Friday, April 30

Our newest find.

Pretty cool, huh?  A late 1950's/early 1960's vintage Coca Cola vending machine, when a bottle of Coke was only 10 cents!  We're going to refurbish it and get it fully working.  It does work now and keeps cold, but it could definitely be cleaned up and some of the parts could use replacing.  I'm not sure I want to re-paint it though, I kinda like the vintage charm, but we'll see what it looks like first after a good scrub down.

It'll eventually find a home in our kitchen, although more likely mostly filled with Izze's, Ginger beer and Shiner, and at least one slot of Coke bottles for good measure. ;)

We're pretty excited!

Sunday, April 18

Kale. It's good.

So good in fact that I've made 3 batches of kale chips in one week!  Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe a few weeks ago and I'd been eying it ever since.  I finally dove in and boy are these kale chips good!  I'm really not a fan of kale the way it's traditionally cooked (sauted, or similar), but it's packed full of vitamins and nutrients, so I welcomed the opportunity to try it in a new way.  A great new way!  Kale will never be the same to me again. And Gunnar can't get enough of this stuff, especially crumbled and sprinkled on popcorn. The flavors really do marry well together.  But even eaten alone, the chips are good. So shoot, what's not to love?  My kid is willingly gobbling nutritious green by the hand full. I think this recipe's a definite keeper!

 Right out of the oven.
Atop fresh popped popcorn. I used a heaping quarter cup natural Red Crimson kernels in a skillet with 1T. of hot coconut oil for popping. With the kale in there and already lightly salted, there is no need to add butter or oil or salt at all.
Less than 5 minutes later, Gunnar's already gone through and searched out the first layer bunch of kale chips to eat before even digging in to the popcorn. :)

Friday, April 16

Kimono wrap top for the littlest one.

I haven't ventured much into sewing clothing.  A skirt for me, a pair of pants for the boy, bathrobe for the husband.. not many things.  I made this kimono wrap top a week before Logan was born, but he is just now wearing it for the first time at almost 6 months old.  I followed the newborn dimensions for cutting, and even then reduced it a bit further.  Huge! Especially considering my little guy is also quite the chunk. Logan and Gunnar only weigh a difference of 8lbs, and Gunnar is 2.5 years older, lol. But anyhow, I digress.

The pattern (by creature of habit) was easy peasy, which is probably why I picked it. I used a combination of serging and sewing, and followed this awesome tutorial from Amy Karol for attaching the binding.  All sewed up super fast. But, I will say, that while the sewing was great, if I make this top again I would likely sew the sleeves on separate from the main panels to mimic more natural movement.  As is though, my little man seemed happy in it, and that's all that matters in the end.

Wednesday, April 14

Blogging for boobies.

Today I am happy to be participating in a HUGE Breast Cancer Blogging Event! A incredibly ambitious friend of mine and fellow Dallas blogger, Jackie Reitz, has spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer, as well help her fund raising efforts for participation in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day. Her goal is to include over 300 blogs around the globe! I encourage you to take a moment out of your day to donate $5 or $10, or whatever you can give, to support her.  Do it for your mother, your sister, your children.. This disease really affects everyone.

If Jackie can get 300 blogs to spread awareness and even if just ONE reader from each blog gives $10, that will amount to over $3,000.00 in the fight against Breast Cancer.  Awesome!! So help her out!  Head here to Jackie's fund raising page and send her some donation love.  Heck, it's all tax deductible!  And don't forget to check out the team's blog 'Betties for Boobies' tomorrow to see what an impact blogging for boobies made!

Sunday, April 11

Enjoying the sunshine.

We spent yesterday afternoon at one of the neighborhood ponds and were happily greeted by some feathered friends.  The ducks here are so friendly.  Gunnar was delighted to see them!
"Come on ducks, let go swimming! Over there!" 
Logan didn't care at all about the ducks, but he sure did enjoy touching and pulling and eating and laughing at the grass. I don't think he lifted his head up once after I sat him down.  He was one happy boy.
And the husband and I were quite happy too. We had just received a box of beautiful Meyer lemons my dad picked fresh from his tree (their house was built on what used to be a lemon tree grove in the valley- southern California), so I made Scott and I strawberry-mint-Meyer lemonade cocktails to enjoy.  They were so good!  There is no comparison to home grown Meyers, no way.  

For each glass, I squeezed 3 lemon and 3 strawberries, and rough chopped a small handful of mint sprigs from the backyard.  Added a few ice cubes and 1 tablespoons of sugar, gave it a quick stir, and then floated a little bit of rum atop.  You could let all the flavors merry for a bit and then strain it if you prefer, or not add the rum at all and thin out the lemonade a bit if you don't want it so concentrated.  Or add more sugar.. It's my own concoction, so make it however you like if you do.  I might even write up an official recipe, it was so tasty!

All in all, one gorgeous, lazy afternoon.

Friday, April 9

Dreaming of quilting.

