Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

I came up with this cold pomegranate quinoa salad over the summer. I had just discovered quinoa and was experimenting with different ways to make it. Then I got a great deal on pomegranates but had no clue what to do with all of them! I combined the two and ended up with a crisp, fresh salad that can be used as a side dish or even combined with some diced, cooked chicken(or maybe leftover turkey!) for a light meal. Even with winter approaching, it's nice to have a taste of summer and eat something cool and fresh!

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad, easy fresh salad by Over The Apple Tree

  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 cucumber diced
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/4 c finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 sliced scallions
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Prepare quinoa according to directions on package...I boil 1 1/2 cups water, then add 1 cup quinoa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer till quinoa is tender. I place cooked quinoa in a bowl and cool in fridge. While that's cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Dice up the cucumber, remove pomegranate seeds from half a pomegranate, finely chop cilantro, chop scallions, peal 1 carrot and shred using a cheese grater. Toss all ingredients together then drizzle olive oil over top, Add salt and pepper to taste, toss together. Refrigerate.

Can't get your hands on pomegranates? Try subbing blueberries!

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pasta Fagioli

Here's another great cold weather recipe. This one comes from my mom. She was telling me about this and how great it was forever. The way she described it didn't have me running to the store to buy the ingredients, but one day I decided to give it a's now one of my favorites. Topped with Parmesan cheese, it's part pasta dish, part soup and just great comfort food. It's even better the next day!

Pasta Fagioli Recipe by Over The Apple Tree

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb hot sausage
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. diced carrots
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes or two 16 oz(I prefer fire roasted)
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 can dark kidney beans(not drained)
  • 1 can navy beans(not drained)
  • 2 c. water
  • 5 beef bullion cubes
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups small dry pasta
  • 1 c. frozen green beans or peas
Wow, this is a big list but don't worry, it's easy! In a large pot combine gr. beef, sausage, onion, celery, and carrots. Brown meat and drain fat. While the meat is browning, cook your pasta in a separate pot, remove and drain just before it's totally cooked(al dente). After you drain the fat from meat, pour into the pot all the canned items, water, bullion and spices. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer 20 minutes. A few minutes before serving, I add in the cooked pasta and frozen veggies. The longer it sits the more liquid the pasta is going to absorb. This dish is thick and hearty, it is not meant to be very watery like regular soup. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread.

Pasta Fagioli recipe by Over The Apple Tree

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Upcycle Hand-Me-Downs

Turn Boy's Clothes Into Girl's Clothes

I have two sons and hand me downs are a wonderful thing! I have Rubbermaid bins full of boy's clothes and every six months I've always gone through the drawers and rotated clothes. Then, I had a daughter. This has left me with a pile of clothes leftover from son #2 and nothing for my daughter. I have a couple friends that send me clothes from their girls, which is always a special treat, but I still end up having to buy a lot. As much as we try to convince our husbands that they're crazy, the woman's section of the store is just as big as the men's, it's a lie. We just need more stuff and same goes for little girls!

Refashion boys clothes in to girl's clothes, upcycling tutorial by Over The Apple Tree

After seeing the idea on Pinterest, I thought I would try to upcycle some of the boy's clothes into girl's clothes. Here is my first attempt and I think it turned out pretty cute!

I started with a striped, long sleeved t-shirt and a brown men's t-shirt. As usual, I forgot a before picture, sorry! I placed a shirt that fits my daughter well on top of the boy's shirt to use as a guide. I trimmed the sleeves and sides to make it more fitted(remember to leave seam allowance). Then I cut around the neck line.

Now pin and sew up sides and sleeves.

When I looked online how to make a cowl neck everyone said just cut out a rectangle and sew to make a tube. I did that and didn't like it. It didn't hang lose the way I wanted so Here's how I cut mine out. This shape made it hang down lower and made it baggier.

With right sides together, sew side A to side B. 

Now you're going to take the bottom, flip it up and line up to the top. The right side will be out and the wrong side together. 
Diagram how to make a cowl neck shirt by Over The Apple Tree

With the shirt inside out, slide the cowl inside the shirt and pin the lined up edges to the neck line of shirt. Now just sew the pinned neckline, then turn shirt right side out.

Using a white t-shirt I made some fabric flowers and ruffles for the pockets.

Refashion boy's clothes into girls' clothes, Upcycling tutorial by Over The Apple Tree

Refashion boy's clothes into girl's clothes, Upcycling tutorial by Over The Apple Tree

I attempted to explain this as clearly as I could, please let me know if you have any questions.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Feeling Foxy

I am digging the fox trend this year! Have you noticed, they are everywhere! It might be because they are just so cute or possibly because of a certain viral video...anyway, I love them. Here is my contribution to the fashion trend of the season. 

Crochet Fox Creations by Over The Apple Tree

This little grey fox is my first attempt at Amigurumi. It took some time, but wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Isn't she so cute with her little flower?

Amigurumi grey fox by Over The Apple Tree

My fox hat is a super simple square design, but with the addition of some eyes and nose, turns into a cute woodland creature!

Crochet Children's Fox Hat by Over The Apple Tree

Children's Crochet Fox Hat by Over The Apple Tree

 I've been wanting to do a purse for a while. My daughter loves collecting little things and this bag is a great place to hold all her treasures!

Children's Crochet Fox Purse by Over The Apple Tree

Girl's Fox Purse by Over The Apple Tree

These crochet fox creations are available in limited quantities at my Etsy store now!

Support independent artists, designers and crafters this holiday season! Here are some great children's gift ideas I've found on Etsy and remember to check My Shop for more fun crochet accessories!

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