Monday, November 26, 2012

Cupcake Plush no. 383

Originally uploaded by rengawk
Hello hello!

I'm cupcake plush no. 383, and I sport a holiday-themed color scheme of Ruby Shimmer and Shamrock Shimmer, all over a base of crisp white.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fall Recipe Roundup, Part I

Since I haven't caught up with my monthly Recipe Roundup like I intended, I am going to break up the current recipe stash of OMG SOMEDAY I WANT TO TRY ALL THESE into a few posts. In case you forgot what the Recipe Roundup was all about. Oh shit there are a lot! Lets try to break them up into chunks of ten...

Spiced Zucchini Bread with Chocolate  Poppytalk

Banana Breakfast Dumplings with Vanilla Bean Maple Butter  Joy the Baker

Bacon Wrapped New Potatoes   Ask Chef's Forum

Roasted Apple Spice Sheet Cake   Smitten Kitchen

Zucchini Bread with Pineapple   Simply Recipes

Baked Chili Cheese Fries  Joy the Baker

Mocha Banana Breakfast Smoothie  Madigan Made

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars  The Girl Who Ate Everything

Fudgy Brownies with Cookie Butter Frosting  Lauren's Latest

Granola Bars  The Pioneer Woman

On the "tried" front, in August I tried this idea of spiral cutting hot dogs. It had shown up in a few places online that I saw, but this writeup from Not Martha made me smile, as do all her posts.

I didn't think to leave the skewers in, but that was because I was subbing a chopstick.  These are brats that I love but are super fatty, so it worked great to help grill off some of the grease. That's grilled chicken piled behind them. I even typed 'checken' accidentally. Old joke.

Back in August I mentioned a third successful Bundt experiment; the carrot Bundt cake!

The Best Humble Carrot Cake Ever  Pastry Pal

Now this was one I found through Google-fu, and as you can see I skipped the whole nicely lining a pan and sprayed the Bundt, omitting the walnuts and raisins. I made a simple vanilla and confectioner's sugar glaze. It went over well at work, and someone even did recommend raisins; I thought everyone hated raisins! Someday I will try it with soaking chopped golden raisins in some sort of alcohol.

What made this experiment special was the carrots; they were carrot pulp saved from juicing! I placed the pulp into a plastic container and popped it into the freezer until I was ready, which turned out to be within a day or two.

I tried juicing fruits and veggies using an extractor for a few weeks in late August and September. We got a juice extractor, it works great, the juice is great, I found two veggies I hate in juice (beets and celery, beets for the taste, celery for the burpies) and had fun jamming kale into every drink...but it was hard. Cleanup, while simple, was time consuming, so to make fresh juice in the morning to sub for a breakfast/lunch was taking too much time. No, you can't leave the machine for later to clean, you will be sorry while you scrub; thankfully I only tried it with one piece one time. Also we are apartment dwellers, and can't compost, so all the fibre and solids were going into the trash (which makes it stinky fast). We also aren't in the best place to get fresh, organic, locally grown produce, so it was hard to justify spending on produce that had traveled so far just to only keep the juice?  

Mobile phone photos of juice, and one from the camera of the kale. Notes below from my facebook posts.

UL: I was trying to keep the kale happy by keeping it in a glass of water in the fridge 
UR: August 28, Carrot apple kale celery lemon
LL:  September 3, Two oranges, one lime, three apples, good handful of kale, blob of ginger, three carrots 
LR: September 2; Very pretty, but one beet overpowers all the other flavors! Maybe I won't be incorporating beets into my regular juicing trials...I have been making enough for two servings each time, so this is half. Again saved the carrot pulp, and this time the beet to make cake, I wonder if it will be purple when mixed into the batter? The carrot cake was a big success at work.

There is a hint of my baking fail in the notes from September 2. See how I tried saving the beet pulp with the carrot pulp? We will save that story for the next post!  

What recipes have you tried recently? 

Are there recipes out there that you would love to make?

Search this blog for other Recipe Roundup posts and view them here


Originally uploaded by rengawk
Hello hello, I'm Cupcake Plush no. 378!

My frosting is is made with a fun novelty yarn called Blue-Pink-Yellow Multi and light blue, while my base is made with a pale yellow yarn...all with a bright red cherry on top!

I was crafted especially for Miss J, and hope to be travelling across the sea to a new home soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Special Custom Order

A Special Custom Order
Originally uploaded by rengawk
A little about the latest custom order in the Etsy shop...

314- My frosting is is made with a fun novelty yarn called Raspberry Mutli and a Bright Red, and my base is a Dark Orchid colored yarn.

