Archive for September, 2011

Conference Prep

I’m making cinnamon rolls in preparation for General Conference this weekend!  I got the idea here.  I thought about making them Saturday morning, but they take about three hours to make, so I’m making them tonight while I have energy and time.

I’m using the recipe from The Food Nanny cookbook for the rolls themselves, but I’ll use a different recipe for the icing, because it calls for cream cheese and we don’t have any.  I made half of the recipe in my bread machine, using almond milk instead of dairy milk, melted the butter for the filling (idea from the Pioneer Woman), rolled them up, and got twice as many (20) as I expected from half a recipe.  Of course, I added in a bit extra flour (the bin tipped a bit too much–note to self, measure extra flour instead of pouring it in from the canister), and thus had to add extra almond milk.  Right now, they’re doing their final rising time before I bake them.

I hope to freeze any extras (if there aren’t extras, then we’re going to be in sugar overload) for after-work treats or weekend breakfasts.

If I have time, energy, and clean dishes tomorrow, I might make chocolate-filled crescent rolls (also from The Food Nanny cookbook).  They’ll also be good for after-work chocolate cravings and will hopefully freeze well. I’ve been eating vegan chocolate chip cookies and dairy milk after work this week, so it will be nice to have additional sweet treats once the cookies run out (which will happen very, very soon).

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In an effort to eat healthier foods, know exactly what’s in the foods I’m eating, and to save money at the grocery store, I enjoy making my own bread.  The problems I have are that we don’t always get the loaf eaten before it goes bad (homemade doesn’t last for weeks like store-bought), and that I don’t always have time to make bread.

I recently decided to make bread using the Food Nanny cookbook.  The recipe made three loaves, so I decided to bake one loaf and freeze the dough for the other two.

The dough rising.


Spraying plastic wrap for wrapping dough.


I wrapped the dough in two layers of plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag.


It kept rising in the freezer!  Maybe, I didn’t wrap it tight enough.  Either that or my freezer took so long to freeze it that it had time to continue rising.

When I want to bake a loaf, I’ll defrost it in the fridge overnight, and then let it continue rising on the counter.  Then, I’ll bake it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


This was the loaf that we baked.  (I made the dough and my husband baked it while I was at work.)


Slicing the loaf.


I put some of the slices in our “bread box.”


I wrapped the other slices in plastic wrap, about 4 slices per package.


Then, I wrapped each set in foil.


After that, I put them in freezer bags.  As they come out of the freezer, I’ll have sliced bread ready to go!  Also, I’ll reuse the foil and baggies. 

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This is Part 2 of 2 for sewing a red ruffle shirt.  Click here for the instructions (Tea Rose Home).

So far, we’ve sewn the ruffles on to the shirt.  Now, it’s time to make the fabric roses.

Cut strips of fabric according to the instructions.

To make the string, just pull the t-shirt (jersey) fabric.  It stays shaped like a snake!

Sew the rose strips down the middle with a gathering stitch (long stitch).

Make your ruffles.

Fold the ruffles in half lengthwise and sew them round and round into a rose.

Add the roses and the string to the collar.  I ended up trimming the length of the string.

I wanted to tack the ruffles in place, so I pinned them down.

I used my machine to tack the ruffles in place.

I ended up only tacking them in place at the ends of each ruffle.  Voila!  The completed ruffle shirt!

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This is Part 6 of sewing a diaper bag.  Click here for the instructions.

So far, we’ve made the interior and exterior pieces of the bag and sewn them together with the straps.  We’ve also added interior pockets.

After you sew the exterior and interior pieces together and turn things right-side out, you need to sew along the top edge of the bag.

*Note: the instructions call for a flap and a magnetic closure.  I chose not to add these to my bag.  I can always add something later. 




The above photo shows the lines sewn around the top of the bag.




The completed bag!


This shows the interior, including the pockets.  It’s very roomy.




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Pretty Top Ramon

When you first put your two cups of water on the stove to boil, add in some frozen mixed veggies and some sliced sausage (or other meat).  Once it boils, add in the noodles and cook for three minutes.  After that, add the seasoning packet.  Yum!

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Sewing a Diaper Bag, Part 5

This is Part 5 of sewing a diaper bag.  Click here for the instructions.

So far, we’ve sewn the interior and exterior body pieces of the diaper bag, the straps, and we’ve sewn in subdivided pockets to the interior.

The above photo shows the exterior (left) and interior (turned inside out) of the bag.

You’ll need to layer the interior and exterior bags, right sides together.  You also need to pin the straps in between the interior and exterior fabrics.  Make sure your straps are facing the correct way, so that the interior (blue) side of each strap faces the interior fabric and the exterior (brown) side of each strap faces the exterior fabric.

The above photo shows what you’ll see in the process of pinning the interior and exterior parts of the bag together.

Here is the bag pinned and ready to be sewn (or serged).

Serge away!

Once sewed, you turn the bag so the exterior fabric is on the outside.


Come back in a few days for Part 6 of 6!!

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Red Ruffle Shirt, Part 1

Tea Rose Home has a great ruffle shirt tutorial.  Click here for the instructions.

