Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Fall! - Apple Pancakes

Happy first day of Fall y'all!

This past week I encountered one of the most challenging parts of having a child with dietary restrictions, food at school, specifically in the classroom. I'm thankful that our dietary restrictions are not life or death however that are just as important to adhere to just the same. In a lot of ways this makes it more difficult though. People who are not accustom to having to make major lifestyle changes like this don't tend to take it seriously even when it is doctor proscribed.

School has been in session for a smidge less then a month and we have had these events come up 3 times already, one of which was daily for the first two weeks of school. This time was apple pancakes for the study of Johnny Appleseed. When I read this was coming up this week and the ingredient list was being divided amongst the parents my stomach sunk and immediately started worrying the "what if's". "What if they don't realize that no dairy includes all products like butter or that labels aren't clearly read." "What if they do both gluten free and regular pancakes but cross contaminate with the spatula or something." My first instinct is to retreat and opt out of these activities but reality sets in that I can not have my child miss out on an opportunity to be involved with his class.

I'm happy to say this apple pancake activity was a success. I think the teacher & class aid heard me an understood. I was surprised when I found out that they were planning on making all of them gluten, dairy and peanut free. I was concerned with how they might turn out since not all alternative products are the same (I've had my fair share of bad gluten free and dairy free pancakes) but I recieved a happy report that they were delicious. The teacher sent home copies of the recipes they sounded awesome. My son went on and on with how great they were so we tried them out for breakfast this morning. OH MY GOODNESS THESE ARE GOOD!

(please forgive the pictures this was very impromptu and I decided halfway through making these this morning that I just had to share)
So I kinda messed up the the recipe when I made it (I'm not a morning person, following directions is just too much me) I included the oil in the batter, Ooops! But it still turned out. They were delicious!
I grated the apples with the skins on as recommended.
The chef's plate. Pancake #8 and the first one I was able to try, the kids were inhaling them. The gluten free flour mix I used is the Simple Truth Organic brand from Krogers. I'm thinking that the King Arthur brand would be good here as well. I tend to stay away from blends with sorghum flour, I find it has a bitter taste but maybe that's just me. I also prefer unsweetened soy milk (West Soy or Soy Dream) for my cooking and baking. I've tried coconut, almond and rice milks but they have left undesired flavors or chewy, gummy or under cooked consistencies. 
 Nothing better then a well seasoned cast iron grittle. Watch out these burn quick don't walk away!


2 apples cored and grated
2 cups gluten free all purpose baking or pancake mix
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup soy milk (or alternative milk of your choice)
1/2 cup canola oil

Stir together the grated apple, gluten free baking mix, cinnamon & brown sugar to a bowl. Coating each strand of apple with the dry mix (this help keep the apple evenly distributed in the batter). In a separate bowl or large measuring cup whisk together the egg, milk and oil (I'm sticking with my oops, it was good!). Add the milk egg mix to the apple mix. Stir till smooth. Ladle and spread desired amounts on a lightly greased griddle or skillet that is over medium low heat. Cook to golden and flip cook again till golden and serve.

Happy Breakfast!
What made these even more special was that we used the apples we just picked as a family. Apple picking has been an annual tradition for me since moving to Ohio in 1994. I love that this is now a family event that my kids look forward to. Even though the calendar doesn't reflect it, apple picking is the official kick off to Fall for me😊

By far this is my favorite season but also my busiest season. Every year I hope to enjoy all that Fall has to offer but usually fall short;) This year will probably be the same but I'm holding out hope that this is the best Fall yet!

Thanks for stopping by the nest!


Monday, September 5, 2016

Concert Dress

Wow August was a busy month! It's hard to believe it's September and the two of the kiddos are back in school. I've spent my "extra" time trying to get caught up on things that I can not seem to get done with three in the house. Fortunately, sewing is one of the things I can do with all of them around. Good thing too because I've been back to sewing up a storm. With the anticipation of school I created a new pattern for a boxy pencil bag, sewed a bunch and spent some time selling them. I have a fall craft show I signed up for and started preparing for. I will share what I will be selling at the show over the next weeks.
One of my sewing projects this month has been a concert dress. I was asked to take a womens extra-small concert t-shirt and make it into a dress for a little girl. This lucky little girl is going to the concert and has a backstage pass to meet the artist. I feel honored that I was asked to create the dress for the event. It was a bit of challenge to find the right style that didn't lose to much of the image on the t-shirt.
 Sadly, I lost part of the name on the front but I was able to salvage the back.
I settled on a raglan peasant style bodice with elastic neckline and sleeve. After deliberation this style provided the width to best take advantage of the image. This little girl likes to twirl so a skirt was a necessity. I used two full widths of fabric to make sure it had plenty of twirl.
(When I took these pictures the little lady had not yet tried on the dress so I hadn't finished the casement for the elastic neckline and the arms. I was waiting so I can have her try it on so we can make it the perfect fit.)
It's fun to make a completely custom item. It can be a daunting at first but the outcome is always very rewarding.

