Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weekly Pancake: Banana Walnut

This was actually last weeks pancake, I just never got around to posting it.

Tonight is breakfast for dinner night, so there will be a new pancake happening in my kitchen!

Until then, we have banana walnut pancakes. I especially liked these with honey instead of syrup. The original recipe called for buttermilk, but I substituted soy milk, and they came out delicious just the same.


Banana Walnut Pancakes
Adapted from yumsugar

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, brought to room temp
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups soy milk
1 large or 2 small ripe bananas, smashed with fork
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg melted butter and then the milk. 
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the wet mixture into the well and whisk.
  4. Stir in bananas and be careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour on to hot griddle or pan and sprinkle top with walnuts.
  6. Flip once edges are almost cooked and bubbles begin to appear.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Valentine's Day Heart Garland

Here's a free pattern and tutorial for a little Valentine's Day seasonal decor to cozy up your home!


My garland was about 5 feet long and used about 27 mini hearts!

The pattern for the hearts is available for free from Crochet Today.

Download Mini Heart Pattern from Crochet Today

This little garland is happiest when all the hearts can rest against the wall or door frame, instead of swooping loosely. Otherwise they tend to face the floor a bit.


Here's a little tutorial on how to string them together.
  1. Line up your hearts in the order you'd like them.

  2. Measure out your string to string the hearts on.
  3. You'll use knots to hold the hearts in place, so get your yarn needle threaded!

    Tie a knot. String heart. Tie a second knot. Then repeat, allowing about an inch and a half or so of space between each heart. It looks like this.


    It can be tricky to get the knot to land where you want it, but here's some tips.

    Make a loop about where you want your knot to go, and pass your yarn needle through the loop.


    Hold the loop down with your fingers as you pull the needle through.


    It takes a little pushing and pulling but your knot shouldn't land too far off from where you want it.

    To string your heart, thread your needle from the back to the front, then out the back again.



    Continue knotting and stringing until all your hearts are used!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Valentine Owl Cozy

My iPhone needed a cute case. So I made an owl in Valentine's day colors, why not? Hope you enjoy crocheting your own owl!


Owl Cozy

Skill level

Finished size
iPhone size - About 4 1/2 x 2 1/4

Worsted weight yarn in your choice of colors
5 mm crochet hook
Yarn needle
Two buttons
Embroidery thread & needle for sewing eyes

Single crochet
Slip stitch
Half double crochet
Double crochet
Crochet in the round
single crochet two together
Button sewing




Ch 21
Sl st into first chain to form ring
Sc in each around
Continue to sc in each around in spirals until desired length is reached
Fasten off

Turn tube inside out.
Using tail, sew one end of the cozy shut and turn right side out so seam is on the inside.


Make 2

Ch 9
R1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc, 2 hdc, 3 sc
R2: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc, 4 dc, 2sc
Continuing around opposite side of chain, sc in each across bottom and around far side.
Sl st in first sc of R2 and fasten off.


Make 2

Ch 2
Rnd 1: Dc 8 in 2nd ch from hook
Fasten off


Ch 5
R1: Sc2tog twice
R2: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog
Fasten off


Sew buttons on to eye rounds.
Sew on beak, then eyes, then wings.
Weave in all ends.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Non-Resolution Post

This is the non-resolution post because it's already three weeks in to the New Year, and because I generally don't set "resolutions."

I do choose certain points in time to "start" things however. It just makes sense in my mind, and I think to a lot of people. I find things like "next week" or "next month" more manageable than "this year I will..."

Plus I need to set small goals, and commit to them on a rolling basis. So not in any order at all, here is what's running through my head lately.
  • Use reusable shopping bags. I used to do this... I need to try to make it a habit
  • Use at least one of these appliances, once a week, every week:
    • Slow cooker
    • Juicer
    • Ice cream machine
    • Bread machine
    • Dehydrator
  • Maintain at-home manicures. Really, I can't let my nails get all chipped and stuff, that's unprofessional, and I prefer them to be pretty. 
  • Organize everything. This is SO HARD to keep up with! It needs a very LONG cycle.
  • Get an awesome water bottle or two. My office stocks plastic water bottles. What? I need a good, big water bottle or two I can fill at home and use all day for drinking water and tea. If anyone has any suggestions, throw them my way please.
  • Read and crochet every day.
  • Budget. Save. I use Mint.com, which only really helps if I remember to use it.
  • Be a good vegetarian. I need to stick to my vegetarian food groups.
  • I'm not pretending to be a cooking blog, or any sort of blog for that matter, but I think I'm almost getting pretty good at cooking vegetarian meals alongside omnivore meals, so I want to share that.
  • Stick with my Etsy shop, without great expectations, even if it doesn't deliver as hoped.
  • Find a damn yoga class and go to them regularly. This has more to do with where I live as opposed to my commitment.
  • Be a good bunny and greyhound momma. Lots of pets, walks and exercise.
Here's some Instagraming so I don't seem so boring.

