Sunday, June 29, 2008

super freak

all of a sudden i've had this burst of creative energy! i guess now that i think i can sew, i think i can design knitting bags. and while this one isn't perfect it is pretty cool and today i'm amazed at myself.
it's reversible with a draw-string top
and a semi-rigid bottom
the perfect size for a yarn cake and needle(s) for a sock or other small project.
necessity really is the mother of invention! i got tired of toting around a big knitting bag (or worse, a ziploc or grocery sack!) for just a small project. i'm pretty happy with the concept, now to perfect it!
maybe i'll be taking orders!
thanks for the fabric, Cami. Aren't the possibilities just endless??
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Friday, June 27, 2008

exercise on demand

should yoga make you sweat?
i scrolled through the exercise on demand the other day thinking i should take advantage of this free gym membership and actually do some of these classes. there's quite a selection - tae bo, jullian and bob from the biggest loser, and yoga. i thought maybe it would be best to start with something relaxing - zen in your den. sounds good right?
well, my zen is a sweaty whore! no wonder i don't like exercising! for those who might say yoga isn't really exercise, come say that to my sweaty, red face!
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

sewing bloomers

I finished the leg openings on the bloomers today. When I showed them to Ken he said, "Did you know you could do this?" I didn't! They are adorable! I wish I knew a little darling to try them on!

I've got the waistband done except for the elastic. I misread the instructions and thought I needed only 1/4" when I needed 1/2" too.

I am loving these instructions. The garmet is finished so well. They thought of everything. Even sewing a little tab of ribbon in the back so you can tell the front from the back of the bloomers. Too Cute!

And just to keep it real - dinner tonight? Oscar Meyer weiners and potato chips. My man is nothing if he's not easy. No picture though. I couldn't bear. And I didn't even do anything fun with them. My friend Nansi told me about these:

where was this idea when I had small kids at home? they're a bit creepy, though. Don't you think?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

give and take and the perfect steak

I make Ken's favorite cookies. . .

Milk Chocolate with Toffee Chips.

and he brings me flowers for no reason at all.
and dinner tonight:

The perfect ribeye. I'm the grill Sargent around these parts.
I think I've mastered the grill. We bought a gas Weber last year for our anniversary. It's hooked right into our natural gas line and I love it! Sure it's a joint gift - Ken fires it up and I do all the cooking.

To get these beautiful grill marks start off with a smokin' hot grill.
For a steak this thick, cooked perfectly medium I put it on the grill for 3 - 4 minutes then rotate it 45° to get those criss-cross marks. Flip after another 3 - 4 minutes and repeat on the other side.
Letting the meat rest for 10 minutes or so really seals the juices inside. Tasty!
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

berry good/beary good day

I've been a busy girl today!

I joined a charity knit-along on Ravelry. Our bears are going to Mother Bear Project. Such a neat idea! You knit a bear, send it in and the organization sends them to children in developing countries effected by HIV/AIDS. I can't remember when I've enjoyed a knitting project more.

Besides the knitting of bears it's Tuesdays with Dorie! I feel like I'm getting this post in under the wire. Today's recipe is mixed berry cobbler. Beth was the selection committee this week. Nice choice, Beth!

I was skeptical after reading all the posts about this recipe. Seems a lot of the bakers over at TWD didn't care for how the cobbler turned out, so they were fiddling with this and that. I'm a real stickler when it comes to following a recipe and with this one I'm glad I did. The crust was flaky and tender, the berries were just the right sweetness and if I only had some ice cream this would have been the perfect dessert! The day isn't over yet so I'm still hopeful. Wipe the drool off your monitor:

and here is my beary good thing today. . .


and after:

heh heh. I named him Rodger.

Check out this totally worthwhile charity, won't you?
AND there's a crochet pattern for you hookers.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

and she sews too!

This sweet little sundress is a sample for the shop.
The pattern is by Oliver & S.
and the fabric is. . .um. . .
help me out Cami?
It still needs the hem and bloomers but those will have to wait for now. I must venture out of my craft room today. I finished my socks early this afternoon and lost the later hours to this little dress.
Once again I'm forced to admit that Camilla Becher is right. She tried talking me into a print for the skirt of the dress and I just wouldn't have it. I loved the sweetness of the pink. Can you tell I dont have little ones at home? She said this is a chocolate ice cream stain just waiting to happen. *I* wouldn't know about such things any more. Thank GAWD.
Oh well. I'll just have to make another one. If this girl can sew one, anyone can. The instructions are super easy to follow with step by step visuals. I think I spent about three hours actually sewing. Quick and easy. Gotta love that! Thanks Oliver & S!
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sock snob

I've been saying I'm almost done with these socks for DAYS!
Now, finally, with only the toe to go I'm really almost done!

