Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wedding gift and what I'm reading

Wow! It has been so long since I have posted. I have been busy knitting and even doing some scrapbooking- but my most recent finish was a cross-stitched bread cloth for a wedding present - and I forgot to take a picture of it. I intended to get something off the registry but when I went to shop last night there was nothing in my price range so I 'punted' and started a bread cloth. The wedding was this afternoon at 3 p.m.!
I stitched from 8 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. and was almost done. This morning DD19 had an eye doctor appointment, so I carried it along and was able to get it finished.
I had knitted a couple cotton dish rags which I intended to put with a bucket and some cleaning supplies that the bride and groom had on their registry, but that was all taken when I went shopping -- hence the bread cloth.
The wedding was beautiful. The bride is a co-worker of DH and it took place in the town where he grew up which is close to the town where I grew up so we saw a lot of old friends. We also stopped by the nursing home and saw his older sister for a few minutes between the wedding and dinner. (Rhonda we saw you in the yard cutting grass and even honked but you did not hear us and we were pressed for time :-) Your flowers look beautiful! )
I just finished reading, The Pact by Jodi Picoult. It was a little disturbing but an interesting twist. I have started another one by her, The Perfect Match. DD17 and DD19 had both read The Pact so it was interesting talking to them about the book and the characters.
I have Cleo Coyle's Latte Trouble in my backpack that I carry back and forth to work so I have it handy to read on the commute and at lunch when I get the chance. I also carry some knitting project in case I want to work on something. Keeps my hands busy :-)
Well, better get off to bed - too late last night and then had to be up at 6 a.m. for our monthly Titus 2 gathering. We got home from the wedding and had a good talk with DD17 and DD19 about a lot of things going on but now everyone is settling into bed - and it is after 11 p.m. so guess I should do so too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Menu Monday

Can you believe it? I am actually doing Menu Monday on Monday :-) I inventoried the freezers tonight and am trying to use up some of the frozen foods.

Honey Balsamic Salmon
Bread (pieces of the Bunny Bread- I think I had a piece of his ear :-)

Tuesday: (quick and light -meeting at 7 pm)
Enchilada Pie (frozen several weeks ago)
Sour cream and salsa

Spicy BBQ meatballs (freezer meal)
Mini bowties and vegetables (Schwan's)
Multi grain bread (Schwan's)

Olived Chicken (freezer meal)
Green beans
Pita bread

Schwan's individual pizzas
Carrots and Celery

Applebees' - visiting DD19 at college. I plan on having the Italian Chicken and Portobello sandwich - yum!

Schwan's Bacon and Ranch Flatbread sandwich

Easter Bonnets

We spent a quiet Easter at home. DD17 and I watched several movies on the Hallmark channel and I knitted hats for the pregnancy center. So here are my Easter bonnets.

All except the yellow were done in a bulky yarn - just using up some scraps I have from other projects. They would make nice warm winter hats. All of these are made with the tie at the top - some have cuffs and some don't. Of course, any of them can be worn with or without the cuff rolled up.
These hats work up so quickly they are addictive :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baby Hats

I have been knitting baby hats to be donated to a pregnancy center that our church supports. The ladies at church as part of our Titus 2 ministry, are going to have a 'knitting night' and make hats or blankets for the pregnancy center. Some of us who know how to knit will teach others so I have been looking for a very basic hat pattern. I found a pattern at Lion's Brand, Baby Hat - O Natural!, and made some variations on the pattern.

Here is whatI made on Thursday and Friday. They work up really fast since there is no shaping.
The shades of blue and white on on the right side are pretty much according to the pattern except I only made one pom-pom for the top. For the varigated pastel one, I ran a piece of yarn around the top about an inch from the edge and pulled it tight. I did the same for the white one with the eyelets around the bottom - I plan to run a pink ribbon through the eyelets and tie a bow off center on the front of the hat. The blue and yellow stripe one is my favorite. I made eyelets around the top about an inch before the end and then made a yellow cord by crocheting a chain. I ran the cord through the eyelets and tied the bow.
To make an eyelet you do a yarn over followed by knit 2 together. That way you have a small hole but you do not increase the number of stitches. I did this about every third stitch. So for that row the pattern would be k1, *yo, k2 tog, k1, repeat from * to the end.
I may have to try the booties and sweater that are pictured with the hat pattern. They are very basic also. I found a really good buy of baby yarn on E-Bay so I have plenty of yarn to play with.

