Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bok Choy Restarts...

If you've been hanging out where I hang out online you've probably seen people restarting veggies from the ends of things like celery or green onions. We've got a few restarts of celery on our kitchen window right now.

We've been eating a "bunch" (lol.. couldn't resist!) of bok choy recently. It's great cut in ribbons and cooked in a tablespoon (or so.. ) of butter in some cast iron just long enough to wilt it.

Annnyway... I kept the ends (the bottom 3-4 inches) of some bok choy last week just to see what happened and if it would restart like the celery...

Well guess what!!! It is totally working!!

The ones with the taller leaves (can you "be-leaf" there are leaves already??!! ok.. couldn't resist again!) are from Friday and the others we got Tuesday (only two days and they're at least a 1/2" already!)

Once the weather stays warmed up and spring is actually  (unless I can make room in my cold frame) they will be moving outside to the garden.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Homespun Christmas: Gift Tags

This week I made gift tags to go with Christmas gifts. These were super easy to do!! 

I started with the Christmas cards we received this year:

Next I grabbed a few things to make different shapes...

Very  technical tools I know...
A little tracing, a little cutting, and a little hole punching
 and here's what I ended up with.. 

I used kitchen twine to make the ties...
See?? Really easy. And quick too!!
Have fun! 
Have you worked on anything towards a homespun Christmas this week?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

English Muffins...

My bestie, Glenda, shared her recipe for English muffins with me last night. They always look so yummy when she shares pictures of them. To start with here's the recipe:
English Muffins
 1 cup milk
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp honey
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
5 cups flour

That doesn't look so scary does it? I didn't think so either. 

Ok. So first you put your milk, butter, and honey in a pan on the stove at about a medium low temperature. You want to let it heat until the butter is just about melted. (of course if you get to reading something and maybe forget that you're doing this that's ok... just let it cool back down!!)

This should feel fairly warm to the touch but not so hot it makes you say "OUCH!"

Here it is just about ready to go... 'cause I had to let mine cool down 'cause I was reading something... oops!! :)

While this is either warming up or cooling down a little you need to put your yeast in a hot tub with the warm water and the sugar to proof.

Nice and bubbly!!
Once your yeast is nice and bubbly it's time to put all these parts together. Put your liquids, yeasty goodness, and your flour in your mixer bowl (if you don't have a mixer that's ok too... you could totally mix this by hand)

Really.. just dump everything in there!

Here it is a few minutes of mixing later:

It goes round-y round-y for about 5 minutes 'til  it's nice and smooth and less sticky.
Here's everything ready to go... the dough, some cornmeal to roll it out on, and a cutter. Use what you have! Have fun!!

Now it's time for the fun. ( I know... it's all been fun so far right?! )
Roll it out to about a 1/2" thick and GO!!
Next you put them on a pan with some parchment paper sprinkled with a little cornmeal ( I must confess... I forgot to take a picture of this step...) Let them rise for about 45 minutes. I put mine in the oven with the light on to keep them warm.

The next step is to cook them. I used my cast iron frying pan. (again, use what you have). I set my temperature at a nice medium low. And... Here they are cooking away in the pan.

Cook them for about 5-8 minutes a side 'til golden brown and yummy!!

There you go! English muffins without preservatives or vinegar (if you're allergic to stuff like that like I am...) I told ya it wasn't all that hard!! Go ahead.. give it a try! (I dare ya!! lol)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Graham Crackers...

Shari reminded me of a great blog the other night... The Prudent Homemaker. She's got so much fabulous content at her blog. You should check it out. Go ahead... I'll wait right here. Really. 

We found a great sounding Graham Cracker recipe while we were there... I left out the cinnamon to make it work for me. I mixed them up a couple of days ago and stuck them in the fridge and then this morning when I had time to bake them we got them out, rolled them, cut them out and popped them into a nice toasty oven.

Don't they look yummy??!!
They taste even better than I remember graham crackers tasting! You should give them a try. They we SO easy!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's SNOWING...(kinda)

I saw a post here while blog hopping with my sister, Shari, the other night.  It's fun and even though we live almost 300 miles apart we're "window shopping" together. You should try it if you and your sister or best friend (lucky if they're the one and the same like me) don't live near each other...

