I have so many things to update you with but I just haven’t yet. I have one almost ready to go, but just haven’t finished it yet, too much going on I suppose. As I mentioned before, I have some CRAZY baby fever right now! So really the only thing on my mind here lately is babies and baby things.
One of my best friends from childhood is having a baby in about 3 weeks (wow, that’s ridiculous to me!) and I planned her a shower and made her an adorable knit blanket and now that is all I can think about. Her shower went great, but it was a little crazy. I had planned the shower in a tiny room because that was all the her church had opened. The day before the shower we were told we got the fellowship hall which is about 4 times larger than the room I was planning on. I had all kinds of decor planned for the tiny room but when you take it to the gigantic room it kind of got lost. So here is the majority of the decor, my camera died after 1 picture and apparently no one else took any, I’m not too happy about that!
Then the blanket I made her, which I don’t think I bragged on, I’m not sure if she reads my blog or not, so why risk it!
You can find the pattern here from The Purl Bee, which if you like to crochet, knit or sew, you’ll love this blog! They have such creative things. From this link you can find the pattern and a link to buy a kit from Purl Soho, their shop, with what I am sure are amazing yarns, but for a price, it’s about $130 for one of their kits, I made my blanket from 7 skeins of Caron Simply Soft I bought at Wal-Mart and spent about $10 on the blanket and it feels really great, but I digress.
We have decided to cloth diaper our future children so I’ve gotten started on that, I plan on having 30 newborn and 30 variable sized to get us started. I haven’t decided what I want to concentrate more on, I think AIOs is the way I want to go.
Here is the first one I’ve made, I think it’s a pocket, it’s flannel on the outside and a premade prefold on the inside, birdseye and an absorbent strip in the middle. I left a pocket in the back to insert a soaker for more absorbency. Jeremy picked out the fabric, how cute are those dinosaurs. Since we obviously don’t know what we’re having since we’re not having it yet we’re trying to make the majority unisex. I still need to get some closures on it, I think I’m going to go with hook and loop, this I need to order online. I went today to Hancock’s and got a few yards of PUL and diaper flannel along with a 1/2 yard of an adorable alphabet fabric and a couple of cute fat quarters for the outside. I’m excited to get cracking on the rest of our stash!
Now I’m thinking quilts and bedding. I’ve picked out the fabric and the patterns and styles I want, I just have to get the fabric. We don’t really have enough money to play with these expensive fabrics yet, so I’m just dreaming and planning right now.
Here’s what I have planned so far:
This is the girl ensemble. Sorry the picture is not cooperating with me, if you click on it it will be much clearer. This is the quilt pattern I love, with the crib bedding style, with the white/pink bedskirt, not the ruffles, cute, but not what I’m envisioning. The quilt pattern is from Moda Bake Shop, fantastic patterns and ideas there, love them all! The bedding ensembles are from Posh Tots, and if you’ve never been there you should visit their site, poshtots.com their stuff is amazing but only for the insanely rich, the one full ensemble is about $600….for baby bedding….really? So cute though.
This is the amazing fabric, Amy Butler’s Love. I am so head-over-heels in love with this fabric and can’t wait to see it all together! I’m thinking the ruffle will be the water bouquet mint, the top right, my favorite of the 6. There is a darker palette of this same pattern, both are beautiful.
Now for the boy. Same thing as above, click on it for a clearer imagine. Jeremy loves to read, he’s actually on the literacy faculty at the college here, so the natural thought is Dr. Seuss. I definitely didn’t want to do some crazy brand or anything super trendy that we’d get tired of, but Dr. Seuss is timeless. Here is the quilt pattern and the bedding style, very simple but masculine. I hope these will end up heirlooms for them!
Now to the fabric, it’s so fun! A lovely mix of blues, green, and red. The last 2 fabrics will be the borders though I’m just not sure which will be which.
I’m so excited to get started, I can hardly stand it!
I will keep you updated on these lovely crafts and I will start updating you on what I’ve been up to the last month or so!
I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this before, but we have Pizza Night every Friday night, homemade pizza at that. Every Friday afternoon I make pizza crust and let it rise, it’s so yummy! I found the recipe for both the sauce and pizza dough at Perfect Planner Meals. Both are easy and delicious.
I am guest posting today at Stellar Path. Sounds familiar because it’s my host site. My husband asked me to come and post today about our Pizza Nights. Scoot on over there and visit him and read about our yummy pizzas!
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do list of what they love and don’t love, so on this Valentines Day weekend, it seems appropriate! Feel free to leave a list of your loves or hates!
