Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Baby Gifts

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I’ve been sewing up a storm over the past couple months… many baby blankets, nursing covers, onesies, burp rags, etc. for friends and family having babies soon. I haven’t remembered to take pictures of them all, but here are some. These things have become my go-to gifts for showers.

Blanket for my friend having a baby girl.P1060907It’s hard to see in the above picture, but this is the backing I use for my baby blankets… it is the softest thing I’ve ever felt, yet it’s thin and smooth so it sews well. I’m contemplating making myself a blanket with this!

I am a huge fan of this binding—so silky.P1060905

Here’s the nursing cover I made to go with it.P1060912

And a set of matching burp rags.P1060900IMGP2248IMGP2242

I have a couple more I wish I had shots of, so I’m hoping I can document better moving forward.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kids Room Letters

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Made these for my little nieces and nephews for the rooms in their new house. Love scrapbook paper in young/kiddish prints.

Buy wooden letters at a craft store. Buy appropriate paper and lots of mod podge. Trace letters, cut out, and epoxy.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Fabric Banners

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After making a girlish banner last summer for a friend’s bridal shower, I’d been wanting to make a more masculine one for Emerson’s birthday party, and other events.IMGP1947

The last banner was made of scalloped half-circles, but this one I made out of triangles, cut with pinking shears. IMGP1696

Make sure you make a triangle pattern in the size you’d like before you start cutting and sewing.IMGP1695Cut out pieces. I used 3 fabrics.


Arrange your cutouts in the order you like before you start sewing. I like it to be a little asymmetrical, so I mixed the patterns up a bit.IMGP1698


Sew triangles together, sides lined up. IMGP1706

Sew triangles to bias tape.IMGP1710

And it’s done! One of the quickest sewing projects around.IMGP1947

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

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A nice alternative in the fall to pumpkin cookies or bread. Here’s what I did: took my favorite brownie mix (see below). Click here to view larger image

Made brownies and added chocolate chips to the batter. Made a basic cream cheese frosting (1 pkg cream cheese, 1 stick butter, lots of powdered sugar) and then added pureed pumpkin.


Frosted away.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bengali 5 Spice Roasted Chicken w/Veggies

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I’ve been terrible about updating lately (well always, I guess). Here is a delicious Indian chicken recipe with yogurt and curry. Mmmmm. I found it in Sunset magazine, modified it based on the ingredients I had. I made it a couple nights ago; we loved it.IMGP1397

Ingredients: olive oil, mustard seed, coriander seed, cumin, bay leaves, curry powder, garlic, ginger, salt, yogurt, flour, chicken, carrots, potatoes, grapes. And for a side I made homemade rice pilaf.

Begin by cooking the seeds and spices, along with the ginger and garlic in a shallow pan with 3 tbsp. olive oil. Once the seeds start to pop, remove from heat. Add several pinches of salt and combine oil/spice mixture into bowl with 2 cups yogurt and several spoonfuls of flour mixed. Combine, then add chicken, veggies and grapes. Let marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

Once marinated, pour onto large baking sheet. Bake at 475 for 25 minutes and then broil to brown for another 5-10 minutes at the end. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nursery Monograms

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A couple months ago I made a monogrammed “E” print for Emerson’s room… really, really easy but looks nice. I’ve seen a lot of cool wall hangings for children’s rooms online, but they are pretty expensive for simple designs. I can understand canvas prints being more, but posters are pretty easy to do from home. When I got done, I made some for friends as well.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

White Cream Cake with Raspberry Filling, Vanilla Buttercream, & Fondant

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My first experience with fondant for Mitch’s surprise party bday cake. It was actually fun to make the cake and filling, but it was miserable dying the fondant, so I think next time I’ll opt for pre-dyed fondant. However, I’ve heard that making your own tastes a lot better than the store-bought Wilton kind.P1060251P1060300

Here’s how I made it:

- Baked 2 white cream cakes from this recipe (only used this recipe for the cakes, not the icing or filling)

- Used different size pans for each cake; and 8-inch round for the top cake and a 10-inch round for the bottom.

The cake alone was delicious. I could have eaten it plain.P1060227P1060226

While the cakes cooled I made the raspberry filling. I used this recipe. The filling really made the cake taste more fresh; usually buttercream is so heavy, but this made it feel almost light (almost).

Next I made a homemade buttercream, using butter, powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, a little bit of cream cheese, and a bit of lemon juice.

Then came assembly. Cut each cake in half and then fill.P1060238P1060237

Try to get the buttercream very smooth and even, then freeze. I think I could have made mine much more flat, which really would have helped the fondant look better.

As cakes are freezing, prepare the fondant. This is not fun. In fact, it took me about 45 minutes to get enough blue into this stuff to keep it from looking like baby blue.P1060241

As my hands and arms were covered in blue as I worked in the color, I have no other pictures. Sometimes it’s just not your top priority. Imagine multiplying the amount of color here by 20 and working it into the fondant.P1060242
Once the fondant is colored and rolled nice and thin, get your cakes out. By brushing water on the frozen cake, you can help the fondant to stick better. P1060247
You can also brush water on the fondant when it’s rolled onto the cake to get the powdered sugar off (which keeps the fondant from sticking to your counter).P1060248

Smooth and stick in dowels for the top cake. You’ll notice several cracks in my fondant. So it was my first time. I was just happy to have the fondant on by this point.

Placed top cake on, and then I adhered the LA logo (cut out of a printed logo into the fondant). Then I decided to pipe some buttercream on the edges to cover the fondant seam. Maybe I’ll be good enough one day to omit this part. It was also about this time I noticed that my buttercream was slightly off-white due to the brown vanilla extract. Next time I may opt for the clear vanilla, if I’m feeling over-zealous about the whites matching.P1060256P1060304
Yum. If it wasn’t so time intensive, I’d probably make this way too much.P1060307

Friday, August 6, 2010

Homemade Raspberry Jam

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Raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch. Simmer, stir, strain, thicken, then cool and allow to set. I used the extra raspberries from a cake filling to experiment and it really tastes great; but how could you go wrong with raspberries and sugar??P1060209P1060214 P1060218

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vegan Coconut Ice Cream

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When it’s hot out I find it hard to bake… without getting a bit too sweaty. I found a couple recipes for this online and combined them to make a nice summer treat.

P1060174 Ingredients: 2 cans coconut milk, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 1/2 c. sugar. Whisk together until sugar is fully incorporated. Pour into ice cream maker for 20 minutes, then freeze for 2 hours. I have yet to try this with light coconut milk, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t be as good.

Because I need chocolate in my desserts, I love to make my great-grandma’s hot fudge recipe to pour on top. (This is getting really unhealthy.)P1060177