8/28/14

Fruit fly trap


Last week we had fruit flies. They started out in the fruit bowl, then when I took care of that, they moved into some cherry tomatoes we had sitting out.

I don't like vermin in the house, so I looked up and made a fruit fly trap. It was pretty much the easiest thing ever to make, and extremely effective.

Between the trap and keeping the dishes done and no food out on the counter, the fruit flies were gone in a few days.

8/26/14

Things I want to sew before the baby comes


Curtains for Red Chief and Tiger Lily (to be saved for Christmas)
Bibs and aprons
A flannel blanket or two
Burp cloths
A baby hat
Doll diapers for Tiger Lily
Baby shoes
Some white pillowcases
Mittens
A tag blanket / play mat

There's also a quilt to finish. I don't think I'll sew all of that, but it's nice to have a wish list.

8/22/14

New shirt


I had ambitious plans of sewing Tiger Lily an entire wardrobe before she started kindergarten, but of course I didn't. I did, however, find time to make her a quick peasant shirt from this pattern, which I love. (I've used it twice before, here and here.) One thing I like about this pattern is that I can make it from woven fabric, but she can pull it on over her head and not have to worry about fasteners. Also, the fit is very flexible: she's still wearing the dresses I made her two years ago.

She is getting so big—bigger than the pattern, so I made some small changes which actually worked out. I will probably buy the bigger size of the pattern if I make it again, since I like it so much.

I found the fabric in my stash. It's either a pass-along from someone else or thrifted; I can't remember where everything came from anymore. I think it's polyester, but it's very cute, and it was easy to work with.

8/20/14

Canning


The garden offered up about thirty large cucumbers, and the neighbors offered up a sack of plums. Time to put some food in jars!

No, I did not have the energy for this, but I did it anyway and I'm glad I did. The kids were kind enough to help with grating cucumbers (with a bit of bribing).

Final yields:
8 half-pints plum jam
7 quarts dill pickles
8.5 pints dill relish

8/18/14

Red Chief grows a giant zucchini


A month or so ago, Red Chief decided he wanted to grow a giant zucchini for the fair. He battled squash bugs and time, but incredibly, the big thing hung on until it was time to submit entries. I've never seen such a nasty zucchini before; it's starting to turn orange. He says it weighs 8 1/2 pounds by the bathroom scale.

8/15/14

Pita breakfast


This week I had too much fun baking for the fair and we ended up with an excess of bread. For breakfast the next day, I stuffed some homemade pita pockets with scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese, and it made a nice change from our usual cereal, oatmeal, and pancakes.

8/13/14

Kitchen firsts: Storebought pie crust


Last week I wanted to make a pie, but didn't have the energy to make a crust from scratch (and clean up the kitchen afterward, ugh). So I bought my first-ever pre-made pie crust and some frozen mixed berries, and made the easiest pie ever.

It made a good breakfast.

8/11/14

Recently tried recipes



Hash brown breakfast casserole. Pretty good, and very popular with the family. I would probably say, though, that it doesn't serve 12–15, though, especially as a main dish. My family of four ate most of it for dinner.

Butternut squash pasta. This was quite good (especially with extra pesto on top), but the best part is that it used up so much pumpkin from my freezer!

Zucchini lasagna rolls. Red Chief ate about half a pan of these. I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta because we like it better.

Sour cream chicken enchiladas. Yum. The sauce was a little thin and there wasn't quite enough chicken to go around, but I may make this again with some tweaking.

Swiss chard soup. Ugly but tasty! One of my new favorites, and super frugal if you're growing your own chard. I suspect other greens would work here as well. I made ours in the slow cooker.

Strawberry smoothie. We liked this. I used frozen strawberries, so skipped the ice (also reduced sugar to 1T). I had to add milk so my poor blender could handle it, but all in all, I'll probably use this recipe again.

8/7/14

Wonderful weekend


This past weekend was very special to us and also extremely busy. Red Chief was baptized into our church. We are so proud of him and the decision he has made.

We were thrilled to have family come celebrate: Red Chief had 17 out-of-town family members come to see his baptism.

That leads to the busy part.

Feeding and housing 17 extra people is no small task! But by much preparation, several borrowed crock pots, and lots of help from visitors, it all got done. And now we're enjoying the quiet after the chaos.