Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pay It Forward

Popping in with a special offer for my blog readers...

Random acts of kindness have turned into little gifts for you. A great opportunity to get something handmade just for you and pay it forward. I would especially like the opportunity to create for people I've never met (but I'll make stuff for the people I love too!!)

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It'll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to blog.

7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I've Lost It...

...the will to blog, that is.

I just haven't done it. It isn't for lack of ideas, or lack of photos, or lack of anything really. It just hasn't been really high on my priority list lately.

I'm sure at some point I will pick it back up again. Until then, you can catch me on facebook.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kitchen Tip: Washing Grapes

I've discovered an easy way to wash & measure out grapes for lunch boxes or snacks. My Pampered Chef can strainer is just the thing! It holds just the right amount and I can rinse & drain them easily. It's small too - doesn't take up much room in the drawer. I thought it was just for straining tuna, so I'm glad to have another use for this little tool!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Broccoli Slaw Omelet

So, I had a Pampered Chef cooking show a couple of weeks ago. We made this yummy recipe, Thai Chicken Stir-Fry served over rice and a salad (for more meal options!) It was the perfect recipe for me. Most of the PC recipes call for boxed mixes and prefab foods. This one was all fresh whole foods. Perfect!

One of the ingredients that I bought was broccoli slaw. It's a prepackaged salad mix (which is technically prefab, but still a whole real food). I had never heard of it before. But it was on the list, so I bought it.

After the party, there was half a bag of broccoli slaw left. Upon further discovery, I realized that broccoli slaw is just shredded broccoli stems with a few shredded carrots thrown in for color. Well, now that I know that I can totally make my own this summer when the broccoli is garden fresh. But I digress...

I had to figure out a way to use up the leftovers. I've been eating eggs for breakfast a lot lately. One morning as I opened the refrigerator to grab an egg, I saw the broccoli slaw and was hit with inspiration. Of course! A broccoli slaw omelet!!

(Now, technically, it is actually more of a scramble than an omelet, but it's my recipe, so I'm calling it an omelet anyway.)

First, melt some REAL butter in a hot skillet. Then throw in a handful of broccoli slaw. Cook until the broccoli slaw is crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Break your egg (or eggs) into the pan and stir them up real quick to scramble. (I used 3 "banty" eggs from Tanna - they are half the size of normal eggs and have very yellow yolks an account of the chickens being free-range and grass fed.)

When the eggs are mostly set, flip over and cook until done.

Finally, butter up a slice of homemade bread and pan-fry it while the pan is still hot. Sprinkle the eggs with a little seasoned salt and enjoy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pampered Chef has landed!

I love me some new kitchen toys... I mean tools.

This is what I got for hosting my cooking show. Pampered Chef is really good to their hostesses. The boxes landed yesterday. I got my guests' orders sorted & packed before dinner. I told myself I couldn't sort through my goodies until all the kitchen work was done for the day. Nothing like incentive to get the job done!

I'm very pleased with everything I got. I'm using my new stone baker to roast a chicken for dinner. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The T-shirt Dress

I love a little girl in a dress.

One of the things I had to come to terms with when Jade was smaller was her lack of girlishness. She hated wearing dresses. It just wasn't in her programming. When I had Ruby and then Hosanna, I immediately began dressing them in pink, ruffles, and all manner of girly things. Then I waited to see if it would stick.

It did.

Ruby loves dressing up, and even Hosanna now enjoys wearing pretty dresses.

And I love that my little girls look like little girls. Even covered in dirt, there's no denying the girly-ness of a little girl in a pretty dress.

As spring approached, I began to evaluate the girl's clothing needs. Hosanna needed some summer clothes because I had nothing left in storage after last summer's clean out. And that was okay with me because it gave me an excuse to make her some cute little dresses.

I got some shirts on clearance at Walmart, and one brand new (with tags still on) at a rummage sale. I have tons of fabric in my stash, so I just went out to the bins and dug around until I found something that matched. Here is the finished results. Each dress took about 30 minutes to put together.

The one on the left is for Hosanna, and the one on the right is for her cousin, Abby.

These are made from the same yard of fabric that I got on the clearance table at Hancock fabrics a few years ago. It matched both t-shirts so well! But since one has the teacup border, you can't really tell. And she's not going to be wearing them both at the same time anyway.These will fit her all summer, though the skirts may be a bit shorter by fall than they are now. Each dress cost less than $5. And they are much cuter and more modest than the summer dresses I've seen for sale lately. I may make a few for Ruby too.

I love a little girl in a dress.

Garden '09: First Sprouts

I planted my first seeds of the year on April 30. I started with nice, cold-hardy crops: spinach & sugar snap peas. It's a good thing I didn't plant anything else... we've had a number of frosty nights since then.

The spinach was up first, on May 8. It looked at first like little green hairs coming up through the wood chips.

Next came the peas. They took a bit longer. I spotted the first sprout on May 11.The peas are big enough now that I need to get them a trellis. I noticed the first little tendrils yesterday. I bought some bamboo u-hoops at Menards that I am going to use to build a pea fence. That is my project for today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, It's Me

Well, howdy! It's been like 2 weeks, so I figured it was time to get back to my blog. I have all these ideas running around in my head just waiting for time to sit down and do something with them. I'm working on a few posts about my garden, cooking, sewing, and parenting. For now, some cute shots of the kiddos!

Well, just of the two little ones. (Why is it the little ones get all the camera time, huh?)

Ruby & Hosanna got some new kitchen tools during Rummage-O-Rama a few weekends ago. They have quite the collection now. Ruby is always cooking up something interesting, and teaching little sister too.

I tried to put Hosanna's hair in pigtails. It kinda worked. Of course, she's had a haircut since then as we continue to "blend in" Ruby's handiwork.
Check out the peepers on that kid! Wow!