day 3: soaked

Tonight I’m getting out the big orange bowls to soak me some chickpeas.

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While I love the convenience of opening a can, I am also quite cheap. Canned beans are expensive! But I also find them to be a little mushy. So I soak my own. The general rule is that they double in volume, but I suspect it’s a little more than that. No worries. If there’s extras, you just get a big ole freezer bag and throw them in the freezer. Make sure they’re nice and cool first, otherwise you will end up with a big lump that you will have to chip away at with a knife.

Anyway. I have honed chickpea boiling to an art and I have discovered that 40 minutes is the perfect time for a firm yet yielding chickpea.

I always worry that they will take on so much water, that the kitchen will be covered in beachball sized chickpeas when I come down in the morning. Hasn’t happened yet….

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day 2: chickpeas for veganuary

Have you heard about Veganuary? What could be better for this than chickpeas?

chickpea bag1

That’s right, nothing. Now, I’m not going to make this today because I’ve already had leftover hummus for lunch, but I love this idea.

Deconstructed Falafel Bowls!

It is on my list of recipes to try because while I love falafel, it seems like a lot of work. And I don’t even make my own!

There is another recipe for falafel bowls on that page, which I think I like better. Why don’t you make one and let me know how it goes…

day 1: mezze

Welcome to 31 Days of Chickpeas! I love them. They are cheap, nutritious and versatile. When I mentioned this series to Mr. Craftybites, he said “so you’re going to make me eat chickpeas for 31 days?!” Although that would bring me joy, no. Stay tuned for fun ways to play with and also eat the noble garbanzo.

MezzeToday we start off with our New Year’s Day Feast. This is our version of a mezze. The star of this meal is the marinated fish, but the hummus and ful are the glue that holds it together. We also have (slightly over) grilled halloumi, dolmades, baba ghanoush, olives, crudites, and baguette.

Chickpeas1On New Year’s Eve, I was at home soaking chickpeas and fava beans. You?

Marinated Fish

Today I made the fish from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. It’s pretty similar if not the same to this recipe. I’d go look for you, but I’ve got a baby attached to me. Make this fish and make sure to have extra bread for sopping up the juices.

There was also wine.

Mezze PlateAnd this is a what it looked like when it all came together.

Stick with me for 30 more days of chickpea chicanery. I can’t promise they will be consecutive, but there will be 31 at some point…

skull fashion

My daughter’s Hallowe’en dress lent itself well to a crafty bite. Because it is so small, I found it easy to do a little bit after dinner most nights. I usually broke it down into similarly flavoured pieces. One evening I would cut, or sew, another I would press. Some nights I did nothing, but it was ok-I could strategize for the next bite.

The pattern was McCalls 4351. This is what it should look like.

Aw. Isn’t that one angelic looking little baby? All pink with a little bow?

Here’s my girl, the Demon Horde.

Skull Dress 1Skull Dress 2

I also made a little bag for trick or treating. Pretty sure I got this pattern from bhg.com but I can’t find it right now. I made the straps too long somehow.

ETA: This is a pattern from All People Quilt. You may have to sign up for this one.

Skull BagThis post is long, long overdue. The little bean in this photo is just over a year old. She has since worn this dress on the subsequent Hallowe’en and this year my big preschooler was a kitty. Her then 3 month old sister was Supergirl. Next year, the dress will make a comeback. And it glows in the dark.

The crafty bites have been more like crumbs the last year….

totally tote

Remember that fat quarter club I joined? Well here’s what this Amy Butler fabric inspired me to do.DSCN3454That’s right. I made this tote bag, courtesy of Happy Zombie. I received and used three fat quarters within two weeks. This is unprecedented.

I can also say that I am not the worst top-stitcher in the world.

A few changes:

I made only one pocket.

I sewed the straps on a little closer because I wasn’t sure if I would catch the sides of the pocket otherwise.

I reinforced the strap by backstitiching before going down the other side.