Time to get back to the sewing machine and mass productions mode : )

Thanks for stopping by the nest!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Corn Avocado Dip recipe & a little about me

 Something you have probably noticed about my recipes but I have not really share a whole lot about myself is that I eat dairy and gluten free. This is true for several members of my family. Several years back I was determined to make some lifestyle changes which included how I ate. At the time one of my cousins was going through a ridged elimination diet and seeing a naturopath due to health issues. She share the Eat Right for Your Type - The Blood Type Diet book. At first I blew it off because how in the world was I going to be able to eat like that. No dairy and no wheat (as well as a bunch of other stuff) come on! I eat cheese for almost every meal and could drink a gallon of milk within a couple day's. Not to mention my addiction to a crusty loaf of bread. I still joke that I want my last meal to be a block of cheese and a loaf of good sourdough bread. Still the blood type diet it was lingering in the back of my head. 

At the time I was going through my own set of aches and pains; vertigo, one sinus infection after the other and shooting pain that ran from my hands to my elbows. Only things doctors would do is tell me to "wear arm braces because you have carpertunal" and prescribe me antibiotics to get rid of yet another sinus infection. Then one day something just clicked. I don't know if it was something I remembered reading or something someone said to me but I was determined to try this diet. Before starting I made no correlation to my pain to my diet but with in about a month of eating for my type my hand and arm pain went away and.... I will do my best not to be gross.... we'll just say my sinuses when through a great purge. That was 8 years ago and you know, I have not had a sinus infection since and colds when I rarely get them only last a couple day's. My husband who is a seasonal allergy sufferer has told me that he has found relief from his allergy symptoms since we changed how we eat too. I was sold and I never looked back.

This is not to say that I don't occasionally indulge in wheat & dairy because I do and quite often around the holiday's or anytime we are celebrating with others. But when I do, no matter how small the amount, I usually have horrible sinus headaches from the dairy and joint pain when I eat wheat. Sometimes those are great reminders why I eat how I eat. It's just not worth the pain not to eat right. I don't consider myself allergic but intolerant or sensitive to gluten and dairy. 

Well, you now know more than you ever wanted to know about my eating habits but hopefully you know what type of recipes to expect from me. I have gotten pretty good and knowing how to do exchanges in recipes and what can and can not be altered or omitted.  So has several of my family members so we share recipes quite a bit. Just like this corn salsa (is it a salsa if it doesn't have tomatoes?) below. We are big eaters when we all get together and get a little sad when we all make things that none of us should really be eating. Little by little we have been adding new favorites to the communal table and this is one of them that everyone loves.

Corn Avocado Dip

1  16 oz  organic frozen sweet corn, thawed
2  4oz cans chopped ripe (black) olives, drained
1  med red bell pepper, diced
1  small red onion, diced
5  cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice (fresh is best)
3 tbsp white wine vinegar (not aged)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 med avocado (ripe but firm), diced right before serving

Combined first 4 ingredients in large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together remaining except avocado. Pour over corn mixture. Marinate in fridge 6 hours or over night. Right before serving mix in diced avocado.

Serve with tortilla chips.

* can replace half of the ripe olives with chopped green olives
** Also good over a salad
*** Cucumber has been used in place of avocado.
**** If you like a little spice add a jalapeno
I really hope you enjoy this recipe. Please let me know what you think. I love feed back!

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Journal Cover with Note Cards

I made this journal and stationary keeper for a beautiful friend of mine that loves journals and card making. I was inspired by the journal cover I found in my 100 Pretty Little Projects book. The size that was in the book was entirely to small for what I was thinking so I ended up drafting my own pattern.
The fabric is a deep red linen and a quilters cotton from Joann Fabrics. I used the fancy elastic that is used for making baby head bands for the closure and the pen holder. And the fun rose is a button I also found at Joanns.
I made it large enough to hold twelve 4.25"x5.5" cards with envelopes and a standard size composition book. Knowing my friend I'm sure that notebook will be transformed into something amazing.