If you look close there's a ghost. Finishing projects

Still perfecting the Pom pom slippers Thai

Fog lately, all day, every day | Finishing projects
Perfecting a crochet slipper pattern | Why green tea is awesome

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weekly Pancake: Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin

I've decided I like making pancakes on Sunday morning, then eating them for breakfast for the rest of the week. We'll see how long this lasts, but while I'm in to it, I'll be sharing my weekly pancake recipe with you all!

This morning Dave's family came over for breakfast, and I made Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin pancakes. We drizzled more honey on them instead of syrup. :o)

Whole wheat pumpkin honey pancakes.

Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons honey

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir
  2. Add egg and milk to dry ingredients and stir
  3. Add pumpkin and honey to pancake batter and stir until fully combined
  4. Pour batter onto a pan or griddle sprayed with cooking spray and cook on low-medium heat until sides start to bubble (about 3 minutes)
  5. Flip pancakes and cook for an addition 1 – 2 minutes and serve immediately... or pack for breakfast for the rest of the week. :oD

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chambord Chocolate Cupcakes

Here is a recipe for Chambord chocolate cupcakes that were baked up, packed off and eaten so quickly that all I have to show for them is but one Instagram photo.

Chocolate chambord cupcake that I just ate before dinner. Yum.

But really, how many photos do you need for me to convince you they'll be delicious? They're Chambord chocolate cupcakes, everyone wins. 

The recipe came from Ming Makes Cupcakes, which isn't really updated anymore, but I have never had a cupcake failure with any of her recipes. I've made them my own go-to recipes, and they only yield about 10 - 12 cupcakes per batch, which I think is perfect.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chambord Chocolate Frosting

For the cupcakes

1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
3 T berry jam
3 tsp Chambord liqueur

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a cupcake pan with liners
  2. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. 
  4. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla and egg. 
  5. Add milk and flour mixture alternately while still mixing.  
  6. Mix in jam and liqueur.  
  7. Pour into lined cupcake pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out almost clean.

For the frosting

1 stick butter
5 heaping T cocoa
1 lb confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup Chambord

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter at low temperature.  
  2. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa and sugar.  
  3. Add melted butter, vanilla, and milk and beat at low speed until mixed. 
  4. Mix in Chambord.  
  5. Frost cupcakes generously and top (or fill) with a dollop of jam.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wintertime Gardening

Last weekend I attended a small going away gathering for my friend Adriana who is moving out of the country. Sad but exciting! Adriana shares my love of gardening and has entrusted the care of many of her house plants to me! So on Sunday I did a little wintertime gardening making space for my new plants!
Chili peppers | Lemon verbena | Lavender
Aloe | Lemon grass | Lime tree

The lavender and lime tree have actually been with me for awhile. The lime tree is a late bloomer I think, and the lavender hasn't been strong since I got it this summer, but it has new growth lately!



My desk garden. Hm, there's two types of mint, thyme, some African violets, parsley, fennel, arugula that is flowering and a few other things. I think they're mostly happy here.


Not a plant, but a bunny. While I ran up and down the stairs a hundred times, this is where Lillie was.


Two neglected African violets. Not Adriana's, but mine that I repotted and hope to revive.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Just Wondering if You Noticed...

Just wondering if you noticed the "Shop" button that has appeared just over on the right there?

I've decided to open an Etsy store!

Most items in my shop will be made to order. I'm planning on listing cute accessories like the Yummy Puff Stitch Scarf and Bow Boot Cuffs.



I'm working on a few more sample items, so my shop isn't open just yet, but after the weekend I'll be off and running! I may even have a grand opening sale happening! So if you're a fan of the accessories above, please check back soon!

Wish me luck!