Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bleach pen t-shirts

Hob Lob had their t-shirts marked 50% off of their already cheap price of $3.99 so I bought the boys several to make some custom shirts. I had seen some bleach pen tees on and thought it would be fun to try them.

We were not disappointed!

Kyle made this awesome shirt and four more over the weekend! The boys really had fun with this project and now I have a little keepsake of their artwork.

To make your own, just place a piece of waxed paper inside the shirt to keep the pen from bleeding through. Have the kids draw on the front of the shirt with chalk then trace over the chalk lines with a Clorox bleach pen. When the lines turn the desired color, wash out in the sink and toss in the washing machine.

Now my house smells all bleachy and sanitized...
too bad it's not from actual cleaning!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Meatless Fridays

Any kind of summer cooking where you don't have to turn on the oven is great by me! Grilling these burgers outside gives them a wonderful smoky flavor, and canned salmon is always great for the budget! JP and Dan call these "crabby patties"...I call them DELISH!
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:

Salmon Burgers

1 (16 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs or Panko
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch dried basil

In a medium bowl, mix together the salmon, eggs, parsley, onion, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of basil, and red pepper flakes. Form into 6 firmly packed patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
Grill patties or cook on stove top in a small amount of oil until golden brown on both sides.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of basil. Use as a sauce for your patties.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The most horrific room in the house,

which happens to be the boys bathroom, is getting a makeover!

The bathroom is the most awful shade of lime green you have ever seen, and well, smells like a boys bathroom.

The dog won't even go in there!

While I'm working the next two days, Doug and the boys have vowed to clean it up and paint it.

With some inexpensive accessories and some handmade rag rugs for the floor, we'll see if it's fit for human habitation in a few days!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

During these dog days of summer...

All I want to do is make warm, cozy quilts for an autumn baby!

The heat is horrific here in south Texas.
To get what I mean, turn your oven on to 350 degrees ~
then climb in!

I have no tolerance for the heat at all so I just stay inside with my fan and glass of iced sweet tea and sew...

...and dream of chilly fall days cuddling up in this quilt with a precious baby girl!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meatless Fridays

My summer garden is pretty much done except for eggplants and peppers. We'll be harvesting those until well into October! This is a great way to use up that eggplant and it doesn't have all that breading like a traditional eggplant Parmesan.
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:

Eggplant Gratin

Olive oil for frying
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F. Heat 1/8 inch of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Do not use extra virgin olive oil, the smoke temperature is too low.
When the olive oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook them. Flip them once they get light brown. Both sides should be cooked through in 5 minutes. Transfer cooked eggplant to paper towels to drain. Do this until all eggplant slices are cooked.
In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, half-and-half, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. In a shallow baking dish, place a layer of eggplant then sprinkle with more pepper and Parmesan cheese. Spoon on half of the marinara and half of the ricotta mixture. Place the second layer of eggplant on top of the mixtures, top that with the rest of the marinara, and ricotta mixture.
Spread the mozzarella on top and bake for 10 minutes.
Lower the heat to 375 F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I don't think you're ready for this jelly...

...cause my jelly's so booty-licious!
(thanks Beyonce!)

Yes, I'm at it again, making more jelly.
And I know what you're thinking.
One day I WILL get a life, but that day is not today!

Today I am making lemon balm & hibiscus flower jelly.

To make this incredible tasting jelly you need:
1 cup of chopped lemon balm, leaves and stems
1 cup of hibiscus flower petals
3 cups of water
juice of one lemon
one box of powdered pectin
4 cups of sugar

Bring lemon balm, flower petals, and water to a boil then remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes to make a tea. Strain and add enough water back into mixture until you have three cups. Your mixture will look filthy! Don't worry, because the magic happens when you add the lemon juice! The mixture turns the color of the flowers you used. Now add pectin and put mixture in a pot over high heat. Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil for two minutes. Pour into hot sterilized jars and cap. You can put the jars into the fridge once set for immediate use or can in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to preserve.

And who needs artificial coloring and high fructose corn syrup when God gives you color and flavor like this naturally!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a WTH? moment

This week we had an invasion of ants in the pantry!
On my one day off I cleaned out the pantry for Doug to spray
and wondered to myself... the heck did I end up with FIVE bottles of corn syrup?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The kindness of others...

