Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Orange 241 tote

2 posts in one day!!! I just couldn't wait to share my finished 241 tote!
I followed the 241 tote pattern by Anna of Noodlehead.  I made the pattern 115% bigger and used fusible fleece instead of woven interfacing to make it a more sturdy bag.  Someone (PB) likes to bring some big trucks with us when we leave the house.  My other 241 tote just wasn't big enough to carry the diaper pouch, wallet, coupon holder, snack cup and trucks.  This is plenty big and the added padding means I don't get poked by the trucks.  

I did the magnetic snap option that I didn't do the first time around because I thought it would be too hard.  It seriously took 5 minutes, it was ridiculously easy.  I am going to put these things on everything!!  I also made a super long inside pocket that I can easily stash some personal items and granola bars and PB can't see them when he peeks in my purse for his trucks.  If he sees food, he eats it!

I made the strap out of both fabrics I used.  I made the strap shorter and wider than the pattern suggested because the bag is so much bigger. I also added some fusible fleece on the inside of the strap for padding.

Anna just came out with a new bag pattern, the Go Anywhere Bag. There are a ton of outside pockets and it looks like a great size bag!! I can't wait to make it.  I love how Anna writes her patterns.  The pictures make it so easy to understand.  A beginner sewer could easily make any of her bags.  I learned how to do so many new things in sewing making Anna's patterns. I am so happy she writes patterns!! 

Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Muffins

A friend of mine, M, made Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread for a meeting. I am not going to lie, I had a little moment with this bread and when I got home I missed it.  So I made some, like an hour after getting home. I made them into muffins because I don't have a loaf pan, but I have enough muffin pans to make 48 muffins and 24 mini muffins :) 

The rosemary is perfect with the lemon.  I parked half of them in my freezer and I swear I can hear them talking to me.  The recipe is from Simply Recipes.  You have to try it!!  PB enjoyed these for breakfast and I saw hubby snacking on them with his tea. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini as a taco topping

Remember My Perfect Fish Tacos?  Well I am still enjoying them this summer but they got a yummy new topping, zucchini.  When you get this many zucchinis in 2 days....

... you start getting nutty.  You don't want them to go to waste.  That is how I discovered zucchini as a taco topping.  I used it instead of cabbage or lettuce and it was awesome.  I never ate raw zucchini before, it's yummy!! Just shred some zucchini and start topping your tacos!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pasta with zucchini, tomato, mozzarella and basil

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe in People Magazine (i wish i could find that recipe) for a greek style pasta dish with zucchini in it.  It sounded really yummy, except hubs doesn't like olives or feta cheese and I wasn't thrilled with the mint in it.  So I decided to make an Italian version.  

It was perfectly summery and i liked that it was a different way for us to use our zucchinis.

I made some garlicky, buttery bread crumbs to top the pasta with.  I have to say that made the dish.  Those mozzarella balls are so cute and yummy!

Pasta with zucchini, tomato, mozzarella, and basil- recipe inspired by people magazine-serves 4

Thin spagetti
olive oil
1 large zucchini or a few small zucchinis
salt, pepper
2 Tbsp butter
3-5 garlic cloves smashed 
1/4 c bread crumbs
about 1 c fresh diced tomato
1 tsp red pepper flake, or to taste
1 tsp oregano
about a cup of tiny mozzarella balls
handful for fresh basil, chopped

Start a large pot of water for the pasta on the stove on high heat.  Chop zucchini into large bite sized pieces.  be sure to get rid of the seedy center so your zucchini isn't too soggy.  Place a large pan on Medium High heat and put a few Tbsp of olive oil in the pan.  Sauté zucchini with 3-4 cloves garlic and salt and pepper.  Add red pepper flakes and oregano.  When zucchini is tender turn off the heat.  

In a separate pan melt butter on med heat and add garlic and bread crumbs. stir until lightly toasted and garlicky.  Take garlic clove out of the bread crumbs.  Set aside. 

