Thursday, February 16, 2012

Upcycled Wool Snuggle Bunnies

I haven't been doing much crafting or sewing lately.  It seems like it's been all I can do to keep up with the house chores,  the cooking, the dogs, my own little one, and the new little one I have been keeping an eye on during the day.  When a friend dropped off a bag of felted wool sweater scraps a couple weeks ago though, I just had to make something.
For some reason, Sadie's been really into bunnies lately, and the lovely piece of soft grey cashmere on the right just called out to become a rabbit.  I looked online for some bunny toy patterns, and found a lot of cute ones that were rag-doll style with long dangle-y arms and legs, but I had something more "Watership Down-but-also-snuggleable" in mind, and this is what I came up with.
The one on the right is actually Sadie's new favorite lovey.  It has been beaten around the house for a couple weeks, and is holding up rather well.  The one on the left is stuffed with raw wool and organic lavender and smells like heaven--it is a gift for a friend's little, so I have to keep it hidden, or Sadie will claim it for her own.   I would have liked to get a few more pictures to show what they look like from different angles, but Sadie kept snatching them up and trying to snuggle with them. 
Who can resist a snuggle bunny? If I can get my act together, I will put a pattern and tutorial on here in late March so you can sew your own in time for Easter. It is a really simple pattern, and a great way to use recycled crafting materials.  This would be a perfect addition to a little one's Easter Basket.  Happy up-cycling to you all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

eat your colors.

They say you should eat a rainbow in fruits and vegetables everyday.  Sometimes that is hard for us to do on Wednesdays because we are usually down to the dregs of our CSA box--and of course there isn't a piece of fruit to be found in the house.  By some happy accident today we had some lovely colorful produce leftover, so I made a bastardized Nome version of the Malaysian dish "Gado-Gado."

Ours featured a bed of hearty brown rice topped with
lightly steamed purple cabbage
& green snow peas
fresh orange carrots,
green spinach
& red tomatoes
and a hard-boiled egg.
To add an extra element of delicious we topped the whole thing with a creamy home-made peanut sauce.
mmmmm.....sooooo good.  I extra love that Sadie will totally chow this kind of food, especially if there is sauce involved-- Girl loves her some sauce!

And just to counteract this marvelous healthy dinner I am totally baking a real-deal New York Cheesecake as I type this.  I got the recipe over at the Smitten Kitchen. I figured since she is a New-Yorker that should give her some kitchen cred in the cheesecake department, plus, every recipe I have tried off of that blog has been awesome so far.

So I guess the moral of the story is... eat your rainbow, and then you can have a slice of cheesecake ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

snow days!

Finally, after weeks and weeks and weeks of temperatures in the -30's (sometimes much colder when the wind blew) a nice, big, fat blizzard rolled in this weekend.  The storm brought a welcome foot of snow (nothing compared to what other places in Alaska have been getting) and some temps in the high 20's, which feel balmy, and lovely.
It's been weeks since Sadie has been able to play outside, so even though the wind was blowing, she was one happy little snow bunny! Especially helping her dad shovel snow and Chasing cash.
The chickens ventured out of their coop to strut around in the snow while Loren gave them a new bed of straw.  Even with the extra heat source in the chicken tractor, this winter has been really hard on them.   You can see in the picture that a couple of the hens frostbit the tops of their combs.  Last week I went to check on the chickens before bed and found that somehow Rex had managed to get his feet wet and they were like two blocks of ice.  He got a week of convalescence in the bathtub, and even though Loren kept book marking my Joy of Cooking to the "Coc au Vin" recipe he managed to make a surprising recovery.  Loren was super nice and soaked his feet in epsom salts and put bag balm on them regularly--all the while bitching that, "we should be eating this damn rooster!"  When the temp finally went up yesterday, he went back in the coop--much to everyone's relief.  A bathtub is no place for a rooster.  Frankly, I'm amazed that chickens can even survive in this climate--it is a true testimony to their hardiness.

I hope the kinder weather will hold for a while--I think we could all use a break from being housebound. It would be nice to get out and enjoy the lengthening days with some sledding or skiing, to be sure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

bread+chocolate= love.

Back in my traveling days, Pain au Chocolat was one my favorite indulgences from the tiny bakery cafes in Europe.  To sit and enjoy this with a cup of strong espresso and a good book or my journal to keep me company... 
sigh. It was lovely.
Usually, it comes in the form of a croissant with a big hunk of chocolate baked in.  I don't know about you, but I don't have time to bake croissants. ever. 
Loren & I did rediscover this treat last summer on a trip to Homer where we had the Two Sister's Bakery version of this treat, which is made with a heartier bread dough and sprinkled liberally with cinnamon sugar.  They were wonderful. 
And maybe it's the cold, cold, weather, 
but lately I have been in a bread baking mood.
Here is the recipe, so you can try them out yourself, 
if the spirit moves you.
I think they would make a perfect Valentines treat.