Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crocheted pot scrubbers- different version

I bought some more netting this week and have been playing around making different pot scrubbers with the netting. I am in the process of testing out one of the latest scrubbers I made today and once I find out what I need to know, I will be posting up that pattern shortly.

Until then, here is a fun one to try.

Strips of netting cut 5 inches wide. You can choose to knot the pieces together or connect the strips as you go according to the "Original pot scrubber" pattern I posted awhile back. I prefer the latter for this method.

Now, all you need to do is get a size Q hook and chain 4.

Then, you simply put 20 sc in the fourth chain from the hook. You will eventually put the latter stitches over the first stitches that you made. This is normal. It makes for a nice round puffy scrubber.

This makes a dense heavy 3 inch diameter scrubber.

have fun!
until next time!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to make a rectangle crochet pot scrubber

I bought some red netting the other day to try making a different crocheted pot scrubber. I was talking to a friend of mine about a scrubber I had made her before I learned to do the kind that I posted the pattern for. I don't really remember how I made it, but I'm pretty sure I just made it like my facial scrubbers. I was shocked to learn that it's still going strong after all this time. I think it's been almost a year that it's still scrubbing away! 

The difference is that I didn't connect the strips the same way. I just used a square knot and stuffed the netting inside. Honestly, I expected over time for the netting to fall out of the holes, but she said it does not do that!

I decided to try making a rectangle scrubber the other day.

To make this scrubber, I took my crochet hook size "K" and chained 12 stitches.

It measured 5 inches long, so if it takes you more or less chains to get 5 inches, that's fine. I tried not to pull too tightly when I made the chains.

Then, I chained one, turned and put a sc in ea ch across. (12 total)

I repeated this until the piece measured 4 inches tall.You can either make two and connect them, but I chose to just fold it in half. When I ran almost out of netting and had about 3 inches left, I tied a square knot and kept all the knots on one side. Then, when I folded it in half, all the stray pieces were on the same side.

Starting on one side, I put 1 sc in each space across adding 3 sc to each corner. and went all the way around to the other side and then tied it off, tucking the last piece inside.

It's puffy and ready to scrub away. I plan to make more of these tweaking it as I go. I'm curious to know how long it will last instead of my usual round ones.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Easy Mexican Meal

I'm making this recipe tonight but substituting chicken instead of beef. I've made it with the beef and it's super too!

1 pound ground beef or chicken breasts sliced into cubes
1 package Knorr Fiesta Sides Mexican Rice
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups water

Brown ground beef or chicken in skillet. Drain (if necessary). Stir in Mexican rice, black beans and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes or until rice is tender. Let stand about 2 minutes. Serve with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.

This recipe was found on the back of one of the first packages I'd ever tried of this brand. Unfortunately, it is no longer on the back of the current pouches I buy. I wanted to post this recipe here so I could always find it.

Recipe for snickerdoodles without cream of tartar.

I made some snickerdoodles the other day. I had found this recipe years ago when trying to find a recipe that did not call for cream of tartar. This recipe makes the best snickerdoodles in the world! (at least to us!) :-)

Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Crinkles

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes from Betty Crocker's: "Cooky book". I found a vintage copy at my local flea market for under $5! I remember this book when I was growing up. Lots of fond memories. We made the gingerbread house in it each Christmastime.

*I hardly keep unsweetened chocolate in my pantry so I substitute cocoa and butter for the chocolate squares. For each square of unsweetened chocolate called for in the recipe, substitute 3 Tablespoons of cocoa plus 1 Tablespoons fat.

To make:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled or use substitution above.
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup powdered sugar (set aside in separate bowl for later.

Mix oil, chocolate, and sugar together. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth. Then, add flour, baking powder and salt. Put in refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into the powdered sugar that you set aside. Roll around and coat and shape into balls. I like to flatten them slightly. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (if you can). Otherwise, just place them as far apart as you can. :-)

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake! Remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling racks.

These are soft chewy chocolate-y cookies. Yum! Yum!

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Grandma's Favorite" dish cloths

Nick bought me a cone of Peaches and Creme yarn awhile back and I decided to knit dish cloths with it. I kind of regret getting rid of all my pattern books, but have always enjoyed knitting the Grandma's favorite dish cloth pattern, so that's what's on my needles at the moment.

So far, I've made 4. and wondering how many I can get from one cone of yarn. I like the idea of buying a new cone each month assuming it only takes me a month to finish it. Each of the Walmart's I've been to all seem to carry their own colors. There isn't such a wide variety of colors this way but enough to keep me busy for awhile.

I like the fact that I can pick up this at anytime and work on it. No need to count stitches until the decreasing part.

Here is the pattern again in case you are interested: This is the first thing I ever learned to knit and a friend shared this pattern with me.

Needle size: 7 or 8
53 yards with #8 needles

Cast on 4 sts.
K2, yo, k to end of row.
Repeat until there are 45 sts on needle.

K2, yo, K2tog; K to last 5 sts: K2tog, K3.
Repeat until there are 8 sts left.
K2, yo, K2tog, K2 tog, K2.
K2, yo, K2tog, K2tog, K1.
K1, K2tog, K2tog, K1.

Cut thread and pull through these 4 sts and tie off.

Easy peasy!

Update- I've made 8 so far with enough yarn on the cone to make one more, but I am done making this pattern and ready to try a new pattern. I had no idea I could get so many dish cloths from one cone of yarn. I thought I tried this years ago and got 6 from a cone. Then again, I did use a different pattern and made them of different sizes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bias tape, finished socks and Trixie

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day that wanted to find some cones for making a braided rug with. I called the quilt store to see if they had anything like it. The owner mentioned a bias tape maker. I had never heard of such a thing but as soon as she spoke of it, I knew I had to have one! lol

I saw them on amazon but planned to buy mine through the quilt store. (until...)

