Round-up: Around the House

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These are some nice projects I’ve found to make items for around the house.  I’ve tried all of them, and they look really nice.  In most cases, I think the originals look better than mine, so don’t judge the patterns too harshly based on my attempts.  So without further ado, here we go:

1. Alternative Basket Weave Coaster:  This makes a really cute, unique coaster.  I definitely recommend blocking the finished work if you use yarn, because I had a problem with my edges curling up.

2. T-Shirt Rag Rug: Makes the cutest rugs! They are super time consuming and rather delicate, so if you have a cat that likes to fling litter like mine, a sturdier rug that will hold up in the wash is probably a better idea.

3. Crochet T-shirt Rug: A tutorial for a crochet t shirt rug in Russian (don’t worry, google translate actually did an okay job). Hers definitely turned out prettier than mine, I think I just had ugly yarn scraps. Its pretty simple, easy to modify, and a great way to use tiny scraps of yarn you can’t find any other use for.  Plus this one has the benefit of being soft and sturdy!

Butterscotch Brownies

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Once upon a time my friend made these butterscotch brownies and brought them to school.  They were delicious, one guy even described them as “sex in my mouth.”  Remembering her delicious brownies, I knew I had to make some and make them even better than hers.  Unfortunately mine weren’t.  They seem to have gotten better (more brownie like, less cake like) the longer they’ve set, but they still aren’t akin to what I remember her’s tasting like.  Here is the recipe I used.  I had no butter so I used half shortening half butter spread, which I usually don’t notice a difference when I use in cookies, but maybe these brownies need all butter..

❤ S

Fruit Pizza

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This is super easy to make, and sooo delicious.  All of the ingredients go perfectly together.  My boyfriend said he was a little skeptical about fruit on a cookie, but after he had some he couldn’t stop talking about how good it was.

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Ingredients:

  • Cookie Mix and whatever it calls for
  • Your choice of fruit, I went with strawberries and kiwi
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Sugar

Directions: Make cookie according to directions, then spread it out on a pan (make sure the pan is big enough for the cookie to spread.

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Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, then check.  If not done, continue cooking, but remember it’s going to stay on the pan, so once it’s out of the oven it will get slightly more done.

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While the cookie is baking and cooling take softened cream cheese and add 1/3 cup of sugar.  When cookie is cool, top with cream cheese mixture and cut fruit.  

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Bon Appetit!

Easy as Pie

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This is the easiest recipe for apple pie.  Making pie crust from scratch can be daunting, but it’s really not that difficult; there’s a reason for the saying “easy as pie”!

Pie Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of fat (butter, margarine, shortening)*
  • 1/2 cup of cold water

Directions:

Freeze your fat.*  Using a food processor, pastry blender, fork, or hands cut the fat into the flour, sugar, and salt until you have clumps a little smaller than peas.  Slowly add water mixing as you go until it is evenly distributed.  Separate into two balls, and refrigerate at least an hour.  Roll out on floured surface, making sure it doesn’t get warm, then put into pie pan, add filling, put top pie crust on, and pinch edges.  On Pinterest there are lots of how-tos for pretty decorative pie crusts.

Apple Filling:

Ingredients:

  • about 3 apples
  • cinnamon
  • sugar

Directions:

Cut apples into small cubes, mix with however much cinnamon and sugar you want depending on your personal preferences and if you get sweet or sour apples.

*using butter or margarine will make it more flavorful, whereas shortening will make it fluffier.  Personally I like to use a mixture of the two.

*The trick to a really flaky pie crust is for the fat to be cold, this keeps it in packets when mixing the crust, which melt in the oven leaving air pockets.

Cooking With Nothing in the Cabinet: Cheesy Rice

Whether you’re on a budget or just too busy to go to the store, there are always times when we look into our cabinets and say “there’s nothing to eat!!” This is for those times. CWNITC is recipes for everything to sides, entrees, and desserts based on ingredients and items we have in our pantry, but just don’t know what to do with them.

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This recipe is for a side of cheesy rice. You can add chicken/broccoli if you have any and make it a meal.  It’s simple and delicious.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan (or other grated cheese)
  • dash garlic powder/salt (optional)
  • dash of pepper
  • Broccoli or cooked chicken (optional; I didn’t have any, I just think it would taste good)

Directions:

Add rice, water, 1/2 cup of the milk, butter, garlic salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling add flour, stir until lumps are gone, and lower heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for 10 minutes (stirring once or twice), then add remaining milk and turn heat up. Stir until smooth, then add cheese.  Stir until no lumps, turn heat down, (add broccoli or cooked chicken here if you have some) and let simmer until rice is tender and sauce is slightly runnier than thickness desired.  Remove from heat and let cool (sauce will thicken).

Bon Appetit!

❤ S

Work-in-progress

So I’ve started making a cowl based on this block.  I might post a pattern to it, because it is slightly different making a cowl than a block.  Currently this is where I am:

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And I was thinking how it would make a cute headband/earwarmer at this width.  So when I’m finished with the cowl, I have my next project.

❤ S

Easiest, Ugliest, Tastiest Hot Chocolate Cake-in-a-cup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 packet hot cocoa mix
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup/peanut butter/jam/etc (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of salt

Directions: Combine hot cocoa, flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder making sure the flour isn’t stuck to the bottom.

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Then add in the oil and milk, again making sure nothing is hiding at the bottom.  Finally adding in the syrup/peanut butter/ jam letting it sink slightly into the batter, maybe swirling it a little.

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Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. You might have to add more time depending on the wattage of your microwave.  The bottom tends to cook faster than the top, so be careful not to microwave it too long.

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Bon Appetit!

❤ S

Foundation Stitches

When you are crocheting is your beginning chain stitch too tight for your crochet stitches, causing it to bunch or the corners to turn up? Would you like to learn a faster way to begin you base stitch?  All of these are great reasons to learn how to do a foundation row with single, half double, or double crochet stitches.  You can use the foundation stitches in any pattern where it calls for you to first chain a row.

When I first saw a foundation stitch I thought it was too confusing and it would just be easier to continue chaining and then crocheting into that chain.  Later after learning I think this way is both quicker and simpler, and results in a better looking final product.

So what is a row of foundation stitches? When making a row of foundation stitches you are basically starting in the bottom of the previous (double/single/half-double) crochet stitch, chaining one, then making another (double/single/half-double) crochet stitch in that chain.

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  1. Chain number corresponding with the stitch you plan on making (HDC-3, DC-4, SC-2)Image
  2. (If DC or HDC yarn over) insert hook into first chainImage
  3. Pull through   Image
  4. Chain one      Image
  5. Do HDC/DC/SC  Image
  6. Insert hook in chain one Image
  7. Draw up a loop  Image
  8. Chain one
  9. Repeat 5-8 until length desired

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*Note-the last stitch made for some reason, is smaller than the others, but as you continue, they should even out.

❤ S