Posts Tagged ‘easy’
When I was a kid my grandma would make us the best Halloween Costumes. She’d take us to the fancy fabric store and we’d spend hours looking at all the books with samples of the different patterns. It was always really hard, but eventually we’d narrow it down and she’d make our costumes completely from scratch. Now these were not your flimsy Big Box Retail Costumes, these were handcrafted, tailored, pieces of art that were made with lots of love (and blood, sweat, and tears I’m sure!). Back then we actually got to wear our costumes to school, which was always my favorite part. For a whole day we’d get to prance around in our homemade garb as a pretty witch, a silly clown, or for my brother; Captain Planet (which included a fabric six pack of course)!
Unfortunately my kids won’t have the same quality handmade Halloween Costumes I had as a kid, but I’m gonna do my best to make something a little crafty and original. The last few years we’ve participated in our church Trunk or Treat. As a family (including Cale’s five brothers and sisters and children!) we’ve done everything from the Super Mario Brothers to a Bakery complete with the most adorable cupcakes and cookies! This year everyone’s schedule is a bit more crazy than usual so we are trying to keep things fairly simple (although we say that every year!). I love a good hoodie costume cause you can buy the base at a thrift shop, purchase some felt for simple handmade add-ons, and finish with some fabric glue baby and you are good to go! Even if you’d don’t have a sewing a machine you can still create something unique and fun for your little minions that’s simple and one-of-a-kind.
Below is a roundup of links to some of my favorite easy handmade costumes. I’ve been searching for a particular hoodie tutorial myself, but you’ll have to wait until after Halloween to see our final costumes and theme this year!
- Care Bears by See Vanessa Craft
- A Minion from Despicable Me by Not So Idle Hands
- Octopus by dollarcraft on Instructables
- Unicorn by Fiskars
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Vanilla Joy
- Knight by fjnorm on Instructables
- Shark by Fiskars
- Little Red Ridding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf by Martha Stewart
A little bit of forethought goes a long ways! Halloween might be a week away, but I promise you’ve still got time to create you own costume that is way cooler than something from the store (and probably a lot less expensive too!). Get together with some of your friends for a craft night, and cut and glue your own hoodie costume together. Who knows, the materials you need may already be in an old box just waiting to be used.
What’s your favorite handmade costume? Leave us a link in the comment section.
From The Farm
More and more I’m not really a “recipe girl”. I like to use recipes as a guideline, and then substitute my favorite ingredients and flavors to make a recipe my own. Typically it’s hard to find just “one” recipe I like. I tend to find several with different pieces and parts that sound good, and throw them together to make one awesome meal. So, in an effort to keep my options open, but still stick to the basics, I’m going to be breaking down recipes to their basic measurements. You fill in your favorite meats, sauces, and veggies to truly make it your own! At our house we definitely aim to use the healthiest ingredients, but sometimes it just comes down to what is on hand!
Now, get in there and own that potpie!
Everyone loves a potpie (unless you don’t like pie and if that is the case there is just something wrong with you!)! The thing I love about potpies is that they are so versatile. From the crust to the meat and vegetables you can mix and match or pull out leftovers in your fridge.
** Keep in mind I’m providing the quantities you’ll need of each ingredient, but feel free to substitute meats, seasonings, vegetables, sauce and crust to taste.
- Meat: 1 lb; chicken, stew meat, or hamburger.
- Seasoning: 1 teaspoon; Parsley, tarragon, salt, pepper, celery seed or celery salt, and cayenne pepper (if you like a kick!).
- Vegetables: 2 cups (1 cup each) of vegetables; typically we like a combo of peas and carrots, but you can also use corn, asparagus, green beans, etc.
- Creamy Sauce: Typically 1/2 cup; of skim milk, whole milk, or even coconut milk + 1 cup of broth; chicken, beef, or vegetable + 2 tablespoons; of flour for thickness.
- Cheese: 1/2 cup; low-fat cheddar, but substituting some other sharp cheese like Munster or even swiss maybe fun to try?
- Crust: 1) Make a basic pie crust the old fashioned way with butter and flour, 2) Substitute regular flour with whole wheat and butter with olive oil (delish!), or 3) purchase a pie crust from the store and have it ready to go!
- Additional: 1/2 cup; onion finely chopped.
- Make/Prepare pie crust so it is ready to go. Look for a variety of pie crust recipe links in the ingredients list above or you can probably find a good one in any standard cookbook you’ve got laying around. (If I am making the pie crust from scratch I like to make two at a time so that I can freeze one, and have it ready to go the next time I want to make a potpie. Saves a TON of time and cleanup!)
