Saturday, July 7, 2012

Easy Dishcloth Knitting Pattern

I knitted a few dishcloths/washcloths over vacation and thought I'd tuck them away for a couple of my friends for Christmas. It's never too early to start knitting for Christmas, right? I used Lily Sugar and Cream cotton yarn; my favorite go-to yarn for dish/wash cloths. They are very soft and hold up nicely, even when not treated kindly! This pattern is great for beginners: Easy Knitted Dishcloth/Washcloth Pattern Materials 1 2.5 oz skein Lily Sugar N Cream cotton yarn size 6 knitting needles 2 stitch markers Cast on 38 stitches knit across first 4 rows. Repeat Pattern Rows Row 1: Knit 4, place marker, knit 30, place marker, knit 4 Row 2: Knit 4, slide marker, purl 30, slide marker, knit 4 Row 3: Knit 4, slide marker, knit 1, purl 1 across row, slide marker, knit 4 Row 4: Knit 4, slide marker, purl 30, slide marker, knit 4 Repeat rows 1-4, 11 times more for a total of 12 repeats. (you will see the ridges) Knit next four rows. Bind off.
We were unexpectedly blessed last evening with 15 dozen ears of Sugar and Cream corn! Fresh off the farm from our neighbor who didn't sell as much as he thought at the Farmer's Market. We shucked, par-cooked, cut and bagged 14 dozen. They are safely tucked away in the freezer! Our meat chickens went to the slaughterhouse this morning and are now in the freezer, too.
Fourth of July was fairly quiet but enjoyable just the same. The girls enojoyed swimming in the pool...
and also entertained us with their yearly Fourth of July play. It was fun and fun-ny! Hope yours was special, too!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Leftover Spaghetti Pie Recipe

Well, I haven't inspected my freezer or pantry yet but I am using what I have on hand for meals. Today consisted of leftover blueberry muffins for breakfast, salad with hard-boiled eggs for lunch and leftover spaghetti made into a delicious pie and salad for dinner. Can I just say, this pie is delicious. I threw things together I had in the 'fridge. You may have the same things hiding in yours too, after a spaghetti dinner. Here's what I came up with: Left-over Spaghetti Pie Crust butter Leftover, cooked spaghetti egg white salt pepper mozzerrella cheese dried basil Melt a blob of butter (enough to coat bottom of a pie plate)in the microwave in a pie dish. With your hands, mix in an eggwhite into the cooked spaghetti. Add salt and pepper and mix. Place in the bottom of the pie plate, pressing up the sides. Filling leftover spaghetti sauce cottage cheese or ricotta cheese salt and pepper dried basil parm cheese mozzerella cheese cooked veggies - whatever you have. I used halved cherry tomatoes, zucchini, onions and peppers that were left over from the other night's grilled veggies. Put leftover meat or meatless leftover sauce on top of spaghetti and spread. Mix cottage or ricotta cheese with salt and pepper, basil, parm cheese and small handful of mozz cheese. Place over sauce and spread. Add on cooked veggies. If you don't have cooked veggies in the fridge, you can use some frozen thawed spinach with the water squeezed out. Top with more mozz cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with salad. It's really, really good!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pantry Challenge

I've been complaining on and off about the price of groceries for a few months now, and have been trying to remedy the problem using little tricks I've learned along my nearly 29 years as a homemaker. Making things from scratch is one way to help. Aside from reducing the cost, your family is getting a healthier meal or snack.Here are a few breakfast items I use to fill our tummies healthily (is that a word?) and cheaply: Homemade almond milk is a great addition to morning smoothies and is less expensive than buying almond milk at the store. Try making your own; it's easy. I add in fresh Kale from the garden - easy to grow Homemade plain yogurt - again, easy to make with or without a yogurt maker 1/3 banana - I buy off the reduced rack, bring them home and peel, break into thirds, then pop in the freezer Frozen berries or peaches - now is the time to pick and freeze. Oatmeal with yogurt and berries or shredded apples. Eggs (from our own chickens). Homemade yogurt with berries and homemade granola. Homemade waffles or muffins - I like to use Sue Gregg's cookbooks or muffin recipes from Happy in Dole Valley.
This month I am going to try The Pantry Challenge hosted by Cheap Eats. Today I will make an inventory of the food in our freezer and pantry and come up with some meals for the month. We are going on vacation soon so I will incorporate that into my meal planning. I will come back in a day or two with what I've come up with. One thing I know for sure is that I must make sure my younger children not waste food! The picture above is what they were throwing away one morning when they were done with their breakfast. I know it seems to be a no-brainer to not waste food, but I've watched how much goes into the "chicken bowl" or down the drain in my house and it's terrible. We're literally throwing money away! So that's one more area I will pay attention to as I try to reduce the cost of our grocery bill.