These little lovelies will be finding a new home in Omaha.
Happy Freakin' Birthday, Erin. Watch your box. They're coming!
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

tasty vittles

Everything was -so- good! The shrimp was ROCKING. I don't think I've ever had grilled shrimp at home and this marinade was so light and fresh, it was perfect. I didn't think the chicken was quite as good but I'm guessing it was ok, since there wasn't a crumb left!
I didn't care for the arugula salad but that was me - everyone else loved it. Jazzing up jarred salsa was a hit too - it's GONE.

I'd say these recipes are all keepers. Nice, summery menu. Easy to prepare, quick from start to finish and oh so tasty.
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cook-out, gourmet style

I am one happy girl. I just prepared the most beautiful barbeque dinner. Layered with flavor, I'm excited to cook for our friends. In under an hour, I prepped all four of these dishes. Can't wait to report back after indulging!

grilled chicken and shrimp kebabs with lemon and garlic
tomato-avocado salsa
chipotle aioli
arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes and red onion

I've got a nice chardonnay chilling, cold beer and brats for Ken. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie

I'm so excited about this new group I found! Tuesdays With Dorie is an online cooking group created by Laurie of quirky cupcake
Laurie made a new years resolution to bake one new recipe a week from a book she received as a Christmas gift. But she knew she needed some help sticking to this resolution so Tuesdays with Dorie was born. Maybe I should create a group called Wednesdays with Weight Watchers! :)

Baking: from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan is the book and it is a beauty! If you're interested in joining in on the fun, you can get a copy of the book at Amazon for $12.99! It's a forty dollar book! Thanks for the tip, Laurie!

I'm ready to get started. Hope I get my membership approval before Tuesday!

calling all food snobs!

Saw this idea on The Distric Domestic this morning.
Sara thought it would be fun to see what others would list as their top ten things they will never have in their kitchen. Turns out it was fun. She got a lot of really great responses.

Here's mine:
funny how the first thing I thought of was my husband. I don’t want him in my kitchen! :) If I had my way (which sadly I don’t living with two very picky eaters) this is what my kitchen would never have:
  1. spam

  2. velveeta

  3. hamburger helper

  4. lean cuisine (or any frozen meal)

  5. white bread

  6. canned pasta

  7. jar spaghetti sauce

  8. pizza crust in a pouch (or box)

  9. cake mixes

  10. pre-ground coffee beans.

and here I thought I was going to have a hard time coming up with ten! I think my list could go on and on. Let's hear yours!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

this is just how i felt

Ashley, my grown up girl-child announced she's getting married. I immediately thought of this movie. Steve Martin in Father of the Bride where his grown daughter announces she's getting married. This is what he sees and exactly how I felt.

They're planning a simple wedding in Vegas with the ceremony performed by a gold lame clad Elvis and everything. Just what I would imagine for my quirky, funny kid.

So, now we're talking wedding dresses, (with rainbow colored tulle underneath) the reception at home afterward and trip arrangements to Las Vegas. Oh, and birth control. Lots of birth control.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

todays low calorie treat (ha)

Baked French Toast

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup


Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture.

Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

The texture of this is pretty loose. I think you could get by with less liquid if you wanted a firmer toast. I cook it a little longer too - that helps. It's not for everyone (Lisa B.) but that's ok. More for me!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

upon where i sucked all the air out of the room

If you didn't get the chance to check out my very favorite foodie link - tastespotting, you missed it. By way of the handwritten note you see above, we were alerted that tastespotting is no more. I literally gasped out loud. It was THE best foodie site. Updated all the time. Photos and links galore of beautifully photographed food. You could almost taste it, the stuff was that pretty.
I'm so sad. Can we have a moment of silence and perhaps some pie?
And while we're at it, have a click over here. This may ease my pain a little.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

before and after

This shot would be before the backache:

and after:

isn't it great? Ken is one hard working man. Our shade garden was completely out of control (because of all our bird feeders, I might add). So yesterday he got this really great tool - it looks something like a stirrup. It made quick work of this mess. If you call eight hours quick work.

