Thursday, January 10, 2013

Genious Healthy Mac n Cheese

This was such a hit at our house, I had to share:

1 lb Elbow Noodles
1/2 lb - 1 lb Ham (I used Canadian Bacon, but any kind of ham would be really yummy)
3 Tbs Butter
3 Tbs Flour
2 1/2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Cheese (best if its 1 cup each of two different kinds)
2 Cups Broccoli
Salt and Pepper to taste

How To:
Cook the Noodles.
Heat the Ham
Steam the Broccoli

In whatever pan you used for the noodles, on low-medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to form a paste. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking the milk and the paste together. Sprinkle in your salt and pepper. ( don't use any salt because the cheese is already really salty) Add in the cheese, little bit at a time, whisking it in to the milk (it should melt quickly) Make sure that the milk does NOT boil.

Add teh ham, noodles, and broccoli to the sauce.Stir it up. SERVE!

No pictures because this looks like almost any cheesy casserole you might make.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Back in the blogging world again

Hello long lost blog reading friends!

After the recommendation of a professor, I’m back in the blog world again. This time with a renewed focus, more vigor, and most importantly, a definitely plan.

I’ll lay out my plan and my ideas soon… sorry for the long lapse in fun craft posts, maybe we’ll have time for some of that too now that I’m not taking a full course load of graduate school classes.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quick and Easy Crock Pot Roast

The saga  of feeding your family when you're taking night classes and the solutions I've found are getting better, tastier, and easier. I'll write an update on school and such later. For now, I just need to record this AMAZING recipe.

This one was so easy I couldn't believe it. 

1 bag Trader Joe's potatoes (with some kind of veggies in it makes it the easiest)
2 Cups Beef Broth
Beef Rump Roast
Optional additions: Carrots, Onions, Celery, Green Beans

Put the ingredients in your crock pot and let it go for 4 hours on Hi, 8 hours on low. Serve.

Why have I not known about the wonders of Crock pot meals before now?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Taco Soup

Needed to post this somewhere so it doesn't get lost in my FB messages. This is a recipe for Taco soup from my dear friend Molly which she found somewhere else.. I'm reposting it here for my convenience and yours too!

Crockpot Taco Soup -
prep time 10 min. - serves 8-10
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans
1 (16 oz) can white beans or 1 (16 oz) kidney beans
1 (11 oz) can niblet corn
1 (11oz) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 (1-1/4 oz) envelope taco seasoning mix
1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix
1 lb. shredded chicken, ground beef or 1 lb any meat

1) Cook meat and drain.
2) Shred if needed.
3) Add all ingredients to crock pot.
5) Stir
6) Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours
7) Keep on low until serving to keep hot.

I'd also like to add celery and carrots the next time I make it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Raspberry Coconut Sandwich cookies

This is a modified recipe from one of my cookie magazines.

Yield 2 1/2 dozen

3/4 C Butter
1/2 C sugar
1 egg (OR 1T  milled flax seed, 3 T water, set for five minutes)
1tsp Vanilla
2 C flour – (low carb or gluten free? – try Almond flour)
1/2 C flaked coconut
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter
3/4 C confectioners sugar
2Tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C raspberry preserves

I’m pretty sure that cream cheese can be substituted for the butter, confectioners sugar, and milk part of the filling. and for those of you on low sugar diets, cut the sugar down to 1/4 cup or less. The coconut does a nice job add some sweetness to the dough.


Cream softened butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and cream together. Combine Flour, coconut, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and sift together slowly into the mixture. Combine well.

Shape into 1” balls and place on a cookie sheet. Use a glass dipped in flour to flatten them out. Bake for 12-14 min at 350 or until edges begin to brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Beat together butter, sugar, and milk for filling in a small bowl. Spread 1/2 tsp preserves and a short of a tsp of filling onto half the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Free Pattern: Crochet crayon pocket

Because sometimes, ziplock bags and cardboard boxes just won’t do for your traveling tot.

This entire project is worked as one piece until the top piece.

Starting with a magic loop, single crochet 6 times into the loop.

Rd1: 2sc in ea, (12)
Rd2: (2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next 1 st), repeat 6x (18)
Rd3  (2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next 2 sts), repeat 6x (24)
Rd 4 (2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next 3 sts), repeat 6x (30)
Rd 5 (2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next 4 sts), repeat 6x (36)
Rd 6-10 Sc in ea st. (36)
Rd 11 Sc in 1st 18 sts, ch 1, turn

Row 12-23 Sc 36x, ch 1, turn.
Row 24 Sc 36x, ss to join. DO NOT TURN

Rd 25- 30 Sc in ea st (36)
Fasten off.
Weave in the tail.

Repeat rounds 1-5 of the bottom. End with a long tail.
Use the tail to stitch the top onto the bottom using a tapestry needle.

Finished pocket should measure about 5 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. The gauge is not important as long as your stitches are tight and the crayons don’t fall out!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Next up: PLARN

As if my recycling adventures had not reached an all time high with my upcycled t-shirt yarn bag, I’m am now venturing into the realms of recycled grocery bags!

