Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pony Up

Since I'm trying to just take it easy tonight, I thought I would download some recent photos and share a few with y'all.  Just because they are pretty cute. 

This is for B (that stands for Bench)'s daughter to wear to an SMU game in a few weeks.  I included a coordinating binky buddy too so baby M can cheer on her ponies in style!







And this was an order from Little E.  I love the Lilly Pulitzer fabric on front but it's the back that makes me smile...




In case you have not yet picked up on it, my latest obsession is a baby ruffle butt.  Holy cuteness!


Consulting The Italians

May I just tell you something that drives me up a wall?  Of course I may, hello, my blog!  One phrase.  Two words.  "I'm Italian."

Let me elaborate. 

I don't have a darn thing against descendants of the big boot.  I love EVOO.  And the movie Under The Tuscan Sun.  And tiramisu. 

But I don't think that just because your triple great grandmother left the big boot for the great American dream on a boat generations before you were born has a darn tootin' thing to do with your likes and dislikes and general personality today.  Unless you still chat with her about the old country.  And that's just a whole other ball of wax, considering she passed decades ago.



I'm hot tempered because I'm Italian.

You're hot tempered because you need anger management classes and etiquette lessons.

I love pasta because I'm Italian.

You love pasta because everyone loves pasta.  And for the record, the Italians didn't actually invent pasta.  Tip of the hat the Chinese on that one.

I love food because I'm Italian.

Um, find me a group of people who don't like food.  I like air too but am pretty sure that's not because of my great great great granny.

I'm loud because I'm Italian.

I know lots of Italians who in no way, shape or form resemble RHNJ or Jersey Shore cast members.

I go tanning because I'm Italian.

Oh I'm pretty sure your ancestors didn't give a hoot about being tan.  You're tan because you have some sort of Oompa Loompa fetish.  Get out of the cancer bed and find a dermatologist.  Or therapist.



Guess what?  I'm American and don't give a flip.  I bet very few "I'm Italian" folks actually have that many roots in the boot anyway.  And why is that nationality so much more prideful on their history than most others?  I've yet to hear anyone say "I like that because my relatives whom I've never actually met used to live in Sweden" or "Australia" or "India."

I think it's great when people keep traditions alive today.  I love that people celebrate togetherness and family memories over mounds of food.  My non-Italian family does that too, you know!  And I think its fun when you share personality traits with your close relatives.  But that blanket excuse...to me it is nearly as infuriating as when someone tells you they do consulting for a living. 

Consulting?  Consulting on what?  On how to run a business?  Build a bridge?  Watch TV and email from bed at the same time?  I "consult" people in the middle of the grocery store, fabric store, and coffee shop.  People frequently seek my "consulting" skills as I am walking my dog and they are lost in my city's maze of one way with two names streets.  Get over yourself and just tell me what you do for a living! 



I am clearly in a grumpy mood today.  My sinuses that have been out of whack on my right side are now working their way across my big head to the left side too.  This rain and air pressure are making matters worse.  I plan to loaf about in bed the rest of the day and come back tomorrow with more cheerful topics.  Like baby ruffle butts.  And puppy kisses.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I read this recipe a few days ago and have been craving the muffins ever since then! I am not even a big muffin fan but the cinnamon and sugar and butter ... I needed them! But of course it took me days to track down all the ingredients. And even then I had to sub out tapioca starch for potato starch because I can't find anything but tapioca pearls in my stores. I've started writing down common ingredients that I find in recipes because it looks like a big online order is necessary.

I don't think my muffins are as pretty as Ginger Lemon Girl's. I should have stirred the cinnamon mixture in more. But that aside, they taste amazing!! I ate one after supper and was a very happy little girl! Gave one to my father, who has zero understanding of my new diet no matter how many times I've explained it all, and he said it was fantastic. I am giving you the recipe as I made it tonight- just slightly different from the original.

Dry Ingredients:
1/3 cup potato starch
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup almond milk (or any milk)
1/4 cup oil (*next time I might cut this and use more applesauce)

Cinnamon Swirl:
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter







Directions:

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
* Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. (I did this in the stand mixer while I prepared everything else)
* In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
* In medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients, minus two egg whites.
* Whisk together wet into dry ingredients.
* Fold egg whites into mixture gently. It's OK if you still see a few white streaks.
* In small bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add cinnamon and sugar and mix well.
* Spritz 12 muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill each muffin cup half full with mixture.
* Add 1/2 teaspoon-ish of the cinnamon butter to each muffin cup. Stir a bit with a knife.
* Fill the muffin cups with the remaining mixture. Top with remaining cinnamon butter. Mix a bit with a knife so that you get the yummy cinnamon in each bite.
* Bake for 18-22 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

They are fantastic!! Enjoy!