He’s the greatest ever! For valentines day he made me a website, off of his, and he’s giving me a gift every weekend for the next 36 weeks! I’m so excited about it, he’s so awesome.
Recently married and in my mid-latish 20s and my ovaries are ACHING!
Being in the baby mood has put my mind on baby crafts, quilts in particular!
Risata Moscato d’Asti
Best Moscato d’Asti ever….amazing with chocolate covered strawberries!
She has the most amazing fabrics and I’m dying for her stylish stitches book! This is the Love collection, adore!
Rereading all the books before the last movies comes! Makes me sad thinking about it
I’ve had to stop wearing my wedding set for a while so my hand can heal, really sad. No photo, just gross
I have test anxiety so bad I can hardly take them! Sadly I have 3 this week!
I don’t care to listen to that crap, much less feel it
I don’t know how people function in mess….
Have a great week!
I love to bake, there is very little I’d rather do. Sadly I don’t get to often because baked things aren’t usually on diets, and I think we’ve both been on a diet for the last 3 years. Jeremy was having a bad day Friday and both of us were off so I decided to do a little baking….that turned out to be quite a bit of baking. I had just found a recipe for cinnamon buns from the Joy of Baking, and thought I’d give it a try. I’m not saying these are the end all be all of cinnamon buns, but they are amazingly tasty. They do take a large amount time, mostly to let the dough rise…and rise again. There is a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes of waiting time, on top of about 45 minutes of prep time, depending on how quick you are on the prep.
You start out combining flour and yeast with a mixture of milk butter, sugar and salt. Then you add in the eggs, and beat for 3 minutes, and it will look something like this:
Then with a dough hook attachment, or kneading by hand, you add more flour until you get a nice firm non-sticky dough. Put in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled:
Allow it to double in size, about an hour to an hour and a half’s time. Punch it down, turn out on floured surface, cover with clean towel and let rest for another 10 minutes. During this time mix together the filling. Spread it over the rolled out dough and roll into a spiral. The recipe says this makes 8, it makes 8 very large rolls or in my case only 7, but they were HUGE.
I am making them again today to take to campus for all of Jeremy’s coworkers and I will be making about 16 of smaller rolls. Cut them and place them in a greased pan and let them rest for another hour. During this time they will grow even bigger. Bake for 23-35 minutes. They smell amazing!
After they are finished baking you can make the glaze. The half cup of powdered sugar and tablespoon of half and half is not nearly enough for all these rolls. On my first attempt I made double, this next time I will make either triple or quadruple, I’m not sure yet. The glaze is very simple and really adds a great flavor to them! This is a great sweet dough recipe, not too sweet, just right, could be great for another recipe you have in mind! I did not brush my rolls with half and half, either time, I might try with just regular 2% milk this next time and see how that goes. Yum, my mouth is watering already!
4 1/2 – 5 cups (630 – 700 grams) all-purpose flour
1 package (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (160 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cold (cut into pieces)
1/2 cup light raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon half-and-half (light cream)
Powdered (Confectioners or Icing) Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup (58 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 tablespoons half-and-half (light cream)
Make the glaze thin enough to drizzle over cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon Rolls: In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, combine 2 1/4 cups (315 grams) of the flour and the yeast.
In a small saucepan, stirring constantly, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt just till warm (120 -130 degrees F) (49 – 54 degrees C) and the butter is almost melted.
Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, with the mixer on low speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat this mixture on high speed for 3 minutes. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook (or do the kneading by hand), and knead in as much of the remaining 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups (315 – 385 grams) flour until you make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). (Dough will no longer be sticky to the touch.)
Shape into a ball. Place the dough into a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hours).
When the dough has doubled in size punch it down. Place onto a lightly floured surface, cover with a clean towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the filling. In a medium-sized bowl place the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, or two knives, until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
After about 10 minutes, roll the dough into a 12 inch (30 cm) square. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the rolled out dough and top with raisins (if desired). Carefully roll the dough into a log and pinch the edges to seal. Slice the log (roll) into eight equal-sized pieces. Arrange dough pieces in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch (33 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan.
Cover dough loosely with clear plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. At this point you can refrigerate the dough for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. If overnight, the next morning remove the rolls from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (If you are making the cinnamon rolls immediately, don?t chill dough. Instead, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place till nearly double, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.)
Break any surface bubbles with a toothpick. Brush dough with half-and-half or light cream. Bake in a 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till light brown. (Can tell if done by inserting a toothpick into one of the buns, and it should come out clean. Also, if you lightly tap on the top of the buns it should sound hollow.)
