Thursday, May 22, 2014

Crochet Swim Suit for 18-inch Journey Girl Doll

When you have a name like clever, crafty, cookin' mama... you really should live up to your name.  I realized the other day that I had been posting a little bit of "clever", a little bit of "cookin", but not a lot whole of "crafty".  This is not to say that I haven't been crafty, I've actually been cranking out a ton of crafts, I've just had not a ton of time to post about them.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek of something I whipped up two days ago.  Two out of my three girls now have Journey Dolls (from Toys-R-Us), which is the thrifty, economical (and might I add pretty adorable) solution to the much more over pricey American Girl Dolls.  With a full week of blue sky and sunshine around here, my daughter's thoughts have suddenly turned to darting through sprinklers and plummeting down slip n' slides.  Of course their dolls need some swimwear as well, to watch all the festivities in, right?

Journey Girl crochet swimsuit

So I went looking for some free swim suit patterns, only most of them were for the 18-inch American Girl doll size.  The only trouble with that was, the America Girl's are built like defensive linebackers in the neck and shoulder area.  The Journey girls, on the other hand, are pretty slender throughout their frame.  I decided to create a pattern specifically for this type of doll.  That's right. No pattern, just flying by the seat of my pants.  This aqua blue suit above was my first attempt!  Not too shabby, eh?  Last night I went ahead and tried to recreate the same pattern for my second daughter, who thought her doll needed a green suit.

Swimsuits for Journey Girl dolls
I was able to tweak a couple elements of where the center ruffle was, and smoothed out some of the between the leg area.  I think this turned out rather nice.  I didn't really see the need to add straps to the shoulder area, as this would make it a lot harder for the girls to put the suits on their dolls.  I am busy testing this pattern for a third time tonight, then I am thinking about sharing it or selling a pdf file of it for any of those of you who are interested.  Just thought I'd give you a little sneak peak.  

Super cute doll suit!

No worries, more crafts are coming soon!  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Teriyaki Beef Skewers (Meat on Sticks)

One of my favorite cuts of meat to eat is London Broil (flank steak).  Especially if it is marinated in a delicious sauce first, cut nice and thin, and served up sweet and tender.  Matter of fact that is typically my go to requested meal for special occasions like Mother's day or my birthday.  Now that BBQ season is upon us, I was looking up ways to jazz up things on the grill.  My hubby Mr. D is a big fan of skewers.  Meat on Sticks.  He can't get enough of them.  When I saw this little recipe float by on Pinterest, I knew we were going to have to try it.  Feast your eyes on: Teriyaki Meat Skewers!

Teriyaki Beef Skewers

Okay.  I'm gonna pause for a second in case you want to smell or lick your screen...

Seriously though, doesn't that look delicious?  And just like my London Broil recipe, it is only two ingredients.  That's right, all you need to make these wonderful meat on sticks is: meat/flank steak (obviously)... and a really good Teriyaki sauce.  Namely, Yoshida's Gourmet Teriyaki sauce.  We happen to get ours in a vat/jug at Costco and it tastes great on anything!  In the original recipe they made their own sauce, but seriously, if you have the best tasting sauce in the land ready to go, why not make your life easy? Simply place your slab of flank steak in a seal-able zip lock bag, and pour some of that magic Yoshida's sauce in.

Let it marinate a while in the fridge.  I tend to flip it a couple of times while it's in there, just so both sides of the meat get evenly coated.  When you are ready, place it on a cutting board (discard marinade sauce), and get a sharp knife.  Thinly slice the meat into 1/4 inch strips.

Next you take some bamboo skewers that have been soaking in water for a few hours and gently "weave" the meat onto the sticks.  My flank steak was short, so I ended up putting two strips per bamboo stick.

I'm almost sure that this is the most beautiful picture of raw meat on sticks that has even been taken in the history of mankind.  Look at that lighting folks... just lovely.  Next you want to heat up your grill to medium high.  Grill them on one side for about 3 minutes while brushing on some extra sauce as it is cooking.

Can you smell them grilling yet?
Flip them all over to the other side and cook for 3 more minutes.  Keep brushing on extra Teriyaki sauce for added flavor.

Sizzling deliciousness right there!

You want to make sure that the meat is cooked to about a medium rare, though I like to head into more of the medium zone personally.  It's up to you.  Also all I care about is that delectable sauce!

Teriyaki beef skewers - the close up
After that, just pile them high on a plate and watch people run from everywhere just to get close to you.  I think we had two neighbors peering between fence posts after these babies came off the grill.

Run, don't walk to your nearest plate of skewered meat
These were so good by the way!  Here's a "meat-cam" close up

We ended up serving ours with a bit of teriyaki rice... yummy!!

Heat up a little extra sauce and pour it over the skewers for an extra pop of flavor.  These were so fun and easy to make.  You could make mini ones and serve them at a party, not to mention I'm sure this would work for chicken as well.  Mr. D just called me after I put up this post to tell me we should make these again.  Like tonight!  Enjoy!

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