Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quilting - The next project...

My Dad's birthday was in May and Father's day is coming up so I thought I would try making him a quilt (I doubt it will be done in time for father;s day, but here's hoping...).

Here is the fabric that I have for the quilt:

When I saw this I thought it would be great to go with the glider chair in my parents house:

They raise pheasants and pointing dogs, so they have a bit of this stuff around the house.

Anyways, I am hoping to get this done as soon as possible (as well as getting ready for my thesis defense in 3 weeks) so wish me luck!

Monday, May 24, 2010

7 Minute Frosting

This frosting is out of an old cookbook that my Dad got when he left home to go to college. It is light and fluffy, but super sweet. You can easily change the flavor by adding a different extract other than vanilla, have fun with it! So if you have a special occasion coming up or just want to indulge, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

7 minute Frosting

1 ½ cups white sugar
2 egg whites
½ cup cold water
1 tsp cream of tarter
Vanilla (1-2 tsp)

1.In the top of a double boiler (or a glass bowl you can set in a pot, with the rim sitting on the edge of the pot) combine all the ingredients and mix until combined.
2.Place the top of the double boiler (or the bowl) on top of a pot full of boiling water. Beat the ingredients until soft peaks form (I highly suggest using an electric mixer for this!). This should take between 4 and 7 minutes.
3.Remove the top of the double boiler (or bowl) to cool water and continue beating until the frosting has cooled enough to spread.
4.Working quickly (with as few strokes as possible) frost the cake. This icing looks wonderful with lots of little peaks all over the cake – it is not the best for a nice smooth neat surface!

This is my Dad’s favorite frosting to have on top of angel food cake, and it is the cake that he never fails to request for his birthday. The frosting is very sweet, almost like a marshmallow fluff, so while it is great as a special treat, it is not something you would want to use everyday.

First Quilt - Finally Done!

Around Christmas time I was looking for something to keep me occupied during the long dark cold evenings of winter. For some reason I decided that quilting would be a good thing to try, I don’t know why quilting struck me as something to do and have yet to figure it out. No one in my family quilts (well my mother started a quilt some 15 years ago – it is still sitting unfinished in a closet somewhere).

Anyways, I wanted something simple – I don’t do much sewing generally, and wasn’t sure how this was going to go. I found a cute kit on connecting threads, and thought that would be a good way to go. I loved the fabric and then I didn’t have to mess around, finding a patter, picking fabric, determining yardage and such. It looked like a simple enough patter, a lot of squares, in only 2 sizes.

The fabric came in in January, and I got to work. A few weeks later I had a quilt top done and ready to be made into a quilt – the kicker? There is not even close to enough room in my living room unless I move out a bunch of furniture, to put the three layers of a quilt together. This meant that my poor project was left sitting for months until I went to my parent’s place and took over their dining room to finish it.

Well, it is done now, after 1 weekend spend ironing, sewing, pinning and quilting and one weekend spent hand sewing on the binding. I am very pleased with the results, and it turned out much better than I had expected. I have found quilting to be relaxing and a great way to let me procrastinate working on my thesis. In the time since this quilt has been finished (or almost finished) I have somehow come with 4 more quilts I would like to make and am trying to figure out what I can do with other fabrics that I love.

Hopefully there will be more quilt posts to come!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Breakfast Burritos

I saw this on a OAMC website one day and thought it was a great idea. Owen doesn’t like cereal for breakfast, he doesn’t have the time to cook eggs in the morning and toast doesn’t keep him full enough. That means that most weeks we are buying bagels for him, upon seeing this though I knew it would be a great idea.

I made mine different from the original website, and filled them with what O likes in his omletes he makes on weekends and what we had in the fridge. He has now been eating these for two weeks and is really enjoying them.

