Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Lazy Butt Cookin'

I'm a bit overdue for another lazy butt food post. Truth be told, I could probably take a picture of every dinner this past week and it would qualify. Here a few that I've posted to the flickr group, but I thought I'd post them here as well. Afterall, doesn't everyone want to be inflicted with pictures of my cooking?
This is fancy rice. Not technically fried rice, because the rice doesn't get fried. Here's the recipe:

Scramble an egg, add frozen veggies and ham. Throw it in a rice cooker full of steamed rice and stir it all around. If it needs flavoring, add a dash or two of Maggi. This is Maggi, in case you were wondering:********

Here's my parmesan chicken--Chicken nuggets, tomato sauce and parmesan cheese on a bed of noodles.
The beauty of this meal is that kids who don't like their food items touching each other can have everything served separately on plates with little dividers. By the way, aren't those yellow carrots the cutest?

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This one is Thai Green Curry--Sautee chicken, onion and celery. Pour in a jar of Trader Joe's Thai Green Curry sauce and simmer. Serve over brown rice. Throw in some cherry tomatoes from the garden for color (and nutrition, even though the kids won't touch them. When will this phase end? Come to think of it, they don't touch the curry either! I could do a series of blog posts called "What WE ate, what THEY ate" or "What WE ate, what THEY didn't eat.")


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And lately, when I don't have a decent side of veggies to serve, I send the boys out to the garden to pick some of these yellow cucumbers. They're yummy! EVERYONE eats these.

What lazy-butt meals are in YOUR repertoire?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sewing 101: The French Seam

I just learned a new-to-me trick: The French Seam. This is used most often when sewing clothes if you don't have a serger. The raw edges of the fabric are encased so that there is no fraying. Grab some scrap fabric and try it out (it's fun!) Here goes:
We are going to sew these two pieces of fabric together:


This is the part that feels strange. Line up your fabric with WRONG sides together and sew a 3/8" seam:
Measuring 1/8" out from the sewn line, trim off the seam allowance.

Fold the fabric on the seam so that right sides are together and iron it down.

Stitch another seam at 1/4" (this part feels normal again, because right sides are together--whew!).

When you open it up, it looks like this:
And from the back, it looks like this--see, no raw edges!!! Why all the precise measurements? To get a perfect 5/8" seam, of course!
If you can think of any ways that you would use or have used the French seam, PLEASE leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Home

A few weeks ago we came about this close to putting an offer down on a house nearby. When we bought the one we're in, we were a one-kid family. Now we've got two more kids and sometimes it feels like were bursting at the seams. When I'm trying to get from the family room to the kitchen, I'm always walking around toys or tripping over little bodies. I find myself muttering a dozen times a day, "this is no way to live." There are a couple of issues, I think, going on. First of all, we have lots of stuff--kids' stuff, sewing stuff, computer-related stuff. We have lots of hobbies, so we have lots of stuff. Secondly, I'm an introvert. I need my space and I need my quiet time, and if I don't get these two things in small quantities during the day, I get stressed out. As a mom of three louder-than-average boys, it's probably quite apparent that I don't get much of either, which explains why I'm pulling my hair out at the end of the day. As much as I love my kids, I think a vacation from them would be a marvelous thing. Unfortunately, we live far from either side of the family, so sending them off to grandma's is not going to happen.

Anyway, oops, got sidetracked there for a second, where was I???? Oh yes, the house. What a house. It had 4 bedrooms, a craft room (yippee), a huge kitchen, and here's the kicker:

Look at this HUMONGOUS playroom. Actually, the sellers are ballroom dancers and they had this room built especially with that in mind. Dancing schmancing. Can you picture my kids riding bikes in here during rainy Seattle winters? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, in the end, we decided not to do it. We still have some living to do here yet. My dining room is in transition, we're undergoing a master bathroom remodel...we picked out our tiles and fixtures for pity's sake. Don't make me leave here until I get to break it all in. This is where we have all our memories. So even though I like/dislike my home--it's still home.

So now my focus is to make it work for us. We CAN live happily in this space, even though it's a smidge too tight. Streamline, streamline. I'm not sure I know where to start, but I'm going to do my best to try.

