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Monday, December 19, 2011

wavy scarf

I took a break from all the charity knitting I've been doing to make myself this Scarf. Of course, I couldn't stick to the pattern. I cast on with size 7's and did the first two increases with those needles but then switched to 9's when I did the last group of stitches. Also I did 4 rows of the first 120, then I did 5 rows of the 240 and 6 rows of the 480. I really like how it turned out. I didn't get it done in time for the party I was making it for, but I'm sure it will be worn and I'm going to make another in a sparkley white.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Glazed Pear Cake

Yesterday I wanted to make a "dump" cake with some of the pears I canned this fall. I was getting so frustrated looking for recipes online because every one of them called for a cake mix instead of giving a recipe for making a cake. So I pieced a recipe together and it worked out great!
First I greased the bundt pan and lined the bottom with drained pears (save the syrup!!) For the cake I used my basic muffin recipe and just added some spices (2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp each of ginger and nutmeg).
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
mix and then add:
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pear syrup
1/4 cup cooking oil
Pour this over top of the pears and bake at 350 for 20 minutes (may take just a bit longer)
Let it sit for a few minutes and then un-pan it and let it cool completely.
The Glaze:
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a sauce pan. Add 2 Tbsp pear syrup and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir and bring just to a boil. Then add 1/3 cup powdered sugar and let it boil for one minute. Pour this over the cooled cake and serve.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

mod podge christmas + button ornaments

I found this vintage "little Golden book" at a resale shop and picked it up over the summer. I had an idea for some Christmas ornaments and today put the pieces together.

I got the base of the ornament premade from Joann's. I used the cover of the book, which was harder cardboard, to make the template for the ornaments.

I traced pictures from the book to use as the pictures for the ornaments. I loved how the pages were discolored from age and the pictures were so dated.

I had to make some of the pictures fit by cutting and piecing the pages around. Then I used mod podge to glue the pieces on.

Then I put a good thick coat of mod podge over the top. This has to dry well and then it gets clear and shiney. Repeat for the back side. I tried to have one whole picture on one side and then a picture with the text from the book on the other side.

I also made this button ornament today copied after a picture I saw on Pinterest . I used two pieces of wire thread to thread the buttons together, twisted the top into a hanger and added a bow. I love it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Canning 3 Sister Stew

I slow cooked pinto beans, acorn squash, carrots and celery over night. Then I added some sliced cherry tomatoes and sauted onions and garlic with sage. I let that cook another couple of hours. Then I added just a little frozen corn (it was all I had).
The "Three Sisters" traditionally are squash, corn and beans. They are named that because they grow well together and use each other to florish (ex.the beans grow up the corn stalk).
I canned this in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Canning Butternut

I was expecting much more butternut than I got out of this plant, but I heard others say it was a bad year for squash. But I am still looking forward to some Butternut Leek Soup this winter! I wanted to make sure the squash would last so I decided to can them. This is a pretty simple process. I cooked the pieces for about 5ish minutes and then canned them in the liquid they cooked in.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

green tomato macintosh apple salsa

I made this at the end of the season last year with tomatillos too. I cut up the green tomatoes left in the garden.

Added about half as many macintosh apples.

Then onion, twice the garlic a normal person would, and some hot pepper.

I cooked this down with cumin and red pepper flakes and a bit of salt, sugar, and cider vinegar.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

fruit salad cake

I had a can of fruit salad and a need for dessert... And so...
Fruit Salad Cake
1 can of fruit salad
1 cup sugar
2 cup flour
1 egg
2 tsp both baking soda and baking powder
1 tsp salt
Mix it all up and put it in a greased cake pan at 350 for almost an hour.

this year's headband

This is the headband of the year. I do a finished edging and a lace inlay down the center. There is a button closure in the back. No sales yet, but a few trades :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Asain Pickled Green Bean Pickles
1/2 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp seasame oil
3 Tbsp sugar
1-2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
Blanch beans for one minute. Put immediatly in an ice bath. Once cool, pack the beans in a clean jar. Combine the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let it boil 1-2 minutes. Pour brine over the green beans. Let the beans sit in the fridge to allow brine to soak in. (At least one day). Store in the fridge for up to 3 months once open.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

pb maple banana oat cookies

I had some bananas that were on their last day and being the queen of thrift that I am, I had to find a use for them. I wasn't in the mood for banana bread so I looked up banana cookie recipes. Most of them called for a lot of shortening and a lot of eggs and I didn't want that either, so I kept looking. I finally came across a peanut butter and banana recipe that was pretty healthy and pretty simple so I used that as my base.
I creamed 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 stick of butter. Then I added 1 cup of peanut butter. Once it was smooth I added 2 ripe bananas. Once this was smooth I added 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 3/4 cup flour. Once this was just mixed I added a packet of maple syrup instant oatmeal. I mixed this in and then put the cookies on a oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

tomato jam

I've heard of people making tomato jam before, but it wasn't d
something I ever thought I'd make. I had a few pounds of cherry tomatoes that needed a home. It was even more than my tomato monster, Isaiah, could eat. If they'd been large tomatoes I would have canned them without a second thought; but what to do with cherry tomatoes? I was scrolling through recipes for tomatoes and came across a few for jam and I thought maybe that would be good, especially with cherry tomatoes. The recipe I did was easy but time consuming. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half and mixed them with three cups of sugar. Then I let that sit for an hour so the sugar can draw out the sweetness of the tomato. When you come back to it there will be quite a bit of fluid. Add to this the juice of two lemons. Now you get all this to boil and then let it simmer until it cooks down. That took me almost an hour. Once its sticky and thick, add the zest of those two lemons and about a quarter cup of roughly chopped basil. It was so suprisingly good!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trailer Park Pesto

I'd love to be a gourmet and buy all my food at uppity stores like WFM, but the truth is, I'm broke. And so I do the best I can with what I have. I made some homemade pesto today and I bet those gourmets couldn't really tell the difference!

