Monday, 28 July 2014

Ice Cream ... Cupcakes :)

So ... I'm still here!  I swear I haven't forgotten about this little blog (although when did I last post????) but you know when everything just seems to keep you away from your computer?  Yeah, those all seemed to be happening around here!  From no energy, to the baby refusing to sleep, to being to busy to sit down with a few spare moments to 'get it all out', to, life!  I think I have a handle on things for a little bit and hope to get back into my little routine because I have been creating this whole time ... just not sharing ... sorry!

Anyway, onto tonight's post :)

My little guy just turned 5 on the 18th!  CRAZY!  I honestly have no idea where the last 5 years!  To celebrate his birthday he wanted a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party, complete with an Ice Cream Cake from DQ, do you know what I cannot make?  An Ice Cream Cake from DQ :(  We held his party on the 19th and still wanted to have a little celebration on his actual birthday, and although he hoped to get 2 DQ cakes (one for each celebration), I managed to convince him to have cupcakes instead!  

I have seen some really cute cupcakes baked in ice cream cones recently and thought, maybe the cones will make up for only having 1 ice cream cake!  

I have to say, these little cakes turned out great!  I used this recipe from Milk Allergy Mom and baked the cones for around 20 minutes.  The cake was moist and chocolaty as well as kid and adult approved!  Some people have mentioned that the cones get soggy, but not with this recipe, maybe because it's quite thick?

My helpful hints, I used a regular cupcake pan and placed a cupcake liner and cone in each cup (I'm not sure the liners were necessary but thought if the cones overflowed they would make for easier clean-up), then I filled the cones about 2/3 full, and finally once the cakes were cooked I tipped the cones on their sides in the pan to cool (I hoped this too would help prevent those pesky soggy bottoms!)

I used this butter cream icing recipe from Roger's Sugar which I have used for years without fail!  It makes a good stiff icing that always tastes great!  To 'pipe' the icing, I simply filled a freezer Ziplock (I like how thick they are), snipped off a little corner, and iced away :)  Super easy, I promise, anyone could do it!

Are you looking for a new twist on an old favourite?  Try baking your cupcakes in ice cream cones, and please let me know how they turned out!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

It's all Greek to me!

I don't know about you, but I love food that packs a lot of flavor!  I get excited when each bite is a little different in the same meal.  Lately I have had to change up my diet thanks to a newly diagnosed sulfate sensitivity.  So many of the things I love are full of those nasty little guys, I tell you they are everywhere!
Anyway, I've been playing around in the kitchen and coming up with new ideas based on my old favorites!  The other week a new grocery store opened up so I of course had to check it out ;)  As I was looking around I came across goat feta cheese, which I LOVE and immediately wanted to make an old favorite of mine, 'Mediterranean Pasta".  A really yummy pasta dish with a sauce made with olive oil, tomatoes, oregano, and black olives and then topped with feta cheese YUM!!!!  

Now where I live tomatoes aren't quite in season yet, and the canned variety have sulfates, so on came the thinking cap :)  I eventually decided to take the flavors and create a topping for chicken and I'm pleased to say that it was a success!!!!!

Just look at those chunks of browned cheese and olives!!!!!  Kinda makes you want to take a bite ;)

Wanna make some for dinner tonight?  You know you want to!  I swear it's beyond easy, you just dump everything on top of the chicken and let the oven do the work, how simple is that?????

To make one serving you'll need:
1 chicken breast, butterflied open (you don't really have to do this it just speeds up the cooking time and gives more surface area for the topping!!!)
10 medium black olives (I really LOVE olives)
2 tbsp feta cheese (I used goat's milk cheese)
1 tsp geek seasoning (I used Epicure's seasoning because it has no sulfates!)
salt and pepper to taste

First heat your oven to 375 degrees F
While the oven is heating up butterfly open your chicken and place it onto a foil covered baking sheet (this just makes clean up a breeze)
Next crush the olives sprinkle them over your chicken followed by the feta cheese
Then add your greek seasoning, salt and pepper over top

Pop the whole thing in the middle rack of your oven for about 30 minutes (this will depend on how thick your chicken is)

Thats it!!!  How simple is that????  I tell you this chicken has so much flavor and will make you wish you made more!  I might have made this for dinner 3 out of 4 nights in a row!

So ... did you try it out????  Let me know with a comment!

Thanks for stopping by!
- Jenn 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Fit for a Princess! - Crochet Edged Receiving Blanket

 When my brother got married (a few years ago now) my Aunt gave a shower gift wrapped in tea towels, I LOVED the idea!  I have to admit I've used the idea a few times myself for wedding gifts, as well as used receiving blankets as wrapping for baby gifts.

I think its a great idea to save a little paper (or when you forget to pick up paper!) and still give a beautifully wrapped gift.

