Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This Week in Stitches 12.10.2013

Last night I finished the socks that I have been working on for the last few weeks.
These were knit using Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Collection Serenity Sock (color: violas).
I used the pattern on the wrapper (Basic Socks) but wouldn't recommend using that pattern if you haven't knit socks before. The pattern isn't written very well, and had I not knit socks before these would not have turned out.
Anyways, I love them and it's nice to have them done.
I've already started my next project - an eyelet shawl for my mother-in-law.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gluten-free Dairy-free Cream of Chicken Soup

Cream of chicken soup seems to be a pantry staple at our house during the winter months. With cold weather setting in I decided it was time to find a way to make a cream of chicken soup that my whole family - one without gluten or dairy. Here is what worked best for us.


2 cups chicken broth + 1/2 cup (divided)

2 cups rice milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp parsley flakes

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

6 TBSP corn starch


1. In a large saucepan bring mix together the first 2 cups chicken broth, rice milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a very low boil.

2. In a separate dish whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth and 6 TBSP corn starch.

3. Slowly pour the corn starch mixture into the broth mixture adding only a little at a time and whisking continuously. Watch carefully as it thickens, you may not need all of the corn starch.

4. Continue low boil while frequently whisking until the soup has thickened. It won't take long.

Remove from heat and let cool. 

I froze mine in quart size freezer bags, putting about 2 cups of soup in each bag. Use this for casseroles, roasts, pork chops - anything that would take canned cream of chicken soup.

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dairy-free Biscuits

These biscuits are light and flaky. 

·         3cups all-purpose flour
·         1tablespoon baking powder
·         1tablespoon sugar
·         1teaspoon salt
·         3/4teaspoon cream of tartar
·         ¾ cup coconut oil*
·         1 Cup Coconut Silk (Silk brand coconut milk)*

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk all at once. Stir just until moistened.

2.Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for four to six strokes or just until dough holds together. Pat or lightly roll dough until 3/4 inch thick. Cut dough with a floured 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter, or use a pizza cutter to cut into squares.

3.Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve warm.
4.Makes 12 biscuits.

*You can also use Crisco and rice milk if you have a coconut allergy.

NOTE: It works very well to freeze shaped, uncooked biscuits. Put them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze. Once they are frozen transfer to a Ziploc freezer bag. They can be cooked frozen, no need to thaw or adjust cook time. This way you can always have the exact number you need fresh from the oven.

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Last Month in Stitches

Last month was a busy month, and I finished some nice projects. I really did mean to share them here earlier :-)

First, I finished the baby blanket marathon. Here are the last two:

These were done using a twisted knit stitch to really make the texture stand out.

I hope to post the pattern as well as a twisted knit stitch tutorial here soon.

I also finished my new favorite shawl:

The eyelet pattern was really fun to do. You can download the pattern HERE.

I've also been replacing my dishcloths, so I've made several of these lately:

I'm currently working on two other shawls, and hope to have some nice wool socks ready for fall too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Pork and Chicken Rub

I received this recipe from a sweet friend (who doesn't have a blog or I would link to it) and just had to share it. It really is sweet and spicy, but is mild enough that my kids will eat it - I just use a little less on their meat.

Sweet & Spicy Pork Rub

This recipe makes a wonderful rub/marinade for pork or chicken. Rub this all over the meat, place it in a ziploc bag or glass dish, and allow to marinate for up to 24 hours. Then bake or grill the meat to an internal temp of 150 degrees for pork or 160 degrees for chicken. It's spicy and sweet with a lovely glazed finish. Enjoy!!


1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika

Mix and use. No oils or liquids needed. The sugars will dissolve into a syrupy sauce when using it as a marinade.

Yields approximately 1 c. rub that can be stored in a sealed container indefinitely.

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Monday, June 3, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Mexican Chicken


3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 package of taco seasoning or 2-3 TBSP homemade taco seasoning

1 can of corn, drained

1 can of black beans, drained

1 jar of salsa or picante sauce

Coat the chicken breasts in taco seasoning. For potlucks I cut the chicken breasts into several pieces.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then pour into crock pot.

Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve over rice.

This sounds like it would be really spicy, but it's not. It's mild enough that kids will eat it, especially if you use mild taco seasoning and mild salsa.

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Knitting: Easy Potholder Pattern

You will need:
2 Skeins Kitchen Cotton - this will make 2 potholders
#7 knitting needles
yarn needle for weaving ends
#8/H crochet hook.

