The Big Pink Pig

A cooking, baking, sewing, and creating blog about life with my little pink piggies.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Etsy Back to School Finds

Now does there really have to be a reason to sit here with my laptop and search Etsy all night? Really, no there doesn't have to be, but while the TV is on "Wipe Out" I will be on Etsy! Here are some cute finds for kids and moms from Etsy-call them "Back to School Finds" or just call them pretty little things-it's up to you! :)

Toddler Newsboy Knitted Hat
Pretty Little Acorn Necklace
Owl Book Bag
Reusable Snack Bag
Cute Vintage Flashcards
Unique Fabric Flower Wreath
Aluminum Canisters (these beauties remind me of my grandmother's kitchen)
Sweet Crayon Roll For Your Little Artists
Baby Boy Knitted Cap
Happy Little Elephant Lunch Bag

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Munchies: Warm Southwest Steak Salad

Laura is a great eater. She'll eat anything, however getting her to sit down for more than 3 minutes to eat whatever it is that I made her is the challenge. Tonight she sat down to eat and (almost) finished it all before she got up! My inspiration for the meal was a great salad place down the street from my husband's office called Chopp't. They always have cool combinations with lots of fresh veggies. Try the recipe out and hopefully you'll like it too! Now I came up with the proportions on the fly so alter them to your own taste.

1/2 Packet of Southwest Taco Seasoning

5 oz of Bison/Buffalo Steak cut into strips (You can use any meat, but bison is incredibly lean and low in fat and calories.)

1/4 cup Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

1 red pepper cut into strips

1 ear of corn

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

cooking spray (you can use olive oil, but by using the spray you save calories and fat)

90 second microwaveable whole grain rice

1/2 of a lime

ground pepper

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 bag of baby spinach

1/2 a bunch of cilantro

1. Put the steak and taco seasoning in a Ziplock bag or Gladware and mix it up, then add it to a pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat (Bison cooks very fast so keep you eye on it.)

2. Light the grill and while you are waiting for the grill to heat up, spray your corn with cooking spray and sprinkle it with the chili powder and salt. When grill is ready add the corn.

3. Remove the steak once it is fully cooked and put it onto a plate topped with paper towels to remove some of the grease.

4. In the same pan, saute peppers and garlic together.

5. Check on the corn and remove it from the grill when all sides are grilled.

6. In your serving bowl, add spinach, cilantro, and cheese.

7. Heat up your rice in the microwave. While it cooks throw the steak into the pepper pan to heat up a bit.

8. Take the corn off the cob and add it to the salad, along with the steak, peppers, and finally rice.

9. Toss and squeeze 1/2 a lime over the top. Add a dash of salt.

It sounds really labor intensive but I did it with my 6 month old in the high chair and my 2 year old watching Kailan, so you CAN do it! :) Try it out and let me know how you like it! Remember it is relatively healthy due to the veggies and low fat steak and cooking oils, plus you get the whole grain rice in there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The New Face of Lady Gaga

I know that this posting has nothing to do with cute little babies, shopping, sewing, cooking, or crafting but it IS about creating! My little brother is part of a band that performs each summer at local coffee houses. They are just three guys with two guitars and some BIG personalities! :) Check out their cover of Lady Gaga's "Pokerface." Enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Sales!

A new school year is upon us which means……tons of sales! Although my little ones are not joining any academic ranks this year, I always enjoy a good sale. Here is a list of some good ones, both online and in your stores. I’ve also added some websites that send out weekly sales. I love these sites because they are GREAT for baby gifts and unique little novelty tees and shoes-plus if you get them through the site they are offered at a fraction of the price.
Gap: 30% Give and Get for Charity Sale
The Mini Social: All sorts of weekly deals from Crocs to Little Giraffe Blankies
Trumpet Socks: Gift Set $10 off! From $25 to $15
Boys’ Converse Chuck Taylors: $11.90!
Crocs: Adorable Mary Jane Crocs $9.99
Tulle Plie Skirt: Who doesn’t love a tutu?
Little Man Polo: Sooo cute and soo cheap!! $2.99
Ralph Lauren Baby Boy Polo: $9.99 down from $25
Stylish Kids: I just discovered this site. It’s cool because it acts as a search engine to locate sales for specific brands.
There are some to get you started. I will post some more super sales as I find them. Happy Friday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mamma's making baby food!

