Monday, February 27, 2017

February Stitchery Check-In: WIPocalypse, TUSAL & Smalls

1 comment:

February is a short month, and this has been a pretty busy one, but I was able to stitch fairly regularly, even though I had to reduce my goals a bit.  I decided to give up my intentions to stitch a Halloween ornament each month, in favor of making some room to finish up more WIPs (works in progress) and to try to get some of my completed items finished as ornaments or framed.

So, this month I focused on three projects - one WIP, one new project, and the 2nd in my year long Satsuma Street 12 Days of Christmas.


Before I show them off, he's my ORT jar for this month's TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-a-long, where we simply show off the snips of threads, etc, that accumulated during this month's stitching.  I don't remove my previous month's threads, so this is 2 month's worth.  I'll tamp these down and continue adding to the jar in March.

I had less frogging out of mistakes this month, but it was still a good bit more than I'd like!



I finished off all but one last medallion on my longstanding WIP: Metamorphosis from Ink Circles.  Just a few more days work (I am a slow stitcher!) and this will finally be done, and headed off to be framed.  I'm so excited for that - this thing has given me so many fits, but I really love the way it's coming out.


Next is a fun backstitch/blackwork piece from Steotch - The Needle of Steel, featuring a quote from Conan the Barbarian.  It's one my husband says often, so I'm making it up to decorate his home office.  The recommended colors are shades of pink, but I chose some overdyed silks in shades of purple and green.  This one works up quickly (even with a bit of frogging), and I expect to have it done in just a couple more days, yay!

I'm looking forward to showing off these when they're finished at next month's WIPocalypse Check-in.

Finally, there is this month's Satsuma Street 12 Days of Christmas ornament:


2 Turtledoves
Designer: Satsuma Street
suggested DMC threads
14ct Aida DMC Bright Ideas: Grasshopper

I am debating on whether or not these need a little touch of backstitch outlining to make some of the more subtle colors stand out, but I'm going to wait until they're all done, so I can be sure that whatever I do coordinates across all twelve ornaments.  My intention is to create a banner from these.

I'm using each of the 3 DMC Bright Ideas colors, plus white to make these - I think the end result is going to be really bright and cheerful.



This month's WIPocalypse question is: What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch? 

I used to do a lot of different embroidery stitches when I was younger, but gravitated to cross-stitch early and have pretty much stayed there ever since. I picked up blackwork a couple years ago, and enjoy it quite a bit too.  At my husband's suggestion, I recently bought a small needlepoint kit to try - I have no idea if I'll love that or not!

My intentions for next month are pretty simple: I plan to do the Satsuma Street 3 French Hens on white 14ct Aida, finish my two WIPs  above, and do one new start - also a Satsuma Street piece, this is Pretty Little Washington DC, and I'll be working on it just in time for cheery blossom season.


That's it for this month's check - in!  If you'd like to enjoy other stitching posts, check out the TUSAL SAL to see more ORT jars, WIPocalypse for more works in progress, and the Smalls SAL to see a variety of small pieces.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #101

