Sunday, March 31, 2013

Yellow Dress


I've been working on this dress for a few weeks now. Well, more like I worked on it for about two days and then let it sit around for two weeks before I picked it up again. From the looks of it I think I might make this same dress again with different fabric! I'm doing version B, with the sleeves, which is coming out really cute so far. 


The sleeves were a little tricky because I couldn't understand what the pattern was trying to tell me to do. By far the most annoying part was trying to put in the pockets! I made the mistake of using a french seam on the curved pockets instead of a mock french seam, so things got a little funky. Trying to figure out which parts needed to be sewn right sides together or wrong sides together was tripping me out as well. Eventually I figured it out and the pockets turned out okay. Luckily I discovered that I could place pleats strategically over the pockets so the seams that got a little messy wouldn't show.


I'm happy with the colors I picked out as well. I'm already scheming which fabric patterns I will use for the next version of this dress!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Crochet Kitty Toy

Since I'm stuck sitting at a desk for the next 24 hours I decided to pass the time making toys for our new fur-ball baby.
The size hook doesn't really matter as long as it is small enough to make tight stitches for the Diyyarn weight you are using.




Create magic loop or chain 3 and join.

Rnd 1: SC 8 into loop.

Rnd 2: SC 2 into each SC for 16 sts.

Rnd 3: *SC 1 into next SC, SC 2 into following SC* Repeat for 24 sts.

Rnd 4-8: SC in 24 sts.

Rnd 9: *1 SC, SC2TOG* Repeat for 16 sts.

Rnd 10: SC2TOG for 8 sts.

Begin stuffing the ball with Polyfil. Don't forget to add the capnip! You can add a bell or squeaky things inside too.

Rnd 11: SC2TOG for 4 sts.

Cut the working end of yarn off leaving a tail. With a yarn needle stitch the ball together at the end and pull tight to close the ball. Weave in ends!
Add bells or feathers to the toy, tie the tail end to a stick or leave it as a plain ball.





Notes on Macarons

I've baked macarons twice and I know they are tricky. There are a couple things I noticed that I did not do correctly, or things that I could only learn from experience. One of which was that my oven is too hot! I either need to bake them for less time or I have to prop the oven door open with something while baking. Another thing I learned is that humidity really does make a difference! I believe I didn't end up with "le pied" because the piped meringue batter wouldn't harden after leaving them to sit for a while. It must have been a little more humid for the batter to fail to develop a shell.
The next thing I noticed was that my batter is too thick. I'm afraid of losing the air in the meringue so I avoid over mixing, but this causes the piped batter to be kind of lumpy and very round with peaks. I supposed in my next batch I will run the almond flour through the food processor to make it finer. I will have to also be brave and hit the batter to take out some of the air.
Things on my shopping list for next time:
1. Bakers scale
2. Gel food coloring
3. Chocolate for ganache filling (or candy melts?)
4. New piping tip.
5. Twisty ties for piping bag.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our New Kitty!



We adopted a kitty from Animal Control yesterday! Her given name was Bit Bit, but we plan to change it (I'm not sure to what!) She is 12 years old and had been in the shelter for two months, poor girl. We saw her last weekend and couldn't stop thinking of her all week, so we took her home with us. The staff was so happy we took her that they gave us a bouquet of daffodils.



She's such a little lady! Her papers said that she is a Tabby, but she looks like a Maine Coon to me, however she is very small. I really need to find the prefect name for her. She's absolutely the perfect kitty. She talks to us and comes for pets and sits like a lady on the arm of the couch.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Salmon Quiche


I found this cookbook at a thrift shop last weekend. I used to live in San Francisco and it's absolutely my favorite city in the world! I met the most interesting and wonderful people there and I always felt like I belonged there. This cookbook has recipes from chefs all around northern California's wine country. I like the creative recipes in it. I used wild Alaskan salmon that my friend caught to make a quiche for brunch.



I replaced the sour cream with yogurt, used fresh dill and used Gouda instead of Gruyere. I didn't make the Parmesan crust either. It came out pretty well I think!






Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Nails #2


I did a kinda-80's-nail-design this week. The pink is Milani Neon in Pink Rocks! and the blue is Butler Please by Essie.

This week went by so fast! I'm looking forward to working on my dress project this weekend. I'm trying really hard to make this dress perfect. I got the hang of french seams which really helps to make the dress look more professional. 


I'm also thinking about doing a feature on different recipes I try out from my cookbooks. I don't have a ton of cookbooks, but I have a few interesting ones. Many times I end up quickly looking up a recipe for dinner on Yummly.com because I can input ingredients that I have on hand, but really I would like to try to stick to my cookbooks for a while.




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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekend Nails


I can't have painted nails at work, so I rarely take the time to polish them on Friday nights just to take it off on Sunday night. But after picking up a few cute polishes at Target I decided to try to make some cute nail designs more often and post them for fun.


I was looking for those little nail stickers for French manicures but couldn't find them anywhere. Then when I got home I remembered that I packed away a bunch of crazy shape scissors in my closet that I could cut tape with to make stick-on painting guides!


I have HORRIBLE cuticles. I pick at them and they are totally dried out. The hand I photographed was my good hand (and I photoshopped it, lol) My husband got me manicure sets for Christmas and they came with this awesome cuticle oil... I highly recommend it!


The first coat was Eternal Optimist by Essie.



It's not perfect but I'm going to keep practicing! I have to be patient and let the first coat dry completely before using the stickers. I'm excited to try out my other scissor shapes this next weekend!


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Apple Pie Tips


I really wanted to celebrate Pi Day this year by baking a pie, but I ended up having to wait until Saturday morning. The last time I made an apple pie was for thanksgiving and it didn't turn out just the way I wanted. The problem is that the apples become so juicy that the pie is a puddle of apple juice! None of the recipes I've seen ever gave any good tips on how prevent this. I figured out a couple tips that will keep apple pies from becoming too soggy.

1. Pre-bake the bottom crust for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

2. Instead of mixing the sugar with the cinnamon and other ingredients, add the sugar to the apples first and let them sit while you prepare the crust. When all the juice seeps out of the apples drain a little of it away. After that, add the cinnamon and other spices. Don't drain out all the juice though, you don't want it to be dry! Just enough to keep it from becoming a puddle of apple juice when you slice the finished pie.

3. Always add a couple tablespoons of corn starch to the apple mixture to help make the juice more saucy.

That's all I've got! Maybe one day I will try to tackle making my own crust again from scratch. I gave up on pie crusts a while ago because I didn't have a food processor to make the dough the right consistency. A few weeks ago, however, I was gifted a blender/food processor combo machine from a friend who never got any use out of it. Maybe then I can add some little tips for crust making.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moved In

My husband flew in last Friday! It's been a really awesome week so far. Last weekend was spent getting our stuff together and settling in. We attempted to go see the Iditarod dog sled race, but the traffic was horrible and we missed it. However, we did end up buying a fancy TV. I've been cooking some pretty decent dinners every night and I only destroyed a couple of the meals so far... one of them was Pad Thai, which is pretty difficult to make anyway.
We finally got our bed set! A couple of my friends gave us their old bed set and another friend helped us move everything in today. No more sleeping on the floor!

Last night we hung out and enjoyed some drinks. I baked red velvet cupcakes the night before and discovered a Red Velvet wine from Cupcake winery! It was delicious. I'm definitely going to buy it again.



I haven't been able to make any really cute videos on Vine yet, but I took this one last night.

video



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