Monday, February 22, 2010

Lunch Menu Item Monday - Hummus Wannabe Dip

So...pre-photos or presentation photos are basically non-existent at this point, because we were too hungry to think about a camera. But, if you click here, then you can see some fun ways to display part of today's menu.

And here's what was leftover from my Hummus Wannabe Dip served with heaps of crackers and vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, bell pepper, and green olives). I guess this could be a snack, too. We ate it with soup and some carrot-based fruit juice for lunch.
Hummus is made with chickpeas or garbanzo beans...neither of which I had in the cupboard today. And since I'm all about use what we have before we purchase, I pulled down the can of butter beans that were hiding in the back of the cupboard. And this is how I made it:

1 16-oz can of butter beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of butter beans
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon olive oil

1. Open and drain butter beans, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid from the can.
2. Put liquid from can, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and olive oil in a blender. Blend briefly to mix these ingredients.
3. At your own risk, open top and drop in beans while blender is still going. Continue blending for 3 or so minutes until ingredients are really smooth.
4. Serve immediately...or refrigerate and serve cold, later! DELICIOUS! You and your kids will be asking for more vegetables to eat along with it!

Hmmm....I wonder what other beans would go well with this recipe...!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Knitted Baby-Girl Hat with Tassels

For a good friend who recently had a baby girl.

Weekend Knitting Flower Washcloth and white at that!
* A special thanks to Aunt Kim for the box of personalized soap, which helped the photos look better!

Knitted Flower Washcloth

One Crafty Mumma hosted a Washcloth/Dishcloth Create-A-Long. She went on a knitting washcloth frenzy, while inviting others to join her. As a sucker for knitting myself...I wanted to create-a-long. I was a sad participant of only making one in the two weeks she dedicated to hosting this create-a-long. 
I used the flower washcloth pattern from Melanie Falick's book, Weekend Knitting. And I had some help, not only in ripping out my gauges...but also in devouring my snack, which just so happened to be part of MY Valentine treat from my sister (don't believe my little pirate if he says it was really wasn't his; I swear).
Nevertheless, I finished the washcloth! Now, I just have no idea what I'm going to do with it...other than hold it to my face so I can try to get a good picture of it!
Ahh...I love knitting!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lunch Menu Monday - Pirate Ship Sandwich

This lunch item is not my creation, but I completely fell in love and wanted to share what I came across on Ohdeedoh -- Pirate Ship Sandwich. It would be perfect for a little pirate lover!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mint Valentine Boxes and Paper Tube

Ever since I received my February Family Fun magazine, I've been bombarded and jealous of all these people who come up with these nifty Valentine phrases using a play on words. I was sad to not be able to come up with anything on my own, but was getting over it. And I really also had no idea what I was going to do for valentines. I "splurged" and bought a bag of Starlite Mints for Valentine goodies when doing my weekly grocery shopping. Actually, splurging would have been if I bought Hershey chocolate Kisses. I decided to buy the mints because they were only 99 cents for the bag, opposed to the $2+ for the chocolates. to put something together...I snatched some paintings from the fridge that my pirate and I did weeks ago, and made origami gift boxes from them (here's a good origami gift box tutorial...I've been making boxes like this since grade school)...and all of a sudden, just like hit me...

You were 'mint' for me!

...I wrote it on a ribbon and tied it to a closed, mint-stuffed box to give away as a valentine!

Then, I started getting a little carried away and made a paper tube filled with mints...this will be something the little pirate can give to Grandma and Grandpa!

Sandwich Cookies and Heart Noodle Valentine Treats

So, one of my book clubbers, Elizabeth, who I keep in touch with on Facebook is always up to something celebrating. In fact, just earlier this week, she called herself an "Over-Achiever-Holiday-Celebrator." As you can imagine, V-day is the perfect reason for her to put her celebrating jitters to work! :) Today she posted this, and made Facebook's "top news" list!
You might agree in stating that you wished you were in her daughter's class to receive one of these treats! YUM!!!

