Sponge Bob Comes Alive

Sponge Bob Comes Alive

Making one three year old very happy on his birthday! All from a painted cardboard box!


Quinoa, Asparagus, Kale, and Artichokes

GetAttachment.aspxWe have beautiful fresh kale in the garden, and the asparagus is coming up nicely, too.  Hmm… what to make with these in combination?  Found this lovely, vegan, and nutritious recipe from Avocado Pesto.  It is very good, quick, and luckily we had what we needed on hand.

Quinoa with Asparagus, Kale, and Artichokes
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  20 mins
Total time:  30 mins
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • ¾ pound asparagus bottom inch of spears discarded, the rest cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 2-3 cups kale, chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, broken into smaller pieces
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Parmesan, freshly shredded (optional) (omit for vegan)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  1. Rinse quinoa in cold water. In a medium pan add quinoa, lemon juice and zest and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a cover, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  2. In a pan heat sunflower oil (or vegetable oil) over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until just starting to brown – transfer to a bowl. To the same pan add asparagus and cook 2-3 minutes then add kale and cook until just starting to get wilted.
  3. Add artichoke hearts and walnuts and continue to cook for a couple minutes. Add garlic back to the pan and mix to combine.
  4. When quinoa is fully cooked add it to the pan with the vegetables and mix. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and scallions.

Kale Chips

We have some beautiful kale in the garden – have had it most of the winter. Here is something new to try:
1 bunch kale – I’m not sure how much this is, I just loosely filled up the salad spinner
1tbs olive oil
1tsp season salt  – I used a mixture of Spike seasoning and coarse salt.
Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Carefully remove leaves from the stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and spin dry with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt, mix well. Layer onto the parchment paper.  Bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, about 15 minutes. I turned mine once during baking and they turned out nice and crisp. The second photo shows the finished chips.


Baby Watson Quilt

B&W quilt 2

This quilt is made for a newborn soon to arrive.  Babies like to focus on black and white images, so I created this floor quilt for playtime.  Thinking it might just be a bit over-stimulating at times, I put a soft blue polka dot on the back so the stimulation can easily be tuned down.  I wanted to put town and road fabric on the back so the quilt could be used as a play mat when Baby Boy gets older, but shucks, couldn’t find town and road fabric at the last minute – so much for my planning!  Also – I didn’t have a pattern for the front of this quilt, so it’s a bit, shall I say, “folksy”.

The photo looks a little pinkish and grayish here and there and that is just shadow and reflection from the wood floor onto the photograph – oops! The quilt actually looks very black and white.


Update: Here is little Cameron enjoying his quilt!979717_10200465582175573_940499849_n


Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

Tonight I made a dinner that yielded rave reviews from my husband. Mmmm, home cooking! This recipe is great over mashed potatoes.



Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 lbs round steak
3-4 Tbs flour
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Olive oil
1 cup sliced onions
4 peeled sliced carrots
14-1/2 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1. Combine flour, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Cut steak into serving size pieces. Dredge in flour and brown on both sides in hot oil.
3. Add licked onions and carrots, stir in hot oil briefly. Ass meat and vegetables to the slow cooker.
4. Combine tomatoes, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce, pour into slow cooker.
5. Cover. Cook on low 8-10 hours, or on high 3-5 hours.

I added a cup of frozen peas shortly before serving just to give the dish a little more color. My mother was a 4-H cooking judge, and always looked for a pleasing color and presentation. If the dish met her high expectations, she would declare, “This gets a blue ribbon”. I think she would have awarded me a blue for this dish.