Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Rotting My Brain

I’ve been watching alot of TV lately and I totally believe it rots your brain. I mean, I used to be productive. I used to whip out projects left and right. I would sew, read or just sleep. Then, we got Netflix.

My favorite hat

Now, I watch movies whenever I want. You can watch them on your computer or your TV. How genius is that?! Seriously though, I’m not going to go on and on about this, but man- I love it.

So, back to some things I do manage to get done:


My mushroom log has gown. We watched it grow amazingly fast. We would walk away for a couple hours and I swear there was noticeable growth when I returned. And the growth overnight was amazing.


We cooked them up as appetizers for some guests the other night along with some Shitake’s which were also grown on a log. It was so very yummy.

I’ve also managed to get alot done on my newest quilt:

Quilt Kit

I adore this quilt. I’ve been eying quilt kits for the longest time and finally broke down and bought one for mother’s day this year. Kits are nice, but I’m not sure if I’d buy them again. For me, it seems like it takes the originality out of a quilt. I thought I wanted a no-brain-er type quilt, but now that mine is almost done, I feel like I almost cheated. I still love my quilt, but I just don’t know if I would recommend buying a quilt kit.

(BTW- the kit I bought included the pattern and all the fabric for the quilt except the batting and backing which is what most kits include. You still have to make all the cuts for the blocks, but it takes the guess work out of the fabric choices.)

Next up is this tote I made many months ago. I wanted to share it because I use it 24/7.

Project Tote

It’s not my usual tote. This one is lined, interfaced and has pockets on the inside as well as outside. I bought all the fabrics used in this bag from Ikea and I must say that their cotton solids have a nice weight to them.


I’ve been using it by my bedside to keep everything from library books to my latest knitting project. The best part is that it easily comes with me. We are constantly takes little trips so this bag works well for the on-the-go project that I feel I always have to take with me so I don’t get bored.

And lastly some quick links that I have to share:

I just made these Fudge Babies tonight and man, they are awesome. You’ve got to try these simple, 4 ingredient, no baking desert. Even Chris liked them although he said they immediately made him think of Schweddy Balls.

I just discovered Made. And let’s just say that she is my hero.

I need to cram in a new hobby so I can make this, but also want to sew myself a really, really good pair of jeans and maybe huge leather wallet.

Anyone have any tips on sewing with leather?


ps- The first photo of my favorite hat is a free pattern called Foliage by Emilee Mooney that I found on Ravelry. I made it with some luscious Malibrigo worsted yarn and the color is called Molly. I have more hats to share soon.


It’s What We Eat

I know that this is mainly a sewing blog, but really I haven’t been doing much of it lately due to my typing work. (The book is almost done. I only have 3 more chapters to type. Woohoo!)

I made my sister Mary 6 cloth grocery bags out of some more IKEA fabric. (You can’t beat their price or durability.) Yes, she now owes me big time, but I’m happy knowing that she’ll be using (and reusing!) my bags instead of adding more plastic to places like this.

I did more sewing yesterday trying to make cloth easter eggs and tried this wonderful idea, but stuffed eggs require hand stitching. I can’t do that to save my soul so that project didn’t make it far. I even tried to enlarge an egg pattern to see if a bigger egg would be easier to stitch. I wanted to make my kids and all the cousins one large egg with their name hand embroidered on them, but the first one I made turned into a mushy, squished, lopsided ball. UGLY. I gave it to Eleni anyway and she’s declared that it’s a ball for her doll. Great.

Did you know that you can’t just keep enlarging a pattern to the size you want even if it’s a simple pattern like an egg? Chris warned me about this when I was making all the kids’ slippers for Christmas, but I figured that it’s just an egg and what could go wrong. It turns out that you can’t simply enlarge and if you do, everything must be to proportion or else it turns out wacky.

So I’ve got another idea for Easter, but since it’s only a couple days away and I’ve still got 57 pages to type before Saturday, it’ll be a simple one. I’ll post it soon…

In the meantime, here’s what we’ve been eating:


Starting at the top, we have some chocolate shortbread mushrooms, a favorite Uwajimaya treat around here. (Ms O is sticking just to the chocolate and leaves the nubs for me.)

Next, whole wheat waffles with Daddy’s homemade blackberry syrup. This was last night’s dinner- Yummy!