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package.  When the pasta is almost done turn the heat back on the zucchini.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Add a ladle of the pasta cooking water into the pan.  Drain pasta and add it to the zucchini pan.  Throughly stir the pasta with the zucchini and tomato.  Turn off heat and stir in Mozzarella balls.  Serve on large platter or spoon out on individual plates. Top with bread crumbs and fresh basil.  Serve with some nice crusty bread and olive oil for dipping.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zucchini week!

Over the next 2 weeks I am going to share all the things I have been doing with the zucchini my garden has been giving us.  I did pass some off to neighbors and friends.  We got a ton of zucchini from our 3 plants this year.  I will definitely plant them again next year!!

PB enjoyed taking the "big ones" into his tent and playing with them.

This is my favorite thing we have been doing with them... grilled Zucchini!
Ours are so big that hubby had to cut them into rings so they wouldn't be soggy in the middle.  We also cut them into strips and cut the seedy centers off to grill them.  Hubs coats them in olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder and grills them until they are tender. Once they come off the grill he hits them with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice. Grilled zucchini has been our go-to side dish for almost every meal this summer!

Friday, August 26, 2011

PB's Orange kitchen

Here is PB cooking in his kitchen.  I may have had to bribe him with an orange M&M to get this pic. PB got a kitchen for his 2nd birthday.  It has been one of his favorite toys.  He loves to get in there and cook when I cook in my kitchen.  I am not ashamed to admit that the orange accents are what sold me on the kitchen.  It is the Educo kitchen.  It is made of wood and I love that it doesn't take up a lot of space in our living room. 

I love all the little wooden tools with the orange handles.  So cute!! 
Happy Orange Friday! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 baby gifts and a sneak peek

Well, I finally finished!!! It has been the year of babies for my and Hubby's family and I finally finished sewing the last of the baby gifts.  PHEW! 
Here are the other gifts I made this year: 123, 4, 5, and 6

Baby gift #1
boppy cover and pillow, nursing cover, crinkle taggie toy, taggie blanket, and burp cloths

Baby gift #2
tie onesie, boppy cover, blanket, nursing cover, crinkle taggie toy, burp cloths

Here is a look at those nursing covers.

Baby gift #3

And now a sneak peek at the fabric I bought to make something just for me:
I am planning on making another 241 tote. The one I made at the beginning of the summer is looking a little sad.  I am going to make this one 115% larger than the last one.  I am pretty excited to be sewing something just for me!!! YIPPIE!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade sauce from my garden tomatoes

 We had a burst of roma tomatoes from our garden one week.  I of course made some salsa and bruschetta, but I still had tons of tomatoes left.  I decided to make Hubby's day and make him some sauce.  

I roasted the romas in the oven.  I put them under the broiler on high for about 10 minutes and flipped them over and roasted for 10 more minutes.  

Then the tomatoes took a spin through my ricer.  This ricer my mom used to make sauce when I was little.  

From one tray of tomatoes I got a large pyrex container of sauce ready to be cooked.  I popped the tomatoes in the fridge for a few days while I waited for Hubby to get back from traveling for work.  

This sauce was awesome.  Since I split the work between 2 days it was pretty easy.  My only complaint is that a whole tray of tomatoes only made enough sauce for the 2 of us.  After eating this sauce I wanted to put it on everything and I am still thinking about it 2 weeks later.  Maybe I will have to go and get a bushel of romas so I can make a ton of sauce to enjoy all winter long.  

Homemade sauce- recipe by me

about 36 roma tomatoes
olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 short ribs, or any other meat
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 onion, chopped finely
1 Tbls oregano
fresh basil for garnish

Wash tomatoes and place on sheet pan covered in aluminum foil.  Turn broiler on high and roast tomatoes for 10 minutes and then turn them over and roast for 10 more minutes.  when the whole tomato is soft, they are done.  Let tomatoes cool and put them through a ricer.  Either store tomatoes in the fridge for a day or two or make sauce immediately.  