315 - My frosting is is made with a fun novelty yarn called Sea Green Multi and Slate, White, and Teal yarns! My base is made with a Kelly Green yarn.

343 - My frosting top is made with a light pink mixes with a teeny shiny pink yarn, and my base is a sweet minty green along with Snow Shimmer.

344 - My frosting is a sweet mint green and Snow Shimmer, with Snow Shimmer edging, a cute pink heart accent, and a light pink base.

345 - My top is a minty green with Snow Shimmer edging, shiny beads to look like a candy flower, and a light pink base.

346 - A frosting top of Petal Pink is accented by two teeny heart buttons in mint and red. I have a creamy vanilla colored edging, and a mint green base.

347 - I'm in the holiday spirit! WIth a frosting top of shiny red and Snow Shimmer, I sport a reclaimed snowflake embellishment all over a base of Snow Shimmer.

348 - Cute as a button! I have a frosting top of an array of pastel colors, with cute and teeny buttons as embellishments, all over a base of shiny light blue.

349 - My frosting top is made with a rainbow of colors - orange, yellow, kelly green, blue-blue , amethyst purple, red edging; all over a base of creamy vanilla.

350 - RAWR! My frosting top is a medium teal with a shiny thread addition, over a medium purple with a special face style.

351 - RAWR! I sport a bright orange cherry, dark purple frosting with black edging mixed with a shimmery silver, and a bright green base with a special Halloweenie smile!

352 - RAWR! I have a lilac shade of frosting with tiny specks of glitter added, all over a pastel yellow base with a special monster smile.

353 - I have a frosting top made with a group of pastel colors; green blue, purple, white, with white edging, all over a base of a Ombre Pink. I also have clear shiny beads to look like candy sprinkles.

354 - My frosting is a mix of sweet mint and an array of pastel shades, over a base of creamy vanilla mixed with some sparkle.

355 - My frosting top is made with a rainbow of pastel colors - orange, yellow, mint, blue, lilac, with Snow Shimmer edging; all over a base of light blue mixed with a shimmery thread.

356 - My frosting is made with a shade of yarn called Orchard Mist, with teeny floral embellishments, all over a lilac base.

357 - My frosting top is made with Raspberry Multi and Candy Print, over a teal base mixed with a thread of shimmer!


Added a new tag/label today, Cupcakes by the Number. This tag will be for my crochet Cupcake Plush! I was able to quickly add it to some previous posts too; the intent is for it to be part of my Cupcake Plush Catalog, so you can see ideas of previously created Cupcake Plush!

Where have you been?

"Where have you been?"

Okay so it is only me pretending that the internet asks, but I am here! HER AM I I AM HERE INTERNETS.

I just finished up an 8-week accelerated online course, and today I went to my first craft show as a vendor. I have been trying to manage my time between work, homework, and prepping product for the fair, so taking time to blog has fallen a bit farther down the list than usual...


But! There are plans! Plans to share! I have cooking adventures (like juicing coming and going) and recipes I tried (OMG FAIL) and plenty of Recipe Roundup links to share from last month, and HOLY CRAP IT IS NEARLY NOVEMBER?

I just wanted to drop by and leave a little note to say hello to my blog. HI BLOGGY!

The first step of my current online plan is to get new inventory into the shop since it was a successful day, and I took my Etsy (non-reserved) inventory along! I want to make a cute mosaic of who went off to new homes today, cupcakes and other plush (providing I took pictures!)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

August Recipe Roundup

August Recipe Roundup, some to consider, some tried!

First up the recipes I've collected throughout the month:

Strawberry Lemonade Cookies  Back For Seconds

Yummiest Zucchini Muffin Recipe  Dollar Store Mom

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles   Pennies on a Platter

Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake   Joy the Baker

Jello Cookies   I Heart Nap Time

My Favorite Brownies  Smitten Kitchen 

Hash Brown Waffles  Tea & Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars  Greta White via The Girl Who Ate Everything

Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins  Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Bacon Corn Hash  Smitten Kitchen

A few months ago I mentioned wanting a Bundt Cake pan....well I got one, from a thrift store on the first try! We dropped some donations off and browsed a bit, finding some treasures!

Wow, NordicWare and everything? At $4.99 I was thrilled. Now comparing it to new it may not have been the amazing deal I thought it was, but still a great deal for being pristine on the inside, and in my hands.

The next night, I tried it for the first time...

BUNDT PAN SUCCESS! I made a banana apple bread as my first bundt experiment (based on this Smitten Kitchen recipe, adding a chopped apple). Yum. My mom gave me a box of steel cut oats, and I added some; a little too crunchy (maybe I should cook them before adding next time?)

