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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

Animals

Meet Maia. She lives down the street. She seems to think she's the mascot of our town. I say this because she feels the need to be in everyone's yard! She always has to check out everything. She's curious and nosy. Oh, and a mooch too! So much that I call her Moochy Maia.

 Just about every time I'm in the kitchen cooking, if I just lightly scrape pan all I have to do is look out the window and she's sitting on our front steps of the camper. It doesn't matter where in town she is, she always comes running when she hears that clinking sound!

If you tell her to go home, she'll throw herself on the ground and start kicking her legs everywhere. I think she's having a temper tantrum. Yesterday I told her to go home and she started to, but then I heard a noise coming from the back near the bedroom and looked out the window to see this:



This is the view from outside the bedroom window. She just wanted a sun beam to lay in. So I let her stay.

But she's such a sweet dog. Always ready to protect everyone. When Nick and I go for our evening walks, she always walks us home. As if we don't know our way there! She makes sure we get to our house, before going back to hers.

She wasn't the only one that wanted a place to soak up the sun beams. I found Zucchini here:



The blanket you see is something I put together for him. I took the old rabbit cage and laid a piece of foam inside. Then took this old blanket and draped it over the cage for privacy. Later today we'll cover the rest of the camper up with plastic so that won't be seen. I wasn't sure whether or not he'd get in the cage, but he loves it! I'm glad he has a warm place to sleep when it's cold.

And this is Tinkerbell aka snowball:



She showed up as a skinny scrawny thing and we named her snowball. Had no idea that she lived three houses down as Tinkerbell. I have a feeling she has claimed ownership of several other neighbors since she's often seen sitting and hanging out at their houses as well! She has since fluffed out nicely and looks like a puffy snowball. She thinks she lives here now and steals all the food I put out for Zucchini. She's adorable though and just loves to be petted. We tried to shoo her away but she came back day after day, week after week, month after month.  I'm sure her owners think we are trying to steal their cat, but I assure you we are not! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Water bottle cozy

I made my first water bottle cozy today.

Usually when I find a new pattern to try I look it all over first to make sure I know how to do all the instructions. With this water bottle cover pattern, I didn't. As soon as I saw the pattern, I grabbed my yarn and hook and started crocheting. I appreciated the easy to follow instructions and plenty of pictures!

It never occurred to me to look through the whole thing to make sure I could do it. I had a lot of trouble on the shell stitches especially Row 27, but after taking it out several times I finally figured out my mistake. I started it at about 5:30 in the morning and got it done after 8:30 am! I thought it would go a lot faster than it did. Oh well. The good thing is that all I have to do is make the drawstring and I am done! I am just trying to figure out how exactly to make it so that it can be worn with it by your side.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I don't care what you call them, I call them good.

I had some fun experimenting in the kitchen today. I've been wanting something yummy to eat and was trying to figure out what I could make. I just recently discovered the bake function on my Oster Bread machine. I never wanted to risk ingredients before trying to figure out what temperature it baked at but so far the results have been very tasty!

I was hoping my bread machine manual would have a cinnamon roll dough recipe in it, but sadly it did not. So, I dragged out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and found this recipe which I halved for my machine:

(original recipe is doubled)

1 pkg. yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup milk, scalded then cooled
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 1/4- 2 1/2 cups flour (I used 2 1/4 cup)

I added the ingredients into the bread machine pan and set the menu to dough cycle. After it beeped at me, I pinched the dough into little round balls (which turned into blobs later) about 1 inch in size.

Then, I dipped each ball in a bowl of melted butter (this is in addition to what went into the bread pan) and rolled it in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Then, I just started loading them back into the bread pan. When the bottom was covered, I did another layer. This made two layers.

Then, I put the pan with a cloth over it and let it sit in the warm car to rise. It raised for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then, when it was doubled in size, I simply set the "bake" function in my bread machine and set the timer for 30 minutes. My bread machine bakes for an hour, but I wanted to check it halfway. It still looked a bit doughy, so I set the timer for an additional 15 minutes. Any longer and I think it would have started to burn.

I drizzled some powdered sugar icing over the whole thing and it was great!

When I asked Nick what I should call them he said, "I don't care what you call them, I call them good."

I told him that was quite a mouthful of a name. I was thinking something a bit catchy!

