Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's put the FUN in Funnel Cake

I have mentioned previously how awesome my hubby is. Well, he took that up another notch Saturday night. 

It was the first "Full Day" of spring break vacation and he had made a yummy meal including some hand-cut french fries (that he soaked in hot water first to remove the starches and then dried in our salad spinner prior to frying- so worth those steps!!) After frying them quickly, they made a delicious complement to the rest of our healthy meal. 

After making the fries, we had the oil left over, which we normally would skim and save for next time. But MCP had another idea.

"Who wants to make funnel cake?"

My son ran for the cookbooks, we soon found a recipe and amended it to be dairy free, and off we went. 

We had never made funnel cake before, although my hubby did throw zeppoli's  (fried balls of dough tossed in powdered sugar) at an Italian Fair many, many years ago, so he had some experience frying dough. 

The recipe is as follows:

3 large eggs
2 cups plain almond milk (you can use regular milk if you like)
1/4 cup granulated sugar  (this is what is recommended- we are going to make them a little sweeter next time, they needed it...)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for deep frying
confectioners sugar for dusting on top when they are nice & hot! 

Special equipment:
funnel with approx 1/2" opening  (we didn't have a funnel, so we improvised)
candy thermometer (or instant read)
8" heavy frypan with straight sides 
Drain/strainer if you have it (drain on paper towels on a plate if you don't)

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add almond milk and granulated sugar and beat until combined.

Have the kids measure and sift the flour, baking powder and salt. 

Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet a little at a time and mix until batter is smooth. Add more flour or almond milk as needed to achieve the consistency of the batter being able to flow through the funnel.   

Poor oil in pan until it reaches a depth of 1" or so. Oil must be at 375 degrees. Be super careful of spatters! 

Put your finger over the hole of the funnel, add between 1/2 - 3/4 cup of batter in funnel. Hold funnel over hot oil and remove your finger, and carefully pour the batter in the center of the pan, spiraling it around. 

Cook the funnel cake until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Flip carefully and cool on other side for another minute or so. 

Remove and drain.

Sprinkle (or sift) confectioners sugar on top of hot funnel cake.

Share and enjoy with the ones you love!

VERY important : Only make as many as you are going to eat at that moment. You can't save funnel cake. It gets really greasy. Not good eats.

If you have batter left over, you can save it and use it for pancakes the next day. Waste not, want not! :)

Let me know how your funnel cakes turn out! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Nook: We heart Lauren Child!

We LOVE to read in this house. We all have books we read alone. Then at night each child has a book they are reading with each parent, since we switch off who has MAP and Little Miss O each night. Thankfully, we have an amazing library that not only stocks great books but has a truly helpful staff in the Children's Department! :)  

But sometimes it is good to have new ideas of what to read from friends. 

In our first installment (there will be more...lots, lots more ;)  you need to learn about Lauren Child.

I CANNOT say enough about Lauren Child, an incredibly talented author and illustrator, who created my favorite brother-sister pairing in Charlie and Lola. Each book starts with big brother Charlie saying "I have this little sister Lola. She is small, and very funny" 

I happened upon one of Lauren's books when MAP was 2 1/2 and starting to become a picky eater. Up until then, he ate just about anything. White spinach pizza was a favorite. And then, one day, he stopped.

So when I spotted Lauren's book, I will Never, NOT EVER, Eat a Tomato, I knew we had to have it. And kid you not, I was able to get MAP to try some of the foods in the book by calling them the fancy names Charlie gave to them. We made up our own silly names for foods and it helped us to expand MAP's repertoire of foods. 

The books range on every topic from sharing, to being responsible, wearing glasses or losing a tooth. The relationship between the siblings is wonderful and rings true. There is a Charlie & Lola tv series (and available on DVD) and it is fantastic as well!! Being an English show, the children have British accents, which MAP would imitate quite well, adding another level of fun to it! The music is infectious and these are the only dvd's that my children asked to watch again and again.

