Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Fabric-Covered Bins

I have lots of diaper boxes around here, so when I saw the idea of covering them with fabric, I jumped at that.  I love bins, but they are fairly expensive, so I rarely buy them.  But now I have lots of bins around my house that are cute and very cheap and easy to make!  I love being able to use things I would normally throw away to make something useful.  For this particular project I covered one diaper box and one plastic basket that I got from Dollar Tree.  I found the fabric on the clearance rack at Hancock's, so it was less than $5 for all of it.  I just cut the fabric to a size that would cover the box, sponge-brushed on some glue (spray adhesive would probably work better, though), and carefully pressed on the fabric.  I just sort of folded and cut to make it work around the corners and edges.  See how it turned out!

what I started with...

the transformation begins...

how it looks on the bookshelf

I made the bottom pretty with some of the extra fabric.

the plastic basket looks nice on my front counter

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Butter

To celebrate the season, I always like to make something with pumpkin in it.  After seeing a recipe for pumpkin butter on skinny taste, I decided to give it a try.  It was super easy, smelled wonderful cooking, and was so yummy especially on my homemade English muffin bread (which I will post the recipe for soon).  I also put some of this in jars, and gave it as gifts.  Here's a link to the recipe.  Here is a picture of some of the jars.
I cut some scrapbook paper and put in under the rim to make it look prettier as a gift.

Best Broccoli Ever

I saw something on pinterest that said it was a recipe for "the best broccoli you'll ever eat in your life."  I was intrigued, although skeptical, especially when I read the part about the husband saying it was like biting into a steak!  I normally steam fresh broccoli, and it is very tasty, but nothing special at all.  So, I decided to give it a shot for dinner that night.  Well, it turned out amazing!  Rich gave it rave reviews, even though he said it didn't quite live up to steak fame.  He definitely agreed that it was the best broccoli he had ever had.  I also loved it, and so did Josiah, who usually turns up his nose to broccoli.  Even when I try to mix it into  something he likes, he finds it in his mouth and spits it out while chewing everything else.  He was literally shoving it in like candy!  I can't say the same about Anna Ruth and James, who did not care for it because of the lemon juice.  They also don't like change, and since they normally love regular steamed broccoli, they didn't appreciate the new method.  Oh, well, they will just have to get used to it, because I will definitely be making broccoli this way very often.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Here is the recipe:

1 bunch of broccoli (can add cauliflower like I did)
S & P
3-4 garlic cloves
fresh Parmesan block

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Chop fresh broccoli into florets and spread out on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss around on the cookie sheet with a spatula.
Chop up the cloves of garlic and sprinkle on top.
Cook for 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is crisp-tender and beginning to brown on the tips and bottom.
Take out and zest some of the lemon peel with a handheld grater, then cut in half and squeeze some juice over the broccoli.
Grate some fresh Parmesan on top, then toss it all together and serve immediately.

Here's a pic of the final product (sorry, I am not a food stylist):

Monday, October 01, 2012

Anna Ruth and Lily Anna

Anna Ruth loves to match hair-dos with her doll, Lily Anna.
Here they are right before going to our first American Girl Club.  

side view of the fun braids