Monday, May 28, 2012

Squash with basil

After learning the proper way to harvest my basil, I was left with a nice large bowl of it. I can almost taste the pesto! But first, I need some extra virgin olive oil which I won't be able to get until Wednesday. Anyways, I had a recipe I wanted to try but couldn't find anywhere, so I searched the Internet for a recipe that had ingredients that I had on hand and found this.

It was delicious! Nick wasn't so sure when he smelled the garlic I added in, but even he liked it!


Here is the recipe for the squash with basil.

I'm planning to make more tomorrow since it was so yummy.

Years ago, someone taught me how to dry herbs in my refrigerator. Can you guess how? You just take the herbs you want to dry and wrap them in some paper towels (washed and not drippy wet) Then, place on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator and forget about it for awhile. Soon it will be nice and crispy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cherry Cobbler Easy as 1, 2, 3!!!

Last night, I decided to make some cherry cobbler in the crock pot. I've posted the recipe before, but I'm going to post it again because it's so easy!

When I woke up this morning and got on my facebook, one of the things on my wall said,

"Happy National Cherry Cobbler Day!" I had no idea there was such a thing and for all the days for it to be! lol

So, I dragged out my crock pot and made some. You can cook it on on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. For some reason I thought it was ready in two and was disappointed that I'd have to smell it for another 2 hours! Mmmmm!




#1- Grease crockpot. Empty one can of cherry pie filling in crock pot 


#2- Melt 1/2 cup of butter and pour over one box of dry cake mix. Mix together.


#3- Sprinkle dry mixture on top. Put lid on and cook.



Wasn't that simple!

Nick said he'd bring home some vanilla ice cream to go with it! Yay!

Of course, I had to sample some before Nick got home:




Mmmm!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Apple Cake = Wonderful!

I finally got around to making the apple cake and boy did it turned out delicious! When I say "cake" it is more like a bread in the term of banana bread. Not bread like you eat on sandwiches... We love our banana bread cold out of the refrigerator, so I'm planning on taking what's left of the apple cake and putting it in to get cold too. It tastes pretty good warm out of the oven though!

I don't usually take a new recipe that I've never made before and start changing it. Usually I wait until I've made it at least once, but not today. Just felt like experimenting.

Here is the recipe I came up with.

1 cup brown sugar (originally, I had only put in 3/4 cup but when I tasted the batter it was hardly sweet, so I added in 1/4 cup to the batter)
2 cups chopped apples (I used my pampered chef hand chopper to get the chunks nice and tiny.






Put in a bowl and let soak for one hour. Stir before setting the timer. I had chopped up more apples than I needed so I added a dab of brown sugar to my bowl and enjoyed a yummy snack!



After an hour was up, I  took the mixture and put it in my food processor and pureed it.

Then,  I put it back in the mixing bowl and added:

1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

I mixed it all together and put it in my bread machine and baked it for an hour. Yum!

If you make this in a regular oven, double the batch, (add 3 eggs instead of 2) and bake in a greased loaf pan until done. I tested my cake with a toothpick in the center until it came out almost clean.





You can still see tiny chunks of apple pieces in it. 

I love using my bread machine to bake yummy goodies! Oster is so nice as they sent me a free bread machine pan the other day as my other one was starting to peel!

Zippered bag

Well, I finally got brave enough to try sewing a zippered bag using this tutorial.  If you're the type of person that wants to know exactly how big to cut your material this video is not for you. You have to come up with your own size of the material and zipper length.

I used a 7 inch length zipper and cut my material accordingly. Of course, the zipper length was longer than the actual zipper part.

This is the first bag I made:


While I like it, I don't care for the fact that the inside is already starting to fray. I put some Fray Check on the inside but, would have liked for it to have a lining.

The second bag I did, I sewed two pieces of material together and then turned it right side out so it had a "liner" to make it stand out more and look more boxy, but it frayed just as much when I had to make the corners. I might try making the next one where I just sew along the triangle part, like I talked about earlier.

I really don't care for either bag, and want to rip it out and use the zipper again, but I guess I'll just let it be. I want to order some zippers from GVS since they only charge 75 cents each! That's half of what Walmart charges and shipping isn't that much. I love ordering from GVS anyways.

Well, I did not make the apple cake last night because I forgot we had leftover brownies to finish up, but I am planning on making it tonight. I also wanted to wait to make it because we may have company over tomorrow and I thought if there was any left we could share it with our guest!

Here is the second bag:

It looks like the zipper should go the other way but that's because I just made it longer. Now, I see I could have made it shorter. Oh well...

My tongue is burning because I ate some Wasabi flavored Rice crackers that my mom sent me. She sent me a nice surprise box that contained these crackers, some roasted barley tea (never had but anxious to try), some more pattern leaflets, two skeins of yarn (normally marked $8 each that she got somewhere on sale for 59 cents! She always knows where to find bargains! She also sent me a pair of slippers for winter and two lightweight jackets- One for me and one for Nick. How did she know I was wanting one just like this!? I don't have a lightweight jacket that zips up and this is just what I've been wanting. In our favorite colors too! I had a lightweight pullover made of the same fleece material but not being able to unzip it when I got hot, it would get too warm wearing it.

