Friday, January 25, 2013

Wool Felt Baby Booties

 These are my hand sewn baby wool felt shoes.  I think I might make some for myself. :)
 These baby booties are really easy and fun to create.  
 I found the idea from the purl bee, but tweaked my pattern a little, as you can see.  
My shoes are the red frilly ones above.  The purl bee shoes are the ones below.  
 You should check out the purl bee though.  The site has such adorable ideas.

 I first made my shoes from super cheap felt I purchased from the local craft store.  I found out from my mom, who makes her own felt, that the cheap stuff falls apart when machine washed. 

I want the little kiddo to be able to get dirty while wearing these.  
The Material Girls Quilt Shop is the only local quilt shop I found that sells wool felt and is machine washable.   

This is what I used:
  • wool felt
  • embroidery floss
  • ribbon of your choice (I used ball ribbon)
  • scissors
  • pins
  • needle
  • button
  • sharpie marker
First, you will want to cut out your pattern. If you go the to the pearl bee, you can print the PDF for free.  I looked at the pattern and made mine little different size and shape.
Sew your ribbon (if you want ribbon) to the top of the shoe wall.
 Fold the long piece of the pattern in half and mark the middle.  Do the same thing for the sole of the shoe.
 Fold the wall of the shoe up over the sole and pin on the halfway mark.
 wrap the two ends of the shoe wall to the front of the sole, and pin.

Start sewing the sole of the shoe to the wall of the shoe, by using the buttonhole stitch. 

 Once you have stitched all the way around the shoe, tie the two loose ends in a knot.
 Thread the loose ends through the back of the shoe and cut.
 Now, make your second shoe. 
 I add a wooden button to add a little more contrast.  I like the detail.  
 Now your shoe is complete. 

I may sew Velcro to the buckle so the little kiddo won't loose it's shoe. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vegetarian and Vegan Substitutes

Vegan cooking is sometimes difficult when your favorite recipe calls for eggs, milk, or butter.  Well, here are some vegan substitutes that may help.

I am not vegan, but my boyfriend is, so I have learned to cook meals that both of us can enjoy.  The transition has not been hard and I feel healthier when I am eating a vegan diet. 

Soy milk or Almond milk  
1 cup milk = 1 cup soy or almond milk

Heavy cream
Coconut cream
1 cup soy milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Let the soy milk and lemon juice sit for 5 minutes.

Sour cream
Plain soy yogurt

Cream cheese
I love Tofutti's cream cheese.  It tastes like cream cheese, but is a little sweeter.  
(Tofutti also makes a bomber ice cream sandwich) 

Coconut milk with lemon juice.

Tofu scramble for scrambled eggs.
Eggs are used as a binding agent in baking.  
These act as a binding agent:
Flax meal and water
1 egg = 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water.


Earth Balance veggie butter or other brands of veggie butter.  
Canola oil; 1 cup butter=3/4 cup canola oil

Chicken broth
Use veggie broth

crumbled soft tofu can replace ricotta cheese
medium firm to extra firm tofu, crumbled  
Nutritional yeast replaces Parmesan cheese.  
Nutritional yeast is non-active yeast.  Be careful not to buy brewers yeast or active yeast.

I love to use extra firm tofu in veggie burgers.  I mix bread crumbs, extra firm tofu, catchup, mustard, chopped onion, salt and pepper and what ever else sounds good to make a perfectly firm tofu burger.

Vegan meat
Yves makes good substitute meat such as ground beef, hot dogs, chicken strips, beef strips, bologna, Canadian bacon, and more.  I have tried other brands, but this one is my favorite.  Many people wonder why you eat meat substitute if you don't like meat.  Well, some are vegan because they do not want to harm animals or want to live a healthier life.   Substitute meat is low in calories, and high in protein.  

If you have any suggestions or new ideas, I would love to hear your feedback. 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vegan Orange Zest Banana Bread

This orange zest banana bread is so flavorful.

  I was going through my freezer today and saw three bananas that I peeled and froze in the fall.  I also have lots of oranges that are ready to be eaten, so I used one in the bread as well. 

Tip: Peel and freeze your ripe bananas if you are not ready to use them. It works really well and saves you a trip to the store!

This is what I used to make my bread

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance butter spread (room temp.)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup Silk lite soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • zest of one orange
  • one small squeeze of juice from the orange, after you have used the zest
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1/4 cup nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts)
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

mix together the butter, soy milk, agave nectar, sugar, and vanilla.  
Add the baking soda, baking powder, and flour and stir together.  
Next, stir in the bananas.  Then add the orange zest, squeeze of the orange, chocolate chips, and nuts.  
Stir together and pour into a greased bread pan.  
Put the preheated oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 45-60 minutes.  You know when it is done when the center is no longer liquid and the top is golden-brown and puffs up. 
 Take the loaf out of the pan, let cool, slice, and devour. 
Just a warning: this bread is amazing!  The orange zest is what makes the bread. 

Vegan Butter Bean and Mushroom Soup

This is a delicious, hearty soup that's great for cold, snowy days. It's also vegan and fat-free.

  I was looking for a good slow cooker recipe since it is a lazy, snowy Saturday.  I looked through my recipes and found a simple potato soup in my quick-fix vegetarian cookbook.  It called for potatoes, celery, garlic, salt and pepper, vegetable broth, and water.   I started with the basic recipe from the book and built from there.  

This is what I used:
1 can butter beans, rinsed
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
½ onion, chopped
3 large potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery sticks, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
¼ cup pearled barley
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste 

Combine all ingredients in the crock-pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours.
After you dish up the soup, let it sit for a couple of minutes and