Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Upcycled Jersey Multi-Strand Infinity Scarf

The idea for this scarf came about when I had an abundance of tees that either my husband no longer likes or has sadly shrunk! {And it helps that I get a ton of sample tees from being a buyer, so we never have a shortage of them!}

What is even better about this project is...wait for it....no sewing required! Woohoo!! Makes it super easy to do.
Upcycled Jersey Multi-Strand Infinity Scarf~ The Dreams Weaver
What you will need:
1 old tee (the larger the better)
1 pair of sharp scissors
1 ruler

Start with a large tee. Any old shirt will do that does not have graphics past the armpits! Make sure it's seamless. If not, don't sweat it- that can be the point where you wrap all strands together!

Cut off the bottom hem of the tee. Then cut 1 inch wide strips horizontally across the shirt from bottom to armpit. You can cut as many strips as you would like and if you want you can also make them varying widths. The more strips, the more strands your scarf will have. If you want to be exact, you can measure each strip. I didn't measure, simply because I'm lazy and wanted to get it finished.
Upcycled Jersey Multi-Strand Infinity Scarf~ The Dreams Weaver
Save the bottom hem and set aside, this will be used at the end to wrap all the loops to make one scarf. 

Stretch all of the remaining loops until they become long and noodle looking, and the raw edges start to roll inwards. 
Upcycled Jersey Multi-Strand Infinity Scarf~ The Dreams Weaver
Cut one end of the bottom hem so it becomes a long string. Cut like 5 inches from the bottom hem, knot it around the strands to secure them in place. Wrap the strip a few inches around the center of the scarf, and back over to meet the other ends. Knot the ends together tightly. Trim the loose ends and tuck the knot underneath the wrapped fabric.
Upcycled Jersey Multi-Strand Infinity Scarf~ The Dreams Weaver
If you want to get all fancy, you can opt to sew the bottom hem around the scarf so it's less bulky.
Upcycled Jersey Multi-Strand Infinity Scarf~ The Dreams Weaver



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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gingerbread Men Cookies



These gingerbread men cookies are full of ginger and spice, and maybe not everything nice! They are so easy to make too.
Gingerbread Men Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver
What you will need:
3 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) softened butter
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup honey (or molasses)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Icing:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1-2 tbsp. hot water

Makes 2 dozen

Gingerbread Men Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add honey, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Gingerbread Men Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets covered in parchment paper. 

Gingerbread Men Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies with icing or leave them undressed.



Gingerbread Men Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver
Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days. 

Gingerbread Men Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Enjoy!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quick and Easy Pizza

I absolutely love pizza! So when I got a good recipe for a pizza crust, it just gave me the excuse to eat more pizza during the week.
This is a great recipe when you don't want to wait for your dough to rise. You just mix it and let it rest for 5 minutes and then it's ready to go! 
Quick and Easy Pizza~ The Dreams Weaver
What you will need:
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 
1 tsp. white sugar 
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 
2 ½ cups flour 
2 tbsp. olive oil 
1 tsp. salt 
Quick and Easy Pizza~ The Dreams Weaver
Preheat oven to 450°F. 

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. 
Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. 
Quick and Easy Pizza~ The Dreams Weaver
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll with a rolling pin. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pan or baker's peel.

Quick and Easy Pizza~ The Dreams Weaver

Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Quick and Easy Pizza~ The Dreams Weaver
Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving. 
Quick and Easy Pizza~ The Dreams Weaver
Enjoy!


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Happy Hump day blogland! I am already counting down the days until the weekend again. My work has a costume contest for Halloween, and Jet (our fur baby) and I are dressing up together. Can anyone guess what we will be? 

We are also having a potluck lunch on Friday at work, so this past weekend I was testing out some new recipes, as well as spending a few hours with our friends and our fur babies getting lost in a corn maze! It was a successful Fall weekend!
I am always looking for new ways to use my pumpkins, and I never get sick of anything pumpkin! The other week I baked challah bread for the first time, and that was the first time I had also ever used yeast. And it was so much easier than I had thought it would be! That is where this recipe comes in. It is very similar to the dough used to make challah bread. I think they were a success, because the hubby devoured most of them the first night I made them. Luckily I was able to take a few photos of them before they vanished into thin air.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
These pumpkin cinnamon buns are great to make ahead of time too. You could assemble them at night, let them rise in the fridge and finish in the morning for a weekend breakfast.

What you will need:
Dough:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed (but not over 116 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (from 1 .25-ounce or 7 gram envelope yeast)
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/4 cup (packed)light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 cup homemade pumpkin puree, or canned
1 large egg
Oil for coating rising bowl
Filling:
3/4 cup (packed) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Glaze (optional):
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. milk
2 cups powdered sugar
Few drops vanilla extract

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
First, you want to make your dough. Melt your butter in the microwave or on the stove in a saucepan.

