Sunday, May 20, 2012

Try it, you'll thank me later.

I made a cherry amaretto cake at Easter and have been trying to figure out ways to drink the amaretto ever since. Well, tonight inspiration struck. Is this a cocktail? Dessert? Whatever--this was one of those "where have you been all my life?" moments.

Amaretto Root Beer Float

1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla is so good)
1 oz amaretto liqueur, such as Disaronno
A cup or so of root beer (I used diet and it was great, but a really great root beer would doubtless be better)
A splash of cherry juice or grenadine

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

(Mostly) Healthy Peach-Oatmeal Toddler Cookies

If you have (or had in recent years) a toddler, you have probably made some version of this cookie -- the oatmeal-banana-applesauce-wheat flour-some-combination-thereof cookie.



I've made a few versions, but today I wanted to experiment with peaches, thus: my contribution to the canon.  I think they turned out nice.  I really like the way softness of the peaches compliments the chewiness of the oats.  And they are toddler-approved -- at my house, anyway.

1/2 c. diced peaches in light syrup (like a 4 oz lunchbox container)
1/2 c. applesauce
1 mashed overripe banana
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. natural quick oats
1/2 c. oat flour (oats pulsed in the blender or food processor)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional -- they're sweet enough with the fruit)
1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
coconut to taste (optional -- I made about a dozen of mine with and the rest without)

Mix first five ingredients in one bowl, mix the dry ingredients in another bowl.  Add the dry stuff to the wet stuff and stir.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350   for 12 minutes or so.  Makes about 3 dozen.  Cookies that will be eaten within a couple of days can stay in an airtight container on the counter; the rest need to be frozen.  This type of cookie freezes well.

Nutritional info (approximate! Includes chia seeds and brown sugar but not coconut.)


 36 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories40.4
  Total Fat0.8 g
     Saturated Fat0.4 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 g
     Monounsaturated Fat0.1 g
  Cholesterol0.0 mg
  Sodium23.0 mg
  Potassium31.1 mg
  Total Carbohydrate7.8 g
     Dietary Fiber1.2 g
     Sugars1.8 g
  Protein1.2 g
  Vitamin A2.7 %
  Vitamin B-120.0 %
  Vitamin B-64.0 %
  Vitamin C0.9 %
  Vitamin D0.0 %
  Vitamin E0.1 %
  Calcium1.9 %
  Copper1.1 %
  Folate2.2 %
  Iron3.9 %
  Magnesium1.5 %
  Manganese6.3 %
  Niacin2.5 %
  Pantothenic Acid    0.4 %
  Phosphorus    1.2 %
  Riboflavin1.7 %
  Selenium1.7 %
  Thiamin3.2 %
  Zinc0.6 %


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.




Sunday, May 13, 2012

Clothing her in His Word

Part of my Mother's Day present -- what I requested specifically -- was a three-hour block of time to sew up a dress I have had cut out and sitting on my sewing table dining room table for weeks.  It ended up taking just about exactly three hours (minus one phone call to my mom and my usual number of dates with the seam ripper), so I was able to do the whole thing in one sitting.  What a great present!  And N and H were just in the next room, so I was able to listen to them playing, which was pretty sweet, too.

Here's the (overly long) story of this dress.

A few weeks ago, I came across this Bible verse:

The LORD your God is with you, 
he is mighty to save. 
He will take great delight in you, 
he will quiet you with his love, 
he will rejoice over you with singing. 
Zephaniah 3:17, NIV

It really hit home with me and an idea struck me that I would like to literally wrap my little H up in those precious words.  I thought it would also be pretty neat for her to be clothed in a loving Biblical message that I had written out in my own hand.  So here's how I did it.  It was really simple and fun!

First, I figured out what translation I wanted to use.  It surprised me how different they all were!  I liked the sound of regular old NIV the best.  Then I got out some plain copier paper and a calligraphy marker and wrote it out a few times until I had it the way I liked it.  (I did make a ruled guide to put under the paper so my lines would be at least mostly straight... because my first few tries were a hilly mess!)

