Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Until Further Notice...

So I'm not doing the usual craft post today, really I'm not doing much of any post today. I just wanted to say that at long last I have ordered a camera so I will be posting all sorts of exciting things...once it gets here. You see, I'm very much over trying to get decent pictures with my camera phone so until the nice UPS man gets here I'm taking a little bloggy break. But I promise I'll be back soon with all sorts of wonderful posts. I have big plans...just not any pictures. A hint of what's waiting in the wings? Well, lots of knitting of course, some delicious new recipes to share, a giveaway, some hopefully helpful homemaking ideas, a tutorial or two, and of course lots of ramblings about our every day life.

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Happy Hat {Crafting On}

Linking up with Nicole over at Frontier Dreams today, go look at all of the crafty goodness!
 This hat happened because sometimes when you're sick you just need a new hat...in all of your favorite colors, in a very particular order. It really does help, if you haven't tried it, you should the next time you're sick! ;)

In the background there you can see a glimpse of how my weekend was spent....more to come on that once it's finished!

(I have no idea why this picture will only load sideways...but I trust you can still enjoy it...) This is perhaps, my most favorite knitting project ever. It's just a made-up hat pattern, striped in the order he chose, in a way that kept it fun for me...because a feel-better hat should make everyone happy.

And one more because, as Jenny pointed out, she was wearing her hat that I made her too. Her's is on ravelry Here, made from This book. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Thought

This is from October I think, if you can believe he is far more "plump" now! The beautiful background was my birthday gift from my amazingly talented grandmother...it just doesn't get better than a homemade quilt!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{Crafting On}

Joining up with Nicole from Frontier Dreams today for her new crafty show 'n' tell series...head over to see some more amazing projects and can you believe her son's gnome hat?? I'm in love! So, please excuse my cruddy pictures, I should (FINALLY) be getting my camera next week and then you'll have to endure my immersion from withdrawal...consider yourselves warned. 

First up, we have a pair of legwarmers for my adorably roly-poly baby. He spends a ton of time on my back in our ergo and his legs are always cold, whether because his pants have ridden up or (more likely) because he's just chillin' in his shirt and socks. He's at that point where he hates having stuff covering his legs and slowing him down. I'm all for it, but he's also erm...much rounder than longer at this stage of his life, so it's hard to find pants that fit both his equator tummy and aren't two inches too long. I used This free pattern, but I used some stash odds and ends, the grey is cascade 220 and the red and blue are lamb's pride worsted (maybe my favorite work horse yarn?)  The best part is that I can snag them in a pinch for arm warmers!

This is my current WIP (work in progress), the much requested Phoebe Sweater for my Jenny-bug. She got the book two Christmases ago and has been waiting so patiently for me to find the right yarn and get started.  At long last it is well underway. She's so excited about it, often offering to play with her baby brother in exchange for me knitting...well okay if you insist... *wink* I'm using Lamb's Pride Bulky and LOVING it...about half way through it now! It's a delightful project, with lots of instant gratification on size 10-1/2 needles, and oh that yarn...it's understated but dreamy...I'll spare you my gushing...for now.

 Can you hear my excitement here? I found this yarn AT MY COFFEE SHOP. Yarn. at a coffee shop!! Oh boy. I've been trying to find this yarn locally for a few years now, and there it was...calling to me and my peppermint mocha to bring it home...I just couldn't disappoint these beauties! And this is also a sneak peak at something give away related...details to come in the next week or so! What are you crafting?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday in the Kitchen

Yesterday I had a visit from one of my oldest and dearest friends...always the best kind, don't you think? Well I was thinking what to have out for a bit of snacking, and I realized that all of my usual ideas are going to be a problem... over the last few months I have eliminated corn (in all of its forms), wheat and chocolate, add to that reducing my dairy intake and baking can become quite a tricky thing! Enter (one of) my totally amazing sister--when I first realized I needed to make the changes ~ due to nursing my sweet baby-with-a-tender-tummy ~ she got me the best cookbook EVER, Cooking for Isaiah. Most dairy free things these days are simply made with soy, which is something I'm not interested in...but this book suggests using either rice or coconut milk instead and you can't tell even the tiniest bit of difference in your baking! She also has come up with a great "gluten-free all purpose flour" that yields the nicest, fluffiest things I've ever baked. If you are interested in the gluten-free flour recipe, you can see it in the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon, other wise you can just substitute regular all purpose flour... why is that relevant? Because trust me, you want to make these...

