Sweet Life Daily

a blog about a back-to-basics kind of living

A Sweater From a Another Mother

I meant from a different sweater… This time I chose to cut up a thrifted, pure cashmere GAP women’s hoodie (in light gray, of course) for my little growing model.Image

I’ve now done a few of these cashmere baby sweaters (not that we need so many in SoCal) and I’m obsessed with how cute they are. It took me 45 minutes from start to finish to leisurely cut and sew it by hand (not including the time I sew in buttons, as an amateur, and later removed them). Here is a visual summary of how the hoodie went a few sizes down:

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Eyeballed it and cut it.

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Looks pretty even. Let’s sew!

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This is such an easy and a rewarding project! AND now there is one more sweater salvaged from the landfill. Can’t go greener than that! Well… maybe with a few green patches on the elbows. ;)

Cashmere Sweater Cashmere Sweater back

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

DIY Baby Sweater from Scarf and Scraps

When it gets cold, I put my trust in wool and cashmere. Naturally, I want my baby to don the fine threads, too. I had a plaid cashmere scarf laying around that I never wore (no wonder) and some old scraps from a dress. The scarf looked just the right width to make a sweater. I poured a glass of red and went for it – no ruler, no pins, no cut outs (all this definitely not because I can do this with my eyes closed)… I used one of his sweatshirts as a guide but not expecting much as the final outcome, I only took a few quick pictures.DSC02525 DSC02526

I sowed the sides together, but figured it would be more comfortable with a bit of stretch. I had enough gray knit scraps to extend the sides and for two sleeves (one of which definitely got gypped :) And right around here I started feeling pretty hopeful!

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Cuff the sleeves, add a collar of sorts, patches on the elbows and magic! I’m thinking that this cashmere alchemy is very fun!

securedownload-1Here is my little man, sporting his homemade longies and new sweater.DSC03026I hope this is helpful to someone out there. I am always looking for DIY sweater ideas, so please share if you have one!

Happy sewing!

Some Bread is Better Broken

It’s a good life when there’s homemade bread. And red wine, of course. The two are inseparable, in my opinion. That’s my communion.

Better Broken

Better Broken

I bake. But let’s just say it doesn’t come with ease. Still, one day bread cravings got the best of me me and I decided to try my luck at making it from scratch. During my search for a recipe without a bread machine I stumbled upon an easy to follow, funny Food Wishes’ Video  for a no-knead ciabatta. Amaaaazing stuff. I tried a number of other recipes, but this is by far the easiest, least labor intensive, quickest, (as far as clean up goes) and delicious bread I have made. The Food Wishes’ Recipe is as follows:

4 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp yeast
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt

You will need 18 + 2 hours, though, to let the dough rise. Still, the process is a piece of cake. Tonight at 8pm I doubled the ingredients (the bread doesn’t last more than a day because it gets devoured!), mixed them and cleaned up in just over five minutes. Tomorrow, at 2pm (18 hours later) I will transfer the dough into baking pans, coated with butter or oil, and let it rise two more hours, under a clean towel. Later, at 4pm (2 hours later) I will preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and bake the bread for 35-45 minutes. After letting it cool, this perfection will be ready to be dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and homemade hummus.

Doubled Recipe

Doubled Recipe

Freshly Cut

Freshly Cut

Let me count the reasons I love this bread (thank you, Chef John!):

-homemade from scratch

-easy to make

-quick (10 minutes of prep and clean up, not counting the hours the dough just sits there, making itself ;)

-economical (the jar of yeast will last you… forever, at the rate of using only 1/4 tsp per batch, rather than the 2 1/2 that most recipes call for)

-delicious and oh, so breakable…

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Enjoy!

Homemade Hummus Spread with Balsamic Vinegar

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. And I just HAD to make hummus one day. But oops! i forgot the tahini! Instead walking to the nearest market a city block away, I decided to experiment. What ensued was a delectable surprise. This simple recipe is supposed to be hummus but the replacement of tahini with balsamic vinegar probably strips it of that name. Nevertheless, it works beautifully as a healthy spread, or dip and has more of a kick. My fifteen-month-old gourmand approves, too.

The Perfect Combo

The Perfect Combo

Now, a word of caution. When I make things like this, experiments or not, I don’t mess around, quantity-wise. This batch makes about five 10oz jars, so just over 3Lbs of hummus. Please adjust the portions to scale down. Also, you can, of course, use canned garbanzo beans. I buy mine in bulk from a local coop, then soak them overnight.

Ingredients:

6 cups soaked and cooked organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

8 garlic cloves (adjust, according to taste)

1 tsp salt

~ 1 cup of olive oil

~ 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used organic Vinegar of Modena)

Juice from 1 lemon or two limes

Blend everything in a food processor and there is hummus galore!

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Coming Along

Coming Along

My Good and Faithful Braun Gets the Job Done

My Good and Faithful Braun Gets the Job Done

Scoop into glass jars and share. ;)

This Will Last a Couple of Days ;)

Ready for Export ;)

It tastes great on bread (homemade, especially!) with slices of tomato. Enjoy!

20 Minute No Yeast Pizza

You want pizza. NOW. You check Pinterest for recipes (because no matter how hungry you are, you refuse to order it!). It’s looking grim. All the recipes tell you to let the pizza dough rise for an hour… Sigh… Still, you go ahead and start collecting your ingredients. But wait… what?! You’re out of yeast?!?!

Fret not. I, too, was in your shoes. :) I found a no yeast pizza crust recipe on EasyPizzaCrusts ! What a life saver! I am now stocked up on yeast and still follow the easypizzacrusts’ recipe for no yeast pizza every.single.time.

Goooood Skillet Pizza

Goooood Skillet Pizza

I have it all down to a science now (husband loves pizza and practice makes perfect!): I prep my toppings, make the dough, arrange the toppings and this whole sequence takes less than 20 minutes! Then I pop it in the oven and while it bakes for 18-20 minutes, I clean up the kitchen and pour myself a glass of wine.

Here is the recipe from EasyCrustsPizza for No-Yeast Pizza Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder (NOT soda!)

1/4 tsp salt (I use 1/2)

2/3 cup water

1 Tbsp cooking oil (I use olive)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pizza pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bolw. Add liquids and stir to incorporate dry ingredients. Knead dough by hand 6-8 times on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough thinly. Place rolled dough onto prepared pizza pan, add favorite sauce and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, depending on crust thickness.

This last time I made three pies, as I rolled the crust very thinly. I was out of baking pans, so I used a skillet for one of them. The pizza was so good, that I ripped off a piece and had to scramble for my camera to take a picture. I love the simplicity of the crust and the ease of homemade dinner in under twenty minutes.