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41  COOKING / Dessert / Mawmaw's Banana Bread (recipe included) on: November 06, 2015 12:24:29 PM

I'm pretty sure that this recipe is exactly like my Mawmaw used to make because I didn't have any chopped walnuts on hand (it still tastes good). And because I was working from memory and haven't made an attempt at making banana bread her way since she passed away, which was in 1998.
But November and December are always filled with thoughts of my maternal grandma because for my family, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about family and food. And because November and December are generally the coldest months in Louisiana, which means we do a LOT of baking, and not just for the holidays Smiley
Since I was in a particularly nostalgic mood this morning and had some over ripe bananas, I decided it was a perfect day to make an attempt at her banana bread.

I'm not sure all of my measurements are 100% exact because she often didn't measure, but here's the recipe I came up with:

1/2 to 1 cup of sugar (my grandma typically used 1/2 because she was diabetic but you can use up to 1 cup if you want it sweeter)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
3 large over ripe bananas (if you have smaller bananas, use 4)
1 pinch salt (which I've learned is roughly 1/16 of a tsp)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp Watkins* vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F and spray or butter a 9" x 4.5" or similar sized loaf pan.
Peel your bananas and, using a fork, mash them up in your mixing bow until they're relatively smooth.
Stir in the butter, egg, baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar.
Add the nuts and flour then gently mix until the batter is a light brown but don't stir too much or it will make your bread turn out harder (my aunt typically has this issue).
Pour into loaf pan and allow to bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan then turn out onto a wire rack (or a plate if you don't have a wire rack).
It will keep for about a week in the fridge when wrapped in plastic wrap, if it lasts that long Smiley

*My mawmaw would only use Watkins brand real vanilla extract and refused to buy any other brand but you can use whatever brand you have on hand
42  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Letter Quest Grimm + v2.0 on: October 27, 2015 02:45:05 PM
I am obsessed with word games and one of my favorites is "Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey".
In the game, you take the role of Grimm, an adorable little grim reaper who is on a journey to find a pizza place and you fight ghosts along the way by spelling out words. Since I think that he's just the most adorable little grim reaper ever, I decided I just had to have one of my own so I set about making up a pattern for him. He's made of quite a few pieces and was a LOT of work, but he was worth it.
I'm currently working on another one, tweaking the pattern as I go to make him more proportional. If it turns out right, I'll try to clean up my notes and share it. My mom wants this one because she also plays the game and thinks he's adorable Smiley

The little string at the back of his hood is to attach a skull bead. Grimm has a skull on his hood but I can't find my skull beads so the string is just there for now.

Here's some photos to show the progress before I sewed him together (I wish I had taken more):

43  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Devilishly simple costume (with horns pattern) on: September 30, 2015 01:14:53 PM
For Halloween this year, I went with something super simple for two reasons: 1) my boyfriend said we don't get trick-or-treaters in this area because there aren't a lot of kids here and 2) we're going to San Antonio to take his friend to a Magic: The Gathering Regional PTQ. (While his friend is playing, we're going to have fun around town.)

I made the patterns for these myself. The tail is simply a single row of double crochet sewn around a piece of wire with two triangles sewn together on the tip. I didn't count the stitches for the base, but the tip of the tail was made by chaining 10 then decreasing each row until only 1 stitch remained.

For the horns (and tail) I used an H hook but you can use whatever sort of hook you need for whatever yarn you're using. The yarn I used is Caron Pound of Love in Claret.


ch 2
4 sc in second st from hook, join (4 sts)
ch 1, 2 sc in ea st around, join (8 sts)
ch 1, 2 sc in ea st around, join (16 sts)
ch 1, sc, 2 sc in next st; repeat around, join (24 sts)
sc around in front loops (closer to you; 24 sts)
ch 1, sc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (16 sts)
sc around (16 sts)
sc around (16 sts)
ch 1, sc in next 3 sts, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (12 sts)
stuff firmly
ch 1, sc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (8 sts)
ch 1, sc in next 1 st, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (4 sts)
f/o, weave in ends
After weaving in the ends, squish the stuffing around to shape them however you like. I gave mine a slight curve. If you leave them as they are, they'll look more like Hershey's Kisses. Which would actually make really cute Christmas or Valentine's decorations, come to think of it! Cheesy

Repeat for your second horn then attach them to a headband or hair clips and have fun raising a little hell Grin
44  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Fun hats and cute gloves for friends on: September 23, 2015 12:25:21 PM
One of my friends is dressing her seven year old daughter and three year old son up as Raggedy Ann and Andy for Halloween and asked me to make wig hats to go with their costumes.
I felt up to the challenge so I agreed and made these using a basic beanie pattern but substituted the loop stitch for single crochet. I had to adjust the rows a bit and recommend that if you want to make a loop stitch hat, use this pattern for a CPK inspired hat from Repeat Crafter Me. It will save you a headache!