These are THE BEST strawberry cupcakes ever!! Best cupcake ever? I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, so I'm going to just stick with best strawberry cupcake ever...REALLY!

 Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

For cupcakes...
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strawberry puree (about 5 ounces of strawberries, I just tossed them in the blender with a little strawberry jam because I was a bit short...if you don't need the jam just add a bit of sugar)
1/2 cup rice milk (or regular milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 drops red food coloring (I left this out)
1/2 cup shortening at room temp. 
1 cup sugar
 2 large eggs at room temp. (Mine were not room temp)

1) Preheat the oven to 350* and line your muffin pan with papers. 

2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
In another small bowl, combine the strawberry puree, milk, vanilla and food coloring.

3) In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the shortening on medium-high speed until fluffy, about one minute. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes (scrape the sides as needed). 
On medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and the strawberry mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan until each cup is two-thirds full (ahem...I am a chronic over-filler). Bake until the cupcakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely In The Pan set on a wire rack.

For frosting...
1 cup shortening, at room temperature 
(I used butter...because I'm French, and shortening is not my thing in frostings)
2-3/4 cups powdered sugar *
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1/4 teaspoon salt
sprinkles for the top, should you happen to have them handy

To make the frosting, in a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat together the shortening (butter), powdered sugar, strawberry puree and salt on medium-high speed until fluffy, pipe or spread over the cooled cupcakes; top with sprinkles. Enjoy!!

*A note for anyone who is also corn-free (although I might be the only person in the universe...), or if you use organic sugar and want to turn it into organic powdered sugar... most powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. Lame. I recently learned that I can make my own however, in the blender. Just substitute equal amounts of regular sugar and pulse until it's powdered. I've heard it can scratch up plastic though, so consider that before you use a plastic food processor or blender... 

What is happening in your kitchen today? Please leave a comment, or if you would like to share on your  blog, please leave us a link so we can see! (And a link back to here is great too...)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

{Operation Care Package}

So good morning there! I'm popping in with a request here... 

I could explain it, but instead I'm going to send you over to my sister Eliza's (amazing) blog, specifically THIS post. Go read it, it's okay...I'll wait. :)

So. I'm joining forces with Eliza and spreading the word! You can email me at quiverfullmama@gmail.com for the address to send things too, and we will be sure to get them out to our cousin. We will all be incredibly grateful for your help!!

Thanks and love,

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday in the Kitchen

This morning I wanted to share a favorite new snack around here. I've seen the idea all over pinterest, and after looking over a few variations I came up with these. The kids are calling them "snack balls" and are scarfing them down at every opportunity, which is great because between the two of them it can be hard to find healthy snacks they will both eat! This is the first time we've made them, but I expect they will become a staple around here...there are so many variations they will never get old! They have the added bonus of being something Jenny can learn to make very soon, which is great.

 Peanut Butter Snack Balls

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup rolled or quick oats 
(I think you could just use 2 cups oats instead of powdered milk for a dairy free option, but I haven't tried it yet)
about 3/4 of a cup whatever yummy thing you want
(here I did cinnamon chips, but you could do chopped nuts, raisins, mini chocolate chips, coconut etc.) 

Combine all ingredients and roll into 1" balls, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and store in an air tight container. I got about three dozen out of them and two satisfy my kids at snack time, bringing a blessed break from the constant refrain of "I'm hungry!" ;-)

What is happening in your kitchen today? Please leave a comment, or if you would like to share on your  blog, please leave us a link so we can see! (And a link back to here is great too...)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012

Home from Mass this morning, nursing various illnesses...at this point we've had so many different things over the past two months I'm starting to loose track. And to add to the list, I'm suspicious that my boys (who pretty much share a pillow) have pink eye....oh joy. We've had a hard enough time making it to Mass with Joe being gone (for work, long term, it sucks but we've mostly adjusted), but with so many germs in our house already I made the command decision to just stay home this week. No one wants us to share, and we can't risk catching anything else!! So, a nice quite day at home it is...we started with me making some of the sorriest pancakes I've made in my life...no pictures of those (on purpose). The rest of the day holds lots of laundry, perhaps a bit of baking, lots of potty training, and hopefully much more of this....

 Too sick for church (viral bronchitis anyone?), but never too sick to wear a tutu!
A wee bit of knitting for a wee new baby, finished pictures coming soon!
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