- Pre-heat oven to 375. If you are not using a oven save skillet you’ll just have to use a pan to cook the meat as well as grease a 9″ pie pan.
- Heat up the skillet with a dab of olive oil. Cook the onions until clear, add in the meat, and cook thoroughly through. Remember you are going to bake the meat as well so if things are slightly pink the meat will finish up nicely in the baking process.
- Step 3: Add harder vegetables (like carrots) and cook for 5 minutes, until softened (if you can stick them with a fork or toothpick they are done!).
- Add flour, whisk in for about 30 seconds, and then pour in milk and broth. Let simmer until the creamy sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in cheese, additional seasonings (to taste), and other softer vegetables like peas or asparagus. Stir until the cheese is melted.
- If baking in a SKILLET: Center the pie crust over the filling and tuck the extra parts draping over the side in. I typically use a spoon to help me get down in there since the ingredients will be hot! If baking in a PIE PLATE: Pour filling into prepared pie plate. Center the pie crust over the filling and tuck the extra parts draping over the side in.
- Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out dry. (I like to use the baking time to cleanup so that by the time you are ready to sit down cleanup is practically done!)
Here are some yummy references of potpies I used to come up with my own version.
Let us know what you think about this new little series and ways that we can help clarify things? I’m always open to trying different ingredients or suggestions to make prep for a homemade meal easier and faster.
Now get in there and make yourself a homemade potpie. You can do it!
From The Farm
Are you seeing little green things poking through the ground? I’ve got spinach and carrots and crazy enough garlic coming up! You usually plant garlic in the fall, but if you are more of a tomato’s and peppers kinda person you’ve got a little time yet before planting season begins. Most veggies, in Oklahoma, will go in around the end of March, first of April. Check your local planting guides to find out proper planting times for your area. Now let’s get down to it!
It’s snowing and I’m excited, not for the normal reasons, like a day off (didn’t get one), or snow angels, or snow ice cream. No, the reason I’m excited is that snow equals moisture and moisture equals growing, and due to some very awesome people at Territorial Seed Company my garden is three steps ahead and no going back.
Garden planning is one of the hardest things for me to do. I love gardening but I’m the type of person who moves in the moment. When the sun comes out I don’t need a jacket anymore, I’m ready to play in the dirt (a.k.a. garden). The problem with this is that I’m always working to catch up (so it seems) and even as I present my Garden Checklist for the month I’m wondering how I’m going to get it all done!? Then I stumbled upon this wonderful digitized and computerized garden planning tool from Territorial Seed Company. I order seeds from them occasionally, and I love looking through their catalog, but what’s won me over is this little jewel.
It’s a simple subscription style online garden planning software that allows you to layout your garden, draftsman style. With actual dimensions, specific pathways, and an overall look you can see our raised bed layout (below) as it looks after the drawing and planting schedule was complete.
Then you add plants! They have a full range of basic plant types and blanks for you to create your own from the seed packet information you have on hand (or look up specific plants online). You can work in standard row gardening formats or as I’ve chosen to do this year try out the Square Foot Gardening Method.
Within each square you can see the number of seeds that need to be planted for that specific plant and how much space it might take up. As you can see (below), some of my zucchini squash and butternut squash didn’t fit the square foot so it’s been planted in rows shown by the pink cloud under the image. When you plant in the row format the number of plants/seeds is shown by the number of vegetable icons present in each row. As you can see with my squash rows they are intermingled with tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. I’ve dedicated approximately 2 squash plants per row.
Meet Tim & Anna
Our latest guest blogging couple and dear friends are currently somewhere between Virginia and California (We’re not really sure when they will get to whichever one they are going to). They love to have fun and they love being in love…almost as much as we do. So we thought they would be the perfect pair to head up our ‘Love on a Dime’ series which deals with keeping the romance alive, when you don’t have much more than a couple of quarters and you’re on your last gallon of gas.
So, without further ado, we hope you enjoy them and their antics… Cheers and here’s to love!
What can a man do to woo his woman, and what can a woman spring on her man which says, “I know you’re busy & we’re broke, but I still love you & wanted to do something a little special just to break the routine of you breaking wind on the couch while I talk to my girlfriend on the phone.”
Here’s an option. Why not go back in time, to the awkwardness of teenage years & make yourself feel better that while you now may no longer have the highest source of disposable income as teens are claimed to have, you at least have grown out of your gangly walk, don’t have to laugh at everything the other person says or worry that your pants will become an instant tent if she touches you, and you can both see one another’s complexion without a layer of zits blocking the view.
A teen date not only refreshes the zing in a relationship, but also helps you see how far you’ve developed in the years you’ve been together.