back and am trying it out in the new crock pot.

The recipe:
1 pound package dried red beans
water
salt pork, ham hocks or sausage cut small
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3-4 cups water
6 ounces tomato paste
8 ounces tomato sauce
4 garlic cloves minced

Soak beans overnight in water. Drain. Discard soaking water.

I'm always amazed at how the teeny tiny red beans transform into a lighter pink bean in the morning!

Mix together all ingredients in slow cooker.

Cover. Cook on Low 10-12 hours on low or until beans are soft. Serve over rice.

These beans freeze well.
You can substitute canned red kidney beans. Cook 1 hour on High and then 3 hours on low.

recipe from: Margaret Moffitt  (Fix it and Forget it Cookbook)

I borrowed my neighbor's copy so much that I finally went to Half Price book store and bought my own copy for $5!

When I first made this dish, I wasn't sure what to think of it. The pre-packaged beans and rice meals we sometimes eat are seasoned with Cajun style seasonings. This is not, obviously, and took getting used to. But now we both like it a lot! I like to buy this sausage to add to the beans.

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry recipe

Last Saturday I made a nice big pot of yellow chicken curry to have for lunch and to share with a friend. It turned out delicious as always. I just wish I had made more! It was gone too soon.

I got the recipe from my favorite Thai book. I was privileged to meet her and have her autograph my copy when we lived in Kansas. So far every recipe I've made from from her book, we've loved!

This is how I make mine:

You'll need 2 cans coconut milk:



Doesn't matter which brand, this is just what happened to be in my cupboard. I was kind of disappointed when I saw that the "organic" one contained water as its first ingredient and then coconut milk. The one on the left, did have a preservative in it, but coconut milk was listed first and had a much richer taste.

Next, I use red curry paste. About 2 Tablespoons. More if you want it hotter, but remember as it cooks the heat does intensify a little. I always in the past, keep adding more and then by the time the dish is done, it's way too hot to eat. -when I use the good brand of curry that is...

Yes, I know it seems weird to use red curry paste and not yellow but the cookbook said that yellow curry paste equaled to red curry paste and curry powder. I know they sell yellow curry paste, but I've not tried it. I just know how wonderful it tastes the way I do it and don't plan to change it now.  :-)

My favorite red curry paste is this brand.  I like it for its heat and flavor. However, I had this in my cupboard:


It was okay but did not have the heat like I was used to. I even tried it straight from the can and it was hardly anything spicy. Another thing I like about the first brand is that it comes in a plastic container and inside a bag which I can just seal off and keep in the refrigerator. With the canned curry, I have to put it in something and then freeze it. Doesn't seem like it keeps as long in the refrigerator. But anyways...

I made the mistake of making this in a medium sized saucepan and had to run to my neighbor's to see about borrowing a large stock pot from her. That is definitely on my "to buy" list. (a larger cooking pot!)

This is by far my favorite yellow curry brand:



To make dish:

Place 2 cans of coconut milk in medium to large stock pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons curry paste and 1 Tablespoons yellow curry powder and mix well.

Slice 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts into thin strips and put in same pot along with 2 potatoes, cut into quarters and 1 cup of water. Cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat and add 1 large onion, cut into quarters, 1/3 cup fish sauce, and 1/4 cup sugar. (I prefer the Squid brand of fish sauce over others.)

Simmer covered for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender and chicken is done.

Makes enough for 2-4 people.

I like this dish served over hot rice. (Jasmine preferred)

Mmmmm! This is making me crave the dish just talking about it!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crepes recipe

When I was a kid, my mom would make me crepes. She had some sort of special crepe maker. It was electric and looked like an upside down frying pan on a stand. I guess I always thought that they couldn't be made unless you had that same cooker. She would sprinkle them with sugar before rolling them up. Sometimes I would put jelly in them, but my favorite way was with the sugar.

A few months ago, Nick and I were wanting something sweet to eat and I happened to think of the crepes. We just happened to have all the ingredients so I made them and now they are one of our favorite evening snacks! I have even used half milk half water when I was almost out of milk and they still turned out great.

Here is the recipe:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Measure dry ingredients in bowl. Add vanilla, milk and egg. Beat with a rotary beater until smooth.

I melt the butter in my frying pan and then slowly add it to the mixture. (if you're not careful, you'll cook the egg in the batter) Then, my skillet is already greased!

Pour about 1/4 cup batter in a heated skillet. Immediately rotate the pan until batter covers bottom. Cook until light brown, turn and brown on the other side.

If desired, spread with applesauce, sweetened strawberries, jelly thinly on crepes. Sprinkle with sugar. Roll up.

12 crepes

Leftovers

The chicken I cooked in the crock pot the other day was a huge hit in our family! It was delicious!! And I LOVE my new crock pot!! Now I know I can leave it alone when I'm gone all day and come home to a wonderful cooked (not burned) dinner!

This is the one I got. Only hubby bought it at Walmart for me. It was on rollback for $19.95 usually $24.88. I noticed on Amazon it had a horrible review. I disagree! I've always bought the rival crock pot and Hamilton beach brands and have had nothing but trouble with them. I love that the food in it did not boil away like with my other brands. I did not have to add any water to the chicken as I've done in the past resulting in a soggy watery chicken mess! No worries about it burning the chicken or the bottom of the pot. It did create its own juice and was the most wonderful chicken dinner ever! I even forgot to add the salt and it was still really flavorful.

