August 20, 2009

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in the kitchen ›

Crouton Crusted Tilapia

I forgot to take pictures, but I thought I'd share today's dinner recipe. It was easy, healthy, kid-friendly, inexpensive and quick. My favorite kinds of meals.

1-Thaw out some tilapia (or whatever kind of fish you want really) - I run mine under cold water for like 5 minutes
2- Coat with mayo or eggs - I think mayo keeps it moister
3- dip in crushed croutons (little hands like to help with this part)
4- bake at 425 for about 15 minutes on parchment paper if you have it
5- enjoy!

Today's Thrift Shopping Bounty

This afternoon, I set off with-out children to the thrift stores. I had no real idea what I was looking for, I just wanted to get out of the house for an hour or so.  Here is the strange mix of things I came home with after spending around $30.

1- A french drip coffee maker - most likely never been used - circa. 1975.  A great way to brew coffee with really hot water - a must in our house.

2 - A wicker towel rack.  Totally weird, I know, but I just thought it looked cool.  I'm thinking I will use it to display a quilt in my new sewing room.

3 - 3 new ties to add to death row- They are now waiting to be converted to bow ties.  I have so many standard looking ties in my collection, I'm now trying to find ties that are a bit more wild.  I thought these fit the bill.  Fun, huh?  I can't wait to see how they look in a bow.


4 - Weird cabinet thing - I don't know what this is, but I thought it would look alright in our 50's brick ranch home.  It's really just a wooden cabinet.  My husband things it used to be mounted on the wall, but I don't want to do that with this one.  I'd like to re-line the top, possibly paint it and use it to store linens in our dining room.  For now, it's a fun place for my 1 year old to hide and that's about it.


5 - Throw Pillow- My newest addition to the random handmade and thrifted pillow collection is currently posing as a coal tender for my 3 year old's train (The one with the diagonal stripes and tassels).  He likes to line all the pillows up in a row and pretend they are a big train, then he walks away and the dog thinks he has a new bed.  Once I get around to picking them all up, the whole process starts over again, sometimes involving houses made with couch cushions.  Oh... life with little ones under-toe.

July 13, 2009


in the kitchen ›

Starbucks Banana Bread

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up this recipe card from the counter at Starbucks. I tried it today and thought it was pretty good. It tastes exactly like banana bread should taste. Not too sweet and nice and moist with plenty of yummy banana flavor. If you have a few ripe bananas laying around, give it a try. I may try to replace some of the flour with ground up rolled oats in the future, just for some added nutritional value, but I approve very much of this recipe.

This post is dedicated to my sister who says I've been posting too much about bow ties lately. I've decided that bow tie updates will only happen on Tuesdays and I'm going to blog about other things the other days so as to not bore all my readers.

Vintage Pillowcase Apron

My friends over at Clever Nesting have been making vintage pillowcase aprons following this tutorial from Glitter, Vinyl and Thread.  It looked fun and I really need another apron, just ask my husband (HA HA HA).  

I used a pillow case that I bought today at the thrift store for 50 cents.  It's really fun.  I'm collecting the names of ladies that have shared that they want to start sewing and I'm thinking of showing them how to make this apron.  It's a great place to begin if you're new to sewing and really, the investment is minimal if anything at all.  

Sorry for all the lo-fi pics lately.  I'm only using my webcam to take pictures.  I'm hoping to have the Canon back from the hospital in a week or so.  I can't wait!

Project number 2- Fabric Cabinet liner.

So every time I to go a thrift store, I scour the wallpaper stash for some beautiful vintage wallpaper, but most of them are just ugly.  I knew I wanted to line this cabinet ever since I took the doors off, but just hadn't found the right liner.  Till now.  

When I was scouring the red tag fabrics, I came accross this lovely fabric and I thought...this is perfect.  It was so easy to install.  I just cut the fabric 1 inch longer than it needed to be (height wise) and folded it over and placed it in with thumbtacks.  It makes me happy every time I look at it.  I still have quite a bit of fabric left.  I'm thinking of lining another cabinet and maybe making placemats?  Or even a string of yo-yo's to hang in the window.

This project got me so excited, I decided to hang some things on our bare wall in the kitchen.  I also moved the tables around in the house too.  This small table used to be our main table for dining.  When we moved here, the family left a patio table in the kitchen.  We used that for a while, but when the weather started getting nice I pulled the table outside leaving a vacant spot in our kitchen.  It will be a while before we can afford a proper kitchen table, so these two small ones will have to do for now.  We can eat family dinners in the dining room and casual dinners in here.  The kids think the little table is fun.  Andy painted the kids table with chalkboard spray paint.