If necessary, to prevent over-browning, cover rolls loosely with foil the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove rolls from oven. Brush again with half-and-half or light cream. Cool 5 minutes and then invert onto a baking rack and re-invert onto a serving plate or platter.
Drizzle with the Powdered Sugar Glaze.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 8 rolls.
-The Joy of Baking
I get to plan my best friend’s baby shower! We’ve been best friends since we were 7, which will be 19 years this year, wow, that’s crazy to think! We were always at the same school, not usually the same classes, but when we were, watch out, we were crazy! You could not find 2 people more opposite than we are, but we were kind of just thrown together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Here we are at my wedding in Oct, she was 3 months pregnant there, luckily we got her a dress to accommodate, just in case!
Here we are at her wedding in June, 2008, I think….I was her Maid of Honor, you’d think I’d remember, huh?
She is very low maintenance, simple, and not at all girly, and if you’ve read my blog, by now know you should have an idea that I’m pretty girly, and I am high maintenance, but in a good way. I have very ornate taste, expensive and extravagant, I don’t get these things often, because we don’t have that kind of money, but once we do, Jeremy and I have very similar tastes.
So planning this shower is a bit of a struggle for me. One because I’ve never been to a baby shower, I’m assuming it’s basically the same as a bridal shower, which I’ve been to. I looked around online and found a really cute not terribly girly invitation from tinyprints.com and recreated it in Photoshop, all info has been taken out to protect the knocked up:
I’m still stuck on décor, I think I’m going to go for something really bright and fun and girly, without being prissy girly, which I think she would hate. I’m using this as a jumping off point. The shower will have an animal type theme, and I’ll go from there.
I also really like this ball decor, really easy to do, and they would add a lot of color to an otherwise colorless room!
I know you all have some fantastic ideas, lay them on me!
I have another Vegetarian Bible entry, I just can’t find the pictures! It was Spinach Gnocci, and honestly it turned us off the Veg Bible for right now, but we’ll get back into it. We did turn the weirdness into a different veggie dish, but not from the book.
I LOVE CHRISTMAS! The reds and greens and garlands and wreaths and glitter, I love the fact that you can glitter ANYTHING for Christmas and get away with it. My house is not as decked out as I would like it, but being newlyweds we just don’t have the money to afford all the beautiful decorations that I would love to have, we’ll accumulate it over the next several years.
One of my favorite decorations we have currently is our advent calendar, which I’ve been talking about recently because of our homemade Christmas!
I made my advent calendar last year because those tiny ones just were not what I wanted. I just used cute decorative lunch bags, chip board numbers, a little glitter, some kitchen twine and Command hooks. Between this and our October engagement party where I glittered lots of spiders and skeletons and pumpkins for an awesome wreath and party decorations, we’re still trying to get the glitter off the floor and everything we own…it’s totally worth it! Here are a few close ups of the individual days!
There is also the tree, which is of course the focal point. It’s full of ornaments that mean something to either me or the mister or both of us! We try to get ornaments from each trip we take, as well as an ornament to remember the year by. We have a snowtflake for our first Christmas together in 2007, a really sad clear ball with horrible writing on the front and glitter and crystals inside to remember 2008. We actually have 3 ornaments to remember 2009 by, but it was the year we got engaged, so it was a big year, our Just Engaged ornament, which I still need to put the date on, a cute picture frame with a picture of us playing in the snow, and a bronzed leaf from Mammoth Cave, we bought on the day we got engaged there. This year we have a bride and groom to commemorate the year we got married, awww, how cute!
I almost forgot about the ball we bought on our honeymoon at Sandals Antigua!
I love having all these decorations out, even though it effects the set up of my living room. It will make me sad to take it all down at the end of them month!
As I mentioned in a previous post, we’re having a homemade Christmas this year. Using our homemade advent calendar, we give each other a gift every other day. This year I get my gifts on the even days and the mister gets his on the odd days. On the first of December I only had 2 gifts finished, so I knew pretty much what I would give him. Sadly the 2 gifts I had finished were really good ones, so I’ve kind of falsely given him hope for 12 really awesome gifts, but I’ve told him this much.
This magazine wreath was his first gift.
I got the idea from Rag and Bone Boutique. It was not very difficult to make, just time consuming. I started off by searching through magazines for colorful pages, it’s much more difficult than I expected. You roll the pages up from corner to corner, so what you see most in the finished roll is the edge and the majority of the magazines I had had white edged on most of the pages, which would make for a boring wreath. I used mostly Food Network magazine, which is a really tall and wide magazine, I took additional pages from Southern Bride magazine because it was the same height as the Food Network pages.
