Thursday, July 25, 2013

drawstring pouch

earlier in the year we spent a lot of time watching TV when Matt came home at night and on the weekends.  we thought we should cut back and not watch TV during the week, so we've been playing cards and dominoes or working the occasional puzzle in the evening after the kids go to bed.  I looked online to see what new games I could find and I came across rules for a simple domino game called Matador.  it's played with double sixes and it's pretty easy.  I think the boys will like playing this one when they're older.
inspired by a little pouch a friend gave me a long time ago, I crocheted a little drawstring pouch to hold the mini dominoes, then made another to give away.

I used a size 3.25mm hook and embroidery floss.
round 1: 12 SC into a magic loop, pull tight (do not sl st to join the round - this is worked in a continuous spiral)
round 2: 1 inc. (2 SC into 1 st) in each st around (24 sts)
round 3: 2 SC, 1 inc. repeat around (32 sts)
round 4: 3 SC, 1 inc. repeat around (40 sts)
round 5-30: 1 SC into each st around (40 sts), sl st to last st to even out the top of the round, and weave in the ends.  use crocheted or braided embroidery floss for the drawstring.

fold the pouch flat,
start on one side and weave between the stitches until you reach the side you started on.
repeat for the opposite side
and tie the ends in knots so they don't come out.
I wasn't sold on crocheting in a spiral because the uneven break in the stripe kinda bugged me on the ombre-ish bag and I tried to hide the color change step on the side, but the black and white stripes made it look cool, so I positioned it for the front (or back) of the bag.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

chocolate butterflies and pistachio cream cheese pie

I watched a video from How To Cook That showing how to make chocolate butterflies, and I thought it would be perfect to decorate a pie I made for Nana.
I did the butterflies with candy melts because I didn't want to mess with tempering chocolate.  a few of them didn't work out because they were too thin and it's HOT right now, so if they didn't crack while I was trying to peel them from the wax paper they melted when I touched them, but I made them a little thicker they did just fine.
I thought I came up with the pie recipe myself, but after a quick search I found it on and it was exactly how I thought about doing it, so I went with just the addition of cream cheese to the pudding like it was written.  I would double the cream cheese next time, use less milk as if for a pie (1 3/4 cup instead of 2 cups), and maybe use heavy cream or evaporated milk instead of regular whole milk.  it was still good as it was - just a little mild for my taste! O:)

Monday, July 15, 2013

little orange bunny

I wanted to crochet a jackalope for Jack, so I watched some videos on the basics of Amigurumi and made up this little test bunny.  I'll definitely need to go up to a larger size when I do the next one, but this is just too cute :)  I like his big feet and head, but the little tail is my favorite part, and it helps him sit upright.
as soon as Leo saw this guy with just one ear on he wanted it, so I tried to hurry and finish it up so he could have it.  it's funny the things he gets excited about.
he followed me outside to get some pics of it before I handed it over and he roughed it up, but he was actually very gentle with it... at first.  then he started hitting the plants with it.  boys!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

lemon blueberry bread

I was up late last night and saw this recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen on Facebook for lemon blueberry bread.  it looked so good, and I was going to the grocery store in the morning anyway, so I whipped it up today after we got home from Jack's 6 month checkup.
when I tasted the batter it reminded me of some bread a friend of mine gave me last summer.  possibly the same recipe, I dunno.  the thing I did different from the recipe was melted butter instead of oil... because I didn't have any, but it came out alright as far as I can tell.  took over an hour to bake, which might be the difference, also not sure my pan was the right size, so I'll try it with oil next time to see how it does and maybe divide the batter in two smaller loaf pans.
Matt doesn't like lemon so this might be all for me and Leo, and that's totally fine with me!  this is definitely one for my recipe book.

Monday, July 8, 2013

the weekend

we took the boys to Holly Lake Ranch over the weekend for some time away.
the drive wasn't bad - the boys slept for the first part and did well the rest of the way.
we planned to stop at a place called Leo's Chicken for a bite in Emory, but they were closed!  we ended up eating at a BBQ place instead, then did a little geocaching along the way.
at the resort, Leo loved swimming, the activity center, the playground, and pushing Jack in the stroller.
Jack ate his first pancake - not sure how much actually made it in his tummy but he had fun munching on it and getting it everywhere.
we came back sooner than we planned because the boys just didn't adjust well at night being away from home.  when one wasn't crying the other started up, so we were pretty tired and left a day early.
that was alright because I like having my last day of vacation at home to get back to normal, anyway.  we spent the day geocaching at some parks near the house until Leo had a meltdown and we came home for a nap.
Matt and I get some alone time in a couple of weekends so maybe we'll get some rest then! ;)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Monte Cristo with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

while I was thinking of things to put in the Snakmaster I remembered the Monte Cristo - such a great sandwich!  simple enough, too.  I gave it a shot and it was actually good.  it's not the fried outside like you'd get from Cheddars, but we really liked it.

sliced ham and turkey
Swiss cheese slices
sourdough bread slices
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
powdered sugar

For the sauce, heat the raspberries in a pot on medium heat with sugar and maple syrup until the sugar is dissolved, the raspberries are breaking apart, and the sauce has thickened.  Let cool.  This can also be done in the microwave, but watch to make sure it doesn't boil over - it's a big mess.
Whisk together egg, milk, and 1 tsp sugar (optional, but better with it) and set aside.  Layer ham, turkey and cheese together, cut diagonally and lay between two slices of bread.  Dip in egg mixture and place in the preheated Snakmaster making sure the diagonal lines in the wells matches up with the cut made in the meat and cheese. Close the lid for 30 seconds - this will be a tight squeeze if you really layer the filling up - then open the latch and let sit for another 30 seconds or so.  Cut sandwiches in half, dust with powdered sugar, and serve with the raspberry dipping sauce.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The 'Burbs

we showed The 'Burbs for my backyard movie night this year - I wasn't sure how many people were familiar with the movie, but we had a good turnout of fans as well as some first-timers.  such a good movie!!
every year I think "maybe this will be the last one" so I can get that giant 8' x 16' screen out of my backyard, but everyone has such a good time and I'm always glad we did a movie night that after it's over I say "okay.. we can leave the screen up and do another one in the fall..." and then after that one it's like "well.. we're not that far from June so lets keep it up a little longer."   I guess until the HOA complains, it might just stay up until it falls apart or brings the fence down!
Matt made his famous corn dogs like he always does - they just keep getting better and better!
I made "something for the ole sweet tooth" but I decided against dropping them on the ground.
I had to have sardines and pretzels, so I made my own chocolate mold from Alumilite mold putty and Swedish fish.
I made some juice drinks to put in containers Matt and the boys got me for Mother's Day - I just love them :)  and I made some tags to write on with dry erase markers so everyone knew what they were.
it was a great birthday celebration :)  thinking about going with Arachnophobia next time...  but we'll see.