Elizabeth says, "I have to give credit to the place I got the tag designs from...I just customized them for what I needed -- The Rubber Punkin. I also got the goodie recipe from Bakerella, and modified it slightly."

Thanks for letting me brag about you on my blog, Elizabeth!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Swimsuit Giveaway

The Rubber Punkin is hosting a swimsuit giveaway from Panga Swimwear. You have two chances to win...last day for your chance to win is February shoot on over there for the details and enter!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Craft Hope's Project 6 - Fetching Knits Fling

Craft Hope's Project 6 says, "Get your needles and yarn out because it's time to make a scarf."
Fetching Knits says, "Everyone should have a fling at least once in their lives."

So, this is my result (using yarn I had "filed" away). I'm happy with the end product. And excited the Orphan Foundation will be able to get this scarf to a college bound youth "to warm their heart (and neck)."

Monday, February 8, 2010

This Is My Entry To Win!!!

It seems like you're bound to win a give away at Make It And Love It's blog! She has a new sponsor and a give away going on! This entry ends 11:59pm MDT, Wednesday, February 10...which happens to be Umbrella Day!

Have fun and good luck!

Lunch Menu Monday - Cream Cheese Bagel Snowman

I've had this idea of a "Lunch Menu Monday" weekly post for a while and finally got with it! The idea is for me to post a fun lunch plate every Monday so other moms can be just as inspired, or help me out with fun lunch plate ideas! My little pirate doesn't really need much of a push to eat, but I know there are several moms out there who have a tough time with that. Perhaps this will be something that will get the kiddos to eat more, and eat healthy! Who knows...please feel free to give your input along the way as to how this weekly post works out!
Inspired by the fun my little pirate and I had making a snowman...and with all the snow still coming down all over the country, this week's Lunch Menu Monday is a cream cheese bagel snowman!

- 1 mini wheat bagel
- cream cheese spread
- 1/2 peeled carrot (or a baby carrot)
- raisins
- apple
- shredded coconut

1. Make mini bagel into two halves. (Toast if desired.)
2. Spread cream cheese over the whole top of the bagel halves (including center bagel hole). Place one above the other on a lunch plate.
3. Place raisins on cream cheese bagel halves for snowman buttons, eyes, and mouth.
4. Stick 1/2 peeled carrot (or baby carrot) through top bagel half's center hole for the snowman's nose.
5. Slice of one half of an apple (not including core), and cut out "corners" in order for the shape of a hat to be left. Place above top bagel half as a hat.
6. Cut slivers of apple and place around snowman's "neck" to be a scarf.
7. Sprinkle shredded coconut under snowman so he looks to be standing in the snow...and sprinkle a little around and onto the bagel halves for a snowy effect.
8. Serve and let your child know what everything is and that he/she can have fun eating it. (It's okay if it's lunchtime in February and your child is still in his/her pajamas...and that those pajamas are really is okay!)
Variations: We didn't have any lunch meat on hand, but if I did have it on hand, I would have cut slivers out of lunch meat to use as a scarf. Also, chocolate chips could be used instead of raisins. And the hat doesn't have to be made out of an apple...perhaps you have a way to use an orange as a hat, or pineapple...or get crazy and use a bell pepper! Really...any creative variations will do.

I would LOVE to see your spin on this Lunch Menu! Please share!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Double Yarn Knitting