It's starting to feel like home.  We really want to redo our kitchen floors and countertops though.  Anyone know anything about cork floors?  I'm starting to think it may be the way to go.

April 27, 2009


in the kitchen › sewing ›

All natural cleaners

This has been a long time coming for me.  I've been wanting to try the all-natural cleaner route for a while but I've also had quite a stock from the generous pounding from our church of cleaners to use up.  Well, this week I ran out of laundry soap, all purpose cleaner, sanitizing spray, baby wipes and dishwasher soap.  I started looking all over this town for a bar of laundry soap and a box of Super Washing soda and I finally found it (at Harris Teeter for you local folks).  So I got out my empty spray bottles and restocked. 

Here's the recipes I used:

Laundry Soap:

  • 1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap OR Ivory Soap
  • 1 cup. Borax
  • 1 cup. Super Washing Soda

-cut the soap in cubes and then grind everything in the food processor till the soap is fine.  Use 1 T. per load and more if you have heavy soiled clothes.  I'm not sure if this is alright to use on cloth diapers.  I'll have to find out.

update- it seems it is NOT good for the fuzzi bunz which is what I use.

Dishwasher Soap- I posted this before, but this time I used super washing soda.

  • Mix Equal parts Borax, Washing Soda and Dishwasher soap.  Use 2 T. per load.

All Purpose Spray #1- Use in Bathrooms, sinks, oven (if you actually clean your oven, that is) etc.


  • 1/4 cup. Washing Soda
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 t. Tea Tree Oil (totally optional)


When you wipe this stuff off, use a wet cloth.  It can leave a powdery film otherwise.

Sanitizing Spray

  • Bleach and water.  I know some people stay clear of bleach, but I use it sparingly and have no qualms with the stuff.  I used about 1/4 bleach and the rest water.

Window Cleaner AND All Purpose Cleaner #2- Countertops etc.


  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid hand soap
  • 2 cups water


Note- the vinegar smell disappears once it dries.  But I kindof like the smell of pickles!

If you're cleaning windows, you can use newspaper instead of papertowels to prevent streaking.  That's what we always used growing up.  It will make your hands black though so be careful.

I'm adding some Lavender Essential Oil, just because I have it and love the way it smells.

Homemade Baby Wipes and Spray

Ok, this may seem weird, but it actually isn't.  I still use disposable wipes when I'm out.  I'm not that hardcore.  I have some wipes I made out of flannel although many people just use cheapo washcloths.  For the spray- fill the spray bottle with water and a few squirts of baby soap.  Spray your washcloths or baby wipes and wipe away!


I made these wipes as a gift for a friend's baby shower a couple of years ago.  My wipes are much less cute and much less pink. 

The good thing is that the wipes double as hankies.  After you wash them of course.


Now I guess I should clean something.  I guess I'll start with putting all these cleaners away.

April 13, 2009


crafts › in the kitchen ›

Easter Baskets

Easter baskets- basically breakfast.  Complete with cheerio filled eggs for the little one.

Painting Eggs

April 01, 2009

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in the kitchen ›

Key Lime Pie

My Mother in Law gave me this recipe about a year ago and I haven't made it until now.  Boy have I been missing out.  It turned out great and really wasn't much work at all.  It was a fun alternative to traditional birthday cake to celebrate the big 2-9 for Andy yesterday.  


For the Crust:
1/3 cup plus 1 t. melted margarine
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:
Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
5 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 cup fresh lime juice


For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 inch pie plate with 1 teaspoon of the melted margarine. 

Combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and 1/3 cup of melted margarine. When the ingredients are fully combined, use the mixture to line the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Place the pie dish into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

For the Filling:
While the crust is baking, in a mixing bowl, make the filling by whisking together all the ingredients. 

When the crust is baked, remove it from the oven and pour in the filling. Return the filled pie crust to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature. Then Refrigerate.

The shirt that should have been an apron all along

This shirt was $1 from the thrift store.  It took me about 15 minutes to transform this teeny-bopper tank into a motherly apron.  That was fun.  

I'm planning on embellishing it a bit with some lace, but I ran out of thread in my bobbin, so that meant it was time to quit.

I think Devona would be proud of me.

March 21, 2009


in the kitchen ›

Ginger Beer

Ok, I've made quite a few homemade things that have made people scratch their heads saying "How do you do that exactly?" but I've never made my own soda. I'm thinking about giving it a try. Read this article and maybe you'll be inspired too.  It seems pretty simple and you know how I like to have things growing in my kitchen.