Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Quilt

I have too many scraps!!! So I'm starting a new quilt. It's a big granny square block quilt. I'm using color-coordinating scraps - all reds, all oranges, etc. I'm soooo not great at putting like colors together, but I'm hoping the white pulls them all together. It's a process, as you can see, because of all the help I get. But I feel like I'm making progress and being somewhat creative. I have no idea about the backing, etc. Maybe I'll make 2 tops, like I did for the t-shirt quilts. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Harry Potter Party event

On the night of, we made slime in Potions class, planted bean plants in Herbology, ate cake and butter beer during tea, didn't look at the stars during Astronomy because of clouds, then we cast charms with firework sparklers then watched Prisoner of Azkaban . They had a good time.
Butter Beer - ice cream, cream soda with butterscotch extract and whipped cream

Quidditch cake - pretty sketch, but Grace really liked it. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Harry Potter Party

My love, my heart, my first-born turned 8 on July 20. Since she's brilliant, she's been reading and loving the Harry Potter series. Thanks to Pinterest, there are lots and lots of ideas out there. We had a sleepover with school/class activities. There weren't a lot of girls there because of summer and her age, I think, but the ones who were there had a good time. 
Snitch cake pops were probably my biggest fail. I used chocolate, which showed through. I used those chocolate melts in a yellow color and they were really thick and didn't cover well. 

Goody bags - chocolate frogs, snitch pops, Bertie Botts Beans, lightning bolt cookies and Harry Potter glasses. 

I used Gimbol's jelly beans for Bertie Botts. 

Lightning bolt cookies. 

Hedwig balloons

Balloons carried the class schedule. 

Bertie Botts Bingo 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Whole wheat tortillas and more

I'm still cooking and trying to make more things from scratch. I used this whole wheat tortilla recipe and really liked it. I used smaller balls to make smaller tortillas and that works better for us.
I've been making corn tortillas from masa for a while and love it, but I bought a huge bag of flour from Azure Standard and wanted to use some of it up too. I have a tortilla press that makes life, oh, so much better for making corn tortillas, but it doesn't work on the flour. That I had to use a rolling pin, though it wasn't hard because the recipe calls for oil, which makes the dough not stick to the rolling surface = user friendly. The hardest part is being patient and cooking each tortilla, then watching my husband shove them in his mouth sans topping, not appreciating the love time and attention that went into each one.
I found a no-knead bread recipe in a book that I've been making too, using water or whey from my homemade yogurt. (I use the whey to make pancakes too.) It has to rise a long time, but the bread turns out well, so I make it more often. There are a lot of add-in options. I used chocolate, which was not great from a taste perspective (though Millie loved it, and it was good with peanut butter) because I didn't add more sugar to make it sweet, but that makes it more hippie/artesian, right? That's how you know it's homemade-it tastes like dog doo. My family eats anything, which is why I'm so leery of introducing my creations in public - it may not be that good. It certainly is not made from super rich, super processed ingredients. I experiment a lot ;)
I've been brewing kombucha - and I love it. Again, I'm making it for me and I'll drink almost anything (from my protein drink years), so I'm leery of sharing it, especially for first-timers - because unless you're used to it and like it, kombucha tastes like vomit. I mix it with water, fruit juice, vodka, water sticks, etc. I rarely drink it straight, but sometimes I do and sometimes the first sip knocks me out. But I'm making it myself and it tastes very similar to the ones I buy from Basic Foods for much less money. And I like the science experiment in the kitchen aspect of it. I'm thinking of trying a sourdough starter, but I don't know if I'm ready for the commitment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cooking eggs

Egg tips

I don't like eggs. I've never liked eggs. But I know they are good protein and I should eat them. But I can't. Fortunately, Grace likes eggs, so I can cook them for her, so I do. Sometimes they are better than other times. She's found that she loves hard-boiled eggs, but we haven't had much luck. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help. 
Now I just need a good source of fresh chicken eggs. 

