Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pasta Fagioli (Pasta & Beans Soup)

Pasta Fagioli
serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons italian seasonings
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15.5oz) pink beans
1 can (15.5oz) white beans
6 cups water
½ package (1¾ cups) ditalini pasta

Rinse and drain beans
Heat oil, italian seasonings in a large pot over low heat for 5 minutes
Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes
Let mixture thicken for about 10 minutes
Stir in beans, water
Heat to a boil
Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
Add pasta
Cook covered over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler
serves 8

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
6 fresh peaches (medium size)

Slice peaches into medium size pieces
Rub the end of the stick of butter around the bottom and sides of the slow cooker to coat it completely
Toss the sliced peaches on top, spreading them out evenly across the dish

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In the same bowl, add the rest of the softened butter, cutting it into the mixture with two forks or you can use your hands. Crumble this topping evenly on top of the peaches.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours

Serve with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bringing new life into an old shirt - what to do with a shirt you like but are tired of the color

love this white shirt. It's a cute, breeze, little summer shirt. However since it is white I have to plan ahead to wear it. Usually I think to wear it when all I have in my drawer is my red bra with white polka dots.

Following the directions on the bottle I dyed my shirt in the utility sink in my laundry room. I have a glass pot I use for dying.

I didn't stir it as much as I should have so it looks "splotchy". But I like it. It gives it a hand crafted look.

The shirt wasn't 100% cotton which I didn't realize until after I dyed it. But the stitching stands out a lot better now so that's good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Spent Grains Dog Biscuits

Spent Grain Doggie Treats
makes about 60 cookies

4 cups spent grains
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350
Make sure you stir the spent grains well before using as liquid can settle to the bottom
Combine all ingredients mixing well

Using your fingers press the mixture on to an ungreased rimmed cookie sheet
Cut into squares

Bake for 30-45 minutes
Break apart the squares
Divide squares in between two cookie sheets so there is a little space between each square
Reduce the oven temperature to 250
Cook for 1 hour
Turn squares over and cook for an additional hour or until they are completely dried out

Let treats cool completely.

Another option is to use a bone shaped cookie cutter
After spreading the mixture on to the cookie sheet cut out with a bone shaped cookie cutter
Move to an ungreased cookie sheet
Then bake as described above

Store in an open container

These biscuits will get moldy if all the moisture is not gone

Monday, August 1, 2016

Warm Bean Salad

Warm Bean Salad
serves 6

1 can (15.5oz) red kidney beans
1 can (15.5oz) small white beans
1 can (15.5oz) chick peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons italian seasonings
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup crushed tomatoes
½ cup diced green bell peppers

Rinse and drain beans
Heat oil and seasonings in a large skillet
Add tomatoes and peppers
Let mixture thicken for about 10 minutes
Stir in beans
Cook for 10 minutes

Serve warm

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Upcycled Rug

My daughter recently repainted her room and her purple area rug no longer went with the new look. Instead of tossing a perfectly good rug that had no wear I decided to try to change the color with dye. This rug was perfect for dying - cotton rug with no rubber backing. I had seen pictures at The Rit Studio of dyers using Rit Color Remover to take the color out of clothing before dying. Normally I wouldn't have bothered. Going from purple to navy blue isn't that far of a stretch color wise but I wanted to see if this Color Remover would work.

Since you always start with clean, wet fabric step one was to wash the rug. Then it was time to use Rit Color Remover. While the rug was still dry I had tried to weigh it but my digital scale was being stupid. Four boxes seemed like a good number to start with. I tried to use the Color Remover in my front loaded but something went wrong. Probably user error. My washer emptied most of the Color Remover before the cycle started.

Well that's not right.
I rinsed the rug and then washed it again to get what remover there was out. The next morning I went back to the craft store for 4 more boxes of Color Remover. I was working under a deadline. Hubby was turning off the water when he got home from work to finish a plumbing project. This time I used my trusty utility sink in the laundry room. I dumped the 4 packets in the tub with lots of hot water and stirred. Then I added the wet rug. I swished it around off and on for about 30 minutes.

That's more like it.
There was no real way for me to wring out the rug so I just tossed it in the washer and turned on a rinse cycle. Then washed the rug with soap to get the remover out. I washed out the utility sink. Then filled it up with 4 bottles of Navy Blue Rit Dye and about 3 cups of salt. Added the wet rug and swished again for about 30 minutes.

The dye bath looked a little purple-ish but I wasn't worried.
I drained the utility tub out and filled up back up with plain water and let the rug soak while Hubby did his plumbing thing. One hour later he had the water back on and I could continue. I threw the rug into the washer to rinse the dye off. Then again with soap to get all the extra dye out. Usually I hang the rug over the back fence to dry but we were having heavy thunderstorms that night. Three dryer cycles later it was finally dry.

Looks great.

Before and After

Important Note - Make sure your gloves are longer than the dye bath is deep.

Hey look! I'm a Smurf.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Graphic 45 By the Sea Bird House

A few weeks ago for Mother's Day I made a Treasure Box for my Mom using Grapic 45 By the Sea paper collection. I wanted to make a companion piece for my Dad for Father's Day. That was my whole plan which wasn't much. Since I was winging it, I didn't take pictures. So sorry no step by step tutorial.

I went to Jo-Ann's and bought a birdhouse that kind of had a light house look to it and flat sides to decorate. First I painted two coats of Folk Art Chalky paint in Antique Mustard. Next I Mod Podged paper on the sides. Adding the paper on the front of the bird house was a little tricky to work out. With the hole and the peg it was difficult to line up the paper right. I fooled around with a few pieces of plain scrap paper but couldn't get it just right. I tried using hole punches but nothing would line up right. I was getting really frustrated. Finally one night in bed (I usually do my best thinking when I'm suppose to be sleeping) I realized if I cut the paper in half vertically I could line up everything better. Phew! It still took a few tries but eventually I got it all lined up, mostly.

Look close, you can't tell that the paper was cut in half. I save every scrap of this paper. It's so beautiful I don't want to waste any plus you just never know what you may be inspired to use. Using scraps from the side pieces I cut angle pieces and used the reverse side around the base of the house. Some jute twine around the peg hides the fact that I didn't cut the circle exact. I hot glued a few shells from a walk on the beach last summer.

At first I had painted the entire house yellow but decided to change the roof to Americana Williamsburg Blue that almost matches the paper. I hated to cut a whole sheet for the roof but really liked the little anchors. Some jute twine wrapped around the top along with a few sea shells.

Here are both pieces together. I love how they complement each other and my parents home.