I decided that she is so special that I would make handmade cards. I let my Cricut do most the work and cut the monogram from the Fontopia cartridge and keep the rest simple by just mounting it to a double matte. I used my new favorite cardstock, the Neenah 140lb white cardstock and the Neenah creative collection which has the perfect colors in 12"x12".
I really enjoyed making this gift. It gave me the opportunity to do the two things I love best. And there is nothing better than knowing it will make a dear friend happy.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

I have no paid sponsorships so all the products I use and opinions I express are completely my own.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mary Journal

This beautiful journal was created by a friend of mine. Her first crafting love is anything paper but really wants to get into mix media, which pretty much means everything; anything goes. I can see things going that direction for me too. This was a project she donated to a silent auction. It was truly a labor of love. She put so much work into every detail of this journal. She thought of everything. 
The Mary image on the front cover is a silver embossed Our Lady of Guadalupe she did using a recollections stamp she found at Michaels.
Prayer hands and rosary stamp are from Catholic Rubber Stamps. This little stamp company is a small Mom and Pop business located in Wisconsin. They have enormous selection of Catholic Christian stamps. If you can think of it they probably have it. When my friend stumbled upon them it was like she struck Gold. 
It's hard to see but this little stamp say's "Hands to Work Hearts to God". It's also from Catholic Rubber Stamp.

The list of Mary's names and Hail Mary Stamps are also from Catholic Rubber Stamp


Thanks for stopping by the nest!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pink Daisy Card

Like I mentioned in my last post I have been doing a lot more paper crafting and experimenting with new (to me) techniques. Few months ago my friend got me very interested in trying watercolor. So we tried out the on-line class Watercolor for Cardmakers. Watercolor, actually painting in general, has always seem very daunting. I have to say after taking this class I really think it is doable. I still have a lot to learn and I'm looking forward to stretching my skills by trying more intermediate techniques.
The technique used for this card is not from the card making class. I found this one on Pinterest here.  I had a little trouble with getting the heat embossing right. I tried this with 4 different embossing folders and this one turned out the best. 

Because of taking the on-line class I have tried a handful of different types of watercolor paint. The one I have found I like the best isn't even watercolor paint, its Distress Ink by Ranger. Since it is a water based ink it is slow drying and can be manipulated by introducing more water. I simply press the stamp pad lightly to a slick surface (I use the silicone mat by Ranger but you could use a sandwich bag) and pick up the ink with a wet paint brush and paint.

For this card I added a little sparkle to the darker center flower with the Zig Wink of Stella brush pen. LOVE this stuff. I can see now why it is so popular. I have a friend that hates glitter being brought into her house but I would have no problem giving her a card with this stuff on it. It does not shed what-so-ever.

Supplies used:
Strathmore watercolor paper
Darcie embossing folder
Speedball brayer
Versamark Ink
WOW Fine Clear embossing powder
Picked Raspberry Distress Ink
Mustard Seed Distress Ink
Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink
Sakura Koi Waterbrush, small
Zig Wink of Stella brush- glitter clear
Echo Park Simple Life clear stamp set
Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink pad
Scotch Foam Mounting Tape
Core'dinations cardstock
If you have always wanted to try watercolor you should do it. It's so much fun and really not that costly. 

Is there a craft you have ever wanted to try but never had the courage? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

I have no paid sponsorships so all the products I use and opinions I express are completely my own.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Crafting Crazy - Homemade Foam Stamps

Hi! I'm back! How has everyone's summer been going? Got to be honest, ours has gotten off to a rough start. Mama doesn't do good with routine change but I think we are getting there. Since my last post I have been crafting up a storm. I've had several baby showers so I've had some sewing to do but I really have been working with more paper lately and having a ton of fun learning and experimenting with different techniques. I can't wait to share them all with you.

It all started about 6 months ago, I needed a serious break from the structure of sewing. Sewing will always be my first love but sometimes you just want to throw paint around and get messy. So I pulled out all of my random craft stuff that I've collected over the decades (yes folks I said decades) and my kids craft stuff and went to town. Most of what I produced is not worthy of sharing but this turned out to have some potential.
I adhered craft foam shapes from the kids stash to pieces of cardboard. Then I applied acrylic paint with a brayer to a 12x12 sheet of white cardstock. Then applied a different color acrylic paint to my stamp creation again with the brayer and stamped away.
It's nothing spectacular but I rather like it for a background on scrapbook page for my daughter.
 The patterned paper is scraps I had left from Nana's Nursery by DCWV. The embellishments are odds and ends that I have collected over the years. 
The last time I scrapbooked anything was when I was pregnant with Noah 2 to 3 years ago. I am so ridiculously behind.  Oh well, one down a few hundred to go. At least they are fun to do!

Thanks for stopping by the nest!