Saturday, September 26, 2009

Favorite New Recipe

I came across a food blog last week that was like a hidden treasure ~ "My Kitchen Cafe". Lately I've been feeling like I make the same things everyday, but not any longer. Now I have much needed cooking inspiration.

I especially can't recommend this recipe for "Sweet and Sour Chicken" enough. My whole family gobbled it down which means a lot (even Camille who is going through an anti-chicken phase lately)!

So please give it a try and click "here". And if you live in a rinky dinky town like ours and can't get a decent Chinese takeout meal, you'll appreciate it that much more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm in Love With

I had big aspirations last Winter and decided to crochet my own slippers. I'd gone through so many store bought versions only to be disappointed. They'd fall apart, rip at the seam, you name it. I got one slipper done after a lot of cuss words and restarts. All I can say is Ronald McDonald was missing his slipper and I had it. The sucker was huge. And then when I finally got the stinkin' thing right, I couldn't remember what I had done so that I could repeat it on the other slipper. Ugghhh!
I don't think I want to go through all that again. I don't have the kind of life where I can crochet in peace and quiet and count my stitches and keep track (or maybe I'm just a little craft challenged???). I'm usually multi-tasking so I need a simple repetitive pattern. I have yet to accomplish this so I'm thinking I should just surrender myself to the fact that some things should just be bought.
These are from Natalya's Studio - check out her Etsy shop here. You might fall in love with a pair yourself. Double-cushioned soles, warm and cozy yarn, and stylish designs. These are sooo much better than the mass-produced slippers at chain stores.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tomato Update

As most of you know, I started my own tomato garden this year ~ my very first ever. I can't believe how well it's done. Click here to see the Spring planting. Check 'em out now. . . We're now experiencing the fruit of our labor with a handful of tomatoes each day. The kids love picking them and I love eating them.
I seriously recommend this method for anyone that loves grape tomatoes and doesn't like to weed. All you have to do is water them daily (a gallon jug works great) and feed them with Miracle Gro for tomatoes once a week. The banana peppers and basil that were planted on the top of the buckets have done great as well. But we got attacked by Japanese beetles this Summer (can I tell you how much I hate these bugs!) so a lot of leaves got eaten. I guess I'm just grateful they didn't eat my tomatoes too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Holiday Weekend Fun

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I know we sure did. We spent one morning raspberry picking at a local farm and had a blast. You just can't beat fresh picked fruit in season. The kids' motto was "one for me, one for the container". Jonas couldn't wait to make a smoothie either when we got home. I turned around to see this and couldn't help but snap a shot:

We also camped out in our backyard. This is so much fun if you have younger kids and don't feel like messing around with an actual campsite and holiday crowds (added bonus is that you get to use your own bathroom!). We made smores, read books by camplight, and played bingo. It was a little chilly around 3am but we made it all night. Jonas woke us all up bright and early at 6am. There is one downside to camping, the sun is a natural alarm clock!

Here's pics of Doug putting up the tent with his two little helpers. Jonas has his working goggles on, of course. And there's an audience with front row seats. Camille thought they'd be interested in the whole set-up process.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kitchen Diaries

I woke up feeling the need to bake this morning. So we baked my most favorite bread. . .Irish Soda Bread. I know it's not St. Patty's Day but who says you can only have it once a year! My mom made this bread when I was growing up, and I looked forward to it everytime (especially warm right out of the oven with a little pat of butter, yum). Try it in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and you'll be hooked! All these years later I have yet to find a better version. My hubby and kids love this bread now just as much as I do. The recipe is down below.

And to give everyone an update on the dishcloths. . .I'm LOVING them!! They are absolutely wonderful. I just toss it in my washer at the end of each night and the cloth gets washed with the next load of laundry. It's really working out great.

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour (I mixed whole wheat and unbleached white flours and it turned out great. Otherwise use white flour)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp butter

raisins (we use the 24 oz. container)

2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut butter into mixture and blend. Scald raisins in a colander under hot water (this softens and moistens them). Add raisins to mixture. Then make a hole in the middle of the batter and pour the buttermilk in. Stir until combined.

Grease a round casserole dish (like Pyrex) and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 60 minutes. This is how long it takes in my gas oven, I've heard it may take a couple of minutes longer in electric.

Happy eating!