Not only are her illustrations lovely, (the most amazing collages with incredible patterns and life to them!!) her use of creative type make the books fun for everyone to read.  

As if she weren't talented enough, Lauren also created additional series that my children are enjoying now that they are older. 

Little Miss O is enjoying Clarice Bean series right now (recommended for ages 8-11). The illustrations are wonderful, the story lines are perfect for this age and they deal with friendships and Clarice wanting to be like her heroine from her favorite books named Ruby Redfort.

And then, Lauren came out with a book about Ruby Redfort (so now you can read the books that Clarice loves too- utterly brilliant!!) MAP enjoyed the first Ruby Redfort book and will be thrilled to learn the next one is coming out in May!! (Recommended for ages 10-13)

I don't know if Lauren Child sleeps at all, because between all this, she illustrates amazing classic books! Little Miss O and I read Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren that she illustrated and we enjoyed it all the more with Lauren's whimsical illustrations. 

Next on our reading list is Anne of the Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery, with cover art and introduction by Lauren!

Thank you so much Lauren Child, for all the amazing stories, with which I get to snuggle my little (and now, not so little) ones! You have given me ways to help ease fears (wobbly teeth!) or to teach responsibility, sharing and taking care of our possessions. I have never met you, but I feel a kindred creative spirit in you!

If you have a favorite children's author, please share! We are always on the hunt for new books! 

Read on!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vintage by Little Miss O

Little Miss O likes to choose her own outfits and disappears to her room after breakfast to come up with her ensemble for the day. I love to see what she comes up with. She is quite stylish for so little a thing.

Friday she completely outdid herself. She walked in the room and said "I am wearing this to school today" and struck a pose. 

and another pose

and another pose

If you are not a connoisseur of 70's vintage crochet, well, this is it.

There is a gigantic white pompom on top of the beret that wasn't captured in the photos. Note the long string on the mittens that normally goes inside one sleeve and down the other so as not to lose the mittens. Awesome. It's epic.

And yes, this was mine when I was O's age, made by my incredibly talented mom. I can't believe how good it looks after all this time...

I know there is a picture somewhere in my office of me wearing this, but I think this post needs to stand on it's own. Little Miss O deserves her moment in this too. 

Crochet On!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tortillas + Tuna = Terrific!

Not a typical St. Patty's blog post, but we had a great meal last night and I had to share!

My husband, (we'll call him MCP), loves to cook. Lucky me! And he is very good at it. Luckier still! MCP does tend to use a lot of pots and utensils, which leaves a pile of dishes at the end, but honestly, I don't care, because what we eat at home is better than what we get when we go out to eat at most restaurants! Last night, he whipped up an amazing meal that we devoured! 

There are no measurement in his recipes. Sometimes he will start with a recipe, but by the time he is done with it, it bears little resemblance to the original. But they are always incredible. If I don't ask him immediately what he has done and write it down, we may never have that recipe again. He's on to the next version of it. 

Well, he decided to make flour tortillas from scratch to make a Tuna wrap. mmm. so yummy.

Make the tortilla dough first. It needs to set for 30 minutes before you cut it up & roll them out. The recipe used for this was from (we fried them in a well seasoned cast iron skillet and they came our great!) 

While the dough is setting, sauté the veggies with a little curry spice (we like the William Sonoma african curry blend) and Bragg's Liquid Aminos (like soy sauce). There are asparagus, shitake mushrooms, baby bok-choy and garlic in here. 

Cook the tuna (It's wild caught Tuna from Trader Joe's- we love Trader Joe's!) in a pan with peanut satay sauce. (we like a Taste of Thai brand) 

Assemble, wrap up burrito style and enjoy. Finish off with a little Sriracha sauce (a thai hot sauce condiment.)

Little Miss O loved them too (minus the sriracha)! We put the flour tortillas to good use and made an awesome refried bean quesadilla for MAP, so all were happy. 