I did find a blog that totally inspires me. Check out her flickr pictures. I love the way she decorates and is able to make a small space beautiful and functional. And I love this post on "stuff"--getting rid of it, not accumulating it, not being attached to it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Camping (not Glamping)*

We spent the weekend camping on our land. We looove our land. But have I mentioned that it's very jungly and full of prickly blackberry bushes? My hubby has spent a few of his days off the past few weeks with a huge brush mower to make a clearing for a campsite and create some trails so that the boys can walk around freely without tripping on roots or being stung by nettles. Ahh. Much better. We've been planning this camping trip for awhile, and wouldn't you know, the week before our trip, Sunset magazine came out with a day tripping article on "our" island. A good omen, I think.

And the cool thing is that we did practically everything it said to do. We went to the general store, went to the marine park, ate at the restaurant. We didn't swim at the swimming hole, though, because we already have a favorite swimming spot.

Our tent is the size of a carport. The week before our trip, our other tent got wrecked when some friends we had over for a playdate decided that it would be fun to take jumping leaps into the side of it. You know, like a vertical trampoline. That was all the excuse Dave needed to get this one. Our old tent was a smidge too small for us anyway. This one held us and all our junk just fine.
Yes, the little one is blond. No, he didn't get switched with some other baby at the hospital.


*Glamping is glamorous camping. I learned about it from Ali in this post. Maybe we glamped just a little. We did go to a restaurant. And we ate our donuts in the van because it was so cold in the morning. But we cooked hotdogs and made smores--for reals.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Nate? Nate?

First of all, yay--the IKEA catalog arrived! Just in time for my craft room. I'm thinking shelving. Lots and lots of it. I've finally peeled off the last of the wallpaper. Unfortunately, whoever put it up was very paste-happy, so I still have lots of scrubbing to do before I paint. But that's OK. I'm going to need lots of time to deliberate my new wall color. Whatever it is will have to coordinate with this green (Martha Stewart/Arbor Green) of my kitchen and this brownish gray (Martha Stewart/Twine) of the living room, both of which are visible from the dining room/craft room.

Any suggestions? I guess ideally I would go find some fabric I love that incorporates these colors and make some drapes for my new craft room to pull it all together. Some people have the knack...I'm afraid I'm not one of them. Nate, where are you when I need you? Do you read my blog, Nate? Feel free to leave me a comment. Ha ha ha!!! (Wow, if he did I would totally pee my pants.)

Secondly--thanks for all the lazy-butt recipes. I LOVE them all. My mom was big into canned beans on toast. I'd forgotten all about that one. I also love the ones that involve throwing ingredients into the rice cooker. Paella, anyone? Veggies and beef pilaf? Yum. I'm going to try some of them out and feature them here on my 'lil blog. Also, I've started a flickr group called lazy-butt cookin'. If you have any meals to share, get out the food cam and share the recipe. The only rule is that you can't include measurements, because lazy-butt cooks don't measure. They just dump. Right? If I ever get off my lazy-butt, I might even come up with a button for the flickr group. Right now there are no pictures there, but I think I'm going to have to tag some people to get it going. For now, I'm going to have to tag these "lucky" people: Angelika, Jessicah,
Rachael
, KitKatKnit, and Heide. Oh, you poor people. You don't have to play if you don't feel like it.

Now I have to show you the monster zucchini that came from our garden. The boys have been carrying it around the house for 2 days, using it to show off how strong they are. It's almost like a part of our family. I don't know why we are growing zucchini. I'm the only one in our family who eats it. I made it into chocolate zucchini bread using this recipe, which made two loaves. Look at how much of the zucchini is left!

See? Whenever I actually follow a recipe, I have to blog about it, so rarely does it occur.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The lazy-butt food post

I was scoping out Michael's the other day with the kids, and of course when they saw these they just had to have them. Who am I to stand in the way of footed cupcake holders? Nevermind that we had absolutely no cake mix in the house or frosting. (Um, did I just out myself? Yeah, well, I hardly ever cook from scratch anymore). So almond poppyseed muffin mix, some nutella and sprinkles, and there you go kids. Eat up.

By the way, speaking of lazy-butt (or frazzled-butt) meals...tonight's dinner was left over pot roast, a few cups of water, some onion soup mix and instant potatoes. Voila. Beefy potato soup. It was actually pretty good if I do say so myself. It rivals the lazy-butt meal of last week which was throw two cups of rice in the rice cooker and when the button pops up, dump a can of beef vegetable soup and stir it around. I crack myself up.

My sister's lazy-butt meal (hi Linda!) is ground beef with a can of cream of mushroom soup served over rice--beef stroganoff. Yum.

What's your lazy-butt meal? Share your secrets...