Allergy-Friendly Fried Rice

OCT

Food allergies or intolerances? Take heart: you can still enjoy fried rice! This fried rice is amazing, and I like it even better than traditional fried rice. Just leave out the egg and soy sauce, make sure you use a good amount of onion, and your rice will be flavorful and delicious.

Start with a good drizzle of oil in a pan (olive oil is great, because the flavor is really tremendous with the onions and rice, but be careful not to let it start smoking in the pan). Heat it over medium-high heat.

Add some chopped raw onion (fairly large pieces), and cook for a few minutes till the outsides are browned but they are not mushy. There should still be some bite to the onion.

Stir in cold, cooked rice (yes, it works so much better than freshly-made rice). Heat through, stirring occasionally.

The onion flavors the oil, which coats the rice. So every bite has hot, onion-tasting rice with a light drizzle of oil on it. It’s delicious all by itself, but it also makes a great starting point for adding more flavor.

DSC_7603_1

To take it to the next level, add sesame. You can toast sesame seeds in the dry hot pan right at the beginning (before adding the oil), scoop them out, and then top your finished rice with the seeds. (This is beyond amazing. I had no idea sesame seeds had so much flavor. It’s my favorite way to eat rice now. :) ) You can also drizzle the finished dish with sesame oil.

Adding chopped avocado will boost both the nutrition and the sticking power of your dish–good fats keep you full, the creaminess really complements the rice, and the avocado flavor goes so well with onion (and sesame!).

One day I also had cucumbers, red onion, and dill to use up. So I made a quick cucumber salad and put it on top of the rice with the sesame seeds. It. Was. So. Good.

Quick Dilled Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • sliced cucumbers
  • sliced red onion
  • chopped fresh dill
  • rice vinegar
  • powdered sugar
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour a little vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Add maybe 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Add cucumbers, onion, and dill. Stir.
  4. Top with black pepper if desired.
  5. Serve over fried rice.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.savingbymaking.com/2014/11/allergy-friendly-fried-rice/

How do you like your fried rice?

The Hopscotch Tunic

1

Hooray! It’s Signature Style week over at Project Run and Play and I actually have an entry. (Shocker!)

I don’t really have a signature style when it comes to my clothes or kids’ clothes, unless you count “comfort rules” as a style :) But for Cara I’ve been loving longer tops with leggings. The longer tops don’t ride up, and the leggings are tight fitting enough that they stay out of the way but provide coverage and warmth for those pudgy baby legs :)

I’ve had this Hopscotch Top/Tunic/Dress pattern for several months now but was never very happy with the way it had turned out. The cover photo is adorable (and I’m a sucker for aqua anyway), but fabric choice seems to play a huge role in how this top turns out. Quilting-weight cotton is just too stiff and the finished product can look very homemade. The knit version I tried ended up too bulky for comfort, and buttonholes on the knit were a disaster.

I decided I needed a lightweight cotton. Not sure whether to order voile, lawn, gauze, something with rayon, something with spandex, or some unheard-of combination, I went with the cheapest option I could think of: re-purposing a thrift-store find. That way I’d know exactly what I was buying and I would be out all of $2 if I didn’t like the result.

DSC_7818_1

But looks like I shouldn’t have worried: I *love* the result!

This fabric has a really great drape and is lightweight but didn’t fly away while I was sewing it. I was able to use the existing hem in two places: the new tunic hem and the hem of the flutter sleeves (and the one-layer flutter sleeves are so much nicer than the double-layer recommended in the pattern!).

I even added a bow :)

DSC_7806_1

The buttons are from my stash (probably from an old shirt of my hubby’s), and I used contrasting light blue thread.

DSC_7845_2

The black leggings (the Baby Go To Leggings pattern, which is free, fast, and fabulous!) are from an old black t-shirt.

So, if “comfortable, re-purposed, easy care” counts as a style, then this little outfit just fits the bill! :)

Check out Project Run and Play for tons of fun!

 

Freezer Cabbage Slaw

HOLD ON(1)

Ever wonder what to do with fresh cabbage? It’s always so inexpensive per pound, but not too many people are actually fans of boiled cabbage, and one can only eat so much coleslaw without a whole heap of barbeque to go with it!

Besides making sauerkraut, I love having this cabbage slaw stashed in the freezer. It’s a great way to add some extra veggies to a sandwich (and did you know cabbage is actually a superfood?) as well as a nice crunch and delicious flavor!

Slice the cabbage just like you would for sauerkraut (quarter it, core the pieces, and thinly slice).

Slice up some other veggies: definitely include onion, carrots, and bell pepper, but probably anything would work well!

DSC_7120_1 Mix up a brine with vinegar, mustard, and a little sugar. Pour it over the veggies and freeze it. (See full recipe below.)

We like it best with sandwiches, but I’m sure there are many ways to enjoy this slaw!

Freezer Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 green pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 carrots, shredded or chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Instructions

  1. Mix cabbage and onion together with salt. Let stand one hour.
  2. Add green pepper and carrots. Place veggies into freezer-safe container.
  3. Mix vinegar, sugar, and mustard together. Pour over veggies and freeze.
  4. Defrost before using.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.savingbymaking.com/2014/08/freezer-cabbage-slaw/

For a really super sandwich, try this:

Butter two slices of sourdough bread. Mix some mayonnaise with mustard, chili powder, parsley, oregano, and garlic powder. Spread on one or both slices of bread.

