Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pesto with Homemade Egg Noodles

The other day Mom and I decided to try making a pesto sauce to put over egg noodles. It was weirdly good with a haunting taste. Kroger has been putting pistachios on sale so we used those and some mixed nuts from a can we happened to pick up on sale. I've seen some recipes that use sunflower seeds, too, but most use pine nuts. Here is a link to my post on making egg noodles:

                                                        Basil Pesto

2 cups basil                                                  1/2 cup chopped nuts
4 garlic cloves                                              1/2 olive oil (or enough to make a paste like consistency)
1/4 parmesan cheese                                     Salt to taste

   Put everything except the oil and nuts in a food processor and pulse several times. With the machine running slowly pour in the olive oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Scrap the sides of the mixer and stir in nuts.

Here is the printer friendly version:

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My First Knitted Project

When I was about twelve I saw a 'Teach Yourself: Knitting' kit on sale in a store and decided I was going to learn to knit. No such luck. Frustrated at my inability to make a slip knot I put the kit in my closet. Where it languish until I finally fond a 'Teach Yourself knitting book' that showed how to make a slip knot I could understand. Between the two books I finally learned. This bag is the first thing I made. Originally, it was going to be a pair of socks for my mom, but half way into making the first sock I realized my plan of making a flat piece of fabric and sewing it into a tube wasn't going to work and made it in to a purse instead. Mom uses it to pick vegetables when we have a good year. (Not that we've had a lot of those lately. Hint hint, Mother Nature.)

     Once I decided to make it into a purse I started having fun with the design, throwing in new stiches and adding in a new color to add drama to the fabric and reinforce what I had just learned. I think it came out rather pretty.

 The yarn used over all is Red Heart Super Saver in the Williamsburg print, it's one of my favorite color combinations, but like a lot of Red Heart Super Savers it's a little scratchy. It feels softer after you knit it, but I wouldn't recommend it for a baby blanket or anything like that. Of course, some of the Red Heart Super Saver yarns are really soft and study. I'm using their CafĂ© Latte color to make a horse and it's wonderfully soft. You really need to feel this yarn before you buy it because the difference in feel between prints is drastic. The add in color is Red Heart Super Saver Hunter Green which is kind of the family color. It's not quite as scratchy as the Williamsburg print. The handles are ones I bought, but can't remember where.

   I'm entering this in Interweaves' The story of your first knitting project contest if I win I would like:
Sage Koolhaas Knitted Hat Kit, Campbell Love is a Rose Crochet Kit, Metal Clay for Jewelry Makers The Complete Technique Guide, Resin Alchemy, and Crochet Aspen Infinity Cowl Kit in Twilight.
Want to enter your own story? Here is a link:
                Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eggs in the Incubator

We're afraid most of Amy's babies are roosters so Mom and I decided to hatch another batch of eggs. I'm also trying to get as many babies out of Abe as I can, because if he keeps going the way he's going, he's going to end up in a soup pot. 
   Anyway, I poured water in the moisture ring and plugged the incubator in to get it calibrated. Over three days we gathered eighteen of the choicest eggs, largish, no poop. Wrote the date on two sides, an 'X' on one, and an 'O' on another side and storing the eggs big end up in an egg carton in a cool room. Which was hard to find, it being summer and all. They went in the incubator on the eleventh and the next day I started turning them three times a day.
   We have a basic still air incubator. It works pretty well and fits about 40 chicken eggs, but you have to buy an automatic egg turner or do it by hand, so far I've been opting for the by hand method.  

  Naturally, five days after the eggs went in some storms blew through and the power went out for four hours. We put a blanket on the incubator, but when the power came back on the thermometer read 82. I'm not sure if any of the eggs are going to hatch, but I'm continuing to turn them and talk to them like I had been. Hopefully we'll have some little chippers come September.

      Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shanghai Fried Noodles

As I've mentioned before Mom and I have been looking for recipes using egg noodles. Click here for the link to the post about us making egg noodles:

 One of our favorites is my version of Shanghai Fried Noodles. The homemade noodles really make it pop. Mom and I like spicy food, but if you don't simply omit one of the hot sauces and/or the chili  peppers. This is a very customizable recipe, the first two times I made it I used some of the Japanese Eggplants from the garden, but we didn't have any last night so I used broccoli instead. I used the last of the kale, but any leafy vegetable (or snow peas) can work. I used half a chicken breast the first time, the recipe I worked from called for pork, and later on I used left over barbequed pork, so really any protein will work. But if you're using pre-cooked meat you should add it after the vegetables. Without any further ado here is my recipe for Shanghai Fried Noodles.   