Next Bundt experiment...l
ater in the week was my second try - 3 bananas, 1 apple, and measured less even that last time (A little throw-and-go? Why do I pretend I know what I am doing?) added more flour in the end and baking soda to even out (?) the extra flour, which I added since it was very wet, and the last one ended up with a wet bottom (top, since it was flipped). Rather than trying to use paper towels and plastic wrap to get the brown sugar happier, I added water; Wow look a hot slurry from the microwave! Why did the surprise me? I dumped it in anyway. With the same measuring cup, I added the steel-cut oats and water and back into the microwave, they were a little -too- crunchy last time for my taste. It helped a lot, and the leftover brown sugar slurry sweetened them enough that I was eating the rest out of the measuring cup. I added some regular oats as well - tossing in a handful. I was successful in making a drier bread, but may have overcooked it at 40 minutes at 350 - powdered sugar and a bit of water made a topping that I practiced making a pretty pattern.

For my third Bundt experiment, wait, this has a whole other story! Since I'm not the most consistent blogger, I'll start a new post to share, and try to get some more content up here. ^^

What recipes have you tried recently? 

Are there recipes out there that you would love to make?

Search this blog for other Recipe Roundup posts and view them here

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July Potential Recipe Roundup

So this time I started this post as soon as I saw I had a few recipes waiting to be added; it seems to have gone well, except the darn formatting fight! I find I go back and forth from the "Compose" to the "HTML" screen more than I should...

I made banana-flop muffins. That means the rose beautifully and then FLOPPED when I brought them out of the oven. Sometimes you can't throw-and-go with a recipe (or mish-mash of recipes); or I need to not add more bananas just to use them up. Edible, I took them to the office and they would have all been eaten had someone not put the container back onto my desk; a sign, I incorrectly assumed, that they were no longer good. It turned out a hour later someone was asking if there were any left, after I had pitched the last half-dozen, oops. 

On the success side, I made beans and rice. Yes it sounds silly to have never made it before, but I took time to look up a Chili's clone because I LOVE their beans and rice. The clones I found were super simple, so I took a few and made something that turned out GOOD and CHEAP. I sauteed half of a diced onion until translucent and starting to brown, and dumped in a can of black beans (Go GOYA! - my favorite) and then started adding spices and garlic and cooking it to reduce the bean liquid and make them softer. I ended up making it too spicy for my taste, but J thought it was great. I made quick brown rice and a bag of corn, and now can boast a meat-free pantry meal as part of my potential rotation. Just next time I will taste as I go a bit more (as opposed to NOT AT ALL) so I can make it a teensy bit more mild. Can of beans, cup of rice, can or bag of corn, spices/onion on hand = way cheaper than going out. If I could add one meal like this a month to my mental rotation, it would save us a lot of money eating at home and having lunches to take to work. 

I also picked up a bag of pre-cooked frozen shrimp at Aldi (OMG why is shrimp so expensive, I thought it was supposed to be cheap? Aldi had the best deal I had seen.) I was starving late one night, but ended up being lazy and saying "Let's just eat here" - J made an omelet and I made a bowl of pasta with a few shrimp and a fake fancy sauce; margarine, garlic, Parmesan cheese (aka 'shakey cheese' - processed stuff in a shaker-can). The pasta was udon noodles, which were bundled in the pack into perfect portion-sized servings. Tasted great, but I did need to rebrush my teeth from the gaaahlic. Something I can make in bulk and pack for a work lunch? Not unless I bring some mouthwash. ;)
Onto the delightful looking recipes!

Chocolate Mint Brownie Bites  The Pioneer Woman 

Zucchini Pineapple Bread  Brown Eyes Baker

Honeyed Peaches  The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking

Cappuccino Bars   Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls   Joy the Baker

The Amazing Incredible Broccoli Surprise Sauce  Tea & Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Syrup  Lady Behind the Curtain

Breakfast Nachos  Joy the Baker

Waffle Brownies  Tea & Cookies

Classic Icebox Cake   Serious Eats

Tarragon Corn Chowder  Simply Recipes 

Zucchini Tots  The Curious Country Cook

Crockpot Strawberry Jam  The Lady Wolf

Beer Batter Bread*  Epicurious

*We bought some beer; lemon shandy...I am not a beer drinker, so I am trying to cook with it.

Beer Batter Bread Round 1; I find I don't taste the lemon in the beer nor in the bread. I used 2/3 wheat flour, and added some extra sweetner (no-calorie stevia based). Sifted in the baking powder since it was getting to the end of the container, age unknown. Maybe I will like it more when it has cooled more? I was on my third piece of deciding if I did or did not like it that I cut it up and took it to work; I got some nice feedback!