Ingredients: (made 7-8 burritos)
6 large eggs
1 – 2 cups diced mixed peppers
4 thick slices of bacon, chopped (optional)
½ small onion
1 cup shredded cheese
7 to 8 large tortillas

1.In the frying pan, fry the bacon until cooked. Leave a little oil in the pan to fry eggs in. You can remove the bacon and add it again with the veggies.
2.In a frying pan (with a little olive oil if you didn’t do the bacon first), scramble the eggs until cooked.
3.Add the veggies and the bacon.

4.Lay a torilla on a piece of tinfoil (if they are dry, heat them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to make them more pliable).
5.Put ½ to 2/3 cup of egg mixture on the tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.

Fold up the bottom, then fold in the sides and roll. Wrap in the tinfoil and freeze.
6.When you want to cook you bake it in the oven at 400F for 25 min, or you can microwave it until warm. Note: O likes to put his in the fridge the night before, then he doesn’t have to bake it as long in the morning, and he can get in the last couple minutes of sleep.

Owen has been enjoying a little more variety in his morning routine and likes having a breakfast that is healthy and keeps him going. It is a fairly economical breakfast when compared to buying bagels for the week or the better cereals. We have made these a couple times and now just add whatever veggie odd and ends we happen to have in the fridge that might go well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bulldogs Update

I have been really bad about posting the bulldog's cookies each week, but with all that was going on I barely had time to get the cookies made let alone write up posts to go with them, so I am giving you the last of their cookies now, and will start working on the backlog.

This is what I made for the bulldogs for the last playoff game they were in - they were playing 2-3 games a week at this point so I was short on time between games. Also supplies for baking was running out in the house, and as I was leaving a couple days later on vacation, grocery shopping was the last thing on my mind. I had tried this with a couple of leftover egg roll wrappers the last time I made egg rolls, and they got great reviews.

Apple Rolls

1 pkg egg roll wrappers
3-4 apples (use a tarter apple such as Granny Smith)
Brown sugar
Oil for deepfrying

1. Peal and core the apples, cut each apple into 12-16 slices. You want the slices to be no more than 1/2 and inch wide on the widest side.
2. Take one egg roll wrapper, and place an apple slice near one of the corners. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon - tarter apples will need a little more sugar, so go with what you like. Top with another apple slice.

3. Fold the bottom corner over the apples, fold in side corners and roll up like an egg roll. Wet the top corner so it will seal.
4. Repeat until you run out of egg roll wrappers.
5. Deep fry the rolls in oil at about 375F until the wrappers are golden. Drain, let cool slightly and enjoy.
Note: they will become soft if stored too long - so just give them a quick cook in the oven to crisp them up again (375-400F for 5-10min).

These were a huge hit, I got more comments on them than any of the others cookies from through the season. One player stated that they were his all time favorite. One warning that O noticed (he has had them twice now) is to make sure you don't overcook them or the apples will be soft. Not a problem if you don't mind soft apples, but he says they are better with apples that are still holding their shape a bit.

Alright, the Bulldogs got into their divisional playoffs in first place. Sadly they were unable to make it to the finals.

Mustard Potatoes

First let me apologize for the long break - end of term and thesis writing took over my life for a while. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel now, and have a little time to get back to actually writing down the recipes I have been trying. So here we go:

We were having salmon for dinner (well I was having chicken) and O had mentioned that he wanted potatoes with it for supper. I knew that there was some mustard going on the fish, so I figured I would put some on the potatoes as well. After a quick search I found a recipe that sounded great and had some good reviews. I modified the recipe a little (I refuse to do shopping trips for 1 item). The end result was delicious and went great with the fish.

3 Large potatoes (5 med-regular potatoes)
¼ cup grainy dijion mustard
1 tbsp safflower oil (or any vegetable oil)
½ tbsp lemon juice
dash of salt

1.Peel the potatoes if you wish, and cut them into small cubes/chunks.
2.Mix the mustard, oil, lemon juice and salt. Pour over the potatoes and toss to coat.
3.Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 425F for 20 minutes.
4.Stir the potatoes around and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft and tender.