Made a scan, then signed up for a Spoonflower account.  I decided the black and white might be a little stark for a one-year-old! So I used their super-simple tools to change the colors to a deep purple background with light lavender writing (although it's VERY light lavender so it kind of reads as white).  It only took a few minutes, and I was really happy with the result.  Then I ordered a yard of Kona cotton.

I was REALLY impressed when the fabric arrived a few days later.  It is a thick but soft quilting cotton -- really high quality.  Between the customization and the quality, it is definitely deserving of the not-insignificant price tag.  (With shipping, just under $20 for the one yard.)  I also didn't notice any fading after I washed it. Even with such a deep purple! Impressive! (It's a slightly deeper purple than the photo below would lead you to believe.)

I wanted to keep the dress girly but simple, since the color and pattern are bold.  So I used this bodice pattern, which slips over the head with no closures.  (Actually, I paid for it on another site and then found it free at BurdaStyle two days later, aargh!  That link is the free one.)  The pattern started at 2T, and I needed a 12 month size, but it's a simple pattern with very evenly spaced lines for each size, so I just drew my own 12 month line inside the 2T line and cut.  Then I cut two big rectangles about twice the width of the bodice by around 14 inches long.

I pretty much stuck with the dress designer's tutorial, except I used two rectangles for the skirt, so I had side seams instead of a back seam.  It went okay ... but just okay.  The bodice part was pretty simple, although making it smaller than the pattern meant the armhole wouldn't fit over the arm of the sewing machine, so I had to go really slowly there.  Where I ran into trouble was gathering the skirt.  The Kona cotton is REALLY thick, and my skirt piece was really wide, so gathering it wasn't easy. It felt like I was trying to gather canvas! Okay, that's an exaggeration, but still.  I used the plain old bobbin thread method, and if I made this dress again, I would definitely use the fishing line method described in the tutorial.  I think it would be a lot easier for a heavier fabric like this.  Anyway, it turned out all right, although it's definitely one of those "as long as nobody looks too closely" situations.  The inside is a total mess.  Even though I made the bodice smaller than the pattern, it's still a little big on H, so I think it's a bit too loose for her to wear by itself right now, but I think it looks pretty sweet as a jumper over the undershirt I made with this pattern.



Is it a little weird looking?  Maybe.  I can't decide. But I hope one day when H is older, she finds it, recognizes that I made it for her with love, and takes its message to heart.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Going out on a limb -- listing handmade baby clothes in my Etsy shop!

I held off on doing this for a while because I wasn't sure if my sewing skills were strong enough, but I am (hopefully) ready to give it a shot now -- I'm putting a few little baby outfits up for sale on Etsy.  I wanted to wait until I had at least three things to list, but it's taken me quite a while to get two made up and photographed and listed, so I decided to start there.  The first one, a gray romper, is similar to the yellow and pink one I made H for Easter -- although I made some changes.  For instance, this one has fabric ties at the shoulders to make it more adjustable.  I'm not 100% sure about making more of these for sale (I kind of obsessed over every detail, so it took forever).  So I'm just listing the one that's done for now.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/99487207/shoulder-tie-fleur-de-lis-bubble-romper?ref=v1_other_2

The second thing is a seersucker halter sunsuit -- very retro.  I thought about doing ruffles on the backside, but those are so ubiquitous right now, I decided to go with the butt bow instead.  :-)  I made this one for H; if anyone orders one they will get theirs made to order.  H has gotten lots of compliments on it, so I'm hopeful someone else will want one.  I'm pretty proud of the frilled halter neckline because I've never seen anything just like that before.




https://www.etsy.com/listing/99693781/seersucker-halter-sunsuit-with-neckline

It's so weird to write the listings.  I want them to sound good but don't want to oversell it!  I have one big thing going in my favor, though -- my model.  I know it's obnoxious to say so, but she's pretty dang cute!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Try it, you'll thank me later.

