Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tutorial: Little Tikes Swing Cushion

As was the case with our beloved Antilop highchair, I've been thinking our little guy is bothered by the hard plastic of his Little Tikes swing.  Because the plastic is slippery, he slides down a little and looks miserable after a short while.  And then the fun was gone (kid's book reference, anyone??).  So, I've come up with a pattern and tutorial for a cushion!  Yay!

Antilop Highchair Cushion Pattern

Oh man!  All this time I didn't realize that the link I posted for the pattern to go with the Antilop Highchair Cushion Tutorial wasn't live.  Yikes!  It should be working now.  So sorry!

Just as a reminder--be sure to print the pattern without scaling.  Super important!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Thai green curry with tilapia

It's Tilapia Tuesday!  Today, I altered a recipe I make fairly often to include tilapia: thai green curry.  I'm always pleasantly surprised by how quickly this type of curry recipe comes together, especially if you have leftover rice (which we did).  My husband and I both enjoyed the substitution of tilapia for chicken, but I did have to reserve both fish and vegetables without sauce for the kids since it can be a bit spicy. We got our CSA box just moments before dinner, so I used some beautiful flat Romano beans, red peppers and carrots that we found in there, but you can certainly use other vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.) instead.

Thai green curry with tilapia and vegetables
Two filets of tilapia, thawed and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups of chopped vegetables (cut harder vegetables, like carrots, thinly)
3/4 cup chopped red onion
2 T. peanut oil or vegetable oil
2 T. (or more to taste) green curry paste (I like Aroy-D brand)
1 14 oz. can of regular coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves (I order them fresh and store them in the freezer, but you can omit or substitute more lime juice or a little lime zest)
1 teas. brown sugar (to taste)
1 teas. fish sauce (to taste)
1 T. lime juice
1 T. thai basil leaves (we planted thai basil this year and this was our first time using it!) or regular basil, chiffonaded

Heat oil in 12 inch skillet.  Add the curry paste and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add about half of the coconut milk and whisk together until smooth.  Add remaining coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and about 1/2 cup of water, whisk.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add all the vegetables and simmer until the vegetables are just starting to soften.  Then, add tilapia chunks.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fish starts to flake. Then, season with brown sugar, fish sauce and lime juice.  Add thai basil, if desired.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Small projects

We just purchased our first home, our own (very tiny) piece of Silicon Valley.  When we purchased it, we knew we wanted to remodel the kitchen.  But having never done a remodel before, we couldn't even imagine the amount of time, research and money such an extensive project would entail.  And we haven't even closed on the house yet!  Anyhow, as a result, my evenings in my sewing room have been (and will likely continue to be) seriously limited. 

This clearly isn't a sewing project, but I thought I would share a "cute-ification" of a store-bought, hand-me-down outfit for my littlest one.  This simple, green romper (yep, more rompers!) definitely needed a little something.  Several years ago, I drew some very simple crayon drawings and scanned them to make digital files.  I then printed them on special iron-transfer paper, and Voila! 

(Note: if you are going to do this yourself, be sure to trim the image closely before ironing it on.  I had way too much space around the carrot and you can see it in the after image, above.) 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Grilled tilapia with mango salsa

My local grocery had a deal the other day: spend $20 and get two mangos, two limes, and a bunch of cilantro for free.  Yes, please!  Here's what I did with it:

Grilled tilapia with mango salsa
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teas. dried oregano
1/2 teas. salt
3 tilapia filets

Mix together first five ingredients in a bowl.  Place filets in a zip-top bag and add the marinade.  Set aside while the grill preheats (gas grill = high).  Reduce the heat to medium-high, remove the filets from the marinade and shake a bit to remove excess oil.  Place on grill and cook until just opaque.

Mango salsa:
1/2 green or red pepper
2 T. chopped red onion
chopped jalapeno (to taste and optional--I didn't use it since the kids were eating the salsa, but I wish I could have!)
1 perfectly ripe mango, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 teas. salt

In the food processor, whirl green or red pepper and onion (and jalapeno, if using) until the pieces are small, but not pureed.  (I prefer these to be tiny, but a small dice would work just as well here).  Place the peppers and onions in a bowl, fold in the mango, lime juice and cilantro.  Season with salt to taste and let sit for 20 minutes or so.

I loved the mango salsa, and mixed the leftovers with some canned pinto beans for lunch the next day.  Yum!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Ironing board recover

So I had intended to make an ironing board recover tutorial, but as I started the project, I realized there really is no need to write out step-by-step directions.  What I'm going to show here, then, is how I did it in general terms--don't worry, you can recover your own ironing board without the explicit directions!