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It has been snowing here for at least two weeks straight so I’ve decided to hunker down and make a whack of Christmas gifts and what I can’t make will be delivered to my door by the kind folks at Canada Post.  I’m planning a few things for Kate, one of which is almost done, and since I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this I’ll give a peek soon but for now here are some things I’ve been distracting myself with when I should be sewing / knitting / embroidering / baking / childrearing:

  • I’ve always been dismayed by my lack of snowflake making ability.  Mine always look like some weird Aztec symbol.  So this video on how to properly fold a paper square and these templates opened a whole new world of paper cutting fun for me.
  • I printed this latke recipe over two years ago and finally made them this week and they’re super delicious.
  • This series on modifying a sweater have me itching to go to Value Village.  Maybe in the new year.
  • I have eggnog bars setting in the fridge from a back issue of Living and I think they’re going to be phenomenal.
  • I’ve been really lazy with meal planning these last few months which has resulted in me coming home from the grocery store with a carton of milk, a bunch of bananas and no meal ideas but this little meal planner print out inspired me to sit down and spend literally hours with my cookbooks and plan the next two weeks of dinners.  I think I even saved some money at Sobeys.
  • This handmade nursery totally knocked my socks off.  The rug alone made me feel like such a crafty loser.

After a pretty massive food slump I’ve been spending lots of time in the kitchen thanks to a third member of the household requesting a variety of specially prepared dishes.  So far soft tofu and sweet potatoes are acceptable but lentils are gag worthy and therefore get sneakily enfolded in sweet potatoes.  I figured I might as well feed us while I’m in there and have had some surprising successes.

I feel like I’ve been searching for a truly great macaroni and cheese recipe for years.  I’ve tried ones with four ingredients, ones with fancy cheeses and crumb toppings, stovetop ones, ones with synthetic cheez but I they were all bland and didn’t reheat well at all.  I’ve finally found the holy grail of mac and cheese, though it doesn’t actually use macaroni.

Here’s the recipe.  I just use old cheddar and it’s been great every time.  Just looking at this photo makes me sad that it’s all gone.

I also bought a slow cooker despite having some of the worst meals I’ve ever had courtesy of our old one.  I broke it in with some lasagna and though I had low expectations I really enjoyed it.  I combined a couple of recipes but basically I added some garlic and herbs to a can of crushed tomatoes, then mixed a container of ricotta with some baby spinach, mozzarella and parmesan and Chris layered it all with uncooked lasagna noodles and left it for three and a half hours.  It was creamy and delicious.

Also: I’m not a big apple person but Honeycrisps really are as delicious as everyone says they are.  I believe I even chose one as a mid-morning (which is often eight a.m. lately) snack over Halloween candy the other day.

We batted around hip and ironic costume ideas for Kate for weeks but left the actual construction until the eleventh hour so in the end we went with whatever was easiest which also happened to be the cutest.

 

I mean, come on!

We had a wooly cardigan that Chris’s grandmother had made for him as a baby and these soakers and I made the bonnet, tail and hoofs from a pair of my tights making it the best kind of costume; homemade from things you have on hand.

I couldn’t find a bonnet pattern that I was satisfied with so I drafted one myself which was so hard but so rewarding.  I used some faux shearling that I bought in Japan for stuffed animal making and the lining material is from a thrifted baby blanket.

The best part of it all was that Kate slept for over twelve hours straight the night before for the first time ever so we were all in delightful moods.  All the candy in the world can’t top that.