Birthday Bunting

What to do on a Saturday when you don’t feel so hot? Sit and think of things you can do and make. Then go to the store to buy whatever you need for whatever you thought of. Recently I came across a crochet pattern for Granny Triangles. I’ve made tons of Granny Squares, but triangles? New to me! Since penant-style bunting is all the rage these days, I think it’s time I try my hand at it, the crochet way. My master plan is to make crochet triangles to use as bunting for Ellie’s 1st Birthday party. Then after the party, I can assemble them into a keepsake blanket for her. I am hugely sentimental, so I think this is brilliant.

Even feeling crummy, I had to start this immediately. My motivation was partly (mostly) a 25% off coupon for the craft store that expired today. I took a small printout of the plates from the Birthday theme I’ve picked and got some good old sturdy Red Heart yarn in the appropriate bright happy colors.

I love that these triangles go FAST! This gives me hope that I’ll finish well before the birthday party rolls around in a few months.

Once I get a handful of triangles made, I plan to graph out a design for the throw. That’s all for now! Oh, those cupcakes I was working on last time….YUM. My co-workers loved them. I use the Southern Living Pink Lemonade cake recipe from the recent issue.

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Chicken Pot Pie, YUM YUM!

We have been super busy up here in MA, so I’m a bit behind with the blogging. I actually made this a few weeks ago, but finally sharing! I made my first ever Chicken Pot Pie using Pillsbury’s SUPER easy recipe!

It was so so so easy. I had never made any kind of pie before (well, except the instant kind with the crust already in the pan and you just dump the filling in! I’m not counting that) but it came out so good. Seriously, fool-proof! Check out the results and go make your own!

PS Forgive the runny gravy awesomeness on top. Evidently I sealed the edges really good and it bubbled out the top a bit!

Dare to Make Cookies!

HERE is a dare I can handle! Making cookies, I got this! Welcome to Week 3 of the Dare to DIY blog party!

This one was quite fun because I totally kicked the recipe and just did my own thing. Some of my friends may remember my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Oh. My. Gosh. If you want decadent, chew-it-slowly-while-you-savor-every-tiny-morsel cookies, you NEED these. (Warning: they are cookie crack! You will eat them too quickly, then dream about them at night, think about them during the day when you hit that 3pm crash at work and need a sugar rush, then think of them again on your way home when you’re mentally scanning the pantry thinking “What can I whip up for dinner tonight?” and then you’ll remember the cookies and think “Who needs dinner? We could just jump to dessert, I mean they have pumpkin in them so that’s a fruit…!”) (<—-not kidding, make them now!)

Due to the sad sad addiction, I decided to make another batch of these and ‘healthify’ them!! I had some ideas and when I got started I realized that I used ALL of my canned pumpkin making cheesecake. OPPS! But I certainly can’t regret that one! So I rethought my plan and improvised. In the end I ended up with:

(Click on image for full size to print or right-click to copy and paste into your fav program to resize and print!)

Now these are good. They are quite healthy! We have a fruit (banana), some most excellent omega-3’s (flax seed and walnuts), fiber (wheat germ!) and anti-oxidants (I used dark chocolate morsels). I substituted the oil from the original recipe for Sunsweet Lighter Bake, so no fat there!

The result is pretty yummy and Terry is LOVING them! I’m very happy with them (although with the less chocolate…they’re not the same!). I think they are even healthy enough that since I didn’t go to the grocery this weekend, they may be breakfast in the morning!

I also made some turkey chili today that was really fast and easy. Here is the recipe for that one also, I made some individual serving sizes for our lunch this week 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Whew! I am STUFFED! Although we were home all alone this Thanksgiving, it was a great day! Last night we made a trip to Lowe’s and bought supplies for kitchen cabinet we are adding to the kitchen. Since it’s a long weekend for Terry (I have to work tomorrow) we thought this was the perfect weekend for tackling a project Weekend Warrior style! Today Terry worked on that while I cooked and baked! Here’s a little trip through our day:

I started my day off making our cheesecake, since it needed to chill a few hours and I didn’t get to make it last night. Here is the recipe I used (click on image to enlarge and print, or right click to copy and paste into your fav program to print your recipe card!):

This is my first ever cheesecake but it was really easy!!

Crumb mixture for crust
Ready for the oven!
The final product!

So yummy, I think this will definitely be on future holiday menus! The biggest problem now….this thing is going to be in my fridge until we eat it. Me and Terry. That’s it. Want to come help? My hips will thank you if you do!

I didn’t really have a Thanksgiving ‘menu’ or anything, but I did plan for green bean casserole and I got rolls and turkey tenderloins. A quick spin in the kitchen and we had this for dinner:

Mmmmm, dinner...

Outside of the kitchen, much was accomplished. Here is the current state of our future cabinet:

Cabinet (can you tell we were on a coffee break when this picture was taken?)

The tiles on top are not actually adhered yet, just there for our visual inspection. YES, we measured PERFECTLY!!!!!! Notice we are working in the office. This is how we DIY when the weather is crummy. Here is what it really looked like all day:

What a mess!

