Monday, June 18, 2012

Grain-Free Cinnamon Muffins

Occasionally, I feel like baking. And since I have been trying to limit wheat and other grains in our diet, the baking around here has been sparse lately.  However, Elana - from - has dozens of delicious baked goods recipes that are grain-free.

Grain-Free Cinnamon Muffins

Recently I tried her Cinnamon Bun Muffins recipe to perk up our breakfast routine. They were LUSCIOUS. I will be making these again. And again. Because they are made with lots of eggs and almond flour, these protein-packed muffins really fill you up and keep you going all morning.

I made a few adjusts based on the ingredients we keep on hand, this is what I did:

Substitute all Agave for equal parts of honey.
Substitute all grapeseed oil for equal parts melted butter.

Follow Elana's mixing and baking instructions.

I did not frost our muffins, but made a little sugar glaze out of powdered sugar and milk to pour over the tops.

Try them! I know you will love them!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baby W's Striped Knit Blanket

I love to knit baby blankets in the round. It is so easy to just go around and around... knit, knit, knit, knit... again and again and again. But for Baby W I wanted a square blanket, so I decided to try my hand at knitting a mitered square in the round. It turned out beautifully (though not perfectly square).

I found a similar (free) pattern on Ravelry: The Constant Baby Blanket, if you want to knit your own.

Baby Clare of course was happy to help model her new cousin's blankie.

W Striped Baby Blanket 15

W Striped Baby Blanket 9

W Striped Baby Blanket 5

W Striped Baby Blanket

W Striped Baby Blanket 12
(look at my tooth!!!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

There are cats in this book

I just discovered the greatest library book ever (and Helen likes it too).

There Are Cats in This Book
by Viviane Schwarz

Who wouldn't love a book with cats... and yarn. The yarn is my favorite.

The best part is when one of the cats asks you to throw him some yarn - and you do - and he says, "Oof!" because it is such a huge ball of yarn.

If you like cats (and love yarn) you should read this book (to a kiddo - but it is ok to just read it without the kiddo... because it is great... but kiddos really like it too).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grain-Free Turkey Meatballs, 2 Ways (and a soup!)

We are crazy about meatballs. They make a super-easy lunch for young children and are very versatile additions to the weekly dinner menu. This week I decided to shake things up a bit and make two huge batches of Turkey and Turkey & Sausage Meatballs - over 100 meatballs in total.

I wish I had a picture to show you, but right now all I've got is an empty plate, a full belly, and dozens of delicious meatballs in the freezer.

Grain-Free Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs are a very simple recipe, that you can easily change up to suit your taste.  Here is how I make them:

Grain-Free Turkey Meatballs (or Turkey & Sausage Meatballs)

4 lbs of ground turkey (or 2 lbs each ground turkey and ground Italian pork sausage)
- The plain turkey version is much milder and quite lean, they are best eaten in a thick sauce or in a soup as I will describe below.

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2+ cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup dried parsley
1/8 - 1/4 cup dried basil (I like a more parsley, less basil seasoning)
Salt and Pepper, generous

Preheat oven to 375F. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until nice and soft. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, onion mixture, eggs, and seasonings. Mix very well (using your hands - clean! - is the easiest method). Form 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on ungreased, rimmed cookie sheets. These can be placed quite close together as they will shrink while cooking.

Place sheets in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, rotate trays and flip meatballs over, continue baking for 15 - 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

Serve alone, with your favorite sauce, or as a part of the soup below. If freezing, cool completely, place in freezer bags and lay flat to freeze.

Summer Vegetable and Turkey Meatball Soup
Serves 4

12 meatballs, reheated if frozen.
2 strips thick bacon, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
8 cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp each, dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano
3 cups chicken broth
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Roasted potatoes & Parmesan (optional for serving)

In large sauce pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat. When bacon begins to get fatty and starts to shrink add onion, and cook until soft. Add vegetables, cooking until they are starting to brown. Mix in herbs, broth, tomatoes and meatballs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve alone or over oven-roasted red potatoes, and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan.



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vacation Knitting, Fast and Slow

We just returned from an annual road trip to the Grandparents' house. Road trips are made for knitting. I love being stuck in the car for hours (12 this time - one way.) with nothing to do but talk to the hubbo and knit like mad.

This time I took along two projects - one fast and easy, and one slow and interesting. The whole trip I switched back and forth depending on mood and made good progress on both.

My fast project is a mitered and striped baby blanket, knit in the round for my older sister and her baby due this summer.

2012 Baby Blanket Megan

I made sure to complete the center of the blanket (which required double-pointed needles) at home before we left. I am notorious for loosing DPN's in the car... This blanket is knit in my go-to yarn for baby blankets - Caron Simply Soft. It is washable, inexpensive, and super soft. And, it really does knit up nice.

My slow project was VERY slow going. I am making the Tuckernuck Cardigan from Interweave Knits Winter 2010 for Helen's fall sweater and hopefully I will be making a mini version for Clare as well. It is my first cabled project since a washcloth I knit when I was first learning to knit. To make sure I could do it properly I even made a swatch!

2012 Fall Sweater Helen 2

This yarn is lovely. It is Berroco Vintage in a soft heathered lilac. I love it.

2012 Fall Sweater Helen 3

I had to pull out and re-knit the foundation row about four times before I got it right! The braided cable pattern was really pretty easy to memorize, and the sweater is designed to be knit with almost no seaming so hopefully I can build up a little more knitting speed and finish these in time for fall.

Overall I am very happy with the progress I made on our trip, and the girls really did well in the car. We made sure to stop often at parks and playgrounds where Helen could run, and Clare needed lots of hugging during stops... it is very difficult to explain to a 9 month old why she is stuck in her car seat all day.

Helen is already begging to go back to see her Grandparents... and their guinea pig :)
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