Misc. Sunday :-)

Scotch Eggs, Fruit Salad, and Salted Caramel Cookies
See the Detailed menu and sources for recipes, or skip directly to the Scotch Eggs recipe.

Craft Projects:
Ms. Boylese worked on an octopus scarf. The Animator's Wife worked on crochet croquet mallet covers. Jess worked on a miniature flower painting.
Links and more photos of the craft project may be added later.
In the mean time, check out the ladies' blogs:
Jessvii Artwork


Spirit Crafts

This weekend the Ladies of Craft Night are taking a field trip to Maryland for the 7th Annual Dodging Diabetes Charity Dodgeball Tournament! Only one of the ladies (myself) will actually be playing, but the rest are coming as cheerleaders. As such it was only appropriate that we spend an evening making spirit props!

Cheerleading pom poms are super easy to make and only require two materials: trash bags and duct tape.  Cheap and easy? Those are my two favorite ingredients! I wrote up the full tutorial here.

We also made some spirit fingers. Is that what they're called? I found blank fingers in the children's crafts sections of the local Michaels. I used glitter paint and very neat handwriting to write out the names of our teams and the name of the company sponsoring us (DNS Made Easy). I think we're ready to win this weekend!


Strawberry Frosting

Working on anything homemade requires equal parts creativity and humility when you have a baby in tow. Why humility? Because when baby comes first (as she should), sometimes you have to face the fact that some of your projects are not going to be done to the same standards as they usually are. For instance, last week I discovered I can decorate brownies with one hand while bouncing baby on my knee with the other.

They may not be the prettiest brownies ever, but they were tasty, and Hubby's coworkers appreciated them nonetheless on Valentine's Day.

The strawberry frosting I whipped up for the hearts was super easy. Most recipes for from-scratch strawberry frosting called for pureed strawberries. Since the frosted hearts were a last-minute idea, rather than running out to the store to buy strawberries (which aren't in season in the middle of February anyway), I used strawberry jam instead. It turned out so delicious I'm saving the recipe for future baking adventures.

Strawberry Frosting Recipe

Makes 1 cup.

1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup strawberry jam
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup half & half

In a large bowl, beat butter and strawberry jam until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar. Add the half & half, then beat in the remaining confectioners' sugar. Add more half & half or confectioner's sugar as needed to produce a good spreading consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Crafting Hodge Podge

Jess worked on an embroidery kit (used mostly satin stitches).
Stacy worked on diabetic-friendly Valentine's Day deserts (white frosting) as well as regular ones (pink frosting).
Gbob worked in clay on a Hedwig owl figurine (she used this Hedwig tutorial).
Sarah worked on a motorcycle-style jacket.
The boys worked on taping a Retro Nick podcast.

Shepard's Pie by Sarah (see the Shepherd's Pie recipe on her blog!)
Bread by Stacy
Veggies by Jess
Guinness Brownies by Gbob


Mac-y, Craft-y Night

Menu: Host Gbob prepared Sloppy Janes, which are like Sloppy Joes but healthier (recipe from Gourmified website). Sarah prepared a delicious mac n' cheese (her recipe appears on her blog, Speak Boylese). Stacy fixed a healthy salad. Jess made a coffee cake for desert.

Crafts: Gbob put the finishing touches on her Jack Skeleton ornament. Jess worked on origami elements for a homemade Valentine's Day card for her hubby. Sarah worked on a cowl scarf. Stacy worked on a very special crochet wedding blanket (similar to this one).


The Easiest Wheat Bread Recipe

As Jess already posted, last Sunday the Craft Night Ladies got together to make some homemade sausage! It was a lot of work, but since all of us are on a mission to live naturally without food additives and all that junk, at least it was an economical way to get additive- and sulfate-free sausage. The recipe we used was that of Ms. Boylese, and you can get it here.

Usually our gatherings are potluck-style and centered around dinnertime, and this was no exception. My contribution for the night was a delicious loaf of 100% whole wheat bread.

This recipe is so easy, even the mother of an infant can find time to do it. There is no kneading involved! Simply mix the ingredients together, let it rise, and store the dough in the fridge if you don't have time to bake it right away. And the best part is, it is a true yeast bread. If you'd like to try it, pop on over to my personal blog for the recipe.



The gang did homemade Italian sausage.
Unfortunately, inclement weather kept Jess away.
See How to Make Sausage on the Speak Boylese website.


Time off

The ladies took some time off due to colds, the holidays, etc.
Next week we're "off" too because we're celebrating someone's birthday.
To see what Jess has been up to during the break, visit http://jessinman.blogspot.com/


Sun Nov 13

Everyone went to Sarah's for some yummy brisket. After the meal the ladies worked on:
Jess - dish towels
Stacy - gift tags
Gbob - finishing her Jack Skeleton holiday ornament
Sarah - homemade candy glass


Sunday Nov 6

Everyone crowded into Jess' tiny apartment for beef enchaladas (sorry guys, forgot to ask if spicy food was OK). Then the ladies did various projects:
Jess painted wooden toy cars with acrylic paint to use as Christmas gift tags.
Stacy worked on preparing gift tags with stickers for the later addition of a photo.
Gbob worked on making a holiday Jack Skeleton out of polymer clay.
Sarah worked rapidly to complete a knitted loopy scarf and then began a baby's knitted hat.


Halloween 2011

Another great pumpkin-carving party at Stacy's!


Jewelry Crafting

General supplies: Choose your beads plus wire cutters, jewelry pliers and crimp beads.
General directions: Follow this tutorial.
Our necklaces:
  • GBob's Necklace (top left) - Use jewelry wire and make 3 or 4 strands of equal length, interspersing slightly larger beads for variety. Thread pendant onto necklace. Attach all strands to a multi-strand clasp.
  • Jess' Necklace (top right) - Thread all beads onto jewelry wire and close with a lobster claw clasp. Symmetry is important.
  • Stacy's Shell Necklace (above) - Follow directions for Jess' necklace.
  • Stacy's Crochet Marker Bracelet (above) - Use six large lobster claw clasps to make crochet markers and attach them to jewelry chain
  • Stacy's Yarn Spinner Necklace (right) - Attach yarn spinner and beads to a long crocheted strand.