The crock pot does get warm on the outside, but since it IS cooking my food, I expect it to get warm/hot!

Anyways, I took the leftover chicken today and cooked up this and added a can of rinsed and drained black beans to the pot. When it was done, I added some leftover shredded chicken breast to it and rolled it up in some homemade tortillas topped with sour cream. It turned out so yummy!

I don't often make homemade tortillas because I'm too busy, but from now on, I'm going to make an effort to make them. They are so wonderful and delicious! I had lost my tortilla recipe, so I got online and found this tasty one. I halved the recipe and we had leftovers. It made 9 for me.

I found that they even sell a cool homemade tortilla kit. Definitely on my wish list!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lemon herb chicken in the crock pot

This morning, I decided to make lemon herb chicken. All week long, I kept forgetting to buy the lemon but with Nick being off of work today I thought it was the perfect day to try out the new crock pot. In the past, I have not felt comfortable leaving the crock pot home alone to do its job. Even on the lowest setting, the lid would rock back and forth and bubble like crazy. The brand we had was Rival. This is "the original crock pot brand".

And now since this morning, we have been tortured by the sight and smells of the chicken cooking in the pot. It smells so good! And won't be ready until about 6 this evening.

Okay, enough talk, here's the recipe:

One 4-6 pound roasting chicken
1-2 Tablespoons butter
The juice of one lemon
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 Tablespoons parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/3 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place onions in cavity of chicken. Rub skin with butter. Place chicken in crock pot. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken.  Sprinkle herbs and seasoning on top.



Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours. You'll know it's done when the meat starts to pull away from the bone. Resist the urge to open and check on the chicken until it's time. Otherwise, your chicken may be dry

Finally got an after shot, only we had started eating it by the time I remembered! lol


How to make fried green tomatoes

A friend of mine gave me a bag of green tomatoes this morning and I thought that I should fry some. I've never had any before, so I googled some recipes to give me an idea of how they're made and tried it.

First, I sliced my tomatoes:


Then, I beat an egg and put it in a bowl and added some milk to another bowl. (about 1/4-1/2 cup of milk)

Then, I got my flour mixture which was about 1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs, cornmeal, flour and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.


Stirred it together and after dipping the tomatoes into the milk then egg, coated each slice with the flour mixture:


Then put a bunch of them in my cast iron and fried until golden brown. Flipping it over when ready:


Drained on a paper towel, ready to eat!



And my thoughts are, not bad. It's more sour than I thought it would be.  Tastes best when eaten right away after they've cooled first. Actually, the first bite, I thought they were not good but the more I eat them, the more tasty the are! :-)

Now off to make some more!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blue and Orange Hat and matching Scarf

Okay! I'm finally ready to share the pictures. My friend got her box today. Now, if she'll just share a picture of herself wearing the items.. (hint! hint!)



Friday, October 21, 2011

Pictures revealed

Here are the pictures I promised!

Pot scrubbers ready to ship out:



here is the small child hat I made last week on the size 11 needles.



 In case you want the pattern, here it is again. I recommend doing the rolled brim though to hide the seam. And on circular needles even better. I decided I hate sewing up side seams and will never ever ever ever do it if I can avoid it!! It's really hard to sew up a side seam when you've got color changes and trying to make them line up. I about pulled all my hair out on the Chicago cubs hat incident. I think I'm bald in one area now! lol

I'm really not happy with the seam sewn on this hat. What should I do? Rip it out and re-do it?

here are some other hats I've been making:


Sorry! I just realized the photo is a bit fuzzy!

made on my knitting loom with three strands of yarn that was given to me. I just need to make the pom pom. Do you see the tiny bit of yarn on the seat by the picture. That's what my floor looks like! Tiny pieces of yarn EVERYWHERE! It's no wonder Nick hasn't gotten on to me more about it. He's so patient and nice to me! I promised him this mess would be all cleaned up by November 12th!

This one I can't decide if I want a pom pom or not. It's more of a beanie style hat that fits right on the head of a newborn. Though it came out slightly bigger than the other one because I used two strands of yarn.

Is it just me or is this fuzzy too?


This pom pom seems almost too big but the one next to it seems almost too small. Might just leave it off altogether and add a flower. But I just don't know if it will have to be rolled up or not. Decisions. Decisions... Oh well, maybe I'll just wait and decide later.

I love these fall colors!


See, it's just slightly bigger than the other:



Here is the water bottle cozy as I was starting out.



If I hadn't gotten stuck on a couple rows it might not have taken me that long to make.

 I put a bottle of coffee creamer in it to make it stand up:


There are 8 more skeins of the bright orange at the yarn store waiting for me to buy! The local yarn store lady is so nice to order me this yarn since she has to order at least 10 balls of each color. I told her I'd try to buy more later so she doesn't get stuck with them. There is still some hot pink left from the last order she did for me. Just need to think of something to make with hot pink too! Any ideas?

I saw a cute hello kitty pink scarf and thought it was adorable. Perhaps a way in the future knitting project! 

Well, off to learn how to crochet a baby bootie set. Would like to get five sets done by Tuesday. HA! HA!!

And I have 3 mini socks to do today since I only made one yesterday. Gotta keep up! lol

Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed. Here are the last of them. Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas...