Sunday, December 12, 2010

Llama's first art

today i pulled out the markers so the Llama could 'sign' our holiday letters, while we were at it i decided to grab some blank paper to let him play with the markers a bit, he really seemed to enjoy it, even if i did have to keep taking them out of his mouth.

Tommys first art 12-12-10 making art

Tommys first art 12-12-10 fridge

i'm so proud!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hail seitan

posting this here because I love this recipe, but keep loosing it.

Seitan Roasts -- Mark X

The chicken roast is great to make, and then cut into strips or cubes and freeze for use in stir-fries, casseroles, fajitas, "mock chicken salad" or use to make seitan "crab cakes", whatever! I also like to slice the roast into lunch meat style thin slices (particularly the ham roast) and put on sandwich with vegenaise--DELICIOUS!!

My other favorite is to make the chicken roast, cut off several patty sized slices from the loaf, fry in a little oil until well heated, but not until browns and crisps on the outside. Then top with spaghetti sauce and some soy cheese or deborah's pizza cheeze, and nuke for a minute to melt the cheeze. Voila, tastes like veal Parmesan!

"Chicken" Roast
Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour (1 box arrowhead mills)
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs powdered vegan chicken broth or bouillon
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp of turmeric (optional, but it gives the roast a yellowish hue, reminiscent of real chicken!)

Gluten liquid: In separate bowl mix together:
1 Tbs olive oil (optional)
1 + 1/2 cup of water
Pour into flour mixture.
Stir/knead until is a dough ball
(add additional water or gluten flour if needed to get proper consistency. All of the flour should be well incorporated
but the dough should be firm and not tacky to the touch).
Knead vigorously for additional 1 minute

Basting liquid: Whisk together in measuring cup:
2-3 Tbs of chicken broth powder
1 Tbs of olive oil (optional)
then add enough water to make 3/4 to 1 cup (see below for precise measurement) total liquid

Set aside basting liquid
Spray a bread loaf pan with cooking spray:
Stretch gluten ball into a loaf and place in loaf pan (ensure it has room to expand in the pan). Pour basting liquid over
the gluten loaf (loaf should be 1/3 to 1/2 submerged in the liquid (no more). Baste over the loaf.
Cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Baste every 20 minutes or so.

Beef variation:
Eliminate turmeric. Substitute beef flavored broth for chicken broth throughout recipe. Add 2 Tbs of soy sauce to gluten liquid, reducing water by same. Add 1 Tbs of A1 sauce and 1 tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire to basting liquid and reduce the amount of water accordingly.

Ham variation:
Eliminate turmeric. Substitute ham flavored broth for chicken broth throughout recipe. Add 1 Tbs soy sauce and 1/2 to 1 tsp of liquid smoke to gluten liquid and reduce water by same amount. Add 2 Tbs of soy sauce, 1 tsp of liquid smoke and 1 tsp of brown sugar to the basting liquid. Reduce water accordingly.

Basic seasoned gluten roast:
Eliminate turmeric. Substitute vegetable broth powder in lieu of chicken broth throughout recipe. Omit nutritional yeast. After gluten and basting liquid are in the loaf pan add a cup or so (depending on size of loaf pan, but allow room for seitan to expand) of the any of the following vegetables: Carrots, onions, leeks, celery, garlic, or other vegetables appropriate for a pot roast. You can then eat the veggies when the roast is done, but they are pretty soft.

Traditional Asian Gluten roast
Though not truly traditional, because in Asia they usually simmer the gluten.

Omit all spices. Add only vital wheat gluten flour to water. for basting liquid, add 2T of soy sauce to the basting liquid, reducing water accordingly, and add several strips of sea vegetable (kombu, wakame, hijiki, nori, or whatever you got).

Your Customized Seitan roast.
You can really monkey with this however you want. You could try to make a fish roast, if you could get some seafood broth to substitute for the chicken broth. You can also have mexican roast, by adding in chili powder, red pepper, cumin, and adding some dashes of hot sauce to the basting liquid. You can also make a curry loaf, adding in a table spoon or two of curry powder in lieu of the chicken broth. I also like mixing in some paprika, and cumin and red pepper to the ham variation, and adding some ketchup (2T) the gluten liquid to get kind of a pepperoni type of roast.