7 comments:
Welcome to the 101th Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this past week - if you haven't checked these posts out yet, I hope you will!



~~~

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!


-


Grandma's House DIY // Kitchen Organizing - a Hanging Basket That Has Changed My Life




Oh, the Places We Travel // Be a Graffiti Artist at Cadillac Ranch




Mel Claire // Mardi Gras King Cake with Cream Cheese Filling




Delightful Repast // Yorkshire Pudding - Yorkies




Lambert's Lately // Potluck-Perfect Baked Lasagna




Of Fairies & Fauna Craft Co. // Crocheted Wool Basket That Stands




If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!





Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry

8 comments:

I've never cooked curry before, and furthermore never cooked with lentils before, so why not test my skills at both at once while continuing to get used to my Instant Pot??

I shopped around a few recipes and decided what bits and pieces I wanted to put to use.

Then while cooking it, adapted even more and I basically ended up winging the whole thing.

The result  was rich and filling and delicious! It's not often at all we eat a meat free meal, but we were all very pleased. (If you want to make this vegan, leave off the sour cream!)

Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry
serves 4

1 can coconut milk
1 14.5oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups dry red lentils
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ diced onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 chunk (about 1.5 inches) fresh ginger peeled and minced
5 cups vegetable broth
2 ½ tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bag baby spinach

(as you can see in the picture, I intended to use spinach, but forgot to add, and also made decision to add potatoes after I took the picture. Use both!)

On SAUTE setting on the Instant Pot, saute onions, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the potatoes. (Theoretically, maybe you can add them, but I boiled separately as it was a last minute decision and added at the end - they should cook fine along with everything else.)

Place lid on the Instant Pot and make sure spout is on SEALING.

Cook on MANUAL high for 15 minutes. If you didn't include the potatoes, boil potatoes on the stove while the lentils are cooking.

Let natural release for ten minutes before turning nozzle to venting and opening when pin drops.

Add cooked potatoes (and 2 cups of fresh chopped spinach if you'd like) and mix so that all is hot and the spinach is wilted.



To serve, I topped my bowl with a dollop of sour cream and red pepper flakes and we ate this with a crusty roll for sopping up all the goodness - a flatbread such as naan would also be wonderful with this.

My verdict? I am now a convert to curry and to lentils!  Delicious, easy, nutritious meal that is frugal, too? Score!









Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Party in Your PJs #146

1 comment:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.   In addition to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle, you'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma IdeasWood of Bell Trees and... here!

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.


Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!



Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest
Heather ~ Woods of Bell Trees | Facebook | Instagram

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle 

Kim is a small town girl who love simple things. Simple cookies, simple crafts and simple people. She is a wife, mother to one son and two adorable fur babies. Slightly addicted to reality TV and sitcoms, but she loves curling up with a good book or a good walk while listening to podcasts. You can find her at The Cookie Puzzle, where she shares her love for cookies and crafting. 

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

 Heather @ Wood of Bell Trees

Heather is a wife of a peanut butter fanatic and mom of one silly human and one furry canine, wrangling life on 2nd shift and glitterizing everything as she goes!






The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com

Features from Last Weeks Party!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment, we all love comments
-If you were featured, grab a"Featured" button, found below.
-Consider adding our Party button to your Party Page or Post.





Monday, February 20, 2017

NibMor Drinking Chocolate Banana Smoothies

12 comments:

I've been sharing with you some of the things I've been making with NibMor's line of organic dark chocolate products.  I wanted to tell you about their drinking chocolate separately from my main NibMor chocolate review, because these are a special treat that even those needing  to avoid chocolate candies due to sugar content can enjoy.

Instead of using cane sugar to sweeten their cocoa blend, it uses organic coconut palm sugar.

What's the difference?  Coconut Palm Sugar is low on the glycemic index (meaning it has a lower effect on glucose, or blood sugar), making it a safer choice for an occasional indulgence for those with diabetes.

Emphasis on occasional - coconut palm sugar is still a carbohydrate, and will still rack up the calories.

For me, I find it to be a far more acceptable substitute for cane sugar than more chemical alternatives, simply in terms of taste.

In addition, NibMor drinking chocolate is dairy-free and works great with non-dairy milks (like coconut), so it's a treat vegetarians can enjoy, too.

With the NibMor drinking chocolate, I actually would have been fine if it'd been a little less sweet than it was - and also found I enjoyed it more when I used more coconut milk than called for. (I'm that way about hot chocolate in general - I like a milder, milkier taste)

I'd received one pouch of each of their three varieties: Traditional, 6-Spice, and Mint.  I enjoyed them all - but the flavored varieties were really interesting. The Mint was like a liquid Thin Mint cookie, and made for a wonderful midafternoon snack, split with my husband.


I was a little confused about the package instructions to be 'sure not to boil' with no guidance on why, so I decided to avoid messing it up and just made some cold chocolate milk with the Mint Drinking Chocolate.

One thing that really impressed me was that with just a bit of whisking, the powder was entirely blended into the coconut milk, leaving no residue either in the mixing cup where I blended it, or in our glass after we'd finished it.  That never happens with previous chocolate drink mixes I've tried.

My favorite flavor was the 6-Spice, and I'll be looking or more of this - in addition to the coconut palm sugar and cacao powder, it has a delightful blend of cayenne, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, white pepper and sea salt.  The result for me was like an amazing chocolate chai - it wasn't hot, but the spices added a really welcome depth of flavor. This will be the version I seek out to keep in the pantry.

Finally, we decided to put together a smoothie - we haven't done this too often in  the past, because our old blender was...well... sad.  We finally got rid of it and replaced it and this seemed like the perfect creation to try in it.

I say that to say - ignore the ingredient amounts in that picture - we were eyeballing what we put in, and frankly we went a little nuts and wound up with LOT of smoothie. Good thing it was so delicious!

So I'm sort of guessing on  the amounts that would make more sense for smoothies for two, here - but I do recommend putting things in the blender in the order listed (start with the bottom of the list in the picture)

Chocolate Banana Smoothies for 
Two


2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup whole milk
1 package NibMor Drinking Chocolate
Ice (optional - will make a frozen drink)

Add each ingredient to the blender in the order listed, ending with ice if desired.

It's fine to vary the ratio of yogurt to milk, depending on your preference - the yogurt will make for a thicker, more tangy smoothie.

Blend, following your blender's recommendations for making smoothies.  If need be, stop the blender to use a spatula on the sides of the blender to completely mix the smoothie.

That's it! Divide into glasses and enjoy!

If you'd like to try NibMor drinking chocolates, they are available for purchase on their website, at select local stores, or through Amazon.

On their website, you can choose from six-pouch sets of any of the three flavors, or a variety package of two of each flavor.

You also still have a couple more days to enter our amazing NibMor Chocolate Experience Giveaway, which includes one pouch of each of the drinking chocolate flavors, along with a TON o other goodies!









Thursday, February 16, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #100

9 comments:
Welcome to the 100th Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this past week - if you haven't checked these posts out yet, I hope you will!



~~~

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!





Lavender Filled Felt Hearts for Valentine's Day // Pale Blue Corner




Chocolate Raspberry Brownies // Simply Stacie




Mini Sloppy Joe Bites // The Country Chic Cottage




White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles // Gluesticks




Bookcases Upcycled with Paint & Wrapping Paper // The Boondocks Blog





10 Design Choices I Made in Our House That I LOVE // Grandma's House DIY






If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!





Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!