More For Sale...

Here are a few more super sales for y'all.  Check back on this post as a few items are still available.  If there is something you would like, please send me an email at pinkcrocodiledesigns@hotmail.com.  First come, first served.  Payment must be made within 24 hours (invoice will be sent via Paypal) and items will ship within 48 hours after payment.  Shipping is $3 for first item and $1.50 for each additional item, unless otherwise noted.




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature sunflower and paisley fabric.  Backed in soft white terry cloth fabric.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature blue and white crab and shell fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).






Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer embroidered green bees on pink corduroy fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).






Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature pink, green and purple leave corduroy fabric.  Backed in soft white minky fabric.  Soft Velcro closure.  $6 (originally $14).






Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature flower and lizard fabric.  Backed in super soft white minky fabric.  Soft Velcro closure.  $6 (originally $14).






Toddler bib.  Vintage Lilly Pulitzer signature tulip fabric.  Backed in super soft white minky fabric.  Soft Velcro closure.  $6 (originally $14).






Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature Tiger Lilly fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  $6 (originally $14).






Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature School of Fish fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  $6 (originally $14).






Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature salamander fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).






Baby bib.  Flannel cupcake fabric.  Backed in soft pink cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).






Baby bib.  Super soft pink minky fabric.  Backed in soft white terry cloth.  Metal snap closure.  $4 (originally $12).  SOLD






Baby bib.  Things that fly fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).






Baby bib.  Hoot hoot owl flannel fabric.  Backed in soft pink cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  $5 (originally $12).






Baby bib and burp cloth set.  Lilly Pulitzer signature sunburst fabric.  Bib is backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Burpee is trimmed with pink grosgrain ribbon.  $12 (originally $22)




Toddler bib and burp cloth set.  Soft red, green and blue strawberry print flannel fabric.  Bib is backed in soft white terry cloth with a soft Velcro closure.  Bib is trimmed with red grosgrain ribbon.  Set is wrapped in cello bag and tied with a red grosgrain bow- ready to gift!  $12 (originally $24).




Baby bib and burp cloth set.  Asian little girls fabric.  Bib is backed in soft pink cotton chenille and has a metal snap closure.  Burpee is trimmed with pink grosgrain ribbon.  Wrapped in cello with a bow as shown.  $12 (originally $22).




Baby bib and burp cloth set.  Lilly Pulitzer signature circus fabric.  Bib is backed in soft white cotton chenille and has a metal snap closure.  Burpee is trimmed with purple grosgrain ribbon.  Wrapped in cello with a bow as shown.  $12 (originally $22)

Aaron Karo Is A Funny Man

I've talked about him before, but let me again say that Aaron Karo is a funny man!  He is a year younger than me and at some point during college, I started reading his Rumination emails.  I've been a fan from day one!  He's all big and famous-ish now but I still love his weekly emails.  Below was pilfered directly from the email that popped in my box on Sunday night.  I believe they were written by folks who now email Aaron their funny thoughts too.  It really doesn't matter.  Funny is funny and these all made my laugh out loud. 

So thanks, Aaron.  Or, Aaron's fans.



Chances are if you're using a pay phone, shit's not going well.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/257016



If I have to buy you a present when you get married, then you have to buy me a present when you get divorced. It's only fair.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/256286



Choosing the option to "repair the wireless network" has never once, ever, accomplished anything close to helping me get back to the Internet.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/256279



Is anything more useless than when people use "going on" when telling you their age? "I'm nineteen going on twenty." Yeah, no shit, I understand how numbers work.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/257620



I wonder how many babies Johnson & Johnson made cry in order to find the perfect, tear-free shampoo formula.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/257383



Few things suck worse at work than being recognized for being good at something you really hate doing.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/257101



Why is the oven the only appliance that's self-cleaning? I say we spread that awesome technology to every appliance, starting with the damn microwave.

http://ruminations.com/ruminations/257561

Monday, September 27, 2010

Scooter Girl

A few days ago I was in line at the self checkout 10 items or less line at the grocery store.  They have four self checkout stations here and I was customer number five.  I'm standing there watching every single person experiencing what seemed to be their first go at the self-check out.  Ugh.  I am a master of the self check out.  I know by memory most of my commonly used produce codes, where the bar codes are on nearly everything, and the proper way to get it all done quickly.  At the station closest to me, there are two little old ladies trying to do this together.  Scanning the toilet paper and then putting it back in the cart and then making the machine yell to put your items back in the bag...  I took a deep breath and channeled patience.  Or tried.  Something my Price Chopper loves to do is add a wobbly table or a shopping cart in the middle of all of this to try to up-sell soon-to-expire baked goods and whatnot.  It annoys me.  Always in the way of a small area.  But it must work because they almost always do it. 