I think Cinna-Bites is good, but that's been taken. What about Cinna-blobs?

What do you think?

I totally meant to get a picture before they were consumed but here they are half eaten. They turned out really yummy!



If you have a working oven, just make them in a pan. Either a bundt pan (best) or a loaf pan or 9 by 13 pan or whatever you have. Just let them rise until double in size before baking.  I'd bake them at 350 for 25 minutes and check for doneness. If you use a glass pan, try 325 degrees. Just a thought...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pom Pom maker review

I got some pom pom makers today. I've tried the Susan bates ones and I was not impressed. I just don't have the patience to put the yarn through the hole and wrap it that way.

The ones I got were this and this by Clover. They are absolutely awesome!! They were worth every penny purchased at the local yarn shop. I am so glad she carries them! I made a pom pom with the size 2 1/2 and it was the right size for the blue and white hat I made earlier this week. I promise to post up pictures tomorrow!

Click here for a good tutorial on how to make a pom pom.

How to knit a basic hat

These can be made in one solid color or with stripes.


This was one of the first hat patterns I learned to knit. A friend shared the pattern with me. 

First, you need a size 8 needle. 
And you need some worsted weight yarn. I used Plymouth Encore Worsted for this hat.
I prefer straight needles and just sew the side seam up using the mattress stitch. This way you know which way is front/back.

Cast on 84 stitches.
K1, P1 rib for 4 rows.

Then switch to stockinette stitch and knit for 34 rounds. Add in new colors as you desire.

Decrease-
1- *K2tog, k4  *repeat across, 70 sts
2- Purl across
3- *K2tog, k3 *repeat across, 56 sts
4- Purl across
5- *K2tog, k2, *repeat across, 42 sts
6- Purl across
7- *K2tog, k1, *repeat across, 28 sts
8- Purl across
9- *K2tog, *repeat across, 14 sts
10- *K2tog (7 times), 7 sts left

Cut yarn. With needle, run tail through remaining stitches and sew down sides with mattress stitch. Weave in ends.

Variations-
Sometimes I will make the ribbing part 8 rows instead of 4 and just subtract it from the stockinette part so I have the same number of rows. I've also used one strand of fancy fur yarn when I've done the ribbing mixed with the worsted weight yarn and just dropped it when I started the stockinette part. Or you can start using the fancy fur part on just the stockinette part. I also made this hat in all ribbing, and then did the decrease. This way, it's very stretchy and fits a wide range of sizes. It fit my head as well as my 4 year old niece at the time.

I like the mattress stitch because it creates an invisible seam on the outside of your work. The inside has a small seam. 

Here is a good video I found on youtube that shows how to do it. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Weight Watchers" Southwest Chicken and beans crockpot recipe

Southwest Chicken and Beans- Crockpot recipe




I had this dish at a friend's house. It was so delicious I asked for the recipe.

1 can pinto beans
1 pound boneless chicken (cubed)
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 can sweet corn drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup salsa
2 Tablespoons cilantro

Place beans and next seven ingredients into 4 quart slow cooker and mix well. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until chicken is no longer pink. Sprinkle with cilantro.

1 1/4 cups equals 4 weight watcher points.

Yummy served with cornbread. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sugar free Pina Colada for kids or adults

Sugar Free Pina Colada for kids

1/2 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon wheat germ
2 Tablespoons dry milk

Blend. Best when cold.

Knitted Slipper Pattern

Here is the slipper pattern I told you about that I got at a garage sale. It was with a bunch of patterns in a Ziploc bag for 50 cents. It was typewritten on a sheet of paper with no name or source information so I have no idea who to give the credit to.

With two strands of worsted weight yarn and a size 9 needle
Cast on 39 stitches

Using double stranded throughout...

Row 1- K4, P1, K29, P1, K4
Row 2- K14, P1, K9, P1, K14

Repeat these rows alternately about 36 times for women's size 6-7. About 42 times for men's size 8-9.

Then, bind off 5 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows and knit across.

For the toe part- K1, P1 across each row in seed stitch. Repeat this until it's half of what you made for the foot, I did 18 rows. Or counted 9 "bumps".

Next, K2tog across next row and thread yarn through stitches. Draw toe together and tie. Sew up top sections of toe and back of slipper. Make pom pom for each.