                                                        Shanghai Fried Noodles                          serves 2

4 oz. pork cut into strips                                            Sauce:                       
1 teaspoon cornstarch                                              3 Tb. soy sauce
Water, enough to cover the noodles                       1  Tb. sugar
2 cups egg noodles                                                 1 teas.  rice wine or sherry
2 Tb. oil                                                                  1 teas. cornstarch
4 oz. kale                                                                3 Tb.   water
half an large onion                                                 1/2 teas. sesame oil
3  garlic cloves                                                      1 teas. oyster sauce
2 dried red chilies                                                  1 teas. chili bean paste
dash of sesame seeds                                             1 teas. Sichuan sauce
1 medium carrot                                                    dash of sesame seeds
1 medium eggplant                                                Salt and pepper to taste

  Mix your sauce ingredients together in a bowl.  In a large pot bring about 2 cups of water to a boil add noodles and let boil for five minutes. Let sit. Cover pork strips with cornstarch and set aside. Chop your vegetables. Put garlic, onions, chilies, a dash of sesame seeds, and 2 Tb. oil in a pan. Cook on medium heat until garlic turns brown. Add your chicken strips and stir-fry for about two minutes or until cooked. Add the vegetables except for the kale and cook for three minutes. Add kale, noodles and sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens.

Here is a printer friendly version:

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

An F- for AAA

   We needed to run some errands today. I thought it would be a good idea to run into town at get it over with before I wrote today's blog post or got involved in anything else. We went to buy feed, but when I went to start the truck and drive to the loading area it wouldn't start.
  Mom called AAA. She thought the truck's battery was dead, but the operator thought it sounded like something else, and told us a flatbed would be there by 3:15. 3:15 rolled around without a reactor rolling up. Mom called again... The operator had put the address in wrong! But according to the other operator that wasn't the hold up, the driver hadn't arrived at the auto parts store the first person had put in as the destination. At 3:40 he shows up, gives us a jump, because it was the battery just like Mom thought, and the truck starts right up. He didn't have a battery with him so he told us to drive home and call AAA and ask them to send someone out with a battery we could buy for $89. Mom called AAA again and asked how much a battery would cost, they said between 89 and 120, I don't know about any of you but if somebody tells me between two amounts it usually end up being the higher one. We ended up driving to O'reilly's (with the odometer dropping from the speed I was going to zero and all the lights, except for the low battery light, flashing on.) where one of the guys who works there checked to make sure the battery really was dead and replaced it for us. It ended up costing $119 without tax.
 My questions are: has anyone bought a battery from AAA and if so how much did it cost? How long is a typical wait?

                    Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog have a bat-tastic day!   

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spider Web Over Shirt

  Add a little glam to your ghoul with this three-quarter sleeve Halloween over shirt.
  One of my favorite things about this shirt is that I can wear it no matter the weather. If we're having a hot October (which we usually do, unfortunately.) I can slip it over a tank or a tee, or if it's cold that day I can wear a turtleneck and still be rocking the Halloween style. Even better I can change the way it looks by wearing a different color under it. I've already found out that yellow looks little green under it and I look forward to trying more color combinations.
My one problem is that in the pictures I look fat. But most pictures do that.   

 The shirt is made out of a sheer 55% nylon 45% metallic fabric that shimmers deep purple with a metallic silver over lay in a repeating spider web pattern.
One size fits most. The bust and hip measure 23 3/4" (60.325cm) when laid flat and 47 1/2" (120.65cm) around. The waist is 22 1/2" (57.15cm) flat and 45" (114.3cm) around.
  The sleeves measure 8" wide (20.32cm) and 10" (25.4cm) from the armpit seam to the end when measured flat. The shirt is 24 1/2" (62.23cm) from top to bottom when measured flat.

  To get an idea of how this will fit you; take a tee shirt that fits you loosely, lay it flat and measure from one side to the other. If it is the same or smaller than the Spider web's measurements than you should be good. If not you will need to special order a custom size.  

  The fabric is labeled dry clean only, and says it may crock (bleed color). But I washed a piece of scrap fabric by hand in cold water and Wool Lite R, and it worked out fine.

 Here is the link to the listing:

               This is the last day you can use the coupon code TAXFREE for 5% off any Bats Bizarre purchase over $1.

           Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Egg Noodles

    In an effort to keep up with the girl's phenomenal laying, Mom and I have been making a bunch of egg recipes. (and have been adding an extra egg, most of the time.) One of the recipes we've tried was egg noodles. Which led to use having to find ways to use the noodles. The easiest thing we made was soup. The sort of recipe for soup is after the one for noodles.
                                                 Egg    Noodles
                              2c. flour                                                 1t. salt
                               2 eggs.                                                   water

    Sift flour into a bowl. Add eggs and salt. If it's not liquid enough to make a stiff dough add water one 1t. at a time. Work the dough well with your hands and drop onto a lightly floured board. Roll it out thin (about 1/16") with a rolling pin. Cover and let dry for 30 minutes. Cut the dough lengthwise into 2" stripes. Roll one strips up and cut as narrow or as thin as you want. Repeat for the rest of the strips.  Makes about 4 cups. 

Printer Friendly version here: 

     Chicken Noodle Soup.

   Mom made chicken stock by boiling left over chicken parts (bones and such.) in water with some pepper and salt. But you can use chicken breasts or legs if you prefer. Once that's done, take out the meat and add your vegetables carrots and celery stuff like that, and get your seasoning right. While that simmers you debone your chicken. When your carrots are tender add your frozen vegetables, peas, corn, whatever you like. Cook for a couple minutes then add the meat and the noodles.  Simmer for another five minutes or until the noodles are tender.
It's not really an exact science.

From 8/9/13 to 8/13/13 use coupon code TAXFREE for 5% off any purchase over $1.

            Thank you for reading bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Morning Glories, Sweet Potatoes, and a sale

   Morning Glories and Sweet Potatoes are very similar. Both have heart shaped leaves, similar looking flowers, and are (at least in my case) highly invasive. I planted few Morning Glory seeds last year and now I have them coming up in any pot that was near them last year (even ones I don't remember being near them) and in the yard. Most notably within one of my mother's Avocado planters, one of her pepper pots and the Plumeria's pot. There are two growing there. They are very pretty plants, and I like them despite their unruly growth habit, but Mom's getting rather sick of them.

  The Sweet Potatoes are another matter... We planted some bits of sweet potatoes that had grown sprouts the year before last and each year since we've had long woody vines threatening to take over the garden bed. Which I'd wouldn't mind as much if we could eat the potatoes the plants grew. But for some reason the tubers we dig up in the fall are stunted, shriveled monstrosities that have weird black spots on them and taste terrible. I don't know if there is some sort of grub in the garden that chews on the tubers or if there isn't something wrong with the soil itself that keeps them from growing right. We've tried pulling all the roots and tubers out but there are a lot of tinny ones that are very deep in and blend into the soil. Last year we didn't even think they would sprout because of how nasty the tubers were. But each year we find volunteers in that bed. This year we let a couple of vines grow in the hopes that between the egg shells (which are supposed to cut grubs) and the marigold I'd transplanted into that bed (they are said to get rid of nematodes.) we might get some potatoes out of it. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

  This Friday 8/9/13 starts Texas' Sales Tax Holiday weekend.  Since jewelry is no longer tax free, the only item in my shop that currently qualifies is my Feather and Fan Stitch Cowl. But like most retailers I'm having a sale. From 8/9/13 to 8/13/13 use coupon code TAXFREE for 5% off any purchase over $1. You don't have to live in Texas to enjoy this sale.      

                Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spider Earrings

These cute hand sculpted polymer clay spiders are 7/8" from longest leg tip to longest leg and 5/8" long from the top of the abdomen to the bottom of the head. The entire earring measures 1 1/2" from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the head.  Each spider is signed with a small 'J' on the back.
*Because they are handmade there may be slight differences between spiders.
They are water proof, but please don't wear them in pool or while bathing. Not good for sleeping in.  Here is the listing:
  I haven't been able to find spider pendants I liked at my usual supply stores, but I figured it's just a oval with a circle and eight legs, I could probably make it out of polymer Clay. The hardest part is getting the legs to look right. It takes me about an hour to make one pair of earrings not counting baking time.  
  I'm currently working on making webs out of the clay. It's going better than I thought it would, but that's mostly because I didn't think I could make spider webs out of clay. (I was never very good at drawing webs as a kid.) My mom suggested I make a cotton spider earring. Most of the ones around here are black with white spots and have the same physic (fat butt) as my earrings. I should be able to add them to the listing soon.  

  I was originally just going to show these earrings in black and brown, but I love green and I've been wanting to see what this metallic green clay I have looks like when baked so I ended up making my own 'custom color'.  


Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!