Monday, May 23, 2011

Filling the Freezer

2011 May Freezer Meals 1

Oh, baby preparations! So many things whirl around in my head as I await the arrival of our baby Clare. One thing I feel is very important is having a stash of healthy, easy to prepare meals ready to go so I purchased Fix, Freeze, Feast by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik to help get me started.  The book utilizes purchasing ingredients in large quantities from warehouse stores and using them to make multiples of the same meal.

2011 May Freezer Meals 2

So far, I have:
  • 3 Potato Asparagus Frittatas
  • 3 Homemade Spaghetti Sauces
  • 3 Black Bean and Vegetable Chilies
  • 3 Cheese Manicottis

I loved whipping up the Spaghetti Sauce, or Red Sauce as they call it, because even though it is made with canned tomatoes and tomato paste it smelled so fresh! We ate a sampling that night and it was really delicious.. I may never go back to jarred pasta sauce.  I have enough tomato paste left (half the super large Costco can) to make another batch when we are ready.

For the Black Bean Chili, I precooked my own beans from dry rather than buying canned beans.  We love beans around our house, and I have really found it to be cost effective (as well as not too large a burden) to cook our beans from dry. I cook a huge batch about once a week and freeze the beans in two cup portions.  I also included many delicious veggies from our Vegetable Co-op in this Chili.  I love that I can use some of the plentiful proceeds of our co-op in freezer meals so that none of it goes to waste!

2011 May Freezer Meals 3

The 3 cheese manicottis turned out lovely and you don't even have to precook the noodles! I had enough cheese stuffing left over to mix with some leftover penne and sauce to make dinner for tonight.

I am hoping to make a few more dishes from this cookbook to stash away before all is said and done, and I hope that they all live up to my high expections once we eat them because I would like to continue some freezer cooking in my regular rotation.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Crochet: Aunt Tillie's Flower Garden

2011 May Garden 6

Last winter I inherited 70lbs of yarn and fabric from my great-aunt Tillie. 

2011 May Garden 2

She was a sewer, crafter, knitter, and collector at heart. She loved bright colors, and all of her yarns are the bright polyester and acrylic of the late seventies and eighties. I wanted to make something special out of these yarns to remember her, her love of color, and her love of crafting in general.

2011 May Garden 5

Many of the things she made were practical - clothing, pajamas, sweaters. I wanted to make something that we could use and love daily.

2011 May Garden 4

While browsing through the the thousands of patterns and projects on Ravelry, my sister-in-law and I stumbled upon a crocheted bedspread project entitled "Summer Flowers". Elisa, Evoke on Ravelry, designed the blanket using the Summer Garden Granny Square, a free crochet pattern available on the Attic24 blog. I love Elisa's combitation of the popping bright colors and the neutal base. This afgan looks as though it belongs in Helen's English Garden themed nursery... and she will soon be moved from crib to twin bed in anticipation of the arrival of her baby sister, so what better project for Aunt Tillie's yarn than a coverlet for her great-great niece's bed!

2011 May Garden 3

So, now I crochet. Hundreds of little flowers that form into squares. Bright golds and greens, blues, purples, and pinks. And tan. Lots of tan.

2011 May Garden

All these little squares and color changes remind me of how I despise sewing in ends. We may need to host a little sewing up party to finish the job :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things to Learn

There are a lot of things I want to learn:
What do you want to learn?
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