Friday, March 29, 2013

Mini Tote All Grown Up


Like I said in my Brother, O Brother! post, I decided to make a the Mini Tote that I made for my sister a little bigger for me.  I used the exact same pattern, but I used just under a yard of fabric (four fat quarters if you want to minimize cutting).  For my lining and main bag I cut the panels to 16x18" and my straps 18x6".  My bag ended up about 14.5 squareish.  For the embroidery, I again just printed off of a font I like and then I drew a little bird.  I used a reverse chain stitch, running stitch, peking knot (that I anchored) and french knot for the pattern (tutorials can be found by clicking on stitch name).
Mama requested a bingo bag, so I made one just slightly smaller for her since she didn't want one so deep.  She also requested an inside pocket to I cut a pocket on the fold so that it would be double layered and then  put bias tape around the edges to finish it off.  As with the embroidery (please excuse the deformed dauber , I added it to the one of the lining pieces before I started assembling the bag.  For the embroidery I used all of the above mentioned stitches except for the peking knot.  I also didn't divide my thread since I wanted a thicker lettering.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Angel Food Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream & Strawberries


Growing up strawberry shortcake was a huge treat (and my mother's favorite), especially when we did it with Angel Food Cake instead of sponge cake.  So when I ran across this recipe for Single Serving Angel Food Cake I knew exactly what was going to happen.  First I made up the dry mix:  1 c cake flour, 1 c powdered sugar, 1 tsp salt.  The original blog doesn't say anything about sifting, but since powdered sugar is always lumpy I sifted the flour and sugar together and then whisked the salt in well.  Then I placed it in a jar with a pretty label :)
Later that night I had a hankering for something sweet so I dipped into the jar.  First, beat 1 egg white with 1 Tbsp sugar and a drop of lemon juice until stiff.  Then, gently fold ¼ c of the dry mix into the egg white.  Place the batter in a greased and sugared ramekin (~2x2x2").  The sugaring is really important otherwise the cake (souffle) can't climbing and rise.  Bake your delicacy at 350* for 20 min (I used my toaster oven).  Cool in on it's side so that it doesn't collapse.

While it was baking I sliced some strawberries and macerated them in a sprinkle of sugar.  Then I whipped a some to DIE FOR chocolate whipped cream.  Place some heavy whipping cream with a drizzle of vanilla in a (preferably) cold bowl  and starting whipping the mess out of it.  Once it starts to thicken up add a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, at least a teaspoon of cream of tartar (so that you can store the leftover without it turning into a runny mess), and a healthy helping of sugar (trust me it will take more than you think to cut the bite of the cocoa powder).  And until it is your desired stiffness - I tend to like mine really stiff.  You now have a chocolate whipped cream.  It will taste like a dark chocolate mousse pretty much if you don't have a heap of sugar and just enough to cut the bite.

Once my cake was cool I plated it up with some strawberries and chocolate whipped cream and DUG IN!  It was delicious and will definitely become a staple around here. :)  And it the jar of mix will make great gifts!  I have a label ready to go for you below.  Just right-click, save image, size it to your jar in Word or something similar, print, cut, stick, and your good to go!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brother, O Brother!


Creativity runs in my blood, so naturally I have a few hobbies - cooking, baking, canning, knitting, tatting, beading/jewelry making, and Zentangles to start.  Growing up my mother taught my K and I to sew, and we would piddle here and there for school projects and stuff, but neither of us really took to it as a real hobby like my mother (she made one of my prom dresses!).  Until now.  I have bitten by the bug and I am IN LOVE.  Not just with sewing, but hand embroidery, as well.  I have the most wonderful Mommy, too, because she gave me a brand new sewing machine and TONS for fabric and supplies from her own stash to get me started :D

So, what did I do?  Got busy for K's birthday, which is this week but since my daddy is out of town we celebrated this past weekend.  Since K is just starting to really outfit her little apartment she got all sorts of housewares for her birthday.  I started by making her an apron in her favorite colors - yellow and black.  I thought that it would be a good "first" project to get me reacquainted with the art.  I used Simplicity 1934 View A, which I already have fabric and alterations ready for one for myself very soon :).  Then I made her pot holders to match - three in yellow with a black border and three in the black print with a yellow border.

And because I am nothing if not an over achiever, I made her a little bag since a girl can never have enough bags.  I mean really.  I used this free Mini Tote pattern on Craftsy for the bag.  It is super quick and easy to follow and beautiful when finished.  For the embroidery pattern I printed off a font that I liked for her and got busy.  She loved them, but what do you think? :)  I'm super excited!  I have already made myself a bag and am working on a bingo bag for my parents now (another posts on these soon).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Amish Cinnamon Bread


Hubby went back out to work this morning, so I was flipping through Pinterest trying to find a pancake recipe that I could have sworn that I pinned only to come up short >.<  But, I did come across this Amish Cinnamon Bread recipe from RedFly Creations and decided to give it a shot.  Granted, it wasn't for breakfast - that became a bowl of cereal.

I ended up baking this for about an hour instead of 45-50 minutes.  And I will definitely incorporate the cinnamon sugar differently next time.  But, it's still pretty good.  Especially with a little butter ;)

I'm thinking that as I goes stale that it might make some tasty French toast...

