Saturday, October 29, 2011

Inner Hooker Circus Winners are up!

Thank you everyone for helping celebrate the release of the circus! 

 My little has RSV so I'm keeping this post short! 

 The winners are..... 

1. Abigail said... I'm now following Ciara on fb as well :) 

 2. Tracy Waller said... I think this photo is art quality. And the sticky candy juice and mud are what make the photo! 

 3. lLooHoo Creations said... This could not have come at a more perfect time! :) I am in need of some great new patterns!

 Thanks again to everyone for your continues support! You are what make IH so awesome and fun! Winners please email me at to claim your prizes!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inner Hooker Circus and a Giveaway

Confession:  I have had a serious case of the blahs.  I usually have so many ideas my hands won't work fast enough.  Since just before summer I just sort of got burned out.  I had ideas but couldn't force myself to actually put them out.  Months ago Ciara Hammonds Photography (one of my dearest friends) asked me to make circus themed hats.  6 months later I finally did it.  Soooo sorry I took so long Ciara!  You know I love you!  That being said I think I am back in the groove!  Now to wrap up all of these half finished things :)  
Thanks for sticking with me through the blahs and months of nothing new.  

onto the good stuff...

How can you not LOVE the Inner Hooker Circus!

We got our kids together and these are the resulting photos!  I can't believe Ciara's awesomeness!  Our kids definitely gave us a time.  That combined with the previous day of rain = gypsy circus!  Our kids were covered in mud and candy drool in about 5 minutes.  

All of the above patterns are now available for purchase!
Simply click the links below and it will take you to the shop! 

Don't already own any of the above and want to purchase the entire circus set??  Click below!

The Circus (all 5 patterns)

and....since it's been awhile I thought it would be a good time to do a GIVEAWAY!
3 winners will win the entire Circus Set (patterns)!

Here's how to enter!

1.  leave a comment on this post
2.  follow Inner Hooker on facebook or tell me you already do
3.  share on facebook, be sure to tag Inner Hooker using the @ symbol
4.  Follow Ciara Hammonds Photography on Facebook
5.  Follow me on Pinterest...yeah it's not related but come on it's so fun!

and that's it!  5 ways to enter to win 5 patterns!

Contest will close at 11:59p Thursday the 27th with the winners
being chosen by and announced Friday the 28th.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Freezer Cooking Round 3

Freezer Cooking Round 3

First up Steak Chili from Buns In My Oven.  When I made this it was tasty.  It was SPICY!  I love, love hot, it was good for me but way too hot for the kids.  I also think simmering for 3 hours was too much or perhaps I just stirred it too much because mine looks more like shredded meat and not cube chunks.  Gross looking?  yes.  Tasty?  yes.  Day 2 in the fridge this resembled dog food.  I really think I just cooked it longer than needed.  Perhaps my meat was more tender.  Anyways.  I will make this again but won't cook as long.

Confession:  I am not a fan of corn.  Gasp!  I know it's so anti American.  Yeah I can eat it but it's not my favorite.  This soup was pretty good though!  Chris loves corn so I made this more for him but how can you go wrong with bacon on top of almost anything?  This soup is a great freezer meal.  I added a little more milk when reheating but Chris said it was just as good if not better so thumbs up!

I thought these were pretty tasty.  I hate bleu cheese so I left it out but I do think next time maybe I'll add some feta or something.  They freeze well and do the trick when it comes to wanting a quick snack or lunch.  I froze these uncooked and just baked as I wanted them.

Next....Chicken and Gnocchi soup from My Favorite Recipes.  This recipe was recommended from someone on my Inner Hooker page.  {Thanks Donna!}

This is supposed to be an Olive Garden replica.  I have never tested OG's before so I am not sure but I thought this soup was amazing!  Creamy and garlic-y, truly just perfect.  It does use a lot of half and half (fatty, fat, fat...seriously, someone stopped me the other day to tell me Dex was a fat boy!  Then proceeded with "fatty, fat, fat!  Man I love me a fat boy"...ok, so I was at Walmart and maybe shouldn't be surprised but I really didn't know what to say!  PS he isn't even fat!  Now fatty, fat, fat is a joke in my house) (back to the half and half is fattening justification here) but I tried to remember that one of the recipes made 2 dinners worth for my family of 5 so I guess if I broke it down it's not totally terrible.  Better than a happy meal right?  Truly this was my favorite recipe of this group.  This soup freezes well but I thought the gnocchi got too soggy so in the future I'll either cook less or I'll freeze without them in it and just cook them and add when we reheat the soup.  They don't take long to cook at all.  

I just made the alfredo, not the recipe that is after and uses the alfredo.  That may be key here.  I just thought this was ok.  It was very cream cheesy.  If you have tried those new Philadelphia Cooking Cream Cheeses, it tastes like alfredo flavor (do they even have that?)  I mixed half with penne pasta (cooked the noodles about half way so they wouldn't be soggy) and froze the other half.