Use two different color yarns or variegated.

When you make it, you'll start to notice the pattern, the purl ridges that go up and down. One side will show and the other side will be an indentation. I assume that the indentation is what goes on the inside so it will be more comfortable.

Here it shows the inside part where your foot goes that I was talking about:



This shows the outside. The two middle purled rows is the outside of the slipper and you fold the edges up and the bottom edge is the slipper back. Does this make sense? If not, ask questions and I'll try to explain it better. When I sewed the back edge together, I did not sew up the cuff part. I just started sewing it after that part. Seemed to be that the cuff then could fold down and easier to get on the foot.

Here is another slipper sewn up and ready to weave in the ends.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hearty Sausage and New Potatoes

Hearty Sausage and Potatoes
Found this recipe in a recent Taste of Home (5 ingredients or less) magazine.

It turned out really good. A winner in our family!

2 pounds small red potatoes
2 cups frozen cut green beans
1 pound fully cooked kielbasa or polish sausage, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt

(hey! that's 6 ingredients!)

Place potatoes in Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cook uncovered, over medium high heat until almost tender, about 12-15 minutes. Add beans and cook 5-6 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Drain and set aside.

In the same pan, saute sausage until lightly browned. Add the oil, seasonings and potato mixture; stir gently to combine. Cover and cook on low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Note- It's worth it to use the red potatoes. The white ones tend to get mushy.

I love to make this in cooler weather. It sure warms you right up!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Honey Ginger ale

Honey Ginger Ale
1/3 cup peeled chopped ginger
2-3 Tablespoons filtered water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4-6 Tablespoons honey
2-4 Tablespoons agave nectar
pinch of sea salt
1 liter sparkling water, chilled

Makes 4 servings

Place ginger and filtered water in a blender and pulse a few times. Then blend at high speed until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour the blended ginger through. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze firmly to extract as much juice as possible.

In a small pitcher, mix together the ginger juice, lemon juice, honey, agave nectar, and salt until well blended.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each of the four glasses and add sparkling water. Serve with ice cubes if desired.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banana Oatmeal, anyone?

I was given some trail mix the other day that contained: cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, cranberries, golden raisins, apricots, papaya, pineapple and bananas. Everything in the mix is good, but I don't care for the papaya. It contains dyes and tastes disgusting! Why do they insist on adding coloring and flavoring to perfectly natural fruit. Plain dried papaya is great!

Hubby likes the nuts but won't eat the fruit. So, as I was stuck with all the fruits to eat by myself, I got to thinking... I love apple oatmeal. (just diced apples and some cinnamon mixed in with oatmeal. I wonder what banana oatmeal would taste like...

So, I tried it and it was delicious! The bananas still had their crunch to them and I even mixed in the golden raisins and cranberries. It was so yummy! I don't normally enjoy cranberries but in the oatmeal they tasted like raisins.

This would be expensive to make all the time since the trail mix is pricey, but I noticed at the supermarket the other day that they sell large bags of the dried bananas. So, I'll have to give that a try sometime. Even better would be to dry my own bananas...

How to make Texas Straw Hats

I remember eating this dish in grade school at the cafeteria. Finally got around to making it, and it was really good!

1 can chili (no beans)
1 can pinto beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion chopped
Brown onion and beef. Add 3 cans. Simmer 15 minutes. Heap small fritos on plate. Add chopped tomatoes and lettuce. 
Cover with chili and top with grated Cheddar cheese. Serves 6.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Butter Lettuce Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

Butter Lettuce Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing.

2 small heads butter lettuce
2 ruby grapefruits
2 Tablespoons torn or roughly chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large avocado peeled and sliced
Edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Rinse butter lettuce leaves and pat dry. Tear the leaves into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut the peel and outer membrane from the grapefruit. Working over the salad bowl, cut between the inner membranes and fruit to release the segments into the bowl.
Add the mint.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice and honey in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the honey, and then whisk in the oil. You can store any leftover dressing in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Spoon about half the dressing into the salad bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture onto plates and top with the avocado slices and flowers.

Quick Skillet Supper

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 1/2 cups uncooked noodles
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water

Brown beef; drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until noodles are cooked.