Last thought, an italian sausage roast. Go with the ham variation. Omit turmeric. Substitute red pepper for black pepper. Add 1 T of sage and another of thyme to the dry ingredients. Eliminate brown sugar in basting liquid. 2 tsp of Italian seasoning mix (basil oregano). Be sure to include oil.


some changes/mods I find I like:
I use 1 Tbsp Vegetarian Better than Bullion in the gluten liquid instead of dry powder
add 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast to dry mix instead of one
omit turmeric
1 Tbsp each onion and garlic
(occasionally I'll add 1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash onion & herb as well)
add only 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp oil to basting liquid - no bullion.

also a note that this takes A LOT of needing to get the proper consistency, it starts out really loose and squishy but eventually becomes quite elastic with enough kneading, then I just roll it into a loaf shape and squish it around until it fits into the loaf pan.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NY Sheep and Wool

some pictures of me and the Llama at Rhinebeck this year.

baby back rhineback 10-16-10
(this one was taken by our friend Jess)

and of course, some of us with the Llama's namesake: Llamas!
rhinebeck 10-16-10 llama 2

rhinebeck 10-16-10 llama 1

his grandma knit the hat
I knit the sweater (baby poonam)
I also sewed the wrap, and the blankie.

A sweater and other things

so what have I been up to these last couple of months? mostly just enjoying my little guy, but there has been quite a bit of crafting as well.

first off, the Baby poonam, i finished this before The Llama was born, but it was way too big to begin with, luckily, he finally grew into the sweater just as the weather started getting nippy.

baby poonam 09-23-10 1

baby poonam 09-23-10 2

baby poonam 09-23-10 3

Pattern: baby Poonam
(ravelry link to my project page for specs)

as for stuff I've been workign on recently, there is a cute little bunny binky I made to help with bedtime and naps, he sleeps much better with his bunny.

rainbow bunny binky

bunny blanket buddy
(ravelry link for specs)

the Llama loves bright colours the cotton chenille yarn is really soft, yet washable, a plus! there's another one in the works too, but, well, it'll look pretty much the same when it's finished.

on the sewing front, as the weather cools it becomes more important to keep the Llama warm on our daily walks, so I modified one of my old jackets (pack rat for the win!!) into a babywearing coat.

new diy bw coat 11-01-10 1

we both stay toasty, and he loves it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teething giraffes and more

Wow how time flies, the Llama is seven months, is crawling like crazy, pulling himself up and standing whenever he can, and has two teeth coming in already. At lunch time the Llama Papa will take the little chomping terror for about an hour or two while he naps (the boy won't nap on his own) and I will either make baby food to freeze or craft.

Pictures of baby food are pretty boring, but I have a lot of crafty stuff too.

teething giraffes 1

Newest first are some teething giraffes, (did I mention that the Llama is chewing on EVERYTHING right now?)
I originally heard about teething giraffes from a baby forum I'm on and immediately went looking for a pattern. I found this one but wasn't very happy with my results (it didn't even get stuffed) so I fiddled around and came up with a slightly better model, but I found the body too square and its legs too spindly to be stable, also my first attempt at head gust to give it more umph for chewing was a lopsided failure. But the boy loved it. The plain boring, muslin, lopsided, spindly giraffe hung around for a while, and I got more and more annoyed with it, I knew I could do better. I widened the legs, sloped the back and tried to make a better head gusset. Along the way I discovered starbright baby on etsy. Well huh. After a bit of brooding I tried my third giraffe (the white one) and it was much better, but the head gusset was even worse than before! A little more fiddling, and a crappy attempt at ears and I had the best giraffe of them all, (the blue one). the Llama loves them all

teething giraffes 2

Obviously since there is already somebody out there selling teething giraffes (at a very reasonable price, I might add) I'm not going to post my pattern. Go buy one of her's, and support a crafty work at home mom.

bug wrap pod 07-15-10

More of my babywearing madness, I made a narrow bodied wrap strapped Podaegi (Pod for short). It's kinda like if a mei tai and a wrap had a baby.
I really like it, the fabric is a light/med weight denim with bugs, lizards and frogs embroidered al over it that I found in the red tag bin at Jo-Anns. It went together really quickly and easy using this pattern and this pattern (which seems to have disappeared, hmph - still posting link for future reference) as inspiration.

RR wrap pod 07-15-10 side

I forgot to use my walking foot, so the fabric puckered a bit, but I reinforced the heck out of the straps, so while not aesthetically perfect, it's quite secure. There are tons of different ways to wear a Pod, a few can be seen here on you tube.

FWCC wrap pod 07-15-10

And we love it.

I made another baby block using fabric leftover from a crappy dress to awesome skirt project for a while back. the Llama loves the bright colours. And it gets manhandled and chewed often.

visiting grandparents 07-03-10 11

You can see it on my Grandmother's lap while she plays with the best baby ever.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


last night I made gumbo for dinner. I haven't made gumbo in ages, but the Llama Papa and I were talking about okra, (he loves it with Indian spices and tomatoes, the Llama loves it plain, but it's so slimy the only way I can eat it is in gumbo) and I really started craving gumbo.

