Monday, October 24

On The Menu

I'm a little late with this post - sorry! But here's what's on the menu in my house this week...

Sweet Quinoa (modified with raspberries and blueberries)
Pumpkin pancakes
Blueberry muffins & Fruit smoothies

We eat leftovers, simple sandwiches and salads - whatever is on hand

Perogi's, Kielbasa and Pumpkin Feta dinner muffins (recipe coming soon!)
Tacos (using our own tortilla recipe and taco seasoning mix - in the recipe section)
Burgers and homemade potato wedge "fries"
Slow cooker baked potato soup & Rosemary bread

Thursday, October 20

Upcycled sheets & Knitting

There are so many things an ordinary sheet can be transformed into. I thought I had seen them all, until I happened across this tutorial on pintrist. Speaking of pintrist, have you been there?? I love it! I have found so many new creative projects to try and recipes for the family. Not to mention house decorating ideas - and I need a lot of help in that department. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

It's hard to believe this cute, soft and squishy little rug used to be a fitted bed sheet and two pillow cases. I just ripped the sheet into strips (the process is explained in the tute), and knit everything together. I used a seed stitch, and just knit until I ran out of fabric.

I got so excited with this project, because really, if I can knit a rug from a bed sheet, well then I think I could knit just about anything pliable. My husband was a little concerned about my level of enthusiasm with this one.

Another nice advantage to this rug is that as soon as it gets dirty, I can just toss it into the washer without having to worry about the weight of it throwing the balance of my machine off. That was an issue with our old rug.

And who doesn't love walking on soft pillowy cotton??

Wednesday, October 19

Chalkboard labels - tutorial

I have a wonderful way of forgetting what things are, once they come out of the bags I purchased them in. Especially when said "things" are dried grains. I can't be the only one, can I?
My solution?

Labels! But not just any old label. A chalkboard label so I can change the contents without having to change the container.

Want to make your own?

Here's what I did...

What you need:
Large mason jars - as many as you want
Chalkboard spray paint
Painters tape

1) Cover your jar with painters tape everywhere except where you want the chalkboard surface to be. I also attached a plastic baggy on top just to be sure I didn't get random splatters.

2) Paint the jars according to the directions on your can of paint.

3) Allow to dry and remove the tape.

That's it! I love these! Definetly a quick and easy project that I'm sure you didn't actually need a tutorial for, but it's always nice to see how someone does it. Now to think of other uses for my still almost full can of chalkboard spray paint...

Sunday, October 16

On The Menu

So. I have a small confession to make.

About half way threw my last pregnancy, I sort of fell off the natural food, healthy eating wagon. No, more like took a flying leap off of it.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, because that's when I should have been eating better. But even with all my inner dialog of momma guilt, I lost most, if not all my energy and desire to stick with it.

Well, to put it gently, momma's been eating too much sugar, and it shows. Which brings me to the title of this post. I've decided to jump right back in, but as a way to keep myself accountable, I plan on posting my weekly family menu plans here. At least until I'm back into the swing of things.
I enjoy sharing recipes, and searching for them. If you have one of your own you'd like to share with me, please do! I'd love more ideas.

Here's what's on our menu for the week:

- Blueberry muffins (made ahead over the weekend)
- Egg & biscuit sandwiches (biscuits made ahead)
- Apple cinnamon pancakes

**We always have fresh fruit to add on the side, and anything baked I make over the weekend to save on time for the rushed mornings**

We eat leftovers from our dinners, or simple sandwiches or salads.

- Chicken breast salad
- Broccoli and cheese quiche
- Whole grain pasta with tomato sauce and cheese toast
- Pork chops and Caramelized tofu side dish

** I always make more than we need so that one night a week can be the leftover's night.**

Unfussy Apple Cake

**My family would have massive protests if I tried to take all the sugar out of the house, so I'm on the search for some 'healthy' deserts to serve**

I don't have set days for any of our meals right now, because lately it seems like we are always rushing or running or not home. So I make the list and buy the ingredients for what I want to make for the week. Then, based on how my day is going, and how long I think each thing will take, I pick the meal that makes the most sense for that moment.

