Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chocolate-zucchini cakes

These little muffins are yummy. And since they have zucchini in them they count as one vegetable serving! I over sprayed by muffins pans this time and the muffins actually popped right out, some rolled onto the floor before I could catch them. My kids liked them and they are bite size so they fit easily in a lunch box as a nice treat. The recipe is from Food Everyday by Martha Stewart. (The recipe calls for walnuts but as I am not a fan of those I omitted them) I love this little magazine. It always has so many great recipes and tips.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A bed without a quilt is like the sky without stars*



I have been wanting to add a wall quote to my sewing room for a long time. I explored purchasing one but it was too expensive. I ordered the removable vinyl months ago but finally got down to doing it this month. I went to my friend Jan's house (she has a Martha Stewart scrap booking room) and used her cricut. She has a larger version then I do and she has a 24" mat. Holy smokes this thing was huge. But it was the perfect way to cut out large items. I used the Storybook Cartridge to make the letters. The quote I found in a quilting catalogue. I looked at tons of quotes but kept coming back to this one. In case anyone thinks this looks easy let me dispel that thought right now. I had to cut each letter out separately. Each letter had to be individually positioned on a line on the wall. Each word had to be measured out so that it was equal distance from the other words. And because I have kids it took me an entire week to get the whole thing up on the wall. The boys actually thought it was neat and kept asking me what it said until we had all memorized the quote by heart. It is a very nice addition to my sewing room and I am very happy with how it looks. I also like the fact that I did the entire thing myself. Little pat on the back for me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blobby Blog Soft Pretzels


The boys and I made soft pretzels. The recipe was very easy and we had a lot of fun rolling and shaping. The only problem was that when the pretzels came out of the oven they looked blobby - they were big and blimpy. They looked nothing like the pretzels in the photo which looked liked real ballpark style pretzels. So I said to the boys these pretzels look blobby. When I took a picture and said it was for my blog, someone said blobby blog pretzels and the name was born.


Sweet Soft Pretzels

1 store bought pizza dough
flour
what ever fixins you want on your pretzels - salt, chopped nuts, fennel seeds, cinnamon.
Olive oil
3 tbl spoons baking soda
2 tbl coarse sugar

Place dough on floured baking sheet and roll in some fixins. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rest for 1 hour. Divide into 8 pieces. Roll each into an 18 inch long rope. Loop into a pretzel. Place on an oiled sheet and let rest for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 475. Boil water and add baking soda. In batches, boil pretzels until puffed and slightly shiny, about 1 minute. Return to baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown - 10 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

Um, I just realized that I skipped multiple steps in this recipe. I went from rolling straight to baking. Oh well. No one seemed to mind.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monogram

I finally got my monogram up on the fireplace. I used the Storybook cricut cartridge. Of course it went on crooked but all of our stuff goes up crooked. It is just the way we do things. If you squint one eye it looks totally straight.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

My backyard had a huge ivy fence that separated my yard from my neighbors. The ivy fence was there before us so we did not know its history. On learning that some critters had decided to make this partition their home we decided to tear down the fence.You can see from this picture how high the ivy was. What you can't see is how thick it was. The fence on our side was bulging under the weight of the ivy.

I would estimate the ivy was about a foot above the fence.


This is a picture of day 1. It took two men two days to pull out all the ivy and the fence.


This is day three. Our neighbor did all the fence work himself. When the ivy fence came down I actually gained 5 inches of space. I couldn't believe it. I kept going outside and staring at my new space dreaming about what I would do with it.


Day 4. The boys were in heaven playing with this temporary new space.

Day 7. This is my new fence. At some point we may add some height to it to gain a little more privacy. But for now we are all enjoying this beautiful fence. With my new 5 inches I plan to plant a fall vegetable garden.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Focaccia

Now that the tea party is over I have had time for lots of other fun stuff. My sister-in-law gave me a huge bag of cooking magazines. I found so many recipes to keep me busy. I told the boys they had to try each new thing I cooked and they could rate the dish. So far I have been pretty successful. Tonight I made pasta with Focaccia bread. I love Focaccia bread. But it always seemed too complicated to make at home. This recipe uses pizza dough. It was so easy to make and yummy.

Onion-Herb Focaccia Bread
On a floured surface roll out 1 pound of refrigerated pizza dough into a 10-15 inch rectangle. Press into an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Mix 3/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbl chopped rosemary and/or oregano (I used dried oregano), and a big pinch of sea salt (I used more then a pinch). Brush half of the herb oil over the dough, then set aside until puffy, about 1 hour. Make dimples in the dough with your fingers and top with onion slices and shaved Parmesan. Bake at 400 until golden, about 20 minutes. Brush with remaining herb oil.

Oh and I have been quilting again. More on that soon.
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