Friday, October 29, 2010

Make your own pita bread!

When I was a child, we had some close family friends who were from Syria, and I always loved the food I ate at their home, especially the hummus! I didn't know what it was called or how it was made, but it was great. I'm thrilled hummus has come into the mainstream. I haven't quite worked out a good recipe for making it myself yet (I suspect it's a hardware issue), but I've found several sources for inexpensive commercial hummus. Unfortunately, I cannot find decent pita bread for dipping, which is a must for me. So, in the tradition of good homemakers around the world, I've learned to make my own!

  • 4 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 TBSP dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
Mix half of the flour and all the rest of the ingredients well, then let proof for 20 minutes or so, to make sure your yeast is active. Then knead in the rest of the flour to make a soft dough. Let rise once, then punch down and form into 12 equal sized balls.

Heat your oven to 500°F. I like to bake the pitas on my pizza stone, but a heavy baking pan will work also.

Roll out your balls of dough one at a time and bake 3 minutes, turn, then bake for an additional 3 minutes.
They will puff up like a pillow while baking

I like to start one pita, then roll out the next and let it rest for the 3 minutes the first one is baking. They seem to puff up better if they rest for a bit after rolling out.

Once cool, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip/Oat Muffins

My family loves pretty much anything pumpkin flavored. So combining that yumminess with my favorite item to make for breakfast, MUFFINS, just seemed destined by the kitchen Gods. I don't have a picture because they don't last long enough for pretty presented pictures. But they have been give 5/5 stars by everyone who has had them and loves pumpkin like we do, so give them a try and let me know what you think. You can use canned pumpkin...or my favorite, steamed pumpkin that has been lightly blended in the food processor. The flavor isn't quite as strong as the canned stuff.

4 eggs
2/3 c. water
2c. pumpkin
½ c. canola oil
½ c. applesauce, unsweetened
3c. sugar, granulated

Sift together and add…
2tsp. baking soda
2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2c. quick oats
12 oz bag chocolate chips, I prefer semi-sweet

Mix both wet and dry ingredients together and put into muffin tins prepared with non-stick spray.

Sprinkle with mixture of…
1/2c. oats (or chopped walnuts/pecans)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Bake in a 350 degree-preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Remove for muffin tins to cool. Be careful if eating right away, the chocolate chips will be melty and HOT!

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Girls Night Out with Mr. Brad Paisley ;]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Make a Cake

For my daughters 1st Birthday, I wanted it to be special and very family oriented. I decided that I would make her birthday cake and smash cake...even though I had ZERO experience in cake decorating.
I had some family advice and a good instruction book from Wilton :

And this is what I ended up with:

I was pretty proud that I can add cake decorating to my list of 'crafting' abilities:]
Visit your local craft store or for awesome ideas and make a cake today!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweater Conversion

Update! I made the Top 10 on the Iron Crafter! Go here to vote for me... pretty please?

There are fewer things that I love more than refashioning, or as my husband puts it "cutting apart perfectly good clothes... blah blah"

I knew he wouldn't mind this project though, 
because he {hates} this cardigan!

I'm a redhead, and I'll admit that it's not my best color, but his dislike of this sweater seems totally irrational to me!


I love, love, LOVE sweater dresses on babies! 

and I have a baby girl...

I saw that the Iron Crafter's "Secret Ingredient" was sweaters... 

and I am so in love with the end result I could {die}!!!

First I got a knit shirt that is a bit big for my girl to use as a pattern

I cut out 2 pieces to use as the front and back, the whole length of the sweater.

Then I sewed them together along the sides and at the shoulders

the sleeves of the original cardigan had this super cute button detail that I totally wanted to keep

so I lined up the sleeve of the baby sized shirt, with this along the top
and cut out the sleeves.

I sewed the sleeves into a tube, and attached them to the dress

here it is inside out...

Lastly I made the neck. I took the last piece of trim from around the bottom of the sweater and sewed it into a tube

and sewed it to the dress to make a little turtleneck!

I hand-sewed a few of the buttons from front of the old sweater onto the turtleneck to keep it from rolling up

I had to restrain myself from waking up the baby to try it on her...

(she woke up on her own eventually...)

I think this is my favorite refashioning project EVER!

p.s. I used a women's size Large for this project, and the end result is about 9-12 month size with very little left-over. If you make a sweater dress from this tutorial, please link it to our flickr group; I would LOVE to see it!

<3 AmberLou

sharing at a few of these parties


Saturday, October 23, 2010

200 Follower Giveaway!

We <3 our followers! 

To celebrate reaching 200 followers, we are giving away a little handmade something from the ladies at The Paisley Cupcake! 

AmberLou made Anna Graham's (Noodlehead) Runaround Bag!

(It's gray and black with a gray lining. The fabric is Yolanda Fundora for Blank Quilting)

Lorie, Jan and Amanda filled it with goodies...

and we're giving it away!

To enter

Be a follower (1 entry)

Tell us something you're grateful for. You know, practice for Thanksgiving! (1 entry)

Please leave a comment for each entry. 
We'll pick the winner via on November 8th at midnight!

Good luck, and thanks for loving our blog!

<3 AmberLou, Amanda, ~jan & Lorie

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hand Knitted Baby Sweaters

Many moons ago (and in a far off place) I knew a lady named Bobbie. Bobbie was born in London in the early 1920's and survived WWII losing only her hearing from the nightly bombings. She married an American GI and came to the US as a war bride. She was an amazing woman with wonderful stories to tell of her life and times. And she loved to knit. You never saw her without her needles and her latest project. Because she'd lost her hearing, she taught herself to lip-read, and never took her eyes off of you while you were talking. Even though she seldom looked at her knitting, she never dropped a stitch and she made the most beautiful sweaters and hats and blankets and things.

When I first met Bobbie, I had 3 children under the age of 6 and was pregnant with my 4th. When my baby was a couple of days old, Bobbie showed up at my front door with a paper lunch bag in her hand. Inside the bag was a lovely hand knitted sweater for my new little girl. The sweater was a delicate mint green, which was unusual... Bobbie typically knitted sweaters for new babies in pink, blue or yellow, but she told me she'd chosen green for my baby because my older girls had red hair, and she thought green would be more fitting for a red haired baby. I treasure that sweater, and hope to pass it on to a grandchild someday.

Bobbie taught knitting classes for our church group for a time, and she worked with me very patiently, showing me how to cast on and knit basic stitches. But at the time, with four small children (and two more following before I was finished), I had no time or energy to devote to learning to knit. I decided to save that for a different season of life.

A few years ago, I realized that that season had arrived. My children were all [mostly] grown, I had one married daughter and was starting to look forward to grandchildren. So I decided to learn to knit so that I could make heirloom sweaters for my own children to put on their babies. It took some time and patience, but I eventually remembered the lessons I'd learned and (thanks to the internet!) found some simple patterns that I've used to make sweaters for all the babies in my life.

I even expanded by repertoire and have started making more elaborate clothing for my grandchildren.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hang It Up!

I have a serious problem....I always misplace my keys and jewelry. 
They end up in the bottom of my bottomless purse or rolling around in some drawer and I. have. had. it!

I saw this project and was inspired to hang it all up! {geez, why didnt I think of this?} 
Its sooo easy to make your own, so give it a try. Nicholette gives great instructions on how to do so:]
Thanks Craft Envy for the idea!!!

{I obviously haven't hung it all up yet, but Im getting there!} 
Have a fantastic Thursday!