What's on your menu for the week?

Thursday, October 13

Pumpkin Butter

If you have never tasted pumpkin, oh my, are you missing out. This recipe tastes "just like spread-able pumpkin pie" if you ask my husband. It is definitely a household favorite. Another added bonus? It only takes about 10-15 minutes to make, and freezes well. I cut the original recipe in half, and substituted an ingredient or two, so below is my version. You can find the original version here.
I have been using canned pumpkin puree. I might get around to making my own one of these days, but at the moment, I'm not too worried about it. My family has been on a huge pumpkin scone kick lately, but that only uses 1/4 cup of the puree. To my delight, by halving the original pumpkin butter recipe, I have exactly enough puree left in the can to make the butter - yay! It's the little things in life, I swear.

Pumpkin Butter

1.5 + 1/4 C Pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/4 C + 3 tbsp of apple cider
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Place everything in a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat until boiling (about 2-3 min), reduce heat and simmer, whisking often until it reaches a smooth and thick consistency (about 5-10 minutes). I like that by reducing the batch size here, the cooking time is greatly reduced as well.
I poured what was left of the mixture into small glass canning jars to freeze and store for later. If you do this, make sure to leave half an inch empty at the top of the jar for expansion during freezing.


Tuesday, October 11


This is our third year in a row picking apples as a family. It was our first trip to this orchard though, and I have to say, I think we'll keep coming back to it. Not only is it less than five minutes from our house, but it is run by a husband and wife team. The orchard itself is small, and they tend to sell out early (which is why we didn't go last year), but it feels so much more like walking into your back yard to get the apples, and I like that. I like that a lot.
Hannah and I were overly excited about the whole experience, Stella was happily tucked into her Ergo, and for the boys of the household? Well, they didn't really share our enthusiasm this year, but were happy to go along for the ride.

And the boys' moods were lifted after a 10 minute photo shoot of goofy faces.

We also happened across this little nest within the trees.

Our little sleepy girl, missing all of the apple excitement.

The most exciting part of this event for me, however, is all the baking and making that go along with it. I haven't decided exactly what's on the menu. I know Stella will be getting her own batch of applesauce, to freeze and use for later. Austin has insisted on an apple pie already - that's easy enough. Hmmm... I think it's time to start digging up recipes!

Take care!


Tuesday, October 4

My First Zimmermann

What's better than a first post in a long break about knitting? I don't know either. So here it is, my very first Zimmermann sweater! Elizabeth Zimmermann and all of her knitting knowledge and patterns are such an inspiration. Something about the way she wrote her patterns, and how she went about explaining things, makes perfect sense to me.

This sweater in particular, is called the "baby surprise" jacket.
Knit out of baby alpaca, from this store.

Remember this hat??
It's the same yarn, and I still can't find the pattern link, but it's free (can't beat that), and fits a newborn head - even my small headed baby girls - perfectly.

This pattern is called a "surprise" because of the way it's knit up. I honestly couldn't tell what part was what while I was knitting it. For a control freak like myself, that made for a slightly anxious knitting project. I just had to trust the pattern - I still struggle with that - and go for it. I wish I had a better before picture to show you, because it looks like a jumbled mess of a blanket, but when you seam the arms (and that's the only seam by the way), it turns into this adorable jacket! Love it!

Oh! And these buttons! Oh my, love. Love. Love them! They are hand painted and made of wood. I found them on Etsy here.

Knitting for little ones is so much fun! I'm glad I worked like crazy while I was pregnant, knitting as much as I possibly could. There's not a whole lot of knitting going on over here these days. Little Stella is keeping me pretty busy. But I know there will be plenty of time in the future to knit, so for now I'm taking as many baby snuggles as I can get.

Take care!