Monday, October 29, 2007

knit crazy

Again, I'm not so crazy about the newborn gender neutral baby goods around me. So, therefore I'm inspired (forced) to create some stuff on my own. This doesn't usually work out but sometimes I get lucky. I made the grey one first, and was happy enough to try for another which only took me 3 hours!. Granted it does look like it will only fit a doll. Thats how I'm hoping this baby will be born. Small and sweet-like. So I think I'm getting the hang of this. It's starting to drive me crazy when there is no work on my needles. While the fire is hot, I'll keep cooking. Christmas presents here I come. I'll try to make a couple more of those for the babe, and some adult sized ones to give as gifts. And if I can get my hands on a copy of this jacket and pants! I'll be set.
And hey, one of these with a matching one of these for mamma (that would be me) couldn't hurt. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vegetarian black bean chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
course salt and ground pepper
2 zucchini (about a pound total) halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 carrots, thinly sliced
I tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 19 0z cans black beans drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 package frozen corn kernels

In a 5 quart dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium high. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. And zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp tender, 56-8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8-10 minutes more. Top with your favorite chili toppings.

I served it with sour cream shredded cheeses and corn muffins on the side. It was very filling. Sam ate a couple bites. I was expecting him to eat none. So we'll says its a keeper.

In other news, I finished a hat for my husby. It took two tries, but now its perfect. I think it's my turn. And perhaps the baby would like one two.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

the start of a beautiful thing etc,...

This weekend, I'll be happily joining the tea season club, while devouring the new, and "first ever" holiday blueprint. I can't seem to get over the excitement! Did I mention I really love magazines? Something about the carefully planned out pages, photography and ideas. Oh yum.
It feels like Christmas is here early. Speaking of which, I need to finish the list of who gets what homemade gift. And of course how much time do I need to give myself for all this crafting ahead.

Speaking of crafting! Here is a little london beanie I made for the wee chap. It only took me 24 hours! This may not really sound great to most of you, but for me this is quite the accomplishment. On to the next. :)

Poor Sam is sick with a cold. I'm praying it stays in the boogey stage, and never moves on to a fever. If you are wondering? yes, he is playing with arrows. I don't know what to tell you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

flannel is quicker than yarn

A friend had a baby girl Sunday. Ada Marie! She's a cutester. So I quickly made up an elf bonnet, and matching booties. Using some soft baby flannels. I'm a much faster seamstress than knitter. Since she did not know the sex of the baby pre-birth, her baby shower is this monday!
So I had to make this fast-like to get it there in time by mail.
I wish I had Amy's book, because mine did not come out as cute as her projects. I've been trying to hold out and ask for the book for Christmas. So many times I could have used it already. But I think this is where the virtue of patience would come in handy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Its here!

My prize has arrived! And it's beautiful. I was the winner of Libby's contest a week or so back. And won this beautiful set of napkins and a place mat. The fabrics are wonderful and the craftmanship? Oh it's perfect. Thank you Libby!

Friday, October 12, 2007


We made granola for the first time today. We love it, so I think we have long past the time to make our own. I found this recipe, and decided to let Sam help me. He was restricted to throwing oats and sugar around while I tried to follow these simple directions.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 F. In a bowl mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in vanilla.

Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand. Spread granola in a 15x10 inch baking pan.

Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Stir in raisins or cranberries. Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

I used pecans instead of almonds, and went with the cranberries for a "cranberry pecan" flavor.

We love how it came out. Athough it could probably be a little less sweet.

I then made a loaf of english muffin bread. During nap time.

2.5 cups flour
1 package rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk + 1/4 cup water (120-130 degreees F)

Combine 1.5 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Stir in milk/water combination.
Use your hands to mix in remaining flour until dough is soft. Grease 8 1/2 by 44 1/2 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with cornmeal, put dough in pan and sprinkle with more cornmeal. Cover pan and let dough rise in warm, draft free place for 30-40 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. It will stay 3 days in an air tight container, or frozen for a month.

Another favorite around here. It makes great quick toast for easy breakfasts. And goes great with some yogurt and granola.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

a little bit of crafting

I had some time today to put together a little toy sack for Sam. It has been in the que for months now. I'm happy to finally have it completed! Of course, there was some seam ripping to be done here and there. But it was alot of fun embroidering on the corner. Hopefully it will go to good use.
Click on the picture for a couple more.

Monday, October 08, 2007

lots of time in Pennsylvania

We spent part of our hot weekend in Lancaster City. A cute little place an hour outside of philly.
Lancaster is smaller, with what I think are more friendly shops. There was a whole bunch going on. A fall art walk friday night. Where the galleries are open late for all to come in and enjoy the works. Some galleries even served wine and cheese for refreshments. Unfortunately there wasn't much for 19 month olds to do but scream for attention. So thats what Sam did. But the next morning, at the central market, they had a band, breakfast and ballons. The kind you can get made into sword shapes. That was fun for us and Sam. The whole time we were blessed to enjoy the company of the Yoders, who are great friends and live downtown. Thank you Yoders. We will be back.

Monday, October 01, 2007

w.i.p.: patchwork knit blanket

I don't think I'll need to keep you up on the entire process of this blanket. It seems as if it might take me forever. Let alone in time for the birth of this baby in January. Of course like I predicted, I had to cast-on and recount several times. But because of the nature of the pattern, I made the mistake of forgetting to switch stitches in time to keep my squares accurate. So out come the 200 stitch rows. Oh, this is not a project to do in tandem with anything else. Hopefully as I go along it will get easier and easier to perfect.

Thank you to this wonderful lady and her beautiful little man, I now have the pattern for my next project!