A few weekends ago, I attended the Dallas Quilt Show. To be honest, the quilts featured there were a little too traditional for me. I could definitely appreciate the stitching and piecing and such, just not my taste overall. here were a few really exciting booths like one with all batiks (even flannel!), an amazing art quilter who's quilting absolutely blew me away, and a fabric shop with some really neat retro prints. I've been itching to make a quilt for a while now, and while the Quilt Show left me a little hanging, I sure found some inspiration online.  I'm definitely a modern girl when it comes to quilting. 

   Beautiful! *Red Pepper Quilts*

Check out this combo of hand and machine quilting, wow!
*The Silly BooDilly*

Also hand quilted.  I'm totally digging the long running stitch look. *hARTylittlepeaces*

 Stunning work in progress. *Sew Katie Did*

Serene. The quilt AND the baby, lol. The backing is minky, so perfect for a baby quilt. *Come and See the Seitz*

Simple, crip and clean, doll quilt. *I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts*

This quilt also just looks so fresh and clean, and happy. *Cluck Cluck Sew*

DROOL. Gorgeous! both this one and above it by *Ann StewArt*

And oh my gosh, how cute and sweet are these little birds?! And this was her first time using free motion too. (Gives me  hope that I can do it too!) *Gone Aussie Quilting Via SewMamaSew*.

I seriously just need to jump in with both feet and make one of my own. ;)

Tuesday, April 6

Minky baby blanket.

I made this flannel/minky blanket as a baby shower gift for my friend Jenn who'll be having her little girl next week.  I've seen so much online about how sewing with minky is pretty difficult, but after working with it here, I really don't think there's anything to be afraid of.  The biggest trick is just to pin the heck out of it and not to sew too fast.  I pinned probably every 2 or 3 inches, because this stuff is a bit slippery and could get away from you if you aren't careful. 
Here's a closeup of the top stitching.   I used one of the decorative stitches on my machine, a flower motif of sorts, with matching green thread in the needle and bubble pink in the bobbin.  I wanted a special touch, but something that still blended in.

Hope you like it Jenn.  Can't wait to meet baby Madison. :)

Salad week success.

(This is in reference to this post a week ago..)

We finished off the last of the orzo salad tonight, and let me just say we were so sad to see it go.  The orzo, with the hummus and tzatziki in the pitas like a pocket sandwich was really, really tasty.  That was our favorite way of eating it!  The orzo and the butternut squash salad earned both the husband and my top picks.  But honestly, every one of these salads were phenomenal.  The spinach bacon salad I think you more have to be in the mood for, but even it too was really good. For some reason I guess I didn't take a pic of that one, but I know Pioneer Woman is a much better photographer than I, so its probably lucky for you I didn't. lol.  My pics don't do them justice.

Monday: Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad from smitten kitchen.  I only tossed probably 1/3 of the tahini dressing onto the salad initially.  I reserved the rest to drizzle a little over top, and also to do so for the leftovers for lunch the next day. I think I'll make it again this week. yuuuuuummmy!

Tuesday: Asian Noodle Salad from Pioneer Woman Cooks. This recipe made a TON, and I'd say to give yourself closer to an hour if you typically have little kids distractions around while you cook.  This salad requires a lot of chopping, but it's well worth making (and you'll have it around for days anyhow!).  I really think the cashews make the salad, and while Ree calls for them lightly toasted in a skillet, we thought they were better roasted and lightly salted without the toasting.  With the toasting, their flavors mesh really well, but we preferred the nice crunch and contrast as is.  Both husband and I tried to seek out a cashew with every bite!

Wednesday: Black Bean- Couscous Salad; Lavash crackers.  The salad recipe called for quinoa, but we had couscous on hand so I substituted it instead and it worked just fine.  I also mixed the called-for spinach with spring mix we also already had, and crumbled a little sheep feta on top for an added flavor bonus. Cheese makes everything tastier!

Here's a close-up of the lavash.  If you don't have a rolling pin, don't even attempt these, lol.  You need to roll the dough pretty thin to get the right crackery consistency.  Toppings are really versatile.  I made half the batch (not pictured) with a pinch of sea salt, grated Parmesan and garlic, and the other half (pictured) with sea salt, parsley and basil.

Thursday: Warm Bacon Spinach Salad; whole wheat boule bread
 (See, Pioneer Woman's pic is much pretty than mine are.)
Whole wheat boule adapted from my favorite bread book that I've raved about many times here. This boule is more like 3/4 whole wheat, rather than 100%.  I ran out of wheat while Gunnar and I were making the dough, so we finished off with unbleached white.

Friday: Greek Orzo Salad; pitas, hummus & tzatziki; Tandoori chicken

Mmm, mmm, mmmm, mmm, mm.
I forgot to take pics of the Tandoori chicken (drumsticks), roasted red pepper hummus, tzatziki and pita's, so next time I make some Ill post pics and my recipes for all.  Husband makes some mean tzatziki, let me tell you.  It'll all be worth the wait. ;)

And there you have it.  Our week of salads. Likely to happen again soon at this house.  Oh, and the husband has already dropped some pounds on his quest for the IPOD. :)