April 23, 2012

very special day

My boys had their Spring Breaks (3 boys, 3 different schools, 2 different schedules...) during the middle two weeks of last month. Kinda sad that they weren't off any around Easter. (Wait, one boy did have Good Friday off...)
My sis messaged me a couple weeks back that she and her youngest would be in town during their break last week. She said that the-one-nicknamed-the-Frass wished to spend one of her days off with me and learn how to sew; particularly make a purse like the one I made for her mom here. (more here, too...)

I know, I know... Purses & patterns are not great beginner projects. But I felt it was important for her to love her creation while she was learning the process.
The Frass chose a different fabric for each cut from purple colorway.
She wanted the purse to be reversible, too. That took some extra planning -- but we nailed it!

Anyhow, I asked her to cut out a couple of the easy pieces. What was taking her so long? "Aunt Mimi, do you have any other scissors?" "Sweetie ~ those are my best Fiskars, What's wrong with them?" At this point my sis says, "Maybe we should've borrowed some scissors from Grandma." (Poor girl, both her grandmothers are left-handed. oh... wait...)  D'oh!
ummmmm -- had the same trouble teaching her to pin...
Stitching shouldn't be so problematic, right? (I do believe the problem lies within my severe right-handedness, not her abilities...)
She did, however, forget to leave a gap so we could turn the pocket right-side out... (I shoulda taught her my wizard ripping-out skills from years of practice, but I did it for her instead.)

 Due to time constraints, I did quite of the sewing & all the top-stitching.
I loved watching her excitement grow as the pieces started coming together.
The grand reveal as she pulls the entire purse through that tiny gap in the lining... 
She was quite particular to make sure certain fabrics were showing no matter how you turned the purse.

April 22, 2012

baby girl gift

"Change" is the word for 2012, I guess. Come the end of May we'll have one boy ready for college, one boy ready for high school, and one junior high school that won't know what hit 'em when our third boy shows up in August! That's alotta change!
These boys are one of the reasons we changed churches eleven years ago. Change can be tough, even though it's a good thing. Our church is in the process of changing youth pastors. The one we've had for about five years has been called to a senior pastor position in the mid-west. He and his beautiful wife and three darling children will be a blessed addition to that church, but leave a sizeable hole in our congregation & collective hearts.
But our God is good all the time, and does good things for His people. Five years ago He began preparing another young man for this position. This new youth minister has been a friend of, and mentored by the one who is leaving. It's a God thing. It's a good thing.
Oh! Another good thing is the new baby girl that happens to accompany this young man and his sweet spouse. What a doll! And she has such a precious name. I just had to do something with it...
I used my favorite appliqué script, but made it raggy instead of satin stitch. There are four layers of fabric in the letters.Three of them were used to make these rolled raggy roses.
Also used them to make a bunny.
Sew cute!

Hey! I could make hummus out of that...

(alternately titled: There's a Hummus Among Us...)

On our second wedding anniversary while my mother baby-sat our 5-month old, the hubs took me to a highly-recommended Greek/Italian Bistro. It was called Mike's Greek/Italian Bistro. Anyhoo -- There I tasted for the very first time the nectar snack food appetizer of the gods, hummus. For the longest time we only ate it at restaurants. Then I discovered I could make it myself with a recipe utilizing two cans of garbanzo beans. Later, lo & behold, I also found that I could inexpensively cook dried chickpeas (alternate spelling of garbanzo, for the uninitiated...) in my crockpot and still whip up a decent hummus. And now, thanks to Mr. Google, I've found multiple recipes for making my own tahini.

Currently, I've been spending much time with Ms. Pinterest.  She shows me people are making hummus from all types of legumes... 
...even sprouted legumes...
A couple months ago my friend was cleaning out her cupboards and gave me a case of kidney beans.


Can you see that sugar?!

Ah well, I guess most of that rinses off, huh?
This will make it all better!
After 3 (largish) cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin, and unknown quantity of drizzled olive oil -- I got this:
Hey! what about trying it with those brown rice crackers I baked?
YUP! It's all good!
Wait, I do believe some feta just made it better.

This post is dedicated to my sister who has lived almost two decades in foreign places where it's impossible find common ingredients. She is adept at adapting!
What kind of nettles? & send me the recipe! 

April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Apple Bars

PB&J is not a huge fan favorite around here. Not that we won't spread that on our bread when we have to, but ham & turkey & cheese are the sandwich fixin's of choice. So, when Kristen announced months ago that April's Improv Challenge would be peanut butter & jelly, I started sweating it...
And when I sweat, I stress.
And when I stress, I panic.
And when I panic, I cheat.
(Not that there's anything wrong with it...)
I lined the old Pyrex with parchment and patted in the dough.
Stuck it in the oven for 15-20 minutes; then let it out to cool.
Then I whipped this up:
If you take nothing else away from this post, you've gotta try my PEANUT BUTTER CREAM CHEESE! So delicious! (I might, or might not have eaten a whole batch -- Thank God for buying Costco quantities so there are still supplies...)
Spread the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese across the top of the baked bars.
Good job, Harrison!
Arrange apple slices.
Melt apple jelly and drizzle/brush over all.

(I melted 1/3 cup for one minute in the microwave, stirring at 15 second intervals.)
Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes,
then slice into bars
and get out of the way!!

April 18, 2012

Why I Pinterest

I am a Pinterest addict.
But, it's not like you think.

I can quit any time I want.
Wait, no -- actually I cannot! (I would be lost!)

I use Pinterest as it truly was designed: as a giant virtual pinboard to organize the myriad of things I must have to hope to one day try or copy.
(messy? Don't even ask about the boxes of magazine pages & recipe clippings...)
Data storage on my PC is limited, and the file name gives me no clue as to why I saved the site address.

Even my internet "favorites" looks like this:
Therefore, I installed the "pin it" button on my browser 
so that when I come across a fantastic blog or recipe -- BAM! -- it's pinned so that I can easily come back to it!

I don't "follow" anybody's Pinterest board. (That's not to say I don't peruse others' pins & boards & do plenty of repinning their awesome finds...) I do, however, ensure that I've pinned with the original site address. (Except in those rare cases where I cannot find the originator...) Most of my pins come from blogs I frequent. (...or friends of friends' blogs I frequent...)