Sewing Love

This past winter I’ve fallen back in love with sewing.  I’ve always liked to sew and I even took courses at University. Many projects have been made over the years.  Most of them gifts, the odd item I keep for my own home.

My University courses left me with the ability to complete most basic sewing steps but also left me with the skills necessary to create my own patterns and construct from scratch.

I plan to share projects as they are made, link to some of my favourite tutorials and share some of my own tips along the way.

Before I jump into my latest creations here are just a few that I remembered to catch on camera from the last couple of years:

Custom Christmas Stockings

It’s tradition in my home that everyone has a handmade Christmas stocking.  My mom made mine and I’ve made ones for my husband and my children.

It’s especially exciting when I get to share our tradition with other families including the ones I’ve made for my nephews as well as the set below that went to a long time family friend’s home.

Custom Christmas Stockings | www.jenniferdyck.com

Custom Baby Blankets and Bug Play Mats:

My family and close friends know that I get excited when I hear about the pending arrival of new babies because I get to make a blanket!

It’s been a long standing tradition in our family to give new babies a handmade quilt.  My Grandma taught my mom to hand quilt in large frames, my mom taught me and now I’ve branched out to making creations with my sewing machine.

Grown children that are now young adults still come up to me and tell me “hey, I still have that quilt your mom made for me when I was born”.

Every quilt or sewn creation is made with love, often custom tailored to meet unique characteristics about its forever home.

Custom Baby Blanket 2013 | www.jenniferdyck.com

Baby Play Mat | www.jenniferdyck.com

Upcycled Stuffed Owls:

Owls have been very popular these past few years and I figured I might as well jump on board.  Since I don’t have any girls to dress, this cute thrifted sweater came home to be turned into adorable little stuffed owls.

Upcycled Stuffed Owls | www.jenniferdyck.com

Upcycled Dress into Mug Rugs:

Mug rugs are a new obsession and you’ll find them all over my house.  This chevron sequined thrifted dress made the most adorable mug rugs.

I didn’t even know that mug rugs were a thing until this past fall when my husband’s aunt gifted me one from her collection. I instantly fell in love and have been making them ever since.

Mug Rug Upcycle | www.jenniferdyck.com

The Zipper Pouch:

Zippers.  I had them mastered about a decade ago and decided it was time to dig way back into my memory bank and dust off my skills.  It would be embarrassing to tell you how many of these little guys I’ve made in the past 6 months.

This polka dot zipper pouch was made with an old metal zipper from my mom’s stash.  It was one of the first I’ve made and still one of my favourties.

Polka Dot Zipper Pouch | www.jenniferdyck.com

School of Sewing:

This brings me to the School of Sewing book by Shea Henderson.  I ordered my copy online this winter and have slowing been working my way through many of the projects.  It’s a great book to refresh your sewing skills.  I look forward to sharing my School of Sewing creations with you all soon!

School of Sewing Book | www.jenniferdyck.com

If you love to sew, I hope you find inspiration in the projects I’ve shared.

If you love to create, get out there and keep making the world beautiful!

Always…Jenn

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Grandma’s Famous Waffles

My mom has made homemade waffles for decades.  They are light, crisp and delicious.

On summer weekends you can find anywhere from one to five little boys lined up at my mom’s lake home kitchen counter waiting for steaming hot waffles to be dropped on their plates.

If leftovers happen to exist, us older generation slide in with our plates hoping we might get a taste.

I make waffles in our home too but my mom’s are always best.  Maybe it’s her waffle iron (possible), maybe it’s some secret twist she puts on the recipe (doubtful) or most likely it’s because she has mastered every step to her own perfection over the countless batches she has turned out.

Storing Leftover Waffles

If you happen to find yourself in a waffle surplus, allow them to cool on rack(s) in the kitchen.  Once cool place them in a resealable bag or container and put them in the freezer.  You can heat them directly from frozen in the microwave or for a crispier texture pop them in the toaster.

They store equally well in a sealed container on the counter for 1-2 days and make great snacks.

Grandma's Famous Waffles

  • Servings: 18 waffles
  • Print

Grandma's Famous Waffles | www.jenniferdyck.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron as per instruction manual.
  2. In a medium bowl, stiffly beat the egg whites and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on low (hand held or stand mixers work equally well) combine the egg yolks, milk, canola oil, flours and baking powder until moistened.
  4. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour the stiffly beaten eggs whites into the large batter bowl. By hand, gently fold in the egg whites.
  6. Pour batter over the centre of your waffle iron grids.  Depending on your waffle iron this might be anywhere from 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of batter or more.
  7. Close waffle iron and bake until golden.  About 2 minutes.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you have used all of your batter.

Rhubarb Walnut Muffins

Rhubarb.  It’s the first taste that summer is almost here on the prairies.  These Rhubarb Walnut Muffins are a family favourite that can be made regular size, mini or into a delicious moist loaf.  Best served with coffee or enjoyed as a snack on the go.  No matter where I take them I’m always asked for the recipe.

Rhubarb Walnut Muffins

  • Servings: 24 muffins
  • Print

Rhubarb | www.jenniferdyck.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups finely diced fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray two muffin tins with canola oil cooking spray on line with muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, canola oil and the egg until well combined.
  3. Add milk and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together; the flours, wheat germ, cinnamon and baking soda.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in rhubarb and walnuts.
  7. Divide the batter into the prepared pans.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes:
Mini-muffins – makes 48. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
Loaf – makes 2. Bake at 325F for 55 minues.

Summer Veggies

Eat More Veggies

Vegetables are a consistent and large part of the meals and snacks that I prepare at home.  This spring as I was getting excited about the prospect of growing my own backyard garden I realized that I only have a finite number of hours in a day and I don’t always want to make room for the time needed to grow everything that I want.

Finding a Farmer

Insert CSA – Community Supported Agriculture. This year, my family has invested in local farmer Will Bergmann‘s CSA garden.  Will’s farm grows a garden and shares the produce with their CSA investors, that’s me! Each week since June we have been receiving a tote full of fresh Manitoba grown fruit, veggies and herbs.

Veggies: Fun, Delicious & Rewarding

It’s been fun using all the rhubarb through project #usealltherhubarb:

 

The Canola Oil Pastry recipe is really neat.  You freeze the oil for a few hours so that it acts like a solid fat.  Rhubarb custard pie always reminds me of my Grandma.  She would make these pies every spring and I would walk over to her house after school every day in June until I found one waiting in her fridge to eat!

It’s been delicious getting creative with all the mint!

It was really easy infusing the canola oil into the mint and my favourite oil based chocolate chip cookie is Judy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Judy is a fellow Home Economist, recipe developer and food stylist.  I always know if it’s a Judy recipe that it will work, be tasty and a repeat in my kitchen.

And it’s been rewarding watching my kids get excited about what’s going to arrive in the bin.

It makes me feel so proud when my kids get excited about fresh, whole, healthy food.  I truly believe if you get them involved in food young, you will have them involved for life.

Make it simple and teach your toddler the names of all the foods in the produce section or get complicated and teach your pre-schooler knife skills (yes, I was that crazy).  Even the messiest of times have turned out to be rewarding and I take pride in teaching my kids the importance of learning to love good food.

My CSA adventure has saved time shopping so I can spend more time eating, planning and playing!

Always…Jenn