Monday, October 6, 2014

Simple Fleece Blanket...

Little bud has been getting blankets from me often. When she was a baby, I made her a lot of blankets, because I like making them. It was my way of wrapping her with love. She enjoyed them very much I know for sure. 

She still use them when she can. Now that she has become this tall gal, I had to keep up making bigger blankets for her.

I love the remnant rack at the fabric store. Few weeks ago, I bought this and it was just sitting,I wanted to make her something with owls this season. 

I made this simple blanket with fleece, this was my first time using the serger, and I did it! It is a very simple way to make a blanket and can make it easily within few minutes. I simply straighten edges, by cutting the selvage and the rounded the corners using a plate. This is a very simple blanket, to transfer towards fall. Another project made at home. 

I had made blankets for few other friends who wanted receiving blankets. I wish I knew how to do these before I had my little one.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Making yogurt @ home

Making yogurt at home has become an extremely a fun project to do. Plain yogurt satisfying our less sugar craving desires, while adding benefits to our health. But it was hard to get, little one to eat, because she has tasted the store kind. 

She would say, but, “I like the kind with the fruit on the bottom.” Yes, I agree if I am six too. In order to satisfy her I would try to mix in a small amount of jam into the plain yogurt but she would insists she likes the fruit on the “Bottom.”

In order to get her to eat without complaining, I decided to make few with our tiny weck jars it was an adorable and successful attempt! 

Why not add a bit of honey, says a voice in my head, so it was honey. I love it and my older guy gulp it down. Hmm… I don't know how I am going to keep up with him. 

Making yogurt was a really good thing that had happened to us. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Becoming a Lady...

Yesterday, evening, I went out to take a little breather after a busy day. Pasta party, meets weekends, art sessions, and a playdate a lll crunched up into few hors we were all engaged in something. During my quick outside trip to make sure chickens have clean water and wanting to give them kale ribs. I peaked inside to find out one of my chickens have becomed a lady! 

Yes, just that, I think peanut has begun to lay eggs. They were all in a some kind of a conversation and I felt like I was in the middle of it. But only downside of it was I couldn't understand what they were ranting about. 

Being super excited I rushed inside to grab the camera and asking Nigel to find the answer to my riddle. I head outside to snap few pictures. It was a super exciting I even had to share it with my neighbor who was heading inside after a long day of work. I quickly took the egg out and and pluck few other garden crops and headed inside to finish the rest of the evening which was pack with activities to the brim!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall is upon us...

Fall has approached us quietly, adding a dryness to the air. The garden is prepping for winter by itself. I can see the leaves falling gently on the ground. Our grass has become so brittle due to the lack of rain this year. I miss seeing the green patch outside. We added few mums to our annual containers. Chickens are enjoying the cooler breeze as much as I do. 

August was really hot for us and some days I felt like it was astronomically high may be due to the heavy canning in our house. Capturing the garden under the dapple sun was fun few days ago. 

Chickens have got use to the treats that I bring to them with a pleasant welcome. I like to think at this point they are all hens, but I have my doubt on Noah. 

Soon it will be time for me to pull the rest of the tomato plants and make a salsa verde or a chutney with it. I am looking forward to prep the raised beds for this spring. 


Craft a day, I don't think it a good way to start my day as I feel like I have to make something everyday. I do recall reading an interview of a photographer who gave up her job to create. I can see my self easily doing doing something like that. I am excited begin 2015 and kind scared of the uncertainties it will bring to us.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tomato & Basil Jam.

I was informed by our neighbor, that Mansfield, from the entire state of Massachusetts have got the lowest amount of rain during this spring and summer. I have been out and watering in the mornings and evening every other day kind of deal. Despite the fact getting water for chickens.
I felt this much more with my tomato crop this year. I decided to plant tomatoes without stakes, big mistake I will not attempt it again. Because there is tomatoes drawing all over the place and killed some of my herbs I am not that happy about it. I have been picking tomatoes every two weeks but not a big crop comparing last year, although I have planted more this year comparing to last year. This is my third year planting and I am really enjoying it. We got few vegetables a bumper crop of herbs. I will be learning how to preserve them so I can have them in winter. Most of all I did not make it to the grocery store very often this summer which was my goal. 
This tomato recipe comes from food in jars, the canning queen I like to say. I had my doubts but I did not want to see our tomatoes going to compost gave it a try, and I am glad I did that because it was delicious. Only thing I did different here is blanched the basil and add it later about half of it, because I want it to bee green. I hope I can save some for winter, because lately they have been flying out the window for cookouts, party, get togethers, and some are making requests for our garden tomato jams. I have change few components in some recipes. Mainly to add a bit of heat for our asian palette. I did planted yellow tomatoes this year so I was all set to make this. Most of all I simply like preserving garden crop for long winter months. Recipe credit goes Marisa from Food in Jars.  
4 pounds Sungold or other yellow tomatoes
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of two lemons, divided
1/4 cup roughly chopped basil
1.   Cut Sungold tomatoes in half, or, if using larger yellow tomatoes, chop them into smallish pieces.
2.   Combine chopped tomatoes with sugar in a large, non-reactive pot and stir. Let sit for at least one hour, or until the tomatoes release their juice.
3.   When ready to cook, prep canning pot and jars and place jam pot over high heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.
4.   Cook at a boil for 30-35, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and the syrup has gotten thick. Once you’re satisfied with the set, remove the pot from the heat and stir in half the lemon zest and chopped basil. Taste and add remaining lemon zest only if you feel the jam requires it.
5.   Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
6.   When time is up, remove jars from pot and let them cool on a kitchen towel. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use promptly. All sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year

Monday, September 22, 2014

Baked Salmon

We enjoy salmon a lot for dinner and at times breakfast as well. 

There is nothing like smoked salmon, red onions, few salty capers, bit of salt and pepper on a cream cheese toasted bagel. Typical New York breakfast, thanks to few New Yorkers which I hang out with. 

There is nothing like a great salmon steak baked at home with very simple blend of garden herbs and generous portions of lemon juice. 

This is my favorite one way to enjoy salmon:

a generous bunch of chopped parsley
few sprigs of fennel 
1/4 cup of light mayo
salt and pepper to taste
2 lemons 1 for serving
baking dish

Chopped herbs and mix it with mayo. Add salt and pepper to the mix. Finally add a juice of one lemon. Bake for 30 min for 400 F until salmon is flaky yet moist. Serve this with lemon wedges we like to have a lot of lemon in our fish. Enjoy this with nice, salad, or vegetables