Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby the Great

So I'm sure every one knows how much I LOVE our little dog Baby by now as she makes appearnces quite regularly in my posts. Z thought it would be fun to submit her for the Purina Great Dog challenge so he made this amazing video of her.. It will melt your heart.. Promise <3

*It is not actually apart of the competition anymore due to the fact that it has music*


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kale Chips!

Right now the hot super food is Kale. Kale is a dark leafy green that not only is low in calories, it is packed with all sorts of nutrients! According to WebMD one cup of Kale contains fiber, calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K - which means ANTIOXIDANTS!
It is also known to be a good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. 

How could you not want to eat it?! Okay... well.. it is bitter and not the prettiest of veggies BUT I am going to show you a way that actually makes it very tasty! 

Ready for it? Kale Chips!

They are very simple. Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees. Cooking them at a lower temperature allows them to get super crispy without getting that burnt taste..

Then wash and dry kale leaves and separate out the stems- they can be tossed (or put in decomposer).

Next tear or cut the leaves into two and three inch sections and place in a bowl.

Drizzle with Olive Oil

Massage the olive oil into the leaves - they will go from being a flat green to a very shiny darker green. 

Place the oiled leaves onto a foil lined pan and sprinkle salt and pepper

Then place chips into oven!

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the kale is nice and crispy!
Warning: They will shrink up significantly so it is okay to fill the pan

Once they are done, take out and place on a plate and once they are cool they are ready to eat!

The best part is they are not bitter at all AND they satisfy that salty & crunchy craving!

Store them in a zip lock bag or air tight container and they will stay fresh and crispy for a few days!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hot Pot Handle Holder! DIY!

Mimi (my G-ma) uses these all of the times and recently she caught hers on fire while cooking. She asked if I could make her some and I figured why not! They go on the pot handle of pans to protect your hands from heat - especially cast iron skillets that have no grip or protection!
This is what I had to work with as my pattern:

Just a warning - there is a bunch of pictures for this tutorial!
This is actually a very simply DIY and one you can easily make custom for any and all of your pots and pans! 
Here are the materials I used: Extra Wide Double Fold Twill Tape, 
Upholstery Fabric, Insulated Batting 

I started by tracing the outline of a pan handle and added 1/2 wiggle room on each side PLUS another 1/2 inch for my seam allowance. I cut it out, folded in half to get symmetrical and then copied to card stock. 
Once I had my pattern I traced EIGHT onto the the fabric I wanted to use. In this case I had upholstery fabric left from my Vintage Stool Makeover . Then trace FOUR from the insulated batting. This is what will protect your hand from the heat. I am making two of these, if you only want to make one just trace Four of the fabric and two of the insulated batting.

Then cut them out:

Next create layers by pinning two layers of the upholstery fabric together with the batting in the middle.
I would recommend hand basting them together after they are pinned - It will hold them together better as the working area is small and there are a lot of pins!

Next, sew the three layers together with a 1/4 seam allowance being sure to get all layers!

Now it is time to use the twill tape - cut four strips long enough to go across the bottom of the holder and sew on. This will seal in the raw edges.

Now baste TWO of these panels together - Take the twill tape and fold it up 1/2 inch to hide the edge and VERY carefully pin the twill tape around the panels being sure to enclose ALL of the raw edges top and bottom, I pinned probably every 1/2 inch just to be safe!
Leave three inches for the loop. 
Sew all around the twill tape once again being sure to enclose all of the edges.

Sew all the way to the end of the twill tape and then turn up into a loop (so you can hang pot handle holder)!

And Ta-Da:

Boy... Crafting is tough work...


Monday, August 6, 2012

Apricot Cobbler

We have an amazing apricot tree in our front yard and this year it produced SO much fruit! Last year I tackled apricot jam (which we still have in the cupboard... yikes!) and this year I decided to try making an apricot cobbler. I've made apple cobbler but never peach or anything like that and I figured since the jam turned out yummy cobbler would be a good summer dessert!
I started with a big bowl of apricots!
I washed them and removed any stems or leaves then cut them in half. LEAVE THE SKINS ON! They basically dissolve when cooked [both in the jam and in the cobbler].
I tossed the apricots with:
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon per 1 cup of Apricots 
While these sit and begin to release their juices I made the topping:

3/4 Cup of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 
(Note: If you do not have unsalted butter - use regular butter and withhold the pinch of salt)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or sweetened vanilla coffee creamer) 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter using a pastry cutter or by criss crossing butter knives.

Place apricots into baking pan 

And add the topper - it will be slightly crumbly. 
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top of it!

And place into a 400 degree oven 

and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown!