Thursday, December 9, 2010

I want to make: Quiet Book

This whole blog is dedicated to making a quiet book - way cool! This will be a good place to get started with ideas...

How to Make a Quiet Book

Friday, December 3, 2010

I want to make: Diaper covers

This is an free easy pattern for a diaper cover. The only "special" thing I'd need is elastic.

by Made found here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Website: Budgeting

This website/blog looks pretty interesting. The format is prose so it might take a little reading to get the information I want, but it looks like it has some good tips for living frugally.

Frugal Wife = Wealthy Life

Halloween Placemats

So I was looking through my mother's awesome stash of fabric to look for some cute prints for my apron, and I came upon this darling fall Halloween fabric.

Hmmm... what to make... what to make...


So I did. Wednesday. And Thursday. I think they turned out pretty well, although I've now learned the beastly part of sewing - cutting. Any tips about how to make it easier? How to get those straight lines and perfect corners?

Anyway, the cool part is that when I was topstitching (is this the correct term?) the edges, I realized I need to sew on the main part to keep the layers in place. I was going to do a nice old rectangle or something, but then I had a fun idea - a spider web!

So I sewed wicked cool spider webs onto the mats in contrasting colors - I'm happy with how it turned out! Now if only I had thought of these BEFORE Halloween... =)



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I want to make: Chocolate Cupcakes

Someday soon (I hope) I want to try to make this recipe that I found in the news today. It's from a bakery in the South End and looks to be pretty delicious. I couldn't believe the frosting - 1 1/2 c. butter to only 2 1/3 c. sugar?! Maybe that's why bakery frostings are so much yummier...

Recipe: Chocolate cupcakes with crispy magic frosting

Makes 12


2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut up
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg plus 1 extra yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the granulated sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

4. Whisk the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.

5. In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.

6. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

7. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

8. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Set on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.


2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature, cut up
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg whites. Fill a saucepan half full with simmering water. Set the bowl over (but not touching) the water. Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will thin as the sugar melts.

2. Remove the bowl from the heat. Tip the mixture into an electric mixer fitted with a whip. Beat at medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and white like a meringue and is cool to the touch.

3. Turn the mixer to medium and add the butter a few chunks at a time, beating for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is all incorporated. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and satiny. (If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 3 days; beat in the mixer for a few minutes until smooth.)

4. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins and arrange on a platter. Fit a pastry bag with a star or round tip. Fill the bag halfway with frosting and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Alternatively, spread the frosting with an offset spatula. Adapted from “Flour: Spectacular Recipes From Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe’’


Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to cook anything Asian

According to me. Who is not really an expert but decent at making things up (sometimes). Tonight I made pseudo-teriyaki chicken with bell peppers and it turned out deliciously.

Before we discovered my daughter's extreme allergy to cow's milk, I was a pro at concocting Italian delights but had never really wanted to make Asian food for dinner. But now that I'm feeding someone dairy-free, I've realized that Asian is a perfect go-to meal that doesn't need substitutions or modifications. From my limited experience then, here is how most Asian recipes go...

Recipe: Asian Whatever You Want
  1. Get rice cooking.
  2. Saute meat (chicken/pork/beef) strips in a little olive oil. Once the outside is cooked, remove from wok and set aside.
  3. Lightly saute vegetables (julienned bell peppers, broccoli, sliced carrots, asparagus, etc.) in the vacated wok. Cook until they start to soften, but are still crisp. Add diced garlic/ginger.
  4. Return the meat to the wok with vegetables.
  5. Stir up a sauce (*soy sauce/Worcestershire sauce/sesame oil/brown sugar/honey/lemon juice/coconut milk/teriyaki sauce/peanut butter/seasonings) and pour over the meat & veggies. Simmer on med-low until sauce thickens and coats meat.
  6. Serve the meat & veggie mixture over rice. Add nuts/dried noodles if desired.
And that's basically it. A good amount of slicing and dicing but cooked all in one pan (except for the rice I guess). Which makes for a quick night of dishwashing. And a happy husband =).

*use a combination of these sauce ingredients, not all of them together... gross