Thirdly, we have the whole wheat artisan bread I promised to report about. What can I say? It was good, nutty and filling, but man, that white bread still rocks!

And lastly, tonight’s bedtime snack- steamed artichokes with your choice of butter or mayo for dipping. These were meant to go with dinner, of course, but since they take forever to steam, they weren’t done until 8pm. Bedtime snack it was and it was GOOD. (Yes, my kids really love these. Augie saw them while grocery shopping today and begged me to get them. I know I was a bad mom at first not allowing him to buy something that was $2 each, but we’re on a budget. So yes, he did have to beg for them! But really I think it’s the fun of scrapping the flesh from the leaves with your teeth. Even though Ms O and Eddie have trouble, they eat up what Daddy can get off for them.)

There you go, our eats so far this week. Tomorrow I’ll be on my own since I can’t stand duck!

Dangerous Bread

I’m sure you all have seen or read the many blogs out there who are baking this bread:

5 Minute Artisan Bread

I got a craving yesterday and so I tried it. Since I don’t have the book, I googled 5 Minute Artisan Bread recipe and went to town.

There’s only 4 ingredients: water, salt, yeast and flour. It was easy throwing everything in one bowl, mixing it with a spoon, covering and letting it sit on the counter overnight. This morning, I pulled off a chunk, shaped it and stuck it in the oven for 20 minutes. I didn’t have a peel or stone or whatever the original recipe called for, but read that Angry Chicken just used cast iron. We always have our 8 inch and 12 inch pans seasoned and ready to go so I floured the 8 inch pan, put in the dough and stuck it in the oven over a rack that had a pan with hot water in it. (On a side note, I sure hope you’re still not using teflon-coated pans! Really, people you MUST STOP.) Anyway, so I made a loaf for us and one for my neighbor. She was so impressed and in fact so was I.

Must Touch

The bread is good. I think I may have to go out and get the book as well as the peel or stone because I think I will be making this alot! (Actually, as I type this I have a new whole wheat batch that I just started sitting on my kitchen counter. I will report back on how it turned out with the whole wheat.)

So if you need a carbo kick on this rainy day, get in the kitchen and whip up a batch.  Yes, it’s that easy and very dangerous because you will want it all the time!

Catch-Up & Curry

I’ve been playing catch-up with everything that last couple days.

I spent Friday typing and met again with my memoir writer. I’ve got 100 pages done and at least another 100 to go. He’s got a great story.

On Saturday, the boys and I went to get new shoes for Augie. Found out that Eddie needed shoes as well since I had him in tens and he actually should be in twelves. TWELVES! Both had to get matching shoes. I love it.

Sunday was spent trying to make a *good* curry chicken. I think I got it down so here’s my recipe:

1 whole chicken
3 tablespoons oil
1 onion chopped
8 cloves crushed garlic
6 Cardamom whole seed pods
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp dry mustard
1 heaped teaspoon Tumeric powder
½ – ¾ cup curry powder, depending on how spicy you want it
10-12 curry leaves, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp grated ginger
2 cups boiled water

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubbed
salt to taste

First, chop up your chicken and take as much skin off as possible. (I leave in all the bones, but you can debone if you like.) Set aside. Chop up onion and add to large pot with hot oil. After a couple minutes, add crushed garlic. Stir and cook for another couple minutes on med-hi heat being careful not to burn to garlic. In a another bowl take the Cardamom seeds out the pods and crush. To this bowl add the fenugreek seeds, mustard, tumeric and curry and stir to combine. Add the spice mixture to the pot along with 1 cup of water and cook about 5 minutes stirring well until combined. Add chopped chicken, another cup of water, grated ginger, chopped curry leaves, cinnamon stick and potatoes- if desired. Give it a good stir, turn heat down to medium and let it boil for 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Do not cover pot because you want to mixture to boil down and thicken. Serve hot with rice and a cucumber-tomato salad.

We had this last night and Augie had two bowls. Eddie and Olivia thought it was too spicy, but I thought it was just right. Try it and let me know how it goes.

Lovo Feast

To all who came to our shindig on Sunday, a big no huge Thank You! We had a wonderful time visiting, celebrating and eating. Although the weather (IT POURED!) was horrible for cooking underground, Chris and Nana managed to pull it off with excellent results.

