Friday, August 31, 2012

Easy Baby Pants with Room for Cloth Diapers

I admit it. At only three months along, I had already sewn up all the basics and simply could not wait to find out if I should focus on ruffly skirts or cargo pants next. So...I started sewing both. Even though we've been told it's a girl, ya just never know until the day they actually come to show you themselves. Besides, she just might not be a twirly skirt kinda girl.

Free tutorial and pattern I used from Made by Rae here. 

  • Dana Made It has a kids pants pattern with all the bells and whistles: pockets, warm lining, knee patches, and more here.
  • Sweater sleeve sweat pants by Green Kitchen.

I whipped up all three of these in less than two hours, including plenty of time to hem and haw over fabric from my scraps bin and a piece from a vintage dress. They have an extra big bum for cloth diapered kiddos- hooray! For more ideas on sewing for little ones, follow along with my Pinterest board, Handmade: Wee Ones! Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Easy Teeny Tiny Baby Skirts with Vintage Linens

I love vintage linens. Tablecloths, sheets, fluffy floral terry cloth towels, lone luncheon napkins- all of them. Sewing up teeny tiny baby skirts is the perfect thing to use up some of my scraps.

Using a rough tutorial from Bulldogs and Babies, I whipped up these little sweeties. Actually, they aren't super teeny tiny. My boys both came in form or pretty darn close of ten pounds each so I'm not really expecting a dainty little daisy from this little one either. I added an inch to her waist measurements and two inches to the length.  Here are a few more tutorials:

  • some good suggestions and tweaks to the Bulldogs and Babies tutorial I used are shared by I Times 2 here
  • super cute circle skirt by Dana Made It here
  • Wink Designs has a tutorial using only one fat quarter of cotton here

Pick one that works for you and whip up some yourself! Easy peasy baby shower gifts to have on hand, too.
For more ideas on sewing for tiny ones, follow my Pinterest board, Handmade: For Wee Ones!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welsummer Hens and the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

 Meet Squirrel. When she first came home from Farm Supply at about two days old, she was tiny. I mean teeny tiny her whole first month. It seemed like she hardly grew in her first month as our other chicks grew and matured around her. She looked just like a baby squirrel. Hence, her name. She's caught up now with other girls but follows me around telling me all about everything. Other chicken keepers have called the Welsummer's flighty and easily spooked but our Squirrel's (we have two) were handled so much as chicks they aren't as easily spooked. Welsummer hens are just about my favorite breed out of the eight different types we have. Sweet, chatty, and beautiful. Photo by Jessica Wilson. 
Photo by Jessica Wilson
Like leaving dial up behind, once you have fresh eggs you really can't go back. Buttery rich in flavor as well as higher in Omega 3's (double!), protein and other good stuff. When you buy farm fresh you aren't just supporting small farmers and chicken keepers, you are truly getting more nutrition for your dollar. Okay. Hopping off my soap box. Now, how to make a perfect hard boiled egg.

1. Cover the bottom of your pot with one layer (just one) of fresh eggs. Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by and inch or two.

2. Bring to a quick boil. Leaving on the hot burner, put a lid on it, turn off the heat
and let sit for 12 minutes for a softer egg and up to 15 for a firmer egg (my preference). Rinse in cold water.
No more dry eggs, and sulfury grey rings!

For more tips 'n tricks on raising chickens, follow along with my Pinterest board, Chickens & Garden!


Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Cook Fall Off the Bone Tender Whole Chicken

Okay, this is really one half of a chicken. When you raise your own chickens, do all the butchering and don't just go around eating a whole chicken like it was nothing. They become far more precious. Also, they fit better in the vacuum sealer bags. But the timing is the same for half or whole.

So, this is ridiculously simple. Rinse your chicken (if you are a chicken rinsing kind of cook) and put in the bottom of a pot big enough to hold it and fill the pot with cold water until your chicken is covered.

Add a few vegetables you have on hand. I usually add a carrot or two, cut into three or four pieces, and one quartered onion. I planted a lot of onions in the garden. I mean...a lot and have been looking for ways to use all those onion tops. In place of the whole onion, I tucked the greens in the pot instead and found they added great flavor and I got to use the onion itself for another purpose.

Put the lid on. Heat to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and let sit for 90 minutes. Leave the lid on- seriously. No peeking.

After 90 minutes, you are done! Tender every time, never chewy or tough. I usually save the stock for cooking and soups, removing the chicken to a colander to allow it to cool quickly. I de-bone and shred or chop the chicken to use in recipes for the week.
For more of my favorite recipes, follow along my Pinterest board: Eat!

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