Using 2 strands (hold them together and knit like it was one strand), cast on 25 stitches.
Garter stitch (knit every row) 48 rows, slipping the first stitch of every row (See video). This will give you a nice smooth edge. Bind off, leaving last loop on the needle.

To create the loop for hanging the potholders, transfer last loop to a #8 crochet hook and chain 12 stitches. Cut the yarn leaving about 6 inches and tie the ends through the corner of the potholder. Weave in the ends.

Gauge really isn't that important in this pattern. For me this ends up being about 7" by 7.5".

A note for beginners about kitchen cotton: 
Kitchen cotton is a little bit tougher to work with in that it doesn't stretch like acrylic or wool. Don't worry, you will get used to it quickly. Also, it is normal to see black/brown specks in the yarn. This is just the cotton seed. 
My personal favorite is Lion Brand kitchen cotton. It is sturdy, reasonably priced, and comes in a variety of colors.
Welcome Home Wednesdays

Monday, May 27, 2013

Homemade Taco seasoning

Here is a simple and tasty taco seasoning recipe - free from additives found in packaged taco mixes.

6 teaspoons chili powder
5 teaspoons paprika
4 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons onion powder
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In storage container with tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients; mix well. Seal tightly. Store in cool, dry place for up to 6 months. 

*This recipe makes a lot more than this, pictured is what is left after a few dinners :-)

Seven teaspoons of mix equal a 1.25 ounce pkg. of purchased taco-seasoning mix.
Welcome Home Wednesdays

Monday, May 20, 2013

Scones with Maple Syrup - Make Ahead Freezer Recipe

Awhile back I was blessed to be able to go on a trip and spend a weekend with some sweet friends. One morning Stephanie made the most delicious scones and was so kind to share the recipe. These are a new favorite at our house.


 4 c. white flour

1/4 c. white sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. butter
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 425. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 

*Cut the butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. 

In a small bowl mix the cream, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla together. 

Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.

Divide dough into four sections. 

With floured hands, pat dough into 1/2 inch thick circles and cut into wedges. 

**Place on greased or buttered pan, or on ungreased parchment paper, and bake for 13-15 minutes. (Note:I like these best when frozen first)

*I do this by putting the flour mixture in my food processor along with the butter cut in to 1/2 TBSP chunks. Pulse lightly until it resembles coarse crumbs. This method works great for pie crusts too.

** a pizza stone works the best. No need to grease it.

Note: Works well to freeze uncooked shaped scones. Place on parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once frozen transfer them to a gallon size ziploc freezer bag. They can go straight from the freezer to the oven. They still bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes even when frozen.


I love to stir in chocolate chips.

I have also made these gluten-free by substituting Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour for the regular all purpose flour. They didn't rise as nicely as the regular ones, but my gluten free toddler loved them anyways.

Another tasty treat is sprinkling the tops with cinnamon and sugar.

Welcome Home Wednesdays


Friday, May 3, 2013

This Week in Stitches

The potholder project is complete. They are bright and colorful and I am happy.


Next on the list is making a blue version of this:


Blueberry Cottage

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This week in stitches

This week I finished the baby blanket I've been working on:

I'm happy with how it turned out :-)
This was knit with 2 strands using #13 circular needles.

Jojo (2) found some yarn at a thrift store that he loved so I made him a quick scarf one evening.

He loves it! The yarn was very stretching and uneven in size, so crochet worked much better than knitting.

My current project is replacing all of my potholders.

I made this one last night:

I meant to use a nice block pattern, but the kitchen cotton just didn't have enough stretch to it, so I'll settle for plain ones :-) JoAnn Fabrics had kitchen cotton on sale a few weeks ago, so I stocked up and hope to have several more made in varying colors by next week.

Blueberry Cottage

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leftover Yarn Idea #1–Hair Ribbons

Even if you only do a little knitting or crocheting you probably have a stockpile of leftover yarn scraps. I have a whole basket of them, so I’ve been coming up with some easy leftover yarn projects to put these to good use.
This first one is super easy and can be done with a fairly small amount of yarn – hair ribbons.
You can make these as long or short, plain or pretty as you want.
This one was very basic. I did this using worsted weight acrylic and #13 needles.
-Cast on 60 stitches.
-Garter stitch 6 rows.
-Bind off.
That’s it!
Blueberry Cottage