Tuesday, March 29, 2011

scones and black tea

Finally- a baking adventure complete with pictures!!

I've eaten scones my whole life and have tried different recipes with varying degrees of success. My grandma always made the healthy version with raisons which weren't my favorite, because of the raisons. But when she made them with chocolate chips?! So good. Then a friend of mine's mom made these Irish scones which were amazing but I was never able to duplicate them even with a copy of the recipe. Frustrating.

A couple months ago I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. It's a pretty good moist scone and I've baked them with a variety of filling stuff. My favorites are cheese or craisins and orange zest. (I want to try using lemon zest and blueberries!)

Here's another recipe that I was recently pointed to, Orange Currant Scones on williams-sonoma.com. It's a very dry scone (think a cross between bread and pastry) that takes a lot of mixing. Of course I over cooked it but it was still really good! Perfect with layers of butter and jam and a good cup of black tea. The only change I made was using craisins instead of currants. [EDIT: I also didn't bother with the food processor- I just cut in the butter by hand. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!]

Fancy shmancy photo below:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

busy busy and more busy (and I don't have kids)

This week's been crazy. Although I can't altogether recall what all has happened....

I. am. exhausted.

So here's another itty bitty dress sized up to a six monther (free pattern is from made-by-rae.com!!). I think. I kinda guessed. If I'm off she can wear it with a turtle neck and tights when she's two:P Anyway- I started making it about 4 months ago and finished about a week ago. I made myself promise myself that I wouldn't start any new projects until the old ones were all wrapped up!

See I have RED fabric for a RED skirt that I'm going to make me, and did I mention it's going to be RED?! I have been looking for one for a couple years and had given up. You only get to see it if it turns out though. See- it has a zipper. A hidden zipper. Oh glory be I'm growing up. I've never even looked in the zipper aisle in the fabric store before. It's scary. But see- I wanted a red skirt.

Monday, March 21, 2011

whip cream response

I am back home. Oh my is it nice. I have a new appreciation for when my sisters leave their husbands to come visit me! However I am so thankful that I was able to head north and see some of my extended family- although under sad circumstances.

So ya'll want to hear about Aaron's life? Mine's too boring? At least I don't give you play by plays of my laundry day. I could post a total burn of him but I can't. See, he washed dishes for me before I came home.

I actually have had more views on how to make home made microwave popcorn than Aaron got on his sew-sew post! I did get way less comments though. FYI- the post with the most views and most comments is our almost finished living room. I agree.

Aaron's fine with me sewing "junk and stuff" (even if he mocks me) and I love doing it. It feels more loving somehow when you give gifts that you've made. Haha- my mom sent us some home made perogies back when my sister came to visit. They were so good. They just take FOREVER to make and the store bought ones?! Disgusting. Back in Winnipeg there are some Ukrainian woman who make them and sell them. Those ones are all right. Aaron begs me to make them, "why can't you make perogies all day instead of sew?"

The reason Aaron beat the whip cream with a fork when my kitchen aid mixer is on the "counter" beside him???! He didn't want to dirty any extra dishes. Nice. This is what he needs:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

life is just sew-sew

hello again, everyone! i hope you've all had a wonderful week. i sure have. i've sewed lots of cra-i mean, nice stuff, cooked lots of, um, tasty meals, and...

oh shucks, forget it. you all know this isn't angelina. this is angelina by proxy, also known as her husband aaron. you probably guessed right away. for starters, she would never say something as corny as "hello again!" when EVERYONE knows you don't say "hello" in the blogosphere. if you didn't guess already, you would have in short order. for starters, she's a way better blogger than i could ever be. plus she's much better looking. et cetera.

so angelina is gone for the next two days, aka forever. due to a death in the family, her parents came from winnipeg and whisked her away for the weekend to attend the funeral. soooo...that means two days of fast food, silence, and leaving my shoes in the middle of the living room where they belong. i don't think its SUPPOSED to be two days of fast food. i think i was told to cook my own food. whatever that means. oh yeah, and she said to "keep an eye on the vegetables and keep them from going bad." i'm not sure how to do that short of eating them, which is unthinkable. she also said something about bananas.