Another Weird Al - Word Crimes

I don't always get his humor, but the first 2 he released just tickle me.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Are you tacky too?

I have to listen to this at least once a day or I can't go on. 
I don't know what it says about me, but I love it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

4th of july vacation day 3

Getting ready to climb.

This thing wouldn't walk on her own.

On the way up.

Thor's hammer

At the top

Beautiful view.


After a restful night's sleep, we got up and went down, then up to our free breakfast. It was good. Carby, but good. We left and had a beautiful drive up to enchanted rock state park. We got there at 8, a great time. We got our sunscreen and bug spray on, the set out. Millie had to bring fish, then she wouldn't walk. Scott climbed all the way up and down with her on his shoulders. He checked his man card today. It was really hard. It didn't take long, but it was hard. And going down was hard. I fell and scraped my knee. We got hats to commemorate our success. We let the girls play at the playground there and had our picnic. We went back into town to go to this peach orchard place. It was probably the only thing we did that didn't turn out well. Grace got some more peach ice cream. After that we drove down to gruene, along with everyone else in Texas. It was very crowded. The only thing I wanted to do was eat at the Gristmill on the river. There was a wait, but it wasn't bad. There was a guy in their courtyard playing Texas country. It was nice. The food was good and not expensive. Getting home was not fun. Lots of traffic. Tomtom found us alternate routes when I10 was at a standstill. But now it's over. My long-awaited vacation, years in the making. Where to plan for next? We are going to Galveston later this month, but we have a Harry Potter birthday party to plan for.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

4th of July vacation day 2

Vacation day 2

After breakfast we headed to find lbj state and national park. We picked out our souvenirs and walked a round the living history farm. The guy there told us all sorts of stuff about how they were able to make fresh milk last up to 2 weeks. Separating the cream, yogurt, cottage cheese and more. Just a whole progression of what to do to keep from feeding it to the chickens. They had cooked a meal on an iron stove. There were turkeys and chickens and cows and pigs in the yard. We went swimming in their swimming facilities. Big pool, diving board, picnic areas. Very nice everywhere we went on this trip had great picnic areas. We had our lunch, then bribed grace with some peach ice cream to get to our next stop, which was luckenbach.
There isnt much to luckenbach. I had a beer. Scott got a funnel cake. We got a few little souvenirs and a picture with the hondo sculpture. There were bikers there. It was a quick trip, then we went to Fredericksburg and found our hotel. It was prefectly nice. Decent breakfast. Millie was a toot, of course. We figured out a plan for dinner and headed back down town. It was very busy. It seems like everyone had our same idea. There are a lot of little speciaty stores there. Lots of opportunity to drop serious cash if you are the lucky rich. We found a decent parking space for Fredericksburg brewery and the wait wasn't too bad. All of the places we went had good holding areas and quick turnovers. I had a peach-infused beer that was very good, and a burger. Scott had bratwurst and sourkraut. There was time afterwards for the girls to play at marketplatz in the square in town. It was beautiful, with indian iron statues and a water wheel turning.
After that, we went to old tunnel state park to watch the Mexican free tail bats emerge. There was a detour and we were going down twisty country roads in the dark. Grace was a little freaked out. It is definitely not our usual roads. We made it and got a seat, but we had to wait a long time. Too long for Millie. It was really neat though. I videoed it. A big vortex of bats. Then the long twisty road home. What would we do without technology? Tomtom brought us home safely. It was a long day, but I think everyone enjoyed it. That's the best part of planning your own vacation. Everything you do is on your own time and your own fault if it sucks. But not much sucked about this vacation. Except the traffic. That sucked all over.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th of July vacation

4th of July trip to Austin. Lots of traffic coming up. Not excited about the trip back. The party was fun for the girls. Lots of people. Some water fun. Got to the hotel about 9 and grace wanted to go swimming, so we did. She wanted to get up early and go swimming again, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen; )
We are going to Katie's house for breakfast, which is nice, but I'm going early to check out the hotel's free breakfast at 7.