Amish Cinnamon Bread

(makes 2 loaves)

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon 

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs.  Add milk, flour, and baking soda.  Put 1/4 of batter into greased loaf pans.  Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping.  Swirl with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min.  or until toothpick tester come clean.  
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tangy Chocolate Spice Cake In A Cup


I love watching Food Network.  It is on pretty constantly at my house, whether I'm watching it or it is just background noise it is my go to around here.  Lately, I have been on a "single serving" dessert kick, hope you don't mind. lol  What happens when these two things mix?  A new dessert recipe that I just had to try... Tangy Chocolate Spice Cake in a Cup!  Paula Deen (one I don't normally watch per se, but I do love her recipes) was making a Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake.  It was a step or two beyond everyday baking and made a HUGE cake.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, I am sure at some point I will make the inspiring delicacy.  But for now I just wanted something small, quick, easy, and scrumptious.  The result is my Tangy Chocolate Spice Cake in a Cup.  See below :)

As far as spices go, do NOT get hung up on using cardamom.  The cake will be good with cinnamon or another spices.  BUT, cardamom is AMAZING and I highly recommend adding it to your spice cabinet.  It is what cinnamon hopes to be when it grows up and it adds a beautiful complexity to this little cake.

Tangy Chocolate Spice Cake In A Cup

½ T butter
2 t  sour cream
3 T sugar
1  egg
pinch cardamom
1/16 t  baking powder
2 t  cocoa
2   flour          

In at least a 12 oz. coffee mug, melt and cool butter. Whisk in sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Whisk in sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and cardamom (or spice of choice). Add flour and mix well.

Microwave about 90 seconds.

This recipe grows!  So don't use a small mug. 
Also, it pops out easily (otherwise I wouldn't have ;) )

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mmm… Hummus

Since I’m going to be home for awhile and I know that I will be snacking, I decided to have some more health conscience snacks options around.  I have never really had much hummus, but I hear about it all the time.  Pinterest is inundated with everybody’s favorite recipe for the creamiest, most flavorful, most authentic, most whatever hummus.  After looking through some different pinned recipes, I hopped to HEB like a good little bunny and got what I was missing – mainly sesame seeds for Tahini & chickpeas (or garbanzo, depending on the part of the world you’re in).  Which recipe did I use you ask?  None of them. lol I took the sum of the knowledge I gathered and made my own.  Is it authentic?  I do not know nor do I care.  Is it delicious? Why yes, yes it is.  And that, I care about.

Tahini Blurp
I started by dry toasting 4 oz by weight (why so exact? Because I bought 4 packs of sesame seeds and they were 1 oz each.  By the way, this equates to nearly a cup by volume.) in my toaster oven.  Then I ground them up in my food processor.  Once they were nice and mealy I started adding extra virgin oil a couple of tablespoons at time.  I think I ended up using just shy of 1/4 c.  The point though is that you’re looking for a nice paste consistency.  As far as extra virgin vs any other olive oil… you can use what you like but keep in mind that you’re not cooking this so you the better the olive oil tastes, the better your hummus will taste.

Tahini Jar

Now to make some hummus (which I am devouring snacking on as I write up this post :) ).  I poured/scooped most of my Tahini out of my food processor and just left about 2 or 3 heaping tablespoon.  Then I added my lemon juice, some garlic, and about a tablespoon of oil and gave it a werr.  Now it was time to add my chickpeas.  I used one 15 oz can that I drained over a bowl, so that all of that flavorful canning liquid wasn’t lost. Next, I pureed the mess out of the peas.  Once I was happy that the were satisfactorily mashed into submission, I added the other tablespoonish of oil.  Then about a tablespoon at a time I added the canning liquid until I had a happy consistency.

Tahini Open JarNow it was time to amp up the flavor.  I added salt to my taste, but felt something was still missing.  So, I went to the spice cabinet.  I added oh, I’d say about a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and a heaping teaspoon of cumin to the mix, which made me happy, happy, happy.
I’ll tell you what this stuff is creamy, addicting, cannot-get-enough-in-your-mouth good and pretty darn healthy :)

Hummus by A Pinch of This & A Dash of That

Hummus Recipe Insert

Brownie In A Cup
Sophie's Brownie In A Cup (much prettier)

Let's be honest, here... Pinterest is a naughty, naughty temptress.  There are all these marvelous pins linked to posts about foods that make you drool all over yourself (or is that just me?), which you then yourself have to re-pin (or is that, again, just me?).  So, then you have these uber full boards of delectable looking yummies just begging to be made.  It was one of these such yummies that I fell prey to making last, shameful, evening and this morning for breakfast - what a girl can indulge, right? ;)

But which one, you ask? I present to you:  Brownie In A Cup! A delectable single serving of sinfulness to be consumed on a whim.  Forgotten are the days of slaving away and waiting agonizing 30+ minutes for brownies.  Now you can have a brownie in less than five!  You don't even have to share if you don't want to ;)  But there is even to split with someone if you're feeling generous.

Below you can find the recipe with a couple of notes :)

Brownie in a Cup
1-2 servings
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
2 tbsp. cocoa
4 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. flour

Combine cocoa, sugar, and flour.  Mix well.
In the12 oz. mug you plan to eat your final product out of, add salt, water, oil, and vanilla. Whisk well.
Add dry to wet and mix it all up!
Microwave for 60-90 seconds.

In my microwave 75 seconds gave me a uniformly done brownie (first attempt) and with only  60 seconds a molten center was accomplished  {Ooo la la}.  Also note, Sophie didn't specify when to add the salt or to combine the other dry ingredients prior to adding them to the wet mixture.  So why did I?  Well, because my first brownie didn't come out perfectly.  :'(  It had slightly salty bites.  Oh!  Also, I highly recommend a fork for the mixing/whisking.  Tiny whisks work, but not as nicely.  I double checked lol.

Want a card for your recipe box?  Click below for 3x5 for 4x6 inch index card sizes :)

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