Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paper and Fabric Tags

Tag {Machine Sewn}
Chances are you already have everything you need to make these paper and fabric tags.
You can make your own tags with cardstock.  I am in love with the manila tags and have a good supply from my last order.  To make the paper flower all you need to do is cut several circle shapes using a punch or by drawing a circle using a round lid to trace the shape.  I used book print from a discarded book.  You can cut several circles at a time.  I like to use decorative brads to hold the circle shapes together.  The ones I used simulate a mini button and I purchased them from Hobby Lobby.  You will find them in the Scrapbook Department.  Once you have all the layers together held by the brad scrunch the layers up.  If your paper is a bit thick you can even spritz some water. Place the paper flower unto a scallop circle shape.
Tag {Machine Sewn}
 The tags background consists of a small piece of rectangle fabric which I cut out using my pinking shears. Sew unto the tag using a Zig Zag stitch.  Use little pieces of lace and ribbon to embellish your tags.  It is fun to make pleats and sew them as you do this.  The wrinkled seam binding I used is from the Etsy seller Annie.   Stamp your sentiment and simply staple to the tag.
This mini manila tag was made by placing on top of a slightly larger piece of fabric.
Tag {Machine Sewn}

Remember that anything Handmade conveys a special message of
L O V E.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Eggplant Goodness

I have always heard that eating purple vegetables is nutritious.  I did a little reading about eggplants and found out that the skin is good because it supplies dietary fiber.  To a chef an eggplant is a vegetable but to a botanist it is a fruit.  I also learned that the Eggplant which belongs to the Nightshade family andcontains toxins in its early stage of growth.  So never attempt to cook and eat a very small eggplant as it can cause illness.  On the other hand a fully developed eggplant contains the phytochemical monterpene which is helpful in preventing the growth of cancer cells.

Some other benefits of Eggplants:

Low in calories and sodium
3-1/2 ounces(100 grams) supplies plenty of minerals:
21.4 mg of calcium
13.0 mg of magnesium
248 mg of potassium
22 mg of phosphorus

Eggplant Rounds
J Baked Eggplant Rounds
 Cut the eggplant in slices about 1/2 inch in thickness. The eggplant is like a sponge. To draw out some of the water for quicker cooking, spread salt on both sides of the eggplant slices and place on a paper towel or on a colander.  Cover with another piece of paper towel.  Wait about 30 minutes, rinse the salt and.....
blot the liquid using the piece of paper towel.  You might use more than one piece.
 Baked Eggplant Rounds
Place the eggplants on a cookie sheet or use your Pampered Chef bar pan if you have one.  Slightly oil the surface using olive oil.  Spread pesto on the eggplant round, and add tomatoes, slices of Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle Parmesan cheese.
Baked Eggplant Rounds
 Bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 25 minutes.
Baked Eggplant Rounds

I used the Cilantro pesto I made a few weeks ago, but store bought pesto or home made basil pesto will be good too.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's a Heart....No it's a tomato

Mornings like this....The Roma tomatoes are yielding a bumper crop.  This morning before going to work I found a neat one.
...shaped like a heart.  This is the result of two Roma tomatoes fusing.
Heart Shape Tomato
It is wonderful to walk out in the garden every morning and see nature singing. This is a very tiny variety of a sunflower.  I bought a package of mixed sunflower varieties and only two plants sprouted.  That is why I'm saying it's a tiny sunflower measuring no more than an inch and a half.

Tiny Sunflower

Before blooming it looked like this:
Sunflower Variety
The Hens and Chics are doing much better than last year.
Hens & Chicks
 The Mandevilla took a while to bloom.
Mandevilla Vine {Year 2}
 Made me smile when it finally opened.
Mandevilla Bloom after the Rain
Coming soon:
Recipe to make Eggplant Rounds.
 Baked Eggplant Rounds

Enjoy the beauty of Nature.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Super Easy Star Shape Cloth

I found a very enjoyable crochet pattern and suitable for a beginner.  The pattern was originally created by Elizabeth Ann White for Bella Crochet and is  called Little Star.   Little Star Cloths
 I like it in black cream and red.
Black, Cream and Red Star Dish Cloth

The pattern can be reduced if you'd rather make coasters.
If you have not yet created an account with Ravelry you are missing more than you can imagine.  It's a wonderful source for both free and for sale patterns.
Here is the link to this wonderful pattern:


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Ingredient Ratatouille

I found the easiest Ratatouille recipe in Claire Robinson's 5 ingredient Fix.  Our eggplants have matured enough to be picked so I decided to try this very easy to make Ratatouille.

Making Ratatouille
To make it you will need:
 Easy Ratatouille
1 medium red onion chopped
1 large eggplant or 3 small ones cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Sea salt and pepper to season
A few tomatoes{the recipe calls for 1 large one} I did not think that was enough and since I have a lot of Roma tomatoes, I used at least 6. (about 4 cups chopped)
1 tablespoon small brined capers plus 1 tablespoon brine from the jar.

Heat some olive oil and  then add the onion and cook until softened.  Add 2 cloves of garlic minced.  Add the chopped eggplant, season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring every few minutes until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes, capers and caper brine and continue cooking until very hot and the tomato is just beginning to break down, about 5 minutes more.

