Boy Books – Dog Loves Books and others

Here are the library books we have been enjoying this week.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates. A delightful story about a little white dog who opens a bookstore. I love little white dogs. And I love books. This one was a no brainer.

Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister. I love this book because gets kids into the mode of asking questions: “How do seeds know to grow, to reach up from the earth below?” “Does a whale make up a song so other whales will sing along?”

I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins. You may know Lucy Cousins of Maisy fame. We do love Maisy, but I have to say I think is my favorite of her books. Dog, who is the main character, is such a brat.

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes. Oh, if you haven’t read this, please do. The story is about a lion who wanders into a library and finds his niche. The story and illustrations are just awesome.


411 Granola – gluten, dairy, egg and nut free

Store bought granola is too expensive. Store bought granola that is gluten/dairy/nut free is even more expensive, and I have found that the taste is hit or miss.

This is a really basic granola, which happens to be my favorite kind. The last time we made this, it disappeared so fast  I didn’t have time to photograph it. It’s that good.  We like it with milk for breakfast, out of hand for snacking, or layered with fruit and yogurt for a parfait.

I call it 411 granola to remind me of the amount of each ingredient. Truthfully though I usually double this recipe and make 822 granola. It really goes that fast around here.

feeding my kid gluten free nut free granola

This is a great recipe for cooking with your kids. Monkey helps me make this all the time.

411 Granola (from Feeding My Kid)

4 cups certified gluten free rolled oats

1  cup coconut oil, melted

1 c. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.Mix the  ingredients and pour onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the outer edges from burning.

After this cools, you can add dried fruit or raisins if you so desire.

Sewing for Boys Sew Along – The Henry Shirt, Finally.

Okay, so I am a month and a half past the deadline for having this done for the Sewing for Boys Sew Along. But it’s done!

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

I ordered custom fabric for this shirt from Spoonflower. You don’t know Spoonflower? If you are at all addicted to fabric, don’t go there. No really. You will spend massive amounts of time, and possibly money, looking at all the gorgeous possibilities.

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

I had my eye on this VW bus print for a while. And then, the Henry Shirt pattern came up in the sew along. For some reason, the first thing that came to mind in looking at the pattern was retro bowling shirt. What better colors for a retro bowling shirt that blue and red? I had to buy the fabric, of course.  I paired it with a basic black kona cotton, and pearl snaps. My husband calls this shirt “Monkey’s hipster shirt”.

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

I actually finished this shirt at the end of July, but then we all got sick. Today was the first day that  I had an opportunity to photograph it. We went to a new (to us) playground, and Monkey was so excited that most of my shots looked like this:

“Bye Mom!”

I am surprised I got any decent shots at all.

This shirt was an advanced pattern, and I would say that it was correctly classified.  I have been sewing for 26 years (OMG – can I be that old?),  and have fairly advanced sewing skills (pattern alterations, matching plaids, etc.)  Still, there were a couple of points where I relied on the excellent tutorial by Thar She Sews. One was in attaching the side panels to the front panel – the shape of the pieces and the way in which it goes together is very counter-intuitive, and the figures in the book are not helpful on this point. Day four of the tutorial was very helpful. The other tricky spot for me was the collar. For the life of me, I could not tell which end was the bottom. Luckily, Krista’s day six tutorial  helped me out. The fact that she made this shirt in two high contrast fabrics was also helpful, because it allowed me to see how the front and side (and side and back) panels came together. This was something I couldn’t tell from the pictures in the book, which used two lower contrast fabrics. 

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

All in all, I liked the pattern a lot.  It took a lot of time to come together the first time, but I think if I made it again it would be quicker. Next time around I am thinking something more monochromatic.

Now, on to the Luka Hoodie to catch up with the sew along!

Like this post? Check out my other Sewing for Boys Sew Along Projects:

January – Raw Edged Raglan Tee

February – Kickin’ Back Pants

March – Easy Linen Shirt (okay, I didn’t make this, but the post is a round up of my favorites)

April – Treasure Pocket Pants

June – More Treasure Pocket Pants – yeah, I got a little behind in the Sew Along.

Gloriously Quick Cassoulet – gluten, dairy and egg free

I read that a cassoulet is a slow-cooked casserole that contains sausage and white beans. This recipe hits two of those three criteria. Given the title of this recipe, guess which two (grin).

I know people are always saying, “If you don’t like X, try this recipe and you will.” And I always try the recipe and I rarely like whatever X is. But, in this case, I didn’t think I liked swiss chard. We were getting a ton of it through our CSA, and I needed recipes to use swiss chard. And – at least in this recipe – I really like swiss chard. And, my kids like swiss chard. I try not to gape as they gobble this up.

This recipe is adapted and made gluten/dairy free from one in First magazine. Even though you might think two different kinds of sausage seems superfluous, don’t skip either one. The combination gives it a glorious flavor.

Gloriously Quick Cassoulet (from FeedingMyKid)

1 Tbsp olive  oil

1 lb kielbasa sausage, halved and sliced

1 12 oz. pkg. chicken sausage, sweet apple flavor, halved and sliced

1/2  onion, peeled and diced

1 cup diced carrots

1/2  cup diced celery

3 cloves minced or pressed garlic

1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

2 14.5 oz. cans Navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 bunch Swiss chard, de-stemmed and shredded

4 cups hot cooked rice

Using a dutch oven or large pan with fairly high sides, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the kielbasa and chicken sauage until browned. Remove from pot.

Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until the carrots are tender. Then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes (add the garlic later to prevent it from burning).

Add tomatoes, stock, and navy beans. Bring to a boil, add sausages back in.

Add swiss chard and cook until chard is tender, about 15 minutes.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Boy Books – I Want My Hat Back and others

Here are the books that we have been enjoying from the library recently. Some are from this  list from Babble. The complete list is full of beautifully illustrated gems. Some of them were a bit beyond Monkey. I think in a few years they might be favorites. Some of them were definite hits right now. Here is what we are loving this week:

I Want My Hat Back, by John Klassen. This book cracks me up, and my kid up. It’s win/win. Simple story, simple, beautiful illustrations,  humor for grown ups and kids alike.

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Simple text with nice illustrations. Bulldog, who is 18 months, likes this one a lot.

Blackout, by John Rocco. Monkey asks to read this one a lot. He is particularly enamoured with cities right now due to Curious George (the TV show).

The Big Orange Splot, by D. Manus Pinkwater. A lovely story about how we all don’t have to be the same. It is OK to express our uniqueness, and the residents of this neighborhood do just that.

Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin. We love Pete. We can’t get enough of him. This one is fun – Pete steps in different things and his white shoes are no longer white.

What I’m Pinning on Pinterest

Here are the blog posts from this week that I found worth keeping. Besides being are all over the maps subject wise, they betray my hippie-feminist-science geek tendencies.

1. A post at Tinkerlab about getting your kids to play with a dollhouse. Yes, I have two boys, and they have a dollhouse. This one from Plan Toys:

The fabulous, non-gender specific Terrace dollhouse. An amazing Christmas gift from grandma. But, it doesn’t get as much use as I would like. It is also severely underfurnished. Who knew tiny furniture could be so expensive? This post has some great suggestions for increasing interest and play.

2. These two posts on Carrots Are Orange about creating and promoting peace and stillness  with your children, and children’s books that teach peace.

3. Yay, science! Two easy, preschooler friendly kitchen science experiments at I Can Teach My Child.

4. Minimalist Mom writes I’m Not Busy (and I’m Proud of It). I couldn’t agree more.

5. A great activity for when we are stuck indoors – a diy cardboard mini golf course at Little Hands, Big Work.

6. A fascinating piece at Food Allergy Bitch about the possible smoking gun in figuring out what causes food allergies. (Hint: It’s triclosan.)

Sewing For Boys Sew Along – More Treasure Pocket Pants

Yeah, yeah. I know. The Sew Along pattern for June was the Henry Shirt.  I am working on it. But it’s not done yet.

While I was waiting for fabric to arrive in the mail for the Henry Shirt, I started thinking that all the items I have made so far have been for Monkey. This makes sense, because they will get handed down to Bulldog, and both kids get to wear them. But I felt the little man needed something handmade to call his own. Here he is, having stolen his brother’s Let’s Go Fishing Hat for pete’s sake.

So I made him a pair of Treasure Pocket Pants.

The car fabric has been in my stash for about two years. It is a Junko Matsuda print that I think I got on Etsy. I only had about a half yard, which is why the waistband on these is narrow, instead of the double elastic that the pattern calls for. I just ran out of fabric. I like the effect, though – we will see if that is enough elastic to hold them up. I actually had to use the pieces that I had cut for the pant leg cuffs, which is why these don’t have that either.

The green corduroy I picked up on sale at Joann. The original plan was to use it for a pair of Little Heartbreaker pants. When I saw the two fabrics together, they practically begged to be put together.

They are still a bit too big for Bulldog, which is just fine with me – plenty of time to grow into them.

Henry Shirt coming soon…