Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Simple Tote

Recently I found myself frustrated week after week with my little guy rummaging through my diaper bag at church. He would always pull out the lotion and the hand sanitizer and want to open them and pour them out. I finally decided that the solution would be to have a separate church bag that would only have things inside of it that he could get into. So far it has helped keep him a bit quieter through Sacrament meeting. So without further ado, meet my new church bag!

Isn't it awesome! I love the fun fabric, and it was so simple to make. The ORIGINAL TUTORIAL called for much smaller measurements, which I cut out first and then quickly realized would be too small for our needs. I then re-cut the material and made a bag quite a bit bigger. Unfortunately I cannot remember the measurements that I used. I do remember that I measured my big church binder (for me) and used that as a base measurement so that it would fit comfortably inside along with all of my son's church items.

My only problem with this bag is that I want to make a million more. I keep dreaming up uses for a new bag. I think I might need one for the gym, one for teaching dance, etc, etc. Oh, and I will probably need one in a more discreet pattern so that it will go with a lot more and not be so flashy. Don't you think? And this would also make a great gift, or even a beach bag. See! Thee possibilities are endless. We'll see if I get around to making more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Ever Garlic Bread

I have been wanting to post this recipe for a very long time, but every time I make it I forget to take pictures. I finally remembered to take pictures last time I made. It is a frequent visitor at our table so I am thrilled to finally be sharing it.

Technically this recipe is called Hot Herb Bread, but I always think of it as garlic bread. It is a family recipe that my mother made a lot while I was growing up. That is probably why I love it so much!

Garlic Bread

1 Loaf French Bread (I always use wheat French bread)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Parmesan Cheese (for sprinkling)

Slice French bread in half lengthwise. Mix butter, parsley, dill weed, oregano, and garlic salt in a bowl. Spread over both sides of French bread. Put loaf back together, slice into pieces and wrap in tin foil. Bake at 400 degrees on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Unwrap bread and lay pieces open on top of the tin foil on the baking sheet. Turn oven up to a broil. Sprinkle bread with Parmesan cheese and broil until golden brown.

Make sure you watch it VERY closely while broiling it. It will brown quickly and you just want the cheese to be melted.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Easy Baked Ziti

I was recently searching for an easy baked ziti recipe and I came across this yummy dish from Taste of Home filled with cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese.

I know the picture is not super great, but you get the idea of how delicious and cheesy it is! It was a very simple dish to prepare, and I usually always have the ingredients on hand so that makes it even easier. Pair this with some toasty garlic bread and a side of vegetables and you have a simple, fast, and tasty meal.

Easy Baked Ziti

  • 3 cups uncooked ziti or small tube pasta
  • 1-3/4 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, egg, parsley, oregano, garlic powder and pepper. Drain pasta; stir into cheese mixture.
  • In a greased 8-in. square baking dish, spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce. Top with pasta mixture, remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer.
  • I have the best garlic bread recipe ever, and will be sharing it in an upcoming post, so stay tuned! I'm sure you could always use a meat sauce if you like to add more substance to your meal, although this dish definitely does not need it. And we actually don't eat a lot of meat at our house so I love finding good recipes without it!

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Car Caddy

    I made this cute little car caddy for my son for Christmas! He has LOVED playing with it. He especially loves to roll and unroll it and open and close it. But he also loves playing with the fun cars inside!

    I followed Jill's tutorial over at Homemade by Jill. It was a fairly simple tutorial so it actually didn't take me too long. I actually made it just a couple of days before Christmas on a last minute whim. You can tell that I am definitely not very good at sewing in a circle, especially with a zig zag stitch. Oh well, practice makes perfect right? And I don't mind that it isn't perfect. I made it and he loves it and that is all that matters!

    Some things I did differently:

    I used white felt for the numbers, instead of acrylic paint. I didn't have paint and I didn't want to buy any or bother with all of the stenciling and painting and drying. I just used fabric glue to secure them to the fabric. If I were to use felt again I would have sewn them on before creating the pockets.

    I also put white piping all the way around the edges. I like the way it looks better than just on the top and bottom edges.

    I just used canvas fabric because that's what I had, but I'm sure the duck canvas that Jill used would be a bit sturdier. Canvas worked fine though.

    It was a fun sewing project and I was proud of myself for giving something handmade to my little guy! I always think it is a little extra special when you make something for your children instead of just buying something. Probably just because I know that I have spent a lot more time thinking about them in the process of making a gift. (I also love purchased gifts for kids too, so there will be plenty of those in my future.)