So that's me setting the scene for you.  No on to the story behind all that rambling.




To make things slower, the teenager who is working the master checkout center thingy is not old enough to check ID's.  Three of the four people were buying alcohol.  So he had to keep leaving (s l o w l y) to get a manager.  Every time the cute little old lady duo put their products back in the cart after scanning, they needed said teenager to re-set things on his master machine thingy.  But he was distracted by yet another little old lady.  This lady was not actually checking out.  Was facing the wrong direction.  Blocking anyone from walking past.  And was in one of those motorized shopping carts.  The things that are essentially a one-seater golf cart with a big basket in front.  I could have made dinner in the time I was standing here!

So scooter lady finishes up distracting teenager employee and drives her cart out of the way.  The wrong direction through all of the self check out folks, trying to squeeze past the cute old lady duo and then past me.  But she pushes the wrong button or something.  Because all of a sudden her scooter cart thing picks up speed and she tells the old ladies to get out of the way.  But they have a big cart and then there is that other cart that the store put in the middle of things to up-sell junk.  One of the duo was able to squeeze to the side but the other sweet lady got wedged in between the up-sell shopping cart, her own shopping cart and the motorized (and still moving) scooter.  It all happened so fast that there just wasn't enough time to react.  I had to jump out of the way myself.  I think we all thought the scooter lady would stop.  So I throw down my hand basket and push the stupid up-sell cart out of the way and the old lady is just stunned.  We all were.  The scooter lady felt terrible.  The guy behind me was a paramedic and he jumped in.  The other couple walking by stepped in front of me- which was very strange the more I think about how that all played out.  But whatever.  And then comes the teenager employee who moseys himself on over.  And by on over, I mean he had to walk a total of about five feet.  S l o w l y.  Paramedic and I insist she sit down and ask employee if she can sit anywhere.  He points to the place where you set your hand basket on the check out centers.  We ask again if he can bring her a chair.  And he points to the scanner thingy.  So both he and paramedic go off to find a chair.  Paramedic shows up with one in about 30 seconds.  Two minutes later teen employee rolls up in another motorized scooter. 

So to clarify.  At this point we have people still trying to check out.  I am STILL next in line.  Scooter lady is still there.  Old lady duo are still there.  Paramedic is there.  Couple who pushed me to the side to step in front of me are still there.  Man from that couple actually finished scanning the duo's groceries, which was very nice of him.  Teen employee is now sitting in a second scooter thingy.  And a few carts are in the mix too. 

Guy buying beer finishes up so I scoot past the chaos to just check out.  There were so many people there at that point and I know both those little old ladies were more embarrassed by it all than anything else.  Though the scooter cart did ram right into the one old ladies knees- she said they hurt. 

I bought six items and as I was finishing up, a manager was still just then getting there.  Speed is clearly not the Price Chopper motto!

I don't really think this is any one person's fault.  But the combination of small vehicles being driven in small, crowded areas by people who may or may not be legally allowed to drive on actual roads plus the s l o w reaction time of the employees plus putting too much stuff in a tiny area lead to a near disaster.  Thankfully the scooter lady stopped short of really doing harm to the duo lady. 

Drama aside, I still maintain that self check out is way better than the old cashier way though!

Good Words

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big Blog Sale

I don't do this very often.  This is only my second or third time every actually.  But I am cleaning out my stock piles and starting fresh.  As y'all are some of my favorite people on the planet, I figured some of you might enjoy picking up a few items at rock bottom prices.  And don't worry, I promise I will not make this a regular event.  So if this offends you in any way, come back in a day or two when I am back to talking about my normal life mishaps and sewing projects. 

Amount available will be noted and updated for each item.  Please send me an email at pinkcrocodiledesigns@hotmail.com.  First come, first served.  I bill via Payal and ship within 48 hours of payment.  Shipping for one item is $3.  Additional items are $1.50 each for shipping.  Unless otherwise noted.




Toddler size bib.  Pink Eiffel Tower fabric and backed in soft pink cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available.  $5 (Originally $14)   SOLD




Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature fabric with flowers and butterflies.  Backed in soft white terry cloth fabric.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available  $5 (Originally $14)   SOLD




Toddler size bib.  Green and blue Lilly Pulitzer signature fabric.  Backed in soft white terry cloth fabric.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available.  $5 (Originally $14)




Toddler size bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature Black Jack fabric.  Backed in soft pink cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available.  $6 (Originally $14)   SOLD




Plaid baby skirt (just the skirt- not the onesie).  Fits 3-6 months, as the waist is stretchy elastic.  This item was never for sale- I made it for a friend who didn't end up needing it.  But the fabric is FAMOUS!  1 available.  $6.  SOLD




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature unicorn and flower fabric.  Backed in soft white terry cloth fabric.  Snap closure.  1 available. $5 (Originally $12).