The Prep:

(click on photos to go to my Flickr for details)

Prepping for the party


Main Meats

The Lovo:



Leaf Layer

Burlap Layer

Cardboard Layer

Dirt Finale

Lovo Cooking

The Feast:

Fijian Spread

I think we had over 60 people crammed into our house or under “Tarp Town” on the deck. Ms O was such a trooper enjoying every minute of all the attention she received for her birthday.




Back to the sewing side of things:
As you can see, I was able to “fix” her dress if you can call it fixed. The neckline on this pattern is terrible. It calls for finishing the neck with bias tape, but the neck so wide, the fit is awful. You think I would remember this even after making this exact dress 3 times and all 3 times the fit was the same. But no, I forgot to add a little to the neck and cut it out before remembering. In the end, I added another inch like a cuff to the neckline and put in elastic to try and match the arms. The dress looks like a moo moo, but she’s so cute, she pulled it off 😉 … with her matching shoes. I also made the shirt I have on which is so comfortable and easy to make- Built by Wendy pattern #3835. This pattern was great because it was simple and fast. I was able to make two in one evening. The first one I made needed a few adjustments, i.e. snug in the bust- yes, everything is tight in that area! And a little too short in the sleeve length. I made the adjustments easily and love the fit now. I made one out of linen (above picture), and one out of Kona cotton. I never know what kind of cotton to get to make clothing since there are so many types- Kona, Egyptian, Quilting, etc.. Any suggestions on your favorite? I picked one based on the color and feel, but I guess that’s all that matters anyway.

So after all that, I’m itching to set up the studio again. Did you see my new badge at the top? Yep, July is “Bag Month” over at Sew Mama Sew so gotto get going on another one maybe something like this with patchwork and more pockets than my others. Have you seen this lady’s bags?- Amazing! They are all so beautiful and creative. I love her style and colors she chooses. I may be visiting my favorite shop soon so I hope to pick something out there for my new bag…

In the meantime, try a Lovo in your backyard!

So Good

I love a good recipe especially one that kids will eat. This one is very easy to prepare, takes only minutes and is always enjoyed by both kids and adults.


Asian Salad:

2 packages of ramen noodles, broken up

3 tsp sesame seeds

1/4 cup butter

1 head napa cabbage, chopped into bit-sized pieces

1 bunch green onions

3/4 cup veggie oil

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup white sugar

3 TB soy sauce

Place chopped cabbage and onion in a large bowl. In a pan over medium heat, brown ramen and seeds in butter. Constantly stir and be careful not to burn it. Pour onto cabbage. In same pan, mix oil, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Once it cools a little, add the soy sauce and pour sauce over cabbage. Stir to mix all the ingredients. You can also add some chopped chicken breast to this to make a complete meal.

Hope you enjoy and if you have one I could use, please leave me a comment!

Edit:  DO NOT add the ramen seasoning in with the salad and do not add the noodles until right before you serve it or else it gets soggy.

More of the same

Ted the BunnyTed

These soft bunnies are quick to make so I made another for a teacher who is expecting her first baby soon. I think it looks like a kid made it, but maybe one of these days I’ll learn to sew like a grown-up… I would like to try all Wee Wonderful’s free patterns since they are too cute! These tablecloths and these pincushions are somethings I could really use so they are on my project list as well.

This morning was a trying one with the kids. Everyone seemed to be bouncing off the walls or more like bouncing off each other. I felt it was a good excuse to use some of our precious blueberry stash to make muffins. The kids love these not to mention Mary, Papa and Penny who all stopped by today. Chris found the original recipe in his grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbook, but I’ve changed it a little over the years. It’s very easy and quick to make for those kids who can’t keep their hands out of the blueberries!

Blueberry Muffins

Best Blueberry Muffins:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease the bottom of your muffin tins. (This recipe will make 12 regular size muffins and 12 smaller ones.)

2 cups of blueberries (If your blueberries are frozen, soak them in some warm water while you are mixing the ingredients. Be sure to drain them good before adding them to the batter.)

In a large bowl, mix:

3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 ts salt

In a separate (microwave-safe) bowl add:

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup oil

Whisk these together. I like to warm this mix in the microwave for about 45 seconds to bring it to room temp. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together just until all the flour is incorporated- it should be very lumpy. Gently fold the drained blueberries into the batter while trying not to break them open. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full and stick them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve warm and enjoy!