 Last week I went a baby shower for a soon to be arriving little girl, and I not only used my Aunt's idea again, but I one-uped myself!  I decided to add a little crocheted trim to the edge of a store bought receiving blanket :)

It's a small little detail that gives the basic blanket so much more!  I hope it adds a little smile to her Momma's face when she sees her little princess wrapped up in the blanket that was made just for her (even if it started out as a blanket for commoners! HA!)

So now I'm sure you're thinking that you need to fancy up a blanket or two ;) Right?!?!  Well you're in luck because I'm going to share with you how I did it step-by-step! Yay!!!!

First, you need a steel crochet hook (I did my first blanket with an aluminum hook and I found it bent a little and was hard to work with, the steel was much stronger and easier to poke through), some fine yarn (I used Red Heart Luster Sheen in Lime because it was a perfect match to the green in the blanket) but any fine yarn should work, as well as the blanket you'd like to embellish (mine was in a 'Garanimals' four pack from Wal-Mart).

To start, pick anywhere along the edge of your blanket under the finished edge to poke your hook through.  

Next, pull your yarn through as a slip stitch (slst)

Using the crochet hook, poke another hole next to your first and pull the yarn through and single crochet (sc) being careful to keep the stitch along the outer edge of the blanket.

Continue sc along the edge of the blanket making sure to keep your stitches as even and uniform as possible (you could measure out your holes first using a ruler and a washable fabric maker, but I like to live on the edge!)  until you reach the beginning, join with a slst

Your next row (which I managed to miss photographing, sorry!) is a row of sc around, joined with a slst.

Then, ch 4, skip first 3 sc, join with a sc in 4th st, repeat around, join with a slst.


Final row: sc, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sc, in each ch 4 space around, join with a slst.

There you have it!  A beautifully edged blanket to give to a new mother as either wrapping for a gift, or as the gift itself because, let's face it, this blanket is a beautiful gift in itself!

Go ahead and give it a try, as always please let me know if you have any questions, I will try my best to help out!  

If you do try it out, please let me know!  I'd love to hear form you!

I've linked-up with Make It and Love It

Thanks for stopping by!
- Jenn

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Showering of gifts

What's that you ask?  Oh just a tiny glimpse of a gift for a beautiful baby joining us soon :)

I was able to attend a baby shower today for a wonderful couple who are expecting a little girl in June and I just couldn't resist making a few things.

Isn't it a sweet little set?  A soft cuddly toy to chew on and cuddle, a dress to look adorable in, and a sun hat to lounge around in :)
This little dress I think will fit to about 3 months, I'm sorry I didn't take the time to write down the pattern but I know I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton so it would stay cool in the warm months, or if I completely misjudged the sizing, it would be nice over a long sleeved shirt in the fall (see, dual-purpose!!!!!)

I'm pretty pleased with how the little hat turned out!  I used a pattern from my favorite crocheter Sarah I used the 0-3 month size but with a 4.00mm hook.  After I completed the hat according to the pattern I added three increasing rows (row 1: 5 dc, 2 dc in next st. around.  row 2:  6 dc, 2 dc in next st. around.  row 3:  7 dc, 2 dc in next st. around) and then added a sc row to finish the edge.  
It has just a little brim to keep the sun off those new little ears and beautiful eyes.

This little bunny is even cuter in person.  I got the pattern from Bernat and I have a feeling I'll be making a few more as go to baby gifts!  It was quick to come together and I love the simplicity of this little "bun" as Claire-bear calls it :)

 So what did you think?  I'm still a little nervous little missy won't ever get to wear the dress because I didn't follow a pattern, but at least it looks good on display!!!

Make It and Love It

Thanks for stopping by!
- Jenn

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Welcome Spring (free) Dress Pattern!!!

How has your Spring been treating you?  I know other parts of the world are still in a frozen state, but we have been having amazing weather!  It has been wonderful to be out enjoying that warm sunshine and getting a few things done around the yard while my kiddos ran around playing their games and riding bikes :)

I took a little longer than hoped to write up a pattern for my "Welcome Spring" dress, sorry for all those who were checking back :)  I've said before that I am new to sharing patterns, I usually make them up for the one or two things I need to make and then move on.  Or if I do write everything down, it only makes sense to me!  I've done my best to make the pattern understandable but please let me know if I've left something out or if it just doesn't make sense!