Putting Modge Podge in the corner that I wanted to be the tip on the outside of the roll, I rolled from opposite corner, using a thin paint brush to roll at a constant diameter….well that’s the idea, it didn’t really happen for me. Some were really nice and small, some were rather big. I made 75 rolls, but only ended up using 68. The bigger your inner the more rolls you’ll need. You can see the milkiness of the modge podge in the corner.
I used a bowl top to determine my inner circle size. Then I lined the rolls up around top to get my colors my right and to make sure I had enough rolls. I used a circle of cardboard to anchor my rolls to with hot glue. This really isn’t sturdy enough, I need to figure out some other type of reinforcement, but I’m not sure what yet. I started by gluing 4 on and filling in from there. I lined the points up at the bottom, because it was one or the other and that seemed to be more noticeable to me than the other edge.
I loved the turn out and so did he! It looks really neat, I can’t wait to see it up on the wall in his office!
He’s also gotten his second gift too which was a book business card holder, pictures and tutorial to come soon!
After watching Julie and Julia, which is a really great movie, but Julie was such a whiney, selfish person, I decided that it was a really good idea, and I was going to steal it. Not to try to get a book deal or even say I did it. I am a creature of habit, I know what I like and that’s what I eat, I don’t venture too far away the norm. Several months ago I bought a cookbook entitled Vegetarian Bible because most of the recipes sounded good and we needed more vegetables in our diets, oh and it was on the sale rack at Barnes and Noble. I had not even cracked this cookbook since I bought it until I decided to do this little experiment. This cookbook had 74 recipes and I will be attempting to cook them all by next Christmas.
The first recipe I attempted was Pasta Shapes with Pumpkin Sauce. It sounded interesting and I had 2 pie pumpkins sitting in the kitchen that I hadn’t done anything with. I started out by crying while I chopped up some really strong onions. The recipe called for 4 oz, I don’t typically think in ounces so it’s a little over half of an onion or a pile this size.
Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and a little bit of salt, cover and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Next comes the hard part, dealing with the pumpkin. I assume you can use canned pumpkin, however the recipe calls for fresh. I started out by halving the pumpkin and pulling out the seeds.
The real bear is peeling it. Typically I cook the pumpkin in the over and the pulp comes right out. This recipe cooks the pumpkin in a pot on the range. I quartered half pumpkin and it made it much easier to peel. Be careful, this is difficult and I can see it being very easy to slice something open or chop something off.
I realize now that I did not use anywhere near the right amount of pumpkin, I misread the recipe! It calls for 1 lb 12 oz and I only used 12 oz, I can’t imagine using the other pound, it was plenty pumpkiny enough. I threw the mismeasured pumpkin in the food processor and chopped it until very fine.
That was the tough part of the recipe, the rest is basically just waiting. You throw the pumpkin in the sauce pan with the onions at the end of their 25 minutes and season with a very small amount of nutmeg. Let that cook for another 45 minutes, still on low and still stirring occasionally.
After the 45 minutes, I stirred in ¾ cup of skim milk even though the recipe calls for light cream, we’re on a diet after all, 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sometime during all this I boiled my pasta, I used cellentani, simply because that is what we had, any type works. We put 2 large spoonfuls over a bowl of pasta and grated a little bit of parmesan cheese over top. It was surprisingly good, but was still missing something. We added a little bit of mozzarella cheese, which made it better, but it was still missing something. We decided it was meat, we’re not vegetarians, just cooking from the book, so bacon was added. Jeremy really liked it then, but I thought the bacon was not the right additive. Maybe some turkey…I have tons left, I might have to try that later!
Thanks for reading my first recipe! I’ll be back next week with the second installment, Garlic Spaghetti! I’ll leave you with the actual recipe.
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz/115g white onions or shallots, finely chopped
1 lb 12 oz/800g pumpkin, unprepared weight
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
12 oz/350g dried penne or radiatore
Generous ¾ cup light cream
4 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with a little salt, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, for 25-30 minutes.
Scoop out and discard the seeds from the pumpkin. Peel and finely chop the flesh. Tip the pumpkin into the saucepan and season to taste with nutmeg. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain thoroughly, reserving about 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid.
Stir the cream, grated parmesan cheese, and parsley into the pumpkin sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the misture seems a little too thick, add some or all of the reserved cooking liquid and stir. Tip in the pasta and toss for 1 minute. Serve immediately, with extra parmesan cheese for sprinkling.