Bunny Bread

I made this bunny bread several years ago and it was a hit with the little ones, so thought I would make it just for us. DD19 wanted Ranch Fiesta Dip with our Easter dinner so this is a fun way to serve it. I found this recipe in Quick Cooking magazine.

The recipe calls for 2 1-lb loaves of frozen bread dough, thawed. I have a recipe that makes a 2 lb loaf in the bread machine so I used that on the dough setting.

From 1 loaf make the head and body. Take 1/4 of the loaf and make a pear shape for the head. Place it on a greased cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, make a couple slits on each side of the face for whiskers.
Take the remaining 3/4 of the loaf and shape into a rectangle for the body.
Divide the second load into 4 equal portions. Take 2 of the portions and shape into ropes. Fold over and place the ends next to the head for the ears. Divide one portion into two and make the hind feet from those. Make two cuts for the toes.
Divide the last portion into two. From one half make 3 small balls (one should be a little smaller than the other two) and make the cheeks and nose. From the other half, make 2 balls and place for the front legs. Make 2 slits in these.
Add 2 dried cherries or raisins for the eyes (I like the cherries as they are larger and the raisins seemed to be 'lost' in the face) and 2 slivered almonds for the teeth. Brush with a beaten egg.
Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Here is my unbaked bunny before rising.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.

When cool, cut out the tummy to make a bowl for the dip. I used a cream cheese container to make my circle. The fun part is getting to eat the fresh bread from the tummy :-) DD17 and DD19 helped me with that!
I used the cream cheese container placed in the tummy to serve the dip (I don't like getting the bread all soggy around the dip - no one here eats it so it just goes to waste. This way all the bread gets eaten :-)

Easter Eggs

I remember doing Easter eggs while growing up, usually after Good Friday church. We did dozens and then helped with an Easter egg hunt on Saturday at the church. Mom would always tell of many years before when some families would donate eggs for the hunt but would not cook or color them, so mom, grandma and Aunt Nina would dye hundreds of eggs.
I have my mom's old ceramic coffee mugs that she used. She had 6 or more of the plain white mugs at one time but eventually had to add another to have 6 cups. So one has a gold band around it.
She also taught us to make some tie-dyed eggs (don't know where she got the idea but my guess is she saw it in a Family Circle or McCall's magazine).

Take a piece of white cloth (we used a cloth diaper today). Twist it tightly around the egg. Take a spoon and put just a drop or two of dye on the cloth. Continue with desired colors.

Hold for a few seconds, then unwrap.

DD17 tried some of her own creations. Here she is making a splatter paint egg.
She also took some dyed eggs and did the tie dye over the solid colored egg.
Here are some of the tie dyed eggs and her splatter egg.
She said they were too pretty to eat!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monday Menu - oops!

I thought I already posted this - oops!

Sunday -
Barbecue Turkey sandwiches
Butter beans

Monday -
Celebration dinner - for DD17's grade improvement during third quarter
Sushi and hibachi shrimp at a local restaurant

Celebration dinner - for a huge project at work - the VP is treating the team to a nice dinner
Steak Tenderloin
Baked Potato
Grilled Portobello

Subway - family appt at 6 pm so will grab a quick sandwich at Subway before that

Chicken Parm (Freezer Meal)

Enchilada Pie
Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, taco sauce

Saturday - in Topeka

Sunday - Cooking for sister-in-law (new mom) in Topeka
Red and green lasagne
Dinner roll

Not a good week for Weight Watchers but so far I have not done too bad. Not only are we eating out more this week but we had a major upgrade at work that I coordinated - and when I am stressed I want to EAT! I did walk up to the the coffee shop but nothing looked good enough to waste the points - so I went back to my office empty handed.