Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blankets for Greyson's Gift

Here are the blankets I made for Greyson's Gift. For more information, or to help out with Greyson's Gift, please click here.

I made 2 tiny crochet blankets in white and yellow.

I also made 2 tiny flannel blankets in this cute argyle flannel fabric I found. These were both really easy to make with my handy-dandy sewing machine. I made one with just two coordinating fabrics, and the other a small "quilt" with a square pattern on front and a coordinating fabric backing.

Here are the reverse sides of the flannel blankets.

I am so glad I could help with this, even just a tiny bit. If you know how to sew or crochet blankets, please stop by the Greyson's Gift blog and help out with this project. It is such a great thing they are doing!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My First Quilt

Doing some catching up... yesterday was "Migraine Monday" instead of my normal "Muffin Tin Monday". In fact, it should have been "Migraine 3-Day Weekend", but that doesn't sound as catchy. Again, I apologize for the lack of blog posts and follow up comments. I am not spending as much time on the computer since I don't want my migraine to return. But I did want to share this little tidbit with you... So, since I'm pretty sure my sister doesn't check out my blog very often, I thought it would be pretty safe to show this to all my bloggy friends. I recently finished my first quilt!

I started this quilt in July and took my time completing it. It is for my niece for Christmas. Her bedroom is decorated in pink and green colors. Most of the pinks and some of the yellows I used were scrap fabric my mom gave me from her stash. I got some extra yellows, pinks and greens to add to it. I figured the squares would be the easiest pattern for a starter quilt.

I did a simple backing. I made it bigger than the quilt top, then folded it over, pinned it, and sewed it to the top. Although it took some time, it was much easier than I thought it would be... and much faster than crocheting a blanket.

I sewed a letter "E" for her name on the middle square.

And I added a little tag. :)

What do you think?

I also started a cute one for my other niece, and now that I know how to make a quilt, I am thinking of making a bunch more!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Farmer's Market Challenge

In case you hadn't noticed, I've been in a blog funk over the last few days. I've been having some health problems and I've been a little down and haven't felt like doing much of anything. Sorry, everyone.

But, nothing a trip to the farmer's market can't fix!
Here's my entry for the September Farmer's Market Challenge. For more information on the Farmer's Market Challenge, or to join in, visit Judy's blog at The Road to Here.

We went to a different farmer's market near our house on Tuesday. A nice little indoor one in Mesa, AZ. It was nice to go inside-- out of the heat! :) Notice the sign? "Chilies roasted daily!" Mmmm...

Here are some beautiful Hatch Green Chiles. I wanted to take some home, roast them, then stick them on a hamburger with some bacon and cheese. Hubby didn't feel like grilling in this heat. Maybe next time.

Look how ginormous these yams are! They must be the "real" type of yams... not just sweet potatoes!

Even the squashes were huge! My local supermarket has acorn squashes that are much smaller than these!

Here begins my usual search for delicious goodies... We found these Golden Caramel Corn Nuggets. They taste like caramel popcorn, but without the kernels getting stuck in your teeth. Think "cheese puffs" with caramel instead of cheese.

My favorite sections... jams, jellies, preserves, and butters.... Mmmm!

Not only are these jams and jellies cute... they're delicious! :)

Our yummy loot. Yep, we by-passed the produce and just got sweets! ;) Caramel corn nuggets, blueberry jam, jalapeno pepper jelly, and apple butter. Mmmm! The blueberry jam is to die for! Spread some cheesecake-flavored cream cheese on a graham cracker, top with blueberry jam... tastes just like a blueberry cheesecake! My new indulgence!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday--Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
For more information on Muffin Tin Mondays, or to join in, click on the button above.