I made a cherry amaretto cake at Easter and have been trying to figure out ways to drink the amaretto ever since. Well, tonight inspiration struck. Is this a cocktail? Dessert? Whatever--this was one of those "where have you been all my life?" moments.

Amaretto Root Beer Float

1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla is so good)
1 oz amaretto liqueur, such as Disaronno
A cup or so of root beer (I used diet and it was great, but a really great root beer would doubtless be better)
A splash of cherry juice or grenadine

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

(Mostly) Healthy Peach-Oatmeal Toddler Cookies

If you have (or had in recent years) a toddler, you have probably made some version of this cookie -- the oatmeal-banana-applesauce-wheat flour-some-combination-thereof cookie.



I've made a few versions, but today I wanted to experiment with peaches, thus: my contribution to the canon.  I think they turned out nice.  I really like the way softness of the peaches compliments the chewiness of the oats.  And they are toddler-approved -- at my house, anyway.

1/2 c. diced peaches in light syrup (like a 4 oz lunchbox container)
1/2 c. applesauce
1 mashed overripe banana
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. natural quick oats
1/2 c. oat flour (oats pulsed in the blender or food processor)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional -- they're sweet enough with the fruit)
1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
coconut to taste (optional -- I made about a dozen of mine with and the rest without)

Mix first five ingredients in one bowl, mix the dry ingredients in another bowl.  Add the dry stuff to the wet stuff and stir.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350   for 12 minutes or so.  Makes about 3 dozen.  Cookies that will be eaten within a couple of days can stay in an airtight container on the counter; the rest need to be frozen.  This type of cookie freezes well.

Nutritional info (approximate! Includes chia seeds and brown sugar but not coconut.)


 36 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories40.4
  Total Fat0.8 g
     Saturated Fat0.4 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 g
     Monounsaturated Fat0.1 g
  Cholesterol0.0 mg
  Sodium23.0 mg
  Potassium31.1 mg
  Total Carbohydrate7.8 g
     Dietary Fiber1.2 g
     Sugars1.8 g
  Protein1.2 g
  Vitamin A2.7 %
  Vitamin B-120.0 %
  Vitamin B-64.0 %
  Vitamin C0.9 %
  Vitamin D0.0 %
  Vitamin E0.1 %
  Calcium1.9 %
  Copper1.1 %
  Folate2.2 %
  Iron3.9 %
  Magnesium1.5 %
  Manganese6.3 %
  Niacin2.5 %
  Pantothenic Acid    0.4 %
  Phosphorus    1.2 %
  Riboflavin1.7 %
  Selenium1.7 %
  Thiamin3.2 %
  Zinc0.6 %


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.




Sunday, May 13, 2012

Clothing her in His Word

Part of my Mother's Day present -- what I requested specifically -- was a three-hour block of time to sew up a dress I have had cut out and sitting on my sewing table dining room table for weeks.  It ended up taking just about exactly three hours (minus one phone call to my mom and my usual number of dates with the seam ripper), so I was able to do the whole thing in one sitting.  What a great present!  And N and H were just in the next room, so I was able to listen to them playing, which was pretty sweet, too.

Here's the (overly long) story of this dress.

A few weeks ago, I came across this Bible verse:

The LORD your God is with you, 
he is mighty to save. 
He will take great delight in you, 
he will quiet you with his love, 
he will rejoice over you with singing. 
Zephaniah 3:17, NIV

It really hit home with me and an idea struck me that I would like to literally wrap my little H up in those precious words.  I thought it would also be pretty neat for her to be clothed in a loving Biblical message that I had written out in my own hand.  So here's how I did it.  It was really simple and fun!

First, I figured out what translation I wanted to use.  It surprised me how different they all were!  I liked the sound of regular old NIV the best.  Then I got out some plain copier paper and a calligraphy marker and wrote it out a few times until I had it the way I liked it.  (I did make a ruled guide to put under the paper so my lines would be at least mostly straight... because my first few tries were a hilly mess!)