So...I've been quite determined to make the perfect scarf for Craft Hope's Project 6. And I've searched my knitting books for the perfect pattern. The real challenge is finding or making a pattern that is good for either male or female, but also goes well with me using up scraps in the "required" colors. I finally found it! The scarf as seen on the cover of the Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch knitting book. (I love Debbie Stoller's knitting books! Highly recommended...have used so many patterns and have been so pleased with all outcomes.)
Well, I had my attempt at it...first time ever for using the double yarn knitting system. Not too bad...but what is very obvious to that this is, in the end, NOT the perfect pattern for this project. :( I don't have nearly enough yarn in the "required" colors to make a full length scarf. But, I see future project using double yarn knitting! That was really fun! So...I'm back to square one...and time is running out. If I can figure out a game plan before Sunday, I'll have several of hours to sit and knit while family enjoys the Super Bowl game while my little pirate runs around with his little princess of a cousin...this is of course, if I'm not too busy stuffing my face with the delicious food that comes along with Super Bowl Sunday! :)

...and a Snowman

The little pirate built a snowman today. But, if you were to visit our home to see the snowman for yourself, he would no longer be smiling like this. He is now frowning in our front yard, because the little pirate walked right up to him and ate his nose right off his face. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beaded, Knitted Bangle Tutorial

This is my attempt at my first tutorial. Please feel free to leave feedback as to what I'm missing or how I should do things differently.
Materials: (to fit a child)
7" vinyl tubing with 3/4"-diameter
2.5" vinyl tubing with 1/2"-diameter
thin, sock yarn in color of your choice
US size 2 double-pointed knitting needles
small beads of your choice (with holes just the right size to string onto the yarn)

1. String the required number of beads onto the yarn. If you're unsure...then just string a lot of them! (At this point I am always confused if I should put the text before or after the picture it goes with...)
2. CO 48 stitches, then knit in the round with a K2, P2 pattern for 5 rows. On the 6th row, pull up a bead in between each purl stitch (12) beads. Knit 2 more rows. On the 8th row, purl the entire row and pull up a bead in between each "knit" stitch." Knit 2 more rows. Repeat the 6th row. Then knit 5 more rows. Then cast off.
3. Cut your vinyl tubing.
4. Insert the smaller-in-diameter vinyl tubing into both ends of the wider-in-diameter vinyl tubing to form a circle.
5. Insert the vinyl tubing form inside the knitted piece.
6. Using the loose ends of yarn from the start and finish of the knitted piece, sew together the cast on and cast off edges around the vinyl tubing. After knitting all the way around, bind the loose ends and hide inside the bracelet (trim if needed).
7. A fun piece of jewelry to add to your child's dress-up collection! Or buy one here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pear-Sweetened, Ginger Lemonade and Chewy Oatmeal Granola Bars

My little pirate was in control of the camera in order to show you what I've been up to today. That's me in the grey pants and yellow sweatshirt.
My husband got me a juicer for Christmas. I had always wanted a juicer. And so I'm on the look out for some delicious recipes...and I'm very thorough about trying to find recipes that use the ingredients I already have at the house. (Although, that doesn't work out all the time, because I once made my family eat no-tomato pasta sauce with spaghetti...the sauce called for beets to make it look red like tomato sauce...and that was just plain gross.)

Well, I made this pear-sweetened, ginger lemonade suggested by Healthy. Happy. Life. It's good...but I think I'll put less ginger in mine next time. My chunk was probably 1.5 times the size of my thumb. Too much...even for 6 pears and 3 lemons (tripled the recipe, since we have triple the people the recipe makes for). At any rate...YUM!!! And I'm excited to try the frosted version in summertime.
THEN...I made these so very delicious granola bars suggested by Laeroport, only I used raisins instead of chocolate chips (because that's what I had on hand; any add-ins would be tasty). She is absolutely right that these are so much better than store bought granola bars, as well as being completely correct with her instructions about cooling and cutting and cooling completely before handling. I had every ingredient in my house for this recipe...but now have added "honey" and "brown sugar" to my shopping list for later this week, because for a very convenient reason, I had exactly the amounts of those two ingredients in the cupboards. Odd how life works that way! This is a great recipe to make with your children. 

February Bracelets - Beaded Knitting

The February bracelets have hit the market! Click here, to find them in my ArtFire shop. I'm mostly proud that I have finally knitted something rather nifty without using any patterns already out there. Exciting!