Welcome Spring Dress (Fits a Size 3)

Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn                             18"x42" Fabric (pre-shrunk)
5.00 mm hook                                                         Thread
4 buttons                                                                 Trim and Embellishments (if desired)
Tapestry Needle

Begin with 64 FHDC (This makes for a stretchy neckline), ch 1, turn
row 1:   64 sc across, ch 2, turn
row 2:   9 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 17 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 17 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 17 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 8 dc, ch 2, turn
row 3:   10 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 19 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 19 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 19 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 9 dc, ch 2, turn
row 4:   11 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 21 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 21 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 21 dc, ch 2,   dc in last stitch, 10 dc, ch 2 turn
row 5:   12 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 23 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 23 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 23 dc, ch 2,   dc in last stitch, 11 dc, ch 2, turn
row 6:   13 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 25 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 25 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 25 dc, ch 2,   dc in last stitch, 12 dc, ch 2, turn
row 7:   14 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 27 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 27 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 27 dc, ch 2,   dc in last stitch, 13 dc, ch 2, turn
row 8:   15 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 29 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 29 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 29 dc, ch 2,   dc in last stitch, 14 dc, ch 2, turn
row 9:   16 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 31 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 31 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 31 dc, ch 2,   dc in last stitch, 15 dc, ch 2, turn
row 10:  17 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 33 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 33 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 33 dc, ch 2, dc in last stitch, 16 dc, ch 1, turn
row 11:  (worked on end of bodice) 20 sc across, ch 1, turn
row 12:  20 sc across, ch 1, turn
row 13:  2 sc, ch 2, skip 2 sc, 4 sc, ch 2, skip 2 sc, 4 sc, ch 2, skip 2 sc, 4 sc, ch 2, skip 2 sc, 1 sc, ch 1,     turn
row 14:  20 sc across, ch1, turn
row 15:  (worked on bottom of bodice)  18 sc, skip next 34 dc, sc in ch 2 space, 35 sc, skip next 34 dc, sc in ch 2 space, 17 sc, ch 1
row 16:  (worked on end of bodice)  20 sc across, ch 1, turn
row 17:  20 sc across, ch 1, turn
row 18:  20 sc across, ch 1, turn
row 19:  20 sc across
row 20:  join bodice with slst to 5th sc on opposite side (you need to skip the button hole strip so the dress will close) ch 1, sc around, join to ch with slst
row 21:  ch 1, sc around, join to ch with slst
row 22: ch 1, sc around, join with slst, fasten off

Weave in ends
Attach buttons to bodice using button holes as your guide

To make skirt:
*note* I use a 1/2" seam allowance
Add embellishments (rick-rack/ruffle) to skirt if desired
Sew short ends of fabric together
Fold over top 1/2", press, fold over 1/2" again, press and sew near top edge (If your seam is to low it will show   when the dress is finished)
Fold over bottom 1/2", press, fold over 1" again, press and sew hem
Sew a running stitch under top seam, pull threads to gather skirt to fit inside bodice
Pin skirt to inside of bodice, sew to attach

There you have it!  I hope you try it out for the little princess in your life.  If you have any questions or problems with the pattern please let me know and I'll try my best to sort them out for you!

Did you make a dress?  Let me know how it turned out with a comment!

Make It and Love It
Thanks for stopping by!
- Jenn

Monday, 24 March 2014

Pocket Full of Posies - Free Flower Crochet Pattern

Have you been checking in looking for those free patterns I promised a few nights ago?  Well I finally had time to take a few pictures and write down how those sweet little flowers are made!

They really are simple and very quick to whip up as embellishments for a little headband or shirt or skirt or card or whatever you think needs a little flower :) 

I used my latest favorite, Bernat Handicrafter Cotton yarn and a 4.00mm hook to make a flower just bigger than an inch, but you can really use any yarn and hook you'd like.   

Begin with a magic ring, 5 sc in ring

Join with a slst and pull to close ring

working in next st, 1hdc, 1 dc, 1hdc (first petal made)

slst into next st and repeat (1hdc, 1dc, 1hdc) 4 times to make 5 petals

fasten off and weave in ends.

There you have it!  A completed flower in just a few minutes!  Wasn't that easy?  Now go make a whole bunch and brighten up your springtime projects like I did with the headband little Missy wore!

Did you try my pattern?  Let me know what you embellished with a comment!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

I have a bit of a confession ... I LOVE Spring!  Something about the longer days, the promise of warmer weather, and soft pastel clothing makes me smile.  Yes, I said pastel clothing ... I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets excited when the jeweled tones of winter move over for those softer colours :) 

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the first full day of Spring than with a mini-photo shoot with my littlest Princess!

She was more than happy to dance...

and giggle...

and twirl on a beautiful Spring morning.

Oh, and did you notice her beautiful dress and headband?  I couldn't let little missy dance in a new season in a wintry jewel-tone could I??????  That would be against everything Spring stands for... at least for me :)

I'm working up the pattern for that darling headband and adorable dress, along with several other great projects I've got kicking around in my scatterbrained head that I hope to share with you all very soon!

Until then, what's your favourite part of Spring?

Thanks for stopping by my little neck of the woods!