I went to a friend's house yesterday who told me that she had just ordered the same bias tape maker but accidentally bought it in the wrong size. So, I offered to buy it from her and did. Now, I've got to learn how to use it! The directions seem easy. I love using bias tape, but it's expensive if you use gobs of it. I've always wanted to make my own but just never did. That sounds like a fun project for the month of March...

I sewed this crochet hook case up this morning using some scrap material. I didn't even have to press anything since the piece that I found was already folded! I decided to try something new with the case. I sewed a piece to the top to act as guard to keep the hooks from falling out. It works pretty good! I'm going to mail it to a friend of mine tomorrow. I hope she likes it. (without the hooks, sorry!) :-)

Another thing I did differently was instead of using ties, I used a piece of elastic. I bought this special elastic for sewing tea wallets with. You just roll the case up and secure it with the elastic like this:

The measurements for the case are: 2 pieces- 10 3/4 by 7 3/4 and pocket piece: 10 3/4 by 8 1/4. Want a tutorial? It holds 9 hooks in each pocket but can hold more per pocket.

I thought I had posted a picture of the last socks that I made but then I couldn't find the picture anywhere. So, here they are:

I am ready for a break of sock knitting. Starting tomorrow I will attempt to knit a hexi-puff. More on that later! 

One of my favorite things to do is sit in the car on a sunny day and soak up the sunbeams. So, while Nick took a nap and caught up on some much needed sleep I sat in the car and read my book. I've been enjoying reading Debbie Macomber books again. 

I'm not the only one that likes to soak up the sunbeams. Soon as Trixie saw that the door was open, she helped herself and climbed in the car. 

She couldn't decide where she wanted to sit and eventually went back outside. It was cute watching her explore the car. 

 She sat up there a bit and then jumped down to the seat and gave herself a bath. 

Then, she was off to check out the front seats and dashboard.

Of course she had to look out the window and boast to the other kitties that she was getting a special treat.

She found the container that I had packed my breakfast in that morning when I went into town. She has quite the nose to find food! Had to throw the container out after she was done with it! lol

Mittens enjoying himself getting a belly rub. He's the only cat I've owned that likes to have his stomach scratched.

Until next time!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brothers, Breadsticks and Boxy bags

I was filling up water outside and caught Mittens and Freddie snuggling up for a nap on the old front porch. I ran back inside to get my camera and snapped this picture of them. Usually it's Freddie and Trixie taking a nap together. They seemed to have found a nice warm place to take a snooze!

I made some bread sticks to go with our spaghetti the other night. I used my favorite bagel recipe found below. I halved the batch and it made 5 decent sized ones. I brushed them with melted butter mixed with salt and garlic powder before baking while they rose and after they came out of the oven. They turned out awesome!

I finally sewed the "No guts" box style bag even though I have lots to learn when I sew my next one. I like how it turned out though. I recommend having a clear ruler like she suggests!  

As promised, here is the recipe for the bread sticks:

The original recipe is called Vegan Bagels. This is the full recipe not halved like I did.

I used my bread machine to mix the dough but you can do it by hand if you want. 

1 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Put in order in bread machine. Let knead for 20 minutes. To make bread sticks, roll into sticks and let rise until doubled in size. You can brush with butter beforehand. I just mixed enough garlic powder and salt to taste and brushed it lightly on the dough. Then, I baked it at 350 degrees until it was done. About 15 minutes. 

To make bagels- which are also delicious!

After it has kneaded once in machine. Let sit for 20 minutes. Roll into ropes, wet ends together and stick together. I found that sometimes they stick and sometimes they don't. I also like to roll into a ball and poke a hole in the middle and stretch it out until it is bagel size. Then, let rest for 15 minutes. Fill large pot of wok with 3 inches of water. Place 2 Tablespoons sugar in pot, mix, and let boil. Add risen bagels to this mixture. Boil for 1 minute. Drain with slotted spoon each bagel and place on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with toppings. Poppy seeds, onion bits, garlic bits, salt, whatever you want. Bake at 550 degrees for 15 minutes. 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Soda pop cupcakes and other 2 ingredient recipes

Chocolate Pumpkin cupcakes

1 can pumpkin 
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix

Just mix these TWO ingredients together. Nothing else! And spoon into greased muffin pans, or use some cupcake liners. It will be thick but don't worry. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes clean. Frost if you wish. I like them plain. Don't expect these to look "normal" but  delicious because they are!

I heard you can use yellow or white cake mix, but I've never tried it before. 

Angel Food Pineapple cupcakes

1 box  Angel Food cake mix
1 can 20 ounce crushed pineapple in HEAVY syrup. 

Mix together. The batter for these won't be as thick. Spoon into greased muffin cups, or use some cupcake liners. I once made this in a 9 by 13 pan and it overflowed in the oven. So, if you use a cake pan, use two. They rise up while they bake but fall back down a little. Depending on how high you fill the pan, determines how many it will make. I made these smaller and it made 48! Just don't forget to grease the pan!

Soda pop cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can cream soda (I used A&W)

Mix together. It will fizz up. Just mix until lumps are gone with a whisk. Spoon into greased muffin cups or use some cupcake liners. You can experiment with different flavor combinations. If you use a white or yellow cake mix, use a lighter colored soda pop. 

Ideas- Chocolate cake mix with Dr. Pepper or Coca cola.
White cake mix with Sierra mist, 7-up, Sun Drop, Sprite. 
Yellow cake mix with cream soda, Sunkist orange. 

The possibilities are endless! My friend and I were talking about it and we both agreed that Strawberry Sunkist with white cake sounded good! With some strawberry icing.

Until next time!

Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...