Place pan on stove on medium high heat with some olive oil.  Brown short ribs on all sides.  When the meat has browned add in red pepper flakes, garlic and onion.  When onion starts to get soft add in the tomatoes and oregano.  Let sauce come to a bubble and turn down to low and cook for about 3 hours with a lid on tightly.  When the meat is fully cooked, the sauce is done.  Pour over your favorite shape pasta and garnish with basil. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Orange running shoes

Here are my orange running shoes.  I wish they were more orange, but these were the right price :) I just started running earlier this summer.  I just completed the couch to 5K app on my iPhone last week.  I never ran even a mile in my adult life.  I can now run 2 miles very comfortably.  I'm not the fastest runner, and I have even had some power walkers walk past me but I don't care.  I am doing it!!  Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strawberry and Yogurt Popsicles

We have been having a ton of fun this summer making popsicles.  These are just strawberries, vanilla yogurt, and a little lemonade.

PB loves helping, but he gets a little antsy waiting for them to freeze.  We have the Zoku Popsicle maker which has been so much fun.  Hubs got this for me 2 years ago so PB and I could make popsicles together.  It has been a really fun gift.  I like that it is orange :)

I put some strawberries on the molds before pouring in the blended mixture to make them prettier and so I could remember what the extras in the freezer are.

I love knowing that PB is eating a healthy treat that we got to make together.

He likes to take some "big one" bites.

This is his brain freeze face! 

Strawberry and Yogurt Popsicles- recipe by me
makes 6 popsicles in the Zoku and i have some extra molds I fill up and freeze also

About 10 strawberries
2 small containers low fat vanilla yogurt
splash of lemonade or orange juice or whatever juice you have

Wash, hull and cut strawberries into chunks.  Blend with yogurt and lemonade.  If you want some fruit chunks only blend 3/4 of the strawberries and then pulse the rest in at the end.  Pour into molds and freeze or use the Zoku according to the instructions.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Orange vegetable bucket

Here is my bucket I take to the garden to bring all my yummy veggies inside.  Our zucchinis are so big they don't really fit in the bucket!  It is about 12 inches across so it really holds a lot.  This was full of tomatoes yesterday.  I made bruschetta and salsa with over 20 of them and I still have 12 left!  
I just got this bucket a few weeks ago at Big Lots.  Man do I love that store, I always find something when I don't expect to like this bucket.  Once I found crocs for 15 bucks! That was a pretty good day :) Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Card swap and cheesecake

I had another card swap with my MOMS Club.  
These are the cards I made.  I did fabric again :) I am a one trick pony and have no patience for cutting tiny pieces of paper.  

Here are the cards I got in the swap:

The these this time was blank cards.  I love how different they all are!

I made cheesecake with chocolate ganache for the swap.  This time I topped the cheesecake with the chocolate ganache.  The cheesecake was a hit!

Does anyone do craft or cards swaps with their friends?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1 down 3 to go...

i'm still at it! But only a few more baby gifts and I am done for a while! Here is what I made for my friend Maria who I also made the dress for:
starting from top left: Green bumpy-boppy cover, blue knit-swaddle blanket, stack of burp cloths, knit boy print- car seat blanket, paisley print-nursing cover, tie onesie, taggie toy

I love the fabric she chose for the nursing cover!

I made 2 burp cloths.  The top 2 are the same and the bottom one is backed with the blue knit from the swaddle blanket.  I followed this tutorial at cloud 9 fabrics to make the burp cloths.  

I also made some cakepops for her shower.  They are white cake with vanilla icing and covered in dark chocolate.  This isn't a great pic but we individually wrapped them for shower favors. 

Now I'm off to finish the rest of my baby gifts! Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Orange cooler

Here is my orange cooler.  I got it at IKEA a few years ago for 99 cents!!! I wish I would have bought more of them.  I used to bring this on my bike ride to the grocery store to keep my food cold on the ride home.   Now it keeps water cold in the car for PB when we go on adventures.  Maybe there will be some adventures this weekend :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

More baby items!

Well, I'm at it again!! I'm making more baby things these next few weeks.  There are 4 more babies on the way in the next 3 months.  After this, I think I am done for a little while.  I'll try to make some tutorials for the things I am sewing.  Especially the boppy cover, car seat blanket and swaddle blanket.  Joann had a nursing support insert pillow that they sold, but they haven't had it for a while. Luckily, I still have the plastic pattern :) 

I am also doing another card swap with my moms club next week so I have to get moving on those cards.  I haven't started them yet!!!
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