Made a scan, then signed up for a Spoonflower account.  I decided the black and white might be a little stark for a one-year-old! So I used their super-simple tools to change the colors to a deep purple background with light lavender writing (although it's VERY light lavender so it kind of reads as white).  It only took a few minutes, and I was really happy with the result.  Then I ordered a yard of Kona cotton.

I was REALLY impressed when the fabric arrived a few days later.  It is a thick but soft quilting cotton -- really high quality.  Between the customization and the quality, it is definitely deserving of the not-insignificant price tag.  (With shipping, just under $20 for the one yard.)  I also didn't notice any fading after I washed it. Even with such a deep purple! Impressive! (It's a slightly deeper purple than the photo below would lead you to believe.)

I wanted to keep the dress girly but simple, since the color and pattern are bold.  So I used this bodice pattern, which slips over the head with no closures.  (Actually, I paid for it on another site and then found it free at BurdaStyle two days later, aargh!  That link is the free one.)  The pattern started at 2T, and I needed a 12 month size, but it's a simple pattern with very evenly spaced lines for each size, so I just drew my own 12 month line inside the 2T line and cut.  Then I cut two big rectangles about twice the width of the bodice by around 14 inches long.

I pretty much stuck with the dress designer's tutorial, except I used two rectangles for the skirt, so I had side seams instead of a back seam.  It went okay ... but just okay.  The bodice part was pretty simple, although making it smaller than the pattern meant the armhole wouldn't fit over the arm of the sewing machine, so I had to go really slowly there.  Where I ran into trouble was gathering the skirt.  The Kona cotton is REALLY thick, and my skirt piece was really wide, so gathering it wasn't easy. It felt like I was trying to gather canvas! Okay, that's an exaggeration, but still.  I used the plain old bobbin thread method, and if I made this dress again, I would definitely use the fishing line method described in the tutorial.  I think it would be a lot easier for a heavier fabric like this.  Anyway, it turned out all right, although it's definitely one of those "as long as nobody looks too closely" situations.  The inside is a total mess.  Even though I made the bodice smaller than the pattern, it's still a little big on H, so I think it's a bit too loose for her to wear by itself right now, but I think it looks pretty sweet as a jumper over the undershirt I made with this pattern.



Is it a little weird looking?  Maybe.  I can't decide. But I hope one day when H is older, she finds it, recognizes that I made it for her with love, and takes its message to heart.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Going out on a limb -- listing handmade baby clothes in my Etsy shop!

I held off on doing this for a while because I wasn't sure if my sewing skills were strong enough, but I am (hopefully) ready to give it a shot now -- I'm putting a few little baby outfits up for sale on Etsy.  I wanted to wait until I had at least three things to list, but it's taken me quite a while to get two made up and photographed and listed, so I decided to start there.  The first one, a gray romper, is similar to the yellow and pink one I made H for Easter -- although I made some changes.  For instance, this one has fabric ties at the shoulders to make it more adjustable.  I'm not 100% sure about making more of these for sale (I kind of obsessed over every detail, so it took forever).  So I'm just listing the one that's done for now.


https://www.etsy.com/listing/99487207/shoulder-tie-fleur-de-lis-bubble-romper?ref=v1_other_2

The second thing is a seersucker halter sunsuit -- very retro.  I thought about doing ruffles on the backside, but those are so ubiquitous right now, I decided to go with the butt bow instead.  :-)  I made this one for H; if anyone orders one they will get theirs made to order.  H has gotten lots of compliments on it, so I'm hopeful someone else will want one.  I'm pretty proud of the frilled halter neckline because I've never seen anything just like that before.




https://www.etsy.com/listing/99693781/seersucker-halter-sunsuit-with-neckline

It's so weird to write the listings.  I want them to sound good but don't want to oversell it!  I have one big thing going in my favor, though -- my model.  I know it's obnoxious to say so, but she's pretty dang cute!