Since announcing our pregnancy we have been flooded with nothing but well wishes, prayers, and loving kindness from all of you! We already have a most wonderful little "stock pile" of gently used baby items, packs and packs of diapers, and baby care items from our precious family and neighbors with promises of so much more to come.
My heart can scarcely take it in!
We are so touched and humbled to be thought of in these generous ways.

We could never thank you enough for your kindness....
so we are asking God to.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Meatless Fridays

Here is a fabulous high protein / low carb meal. Leftovers can even be eaten cold! It's a great way to sneak veggies into the kid's diet and is very filling!
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:

Spaghetti Squash Quinoa Bake

4 cups of cooked spaghetti squash (1 large)
16oz cottage cheese
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup egg whites
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheese
2 teaspoon dry dill

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Pre-oil a deep baking dish.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the pepper and onion. Saute, stirring often, until caramelized (about 10-15 minutes).
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to the pre-oiled dish and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the bake is set and the top is golden. If you would like to reduce the cooking time to an hour, use two deep pie dishes instead of the large baking dish (you can always freeze one for another meal!).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More sewing

I think I've been sewing so much because it's just way too hot to do anything else! When I sew I have my fan on high, a glass of sweet tea, and my favorite chick flick on the DVR. The boys are out and about in the woods or the pool and don't need my attention like they once it's just me and my sewing machine!

This weekend I made a simple maternity house dress from a tattered old t-shirt and vintage sheet scrap:

It's light and cool and perfect for doing nothing in,
except maybe more sewing!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend sewing

I must have made a dozen of them from fabric scraps I had laying around. They literally come together in minutes!

They are perfect for working around the house,
a quick trip to the store, or for hiding any bad hair day.

Umm Danny, that's not quite what I had in mind!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Meatless Fridays

Finding low carb AND meatless meals has been an adventure! I really love this idea since it comes together so quickly and requires NO cooking. I take these to work in my little bento boxes for a quick snack, they are so filling.
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:

Avocado Salad Lettuce Wraps

2 avocados cubed and slightly mashed
3 small tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh corn cut from 1 cob
juice of one lime
romaine lettuce leaves

Optional: You can add grilled, flaked fish or black beans for added protein.

Combine all ingredients and fill lettuce leaves.
See, I told 'ya it was quick and easy~

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beat the heat!

With lemon balm popsicles!

Lemon balm is a soothing and calming herb,
popsicles are cooling and refreshing...
it's a total win/win!

To make these delightful treats:

3 cups of chopped lemon balm, leaves and stems
6 cups of water
Sweeten to taste

Simmer lemon balm and water for 20 minutes over low heat to make a tea.
Strain out leaves, then sweeten with sugar, honey, or stevia.
Pour into molds and freeze.

I made these refreshing pops for the kids (with a little help from Danny!).

Then I put fresh leaves and the tea mixture into ice cube trays to make my sweet tea super fancy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A tale of two hearts...

This little heart, it beats...

JP and Danny listening to the baby's heartbeat via doppler

My heart, it bursts!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All about motherwort

When I found out we were expecting way back in February, I made sure to plant motherwort in the herb garden! It's just now coming into flower and ripe for harvest...good thing, too, a tincture takes at least six weeks to brew!

You take motherwort tincture (tea from the plant is very bitter!) when you need a bit of after having a baby, or anytime you feel stressed or anxious.

Like many herbs, motherwort is named for its medicinal purpose. It has several specific actions which benefit mothers and women in general. This herb is NOT recommend during pregnancy until you reach the last few days of it (39 weeks and greater). It can be used to treat false labor pains and to bring about a sense of peace during labor because of its sedating qualities. It is highly recommended for postpartum use to tone the uterus, decrease bleeding, and to increase milk production. It is also a wonderful remedy for the baby blues (which I tend to get horribly!)

This herb also has great cardiac benefits as well. It lowers blood pressure and rapid heart beat. It also acts as a sedative to calm the nerves and promotes a restful sleep.

The leaves and flowers are harvested when the plant is in full bloom and can be dried for tea or soaked in alcohol or glycerine to make a tincture.

Read more:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Beach Bums

I spent the whole day doing nothing but sitting in the cabana, sipping sweet tea, and watching my babies play and explore.

Nothing like it in the world, it restoreth my soul!

It may have to become a weekly event!

(I'm sure the boys wouldn't mind!)