I looked up a bunch of recipes online, mashed them around a bit and came up with this:


Super yummy

Vegie Gumbo

1/2 C Canola Oil
3/4 C Flour

1 Lg onion
4 cloves garlic
3 celery stalks
1 gr. pepper
1 red pepper

1 (28 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 lb bag frozen sliced okra
1 pkg (soy boy brand) smoked tofu - sm dice or one package of extra firm tofu, frozen and then thawed and drained.
1 sweet potato - sm dice
2 (16 oz) cans kidney beans

2 qt veggie broth

2 bay leaves
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp file powder
1 tsp each thyme, oregano, basil
1/2 tsp jalapeno powder (or 1/4 tsp cayenne)
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper


Heat the oil in a non stick stock pot, add the flour and stir well, continue stirring and cooking over med heat until roux is slightly lighter than a penny. (this page: calls it a mahogany roux)

Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes; add peppers, celery and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.

Add stock, spices and the rest of the ingredients. Cook at a low simmer for two hours.

Serve over rice.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

foods eaten so far

Gr. Beans
Lima Beans
Sw. Potato

Chick Peas



Br Basmati Rice

Coconut Milk



Apple/Pumpkin Pie Spice
Curry Powder
Italian (basil, oregano etc)


from our dinners

Split pea soup
Sw potato peanut soup
Aloo Chana
White bean soup
Masuman curry
Skillet lentils
Chick pea coconut lemon soup
Pasta fazool (fagioli)

Friday, June 11, 2010


how time flies! Here is a post with some of the Llama related things I've been working on the last two months (oldest first):

Remember the cthulhu embroidered onesie? I finally colored it in.

embroidered onesies coloured cthulhu

And then made another embroidered onesie, this one with Godzilla:

embroidered onesies coloured godzilla

356, 433, 471, 666 (heh), 740, 815, 905, 3787


I made myself a new baby wrap, this one out of a tablecloth from Target; just cut down the middle and hem! Its 2.1m and perfect for the rebozo carry, which the Llama loves to fall asleep in.

siting with naping tommy 05-09-10 2


Baby blocks!!

denim blocks 2

the Llama Papa had these really nifty pj pants with rubber duckies on them that eventually wore out as pjs are wont to do, but I loved the print so I kept them. When we had the Llama I thought it would be awesome to make something for him out of them. My first thought was blocks! But since I had a limited supply of fabric I made a prototype first out of an old worn out pair of jeans. It's a good thing I did; the first block was HUGE! (5" squares) so I made the next one a bit smaller, and that worked out much better (3.5" squares)

denim blocks 1

Now to get off my butt and make the ducky ones.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

siting with naping tommy 05-09-10 2

siting with naping tommy 05-09-10 1

Happy Mothers' Day to my Mom, Mom-in-law, Grandmother and to all my mommy friends!

this is how I'm spending my day, how about you?

Friday, April 16, 2010

sew sparkly and crinkly and a cutle little dog too

Teal sparkly wrap is done!

sparkly teal torso 04-09-10 1

I can now carry the Llama in a wide number of ways, it's awesome and oh, so cuddly!

I've also finished hemming the new panels for the Mei Tai, but I haven't put the Velcro on yet, so no pictures.

My most recent projects have been some embroidery and crinkly things.


Cthulhu Fhtagn

(right after this picture was taken we had a poo blowout :( )
DMC#s: 895 & 3346

And a cute little doggie!

embroidered doggie onesie


wearing his embroidered doggie shirt 04-10-10 3

DMC#s: 433, 642, 776, 807, & 3346
And coloured in with crayons.
(you carefully colour in the parts you want making sure to get and even colour without applying too much wax, the put a piece of paper over the fabric and iron it. The wax and colour will melt into the fibers. Too much wax will make the fabric stiff, so you have to be careful.)

and some crinkly things.

crinkly thingsfront
crinkly things back

The blue and brown are soft flannel; the ribbons were scavenged from the packaging of many of the gifts we got at the baby shower.

I got the owl idea from here

The inside crinkly stuff are just the cleaned off wrappers from some cliff bars. Nice and crinkly.

the Llama likes them :)

crinkly tag play 04-15-10

Monday, March 22, 2010

wrap up

I finished the red sparkly wrap!

semi FWCC DIY Red 03-12-10 2

Its 30 inches wide by 3.5 yards long. And we love it! So far we've only used it for a couple of different hip caries, the photo above is a Semi Front Cross Carry but it was a bit fussy, so we switched to a Coolest Hip Cross Carry (vid) and like that one much better (the look similar because it's the same general wrapping technique, the only difference is how the baby sits in it)

CHCC 03-15-10 1

We also tried a Short Front Cross Carry, but nether of us found it terribly comfortable (I think our wrap might have been bit too short), so I think we will be sticking to the hip carry for now, and the Llama really likes being able to look around more. Maybe in a little while I'll try the Kangaroo Carry(vid) and see how we like that.