Round 2; Nice enough feedback from the first Round that I tried it a second time; still half-wheat-half-white, extra tablespoon of -sugar-sugar, added some cinnamon, ginger, and a teensy bit of nutmeg. Better to enjoy on its own, still didn't rise much. I blamed that it was the last of the baking powder. Taste was much better for enjoying on its own.

Round 3; Took a bread pan and a can of the ale to my mother's. This time the beer was room temperature (maybe it didn't rise to being awesome last times because it was cold?) and I used her dry ingredients. Same as first try; a dense yeasty product that is a great vehicle for bringing a spread (jam, apple butter, peanut butter, etc.) to your mouth. Probably not something I will try again unless at some point I am in possession of an unopened beer that I have no desire to even try.

Not -too- bad looking, right?

What recipes have you tried recently?
Are there recipes out there that you would love to make?

Search this blog for other Recipe Roundup posts and view them here

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Potential Recipe Roundup

Apple, banana, strawberry yogurt,
coconut, oatmeal...
I feel like June flew by, just as I was used to writing/typing the digit '6' for the month... I didn't make any new recipes to share, but I did make some everything muffins cobbling together a few muffin recipes in my print-out binder to match what I had. They were very well received at the office, something that always makes me feel good! See, in some cases I do well with throw-together baking; I guess that means I am learning?

As far as cooking basics, I did learn how to cook fresh green beans in the microwave. Sometimes basic things slip away from your mind; I'm sure as a kid we cooked and ate fresh green beans at least on occasion! Trim the beans, add a little water to a Corningware dish, season, add butter/margarine if desired, nuke for 5 minutes, check for level of doneness. Spellcheck thinks I am making stuff up with the word "doneness" (ironically, also the word "spellcheck".) 

This time I am creating this post using a copy-paste method from last month's post; keeping the same formatting can be frustrating, but I think this method is moving the creation of this monthly post into less of a chore.

Breakfast Pasta Bake   Kayotic Kitchen

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix   Joy the Baker

Super Easy and Delicious Zucchini Butter   The Kitchn

Chocolate Zucchini Bread   Simply Recipes

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans  Real Simple

Crispy Potatoes with Green Beans & Eggs   EatingWell

Mini Pretzel Dogs  Joy the Baker

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters  Smitten Kitchen

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip + Bacon Cookies  Foodbuzz

Ginger Walnut Chocolate Blondies  Joy the Baker

What recipes have you tried recently? Are there recipes out there that you would love to make?

Search this blog for other Recipe Roundup posts and view them here

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sunshine and Blogger Appreciation Awards!

Hooray, Ms. Melanie of Curious Little Bird sent me some blogger fun – in the form of awards! She is an amazing plush designer and someday I want to own one of her wonderful plush creations. I follow her blog with my Google Reader, and also on Facebook; stop by and share some love!

Now on the the bloggy fun; the rule of accepting these awards is that I have to answer some questions!

Questions for the Sunshine Award…

Favourite Colour – if choosing basic, I’d say blue. If we got to be specific I would say teal, raspberry, or magenta, depending on the moment. The current color of Cherry Coke cans is a great example! I have one in front of me, but if we were out and there was a lovely colored blue car, I'm sure I would say that is my favorite.

 – Depends on what is near me, I usually love all animals, especially if they enjoy the attention. (KITTEH!) So yes, if you have an odd pet that likes being bothered, I would probably be happy to pester it. 

Non-Alcoholic Drink
 – fountain-served Cherry Coca-Cola, or other fountain Coke products with flavorings.

Facebook Or Twitter – I don’t Tweet, yet! I also find Facebook to be a time-sucker, but I still play on it.

Getting Or Giving Presents – YES PLEASE. Okay okay, I love both, but giving gifts and making people happy comes out of top. I do love to receive though. ;)

Flower – Gerbera daisy, orchid (currently a Gerbera Daisy is my computer desktop, but I always drool over orchids)

Pattern – ombré

Passion – cooking and creating

Number – 6? I question that one because it isn’t really my favorite per say, but I do use it so often in crochet that it is definitely my most useful number. (6, 12 , 18, 24, 30, 36, 42...yes, I'm pretend counting stitches!)

The rules of the Blogger Appreciation Award:

I am not the creator of these graphics,
so please do not hotlink if you would like to use them!
1. Thank the person who gave you the award with their blog link on your post.

. Answer the following 4 questions.

