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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stuffed Tommy T-Rex

There is nothing quite as precious as a new baby. I got to meet my nephew Baby John for the first time this month. He was two months old and just so precious!! We bonded a lot and he liked talking with me- I think I am his favorite aunt already :).


I also made him this cute little stuffed animal. I used the Tommy T-Rex pattern from Bit of Whimsy Dolls. I really liked the pattern- it was affordable, cute and really easy to follow. It didn't take long at all to make this cute little dino!


Cutest Story about the dinosaur- my 3 year old niece really loved this dino and when Baby John got fussy one night she said- "Oh, maybe he is crying because he wants his dinosaur!" Then she went and brought it to him. Too cute!


I may be linking up with some of these parties!

Happy Crafting!
Zoe

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Homemade Chunky Spaghetti Sauce


This is a sauce that I love to make in the summer when the garden produce is plentiful. I then freeze it in quart bags and enjoy throughout the winter.

One batch makes about 3 quarts.

Chunky Spaghetti Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow squash, diced
1 large zucchini squash, diced
3-4 peppers (I use green, banana, anaheim), diced
1 large onion, diced
15 medium tomatoes, diced (and peeled if you prefer)
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp parsley
quart freezer bags



Directions:
Heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium heat.
Add squash, pepper and onion. Saute until soft. Add diced tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for about 90 minutes until sauce has cooked down. 
Let cool and measure into freezer bags.

Thanks for stopping by! 
I may be linking up with some of these parties!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grilled Pizza


I have mentioned before that I don't like to heat up the oven during the summer in order to keep the house cool. But usually I make an exception for homemade pizza. Recently one of my friends has been brining grilled pizza to get togethers and so I thought I would give it a try.  I found several recipes on the internet that described the technique, but I used my usual dough recipe from "The Simple Art of Eating Well Cookbook".  Honestly this pizza was better than usual and I don't think I will go back to cooking it in the oven, even in the winter (depending on how cold it is!).

Here is the recipe:

Dough (you can use pre made dough if you like): 
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Toppings (you really can use whatever you want, this is just what I used):
6 oz pizza sauce
6 oz canadian bacon
1/2 medium yellow squash, sliced thin
1 small onion, diced
3 banana peppers, diced
6 olives, sliced
1 handful baby spinach, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced


Stir water, yeast and sugar together in large bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes until yeast is frothy. Stir in both flours and salt. I like to use my hands to mix it until the dough comes together.
Place onto lightly floured work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic- about 5-10 minutes.  Place dough in well oiled bowl, cover with clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place to let it rise. Let it rise about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Prepare all toppings. I sauteed the onions, peppers and squash to make sure they were cooked through.

When the dough has risen roll it out on a lightly floured work space. Turn the grill on high heat and clean off burner. Spray grill with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Prepare a bowl of olive oil and a basting brush. Brush one side of the rolled pizza dough with olive oil and place on prepared grill surface, oil side down. Dough will start cooking quickly.  When the bottom of the dough has browned flip it over using 2 spatulas. 

Working quickly apply a thin coat of olive oil to the top of the dough, put on sauce, toppings and cheese.  I made sure and had all of my ingredients laid out on a cookie sheet beside the grill. Once all toppings are on close lid of grill and let cook until cheese is melted. Check periodically to make sure bottom isn't burning.

Enjoy!!



Thanks for stopping by!!
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Chevron Birthday Quilt


A while ago I decided that I wanted to try and make a quilt for my nieces and nephews on their 10th birthdays. My oldest nephews birthday came up faster than expected but I did get a quilt made for him. I asked him several months ago what he would want to decorate his room like if he had his choice and he said he would want a Kansas State room. Of course I was totally happy to make a K-State quilt.  


I used old jeans to make the denim part of the chevron pattern. I used this tutorial for making the chevron pattern without having to make triangle pieces. 


I used interfacing to cut out the letters and the powercat and stitching them on using a blanket stitch on my machine.


I decided to tie this quilt and it was a pretty simple process.


I am so happy with how this quilt turned out and I hope that Garrett likes it just as much!!

Thanks for stopping by!

I will be linking up with some of these parties!
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spicy Cucumber Salad


This is a really simple, healthy way to use up fresh cucumbers from the garden. My friend Juan taught me about this way to prepare cucumbers and I absolutely love it.

Ingredients:
7-8 fresh garden cucumbers
2 limes
Tajin seasoning 

Peel and slice cucumbers.
Juice two limes over them.
Sprinkle with Tajin to taste. I would start out with just a little and then add more if desired.

I just keep a container of this in the refrigerator for a simple, guilt free snack.


Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homemade Cherry Crisp


One of my favorite things about the start of summer is the return of fresh fruit from fruit trees. This spring we planted an apple and a pear tree so that we can have fresh fruit in the future. But they won't produce for a few years. Luckily I have a very nice neighbor whose cherry tree was doing very very well this year.  My husband and I spent some time picking cherries and we got about 16 cups.

