Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crocheted Pillowcase

T is really into pink. She pretty much refuses to wear any of her clothes that aren't pink. But her room suffers from a severe overdose of pink. I'm trying to tame it while keeping her taste in mind as well.
I found this light blue fabric with sparkles, unicorns, rainbows and pink stars. I knew it was perfect for her.

The glitter made the texture weird and I wouldn't want to sleep with my face on it, so I used a softer solid teal for the main part of the pillowcase and some vintage rickrack from my Grandma's stash to combine them. I love the added detail of crochet trim, so I did a simple shell stitch around the outside.

She loves it so much, when I told her I was taking pictures of it she insisted on pretending to sleep on the couch with it. She was even fake-snoring.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cake Pops

This weekend we celebrated the girls' 2nd and 3rd birthdays. Because the space we were using was going to be full of 2-4 year olds, we opted to avoid the traditional cake. I didn't want to deal with the mess.
Cake Pops were the perfect solution! These ones were made with a special baking pan, rather than mush up cake with icing. Strawberry cake with Pink candy melts. Perfect for my pink-obsessed little girl.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pot Roast - What to Eat Wednesday

When I was younger I was given 3 slow cookers in the span of one year. I don't think I ever actually used one until I had kids. Now my slow cooker is one of my best friends.
This week I'm making a Pot Roast.
I'm not usually a leftovers eater. But there are a few exceptions. Pot roast leftovers are fantastic in a quesadilla, on french fries with cheese or in a pot roast pie.

Here is my tried and true Pot Roast recipe

1/4 cup flour
3-4lb Roast
4-6 small potatoes, washed
1 onion
4 carrots, peeled
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Prep the roast by patting it dry with paper towel and rubbing flour all over it. Brown the outside over medium heat for a few minutes until all the sides are brown. (use a wooden spoon to help flip it)
Put the roast in the slow cooker. Quarter the potatoes and onion and add to the slow cooker. Cut the carrot into bite sized pieces and add to the slow cooker. Add everything else.
Cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.
Cut pot roast into serving sizes, or shred with a fork and put back in the slow cooker. Cook on low for another hour or two.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments- Saturday's Activities

When Hurricane Irene came through we lost all our christmas decorations. I've decided that it's far more meaningful to make decorations and trade homemade decorations with friends than it is to buy decorations.
Salt Dough is a cheap and easy way to make ornaments. And it's lots of fun to include the kids!

To make Salt Dough
1 cup of Flour
1/2 cup of Salt
1/2 cup of water

Stir until a dough forms, knead for 5 minutes until the consistency of playdoh.
Roll out and cut dough into desired shape.
Bake at 200F for 5 hours. (I flipped mine after 3 hours)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Butter and Buttermilk Pancakes

I recently tried making butter for the first time. I have to tell you, I was skeptical. Now that I've figured out how easy it is, I'll be doing it as often as I need butter. It saves me a little bit of money, but is worth it based on deliciousness alone. Especially since it gives me an excuse to make fresh buttermilk pancakes. Both recipes are posted here. The butter is something I recommend making when you have other helping hands available.
Fresh butter

2 cups heavy cream (aka whipping cream)
cold water

Fill a one quart canning jar (with a tight fitting lid) with the cream and put the lid on. (Honestly, filling any size jar half full with cream will work) Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
Start shaking it. Shake it until you can't shake anymore and then get your helping hands to shake it. Keep going until it separates into buttermilk and butter. If you're not sure if it's separated yet, keep shaking. when it's ready it will look like a jar you've put 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of skim milk in.
Strain the buttermilk (save it - you'll need it for the pancakes!). I found the easiest way was to put a piece of cheesecloth in the sealing ring of the jar. Then you need to rinse the butter. To do this put the butter in a bowl. Pour a little cold water in the bowl and press the butter with the back of the spoon. Drain it. Keep doing this until the water is clear and you don't get any more buttermilk released when you press the butter.
Keep in the fridge. Use within a week.

Straining the buttermilk

Buttermilk Pancakes
1 egg
1 cup butter milk
1 cup flour
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Mix the dry ingredients together. In a large bowl, beat egg until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the egg. Mix until smooth. Pour 1/4 cup at a time onto hot griddle. I use med-low heat. Flip when pancakes are dry around the edges.
Serve with fresh butter and maple syrup.

Butter milk pancakes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tea anyone?

My little girls bring me joy everyday. Often it's the little things we do together that bring the greatest joy. I'm going to try to share some of that here.