The hall and office are completely off-limits to the puppies, which means of course that they are more determined than ever to go back there! I can’t wait to see this done! Terry is blowing me away with his handiness and ideas!

Lastly I decorated my Christmas tree, YAY! We haven’t put up a tree the last two years so I was really jazzed! The puppies were REALLY into it, especially Jasper who kept stealing ornaments!

Jasper checking out the ornaments while I chat with my Mom
Ooooo, what's this Mommy?
I think Mickey takes after me with his love for coffee.

I hope everyone out there had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!!

Helping the vertically challenged

Every so often, our little Yorkie Mickey resembles a Mexican jumping bean. This is usually when we are on the sofa, bed, chair, or any other surface that he is too short to just hop onto. Now, he’s a persistent little guy and will keep jumping until he manages to get a foothold and pull himself up. But I decided, why not help the little guy out. So I bought him a cute little step at Target. Well, the top is kinda slick and he is terrified of it!! It has sat by the sofa for a week with absolutely no puppy-paw action. So today I crocheted a little top for it.

Covered step

Now it is soft and squishy and he doesn’t have to worry about sliding off it!! What does he think:

Mickey contemplates le step stool
Mickey contemplates le step stool

I’d say the jury is still out! He hasn’t touched it yet, except when I picked him up and put him on it, which lasted about a millisecond!

I also made banana bread today, so as not to waste the 5 really ripe bananas we had:

Yum

Off to grab a coffee and chow!

Another 2-for-1 recipe night

I tried two, yep count ’em, TWO new recipes tonight! I’m happy to report that both came out fabulously! I’m one stuffed to the brim Kelliebelle!

First, for dinner we had pumpkin-turkey meatloaf with cranberry topping. Yummy, healthy, easy….I’m in love…. I followed the recipe almost exactly, just added a little extra seasoning to the meat (onion, oregano, etc). We had this with green early peas and mashed potatoes with apple-maple smoked cheese shredded on top the potatoes. A huge hit!

pumpkin turkey meatloaf

Then, because I could not possibly waste the second half-can of pumpkin, I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  I discovered them via Cosmicpluto knits, and OMG, yes, everyone on the planet should make these! I followed the recipe fairly well, but substituted the 1/2 cup oil for 1/4 cup Lighter Bake. I can’t tell, they are totally decadent and thanks to the Lighter Bake, I don’t feel remotely guilty for eating two….even though I was still full from dinner.

MMmmmm, cookie...........

My work here is done….I’m gonna go lay on the couch like a beached whale. Oh, one more thing, I finished my afghan square from Friday night:

Crazy log cabin square

This is a very special square. It’s the first thing I’ve ever knitted with my own handspun yarn, SUCCESS!! It also has my first ever dyed fiber in there (the pink/blue in the middle, interspersed with the brown) and it’s my first ever attempt at a log cabin square (which is knit in sections with the direction changing….intended to look a bit like a quilt square). I didn’t actually change colors here, I just spun a bunch of different fibers in what I though would be an interesting order. Lastly, this square is most special because it’s going in the mail tomorrow to get sewed into an afghan for a great friend.

OK, now the whale impersonation…..

A GREAT Sunday!!

For so many reasons!! First….just to set the stage, I got to watch the Saints!!! This was cause for celebration!! A native New Orleanian, I really miss watching the Saints every weekend. Football just isn’t the same. I’m in Patriots land, and I really don’t like the Patriots. ALL they ever play is the Patriots. I think Tom Brady is a girly boy. There, I said it. But this weekend was different because The Saints were playing the Giants and it was not at the same time as the Patriots so they actually aired it in Boston, WOO-HOO!!

In preparation for THE game (and in celebration of  having the housework done thanks to loads of help from my hubby on Saturday) I decided to throw caution to the wind and an inch to my thighs by making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and Pumpkin Fudge!!! Since moving to New England last year I have learned quite a bit about the history of the Whoopie Pie! They are wildly popular, come in lots of flavors and I even saw a show about them on a local channel (there was nothing better on TV at the time). While browsing the Better Homes and Gardens website, I came across this, SWEET! I made them and they are awesome! I have shamelessly eaten two of them today.

Here’s the cake mix. It’s basically just really thick and you spoon it out on a cookie sheet to make little cakes. Then you take the cakes and put the filling in between like a sandwich:

Out of the oven and coolingIMG_3443

Then you inhale them like the awesomeness they are!!!!

I was afraid of the Pumpkin Fudge because I’ve never tried making any kind of candy. I was afraid I wouldn’t cook it enough and it wouldn’t ‘set’. For a first try I think this turned out great!! I could have cooked it a little longer. It’s a little soft and the textrue is a little grainy, like the sugar didn’t all quit melt away, but really it’s not bad! I have this little tub all set to go to work with me tomorrow!

IMG_3444

And the Saints won! I did my victory dance while eating a Whoopie Pie, WHOOPIE!!!!!