Monday, February 28, 2011

New Kitchen Toy

We're hooked on fresh pasta noodles around here, especially Callum. He prefers them to any other kind.

So with that in mind, we decided to go in search of a pasta maker to help with the process.

We found a little manual deal that makes lasagna noodles, fettucini, and angel hair pasta.

I appreciate it because it makes the pasta making job a little bit easier. Plus home made noodles are really gratifying to make and eat, more so because the boy loves them so much.

This is what they look like before we cook them up. We boil half of this at a time to make sure they don't clump together and that they cook all the way through. Ten minutes in the pot and they're ready.

Then we serve with a home made pasta sauce and dinner is wonderful!

A lovely new tradition has been born in our house and it makes me very happy for so many reasons - it's healthy, it's delicious, it's made with love, it's eaten with gusto. What more could a Mama ask for?

Happy Monday, Michele

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heart Biscuits

When I posted about our winter feast a while back, I had a request for the recipe from my dear friend, Katharyn.

So here it is, as found in my ancient cookbook:

Basic Tea Biscuits
2 cups flour (we use unbleached)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup water

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
Cut in the butter (this works best with a pastry cutter, well worth the investment if you don't already have one!).
Add the water (recipe originally called for milk but we are dairy free here).
Once mixed, turn the dough out, using a sprinkling of flour to roll it out and cut shapes.
Bake between 10 to 20 minutes at about 400 degrees - until light golden brown.

We serve them warm with all kinds of things - butter, freezer jam, cold meats, cheese, whatever strikes your fancy.

They're also lovely the next day for lunch, instead of sandwiches.

So better late than never, Katie! I hope you enjoy them. :)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Winter That Never Ends

I, for one, am ready to see the back side of this endless winter.

Seriously, we're getting more and more snow these days. And it should really be done by now - really really.

The sun is shining today, which is lovely, but means that it's very cold outside. Not just cold but frigid.

But the weather hasn't even been the worst part of this winter. We've had some pretty big blows to our family. Callum was diagnosed with asthma just before Christmas and we've had to rehome all of our pets - all of them. Then we lost the baby. We've also all had a horrible cold/flu for the last two weeks and David's seems to have developed into pneumonia. To top it all off, I broke a tooth last week and while having it repaired, the dentist drilled a hole into my tongue - literally took a chunk out.

So yeah, I am ready for the winter of 2010-2011 to be done.

But we are carrying on and life, though tumultuous of late, has still been amazing and miraculous around here in all the little, daily ways. My men make it so, just because we all love each other like mad.

Now enough of all that whining business. I have crafting news.

I know I've been fairly quiet on here lately but that's not because I haven't been working away on things. I have actually been working on a fairly large project that I cannot reveal as of yet. It's a surprise and the surprisee does read the blog - so no details. But soon, my crafters, soon.

I did, however, sneak in a finish of a project that I started working on a couple of summers ago. My fungly quilt top is finally all done.

In case you don't know, the fungly challenge was meant to use fabrics that you would never put together normally. Fabrics that had been hanging around too long, fabrics that just didn't seem to fit with other fabrics, fabrics that could be classified as ugly and unwanted. Then we needed to try a new free piecing technique, match it with some free-pieced lettering and see what the result would be.

My mathematically-inclined brain decided to use triangles and then make the words that described them. It's cute. It's carefree. It'll be added to my quilts-for-the-couch pile. And most importantly - it's done and can be added to the finished list. That's always a bonus.

So life is carrying on around here. Those little, daily things that make me so happy are carrying on. And despite all the unwelcomed life challenges lately, the crafting and the blog is also carrying on.

And may this winter finally start to ease up.

I think I'll go do some garden planning now. I need spring in a big way.

Happy weekend, Michele

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things Have Been Better

Well, blog readers, we've had some bad news this past week. I've had a miscarriage. And thus there will be no new baby in September.

But we're all doing well. And Callum makes it easy to stay focused on the important things in life - like each other.

We'll be snuggling in for a nice weekend of movies and knitting and trying to recover from a nasty cold virus with lots of hot chocolate and popcorn.

Hope you have a lovely weekend, Michele

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Next Level of Diapers

At fifteen months, Callum definitely needs diapers that are bigger. And this time around, we've had enough experience with diapers in all shapes, sizes and designs, that I've modifed my own pattern to suit our preferences.

First off, we had to deal with the size issue, because a 15-month-old backside is quite a bit bigger than the tiny little one I made diapers for previously. So the pattern got upsized.

This new size would have been enough to wrap our little man in when he first came home!

Next, I know that David struggles with little fiddly things on diapers because he is a big guy with big hands and thus he prefers diapers with snaps or velcro. So I added velcro to the latest incarnation with a nice wide strip across the front to make it more sizeable. (I also don't own a snap gun so velcro it is.)

And let's face it . . . without David's support, my cloth diapering venture wouldn't fly at all so I try to make it work for him, too.

I still like pocket diapers the best because I can change up the absorption layer inside. Plus I like being able to pull them all part, ensure that they're clean and dry, and then reassemble them for the next diapering needs.

And finally, I have tried many different fabric combinations over the last year and a bit. I like this one the best, with flannel on the outside, absorbant microfibre in the pocket, and a soft layer of cotton fleece next to the skin.

With a dozen added to the stash, these latest diapers should last Callum through to the other side of potty training.

Now I guess I should go dig out the tiny diapers again for the next little one!

Oh, and have I shown you a picture of my latest sewing helper?

He's really more interested in the way it works, and how to take it apart, than he is in sewing with it. But any interaction with crafty tools on his part makes my heart do a little pitter pat!

Happy Tuesday, Michele