When the Llama is a bit bigger this wrap will be long enough for us to try a handful of back carries too.

But I haven't finished the teal wrap yet, that one is longer so I'm kind of dreading the hemming process, specifically the ironing, but really that's all that's left to do, as it is all trimmed and ready. And it will be handy for a wider variety of carries.

The weather has been so nice lately that we've gone for several walks, it's been lovely! But it's been very bright too, after our first walk I grabbed some gingham out of my stash and whipped up this quick and dirty hat:

gingham hat 03-22-10 back

gingham hat 03-22-10 front 1

Seriously quick and dirty, I think it took me about 15 - 20 minutes total, because I wanted to be able to use it that afternoon. The edges of the brim aren't finished, and it's a bit uneven, but when we took our walk we got several compliments on the Llama's cuteness. So it can't be that bad.

gingham hat 03-22-10 front 2

gingham hat 03-22-10 front 3
After out first walk where the ha nearly got blown off by the wind I grabbed some bias tape I had already made up and put together another tether to pin to it so we wouldn't loose it in a sudden gust of wind. (sheer luck that the bias tape I had on had was a matching fabric!)

gingham hat 03-22-10 2

When we were in Jo-Ann's the other day to pick up some more suspender clips for paci/toy tethers we kinda both fell down in the fat quarter aisle:

lotsa fat quarters 03-22-10

The pile on the left are some I like for Mei Tai panels, and the pile on the right are some the Llama Papa grabbed for pocket squares. Its ok, they were on sale...
(I see a lot of ironing and sewing in my future!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

sew what

Sew, um I mean, so, I haven't had as much time as I would like to knit, but I can eek out bits of time to sew, and sewing is so awesome, because even though I don't have a lot of time, I can still get a finished object relatively quickly.

For instance, I made the Llama's Mei Tai so that I could change out the patterned panels in front; making panels is quick and easy, and fun to pick out the fabrics to match my outfits.

mei tai panels 02-28-10

and even more!

more mei tai panels

I like how I can fold them all up together in a neat little square when I'm not using them.

And one more modeled with cute baby, (I know I said to match my outfits, but sometimes, I can do nothing but clash, I think it’s a SAHM thing)
mei tai green panel worn 02-28-10 2

when I pick out fabrics for the panels, I usually just buy fat quarters, the Jo-Ann's I go to is usually very busy, and while it would be cheaper to buy from the bolt, I would be standing in line forever, I think it's a fair trade off.

So I don't waste any of it, I've made a few tethers...

teathers 1 group

the Llama doesn’t really use his paci that often (usually only in the car seat, and when being flown around by his daddy) but it's easier to model the tethers with them. Tethers can be used to attach almost anything to you or something so it can't get tossed or dropped on the floor. like pacis, or toys to keep baby entertained, or even their sun hat in summertime.

They are just strips of home made bias tape with snaps sew on each end to make loops. One loop can be snapped around the item to be tethered and the other used to fasten it in some way. I used a hair tie looped around the handle for his car seat:

teathers 1 use blue

or it can be looped into itself around a strap:

teathers 1 use leaf

or it can be pinned with a safety pin, or you can buy suspender clips and use those to clip it onto items:

clip tether

and another big project on the way:

sewing wips

I'm going to sew a few wraps for TW and I, it's another way to baby wear, by securing the baby to you using a length of cloth.

I bought two lengths of linen/cotton fabric with sparkles on one side:

sparkle wrap fabric

I've trimmed them; now all they need is ironing and hemming!

I think I may use the leftover bits I trimmed off to make more panels for the Mei Tai (they are so addictive!)
And I have a few other project in mind as well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

FOs and an almost FO

I don't have nearly as much time to knit as I once did, but I do have a few FOs for you.

First, a super easy little hat for the Llama:

tommy's new blue hat

no real pattern, I just cast on a bunch of stitches, knit around, decreased and then made a little i-cord and knitted it.


in his new hat 02-10-10 1

in his new hat 02-10-10 3

also finished is a knit panel to cover us up when we go for walks:

black seaweed

pattern: seaweed (ravelry link)
yarn: knitpicks WOTA bulkly in coal
needles: US size 9 (5.5 mm)knitpicks interchangeables

I know it doesn't look like much in the picture above, so here's a kinda crappy picture of us in it after we got back from a walk the other day:

after walkies 02-22-10

it's a bit short on top, the pattern says to stop after two inches, but I think I probably could have gone to 4 for better coverage. Ah well.

I also have an almost FO:

bsj almost done unfolded

bsj almost done folded

the Baby Surprise Jacket using my own handspun, all it needs is for the shoulder/arm seams to be done up and for me to pick out buttons for it. But I made it in toddler size for next fall, so I'm in no rush to get it done.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...