This entry could easily also be titled: No. 01: Be a Total Cliche. But I’ve been pinning things for awhile and it’s high time I started actually making them. I’ll plan on updating this entry as I attempt the various pins, because no one needs a whole post on one recipe or organizational method.
Anyway! Here goes.
Number 1/10: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole
This was a relatively easy recipe to make. I was totally craving something Mexican-inspired with black beans and sweet potatoes, and this just required chopping and baking. Easy. My thoughts for future recipe use: definitely dice the potatoes small (or plan on baking longer). Also: less cinnamon, and add some cayenne pepper and cumin. Perhaps tortilla chips, or a hard tortilla shell would be better than the soft tortillas. I love some good crunch. Tasty, though.
Number 2/10: Strawberry Drinking Vinegar
Relatively recently I went to an amazing meal via this cool new app called Dyne. During the meal we were served this super refreshing, absolutely delicious drink made from purple shiso leaves, vinegar, and some other tasty things. I couldn’t stop thinking about the drink and how a fruity vinegar drink is kind of the ideal beverage for me: refreshing and light, sweet but not cloying. Anyway, I found this recipe on pinterest and decided to give it a go. It’s maybe 30 minutes worth of effort: you have to use a food processor and make some simple syrup, but it’s easy. And it turned out super tasty! Even the boyfriend and my housemates were pleased with the result. Here’s some picture proof!
Number 3/10: Coleslaw
Recently some friends and I had a great October dinner of pulled pork sandwiches and dunkel beer. I was in charge of sides, and promptly decided that coleslaw would be a perfect mate for the meal. This straightforward and tasty recipe totally did the job. It maybe took me a little longer to prep than the recipe said (prepping veggies always takes longer than I expect!), but was still rather quick. Next time maybe I’ll slightly cut back on the mayo, or possibly up the amount of cabbage. (It’s also possible I did not use enough cabbage as I didn’t measure; I just used what was on hand.) Also, selecting a pepper with a hint of heat would probably be awesome, but even the bell pepper gives it a nice, crisp freshness.
Number 4/10: Berry Rosemary Cocktail
I loved this one! A friend decided to have a cocktail party for her birthday where some basic liquors were provided (gin and whiskey), and everyone invited was asked to bring some kind of ingredient with which to make a cocktail. There were some excellent cocktails made throughout the night, I can vouch! A highlight for me was suddenly declaring that I wish someone would make a cocktail with egg whites (a favorite of mine), and immediately being given the leftovers for a delicious whiskey sour that had just been made! Perfection. Anyway, this recipe was simple and I liked it. Sweet, but not cloying. Herbal. Some tasters would have preferred it be strained, but I liked the berry chunks. I almost forgot that the recipe called for simple syrup (which I had to make), but otherwise it was incredibly quick & easy. Two thumbs up!
Number 5/10: Sweet Dreams Baby Afghan
This was a true labor of love. Two of my first-cousins-once-removed (what a mouthful) each had a baby recently! They are adorable and I wanted to make them a little something to welcome them into the world. As I’ve been on a bit of an afghan kick and have been wanting to learn to make granny squares, I chose this pattern that little Harrison seems to enjoy 🙂 Things I learned in the process of making this: however much you want to be done with the project, do NOT cut your ends super short to avoid weaving them in (even though granny squares leave you with approximately 50 billion ends). They will come undone and the whole thing will start to unravel just creating MORE WORK. Ughhh. I was so mad, and the only person I could be mad at was myself. Bah. Here’s a baby to cheer us all up:
Number 6/10: Da Bomb Deviled Eggs
I was invited to a super fun Friendsgiving, and as the hostess expressly requested deviled eggs (and no one had yet taken on that job), I nominated myself. I had never made them before and was concerned that I wouldn’t do them justice. (I am an accomplished deviled egg eater, but that doesn’t mean I could recreate the magic.) Anyhow, this recipe was fairly easy. It came out a bit sweet to my taste, which I mitigated by adding a bit more vinegar and going with a dijon mustard (instead of honey mustard). After making these I vowed I would never eat eggs again (a total lie), and my house smelled like so many farts, but the deviled eggs got gobbled up pretty quickly so it was definitely a success! No pics because I was too slow, and mad at them for being so eggy, and then they were gone.
Number 7/10: 10-minute spinach lasagna
The name of this recipe is a bold-faced lie, but it was totes delicious and that’s what counts. There’s not much to share about this other than it was super tasty, straightforward, and made me significantly less hungry after I ate it. Boom.
Number 8/10: DIY Pillowcase Tote
Not that long ago I acquired a sewing machine. I think when I was in middle school I technically learned to use one in Home Ec and made a horrific apple pillow with a felt worm coming out of it. It looked something like this, but bigger and horribler. Anyhow. I have not touched a sewing machine since, and I wanted and easy project to start. This one seemed easy, but as I was not at a point where sewing in a straight line was in my skill-set, it was a bit harder than I anticipated. Also, the instructions seemed to leave out some steps… or perhaps I’m just a big dummy (equal likelihood, frankly). My favorite part of this project was that when I first finished it looked SO UGGO and ill-proportioned, and I was able to troubleshoot and make it significantly less awful. Yay for me! Plus, it holds things! That’s basically the whole purpose of a bag anyway. Check it out, below:
Number 9/10: Chunky Feather and Fan Crochet Afghan
This was a fun one to make! Once I got the hang of the pattern, it came together really quickly. I totally enjoyed working with a huge hook (it made me feel like an little kid using a giant crayon), and as I was making this for my grandmother who first taught me how to knit, it was also meaningful. For some reason I had some difficulty keeping the number of stitches the same on each row, but ultimately I kind of gave up and just made sure it looked right. Details – pah!
Number 10/10: Crochet Grocery Bag
This turned out to be a one-day project, which I looooved. The pattern was easy to follow, and it came together quickly. And it’s actually making me want to go grocery shopping so I can see how much I can fit into this absurdly stretchy bag! If the bag ends up working out well, I might make others for myself/friends because I have a ton of this orange yarn left over from another project.