3. Award the Blogger Appreciation Award to as many readers/ commentators/ supporters/ followers as you’d like.

4. Let the blogger know you've just awarded them (by leaving a comment, a tweet, an email, etc.)

The questions:
1. How long have you been blogging?
2. What are 1-2 reasons why you started blogging.
3. What types of blogs do you like to follow/read?
4. What is 1 thing you would like to improve on as a blogger/on your blog?

1. How long have you been blogging?
On this blog since 2008, but I used to blog/blather on LiveJournal starting way back in the late 90s/early 00s; yeesh.

2. What are 1-2 reasons why you started blogging.
I love to take photos and share my experiences; and that seems to be what I love to read; so why not add to the pool of knowledge? I also wanted an outlet to share my crochet endeavors, and the kitchen adventures are sometimes too funny not to share. On the serious side, I want a place to share my thoughts and feel heard, even though I know I don’t have a big group stopping by or following my posts. 

3. What types of blogs do you like to follow/read?
For themes, I have my Reader set up in a few categories that most things I read fall into; Craft Inspiration, Consumption Inspiration, Neat Peeps, Crochet, Comics, and Food. The one that seems the least self-explanatory in there is Consumption Inspiration; I read quite a few blogs on simplicity, frugality, and minimalist living. I do often feel trapped by ‘stuff’ and would love to learn to live more simply and give up much of the accumulation of objects. Slow process to learn and work though, but that's why the internet is wonderful; always someone else sharing their experiences and inspiration.

4. What is 1 thing you would like to improve on as a blogger/on your blog?
Content! I feel like I am lacking on content to share, despite things overflowing in my mind that I should share. Something to work on, that’s for sure!

Now for your turn! Are you reading this post? Consider yourself tagged! Feel free to take the questions and answer them on your own blog!

Monday, May 28, 2012

April/May Potential Recipe Roundup

I was running behind with adding my April Roudup, so I decided to wait a bit and make it cover the two months. I finally was able to get myself to save the links as I came across them as bookmarks, rather than have them sit in my Reader queue and potentially expire. Next step? To make a draft post and add them to that as I go!

White Bean Bundt Cake  Joy the Baker

Awesome Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies   Simply Recipes

Homemade Honey Lollipops   The Chick n' Coop

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake   Little Birdie Secrets 

S'more Cups   Texas Cottage 

Coffee Coffee Cake Muffins   Joy the Baker

The very best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever   Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Creamy Peanut Butter Filling
   Joy the Baker

Coconut Chocolate Macaroon Bars  Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Strawberry Lemonade Shortcake   Little Birdie Secrets 

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies*   Scrumdillydilly

* tried this one - yumm! Definitely take some extra time to chill it in the fridge, because SUPER STICKY is not an exaggeration. I am going to make it again without the chips so it can be lactose-free (Richfood brand cake mixes contain no milk, and using lactose-free milk as the liquid.) 

What recipes have you tried recently? If you click a few of these, you may notice I haven't tried any that involve a Bundt pan - I don't have one! I'm also not willing to spend a lot to get ONE MORE THING to fit into the kitchen, so I am on the lookout for something inexpensive. Maybe one that looks nice enough to hang?

Search this blog for other Recipe Roundup posts and view them here

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No. 284-288

April was a busier month for the Etsy shop, so I am trying to help keep the cupcake love going by introducing new cupcakes... and other projects! 

284 - My frosting top is made with a rainbow of colors built into a yarn called Bikini, with a base of bright a happy yellow, and I have pretty little blank eyelashes! 

285 - My frosting top is made with a light shiny pink mixed with Magenta Shimmer, and my edging also showcases the Magenta Shimmer on its own! My base is a light pink.

286 - I sport a bright orange cherry, dark purple frosting with black edging mixed with a shimmery silver, and a bright green base with a special Halloweenie smile! 

287 - My frosting is is made with an baby-print of pastels that has a bit of shimmer, and includes white, mint, light pink, light yellow, and light blue, and my base is a shimmery light blue. 

288 - My frosting is is made with a fun mix of jewel-tone rainbow colors, with teal edging, and a Orchid colored base!

no. 284-288

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No. 278-281

No one is looking at the camera are they?
The newest numbered cupcakes listed in the Etsy shop  - this group features new techniques and new yarns!
278My frosting top is made with a chocolate brown yarn, swirled with bright pink with a slight metallic shimmer. My base is made with a magenta/pink called Shocking Pink (which is a little difficult to photograph.)
279My frosting top is made with a fun mix of colors (pinks, blues, and purples) called Bon Bon Print, and a teal twisted edging over a base of bright pink.
280My frosting top is made with a fun yarn that is a mix of blue, orange and white, and my base is a bright orange, with a royal blue cherry-berry on top! So who's team am I on; Boise State, University of Florida? Who else can I help you root for?
281My frosting top is made with cotton mix of pastels with a twisted-looking edging, all over a base of creamy vanilla.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday tidbits

For starters, this post was inspired by my brain reading things incorrectly...

