Monday, July 25, 2011

Mama Gets Busy

Gracie learned to nap (sort of)! And started going to bed like a sweet baby, at 7pm! Everyone knows what that means... time to sew! And knit! And cook! It's fabulous. The best part is she's happier overall too because she's well rested.

That's my good girl :) Never too early to love books.

So I've been enjoying getting back to a little me-time, which allows me to be creative. I've missed making things. The first thing I made for Gracie was this sweet denim jumper, made from scraps of my absolute favorite skirt. I very loosely based it off a dress we got as a gift, but it's mostly pattern-less. I hate onesies on their own and pants look silly over cloth diapers, so we got a lot of wear out of this... in the 3 weeks it fit. My chunker is already in 9 MONTH CLOTHING! She's 14.5 lb or more by now... at 11 weeks.

Speaking of cloth diapering, the most annoying thing in our first couple weeks was that we only had disposable wipes. I'm not even going to tell you how many went through the wash, and how much of a pain it is to pull disintegrated wipe bits out of velcro. But I don't have to worry about that anymore! Voila, 2-sided flannel wipes. One side has polka dots... the other says "I love Mommy" and "I love Daddy." A much needed reminder when she's screaming through a diaper change! I made 30 for less than $5 AND got to learn my new-to-me serger. Good times.

Number 3 has to be my favorite project so far. I adore this little dress! I made it out of scraps, too, from my second favorite skirt. I wrote about it 2 years ago. Yes... Gracie and I totally matched the first time she wore this to church. I wish I'd gotten a picture, except maybe not: my skirt has been well worn over 2 years, while the scraps were stored and are still bright and crisp. Oh well. I LOVE this pattern (Simplicity 4243), but next time I have to make the neck bigger. Remember that 14.5lb baby? Yeah... she's already outgrown this one, too.

Maybe one of these days she'll slow down enough to wear a special dress more than once! In the meantime, I have a good friend due in about 3 weeks, so all these tinies are taking a vacation to the other side of town. Then back to me, for next time! It's so good to be back to "normal."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lime Dimes

I bet you were starting to wonder if I had a chance to be creative now that Gracie’s here. Well… so was I. Honestly, the most creative thought I have some days is, “Wow, let me figure out how the paci ended up THERE!” Wonder no more! Baby Girl took a nap this afternoon so Mommy decided to meet her sweet tooth and citrus obsession, plus a burst of creativity, in one fell swoop. This is a combination of a couple recipes. I mixed the Lemon Crinkle Cookie and Martha Stewart’s Lime Melt-a-ways, with an extra dose of limeyness for entertainment sake.

If you could capture bliss in a small round circle, this cookie would be it. Frighteningly wonderful. It’s like a mini bite of heaven.

And, as every fancy cookie deserves a fun name, these are called Lime Dimes. Why? Because I'm the mother of an infant and everything in my house rhymes. That, and the cookies are best tiny for 2 reasons: So you can completely enjoy the melty lime flavor, and so you can eat more of them... oh yes :)

Lime Dimes
• 1 stick butter
• 1 c granulated sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 egg
• Zest of 1 lime
• About 2 tbsp lime juice (very limey flavor! Original called for 1 tbsp, feel free to decrease)
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 1 ¾ - 2 c flour
• Powdered sugar to dust

Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla, egg, zest, and lime juice, blend until smooth. Add dry ingredients just until mixed. You want the dough to be stiff enough to shape – start with 1 ¾ c and determine if you need more. When it doubt, err towards too soft because it will firm up in the freezer. Shape dough into 2 logs on parchment or freezer paper. You want a log with a 1” to 1 ½” diameter. Roll in the paper and freeze until firm.

To bake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Unwrap a log and slice it into ¼” rounds. Place on a cold baking sheet. Dust with powdered sugar (I put it in my tea strainer). Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until no longer shiny but NOT BROWN (just starting to brown on the bottom, but you can't see that while its cooking). Once out of the oven, dust with sugar again for that extra sweetness. Let cool on tray for about 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack lined with another sheet of parchment paper – otherwise, the cookies will collapse through the rack. Restrain yourself as long as you can, or eat immediately.

I honestly can’t tell you how many cookies this makes… maybe 5dz? We ate them too quickly to count!