Go Thai one on!  ;)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sweet little bunnies in need of a good home

I do so LOVE a bunny slipper. Especially with spring and Easter around the corner. Yes, I realize it was snowing today...but I saw a crocus this week, so spring MUST be coming soon. Right? Right!! I do hope so. 

I just dropped these off to Rexer-Parkes yesterday, so if you know any sweet little baby feet that need a spring to their step, you've got some options!  Wouldn't they look sweet in an easter basket for baby or for a shower gift.

I bring you a plethora of bunnies in the softest extra fine merino....

cream with sage ears

 cream with pink ears

cream with baby blue ears

...and these awesome cashmere and merino blend in hot pink with lime ears, perfect for a little spring baby girl!

So cute, they make me almost wish I had a little baby to put them on. 

Keyword in there is ALMOST. ;)

Luckily, I have lots of little friends with babies to try them on, so I can get my baby bunny bootie fix!

For you knitters out there, you can make a bunny out of any bootie shape you like. I like this tried and true shape with a 1 x 1 rib cuff, which really stay on little feet, no matter how hard they kick. 

I make the inner ear & outer ear separately in garter stitch. I like to play with the colors and mix them up. Then I stitch them together. Then I sew all the ears on at once time. It takes some time, yes, but the effort is totally worth it. Just LOVE these! 

It may be time to make an pair in adult size. 

Hop on!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Poncho weather!

Well, it is almost poncho weather. Today was a little nippy, but little miss O has broken out one of hers and was rocking it yesterday. So it's time to break out the collection. Yes, she has a collection of ponchos. 

Here's one of the ponchos. The picture is old, but will have to do, since O barely stops moving about these days to take a non-blurry photo. Too busy perfecting her handstands and walkovers. I wish she could exercise for me too while she is at it...but that's another topic for another day ; )

Had intended to sell this one, but I asked O to try it on for me. And once it was on, it was hers. I'm happy with the decision though, could she look any happier? She is self styled by the way. She knows how to put a look together, don't you think? 

I did make a few others that happily I was able to put into my line, Loops by Keri, sold at Rexer-Parkes. 

For those of you that haven't been to Rexer-Parkes, it is a fantastically edited boutique located at 35 Gerard Street in Huntington, New York that carries all levels of labels, so you can find the perfect jeans, a fantastic fitting short (yes! they exist! and Rexer-Parkes stocks them every year! Sanctuary are my favs and I know there was a recent shipment...), perfect basic-but-not-boring tops for everyday and that special dress you need for that night out. Not to mention the perfect bags and jewelry and shoes to go with... All in one place!

To further enhance their offerings, Rexer-Parkes carries Loops by Keri hand knits for babies, toddlers and children. If you are in need of a baby gift, the perfect hat for your child or a special piece for that little one in your life, look no further! All items are designed and hand knit by me in New York. 

In store now are some ponchos perfect for this time of year!

This is perfect for running around, year round! ok, not in summer, but the other 3 seasons for sure! It is hand knit by me in the softest hand-dyed merino wool yarn, spun by a group of artisan women in Uruguay. O has one of these too (of course) and she has been wearing it for 3+ years now and it still looks great on her, so it's a worthy investment piece! Love the hood and fringe! 

Super soft pima cotton in classic pink with lavender trim. Perfect for indoor sweater use or outdoors. 

This one is a yummy cotton and soya blend. Love the orange trim! It just pops!

These two are a beautiful hand dyed wool that softens with each wearing. Perfect for indoor use and out!

For those of you that cannot make it to Huntington, do not despair! You can shop from home. In your jammies even. I won't tell.

I am going to go dig out my poncho now. It's a yummy turtleneck in a handspun thick & thin hand-dyed merino wool of greens with pops of blues. I must say, it's poncho perfection.

I promise to take a picture of that soon. 

And yes, I do custom orders if you need a bigger size or different color...just ask. Everyone needs a poncho! 

Poncho on!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Banana Bread

Happy Wednesday!

My kids got on their bus and now I am cleaning up the kitchen. I spy some bananas getting their brown on. There is no way anyone is my house will be eating them once they get more than a few freckles, so I know what time it is. 