Made with Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry.

Another friend asked if I could make fingerless gloves for her and her little sister. Since I'd already had plans to do just that, I made these up using this quick and easy pattern from Ravelry. I added the buttons to the backs of the pink gloves to give them visual interest and to appeal to an eight year old's sense of style. I'll be adding skull and crossbones crochet appliques to the purple gloves as soon as I finish making the appliques.

The purple ones are Caron One Pound of Yarn in Deep Purple and the pink ones are Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink.
45  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Manly Meal- filet mignon, potatoes and corn (with potato recipe) on: July 06, 2015 11:46:17 AM
First, I'd like to say that my boyfriend is the one who named it a "manly meal" because "steak and potatoes is as manly as you can get". Roll Eyes
Second, the recipe is adapted from something I used to help my maternal grandmother make when I was a kid. She called it "stewed potatoes" but I'm not sure if that's an accurate description. Huh The recipe can be easily adjusted if you're cooking for more, or less, people.
Also, I don't measure so I'm not sure how accurate the 1/4c water is.

Stewed potatoes for two
You'll need:
Medium-sized skillet
3 potatoes of your favored variety (I used three Russets because it's what we had; it's really delicious with red potatoes)
Butter (I used 1/4 stick; you could also use olive oil instead)
1/4 cup water
Salt & pepper, to taste
Garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, to taste*
Onion powder or fresh minced onion, to taste*
*Preferably the fresh but if the powder is all you have, use it!

Wash, peel and cube your potatoes or just wash and cube them, if you prefer to leave the skin.
Melt the butter in your skillet over medium-high heat. After the butter is completely melted, toss in your potatoes and saute them for about five minutes. Add the water then cover, allowing them to cook for five minutes then season to taste and stir. Cover and allow them to cook for another ten minutes. You should now have melt in your mouth delicious potatoes with a creamy "gravy" of sorts. Enjoy!
Note: you could also use this as a start for making homemade mashed potatoes, as my grandmother sometimes did.
46  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / To boldly go... on: May 04, 2015 09:01:17 PM
In my boyfriend's office! Lol!
I was showing my boyfriend all the nerdy crochet patterns I had found on Pinterest and he asked if I could make him the Enterprise Smiley

I made it using this awesome pattern from Ravelry. I wanted to get better pics but I can't get him to surrender the ship!
I used an H hook as well as a different weight of yarn so it's bigger than it would be if you follow the pattern to the letter (the pattern calls for an E hook).
47  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Bouquet of roses on: February 03, 2015 02:35:04 PM
This time instead of making the stems, I pulled the heads off some cheap fake flowers I got at the dollar store. I think they look pretty good Smiley
I like them all but the darker pink. It throws off the pic! Lol

48  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Long stem red rose on: January 29, 2015 01:14:36 PM

I found this crocheted rose pattern and followed it to create the bloom. However, I didn't like the leaf pattern because the leaves beneath a rose bloom do NOT look like that (or at least the ones on my mother's rosebush don't look that way!) That is the sort of leaves found on the stem of a rose. So I made my own pattern:
Chain 10
Sl st in first ch, sc in next ch, dc in next 2 chs, trc in next 2 chs, dc in next ch, sc in next ch, f/o

The leaves are going to curl up/around a bit but that's okay because the real ones do that. I made five but some blooms only have four leaves. Sew them together in a star shape (or a sort of cross if you only do four) then sew them on the underside of the bloom.
For the stem, I chained 38 (I think) then did two rows of dc then folded it in half and sewed down the length. There's a piece of heavy wire (recycled from something or other my dad was doing) to support the bloom.
49  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Freely sharing vintage patterns? on: December 24, 2014 04:30:03 PM
I was doing a search for sweater patterns on Pinterest and found an Etsy listing where someone was selling a PDF of a vintage crochet pattern. I happen to have the book that it came from and was wondering, if I make the sweater and post it on Craftster, would I be able to share the pattern in the post?
I mean, I would think so if someone is selling it but I can't find any information online about the legality of it.
Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places?
Any help would be appreciated because I think a few people might like a pattern for a crocheted hoodie.
50  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / A Whovian idea I'm just going to toss out there on: November 14, 2014 10:19:42 PM
I may eventually try this myself but right now, I don't have the time or the doll.
On to the idea: Howleen Wolf, of the Monster High dolls, has claw-curled hands and with a full body repaint, she could be the perfect reaching out to grab you Weeping Angel tree-topper. I've seen the ones made from Barbie, and even Ghoulia yelps, who have their faces covered but I just had the idea that a reaching one would be a little scarier.
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