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer embroidered fabric with monkeys, beach balls, rings and umbrellas.  Backed in soft white terry cloth fabric.  Metal snap closure.  1 available. $4 (Originally $11).







Baby bib.  Vintage Lilly Pulitzer signature fabric on one side and soft white terry cloth fabric with an "A" applique in the same vintage fabric on the other side.  Metal snap closure.  1 available. $5 (Originally $12).




Onesie sized 18mos.  2 Lilly Pulitzer signature fabrics make up the golf green and flag appliques. 
1 available.  $7 (originally $16).   SOLD







Pink onesie sized 18 months.  2 different Lilly Pulitzer signature fabrics make up the appliqued elephant.  1 available.  $7  (originally $16).  SOLD




Toddler bib.  Yellow cotton topped with Lilly Pulitzer signature fabric applique cupcake.  Backed in soft white terry cloth fabric.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available. $5 (Originally $14).  SOLD




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature bamboo print fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  1 available. $5 (Originally $12).




Toddler bib.  Vintage Lilly Pulitzer signature Frog Prince fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available.  $6 (originally $14).   SOLD




Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature vegetable print fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available.  $6 (originally $14).   SOLD





Toddler bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature birds on bamboo print fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Soft Velcro closure.  1 available.  $6 (originally $12).




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature fabric.  Backed in soft pink cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  1 available.  $5 (originally $12).  SOLD




Burp cloth.  Vintage Lilly Pulitzer signature flamingo fabric.  Pink grosgrain trim.  1 available.  $6 (originally $14).




Baby bib.  Lilly Pulitzer signature fish, crab and shell print fabric.  Backed in soft white cotton chenille.  Metal snap closure.  1 available.  $5 (originally $12).

A few more might be coming soon...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Yummy Chicken Salad

Terrible photo but I didn't think of taking one until I was at the end of the bowl.  As in eating right out of said bowl.  Don't judge- you know you do it too!



This chicken salad is actually both gluten free and dairy free. I didn't invent the wheel here. I've been eating this or a version of it for years. Originally posted here, on my new blog.  I'm using the new blog primarily to keep track of my gluten free recipes and topics.  This will remain my blog for everything, including cooking.  I'm not moving.  Just adding a new location to keep my recipes organized.



Ingredients:

* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

* 1 medium apple (Granny Smith is my favorite), chopped small

* 1/4 cup dried fruit. (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, cherries, etc)

* 1/2 cup mayo

* 3 tbls applesauce

* 1 tbls maple syrup

* 1/2 tsp dried parsley

* 1 tsp curry powder, divided

* 1/4 tsp allspice or cinnamon

* salt and pepper to taste

* evoo spray



Directions:

* Cut up chicken, removing any excess fat. Saute in pan using EVOO spray. Toss in salt, pepper, half the curry powder and towards the end of the cooking time, maple syrup.

* Let chicken cool completely.

* In a bowl, mix mayo, applesauce, remaining herbs and spices, apples and dried fruit (pictured is half golden raisins and half cranberries).

* Add cooled chicken. Toss to coat. Double check for salt and pepper- add more if needed.

* Best if served after sitting in the fridge for at least an hour.

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Bread

I made my first attempt at baking gluten free bread.  And it went fairly well. No, it was a success, but it wasn't exactly what I hoped for.  My problem is that I used my very favorite bread recipe and tried to make it GF.  And I just guessed at which flours to use and how much xanthan gum to add.  Because every recipe I found online is different.  So that's where I went wrong.  First using an already loved recipe.  Even though I knew the GF bread would be different, I didn't imagine it would be quite this different. And then guessing on how to make something that I have never even tasted, let alone made, (which by the way is how I do most things in life).  I also don't think that I like the GF flour pictured below.  I think I can find stuff I like better.  But I already own it so I will try it one more time just to be sure.




I used this recipe.  It's my very favorite.  But instead of regular flour, I replaced it with half GF AP flour and half GF brown rice flour and added 2 tsp xanthan gum.




It looks pretty.  But it is sooo dense!  I divided it into two loaf pans and wonder if it would be sandwich size-ish if I just made one giant loaf.  The density is just so very different from the original recipe that I think I really need to just wise up and use an already tested GF recipe.  I am not ready to just "guess" my way through recipes yet when I am not fully understanding how each of these new-to-me ingredients work. 

So the conclusion is that it's good.  But not as dreamy as the original recipe with gluten full flour.  I am determined that there must be a better compromise though so I will keep on baking my way through the internet until I figure it out...






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