Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What's For Dinner??

I have posted in the past about my struggle with the grocery store. I just can't bring myself to go sometimes. So, today Jeff and I decided to divide and conquer. We split the grocery list. He got half of the groceries and I got the other half and we met at the register. I think it only took us about 30 minutes! Little does Jeff know but...this is how grocery shopping will commence from now on!

I want to start eating healthy again, which was the main reason for the grocery trip. I was really good about eating healthy in the past but I fell of the wagon when I started school again. Now that it has been nearly a year since I graduated I have no excuse to not to start! I like to pre-prepare food so I can have things easily on hand to eat. After we got home from the store I started cooking. I think I cooked for almost 4 hours! I love coffee in the morning but it is not good to drink just coffee for breakfast. I have a great recipe for sausage and veggie breakfast cups. So I made 8 of those. I freeze them and heat one up in the microwave in the morning to have with my coffee. That always gets me off to a good start! They are like little quiches without the crust. Just eggs, reduced fat cheese, turkey sausage, onions and bell peppers. Oh so yummy!

Then I was thinking that I would need a good snack. I tend to be a stress eater and as a social worker things get kinda stressful. So a good healthy snack is in order! Last weekend I went to the Botanic Gardens for the annual Herb Festival. I go every year with my mother. It is absolutely wonderful! This year my sister and niece were in town and we all went together. Once it stops raining here (it has been raining for about a week!) I will post pictures of my garden and the herbs I got from the festival. Well anyhoo, there are the most wonderful ladies who have a business called Our Thyme Garden. They are at the festival every year. They make culinary goods, oh sooooo yummy stuff. They taught me how to make a laventini, a lavender martini! For those of you who do not cook with herbs I can see your face crinkling now! But, trust me...lavender has a great flavor! I will have to make some lavender cookies soon and post the recipe. Okay...back on track....the wonderful ladies... I purchased a rosemary garlic infused olive oil from them. I have been just itching to use it so I tossed the oil in with a package of pecans, a little salt, and a little dried thyme and roasted them in the oven. Oh so yummy and an healthy treat (if I remember not to eat all of them at once!). It is very simple to make your own infused cooking oil... may have to do that this weekend!

For dinner I made a marinade of Chianti, soy sauce, oregano, and thyme and soaked steaks in it for about 2 hours (would have been better to marinade overnight). Then I broiled them. I also made a medley of sauteed onions, bell peppers, and steamed snow peas with a balsamic vinaigrette glaze. Then a yummy side salad! I tossed together romaine lettuce, chopped walnuts, and feta with a homemade strawberry vinaigrette dressing. The dressing was fabulous and probably my most favorite part of the meal! It was so easy peasy that I have to share the recipe...that is if there is anyone that actually reads this thing :-) !

Strawberry vinaigrette dressing:

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of strawberry preserves or jelly (I used sugar free preserves)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Add the ingredients into a container (I used a mason jar) and shake vigorously.

I love those little beer bottles with the little lid that clasps shut. I have no idea what they are called but I sometimes ask Jeff to buy them because I save the bottles afterwards for things like oils and vinegars. They work really well not to mention look neat. I actually doubled this recipe because I am planning on eating this salad a few more times this week so I stored it in one of these nifty little beer bottles.

Well that is all folks! Hopefully I did not bore you too much!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Hello Jordy!

Ah, the jordy bag. So cute, so practical, so...perfect. I like to carry a small purse around with me because there is not much that I put in a purse. Now, if I am out and about with various knitting projects, I have to have my big bag with me but...for everyday errands and outings...a small bag will do just fine. I love love love purses and bags...well... and shoes too, but I have not figured out how to make those yet. There is a fantastic tutorial for this quaint little jordy bag over here.

I had a lot of fun making this and plan on making more. This one was a prototype because I had to have instant gratification and whipped it out to see what it would look like. It turned out so well and I am so happy about it. The next time...and there will most certainly be many more next times...I am going to use interfacing to make it more durable and sturdy. I may even put these in my little Etsy shop when I get that going. If you like this little bag, there is also the mother load of purse, bag, and wallet tutorials here.

Since I have this cute little bag...it was only fitting that I make myself a little zipper pouch, like the pouches I made for mother's day, to keep my credit cards and lip stuff in. I liked the way it turned out!

Also...for those of you who are organic farm girls at heart...check out this new book from Mary Jane Butters. She is such a neat lady. My mom gave my sister her new book for mother's day. There so many projects and cool ideas in it. She is the queen of apron making too. One of these days I am going to make one of her fabulous aprons. My sister is visiting from Arkansas and right now she is having dinner with my parents. She left the book on my coffee table. I think I may go snatch it up and soak up some new ideas!

But....for now....time to get ready for Heros!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I was sitting around the other day trying to think of what to get the mom's in my family for mother's day. Then, I realized, why get them something when I can make something. So the ideas started racing. I decided for my mother, grandmother, and my aunt I would make lined zipper pouches and handmade soap to put inside. For my sister, who is a a fairly new mom, I made a zipper pouch and a matching hobo bag. She has been admiring the one I made for myself so it is just

Here is the hobo bag I made. They are so easy to make it is ridiculous, not to mention a lot of fun to make too! My little Bernina has been working overtime!

These are the zipper pouches. I have never sewed with zippers before. It was really easy. I wonder what took me so long to try it? I can't imagine anything without zippers now :-)! I like the way these turned out so much that I am going to have to get busy and make a pouch for myself. Jo Ann's was having a great sale on some of their home decor fabric the other day so that is what I used. I love all the colors in the different fabrics...so vibrant and happy!

The soaps I made in my wooden soap mold. The base is Shea butter and the scent is warm vanilla sugar, the bath and body works scent. I love the way it smells. I have a friend who wears it...it is basically her trademark scent...so when I smell these soaps it reminds me of her. There is a great company called from nature with love where I purchase my soap making supplies. They have a ton of their own original scents and make a lot of the bath and body works scents too. Now I just need to think of a way to wrap them up and put them in the zipper pouches!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Little Crafting And A Super Quick Post

I recently made some earrings for a craftster swap. I really liked them so I whipped up a few for myself and my sister. I love jewelry and especially making it myself. They take no time at all to make, so I thought I would make a few for myself to match a few of my outfits. I am obsessive compulsive like that ;-) . I think that I may sell them in my Etsy shop once I get that up and going. My friend and I met this Saturday to discuss getting things going for our Etsy shops, hopefully soon we will have everything worked out and our very own shops! I am very excited about this! Now it is time to get going on crafting for mothers day. There are sooooo many mothers to craft for!

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