Thursday, February 20, 2014

Crispy Whole Wheat Waffles

It has been a long time since I have posted a recipe and there is a reason. Last year when I started this blog I had these great dreams of making up recipes and whipping up fantastic meals effortlessly and without spending a lot of money. I had been stalking food blogs for awhile and thought, hey if they can do it, I can do it.
I now look back and realize that at that time I must have unexpectedly been whisked away to OZ and then made my way back home without even realizing I was there. I totally wish I would have known I was there because I so would have joined the lollipop guild and floated around in a bubble with Glinda. OK, so off topic. Anyway I realized that right now I am not great at developing my own recipes, and if I want to write here more often and include recipes on a consistent basis then I need to take a different approach. On my way back from OZ I realized that I am way better at taking someone else's recipe and adjusting it to fit our tastes and health goals. So that is the direction I am going to take for right now.

These crispy whole wheat waffles came about from this recipe Classic Waffles. Waffles are our Sunday morning go to breakfast. When I ask Ashlyn what she wants for breakfast her answer is always waffles. These are vegan, whole wheat, and freeze fantastically. Instead buying frozen waffles from the grocery store I keep a bag of these in the freezer for a quick breakfast option during the week. I have tested and retested this recipe and I recommend that if you try this you make it just as written otherwise they may not come out crispy and may stick to your waffle iron. I promise I have tried this recipe for at least 6 months now with different ingredients and this is the only one that comes out perfect every time. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Crispy Whole Wheat Waffles
Makes 6 waffles

2 Tbs chia seeds
6 Tbs hot water
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a small container stir together the chia seeds and hot water. Let this sit while you put the other ingredients together. It will get all thick and gel like, don't worry that is normal.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

3. In a measuring cup or small bowl whisk together the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the chia/water mixture and whisk the wet ingredients one more time.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until mixed. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes.

5. While the batter is sitting warm up your waffle iron. *I use a regular waffle iron, not Belgian, so there may be a difference if using a Belgian waffle iron.*

6. Once the batter has rested and the waffle iron is hot spray your waffle iron with non stick spray. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the iron and close the lid. Cook the waffles until golden and crispy.

7. Enjoy with your favorite toppings. Some of ours are real maple syrup, peanut butter, fruit (those are warmed up frozen cherries in the pictures), or chocolate chips. Ashlyn highly recommends a waffle face with chocolate chip eyes and nose and a syrup mouth.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DIY No Sew Shag Rug

I have caught the DIY bug and this is my first project that I am going to share with you. I don't know how many of you have looked for area rugs lately, but I got tired of it really quickly. I found a lot of rugs that I liked alright, but did not love and I REALLY did not love the price tags of $200 to $500 on up.  So, I decided to start searching online to find DIY rugs. Now, a huge stipulation was that it could not involve a sewing machine because as of right now sewing is on my to learn list. My sewing machine just sits there wondering why I don't use it and I glace it's way and then run away in fear. I am not sure why I do this, but I will be conquering my fear soon.

Anyway after a lot of searching I found a tutorial for a DIY Shag Rug which once I saw I fell in love with and knew that was what I had been searching for. My way differed from the tutorial I found and actually ended up being cheaper than my inspiration, so YEA! If you are not bored with my rambling yet go ahead and scroll down to get a tutorial of how you can make your own DIY No Sew Shag Rug.

Your material amounts are going to differ based upon how big you want your rug. I made a 4 1/2 ft by 7 ft rug for my dining room, so that is the size I am going by. If you want a smaller rug you won't need as many materials.

3 yds utility fabric rug liner (This is what I used) I highly recommend this as it is extremely soft!
18 yds of non-fraying fabric (This is what I used) I did 9 yds each of two different colors
Scissors or better yet rotary cutter and mat
A lot of time!

Cost: I paid $150 for all of my materials. I was able to get everything at least 40% off.

I will warn you first that this took me about 3 weeks to complete, but I am so happy with the outcome that I would definitely do it again.

1. Measure your rug liner to the size that you want your rug. I ended up cutting off about a 1/2 yard from my liner to get my size. Then trim up the edges to make sure you end up with a row of full squares on each side.

Now start cutting your fabric. You need to cut it into 1/2 in by 4 in strips. My fabric was 59 in wide, so I was able to get 1080 strips out of one yard. Yep you need to get that many strips 17 more times for a total of 19,234 strips. Told ya you needed a lot of time. I found that cutting the strips was the worst part of this project so that is why I would cut about a yard at a time of each color and then move on to the next step.

How to cut your strips
*I started doing it this way and then half way I wised up and got a rotary cutter and mat. Highly recommend going with the rotary cutter. Completely worth the money because it will save you time on this project.*

Lay your fabric out and measure 4 inches from the end.

I always have a little helper hiding in the background

Cut through both layers.

Take the ends of your strip and line them up.

Cut it in half.

You should now have two 30 inch strips. Lay out your strips.

Every half inch cut a slit. I did this all the way down the strip.

Once your slits are cut finish cutting all the way across.

This is how big they should be.

Now you may get some odd shaped ones, but don't discriminate they all go to the same cause. Oh, and once it is done you can't even tell there are some odd shaped ones in there.

Now for the fun part! Making 19,234 knots!

Slip the fabric through one hole and into another.

Tie it on up. If using more than one color alternate your colors.

Now, when you start the second row skip a row. You will not thread two pieces of fabric through the same hole.

See, can't tell you even skipped that row.

Two rows down, forever to go!

And 3 weeks later we are finally done!

Now the little one hiding in the above picture is asking for a purple rug for her room, which I will be starting on now.