Arizona Herbal Tonic. I was expecting more tea.
See the pic? Totally read it as Xanax ginseng.

Then I doubted they canned the right product when I poured it into a glass; I always feel so odd trying to drink from an 23 ounce sized can. Guess this tonic is more about citrus and less about tea. Still yummy, and was BOGO free at CVS, so that's 46 ounce for 99 cents.

I made a new Pandora station based on Modest Mouse. I blame this post. I would share the station link, but it is currently just Pandora doing its thing and giving me fun stuff, except the 'outrun my gun' song; I find that to be catchy yet disturbing. I also highly recommend making a station based on Cake. It makes a GREAT mix all on its own. Try it! I feel like I am recommending a drink mix; "try it you'll like it!" No wait, cake-flavored vodka is weird, definitely a try-it-somewhere-before you-invest-in-a-bottle kind of flavoring. Totally different Cake we're talking about here.

I changed the title from 'Wednesday sillies' to 'Wednesday niblets.' That sounds kinda gross to me. Lets go with 'Wednesday tidbits' instead. Giblets, riblets, niblets. Yup.
No. 278, without a crazy glowing base.

IT IS BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE. So I have the deck door open, and finally got to retake pics for no. 278, which has Red Heart's Shocking Pink as a base, which I can't seem to capture well in artificial light. Looks like Red Heart also had the issue as well with the closeup shot. Look for it soon in the Etsy shop soon. Like right after I post this post soon. The cupcake, not the yarn. The yarn you can get anywhere.

Picked up M&Ms coconut eggs on clearnace on the CVS stop mentioned above; much less oily than their smaller counterpart. Good to not eat a TON of candy at a shot.

Well then, I swear when I sat down to type this there were AT LEAST three funny-assed things that happened in like the past hour that I was all 'OMG I TO BLOG ABOUT THIS' kind of funny. YAY absent-mind-oh-mine. Hopefully I'll be back to add to this!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Have you ever tried tadpoles?

We were at our friends' place the other week; they have a Breville juicer and are enjoying juicing green smoothies for weight loss and overall health factors. I tried some of one - all I tasted was the cucumber...and I like cucumber! It was a mix of kale, celery, cucumber, green apple, ginger and lemon (in case I want to remember the recipe someday).

We're not ready to invest in one or in the veggies required, but definitely a great inspiration. They were also saving the veggie pulp and making their own crackers; all I tasted was the kale (aka GRASS FLAVOR) so I wasn't into them, but I was told they are great with hummus!

Other things I managed to try that night included squash soup (Too much curry! Arg! I'm such a wuss with spice!) and what turned out to be my favorite, chia seeds!

But they have a little story (doesn't everything with me?)...our friend asked me if I had ever had chia seeds, and then took out a giant jar from the fridge. I'm still mentally stuck on the seed idea, and thinking of a dry good - then he asked if I had ever had tadpoles... WHAT. He poured a small glass, but after the tadpole comment, I was laughing and disgusted all at the same time and almost couldn't even try them. I managed to have a sip, and HEY THIS IS LIKE A FUN DESSERT. They had added some home-grown ground stevia (!!) so it was a slightly-sweet drink, just only palatable in small sips for me (OH NOES THE TEXTURE). I'm odd with textures of some foods like that.

Now I want to get my own chia seeds and add them to my diet as something to hold me over while at the office in liquid-y form and trying to graze ALL THE TIME. I know it is a stress and boredom reaction; I am usually fine when we are busy or at home with watching what volume of calories I consume. I read up on them and you can add them as a crunchy topping, or hydrate them into a slurry-like drink; they form a gel around the seed that makes it possible to 'drink' them, in the same way one 'drinks' jell-o - it isn't a pure liquid but your ingest it like it is one. You know, the gel you make when you apply the weeds to the terra cotta surface of a chia pet...yes I ate your chia pet seeds.
We are golden AND delicious. 

I also made bread! This was before the chia adventure but along the same lines... English Muffin Bread! The original recipe makes four loaves but was fine to be cut in half to make two. I used yeast-in-a-jar that I apparently bought thinking I would be THE BREAD MASTER OF MAKING BREAD but only used once; I had to follow the manufacturer's directions on the container to make sure it was alive. I did this BEFORE adding any of the flour, just in case it was dead; dead-yeast-sugar-water is easier to throw out than 5.5-cups-of-flour-plus-dead-yeast-sugar-water.