I put a few handfuls of fresh basil into the blender. Its grown in my garden and some leaves had a few spots, but it still smells amazing!

I don't have money for things like pine nuts. They are so expensive! So I use almonds. I can usually find a bag of almond slivers in the baking aisle for about a dollar. I lucked out and found this outdated bag on sale for 50 cents! You just need about a cup of almonds.

Next throw in some garlic. You could use just a clove or two, but there is no one here to kiss but my stuffed piggy so I'm gonna put in 6 or 7.

You could get some high end parmasean cheese, but honestly, I think the cheapest stuff (in the green shaker jar) works the best. Get the store brand, trust me! You need about a cup of this too.

So then you add olive oil. I would slurge here first if I could. But I can't, so I got my olive oil at the dollar store. It will work just fine. You need about 6 ounces. Maybe more. And then blend! Using a food processor is so much easier but a blender will work.

It will store in the fridge for a week or two or in the freezer for months.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Little "Squirrel"

Up on top of my cupboard I have stored away 35 jars of dill pickled cucumbers and green beans!!

Canning Tomatoes

Last year my tomatoes didn't really ripen. I guess there just wasn't enough sun or something. I made a lot of green tomato foods. But this year, God has blessed us with so much sunshine and I have had more tomatoes than I know what to do with! So I've learned the fine art of tomato canning.
First I made ketchup. I have to say it is just the best ketchup I have ever tasted. Maybe the best condiment I've ever tasted. It's just incredible!

Today my Mama taught me how to make pasta sauce. She even grew and dried the herbs herself. I can't wait to taste it! It smelled amazing!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

summer harvest

Today we got our first red tomatoes! We've had some cherry tomatoes on Isaiah's tomato plant, but these were the first from the main gardens! So for dinner we had sandwiches with tomato slices and a salad with tomato and cucumber from the garden. The cucumbers are amazing, like a whole other plant from the kind in the grocery.
Yesterday I made a bit of cucumber salad:

Cucumber Salad
2 parts white vinegar 1 part water 1/2 part white sugar.
Make enough to cover the cucumbers and red onions. I really suggest red onions. Let sit in the fridge overnight at least.

The pear fairie come today! I found these lovelies on my patio table. They will make a great breakfast.

Also today I knitted this baby hat in Monet yarn. It is so cute. I just need a baby to wear it! Guess it goes into the website market. Baby Knits

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

tis the season to start knitting...

Not that I ever totally stop, but I've started knitting full time again in hopes of having a big collection before the holidays. My knitting page on facebook needs a bit of an update but you can see most of my work there: Stephanie's Knitted Things. Also this year I'm hoping to do some pre-Christmas craft shows. My friend, Sarah, and I are going to try to go into business together. She is making the scarves and I am making the hats and/or headband to match.
If I have the business level I had last year, I'll be thrilled.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

homemade Pesto

My basil plants have been less than stellar so far this summer so my mom had pity on me and brought me some fresh basil. I made some pesto with it. I mixed the clean basil leaves with almond slivers, much garlic, parmasean cheese and quite a bit of olive oil. I mixed it until fine (I used the blender). It smells fantastic! Tomorrow we will have pasta for sure!! Or maybe pesto and cheese bread! Yum-o! XOXO

K2 P1

This is a washcloth I made for my mom. I don't play with the K2P1 pattern very often but it really is cool. Cast on in multiples of 3 as long as you need your project to be. And then K2P1 back and forth and watch the cool ribbing pattern form.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lemon Cake

I made this lemon cake for my Mama's birthday party yesterday. I did find the basic recipe online but I had to tweak it and make it my own.
Lemon Cake
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Zest of 1 large lemon (wash it well first)
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
All the juice of the lemon
*preheat to 350
*oil cake pan
Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Add dry ingredients. Add all the lemon juice from the lemon (up to 1 cup). Mix until well incorporated. Bake 40-45 minutes.
Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners suger
Juice of 1 large lemon
Mix until thicker than a regular glaze but still runny enough to run over the cake. Make sure the glaze touches every part of the cake. Let it set before serving.

Garden and Pickles Update

Pickle making is going well. Right now I'm up to 11 quarts and 19 pints of pickles. All are dill so far. Some are cucumber, some are squash and some are green beans. Isaiah loves the dilly beans!!

The garden is also going well. The squash have slowed down a bit but I think they'll perk back up. It's been 90 every day and it hasn't really rained in weeks and I think it's wearing on them. Here are a few snaps of the garden life:

I love how the cucumbers hide in little cozy spots to grow. They are doing so well!! I'm so excited to have cucmbers that actually grow unlike last year.

This is the first butternut squash to start really forming. I am so excited about them and making soup this fall!

The green beans are also doing well. I think they are so pretty. I love the dainty little flowers that form first. And I love how the vines with come out and attach to me as I'm searching for beans. They are also shy little things, hiding behind the leaves all the time.

The tomatoes are getting there... still green though. Isaiah's plant has been the only one to produce red tomatoes. And he's eaten them all up as fast as he can!

The zucchini leaves are back to looking prehistoric so I think they'll be back soon!