Mondays mean laundry, ironing, and making baby food! Caroline's favorite is applesauce so I thought that I would treat the little one and make a couple extra jars today. She loves her apples! (**Disclaimer: Before you try this recipe for your little one, please be sure that your pediatrician has given you the OK to start with solids. I do not claim to be a doctor so it's always good to check.)


2 Large Braeburn Apples ( you can use Golden Delicious apples instead and omit the sugar)

1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar

dash of cinnamon

Oatmeal or Rice Cereal (optional)

Step 1: Boil a pot of water. While water is boiling, wash and peel apples. Core and Cut apples into small chunks like so....

Step 2: Cook the apples in the water for about 10 minutes or until the chunks are tender.

Step 3: Drain apples and let dry for about 5 minutes (this helps some of the added water is seep out of the apples which can cause runny sauce).

Step 4: Add apple chunks, sugar, and dash of cinnamon to a food processor. I use my magic bullet because it is SUPER easy to clean afterwards.

Step 5: Blend for about 1 minute (depending on the strength of your processor) or until it is the consistency of your liking. I make mine a little thin because Caroline is just starting solids.

Step 6: Label jars or gladware with the date so that you know how long to keep it in your fridge.

Step 7: Let cool and serve! I like to add oatmeal baby cereal to her food for added texture and iron. The best part is that if I add extra oatmeal Laura likes it too and she gets the added iron!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DC Yogis Unite!

I have recently gotten into yoga. Now people who know me probably have a hard time picturing me all quiet and meditative and centered and all that, but I swear, I've actually gotten into it. I really like the Bikram yoga in Falls Church but it can be a little pricey to go on a pretty regular basis so in the mean time I thought that I would set out to find free yoga in the Northern VA/DC area. Hopefully this will help other people out. You can test it out without any monetary committment at all. And as they say in yoga, "Don't be afraid to fall..." Ahh so deep! :)

Lululemon Tysons Corner 10 am
Lululemon Clarendon 7 pm
Lululemon Bethesda Row 9:30 am
Lululemon Georgetown 12pm
Quiet Mind Yoga 14th Street 4 pm
Meridian Hill Park 5 pm (Only two weeks left!)


Sacred Well Yoga Studio 9/7/10 8-9:15pm

Lululemon Georgetown 12 pm

Circle Yoga Dupont 9/16/10 "Intro to Yoga" 7:45-9:15


Capital Yoga 10 am
T'ai Chi Mclean 8 am

I couldn't find any for Monday or Friday so if anyone out there can find one, leave it in the comments and I will add it to the list. Happy stretching!

LIttle Girl's Skirt Tutorial

Have you met Olivia? She has it all. She's a pig with an attitude. She reminds me of my daughter Laura because she's the oldest too and they both love to stand out in a crowd. Today I'm making Laura an Olivia skirt, complete with red ric-rac (don't you wish adult clothing could include ric-rac and tulle and ribbons and....). Anyways, I got this Olivia fabric from the quilt shop down the street from my house. I could just eat this fabric right up!


1/4 yard of fabric

ric-rac color of your choice


3/4 inch coated elastic (when making the girls skirts, I like to go with thicker elastic so that it stays up on their little hips, or in Caroline's case her second belly hehe)

Step 1: Fold the fabric in 1/2 and cut down the middle so you have two rectangles.

