Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{Keep Calm Craft On}

This lovely project got me through February's grey days. Simple and meditative, and pulled from my stash, this quilt was just the thing. A few prints are from my grandmother's stash, a few are from my trip to Maine, the rest are just bits and pieces I have picked up over the last several years from JoAnns or local quilt shops. It is all of my favorite colors, and it kind of gives me chills. That's probably silly but it's just so much goodness. 

 I started it just because I was craving the process of log cabin blocks...and I needed something to do while I'm not knitting. I started thinking even a pillow or two would be lovely, but by the time I finished it had grown to king sized! The overhang on my queen sized bed is dreamy... my grandmother uses king sized blankets on queen and double sized beds and I just love the weight of it. 

It is sitting for the moment, waiting for the batting to arrive, then I'm planning on tying it simply, and then there will be miles and miles of binding to sew on... maybe during a Gilmore Girls marathon? What is your favorite handwork show? Head over to Nicole's blog for more KCCO projects! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

{Mac 'n' Cheese}

Some days are just tough. No matter how positive, proactive, and determined you might be. For example, after a night of panic attacks and bad dreams (me) and a morning of tummy troubles and tantrums (the boys)...it's just not a day that anyone would plan. So I thought I would keep it simple and just share the recipe for my favorite comfort food. It's a huge treat, but some days are just huge treat days. We make it gf with this pasta and it works great. Recipe at the bottom, let me know if you try it! Back to my lemon balm tea... 

{Oven Mac 'N' Cheese}

1lb uncooked elbow noodles 
1lb cheese, grated (I used half cheddar half jack here) 
1qt whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a 13"x9" baking pan, combine your uncooked pasta and shredded cheese. Just mix it around with your hands so it's fairly well balanced. Salt and pepper over the top. Pour milk over, sometimes a little bit more is needed, you want to cover nearly all of the pasta. I smush it down a little bit and don't mind if some of it is about half out of the milk, you just don't want any whole noodles above the milk level. Add a dash of paprika on the top if you want to impress your five year old. Bake at 350* for and hour. 

{Feeds four really hungry people, or 6-8 if served with sides like salad and soup}

Friday, March 7, 2014

{Banana Oat Blender Pancakes}

Two and a half years into this gluten free thing and I haven't found a really great pancake recipe...until now. That sounds so dramatic, but I've tried several and they just aren't the nice, easy to cook item that I'm looking for. Nomi was completely baffled by the answer to his perpetual question of "What you feed me now?" (The older kids tend to get the generic response of "A big plate of wait and see, with a side of eat it or starve!", thankfully they appreciate a little sassing and have started declaring that to be their favorite meal.) But back to Nomi... Pancakes? What on earth is a pancake? Have you tried describing that to an almost three year old? Who doesn't eat bread?? There are no comparisons to draw. You make me a cake? Not exactly. You make me oatmeal? Not quite... You make me cooked banana? (oh so doubtfully) Needless to say he didn't budge from his perch on the hearth, where he can see but not quite touch everything happening on the stove. The first bite sold him and he began spouting all of his lovey words, declaring them to be "'licious", and yours truly to be "so 'dorable"...so clearly these are pretty good pancakes. So how about a recipe? Seriously give them a shot, whether you're gluten free or not!

2 cups gluten free oats
1 1/2 cups milk (cow/almond/coconut etc)
1 large ripe banana 
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 heaping Tbsp honey (preferably raw and local) or maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
coconut oil for cooking

(I was working with smaller bananas so I used 1.5)

Add first eight ingredients to your blender and blend away until everything is mixed in. Try to make sure your honey and powders are towards the center so you don't have to try to scrape them off of the sides...it's such a pain! Once everything is well blended add the egg and blend just until combined. This batter tends to be stiffer than regular pancakes, but if you think it's too stiff to pour easily, now is the time to add a bit more milk (1-2 Tbsp should do it). Scrape the batter into a mixing bowl now because it's much easier to get all of it now while you don't have a hot skillet and pancakes burning. Ahem. 

Heat your skillet with a few tsp of coconut oil or butter, and when it's hot pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side on medium/medium low heat. These don't bubble as much as normal pancakes so watch them! These are great plain or with your favorite toppings. Some ideas would be maple syrup (of course), a dollop of creamed honey, butter, peanut butter...Nutella if you're looking for something glorious. One recipe makes about 12-14, 1/4 cup sized pancakes, I will certainly be doubling the recipe for my hungry eaters, tripling if I wanted to think about leftovers!

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