After a few hours of pitting I was ready to make some sour cherry goodness. I made a batch of  sour cherry jam, some dried cherries and a couple cherry crisps. Today I will share the recipe for the cherry crisp I made. 



Sour Cherry Crisp

Filling:
1 lb pitted sour cherries (you can use sweet cherries or frozen cherries from the store too)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cherries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a stock pot. Heat on medium heat until cherries start to juice. Bring it to boil, stirring constantly. Turn down heat and simmer until the mixture starts to thicken. Pour into 9 X 13 pan.


Place all ingredients for topping in medium bowl. Mix together with a fork until well mixed. Sprinkle on top of the cherry mixture. Put in oven uncovered and bake for 30 minutes or until topping is browned.


You can also use this topping for other crisps as well.
Thanks for stopping by!
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Sour Cherry Jam- Guest Post at Garden Therapy




Hello everyone- just wanted to pop in and let you know I am guest posting my Sour Cherry Jam recipe over at Garden Therapy today. Go check it out and check out Stevie's amazing blog while you are there!

Have a great day!!
Zoe

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Harvest From the Garden

Yesterday was our first real harvest from the garden. We had been getting a little bit of lettuce, spinach and peas before, but yesterday was the first cucumbers, squash, peppers and tomatoes.

Obviously, the produce is what we do all of the hard work for and it is so satisfying to search through the leaves and find that perfect little cucumber that will turn into that perfect little pickle.  

It makes all that time spent watering, weeding, and planting worth it.


So far the garden is producing very well. My plans for the produce this summer are to make a lot of jalapeno pickles, salsa, spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes and canned green beans.


Oh yeah, and those grape tomatoes did not survive the day yesterday. I missed the taste of garden fresh tomatoes!!


Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!!
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

What I Have Been Doing

So you may have noticed that I have taken a short break from blogging.  It was not intentional, but I needed to focus my energy on other areas of my life.


Some things have changed in my life. The biggest change is that I have quit my job as a WIC Dietitian. I am not working right now and it is a different experience for me.  I have put in a few resumes and I am really excited about the opportunity to do something new in my career.


But even though I have not been working at a job, I have been very busy.

Swimming at the lake. Cross Stitching. Working in the garden. Running with my dogs. Cooking and baking. Keeping the house clean. Life is good!


I have a few recipes and projects I am looking forward to sharing soon and I hope that you all will enjoy them!!


Thanks so much for stopping by!!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer Wreath with Burlap

The springtime is a perfect time for me to make a new wreath. I made one for the summer that matches my patio furniture cushions. I really love the way it turned out and most of the fabric was leftover from making the cushions!!


Want to make a similar wreath? Here is what you will need.
-Wreath form- mine was 12"
-3" Fabric Strips to cover main part of wreath
-3" fabric strips of burlap
-Straight Pins
-Flowers for embellishment
-Hot Glue Gun
-Ribbon


Start wrapping your main fabric around the form, using straight pins to hold into place.


Wrap until about 3/4 of the wreath is covered. Then wrap about 1/4 of wreath with burlap.


Using hot glue gun attach the embellishments. I used a small piece of felt to glue the flowers to.


Cut ribbon to length, tie bow, and hang!
Enjoy!!


I will be linking to some of these parties!
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scout's Sweet Sundays

Happy Mother's Day everyone!! I especially want to say Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mother and mother-in-law. You are both so inspirational!

And now onto Scout's Sweet Sundays! Here are some recent projects I have found that I just love!

If you want to pin any of these please follow the links and pin from the original page! Thanks!!

Anyone who knows me well knows I LOVE strawberries! This dress is too cute and I love the french seams she used on the skirt!

Children's Adirondack Chair from The NY Melrose Family
This is such a fun chair for the little ones! Love the  color!

Scrapbook Paper Wall Art by White Lights On Wednesday
This is a really fun way to use scrapbook paper and looks like a pretty simple craft! So cute!

Front Porch Reveal from Design, Dining, and Diapers
These crates are such a great idea for porch decor. I am going to need to find some and add them to my porch!

Little girls in white dresses always seem so angelic. Check out the modified pattern that Melanie used to create this beautiful Easter Dress!

Grab a button and show it off!

Scout's Stitches Featured Button

Have a great day everyone!!
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Friday, May 4, 2012

Pad Thai for Beginners- New Food Friday

I have always been a big fan of pad thai- I love all the noodley goodness, the sauce, the sprouts and the sriracha! But buying pad thai all the time can get pretty expensive. Several months ago I found this "recipe" that is more like an in detail explanation of how to make authentic Pad Thai.

It took me almost 2 months to procure the ingredients and build up the courage to try it myself.

I followed the procedure close to what Chez Pim recommended, but there are a lot of options of ingredients listed.

What I used with mine was carrots, onions, garlic, shrimp, sprouts, rice noodles, one egg and the sauce as recommended by the recipe. 

It turned out delicious and I have made it a couple times since then!

So I dare you- give it a try! You will be glad you did!!



Thanks for stopping by!
I will be linking with some of these parties!



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