This week's theme was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, from the children's book by Judi Barrett, and now there's a movie coming out in its honor. The movie looks really fun, but I just don't think my son could sit through a whole movie yet, so we'll probably wait until it comes out on DVD. I do remember the book, though. It was fun flipping through the pages to find ideas for this meal, and also reminiscing about the first time I read the book... I think one of my teachers read it to the class. It was fun and exciting when I was a kid, and now that I'm a mama, it is fun to be able to read books like this to my son. I am so glad he loves to read! So, if you haven't read the book in a while (or ever... gasp!), go read it for yourself or to your kids. It's really a cute, imaginative story, and makes for a great food theme! You could probably have an entire party based on this book! I'll just explain what my foods are from the book. Pretty much anything was fair game, since all different types of food were pouring from the sky. From top left to bottom right... I have mashed potato clouds with peas, bananas (this was my "I don't have anything else to put in this tin" tin), a cup of milk (since it would rain juice or milk from the sky), meatballs... gotta have 'em, spaghetti, and broccoli. I don't know if anyone else noticed this about the book, but why is it when the "storm" comes, all the foods that are good for you end up being the "bad guys"? Why do broccoli and brussels sprouts always get such a bad rap? I think they are both delicious if cooked the right way! Anyways, that's my 2 cents. This was another fun muffin tin meal to make for my son, but he only ate the bananas, meatballs, and spaghetti... and, of course he drank his milk. I guess 4 out of 6 is progress... :) Enjoy!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tropical Popsicles and My New Cute Bag!

I made these for my son the other day! Yes... it is still popsicle weather here, although 102 is much cooler than 115! When you have fresh fruit on hand, popsicles are very easy to make and are still a healthy choice for a cool treat! We all loved these. They were the perfect amount of sweetness without any added sugars. Enjoy! :)

1 peach, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
1 banana, sliced
1/4 cup orange juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and liquid. Pour into popsicle molds or ice cube trays with popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve and enjoy! :)

Oh... I also wanted to show off my new bag I won from Gabrielle's giveaway:

Isn't it super cute?! I love the yellow! It reminds me of sunflowers (my favorite)! :) Gabrielle makes lots of different bags. This one is a reusable grocery bag. I think it is so pretty! Almost too pretty to use as a grocery bag! I am planning on using it to tote around things in my house up and down the stairs. Check out Gabrielle's site if you are interested in purchasing some of these lovely bags! :)


Friday, September 18, 2009

Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes

I guess I'm having a "food" week... I've been posting mostly recipes this week! :) This dinner was inspired by a half-dozen tomatoes that I didn't know what to do with. My father-in-law is always bringing us food when he comes to visit us, and most of the time he brings too much! It is very sweet of him, I know. But, this week I had six tomatoes, and no idea what to do with them... as they were continuing to ripen on my counter. There wasn't quite enough tomatoes for a soup, plus I didn't have tomato paste. So, I searched online and found a delicious recipe from Ina Garten from Food Network. Mmmm... roasted tomatoes. My hubby was a little annoyed that the roasting was a little "smoky" from the oil, etc. But, they tasted so good, so I think he forgave me. ;) I was actually thinking of making a chicken cacciatore, but most of the recipes I found called for a big can of tomatoes, and that just wasn't going to work for me... So, after I borrowed Ina's roasted tomato recipe, I did my own thing with them. The tomatoes are so good just by themselves. Roasting them with the oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic really gives them a whole new flavor, and they were delicious mixed with the chicken and pasta. This meal is actually two recipes, combined later. You can serve the chicken and tomatoes over pasta or rice, or just eat them plain! Ina's recipe called for 12 tomatoes, but since I just had 6, I halved the recipe. Enjoy!

Serves 2 to 3


6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
2 tbsp good olive oil
3/4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Note: I didn't roast my tomatoes all the way, since I knew I was going to be cooking them further along with the chicken. But, they were still delicious!

My Easy Chicken Recipe with the addition of Ina's tomatoes:


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook chicken in skillet for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on a separate plate. Return skillet to heat, add garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until slightly browned. In the meantime, cut chicken and roasted tomatoes into big chunks or cubes. Return chicken to skillet, cooking until no longer pink. Add broth, Italian seasoning, and tomatoes, and cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until all flavors are combined.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Salad Mini Pitas... Makeover

So, I made some Chicken Salad for my son a while back, and I wanted to do something different this time. I got some ideas online, but ended up doing my own thing. I think it tasted better than my first recipe. My son enjoyed it too! Things I like about this recipe: I really like using the mini pitas because they're the perfect size for his little hands! I like that when the chicken salad is put with some kind of bread, pasta, or grain, it makes a complete, well-rounded meal. You have grain, protein, veggies, and fruit in this recipe! I also like that it is relatively easy to make since you put most of the ingredients in the food processor. If you are used to a chunkier chicken salad, you don't have to use the food processor. You can just chop up your ingredients to the size you prefer, or only pulse a couple of times using the food processor. :) 

Ooh! I almost forgot... I also mixed some of this salad with some pasta and my son loved it that way too! 