My mom also sent me my favorite ginger chewy candy! And seems like she sent me something else but I can't remember what.

Well, I need to go clean up the sewing area and pick up the house before Nick gets home. Only a few more hours and I still need to bake the apple cake yet.

Until next time!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Carrot apple juice


My sister gave me a huge six pound bag of red delicious apples and with two of them and a handful of carrots made two glasses of juice for lunch! It was delicious! :-)

I don't usually care for the red delicious variety because they tend to feel mealy and mushy but these are so crisp and nice for fresh eating.



I'm planning on trying a new recipe in my bread machine for some apple cake tonight. I found it in one of my old cookbooks. It sounds yummy! If it's any good, I'll be sure to share the recipe.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More drawstring bags

I had so much fun sewing those bags that after I cleaned out my junk drawer, I decided to sew some more. I plan to eventually have "tags" on all my bags so I can tell with a glance what's inside each one.



I made one to hold our seed packets in because they kept getting scattered. One to put our cell phone chargers in. And another one to hold my collection of cookie cutters. I plan to sew more to hold our camera battery chargers, our playing cards (Uno, Skip-bo, and Scrabble).



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Drawstring bags

After searching the internet for hours looking for a nice tutorial for a drawstring bag, I finally found one!

And I still managed to not follow the directions right because my bag looks a little funny. But it was my first one so I'll cut myself some slack! lol

I'm trying it again using up some fabric scraps that were given to me. This material is not very forgiving for ripping out as it leaves little tiny holes in the material.

I'm happy with how they turned out!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Finished bag picture

So, I decided not to rip out the bag I finished yesterday. Instead I made another "bag" out of a lining material and sewed the upper half to the existing bag. It took several tries because I did not really measure the bag yesterday though I had an idea of how big it was. Then the liner piece of material kept slipping while I was trying to sew it. I hate it when that happens. I'm just glad I made the bag for me and didn't promise it out to someone else. If you look really closely you can see all my mistakes!

I wanted to avoid having to buy any material, so I used half from the liner of a coat (the one that I got the buttons from) and the other half was from a pair of tan pants. Since the blue material was thinner than the blue jean material, I used the liner material on the side with the blue jean and the heavier tan material on the side with the blue.

I ended up messing it up when I found that the liner was larger than the bag, so I had to rip out a little bit and resew it. I was surprised at how well it lays in there for not having sewn the bottom together.  I suppose I could have tacked it down, but chose not to. It can hold about 4 skeins of Red heart yarn which means it should hold my prayer shawl yarn just fine. That's the main reason I wanted to sew this bag. I got tired of always trying to find something to put my prayer shawl yarn in when I go to knitting.

I also like that I made the handles long enough to put on my shoulder. I was worried that they wouldn't be long enough but there is plenty of room!

Next on my list, is to make a smaller sized project bag to hold my sock yarn projects. The material I used for the first bag (minus the liner) was about as big as I had. The rest of my fabric stash is smaller so I'll be limited to only making tiny bags, which is fine. A lot of times when I grab my knitting, it's usually for a small finish quickly project anyhow.

I've been re-thinking what I want to keep knitting wise. I think I'm going to find a home for most of my books, and just rely on my online patterns stored on the computer. I also think I'm going to give up on the magic loop method for socks and on the 9 inch length needles. Leave it for someone that enjoys that sort of thing. I'm a dpn person myself. I feel blessed that I learned this method first. I find it easy and enjoyable. I've heard a lot of folks that don't know how or don't enjoy it. Not me!

Well, just wanted to take a quick break to post up this picture before I get back to my housecleaning.

Here is the bag:


Friday, May 11, 2012

Sewing bags

This morning I decided to finally tackle sewing a cloth bag. I've been looking at ideas all week long. So, I finally decided to just jump right in and try making one. I had some material that a ravelry friend sent me when I swapped a dish cloth with her, that I thought looked like the perfect size. I have been wanting a bag to use for holding my small to medium sized knitting projects in.

I had some old jeans that the zipper broke on and used it for one side and the material for the other. I intended to sew a lining in the bag, but completely forgot until I was almost done with it. I took the finished bag into town today but I can see how it's going to be a problem to not have the lining in it. The material is cotton on one side and heavy thick jean material on the other. I'm worried that the handles on the cotton side are going to rip off.

So, tomorrow, I intend to rip out the whole bag on the bottom part and try to sew a lining in. I'm not really sure how I'm going to do it yet, but it will be interesting for sure! I wasn't even sure how to make the bag in the first place, but love how it turned out! I learned how to make a flat bottom bag by googling some sites including this one. I had no idea it was so easy!

After I finish this bag, again, I plan on making more! A friend of mine gave me some used clothing that will make the perfect material for more bags. I want to sew a dedicated library bag and a smaller project bag for taking socks. And if I get good enough, I want to make some for friends, but I've got a ways to go yet! :-)

happy crafting!

pictures to follow!

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...