Friday, September 17, 2010


I call myself a guerilla crafter-- but not because of some political statement I'm trying to make through cardstock and hot glue. It takes a lot to motivate me to craft these days so, when I come across a project I deem worthy of my time, I strike aggressively and seemingly out of nowhere. And so it was with this cutey-patootie yarn octopus.

I came across this gem in the August issue of Martha Stewart Living and *knew* this was the project to bring me out of my crafting coma. The materials were easy enough - cotton yarn, scissors and a styrofoam ball, plus a little thread for the eyes. The instructions were simple, too. And with our little bundle on the way this winter, I thought this would be a lovely homemade token of Mama's love.

I'm happy with the way he turned out, though I think he could use a few touch ups and an accessory-- a bow tie perhaps? We shall see. You can find the step-by-step instructions for this little guy right here.

Have a great weekend! x 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

summer on a stick

It was an absolutely gorgeous Labor Day weekend for us here in the Northeast US! And what better way to celebrate the long weekend than with a delicious grilled lunch, eaten outdoors and shared with family? Especially if the said meal combines all your summer favorites, and comes on a stick. Because everything is better on a stick (hot dogs, apples, ice cream-- think about it...).

Succulent shrimp, smokey sausage, creamy red potatoes and sweet local corn, married by a super-simple-but-super-delicious garlic herb butter, come together in these skewers of summer awesomeness and the flavors are just amazing. This is the stuff I'll be dreaming about during the dreary, snowy months of winter. Not that I'm thinking about winter yet.

Summer Shrimp Skewers
with Garlic Herb Butter

{Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens}

Serves 4

  • 12-15 fresh or frozen medium shrimp
  • 2 ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 1/2 pound baby red potatoes
  • 1/2 pound kielbasa (or other smoked sausage), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 green onions, cut into 2-3 inch sections
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garlic herb butter*, for serving

1. If you're using frozen shrimp, thaw, then remove shells and devein. Remove the husks and silks from the corn, and cut cobs into ~1 inch pieces. [Note: if you're using wooden skewers, the corn may be difficult -if not impossible- to skewer without almost stabbing yourself and/or snapping the skewer. If you don't have metal skewers, I would suggest breaking each ear in half and grilling them beside the skewers to save yourself the trouble.] Soak wooden skewers for at least 20-30 minutes.

2. Cook the potatoes, covered, in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Add the corn, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Thread your shrimp, sausage, potatoes, onions and corn (if you can manage it) among five or six 10-inch skewers. 

4. In a small bowl, combine some olive oil (more or less 1/4 of a cup) with salt and pepper to taste, and add any additional seasonings that float your boat. I used some garlic powder and a bit of paprika but you could use Old Bay, Italian seasoning, your favorite grilling rub, whatever you like. Brush the seasoned oil over the skewers (and corn, if grilling separately).

5. Grill skewers over medium-high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until your shrimp are bright pink and opaque, turning about half way through. Serve immediately with garlic herb butter, and lemon wedges if desired.

*Garlic Herb Butter

Melt approximately 1/4 cup butter with 1-2 minced garlic cloves over low heat. Allow the garlic-y goodness to permeate the melted butter for about 10 minutes, and add some fresh chopped herbs -like parsley straight out of the garden- right before removing from heat.

Dunk or drizzle your grilled skewers into the savory garlic butter, pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade and enjoy the rest of summer's bounty. x