Makes about 2 cups 

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 apple, peeled and cored
1/2 cup celery
1 carrot, shredded
1-1/2 tbsp mayo
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning*
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg*
1/8 tsp garlic powder*
1/8 tsp onion powder*
1 tbsp orange juice (lemon juice would be good here too)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken breast as desired. I put mine in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and I sprinkled it with the dried spices. Once chicken is cooked, let it cool, then chop it. Also chop apple and celery. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you achieve your desired consistency. Cool salad in the fridge until ready to serve. You can also serve this warm. You can serve this as a sandwich, in pitas, as a wrap, or mixed with pasta or rice. 

*Note about spices: You can use any spices you like, or none at all and it will still taste good. I don't really measure my spices when I add them, so the measurements listed are approximate. I usually just do a sprinkle or a pinch here and there, until I think it tastes good. ;) 


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Corniest Corn Muffins

Well, this recipe is not mine, but I wish it was! These corn muffins turned out delicious! I took them to a potluck and got a few compliments on them, so I thought they were blog-worthy. :) I have to say "Thank You!" to my friend who took this pic! I totally forgot to take a picture of my food! Anyways, I love that these corn muffins are the perfect amount of sweetness, with pieces of corn mixed in. My husband is a corn fanatic, so he wanted to gobble all of these up right away... I had to limit him to 2 muffins since we were taking them to a party (where he ate even more of them!). These would go great with some yummy barbeque or a hot bowl of chili! I changed up the recipe just a little bit... anytime I see a baking recipe that calls for flour, I substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to make things a little healthier. :) I found this recipe online... it's from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking from My Home to Yours:
Makes 12 muffins, or 48 mini-muffins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp corn oil (I used canola)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels (add up to 1/3 cup more if you like), fresh, frozen, or canned (drained and patted dry)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter or spray a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper cups. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients. With a whisk or rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. The batter will be lumpy. Stir in the corn kernels. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. 

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (or 12 minutes for mini-muffins), or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin, and serve hot, or cool completely to serve later. :) Enjoy! 


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday--Apple Theme

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
For more information on Muffin Tin Monday, click on the button above. 

So, Michelle from Her Cup Overfloweth told us ahead of time that just because the theme is apples, doesn't mean every tin has to only contain apples... be creative! Ummm... sorry, no. My son LOVES fruit and anything else sweet (naturally or unnaturally), so when I found out the theme was apples, I thought, "My son will finally eat his entire Muffin Tin Meal!" And, he almost did! I served him this meal on Sunday morning... what a great way to start the day! Sweet, sweeter and sweetest! I really only have one thing that is not apple related, but it could be... I'll explain later. So, from top left to bottom right, we have: Banana muffin (not apple related)... but, if I had used applesauce instead of eggs in my recipe, then it could have been apple related. ;) Next, Apple Jacks. I haven't had these in forever! I guess I forgot how sweet they are... 1st ingredient: sugar. Hmmm... Moving on. Caramel for dipping. Apples and cinnamon oatmeal (semi-healthy), Applesauce (I snuck in some butternut squash), and Apple slices. My son has recently discovered dipping, and it's a big problem... he usually only eats the dip. He eventually ended up dipping everything (yes, even the oatmeal and applesauce) into the caramel until he was a sticky mess. But, I think he got a little bit of goodness mixed in with the sweetness. 

Fun as usual! :) 
Can't wait for next week's theme! 


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Awards and Winnings!

I feel so loved! I've received two awards this week from some great bloggy friends! Thanks, ladies! So, now I'm going to share my awards with some more lovely bloggers! :)

I received a "One Lovely Blog" award from Shraddha and April.
I am selecting the following blogs to receive this award:

I also received a Splash award from Kaibee
I am selecting the following blogs to receive this award:

This week, I also received a couple items I won in giveaways. 