How did it taste? Great! It was a success. The taste this recipe emulates isn't the Thomas' muffins we are used to - it is a fresh muffin taste; have you ever gotten English Muffins from the refrigerated section? This makes bread that tastes like those, only much easier on your wallet (5 ingredients!)

I tried freezing some pre-cut slices, but they don't reheat to their original glory easily. I found they need to be microwaved AND toasted. It doesn't mean I'm not eating the frozen pieces though, and I would definitely use this recipe again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

10 Random Thoughts

Inspired by two bloggers that I admire (and follow through Google Reader!), Julie and Melanie, who made “random list” posts... I made a “10 Random Thoughts” post to share, maybe it will inspire you to do the same?
  1. I don’t remember the last time I ironed something that wasn’t a craft project.
  2. I hate the phrase ‘It is what it is.” You’re full of it. There are much better ways to accept life in a positive manner; please choose another phrase!
  3. I have a huge list of things on my mind I want to complete; making a list of all this stuff is part of that list, but it might take too much time to write down a list when I could be doing the things I keep forgetting to do. ;)
  4. I am still successfully avoiding joining Pinterest – too many other internet distractions that I use currently. I said that about Facebook for a long time too.
  5. I think the exclamation point is an indicator of a positive thought online. I haven’t learned a better way to push-positivity into my words without them. I am hesitating not adding any to these particular thoughts.
  6. I love cooking and baking. I took a moment to type this line from some soup experimentation in the kitchen. I wanted to include it since I caught myself smiling and happy.
  7. If I had an opportunity to design a bathroom, I would include a urinal. Just think of the water savings! That’s thousands of gallons a year, even compared to a dual-flush traditional toilet.
  8. Hold the onions, tomatoes, and peppers, please. I’ll cook with onions, but raw ones don’t agree with my taste buds - OMG ONION OIL BURNING WHY WON’T YOU GO AWAY THAT WAS FOUR HOURS AGO I ATE THAT.
  9. No Splenda please; sucralose hates me, or my stomach hates surcalose; same difference!
  10. I love animals. If you have a pet I will talk to it. Given enough time I will take pictures of it too. 

This is not my cat, but I think she is awesome enough to share her picture with you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March Recipe Roundup

Totally gonna add a “Recipe Roundup” tag, since this is the third group – it can be a theme! Monthly I have to clear out the Reader stuff I have been hording in the area of recipes!

Homemade Graham Crackers Little Birdie Secrets

Crunchy Chicken Stuffed Waffle Pops and Maple Dijon Dip Snappy Gourmet

Braided Spaghetti Bread Rhodes Bake-n-Serv

Shepherd’s Pie with Cheddar-Spiked Mashed Potatoes Fine Cooking

Potato Chip Cookies Smitten Kitchen

Super Quick Homemade Mac and Cheese Tried & True

Colcannon Simply Recipes*

* tried this, twice! It is awesome with a few slices of cooper sharp cheese in the mixer when mashing the potatoes – made a second batch since I inhaled the first and added ham bits (I should have gone with the first amount of ham I added, now it has too much, but still yummy). I didn’t really follow the recipe as it states, just took the idea of making mashed potatoes, and adding sautéed cabbage and onion. Great to help add veggies to my diet and not be eating a BIG blog of starch as just mashed potatoes. I Didn’t bother peeling the potatoes either time since I knew the cabbage would add texture.

What food have you tried recently? I have a whole upcoming post about the different foods I tried at a friends’!

Search this blog for other Recipe Roundup posts and view them here

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Spring has Sprung
Hiya there! So I keep wanting to blog, but then get stuck at the part of actually compiling my thoughts into the keyboard; I have to learn to just got for it!

So my plan for the immediate future to share... some fun food stories, a new Recipe Roundup group of links, lots of crochet projects (from the holidays even!), and even a funny Blogger story!

Here, we can start with the last one since it was the most recent, just happening yesterday...and here is a picture of a daffodil I took earlier this month to add some Springy inspiration to this rainy day!

So I had noticed the other week that my cute little Flickr gadget to the right was no longer working; I assumed it was temporary and gave it a few days to fix itself. It didn't! I took some time last night to research and it seems it isn't my blog, but the gadget itself! Blogger has a cute little interface for choosing what you want on your side/top and bottom bars, but the particular one I had been choosing no longer functions. I love Flickr, but finding what I needed in regards to HELP was giving me some trouble; was I just being silly and not seeing where to type your question? Probably, so I simply pasted the error message into Google; "Flickr Error: Invalid API Key (Key has expired)". After digging a bunch it seemed the answer was clear, yet not simple to find? Maybe I was tired, maybe I wasn't paying the best attention, but the answer is to make a Flickr Badge, and not use the gadget Blogger lists by Blogger Buster.

