Friday, August 26, 2011

Zucchini Bread

So, I've had a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables this summer due to our CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - box of goodies each week. We've gotten to try many new things, some good and some not-so-good.

This week I got 3 round zucchini squash-y things. They basically looked on the outside like typical green zucchini, but they were round instead. As it turns out, they look pretty much like zucchini on the inside too. I didn't know how I wanted to use them so I obviously turned to Pioneer Woman's website for ideas. I love her. If I lived by her or if she lived by me we would most certainly be very good friends.

I first searched her site, and thought about trying the zucchini cakes that came up when I searched for zucchini, but really had bread in mind so I turned to her Tasty Kitchen website and found this recipe. It's not one she personally posted, but it looked good, and with a title of "The Best Zucchini Bread EVER!", how could I pass it up?!?

So here's a link to the recipe. It's filled with yummy goodness and a lot of cinnamon, which, for picky eaters, hides the look of the zucchini quite well. It tastes great. My family liked it, which means it's a keeper.

The only thing I will do differently next time is to split one recipe up into two loaf pans. I think it will cook better and be less dense. My loaves were huge (almost ran over the pan) and I don't think they cooked as well as they could have if they weren't as full. Of course I will want to watch the cooking time if the pan isn't as full. A little kitchen logic there for ya.

 When you make this recipe, don't forget the tall jar of iced tea. It's just a necessary part of life.

Who doesn't like a nice closeup?

Give this one a try! It's yummy!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Don't be impressed...

Today, I made a mermaid.

I'll bet you're impressed. Don't be.

My girls have been watching a tv show on Netflix about girls who turn into mermaids whenever they get wet. They've watched all 3 seasons of the show now, and slightly obsessed with mermaids. As a result, they want to swim like mermaids, dress like mermaids, sing the theme song about being a get the idea. They even looked up on YouTube how to make a mermaid costume, complete with mono-fin flipper. I draw the line there. It's just not on my bucket list.

So I compromised. It's how I roll.

Emma cut out a little mermaid doll and I sewed it up for her. It's not very good, it's a feeble attempt at sewing up a made-up-as-you-go pattern, but it works.

She had some old shirts that weren't even really yard-sale worthy, so I told her she could keep them for scraps. She pulled out some scraps and cut them up into mermaid pieces. I sewed, she stuffed, she made hair, and voilĂ ! A mermaid. Ok. It wasn't really that easy. I'm making it sound easy. It wasn't. Just trust me on this one.

She actually cut out three tails, knowing full well that I had the stellar seamstress-ing skills to make all 3 dolls. But after sewing up the tails, then finally sewing up the first doll, I told her there was no way [anywhere] that I was going to sew up two more. At least not at *that* size. Those arms? They're very tiny. I actually sewed them *and* managed to get them turned right-side-out. I'm sure larger mermaid pieces will be visiting my dining room soon, hoping to be pieced together to form a larger and more easier-to-work-with doll. In fact, maybe I'll just teach her how to use the machine and let her go to work on a larger version. (Yeah, that's the ticket...)

So, here is the mermaid. It turned out pretty cute. She cut out the pieces (you can see a few marks where her outlines were), she made the hair, and I sewed it all up. There, I made it sound easy again. I'm telling you...never mind. Just take my word for it.

Here's Emma with her new little friend:

Behold, a "mer-made-up-as-you-go".

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I finally like sewing again.

Here's why.

First, the history: my mom sewed almost all of my clothes when I was young. She even made my prom dresses and my wedding dress. And my bridesmaids' dresses. And I could go on and on.

But I won't. {You're welcome}

I learned how to sew, but since my mom always did the sewing, I never really had to. Earlier this year I finally got rid of an old machine that wasn't working well (and helped create a disdain for anything that had to do with using that machine) and replaced it with a new machine from Costco. I got a great deal too since a), it was at Costco and 2), it was the "floor model", so I got a discount on top of the already good price.

Last weekend I found this sewing table - complete with old (early 60's?) Singer sewing machine. I haven't tried that machine yet, but I was told it works. So I cleaned the table up yesterday and gave it a light coating of Old English, and it looks pretty good. It really needs to be refinished - the stain was chipping off here and there as I was cleaning it. But it will work for now.

I added my knobs to the drawers for my own personal touch, and put my new machine on top. I sewed some little mermaid tail toys for my girls this afternoon and flipped out the top flap of the table on the right side for more table space - it worked out really well. I can't put my machine on top of the existing one when I flip out the left side of the table - it won't fit in the space unless I put some other piece of wood over the top of it. But the way it is for now worked like a charm. I'll most likely be keeping this around for a while.

I think it turned out pretty nicely for ten bucks. And the machine looks in good shape to boot -- I'll be trying it out later and let you know how it goes.

 What shall I sew next?