Combine the warmed milk, 1-2 tsp. sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and set aside. After five to seven minutes, it should be a bit foamy. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
To the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour, sugars, salt and spices. Add 1/4 cup of your melted butter and stir to combine. Add yeast/milk mixture, pumpkin and egg and mix combined. Switch mixer to a dough hook and run it for 5 minutes on low.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
Scrape mixture into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel. Set aside for 1 hour, it should just about double.

While the dough is rising, line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pan and the paper with nonstick spray.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer the dough onto a very well floured surface and flour the top of it well. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16×12" rectangle. Brush the remaining melted butter over the dough. Stir together the filling ingredients (sugars, cinnamon, and salt) and sprinkle mixture evenly over dough. Starting on a longer side, roll the dough into a tight spiral.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
With a sharp serrated knife, using zero pressure (only the weight of the blade) gently saw your log with a back and forth motion into approximately 1" sections. The dough will make approximately 16-18 buns.

Divide buns between two prepared pans. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and let them rise for another hour.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
If you are prepping your buns ahead of time, you can put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, leave them out for an hour to warm up and finish rising.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes. The cinnamon buns will puff up and get golden brown and leave the whole house smelling absolutely amazing!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns~ The Dreams Weaver
To make the glaze, beat your cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, add powdered sugar, and vanilla. Pour in the milk little by little until you get the consistency of a thick icing.

Once the buns have cooled, you can add the glaze to the tops of them. The buns are good enough on their own that the glaze is totally optional!


Enjoy!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Best Challah Bread

Happy Monday blogland! Last week was my first attempt at making challah bread, and let me tell you it came out AMAZING! My husband devoured a loaf in minutes (granted it was a mini loaf.)
I never knew how easy it was to make it! I am hooked, I am never buying challah again. 
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
What you will need:
2 1/2 lbs. bread flour or all purpose flour (approx. 10 cups)
2 tbsp. dry active yeast
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tbsp. salt
1/3 cup oil
2 3/4 cup warm water
2 eggs
1 egg+water for egg wash
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Put yeast, 1-2 tsp. of sugar, and add 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together and let the yeast proof (activate) and foam up until it doubles in size.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the 2 eggs and mix the eggs with a beater attachment. Then add all of the wet ingredients (the rest of the water, oil, yeast mixture) and mix together again. Add the sugar and salt and mix again.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
With the mixer on the lowest speed, add flour cup by cup until the dough starts forming a ball and pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
At this point, swap out the beater attachment for a dough hook. Keep adding flour cup by cup until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch. In total this should be roughly 10 cups of flour.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Knead the dough together by hand to make sure everything is incorporated together. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the top of the dough with a thin layer of oil and cover with a wet towel. 
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, this should be about an hour. Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
At this point, you are ready to form the challahs. I like to do simple braids. 

I also stuffed the centers of one of my challah's braids with a cinnamon sugar mixture. To do this, all you need to do is combine sugar with cinnamon in a 4:1 ratio with a little bit of melted margarine.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Roll out your 3 ropes for the braids and flatten each. Lay out your filling in a thin line down each flattened rope and pinch up the sides to seal it in. Then just braid the challah like you would normally.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Once all of your challahs are formed, let them rise for an additional half hour. 

Top each challah off with egg wash (one egg with a little bit of water) and some cinnamon sugar if you want it sweet.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes.
The Best Challah Bread~The Dreams Weaver
Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beef Shepherd's Pie

My friend made a shepherd's pie similar to this one a few week's back at a potluck get together weekend. I had never made shepherd's pie before, or had ever even tasted one! I tweaked her recipe a bit, OK really a lot! My husband always wants me to make it now and there are never any leftovers!

Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver

What you will need:
6 medium potatoes
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. butter
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head of broccoli
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef
1 small can tomato sauce
Pinch of ground black pepper
Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver
Preheat the oven to 375F.
 
Cut the potatoes into small cubes so they boil faster. Place all potatoes in salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes, or until fork tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, broccoli and spices. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver
Stir in the tomato sauce and cook until the sauce darkens in color.
Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver

Add in the beef and break up any large clumps of meat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes.
Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver
 While the meat is cooking, drain the potatoes and mash using a hand blender or by hand. I add a little margarine to the potatoes so they stay creamy.
Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver
Transfer the meat mixture into a greased dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edge.

Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver

Bake until potatoes brown and the juices begin to bubble around the edges, about 40 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Beef Shepherd's Pie~ The Dreams Weaver

Enjoy!

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