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Sunday, February 14, 2016

For this Valentines, I give you my heart...

Oh Pinterest... you are a terrible, terrible time waster.... but you are such a wonderful thing as well.

This year, we are keeping Val day simple.  No gifts, Jim is still rather precariously employed (no thanks to certain promise breaking assholes who seem to think that friendship means we are their personal chauffeurs, and bank, but when the word "no" comes into play, ever so briefly, they turn their backs... $%*^heads - anyways, digressing).  I was not in a card making mood - kind went into overdrive with that before Christmas after all.  Also, my craft table is full of other projects - more on that to come, and I am working on some time consuming stuff too - knitty goodies.  Those you can only do one stitch at a time...

But I did give him a gift that I know would be a hit.  First off, yesterday, we went out to the Works for Linner - late lunch/early dinner.  He loves their PB/chocolate shakes, and they make awesome burgers - and have a decent gluten free bun!  It was delicious - and he got the gift of PB/chocolate and meat.  Love that place - but oh boy, it is a good thing we only go there a couple of times a year! They offer bottomless fries and soda - I am a big girl with an appetite, but I cannot imagine *anyone* (who doesn't have a tapeworm or is a professional stunt eater) needing seconds on anything after eating one of their burgers!  Many times I have brought leftovers home, especially if I have a shake!

Regardless, this morning, I kind of felt bad not having at least a card for Jim... but I was going to make him breakfast.  I remembered a Pin I saved awhile back and made him a Valentines I knew he would appreciate...

Bacon hearts!

So simple to do - I followed the instructions in the Pin, and had the requisite Kirkland Signatures bacon from Costco... so even if it was a fail, well, it's a yummy fail!

... and probably more appreciated than a paper heart :)

With sympathy

Just a quick A2 sized, top fold card.  Unfortunately, our neighbour had a loss in the family and we thought we would just drop off a little card with some words of sympathy from the two of us.  These were made with Local Stamp King stamps and markers, and some sentiment stamps I had from Hero arts and a music note stamp.

I put a white liner on the inside... did not notice initially that my stamps were a bit curved on the block...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sassy Troy Boy

Sometimes you just want to try to get a nice picture of someone... or the dog... and sometimes they just like to give you sass back...

He just keeps sticking his tongue out at me!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Mr. Potter, here is a penguin for you...

I have been crafting lately, but they have been rather time consuming projects... and I have been update lazy too.  Anyways, this is a little project I made for an OTT bird swap.  I started out with a little crocheted pattern I found on Ravelry.

The black body was crocheted in the round and shaped to make the head.  Then it was stuffed with poly fill and the colour changed and the beak crocheted on to close the piece.

The original pattern called for a little oval piece of felt sewn onto the belly.  I decided to do better and took some unbleached roving wool and needle felted it to the belly of the piece.  I tried to do a nice firm felting and shaping and quite like how it turned out.  It adds some nice shaping and texture to the piece.

The original also just had the basic body shaping.  I really felt it needed the flippers and the little tail, so I cut those from craft felt and sewed the flippers on.  The tail hung too flat, so I made a slit at the base of it and folded it so it had a bit of a jaunty little lift.  Both were sewn on with beading thread - it was what I had in reach.

I took a little bit of that wool roving and added them to either side of the head to make the whites of the eyes.  After those were felted on firmly, and I was happy with the shaping, I took two size 8 matte black Toho beads and sewed them on for my penguin's eyes.

Finally, I took a little wood heart cut out and painted it orange.  One side was super rough, so I actually glued a piece of orange washi paper on it, and varnished the entire piece.  After it dried, I hot glued the piece to the bottom of the penguin.  Unfortunately, my hand slipped when I did that, and there is a bit of mess along one edge, which I tried to fix, but by then, it was too late for me to start again.

Regardless, I am happy how he turned out, overall.  He actually balances quite nicely on the little wood base.  Jim is calling him Pingu and makes those silly Pingu noises when he sees him.  He is not Pingu... he is one of Mr. Potter's penguins.  Anyone else ever read that book?  Loved it... hate that Jim Carrey turned it into a movie!

Friday, February 05, 2016

Pork in Spicy Peanut Sauce...

I was going to make one of our favourite sweet and sour pork recipes tonight.  Except, when I went to go look for a can of pineapple pieces, I found that I had none... and I felt too lazy to go to the store.

Also I started too late in the day to make another spicy pork in peanut sauce recipe we like, with the slow cooker... so I found a couple of other recipes and mashed them together, and it turned out quite nice!  Jim liked it, we served it over white rice and it is a keeper!

Pork in Spicy Peanut Sauce
serves 4-6

2 lbs pork loin, cut into 1" chunks
vegetable oil
1 red pepper, trimmed and cut into large chunks
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small knob ginger root, minced
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cup water
3 tbsp soy sauce (gluten free)
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water

Blanch the broccoli, rinse under cold water, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine peanut butter, first measure of water, soy sauce, honey, red pepper and cayenne, and mix until well blended.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in large pan over medium high heat and saute pork until browned all over and cooked through.  Set aside on plate.

In the same pan, saute onion, garlic, and ginger until soft, over medium high heat.  Add red pepper, and broccoli, and saute lightly for a minute or two.  Add pork and accumulated juices back to pan and saute for 1 minute.  Stir peanut butter mixture up and add to pan, cook on high heat to boil for 1 minute.  Stir corn starch mixture well, and add to pan, stir well and boil until thickened.

Serve over hot rice.

Next time - I will add a dash of fish sauce and replace some of the water with coconut milk and see how that goes.  Also, sprinkle some fresh green onion slices on top, and chopped peanuts!

Notes - I used the veggies I had on hand.  This probably would be nice also with snow peas - yum!