It turned out the perfect size for magazines. Luckily, the recipient is a great fan of travelling with magazines.

saving through indignance

After we moved in here and I used the dryer a few times, I decided that it didn’t dry great and maybe needed a duct cleaning. So I called the man whose sticker on the was on the front. Easy. I was at work when he came, but the message relayed to me by Hubbo was that the dryer was fine and dandy. I was just putting in too much stuff. Too much stuff. Because I had only just taken a class in how to do laundry and was working on my practicum.

I started hanging all the laundry on a rack out of spite. That’s right, spite, of a man I’d never met.

It wasn’t really much of a change. I already had a rack going because many of my shirts don’t go in the dryer. The only things I didn’t hang were diapers, towels, and bedding. Until summer came along. The Loftorium is like an oven come 5PM so that most things will dry within 24 hours. Not so much in the rainy winter.

Anyway, I got $75 out of the deal.

The power company will give you $75 if you save 10% over a year. I signed up last July and a few weeks ago they cut me a cheque because I saved 21%! It was mistakenly addressed to Man.

Guess what I spent it on?DSCN3455This lot came from Raspberry Creek.

DSCN3458And this one came from Fabric Shoppe.

DSCN3462 DSCN3459And these two lots came from Bee Yourself Fabrics.

I can’t resist the mystery scrap package. Now all I need is a plan…..

the wrongest side of thirty

I seem to have had a week long birthday!

On Friday, I got a package from Earthly Goods. I had signed up for their four fat quarters a month club the week before and I hoped it would arrive for my birthday. I tried to wait until Monday, but I had to rip it open that night. For $21, tax included, and free shipping in Canada, it’s a great deal. You can choose from Beautiful Balis, Collections, or Kids Stuff. I chose Collections and got four pieces from Amy Butler’s Belle. This is not something I would buy, but it’s lovely and I already have a plan for it. They don’t really do online sales, so I encourage you to phone them and join up! Support this lovely shop that has just moved to their third location.

Sew Sisters has a very tempting Kona Solids club as well. Maybe Christmas…

On Sunday, I had a mini lie-in and a “pre-work” coffee break. I used this time to look up tote patterns on Pinterest, finalise my decision and print the instructions. I may have printed more than one, but since my sewing machine has a broken gear, I can only plan.

On Monday, my actual birthday, I was greeted by a pile of presents on the breakfast table. Man gave me the gift of cheese. One fancy cheese knife, two types of fancy crackers, fancy red pepper jelly, and a gift certificate to Les Amis du Fromage!

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Then two of my magazine subscriptions showed up.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, he then offered to drive me to the fabric store! I spent at least 45 minutes at Spool of Thread unchecked, but spent less than $100.

$20 on quilt backing and borders in Kona Peapod

$20 on fat quarter frivolity

$8 on Kona Solids for the stash

$12 on a Clover Chalk pen thingy

The woman in the store was super helpful. She gave me advice and opinions. I hate it when you ask salesclerks what they think and they say “Oh it’s up to you”. Like I’m going to come back to the shop in a rage because the colours didn’t match.

Tacos were proffered but I spent too much time gambolling to make it to the restaurant.

I also got a card from my parents with proceeds for an electric blanket. I plan to get a twin. Man has no need for any heat giving device. I see now how people spontaneously combust.

I received a phone call from my brother.

On Tuesday, I got a lovely card from some dear friends and a phone call from my BFF.

There was also wine. Nothing unusual there, just thought I’d mention it.

On Wednesday, I got two packages in the mail. Two! One from the aforementioned BFF containing a card about boobs and a director’s clanging board thingy. Now when I make my amateur {ahem} art films, they’ll look a little more professional. The second was from my in-laws, deep in the Welsh countryside. Kaffe Fassett’s Quilt Romance! Brilliant! Not only did I have one of his books on hold at the library, I had thought to myself how lucky Hayley was to get a Kaffe from Roy for hospital reading. Although she’s not at all lucky. Who’s going to wash Roy’s anorak and make sure he has that ratty bag?

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And then my brother and sister-in-law came over with more treats. Dog treats! Somersaults! These are so good, despite the fact they look like kibble. I recommend salty pepper. There was some cookies, nuts, and fancy gummy fruits. The cookies were mostly gone before they left.

On Friday, I ordered my electric blanket.

And on Saturday, we cheesed.

Cheese and Cracker Snacker