I ran to the garden center and picked up just a few things (if you call $100 worth a few things): five little ground covers, two astilbe and a few begonias to break up all the hostas. I think I counted 25! They're my favorite. We broke up some of the big ones and moved them around. It's all trial and error, honestly. Because we don't really have a clue what we're doing.

I also potted my very first ever tomato plant. My mother, who lives in California wasn't too impressed. They already have tomatoes ready to pick on their plants. Mine just got it's new home. Check back with me in August.

Ken really enjoys working in the yard. I'm ok once I get going but I really worry about my back. I tried not bending over too much, I worked hard on remembering to squat whenever I could but have you ever weeded a garden squatting? Sometimes you just gotta bend over! Ken likes it because he's 'making it pretty for you' he says. I like it when he makes things pretty for me.

Oh! And I hung my new hummingbird feeder today. I put it up and went back in the house for something. Ken opened the door right behind me and said, "Your humming bird feeder works!" Literally minutes after putting it up, a bird came in and tested it out. We both really enjoy all the birds that come into the yard. And humming birds are like little miracles. I love them! Girl-child swears she's going to come over one day and our family room chairs are going to be turned around and facing out the doors. She would have laughed at us today, sitting in the outside chairs, eyes on the feeder begging one to come take a drink.

Not a bad way to spend the day. Happy Father's Day, Ken.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

broken blog

It doesn't look as though i'll be able to fix my blog. It'll have to stay the way it is. I can't get my header picture back, my post titles are still freakishly huge and I'm sick of the whole thing! I guess what matters is the content, right? So here's some good stuff: another notebook and some food porn.


Papery goodness for a new friend.

Fried Rice

2 eggs, beaten
3 T oil
3 strips bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup cooked meat, diced (pork, chicken, shrimp or ham)
1 small onion, diced
1 c bean sprouts
3 c cooked, long-grain rice
2 - 3 T soy sauce
1 green onion, chopped

Heat 1 T oil in the wok and scramble eggs. Remove and set aside.
Fry bacon in wok until most of the fat is cooked out. Drain off excess fat and replace with 2 T oil.
Add cooked meat, onions and bean sprouts. Stir fry about 1 minute.
Add rice and soy sauce. Fry until rice is hot, turning temperature down if necessary.
Add eggs and green onions as garnish.

This is a dish we've made often and copying the recipe here I see we've tweaked it plenty. We do it by the boatload - 12 cups of rice, a pound of bacon, lots of meat, less bean sprouts and we use some of the bacon grease for extra flavor. You could add peas and carrots if you wanted. Either way, this dish is D-lish. Try it. You'll like it!

Recipe from Enjoy Chinese Cuisine by Judy Lew

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Monday, June 9, 2008


I'm so the kind of person to tell people to use their good china every day. Why wait for only special occasions to use something you love?

Cami had some old quilts displayed at the fiber festival this weekend. She said she pulled them right off the beds. It never even occurred to me to actually USE the antique quilts I bought a few years ago. Currently I'm not even displaying them since Ken took over my primitive cabinet for his popcorn machine.

Yesterday, I got them out, shook them off and put one on my bed. It was -so- satisfying! What was I waiting for?!

A funny side note: I went to physical therapy today and mentioned the fiber festival. My therapist said, "You mean like bran?" I think my hysterical laughter assured her it wasn't 'like bran'.

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I'm trying to get my original blog format back and i'm failing miserably. It looks pretty good except the header picture won't show and the blog title fonts are HUGE! wtf?

I can't sit here any longer today. Maybe when my back is 100% I can finish the repairs but till then, I may stay away fearing the 'delete this blog' is my only option. Arrgggh!

or I'll get the laptop humming and try again laying prone on my bed. hmmm....
we'll see.

two more

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

for roo

Ashley wants to add more color to her apartment. I found a really great frame at Target and knew just the photo I wanted to print for her. I took this last summer when the morning glories were in full bloom. I caught this beautiful bud just ready to unfurl in the sunlight. Add a photoshop action from Pioneer Woman and the colors just sing.

The quote reads, "Where there is great love there are always miracles."