So here's what we started with this afternoon:

The one we found the other night used a wooden snowflake cutout. However, this being not the "traditional" Christmas season Easter stuff is starting to arrive in stores. So... I had this awesome snowflake cookie cutter in the baking drawer. That's a pan of buttons in the back and of course cardboard, a pen, and a trusty glue gun...

Here are the first two flakes traced onto the cardboard... easy, peasy...

Next we grabbed the glue gun and the buttons and went to town!

Clairee really got into using the glue gun... "just one more button!!!"

Miss M just getting started... she came to the party later
There was a lot of laughter, a lot of glue gun stealing(!!) and just good fun had by all three of us. After about an hour or so (that's how easy these are) this is what we ended up with:

Mine's the top left, Clairee's is the top right, and Miss M's is in the middle...
We're either going to glue a loop of jute twine to hang them with or maybe make a simple twig frame to put them in. I'll let you know when we decide!

What have you been working on towards a more restful Christmas this week?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pillows!!! Who Doesn't Love 'Em??!!

I mean really!! Who doesn't love a throw pillow??!! I've decided that they'll save our dying couch and so then we'll be able to save for the couch I'm really interested in (you know... down cushions so I've got natural fibers which are safe for me instead of poly-something) But... I digress!! Throw pillows are awesome (have you figured out that I really like them yet??)

My favorite kind of throw pillows are a feather/down insert ('cause of the allergy to plastic... which poly-somethings are) with a natural fiber like cotton, silk (always fancy), or linen. Some of each of these are good 'cause then you get textural fun! I love mixing textures of different fabrics.

Annnyway... (again! I know!!) (SO easy to get sidetracked here when talking about something I feel is important -like natural fibers...)

So.. I'm always on the lookout for a good throw pillow... I got some excellent inserts for a really good price the last time I blew through the Pottery Barn outlet closest to us. (I'll share what I do with those in a later post!) (oh the suspense!) 

I've found two really excellent (is that a real phrase?? It must be.. I just used it didn't I??) (wow... pillows make me cheeky me thinks...) throw pillow at TJ Maxx and I thought I'd share their beautifulness! ( I know it's another made up word... better get used to it 'cause I do that all the time!) (hey that could be a whole other post!! lol)

Ok, ok... I'll actually share my pictures now. I've probably tortured you long enough talking about natural fibers and made up words!! So... here ya go!

Isn't he cute!!?  
And this one.. I love it! It's got my favorite colors!! Green, blue and purple!! Just makes me happy!!
So, there ya go... throw pillows.. my newest decorating thing to make our tired furniture a little less snooze-y and last a little longer. What's your favorite thing to make a decorating change with??

Monday, January 14, 2013

Homespun Christmas: Garlands

I wanted something simple, yet pretty for garlands on our tree last year. I found something kinda like what I wanted online and then of course changed it up a little to get just what I wanted. These are so fun and easy to make that you could make them for any occasion !!!

First I started with these...

The fabric strips are (about) half an inch wide and anywhere from three to five inches long. Choose whatever color works for your decorating.. Mine are shades of pink, cream or white, and greens. Kind of like Christmas colors but with a twist!!

I took a piece of cotton clothesline ('cause who doesn't have extra of that lying around right??), pulled the outer covering off to give it a smaller diameter, and starting tying strips around the line. That's right... it's just fabric strips tied around clothesline... but once it's done nobody can tell...
Here it is all done... it's about twenty feet long. Just right for a small tree (between 3 and 4 feet I'd guess).

I also made a bigger one using the same fabrics; just bigger strips. The strips on the bigger one are about an inch wide and closer to six or seven inches long. It's long enough to go around the doorway between our kitchen and the living room.  

I like to leave this one up all year 'cause it's fun and pretty!! It being pinks and greens instead of red and green doesn't hurt either!!

What have you been working on towards your Homespun Christmas?