Build the sandwich by starting with a piece of cheese and adding some good-quality lunchmeat on top. Pepperoni or bacon adds extra flavor, if you have some.

Pile on veggies of your choice (raw onion, sauteed onion and bell pepper, pickle, olives, tomato, etc.). Cilantro is also a great addition if you like it.

Add a little of the cabbage slaw.

End with another piece of cheese to keep everything from getting soggy, and top with your second slice of bread.

Grill everything in a medium-hot pan to get the bread toasty and golden, melt the cheese, and warm the ingredients.

Wish I had a photo for ya ;)

Don’t forget to stock your freezer with the last fruits of summer! You’ll be glad in the middle of next winter ;)

She’s Here! And Footed Pajama Pants

DSC_6870_4Hooray! Cara Elizabeth joined our family almost 7 weeks ago now–I can hardly believe time is flying that fast!

Camon has done a great job adjusting to the role of being a big brother. He loves his little sister and is learning how to be gentle ;) I can’t wait to see them interact more as Cara gets older!

DSC_7158_1

I’m hoping to post occasionally now that some things are settling down, but no promises….I do have lots of ideas and some photos already taken, so we’ll see what happens!

DSC_7139_1

I certainly haven’t been sewing a lot, but when I saw this pattern for Footed Baby Pants, I knew I had to make some. Since they’re newborn size, they take barely any fabric and I had some left over from another project. I love footed pants for babies just like the maker of the pattern (so those socks don’t get lost), and these are a great addition to Cara’s collection of clothes.

These were super easy to make. The hardest part was definitely the feet, but if you just stretch the fabric a bit and follow the instructions, even if they seem strange, it’ll work out. I added a small amount to the side seams of the pants because I wanted them to last a little longer than to 10 lbs, and that worked fine.

If you need a quick-sew baby gift or something for your little one, I highly recommend this pattern! Thanks, Abby!

Hopefully I’ll be back another day in the not too distant future! Till then, have a fabulous summer :)

Make A Baby Girl T-Shirt

baby tee

I love pink and purple, and over the last few years I’ve had several girl-colored t-shirts or tank tops that wore out, shrank too much, or were otherwise rendered unwearable.

Clearly I couldn’t upcycle them for Camon (although if you want your boys to wear pink, that’s totally your call!), but I hung on to them anyway. If this baby hadn’t been a girl, I probably would have either donated or thrown them out. But, hooray! Baby’s gender saved some fabric from certain destruction! (Or is that just delayed destruction?!… ;) )

I decided to make some 0-3 month sized tops and my pattern turned out super easy to sew and very versatile. You can make a t-shirt, add a ruffle and turn it into a dress, or use woven fabric with buttons and have a tunic.

To avoid the hassle of setting in sleeves, I drew a dolman sleeve-style pattern (the shoulder curves right down into a sleeve instead of having two separate pieces to sew together) based on a 0-3 month onesie. They all turned out well, but I guess it remains to be seen how they actually fit.

Trace a onesie on a large sheet of paper. (Tissue paper is great.)

It can be a very loose trace–the shape does not need to be precise. Just make sure the neckline is large enough to fit your baby’s head through :)

Curve down around the sleeves so that you’ve drawn a shirt-shape. You can make short, medium, or long sleeves. You could also just trace the armhole with no sleeve for a sleeveless top (see purple example at the end of the post).

DSC_6737_4

Cut out your pattern 1/4″ or 1/2″ away from the line you drew so that you have some room for the seam allowance.

To make sure your sleeves and neckline are symmetrical, fold your pattern in half. Trim away any excess and even up the neckline.

Cut two identical pieces from your fabric.

Make sure your fabric is doubled (so you’ll get two pieces from one cut), and then cut away!

Sew two seams. (1/4″ seam allowance)

1: Sew the shoulder seams together.

2: Starting at the lower edge of the sleeve–sew up the sleeve, pivot, and sew down the side seam. Repeat on other side.

seams

Hmmm…I guess that’s really 4 seams because there are two shoulders and two sides. :)

Hem the sleeves, neck, and waist.

For banded edges: Cut 2″ wide strips of fabric and iron them in half. Sew (right sides together, keeping the strip as a double layer) to each armhole, neckline, and the waist.

DSC_6730_1

DSC_6733_3

If you’re using knit fabric, stretch the fabric strip as you pin and sew so it will be slightly smaller than the armhole, neck, or waist. (Use the same procedure you’d use for attaching ribbing like is shown in this video. There are lots of other really well-done tutorials on attaching a band like this, so do a quick search if this is your first time!)

With your iron, press the strips away from the shirt.

DSC_6731_2

For hemmed edges: If the fabric is knit, you can just turn under a small edge and sew it down (it won’t ravel). If the fabric is woven, create a narrow hem with your favorite technique (the regular way or using a rolled hem foot).

DSC_6660_1 And you’re done!

If you make one, let me know!