Saturday, April 28, 2012

Toddler Cardigan

One of my favourite things about making baby clothes before a baby is born is feeling like you don't really have to pay attention to size too much. As long as it's not too tiny and the babe will get a decent amount of wear out of it, I'm happy.
Sometimes though that plan of attack can sort of when I end making a "baby" sweater that is so big it'll fit a 2 year old. Oops.
But hey it's still adorable and someday this sweater will keep my little tyke warm and toasty.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oatmeal Pecan Sandwich Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling

I have just found a new favourite cookie! Not that I really needed to. I mean sure the rotation of cookies being baked around here is getting a little bland but still, this is a frivolous snack we're talking about. Variety is really just the icing on the cake. Or in this case the icing sandwiched between two chewy oatmeal pecan cookies.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Baby Bonnet

I'm on a bit of a knitting kick lately. And by a "bit" of a kick I really mean I'm experiencing a serious obsession. Baby knits are just so quick and satisfying! I'm especially loving patterns like this one from "More Last Minute Knitted Gifts" by Joelle Hoverson because its knit in one seamless piece. I think this project will find its way into my "go-to knits" for friends babies, but this little gem is for mine. 

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Knit Baby Socks

These are the first knit socks I've ever made and I feel pretty happy with the results (yes one of the smaller pair is bigger than the other but give me a break it was my first sock ever!). 
I used a pattern from one of my favourite knitting books "More Last Minute Knitted Gifts" by Joelle Hoverson. I love Joelle's designs which is not surprising seeing as she owns Purl Soho (aka my main source of inspiration for all things knitted).

Yaay, tiny knitted things!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Simple Tomato Salad

I know this looks a little too simple...but trust me; if you love tomatoes, you will love the simplicity. 
The other night I made another simple salad (greens + tomatoes + balsamic + olive oil) to accompany some grilled burgers and although the salad was good, I just couldn't keep from eating all the tomatoes first. They were just so ripe and perfect! I'm sure it's also due to the fact that these are still some of the first tomatoes of the season (thank you hothouses!) and my taste buds just can't get enough, but I knew then that I really should just take a direct approach and simply eat a bowl of cherry tomatoes. Because clearly that's what I really want. 

For this salad make sure your tomatoes are perfectly ripe (red, not pale at all) and fragrant. Do NOT store your tomatoes in the fridge (I don't know what the science is behind this but the fridge just ruins fresh ripe tomatoes), instead just leave them on the counter to ripen. Once summer hits and the fruit flies are rampant I usually keep them in a clear sealed bag (or bowl covered with plastic wrap) and often even store them in a cupboard so they're a little more hidden from those pesky flies.
Today I doused my tomatoes in a splash of red wine vinegar, a heavy glug of olive oil and a liberal seasoning of salt and pepper. 
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Baby Bib with Snaps

This bright and cheery baby bib (made with instruction from the Purl Bee) is a sure reflection of my mood today. It may be grey and foggy outside but I'm not going to let that get me down (truthfully I actually love fog) and I just can't wait to get the day started!
I'm going to make lots of freezer friendly foods today (some empanadas, samosas and spanakopita) and some granola. Hopefully I'll finish a pair of baby socks and maybe even squeeze in some gardening time. Hope you're having a great Monday too!

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Sautéed Spinach with Coconut

There's nothing quite like feeling re-energized in the kitchen, eh? I don't know why but I've been on a rice kick lately. I cook up a big pot of rice and then use it in meals over a few days. This is a perfect example of how I've managed to sneak rice into my brunch; top it with sauteed spiced spinach, toasted coconut and a poached egg. It's heavenly!

Go to 101 Cookbooks for the spinach recipe and thank me later.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seed Starting

A baby isn't the only thing growing around here!

I'm hoping that this will be my year for starting seeds indoors. I have previously never had enough sunlight in my homes to really allow for indoor growing, but now that I have a real HOUSE (!!) I have more windows with more sunlight streaming in all day.
I've also learned more about indoor sowing and am hoping that my research will pay off with fruitful results. Fingers crossed!

Here a few things I never knew about starting seeds indoors:
- potting or seed starting mix is necessary. Regular old soil just won't do.
- rotate your seedlings daily. They will grow towards the sun, so rotating them will help them grow straight.
- not all plants are best started indoors and there are plenty that resist transplanting.
- watering enough (but not too much) can feel like a fine line. Your soil should feel like a damp sponge that's been wrung out.
- harden off your plants slowly and gently. It might seem like a nice treat to set your plants out on your deck on the first sunny warm day of spring, but the heat might actually be too much for them. Try a warm overcast day to start, and of course bring them back in overnight.
- once your seedlings have developed "true leaves" (the new leaves that grow past the baby sprouting leaves) they should be transplanted to a larger pot to continue to grow until they're ready for the garden.

If you live in Nova Scotia and are interested in starting your own garden from seed check out Annapolis Seeds (can be found at the Seaport Market) as well as Halifax Seed.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tofu & Bok Choy Stir Fry

Finally a taste of spring! Bok choy is often one of the first green signs of spring at my local farmers market. Sure asparagus and radishes are often the veggies that get people (including myself) excited for spring, but in my little neck of the woods bok choy is truly my saviour from the depths of winter woes.

Last spring/summer I got hooked on this little dish but would always gobble it up too fast to tell you about it. It's really quite simple and so satisfying.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Orange Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

I think we all know by now that I am not the kind of baker who needs an occasion to whip up some sweets. I think it's safe to say I believe that having a little tin of some sort of cookie lying around is almost a necessary part of making my house feel like a home. What's better than homemade cookies to offer to friends who pop by for a visit? Or when you need a quick snack before or after dinner. I actually think having cookies around keeps me from over eating sweets because otherwise I'd probably go out and buy a tub of ice cream and eat almost the whole thing in one sitting. See? Having a constant supply of sweets around is a good thing for some.

These little gems really hit the spot for craving a snack that wasn't too sweet and the cornmeal added a nice welcome change in texture.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Reversible Baby Pants

My first (sewn) baby garment! This pair of cute little pants were made for a friends soon to be baby boy, but I'm already working on a few pairs for my own little one and am having way too much fun with all the print/colour combo options.

I made these using a pattern from "Handmade Beginnings" by Anna Maria Horner.

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