Last up... another recipe that was just ehh to me but could be my fault...stick with me.

I love the idea of these but they just didn't work for me.  I greased my pan and they still stuck like crazy!!!  Like I couldn't get them out of the pan in one piece stuck.  I may have thrown out the pan but don't tell my husband!  I may try them again in maybe a silicone pan or freeze them in the pan and try to pop them out that way.  The boys love eggs for breakfast so this would be a nice break for me some days.  For now I'll stick to scrambling but am not writing these little guys off just yet.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 6 and Week 7

Welcome to week 6 and week 7

Week 6:  
we did a quick poll on Inner Hooker and most everyone voted for a catch up week last week.  Now, did you use it to catch up?  I did hook some but still not enough!  I am having a hard time wanting to hook these days.  All I want to do is work on house projects {can't wait to share some of these with you} but I really, really need to get back on the yarn ball.

So to catch up with where we are....or more likely where we should be.  If you are doing rounds, you should have 88 of them completed through round 4.  If you are doing whole grannies I would guess you'd want to be at least half way through them and ready to press on hard these next few weeks!  I originally had this set up for 8-9 weeks but we are about 3 weeks behind (sick baby, a catch up week, plus 2 half goal weeks) so we are looking at closer to 10-12 weeks I would guess.  Still not bad!  

Week 7: 
This week's goal....KEEP WORKING HARD.  I know a lot of people are feeling behind or maybe a little bored, but once you are done you will be so happy!  Other people's pictures are totally motivating to me so stop over at the sites and check some out, share yours as well {yes, even if you are behind!}

Now, let's get busy.

Option 1:  work all grannies through Round 5

Option 2:  work 88 rounds total

Option 3:  make 12 squares

Option 2 may seem a little different.  Up until this point most people have been changing colors every round.  Round 5 or 6 on most people are sticking to the same color so it only makes sense to work that granny all the way through as opposed to breaking the yarn each round.  If you are changing colors each round all the way through that's great too you can do 1 or 2 whatever you'd like!  This is your afghan!

You may also want to measure your grannies each round from here on.  We want them 6" so you may not need all of the rounds.  Assuming you checked your gauge you probably know how many rounds you'll need.  Knowing most people don't check you may want to biggie if they are too big or too small, your blanket will just be a different size.  Also if you haven't been crocheting over your tails, and/or weaving them in, now would be a good time to start working on those.  

Lastly...joining.  Remember, this is my first granny afghan so I am learning with you.  I am going to start looking at a few options for joining these together but I'd love some input!  Please feel free to post here, on Inner Hooker or even email me at  Thanks!

I sooooo totally want to keep doing the link up but apparently you have to pay for it after the trial run :(  I totally get that, but for only 1 or 2 blogs it's hard to justify paying for it.  Yes I probably sound like a total cheap ass.  I'd love to see your progress, if you blog it please post it in the comments and I'll add it to this blog or next week's!  If I get a few I'll dig in my pockets and spring for the membership.

Remember to also share your pictures on my facebook and our Flikr group.

Now, get to hooking!

I'll share my pics soon!  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Freezer Cooking Take 2

Freezer Cooking Round 2!!

Back again with a few more tried and true freezer meals!  I am really enjoying this style of cooking and know I appreciate when someone has actually frozen and then cooked and eaten the recipe.  Some things just don't save as well as others.  Luckily, so far I have had great success with the recipes I have chosen.  Here's my last batch.  They've been frozen for a few weeks, prepared, and enjoyed!

First up, Chicken Pot Pie.  

This is actually my recipe.  I was freezer cooking before I even knew there was such a thing!  My family LOVES this meal.  I use pre-made pie crusts but you could make it from scratch if that floats your boat.  I prepare the filling, I get 3-4 pies depending on how closely I follow the recipe vs. doing it from memory.  I make one that night and freeze the other fillings in a ziploc.  Put the ziploc in the fridge the day you will use it, I warm it up in a pot and usually need to add a little milk (it gets thicker in the freezer).  While thats warming I cook the bottom pie crust a little to keep from getting soggy, dump in the filling, second crust and cook!  Yum, yum, yum.  

click pic for credit

This was also delish.  The meat was a little fattier than I thought but once it cooled I just scraped it off and tossed it.  We ate this with tortillas, guacamole and salsa.

Third....I used the PW Dr. Pepper Pork for filling for tamales.  
click pic for credit

This was only the second time I have made tamales.  They are pretty time consuming but really tasty.  I love that when I make them myself I can control the amount of meat vs. masa.  Not like those parking lots tamalas that are mostly masa with a tiny it of meat!  I use this recipe/tutorial for tamales.  These are also something I have frozen many times and they keep great.

and lastly I also made breakfast burritos.  I didn't snap a picture but they were a huge hit.  

I hope this inspires you to give freezer cooking a try!  So far so good here!  I made more today, I'll be back in a few weeks with a follow up on them!