Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Athena Creation: Groovy Sausage Veggie Rice Casserole

My most recent Athena Creation was a success!  From time to time, I throw together the ingredients I have and cross my fingers.  I lovingly present these to my family as "Athena Creations" with either a silly name or a random number like 3,296.  Anyhow, sometimes they are great, sometimes they aren't so great.  This dish was great and made fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day.  Boy do I love dinners that turn into an enjoyable lunch the next day!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Adventures in Sewing: Picnic Placemats

Some time sewing recently produced this gem of a project.  Picnic placemats with a cutlery and napkin-holding pouch. They are placemats that you can roll up and put in your picnic basket, sure to add a touch of awesome to your picnic.  I know picnic season is winding down in most of the country, but here in the desert, it's about to start next month and last until next summer.  I made this set for my daughter in Michigan, but I think I'm going to have to make another just for me. 

I can't express how easy this is!  It's a few straight stitches and some top-stitching.  It was also a super-cheap project because I got the fabric on clearance.  You could also recycle old sheets, napkins or tablecloths and skip the fabric store all together.   These took so little time that I forgot to take how-to pictures... sorry.  But here's the gist of it.  Cut 4 rectangles (the size of placemat you want + seam allowance, I did 22"x 16") out of a double-thickness of fabric (making 8 total). Cut 4 smaller rectangles (about 7"x 4") and 4 (about 2"x 4") strips.

 Pin two rectangles (right sides together) and stitch all sides, leaving a 6" gap. Trim corners, turn right-side-out and top-stitch all the way around the edge. Repeat for remaing placemats.

On top edge of 7x4 pieces, make a 1/4" double-fold hem, topstitch.  Press 2x4 strips in half (wrong sides together) lengthwise, open and press edges to the center, fold in half and stitch open edge closed.  Place strip 2"-3" from top hem of pocket, baste.  Press the sides and bottom (and attached strip) 1/2" to the wrong side.  Position onto placemat about an inch from the side and bottom.  Topstitch around bottom and side edges of pocket, leaving the top hemmed edge open.  Repeat for remaining placemats.

And VOILA!  Picnic placemats!  :)    

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adventures in Crochet: Angry Birds Hat

I don't know about your kids, but my Not-So-Little-Man LOVES the game Angry Birds.  I've been spending a lot of time in my craft room lately (see This Fabulous Project ), but haven't really made him a whole lot.  But what does a mom sew or crochet for her 12-year-old boy?... 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quick Smoothies for Busy Mornings

I really like green smoothies and I think they are a FANTASTIC way to start the day and a nutritious addition to my diet.  Unfortunately, I have to be at work at 6am and have a 45-minute, one-way, commute.  This means that if I don't want to wake up at 3am, or spend $6 for a smoothie at a store, I have to be very efficient with my time in the mornings. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I love banana bread.  This recipe is my grandma's but with my take on it by using whole wheat flour.  I use freshly-ground whole (hard white) wheat flour, but the recipe works with all-purpose flour or King Arthurs White Whole Wheat Four.  Now, whole wheat flour requires a bit more liquid, so feel free to be very generous with your liquid measurements and maybe add a bit more for good measure.  :) 

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