Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some quick summer sewing

Y'all know I love quick, simple, easy patterns,
 especially when they're FREE!
That's just what you get when you download the
(sizes 2-8)

It is the perfect little dress for girls on the GO!
(and for busy mamas who can only sew during naptime)

I love the little bias ties at the shoulders, very girly, indeed.
The pattern also gives you tips for adding embellishments, like placing a strip of rick-rack or lace underneath the front yoke.

These little dresses are so simple that I'm able to cut and sew 
about three of them in an hour.

Which only fuels my obsession that Mary Grace needs new dresses for holidays, family get togethers, outings with friends....

...or just Tuesdays.

needle and thREAD

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Candy Roaster Pie

We finally harvested some of the candy roaster squash that I blogged about HERE
These squash are HUGE as you can see!

I sliced one in half, scooped out the seeds, and roasted it in the oven for about an hour.  The flesh was gorgeous, sweet, and not as stringy as pumpkin.  One squash gave me six cups of puree which I promptly made into pies.  
I also saved the seeds so I can grow these again next year!

The pie was a big hit!

Who says you need a fork?
This is a girl after my own heart!

Candy Roaster Squash Pie

2 cups candy roaster squash puree
 1/2 cup sugar 
2 eggs 
2 Tbsp. flour 
1/2 cup evaporated milk 
1 tsp. vanilla 
3 Tbsp. melted butter 
Your favorite pie crust

 Stir all ingredients together, then beat at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 - 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.


Monday, July 15, 2013

The best (and easiest) homemade tomato sauce EVAH!

For years I have made tomato sauce the same way. I spent the greater part of a day blanching, peeling, seeding, chopping, and laboriously stirring over a hot pot so the sauce wouldn't scorch.
By the time it was time to eat, I was exhausted.


Thanks to Pinterest, I've found the easiest and most flavorful sauce to use with my homegrown tomatoes that requires little effort at all!

First start with your tomatoes. 
I used some of my homegrown sauce tomatoes combined with some gorgeous slicing tomatoes that my in-laws grew.  You really can use any type of tomato, even little cherry varieties.  Cut up enough tomatoes to almost fill a 9x13 baking dish or pan.
Add one large rough cut onion, about 10 cloves of garlic, and some torn basil leaves.  Sprinkle generously with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.  
Mix thoroughly with your hands.

Place pan in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  
What you will get is perfectly softened, caramelized goodness!
Plus, your house is going to smell amazing.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor or blender.  
Add one can of tomato paste and one tablespoon,
 or more, of balsamic vinegar.

Pulse to desired consistency.  
Add some of the juices from the baking dish if you'd like your sauce a little thinner.  

Pour sauce into a crock pot and cook on low the rest of the day.  The longer you let the sauce cook, the sweeter the tomato paste becomes.  Season with additional salt, pepper, and herbs to taste.
Here I added one pound each of ground beef and sweet Italian sausage.  I also added a generous pinch of oregano and chili flakes.  

I didn't even break a sweat making this wonderful sauce,
and did I mention that it makes your house smell amazing?