Step 2: Place the right sides together so wrong sides are facing out and sew the short ends together to make a tube like shape. Make sure that the pattern on your fabric is going the same way. I've definitely made this mistake before and the girl's on Caroline's baby skirt are playing hopscotch on their heads! ( I also zig-zagged the seams so that the edges would not fray.)

Step 3: Locate the top of your skirt and fold it over about an 1 inch if you are using 3/4 inch elastic. If using elastic that is larger than 3/4 inch, add a 1/4 to a 1/2 an inch. Iron and sew this fold down, leaving an opening for the elastic.

Step 4: Measure the width of your child's waist and cut the elastic. Thread the elastic through the casing using a safety pin. Once both sides of the elastic meet sew the sides together and finally sew the casing shut.

Step 5: Hem the skirt to your liking and pin the ric rac down onto the skirt. You can do this two ways (both are shown). You can hide half the ric-rac so that it looks like a mini ruffle peeking out from underneath the skirt, or you can sew the ric-rac on top of the hem so the entire notion is visible. It's really a personal preference.

Step 6: Sew ric-rac down and wa-la! :) Beautiful!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peanut Buttery Brownies with Chocolate Frosting!!

So tonight we are going to a friend's house for a cookout and I volunteered to bake brownies for the event. I recently discovered the blog called Joy the Baker. Her blog is chock full of delicious baked treats and scrumptious savory bites. The thing I love about her blog is that the recipes are so easy to follow and include items that almost everyone has in their kitchen. These brownies are no doubt my husband's favorite due to the choco-pb combo. But come on, who doesn't LOVE chocolate and peanut butter??? Here is my take on Joy's tasty confection. I am including a link to her recipe because a) it's the right thing to do, and you have to check her out and b) I am not the most scientific baker so this is truly an experiment for me.

2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sugar (her recipe calls for brown sugar)
2 tablespoons molasses (omit if you use brown sugar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter
10 Tablespoons of butter cut into smaller pieces so they will melt quicker

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325 and grease a baking dish (Joy says to use parchment paper and then grease that, I admit I like this new method but the brownies taste just the same if you are missing the paper).

Step 2: Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over MEDIUM heat. Once the butter has melted completely remove the pan from the burner and let it cool for 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: My favorite step! Add the PB and vanilla and stir until the mixture is nice and creamy. I have a picture of what the mixture should look like. Once the mixture has been blended let it cool for another 5 minutes (this step is important because you're going to add eggs next and you don't want them to cook in the mixture--this will cause a gross texture to occur, believe me I know haha)

Step 4: Add the eggs and whisk in so that they are blended in completely.

Step 5: In a large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together until blended.

Step 6: Slowly add the PB mixture. I like to use a hand mixer but I'm sure a spoon would do it, however be warned the mixture becomes very sticky!

Step 7: Poor into the greased baking dish and bake for 35 minutes. Joy's recipe says 25 minutes but my brownies are never cooked all the way through, maybe it's my oven, who knows, but I always have to add 10 minutes.

Step 8: Pull out and let cool completely. While cooling, add the following ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and blend until nice and fluffy with a hand mixer or some serious elbow grease.
3 tablespoons milk (I enjoy my toddler's whole milk)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
6 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup semi-sweet chip melted (Joy calls for 3/4 cups, but our house likes chocolate)
dash of salt

Step 9: Refrigerate mixture for about 5-7 minutes (more is fine).

Step 10: Frost your brownies and ENJOY!

Let me know if you try these brownies out by leaving a comment! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

My new obsession: Japanese Pattern Books

So my newest obsession is Japanese crafting- specifically Japanese pattern books. I recently purchased Stylish Dress Book 3 and I am psyched to try their patterns. I just finished the shirt featured below. The fabric is Alexander Henry's Blue Belle and the bodice of the shirt was patterned after a shirt I had in my close, while the kimono/flutter sleeves are totally Stylish Dress Book. Take a look and let me know what you think. I think with the right styling it could work.