I wonder, do my children purposefully leave them to brown knowing it will bring on a baking session? I would not put it past them, smart little kiddos that they are. But I digress...

I bake banana bread often. It is an quick recipe, utilizing basic ingredients that are always in the house and one loaf will mean a week of lunchbox treats and happy children. 

I have been asked for the recipe many times and have been delinquent in getting it to all the people that have asked. So, here you are friends:

Banana Bread

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. 

Grease up your loaf pan (I use Pam baking spray, but you can use whichever you like. )

Dry Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup of All Purpose Flour - to make this healthier, I now use 1 cup of all purpose flour & 2/3 cup of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour- no one can tell the difference!

2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

Wet Ingredients

3 medium very ripe (read BROWN) bananas
2/3 cup sugar (I cut back on this a little bit. Of course, if your bananas aren't ripe enough, use the full amount or a little more)
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract

Whisk all dry together. In another bowl mix all wet ingredients together. Then add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just blended. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes. This truly depends on the heat of your oven. My oven makes these in 40 minutes. A friend of mine who makes this often as well, her  oven takes closer to 45-50. So set the timer for 40 minutes, test and see where you are.

Now, once you've made this, you can get a little fancy. I sometimes sprinkle in some mini dark chocolate chips (don't use full size, they get too gooey and fall to the bottom since they are so heavy) 

Helpful tip- If you toss the chocolate chips in a tiny bit of flour before you fold them in at the end, they won't sink to the bottom!

You can swirl in a bit of peanut butter. Today, I mixed in a little raspberry and strawberry compote I made for a fruity version. Yummy!

There's the timer! Gotta go check the banana bread. Don't worry, I'll eat a piece for you ; ) 

Bake on!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Why Hello There. 

Glad you found me. 

A little bit about myself...

I believe we are all born with the need to create; it's part of the human condition.  But this need to create, this Creativity, must be nurtured - or it can fade into the background of a busy and cluttered life. So-Create the Opportunity to be Creative. I make time to express myself on a daily basis through what I make. It doesn't matter if it's knit, sewn, baked, or hot glued. What's important and most satisfying is that it is shared.

I love to knit, sew, quilt, and create, and I've been creating for as long as I can remember. Even though life has pulled in different directions, I always come back to creating with my hands.

I'm an FIT graduate (Fashion Institute of Technology), where I later created classes and taught. Following FIT, I went to Gerber Garment Technology, where I had the opportunity to work with dozens of fashion houses and apparel companies around the world. Later, I went to Ralph Lauren to implement a Product Data Management (PDM/PLM) system throughout the global organization.  While working at Ralph Lauren, I was bitten by the knitting bug when taught by an amazing colleague.  It would be accurate to use the word obsessed as I began knitting & designing knits in every free waking moment.

Friends and colleagues soon asked me to make them items I was wearing since they loved my designs, my combinations of colors and fibers! These amazing friends have been after me to get blogging and on Etsy for years now, so here I am! 

Etsy site soon to follow. 


It's in print, so now I have to finish it! 

Today, I did something I never do. I posted a picture of my son on Facebook. I know friends post pics of kids all the time, but I was always a little hesitant. MAP was wearing his new R2D2 hat (thank you ever so much to the lovely Shortstuff411 on Craftster for the inspiration and pattern reference. I had intended to make my own pattern, but as his birthday snuck up on me, it was helpful to have a place to start before I modified it! ) 

Just look...isn't that face priceless? He couldn't wait for me to properly finish it before trying it on (hence the yarn strings in the photo that are long gone now!)

It was raining outside and I thought it was the right thing to do. The look on his face is priceless and brought a smile to my face. With such a gray day, people could use a smile, right? After doing so, I instantly heard from friends I hadn't seen in so long, that I knew today was the day. This blog needed to happen- STAT!

Thanks for coming along this journey with me. Would love to hear from you on how you incorporate creating into your daily life. 

 Create on!