Sunday, November 24, 2013

Plum Pink Owl Beanie

Who can resist a plum and pink owl beanie??? 
Love. Love. Love.

Repeat Crafter Me has an easy-to-follow pattern for an owl beanie. Instead of the black buttons for eyes, I crocheted with black yarn for the contrast color. Instead of two ears, I made one "ear" and left it as a bow.

Marigold Pink Owl Beanie

Back to fun color combos!!!! I'm hooked on owl beanies as of yesterday. Two done and more waiting to be made!!! Repeat Crafter Me has an easy-to-follow pattern for an owl beanie. Instead of the black buttons for eyes, I crocheted with black yarn for the contrast color. I also switched back to the first color after the second color to do the final row of sc's for an extra contrast finish. I love love love these (and little Miss E does too!). 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dinner Inspired by an Afternoon Autumn Walk in the Park

Flavor combinations for dinner were inspired by an afternoon walk in the many beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, and dark greens! Result: Curried hake with wilted kale and rehydrated cherries over wild rice and a side of roasted sweet potatoes, artichoke hearts, and pears marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and ginger.

Didn't really measure anything and made up the dish as I went so difficult to write out a recipe.... So here's the gist of the dish! Cooked the wild rice with chicken broth in the rice cooker. While wild rice cooked, made the rest of dinner. Cooked the hake loins in a large Dutch oven pot on a medium hot stove with browned butter. Sprinkled on curry powder and sea salt. Added chopped kale and dried cherries in after turning hake over. For the side of roasted pears, potatoes, and artichoke hearts, I did scribble things down as I went so below is a recipe!

Roasted Asian Pears, Sweet Potatoes, and Artichoke Hearts
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large Asian pear
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub sweet potatoes. Quarter lengthwise; slice diagonally 1/4 inch thick. Wash, core, and quarter the pears; slice 1/4 inch thick.
  2. In a large ziploc bag, throw in all ingredients, zip up, and shake until well coated.
  3. Mix ingredients on rimmed baking sheet (I find it easiest to shake everything up in a Ziploc bag). Bake for about 35 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin. Cinnamon. Roasted vegetables. Nuts. Warm spices. What does autumn taste like to you? These days autumn tastes like pumpkin butter. Mmmm..... Great on fruit, toast, pancakes, waffles, and maybe even mixed into vanilla ice cream??? 

  • 2 15oz cans of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup apple juice (if you really love spice, try apple cider but may need to decrease spices added if it gets too spicey!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
  2. Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving. Freezes well too!
If you prefer not giving baby any brown sugar/agave nectar, make a separate batch without or add in the sugar after taking out some of the rest of the cooked down mixture for baby's own jar of pumpkin butter. The apple juice adds some sweetness!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Worlds of Parenthood and Drool Pads

Becoming a parent, becoming a mom, has given me keys to open doors to worlds I only peeked into previously and doors I never knew existed. There is a world of moms who fight fiercely over differing opinions but also band together fiercely for the love of children. There's a world of people who will offer their advice whether you are interested or not and you learn when to smile and nod and when to continue the discussion. There's a world of resourcefulness as you meander through the journey of bringing up a child who literally grows overnight. It's an adventure alright. Everyday there's something to learn and someone to learn from. Keeping our eyes and hearts open with empathy as we explore the worlds of parenthood brings us closer together.

Drool pads for little-miss-drooly-face-working-on-her-eighth-tooth has been our most recent project. It's quick, easy, and functional (necessities for projects these days!). These drool pads fit several different carriers (Ergo, mei tai, and woven wrap). All you need are the following:

  • scrap fabric - two rectangles 6" x 9.5"
  • 1 wash cloth or other towel-like material or something else absorbent - two rectangles 6" x 9.5" (this dimension was perfect from one washcloth after cutting off the hems and then cutting the washcloth in half).
  • matching threads (I used red for the top and white for the bottom)
  • Velcro strips

  1. Match up one towel rectangle to one fabric rectangle, right-sides facing in. Hem around the edge no more than 1/4" and leave 2 inches for flipping it right side out. Complete twice. Trim edges if needed. 
  2. Flip right side out, iron both pads, and top stitch around (make sure you have the right color of thread on top and bottom). 
  3. Cut strips of Velcro to the length of the short end. One strip should be on towel side and the other should be on fabric side. Centered to length of short side, sew on Velcro around all sides.

Babywearing Daddy Alert! (photo added April 2014)