Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quick Crafty T-shirt Aprons (for kids)

This was ALL my husband. I own two aprons. I have two children, when I cook with my apron on, they both want to join in my apron wearing. That tends to create a bit of a problem when I'm cooking something really messy. I had been planning on making them aprons for Christmas gifts, and I probably still will. However, one day, to avoid fights or fits, my husband put his engineering skills to work.
Start with an adult sized T-shirt. We took them from our closet, ones that we don't/can't wear anymore. (Making these aprons FREE!)

Cut 1:Starting just below the center back of the collar, cut around the collar in each direction towards the shoulder seams. (This will create the neck strap.)
Cuts 2 & 3: Continuing from cut 1, make a diagonal cut from each shoulder seam to the side seam just under each sleeve.Cut 4: Make a straight cut across the back to connect cuts 2 & 3.

Cuts 5 & 6: Make a cut from the bottom of the shirt along each side seam (I recommend cutting just to the front of the seam in order to eliminate it from the apron.) stopping 1 1/2 to 2 in. from cut 4.

Cut 7: Cut straight across the back to connect cuts 5 & 6.

Cut 8: Cut the remaining strip of fabric between cuts 4 and 7 in half to create the ties for the apron.

And you have yourself an apron! From here, you can easily add any embellishments and finishing touches you want. Or if you just need a good crafting apron for the kids, it works well as is.

As you can see, my little princess has no embellishments on hers right now, I mean it was designed and developed by a man, but both kids love them. And, my man was pretty proud of himself. Like I said...ALL him. Ingenious!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Laundry Soap

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap. A great money saver, estimates range from 1-2 cents per load. I've been using it for about 4 months, and it works well for me.

4 cups hot tap water
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap grated (Or soap of your choosing)
1 1/2 cups Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
5 gallon bucket with lid
1 long paint stirring stick

-In a saucepan combine hot water and grated soap. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill bucket half full of hot tap water. Add soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
-Add in soap and water mixture.
-Fill bucket to top with hot water. Stir, cover and let sit 24 hours to thicken.
-After 24 hours, stir well. (Mine had the consistency of a thick custard on top before stirring, but stirred into a nice liquid-gel after a few minutes. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I had to stay at it until it was smooth.)
-If desired, fill a washed, used detergent bottle for easy dispensing. Shake/stir before each use as detergent has a tendency to separate.
-Use 1/4 - 1/2 cup per load for top loading or approx. half as much for front loaders.
-Optional: You can add 25-40 drops essential oil per batch. Add once soap has cooled. Or, I've never tried this myself, but I'm told that adding a bottle of Febreze (or equivalent) works well to add a fresh scent.

-Make sure you use Washing Soda from the laundry isle (Arm & Hammer is the only brand I've found).
-If you feel it's too harsh, you can decrease both soda and borax by 1/2 cup. I found that for some of the more heavily soiled articles the formula listed worked better.
-Fels Naptha is found in the laundry isle as well. Other popular soaps include Zoot and Ivory. Different soaps with produce different consistencies.
-I got my bucket/lid from Home Depot for around $3. And I just went to the paint counter and asked for the long stirring stick and they just gave it to me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just thought I'd give you a peek of the ill-fated hair bows. They were cute, but is it really worth it if I have to glue them back together everytime I want to put them in her hair?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Note: The original recipe calls for 6 large peppers, but I can never make the "stuffing" stretch to fill more than 4. Maybe I'm getting extra large peppers, but I'm changing the the recipe from 6 to 4. The chili pepper was my own addition. I planted an anaheim pepper plant in my garden this year that is producing like crazy. I've been adding them to practically everything I cook in an effort to use them. But I think it was a nice flavor addition. It would be considered a very mild pepper.

4 Large bell peppers (any color, but I prefer red)
1 pound lean ground beef
2 TBS chopped onion
1 TBS chopped mild to hot chili pepper (optional) (I used an anaheim from my garden)
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (feel free to substitute dried minced garlic, or garlic power)
1 (15 oz) can OR 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut a thin slice from the stem end of each bell pepper to remove top. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers. Cook peppers in enough boiling water to cover in a 4-quart Dutch oven (that basically means a large pot with a lid, but I never use the lid because that just makes it boil over=big mess) about 5 minutes; drain.
Meanwhile, cook beef, onion and chili pepper over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown (approx. 10 minutes); drain. Stir in rice, salt, garlic 1/4 cup of cheese and 1 cup of tomato sauce; heat through.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Stuff peppers with beef mixture. Stand peppers upright in ungreased square baking dish (8"x 8"x 2"). Pour remaining tomato sauce over top of peppers. I pour it on like a cap over the filling, then poke gently with a knife so it will seep down.
Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bade about 15 minutes longer or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

This is one my husband requests by name!

Acorn Squash Soup

I take part in a cooperative produce buying called Bountiful Baskets. I never know for sure what I'm going to get, so it has really inspired my creativity with vegetables in my cooking. I had never done anything with acorn squash before, and I wanted something I could base a meal around, not just a side. This was the perfect solution. It has a rich and full flavor. My kids love this! They eat it right up, and will ask to have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Definitely a hit!

1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery (I've made it without this in a pinch, still good)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp curry powder
dash cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3 cups mashed cooked acorn squash
Salt and pepper to taste
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a large sauce pan, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in flour, bouillon, dill, curry and cayenne until blended. Gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add squash, salt and pepper; heat through.
In a blender, process the soup (in batches if necessary) until smooth. Pour into bowls; garnish with bacon.

Quick tip: To quickly cook your squash, cut in half lengthwise (from stem to blossom end) and place cut side down in a microwave safe baking dish with half and inch of water. Cover and cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes until skin is tender when pierced with a fork. This is a big time saver. It would take 45-60 minutes in the oven.


Hi! My name is Melissa. I am a wife and a mother of a couple of adorable kids who can keep me quite busy. I named this blog "Lissa's Crafty Corner" for a couple of different reasons. I'm really not very crafty in the traditional sense. For example, I just made my little girl an assortment of adorable hair bows, all of which had to be repaired after one use or less. Most of the traditional crafts I attempt share the same fate as the bows. My craft originates in one humble corner of my house....the kitchen! So, the majority of my posts will most likely be recipes, but I didn't want to limit this blog to food. If I come across something that's a great idea, I wanted it to fit with the theme of the blog. So now that you have my explanation, we can get down to business.
P.S. I encourage comments, suggestions, ideas and recipes!