Fixed the problem, but I did like the style and layout of the old one better. The flash Flickr Badge is cute, but too small for my current blog layout (or am I lucky and have a nice big screen and it looks awesome on a non-widescreen?) I chose with the html badge, but I do wish there was a size between the thumbnail and mid-sizes graphics. After what seemed like hours of fussing, I went back to the thumbnail since I couldn't get the mid-sized graphics to line up within the right column without sticking out.

That's what happens when you aren't writing your own layout in notepad with basic html! Haha that was me in the late 90s with my silly Angelfire sites. With all the lovely css' out there for free today, it is so easy to use a pre-made layout; but difficult knowing that every little thing is customizeable, and you don't have the knowledge to do so!

In other frustrating blog things, I thought my Etsy-mini bar at the bottom wasn't working. Finding the answer to that ws much simpler; Ad-Blocker Plus was blocking me from viewing it - so nothing was actually wrong! It was an easy fix to not block ads from my own blog. Can't be annoyed with that one, it is an ad after all. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Originally uploaded by rengawk
New baby gets the new blanket? Na, mom does, but I bet she will share ;)

About an inch per row, how many do you think I should add before it is ready?

The original blanket was a wavy-granny, which I loved, but I wanted a lavender to go with the purple that isn't orchid (seriously, those are called Orchid and Light Orchid) and sat waiting to find the right yarn. Additionally I didn't like how the starting row was (way too loose I think) so I started a traditional granny square blanket.

Decided to frog the other blanket so I didn't keep staring at it; that helped, and I used the yarn in this project!

So what size is nice to share with a new mom and her little one? I know Spring has sprung, but the nights are still chilly!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Lets play a little good idea/bad idea!

When making pizza at home for the first time...

Good idea; Taking time to roll out the dough on a floured counter top for a nice, even shape.
Bad Idea; trying to roll the dough with the rolling pin while on the pan which has a lip.

Good idea; using the lip of the pan to help hold the dough to the edges, no shrinkage!
Bad idea; not closely monitoring how far over that dough is going, and allowing it to cook around the lip into an inedible pan-man shape.

Good idea; Pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, on sale.
Bad idea; two bags are unnecessary.

Good idea; chopping your own ham from the fridge.
Bad idea; not adding enough ham to balance with the cheese (boo!)

Good idea; adding fresh onion in super-thin slivers to only one half to meet both diner's needs.
Bad idea; finding out the second party likes them on there sliced super-duper thin, and now they're only one one side.

Good ideas in general (no sillies this time): getting pre-made dough from the grocery store to save time and energy, jarred sauce that has the more "authentic" looking label (tasted great, sorry Ragu your lost out to old-world Italian looking font, colors, and images) [not to self, write down the brand], feel free to use the whole jar, the whole-wheat dough tasted great so stick with it.

Other ideas for the future - what does it take to diy pizza dough? Too much planning? Is it easier to get the stuff Giant makes fresh for two bucks rather than make your own the night before? What other home toppings would be great that are easy for us to work with (meaning we normally buy) besides ham, pineapple, ground turkey with taco seasoning, taco-seasoned cheese, etc.?

I'd say a success, and the other pieces should reheat well in the oven. Cheaper than ordering out, even though it was home-assembled from store-bought components.

Other grocery/food success this week? Found teeny pre-made steak-burgers on manager's special - we don't eat red meat too often so getting a taste of a burger was like OM NOM NOM. I took them and some scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese and made breakfast burritos. AWESOME TASTING. Cabbage was $.25/lb for St. Patrick's Day, so I got one even though I made halushki last week. Heard from a coworker about making cabbage with mashed potatoes and bacon; wonder if I can crumble a steak burger in rather than bacon? Still sounds good, to me at least!

What have you been enjoying cooking or eating?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Potential Recipe Roundup

Time for another Recipe Roundup, as I keep saving these ideas for later in my Google Reader, but not quite to the point of printing them out! I actually had my Reader list down to nothing for the New Year, so I am trying to keep it manageable, and not lose any good ideas because they time-out (posts over a month[?] old get purges from your list automatically, else you would be perpetually reading until the beginning of time of your blogs)

Bite-Sized Baked Brie

Previous Recipe Roundup links here