I won Sweety the Onion from Judy's giveaway on her blog A Road to Here. I am so happy! Sweety is super cute, and is very happy sitting in my kitchen watching me cook! My son likes him too! I also won the book Julie & Julia from Laurie's giveaway on her blog Guessing all the Way. I am very excited to start reading this, especially since I've already seen the movie. Now I just have to schedule some reading time... ;)  Thanks, ladies! 

Sweety thinks Julie & Julia is a good read... ;)

If you get a chance, check out all the lovely blogs I linked in this post. They are all really great! 
Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Greyson's Gift

I just found out about this yesterday, and thought I would help by joining in on this cause. Check out Greyson's Gift to find out more and to help out. I am planning on making a couple of tiny blankets for very tiny babies of fetal demise. If any of you have had or know of someone who has had a stillborn or NICU baby, I am sure this cause would be close to your heart. If you can sew, knit, or crochet a small blanket, please help out. Tell your friends about it too! Let's get as many people as we can to help out in this great cause!
 The sizes needed are: small 12"x 12" or medium 24"x 24" (or both). 

Please ship blankets to:
Meryntha Haro
1301 East Debbie Lane, Ste 102
Mansfield, TX 76063



Thursday, September 10, 2009

Easy Bean Salad

So, I'm sure all you bloggy friends that follow me and my recipes will get sick of hearing me say this, but here it goes again... The other day I was trying to create something that I knew my son would eat... but, it had to have some protein and veggies mixed in it somehow. Well, earlier this summer, we had gone to a little sandwich shop, and they had a bean salad served along with their sandwiches. My son absolutely loved it! So, I knew I had to try and create something similar. Well, I don't know what they put in theirs, but I think they had tomatoes, and some other veggies mixed with Cannellini beans and a simple dressing. I was unable to completely recreate their recipe, but this one was super quick and easy to make. The best part was... both my son and my husband loved it! :) I think next time I'll try making my own dressing, and maybe adding cilantro and tomatoes. Yum!

1 can Cannellini beans (white beans), drained, rinsed and dried
1 carrot, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
2 tbsp Italian dressing (or to taste)
Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy, or refrigerate and serve later! :)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tot School--Week 7

Tot School
R is 22 months old.

We had a very busy week, so here are just a few pictures of some things my son did this week:

He started an art class and a science class this week. I was unable to get pics of his art class... Here are some pictures of activities from science class. He learned about cause and effect. This is a tub of sugar that they could "paint". He loved watching the designs he would make in the sugar. :) 

He loved this ball toy! Basically, you put a ball in one of the holes, and it goes down a tunnel to the bottom. This part of science class was the most enjoyable for him! 

This was also fun, and a creative idea too! An old coffee canister made into a put and take toy. He would push blocks or other small toys into the cut open lid! 

And, some pouring... A big tub full of rice puff cereal, old yogurt containers, and measuring cups. He loved pouring, but is not very skilled at scooping yet. 

He also had some fun with friends at a party on Saturday, and celebrating Labor Day on Monday. :)


Monday, September 7, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
For more information on Muffin Tin Monday, click on the button above or check out Michelle's blog at Her Cup Overfloweth.

Well, we've been busy this weekend, so none of the stuff in my son's muffin tin is technically homemade. I made some easy sugar cookies the other day... you know, the kind that are already made, and you can just drop them on a cookie sheet, bake, then eat. :) Super easy! I also made some corn muffins for a party we went to on Saturday. I made some homemade corn muffins, and some packaged corn muffins (since I ran out of corn meal), and ended up with some leftover. Then, on Sunday, we went out for Dim Sum with my husband's family, and took home some more leftovers. So, to explain what everything is... from top left to bottom right: corn muffin (from a box), Siu Mai (a pork dumpling), potsticker,  Har Gau (a shrimp dumpling), sugar cookie, and Cha Siu Bao (a barbeque pork bun). My son's favorite thing to eat at Dim Sum is the Cha Siu Bao. He loves barbecued meat because of the sweetness. For this meal, he mostly ate the Cha Siu Bao, cookie, and corn muffin...  Hmmm... I wonder why..? ;) My son also learned how to say "cookie" (or something like it) this week! It's so cute! 

Have a great day!