Note: The original recipe calls for garlic infused oil; I just used 2 garlic cloves minced a cooked in the olive oil. 

I absolutely love the flavor the capers impart in this easy Ratatouille. Do not skip this ingredient.
I used about 3 cups chopped roma tomatoes from my garden.
Chopped Roma Tomatoes and Capers
Roma tomatoes I picked a few days ago from the garden.
Black Eye Susans
Me and Carla resting a few days ago after doing my gardening chores.

July2011 124
This was a refreshing lemon/blueberry water. I would love some right now to tell you the truth.
Blueberry Lemon Water
 See you around....and may you continue to enjoy your summer as much as I am enjoying mine. 


Saturday, July 09, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons {Make Lemonade}

Ingredients for Homemade LemonadeRecently I came across a large bag of lemons at the Harris Teeter where I shop. (2.97 for the bag) which is a rare find.  Lemons don't really keep fresh for a long time, so that is why I made lemonade.
Perfect Lemonade

6 Large lemons
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cups cold water

Make a syrup by mixing the 3/4 sugar with 1 cup very hot water.  Allow this to cool some.
Squeeze the lemon juice.
 In a pitcher mix the lemon juice with the sugar syrup.
Add 4 cups of cold water.  If desired cut some lemon or lime thin slices and add to the lemonade.

Serve with crushed ice.
Homemade Lemonade

I read a little about some benefits and facts about Lemons.

1. Lemon juice should never be ingested by itself as it can damage the teeth enamel.
2. It is an excellent body cleanser: Mix lemon juice with cold water and add a little honey.  Take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
3.  It will help get rid of any intestinal worms.
4.  It is a diuretic which means it helps maintain the kidney and bladder function.
5. Lemons contain vitamin A and natural vitamin C.
6.  It contains more potassium than apples or grapes which is beneficial for the heart.

I'm sure there are lots more reasons to make lemons part of your diet.

Powerful little fruit, isn't it?


Friday, July 08, 2011

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro ranks high on my favorite herbs. The problem is it does not last long fresh. You can eat Cilantro fresh by adding it to a salad. It is also a key ingredient for making Guacamole. I recently found a recipe for Cilantro Pesto.  All the ingredients sounded delicious and I was not disappointed.  The recipe is a little bit of work since it involves roasting, and removing all the leaves from the Cilantro bunch is time consuming.  One Cilantro bunch will yield approximately 3/4 cup which is a small amount considering the work.  The taste however was all worth it.  I also like this recipe because it requires the use of walnuts instead of the traditional Pine nuts which are more costly.
Ingredients for Cilantro Pesto
 Begin by cutting off leaves from the stems.  This process is time consuming.  Rinse well.

 You will need two Poblano Peppers.  These are not hot and spicy like Jalapenos.

Fresh Poblano Peppers
Roast the peppers under your broiler until charred.  Turn several times until all sides have been exposed to heat.  Remove and put in a covered container. The peppers will look like this after you take them out of the broiler.

Broiled Poblano Peppers

Peel them off and chop.
Broiled Poblano Peppers
I like to eat this pesto just simple by spreading it on Chapati flat bread.
Viva el Pesto!
Put a small amount on Black Beans.
Black Beans seasoned with Pesto
Use the Cilantro Pesto to enhance the flavor of your vegetables.
To make the  Saute Corn and Zucchini.  Cook in a small amount with Olive oil.  Add about 1 teaspoon of the Cilantro Pesto  during the cooking process.  It's delicious.
Zuchinni and Corn Saute
 I really liked the Pesto in this doctored Palermo Pizza.  Spread some pesto and bake your Pizza following the instructions.

Pesto Pizza

I like to keep a small amount of the Cilantro Pesto for use during the week.  Cilantro Pesto freezes well.  Freeze in ice cube trays or a small container.


Monday, July 04, 2011

2011 Fourth of July {Remembering Kevin}

It's time again to celebrate living in a free nation.
As soon as I got up this morning my son came to mind.
He has been serving our Nation and is currently stationed in Qatar but will return soon to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.  We have not been able to celebrate 4th of July with Kevin in at least 3 years.
He is missed more than he'll ever know.
Spoke to him via Gmail  chat and he is in good spirits.

Let Freedom Ring
Happy 4th of July
Remembering my son on Independence Day. ~~You are a blessing~~


Sunday, July 03, 2011

{Thoughts of You} Tag

Dragonfly Tag
This dragonfly tag is sure to please the recipient.  The dragonfly's body was constructed with re-purposed wool and the wings are made from chinese book print.  I actually sewed around the dragonfly body using the blanket stitch.  This was a bit tedious and I don't think  it makes much of a difference due to the small scale.  I had started it so I went ahead and finished--ending with a sore neck.

I am really enjoying using the wrinkled ribbon which adds a bit of color and dimension to this tag.
Dragonfly Tag
  Head over to Annie 42 and Etsy seller if you like the wrinkled ribbon.  I have been very pleased with her supplies and the prices can't be beat.  She also ships super fast.

You will find the pattern to cut the body and the wings here: Dragonfly body and wings.