I never saw a tutorial for making plarn, so I figured it out just for you – all four of my dedicated readers. <sarcastic grin!>

Since WA has new laws going into effect soon about the use of plastic bags at stores, everyone is really into using the reusable grocery bags. Instead of throwing my plastic shopping bags into the recycle like I usually do, I’m now turning them all into plarn and I’m going to make reusable grocery bags out of the grocery bag plarn! (The irony here is killing me!)

Plarn is super easy.

  1. First: be sure your grocery bag didn’t hold something gross like chicken because it’s not really going to be launder-able.WP_000818
  2. Next: flatten out your bag and pull the corners so the plastic is nice and square.
  3. Then: fold up the sides so the handles are together.WP_000820
  4. Cut the handles off.    WP_000821
  5. Cut off the sealed bottom piece.
  6. Cut 2cm “strips” from the folded bag.WP_000822
  7. Link the “strip/loops” together so they are one long series of loops. WP_000823WP_000824
  8. Repeat with lots of bags. 50? 100? use your whole cabinet full.
  9. Pretend they’re not loops, roll into a “plarn ball.”WP_000825(1)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to make t-shirt yarn?

I’ve had a couple of requests for how to make t-shirt yarn. Its pretty simple and only a little messy. There are lots of tutorials made by fabulous bloggers out there. This is the one I used:


I usually do it at the table and then the little fuzzies that come off the t-shirt yarn as I’m pulling the strips into yarn fall on the bale instead of me or the floor. This makes clean up easier and faster. Of course if you have hardwoods instead of rugs then the floor would work fine and swiffer solves all measures of fuzzy problems.


T-shirt yarn becomes a bag.

Wonder what I did with all that t-shirt yarn? Enter bag:

The bag took about 8 t-shirts worth of yarn and is about the same size as the purse I usually use (the one my grandma quilted for me!) See the fun tassle I added. Oh yes, I'm Really stylish now. Tehe.

What do you think?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meal of the Week 16: Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

More traditional for the fall… but I had to use up my last pumpkin from our pumpkin patch trip in November (which I should have used in November, arguably). Caveat: I was trying really hard to copy the same texture and flavor as my friend Emilie’s soup… but I failed. This one is good, but Emilie’s is better. SO when I get her recipe from her I’ll post the differences and you can decide!
  • 1/2 lb turkey sausage
  • 1 onion
  • 4 mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T butter or 2 T EVOO
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1 cup cream
Start by cooking up your sausage. It doesn’t really matter if its cooked and then sliced or just ground cooked. It looks prettier if it cooks as a tube and is afterwards sliced. Remove from heat.
In you favorite soup making pot, melt 1 T butter. Sauté diced onion and mushrooms until soft (3-4 min). Puree in a blender with 1 C stock until very smooth. Return to the pot.
Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the puree in the pot including the sausage that was set aside. Heat on Med until boiling and then lower the heat so it simmers nice and low for about 45 minutes so all your spices can cook in.
From what I’ve read online, you can easily make this Vegetarian or Vegan by taking out the sausage, using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and using coconut milk instead of cream and sugar. You can also add in celery to the sauté and puree. I’m tempted to try the coconut milk next time I make this just to see what its like (and because I can never do something the same way twice… which is actually a real problem when something comes out SOOO perfect the first time like this one did.)
Play with the liquid levels until you like how soupy or thick it is. Use 4 cups of broth for a really slurpy soup, 3 for a thicker version. I like it a little thicker than it came out, but my husband thought it was the most perfect soup ever made.
Serve with Rosemary bread, cranberries, granny smith apples, bacon bits, and sour cream for toppings. The recipe makes enough for four-6 bowls, depending on which dish set you have.
Oh yeah and the reason there is no picture is that we ate it so fast because it was SOOO good that we didn’t stop to photograph.
It looked a lot like this recipe from (But you should really follow my recipe because the one from the link has no spice!)
Here's Emilie's recipe: IT IS WAY BETTER than the one I wrote above, therefore I admonish you to use it. And if anyone knows where I can find Old Bay in the NW, please let me know!!
Em's Pumpkin Soup

1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
2 dried bay leaves
1 onion chopped
Salt and Pepper
3 TBS flour
1 TBS Old Bay
1 TBS Tabasco
4 cups chicken stock
29 oz can pumpkin (about 3 cups. Add more for thicker consistency)
2 cups Heavy Cream (give or take 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 tsp nutmeg

One or two granny smith apples chopped
a handful or two of dried cranberries

In a dutch oven: Heat oil and butter and add the chopped onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper (about 2 tsp), sautee about 6 minutes till onions are tender
Add the flour, Tabasco sauce, and old bay, stir for a minute
Whisk in 4 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer
Whisk in the pumpkin
Add sausage
simmer for 10 minutes
lower heat and add cream and nutmeg.
Garnish with apples and cranberries