Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sausage, Spinach, and Feta Hand Pies

I love this recipe for Sausage and Feta Hand Pies. We haven't made it in a awhile, and today's cooking extravaganza explained why. It took me a long time to do this by myself, and I mean a long time, really. Also, I made double (which meant double the chopping) and froze one set for when we don't have time to cook and want a good meal. As I kept on cooking, the little boy came to help, played with play dough, had lunch, played trains, read books, and then probably repeated each at least once. Here's what the bookshelf looked like when I finally finished.

My modifications on the recipe:

  • The pie crust was made with white whole wheat flour. I'm still waiting for someone to burst our bubble from finding this type of flour. We enjoy the flavor more than standard whole wheat but are supposedly getting the same nutrition. Anyone know something we don't?
  • A bunch of spinach was added to the filling just before adding the tomatoes to get even more good stuff into the pies.
  • The assembled pies were brushed with olive oil instead of egg for allergy reasons. The fennel seeds were left off for the same reason.

This isn't the healthiest recipe considering the quantity of butter in the pie crust and the Italian sausage, but the whole wheat and spinach additions at least try to get it a little bit back on track.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I've been battling with my slow cooker lately. It doesn't really like to cook...slowly... In one instance, I tried making a soup and put in a pork shoulder and black beans to cook on low for 8 hours. When I checked the meat after 3 hours, it was already tough. There has been repeated disappointment, and I keep hearing from so many people how much they love their slow cookers. I want to know this love. It is so much easier to prep dinner in the morning and set it out to cook when the little boy is still happy and chipper, instead of waiting until evening and hoping he'll be in a good enough mood to either help me or play on his own.

I kept thinking that I just didn't know how to work the slow cooker (and maybe that is part of the problem). But my mom loaned me hers for a short time, and it's amazing how many great meals I've gotten out of it already. Not a single failure yet, and I even cooked a pasta dish, which I previously thought would be impossible. Day 1 of testing out the slow cooker, I threw together this Lasagna and added chopped mushrooms and carrots to give it some more veggies. I also used a homemade marinara sauce I had in the freezer, and it was delicious.

I wish I had taken a picture of it, but here's a picture of toddler cooking when you turn your back for a moment (do not fear, the stove is not on).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sun Ray Toy

I celebrated a friend's soon-to-be daughter on Saturday and had been struggling on what to make her for her shower gift. I was looking for another fun item to add to what I already had, including some decorated burp clothes. I'm glad I kept waiting for inspiration, since on the Wednesday before, I saw a blog post on Made by Joel for a baby sun ray toy and was ready to dig through my fabric to make it. I couldn't help but make another for our next baby. Here's the silly little toy that I hope our babies will enjoy exploring and chewing on very soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Birthday Bag

As we were waiting for the hurricane to hit in August, I sat down at the sewing machine and made two bags from one of my grandmother's old table clothes. The first was a birthday present for my mom, and the second was for me. Most of my sewing projects end up leaving the house, but I am happy I took the time before losing power to make a second bag. I've been using it for everything and love that it reminds me of my mom and grandmother each time. The pattern came from Amanda Soule's "Handmade Home." So far every idea or pattern that I've gotten from that book has brought joy to me or a family member.