I love all of the ruffle shirts that have been at stores lately.  I also love my plain, crew t-shirts.  I don’t have to iron them, and the neckline is great.  They were too plain to wear to work, so I decided to add some embellishments.

I took my plain t-shirt (right) to a resale shop and matched the color to another t-shirt.  Men’s t-shirts are best, as they are often cheaper and larger (more fabric).  Word of advice:  try to get ones without printing, as you can’t use those pieces of fabric.

Also, some resale shops have 50% off clothing days.  I hit one of those, so it was a jackpot of savings for me.

The resale shirt.

Cut strips of fabric.

Cut the ends off and cut them to the length specified in the instructions (I think I made these 14 inches long, which is slightly longer than what the instructions call for).  One of the strips will be twice as long.

Sew with a gathering stitch and make your ruffles.

The ruffles.

This is my comfy shirt.

Start adding ruffles at the neckline in front.

Continue adding ruffles underneath.

I noticed that my ruffles were veering to the left, so I started measuring the distance between the edge of each ruffle and the edge of the shirt.

Pinning a ruffle in place.

Sewing on a ruffle.

This is the inside of the shirt.  It shows what your sewing lines will look like.

All of the ruffles are on, but the shirt is not done!

Come back in a few days for Part 2!

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Sewing a Diaper Bag, Part 4

This is Part 4 of sewing a diaper bag.  Click here for the instructions.

So far, we’ve sewn the exterior body of the bag, the straps, and we’ve been working on the interior pockets.

In the photo above, you can see both the sewing line and the pins outlining where you will sew.  These are to subdivide the interior pocket into smaller pockets.


Sewing the big pocket into smaller pockets.



This is what a finished pocket (subdivided) looks like.  The pockets are wide and deep enough for bottles, toys, etc.


This is the other pocket.  You can see how it has only been divided in the middle, so the subdivided pockets are much roomier (for diapers, etc.).


After subdividing the pockets, you sew the interior fabrics together to create the interior body of the diaper bag.  In the above photo, you can also see where the interior pockets were subdivided by sewing lines.




Come back in a few days for Part 5!

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I recently made some spaghetti from Jaime’s Food Revolution Cookbook.  I added in additional items, such as peas, squash, and sausage.

You make the sauce with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, and basil.  I also added peas and squash.

When the sauce was done, I added it to the cooked and drained pasta.  I then used the pasta pan to heat up the sliced local sausage.


The recipe calls for a pound of pasta.  I think I used half a pound of angel hair spaghetti.



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Sewing a Diaper Bag, Part 3

This is Part 3 of sewing a diaper bag.  Click here for the instructions.

So far, we’ve sewn the main exterior body of the bag, sewn the straps, and started working on the pleats for the internal pockets.

Put the pocket fabric on the interior fabric and measure to make sure it is the specified distance from the top of the interior fabric.  (When cutting out pattern pieces, you could have chosen your pocket fabric as matching or contrast to the interior fabric.)

Put elastic through the casing created by sewing the bias tape to the top of the pocket fabric.

This handy tool (pictured above) is great for pulling the elastic through the casing.  It’s called a loop turner.  You push the loop turner through the casing, attach the elastic to a hook at the end of the turner, and then pull the elastic through the casing!

You’ll also sew the bottom of the pocket to the interior fabric sometime around this point.

Sew the elastic to the ends of the casing.

If you look closely in the photo above, you can see several pins on the upper and left sides of the pocket fabric.  Once you add the elastic, you’ll have to stretch the fabric and pin it to your ironing board in order to keep it flat for further work on it.

You can see that the bottom of the pocket (and maybe the sides) has been sewn to the interior fabric.

This shows the interior of the pocket.  It hasn’t been subdivided yet.  The earlier folds were to make sure it had pockets of room inside, not divisions for bottles, toys, etc.

You can see how the pleats give lots of room inside the pocket.

The pins in the photo above show where I want to sew lines to subdivide the big pocket into smaller pockets.  It’s easiest to do these lines between pleats.  It’s challenging if you try to sew the lines on the pleats.

I did one of the pockets with several subdivided pockets (see above and below).  For the other pocket, I only divided it once down the middle, so that I would have roomier divisions for diapers, etc.

Check back in a few days for Part 4!

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How many deer can you see?

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Two-Color Knitted Hat


I used this book as a tutorial on how to make a hat with a pattern made from two-colors of yarn.

I will say that I also needed to look up images, instructions, and videos online to fully understand the technique.


Once you get it, it’s pretty cool.  You hold one color in one hand and the second color in the other.


As per the instructions in the book not being clear, it was partly because there would be a couple paragraphs of explanations about a skill, followed by one sentence telling you to knit 2 inches or decrease every other row, etc.

When decreasing at the top of the hat (decrease on one row, knit all the next row), after several more paragraphs, on the next page, it told you to start decreasing every row once you got down to a certain number of stitches.  I missed that note and had to back-track on a lot of stitches.

Advice:  read the entire chapter before you start knitting.  Then, highlight the instructions (or copy them on to a piece of paper).


This is one side of the hat.


This is the other.  Part of the two-color pattern called for switching the pattern in the middle of a row.  Thus, the bottom design is different on either side of the hat.


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