Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cheery Apron

I like this apron so much, I'm a little afraid to wear it while cooking. What if I got something on it?!

This is another great project from "Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing." It's a very easy pattern to complete, and the end result is an adorable, reversable apron. The only thing I might change, would be adding some length to the ties.

Of course the possibilites are endless when it comes to fabric choices and pockets and embelishments. I decided to go crazy and add a simple little pocket from the coordinating fabric, on the pink side.

I get such a kick out that apples and pears fabirc, I think I showed great restraint in not totally overhauling my kitchen in order to incorporate it everywhere!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yum, part deux

In addition to my delicious pastry treat, I also made my first succusful loaf of traditional, white bread. Here it is (after dinner, which is why it's so short).

After two annoyingly lame attempts at sourdough last week, I was incredibly relieved to see the dough rising and acting like a good dough should. After making this recipe, I'm not sure why anyone would want the trouble, not to mention stench, of dealing with sourdough. I created my own starter, proofed dough, all that stinky stuff - and the bread came out heavy as a brick, and smelly as socks. Two thumbs down for that one.

But this bread was easy, fast, and darn good. The only thing I might do differently next time, is use a little less sugar. T, of course, said I should use more.


I've been on vacation this week, and I've been on a domestic rampage (well, the cleaning might better be called a skirmish than a rampage). Made soup in the crock pot, and Cuban bread to go with it Tuesday, then yesterday I made this soooo delicious pear/custard tart. Katherine at work told me the recipe, which is so ridiculously easy and rewarding, I might just marry it.

- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry dough
- 2-3 pears, depending on size and how many you want in there
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- dash of nutmeg and cinnamon if you want

Line a pie dish with your thawed pastry dough. Slice your pears - you can be fancy and layer them like a frenchy chef, or just dump them in there any old way you want. Combine cream, sugar, egg and spices, and whisk until sort of airy and fluffy. Pour your custard over the pears, covering evenly. Then lick the bowl, cause come on - you're SLAVING here!

Bake at 350 for an hour. This is really delicious when it's nice and cold - stick it in the fridge if you so desire. So, I've finally made something with my homegrown pears! And it was good!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A little trip

T and I just got back from a little weekend trip, up to Cedar Point for a day, then taking the long way home down Route 4 through the little towns the next.

After spending a good 6 hours being hurled around and subjected to some serious G forces, I think I can officially say I've passed the window of oppurtunity for becoming an astronaut. Urgh. I felt icky after the first ride, but I powered through and rode almost everything T did. There is no way in hell I'm ever going to climb aboard this kicky little number. The 310 foot hill on the Millenium Force nearly killed me as it was. Now I understand why my mom would politely sit some of these things out when we were kids.

We passed a kind of strange night and morning at the cheapest hotel we could find - a Knight Inn down the road from the park. T went out to smoke and came back in saying it was like Melrose Place out there - a couple making out in the hottub, another arguing loudly in the walkway, trains thundering by mere feet across the road. Then around 8:00 the next morning we wake up to shouting, someone running by and a woman screaming help me, help me! We scramble for pants and by the time we get to the door, no one's there. T later found the girl in the office, crying on the phone. We never did figure out what happened, but were kind of glad to get the heck out of dodge, seeing as the police were now involved.

On the way out of Sandusky we stopped by their Carnegie library. This beautiful library was opened on 1901, and it had all the great woodwork, stained glass windows and cool reading rooms you'd expect. I love big, stand alone, Carnegie libraries. We didn't spend long, but it seemed like they had good resources and maybe a partnership with Cleveland libraries. They also had Ready to Read kits that focused on one specific skill and age level, that could be taken home. A nice idea.

We kept driving south into Bucyrus, stopping at Coopers Mill where they made fresh cider and just about any flavor of jam, jelly, relish or pickle you can think of. We hopped onto a little tour group of the place, but hopped back out again after seeing the factory end where they were making pumpking butter. Tasting stuff was frankly more exciting. We ended up getting pumpkin butter and this really, awesomely delicious Vidalia onion relish. Must be eaten with the one you love, though.

Next we stopped by the D. Picking Company, which is the last hand hammered copper kettle maker in America. They've been around since 1875, and I don't think much has changed since the advent of elecriticy.

Yes, that is a wall calendar from 1913. The whole, small factory is a reminder of what people have been accomplishing for years with a whole heck of a lot of hard work, and very little other help. Seriously, this looked like hot, hard work. By far the coolest thing we saw.

After Bucyrus, we went through Marion - tried to visit the popcorn cart exhibit at their historical society, but it was closed. Tried to visit the Warren G. Harding House, but it was closed, too. So, we had no choice. It was time to go home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Again! New Camera - yay!

Wow, cameras have definitely improved in the past couple of years. My new one is an updated version of the old one - which I got cheaper and with more features (hooray for techonoligcal progress). Here's my two favorite pictures so far.

Dried flowers on my kitchen window sill.

More dried flowers on the window sill - chives from the backyard.

New camera! Yay!

I finally got a new camera today, so I feel like I can actually start to post! I've been making a lot of stuff lately, so it was killing me not being able to take pictures and write about the things I've been doing.

I'll start with first things first - the boyfriend knitting project that actually took less than a year to complete! Ta da!

My man actually picked this yarn out himelf, on ebay - Debbie Bliss cashmere, of course. I think this is the first %100 cashmere I've worked with before (ummm, cause it's sorta expensive, unless you have a bargain-hunting, ebay-shopping man) and it was such a pleasure to work with. So smooth and the final product has a really nice weight to it. It's super warm, of course, too. I'm going to make myself one in the orange he bought - but he wants me to make it big enough so that he can wear it, too! Here the simple, classic pattern, from Needle Beetle.

I'm really proud of my knitting on this project - very few visible errors, if I do say so myself. I may have never finished the Knitting Guild's master class, but that doesn't mean I didn't learn a thing or two! And though I hate to admit it, working with really nice fiber seems to make a difference in the project. Whether because you're more conscious of the precious yarn in your hands, or just the better quality, who can say?

Anyway, I'll get to posting more in the next days. If I could take a picture of my new camera, I would!