Monday, August 22, 2011

Whole Wheat ,Yogurt, Blueberry and Raspberry Pancakes

Wow- these are good pancakes. I don't usually like pancakes- too heavy and dense- but pancakes made from this recipe don't fall into that rut... they're super light and fluffy, and actually somewhat healthy since the recipe calls for yogurt and whole wheat flour. My only complaint would be that the recipe doesn't call for enough fruit- I almost doubled the amount of fruit in there.

It's the whole wheat pastry flour in the recipe that really makes these pancakes work. I know it's somewhat silly to buy a specialty flour just to make pancakes, but these might be worth it. Plus, I'm sure you could find some other uses for this great flour (check out the list at the bottom of this page for more whole wheat pastry flour ideas...).

One Hour Skirts!

A couple weeks ago I saw some blog posts about this new book, Sewing in a Straight Line, including this quick video on making a one hour skirt with a yard or so of fabric and some elastic. I was intrigued, so thought I'd give it a try, especially considering the fact that my sewing skills basically only consist of sewing in a straight line.
I had Chuck pick out a couple different fabrics- she chose a really cool floaty striped madras and a basic quilting cotton in a pretty purple flower print.The tutorial was super easy to follow and definitely very basic- it doesn't have any of those obscure sewing directions that you find in traditional patterns. Measure, fold, iron, sew... measure, fold, iron, sew. The only change I made was to make the skirt a little bit longer (25 inches of fabric, which ends up with a skirt that's about 21 inches long from the waist), and to add the elastic waistband in after I hemmed the skirt for ease of measurement.

The skirts came out generally pretty cute! We like the way the softer madras fabric hangs- not quite as stiff as the quilting fabric (which will hopefully get softer after some washings). In both cases, however, the skirt was a little full- you could probably make it less than twice your hip measurement and it would still be cute.

More Crochet Headbands...

Made some more crochet headbands... tried to make them a little less girly than the previous ones. I think I really like the one with the circles on it best.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Crochet Flower Headbands

I had random scraps of yarn from past projects hanging out at the house and I was looking for an easy way to use them up... thank you, Ravelry, for linking me to the crochet headband and flower. This might be the fastest (and therefore most satisfying) crochet project ever!

I made several in the span of one night of watching TV (Project Runway gets the creativity flowing)... a couple small ones for newborns (about 14" around) and a bigger toddler sized one (19-20"). Zoe, Baby Dahl and Lilah June, you've got headbands coming your way!

**UPDATE** Cute baby seen wearing crochet headband! Baby Izzy rocks the flower:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homemade Sausage and Spinach Ravioli with Chunky Vegetable Sauce

This weekend was Chuck's 28th birthday (look at her, she's so old!)... in honor of her, I made an attempt to recreate a favorite dish of hers that she frequently orders at Vapiano: ravioli con carne with fresh vegetables and a creamy tomato sauce.

My interpretation is very loose, of course. I did fresh homemade pasta with my Kitchenaid roller, and filled it with spinach and Italian sausage per this recipe (although I used half a bag of frozen spinach rather than fresh). Tim helped in the assembly line by making the filling and fork-pressing the edges of the ravioli (and he served as clean-up crew). Good work, Tim! I was proud that only one of 32 raviolis spewed its innards into the cooking water...

My sauce was a simple, chunky, and veggie-filled- chopped onion, minced garlic, cubed eggplant, carrot matchsticks, diced Roma tomato, a tablespoon of pesto, a splash of cream.

We following up the meal with a chocolate pudding cake as the birthday cake. Chuck threw it together while I finished the sauce. Yes, I forced her to make her own birthday cake, but at least it was the world's easiest birthday cake. It was delicious, just like last time. However, one cautionary note: do not attempt to insert birthday candles into a pudding cake recently retrieved from the oven. Waxy puddles will ensue. Not my sharpest moment.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crochet Bunny Basket

Now that baby Zoe is here (yay!), I can now resume my bunny bombing campaign. I am imagining Zoe eventually using this at Easter, but also using it like a little toddler purse to carry around whatever toddlers feel they need.Made according to this free Lion Brand pattern using Red Heart Super Saver yarn, accented with some Lily Sugar n' Cream on the handle and face...

And yes, I did break an egg when staging this photo shoot.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mini Farfalle with Eggplant, Cherry Tomatos, Almond Pesto and Feta

Kate passed on this recipe for labor-inducing eggplant Parmesan so I could share it with Jamie, who was nearing her due-date... it made me hungry for eggplant, which I had conveniently bought from the CSA this week. I didn't have all the ingredients for the parm, but I did have the world's biggest bag of basil, also care of Star Hollow Farm, so I decided to merge the eggplant with some basil pesto and serve it over pasta.Using this recipe from Giada "Boobs and Teeth" De Laurentiis as a general guideline for cooking the eggplant, I chopped it up, sauteed it until brown, and threw it all together with fresh basil pesto (basil, parm, olive oil, almonds, garlic), cute mini farfalle, a pint of halved sweet orange cherry tomatoes, and salty feta. Awesome warm, and also delicious cold the next day.

PS: Yes, the eggplant parmesan apparently did work for Jamie- she went into labor the day after eating it! Introducing my beautiful brand-new baby niece, Zoe:

Zucchini and Corn Fritters with Black Beans and Chipotle Cream

Zucchini and corn fritters: a good way to use up some summer veggies... fresh sweet corn cut off the cob and shredded zucchini. Topped off with a little bit of chipotle sour cream (or yogurt if you prefer)- chipotle in adobo sauce, green onion, lime- and some black beans.

Spicy, creamy, sweet, fresh. Mmmm.

Christy and Brendan made a similar recipe- rice and corn cakes - and said it was also delicious. I'll give it a try next time I have leftover rice!