angelina (who is an incredible cook, btw) made some lovely strawberry shortcake yesterday. she told me i could eat the leftovers, but i would have to make some more whipped cream. and i quote: "it's easy!" yeeeah. *insert sarcasm. i pulled the shortcake (i think thats what its called) out of the fridge and put it in the bowl. step one: success. after a quick google search, i learned how to make whipped cream. (ok-i'll admit it. i was reading drudgereport.com when angelina explained how to make it). the concept was simple. place in bowl, beat with whisk. not knowing what a whisk was, i used a fork. end result=disaster. ever drunk coffee creamer right out of the bottle? i haven't either. just try to imagine it, though, and that's about how it turned out. what's that? speak up, peanut gallery. oh, did i beat it long enough, you ask? brother-i beat that cream senseless. i mean, we're talking imminent-onset-of-carpal-tunnel beat it. right, and the strawberries. can you believe it?! they weren't even sliced! i had to cut them all by myself. not sure how you're supposed to slice strawberries, but it sure wasn't how i did it. if you were served strawberries in a restaurant that looked like that, you'd be reaching for your geiger counter. plus i forgot to wash them.

anyway-it won't be long before you have the housewife extraordinaire herself back. and not a moment too soon, i say.

she has no idea that i'm tinkering with her blog. i'll bet she'll be furious :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

worry, death and japan

Aaron has his one hundred gear, tools and news websites he looks at every day and I have my sewing, crafting and house blogs I look at. I look at mine during the day when Aaron's gone but I have to suffer looking at his with him when he gets home. I've never been more aware of current events then I am now. It probably is a good thing. The devastation in Japan, the democrats vs. the republicans in Wisconsin and unrest in Egypt and the middle east. Last year I would have not even been aware.

It's crazy how uncertain life is. We think we've got everything together and in control. Those of us with type A personalities have our lives planned for the next 50 years. But it doesn't work like that. Death happens. It happens to babies, young people, middle aged people and old people. It is no respecter of persons. We cannot escape it. Earthquakes, disease, accidents...

I'm a worrier by nature and cannot imagine my life without my loved ones. They are all so precious. But I would cope- the Lord would be with me. I don't know how people who aren't Christians deal with death. It must be so scary. Not knowing what comes next. But even though I don't know what my life holds, I know that the Lord holds me in His hands (John 10:28)!!

(So much easier to reason how to deal with sorrow before it occurs. I cannot imagine the sorrow others have gone through. I ache for them- my heart just breaks.)

homemade microwave popcorn

Did you even know that, that was possible??!

Homemade Microwave Popcorn
1. Put 1/2 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag.
2. Fold top down twice.
3. Put in microwave for 1.5-3 minutes (depending on your microwave).
4. Add toppings into bag (we used olive oil and garlic salt).
5. Shake bag.
6. Dump into pretty bowl.
7. Pig out!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

dresses, limes and summer

My mother-in-law gave me a stack of fabric that she wasn't using and one of the pieces was orange with limes and little red hearts. How perfect is that for a lovable mexican baby?!

It's also a Butterick B5107 size newborn but I changed some stuff up. (Note: this is NOT a newborn size.) It has only one tier for the skirt, I added a contrast strip below the bodice and I changed the back closure so I didn't need any notions. Unfortunately I didn't really think the whole "how is the lining going to attach to itself" and created a problem that made the dress take forever to make because I left it draped over the sewing machine and tried not to think about it. Anyway it's done and if I do say so myself it doesn't look all that bad unless you get real close! So please stay approximately 2' away from your computer while looking at these photos. Thanks.

(I go outside to look for something to take pictures of the dress on and realize there's this perfect and completely random hook in the side of the garage. Also a wind chime?? Never noticed that before!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

the best chocolate cookies ever

Earlier this week I had a craving for cookies. So I thought about it. I tried to convince myself I didn't want any. Then I tried to convince myself that Aaron needed a treat and that I wouldn't eat too many of them and that I could give some away to other deserving folk. So I made half a batch. I ate many of them. To top it all off I ate the last two which I was supposed to be saving for Aaron because I had eaten more than he had. I seriously needed them though. I think I was experiencing some catastrophic emotional moment. I think.

Anyway I made a batch of the best chocolate/peanut butter goodness recipe out there. Notice that it is the recipe that is the best and not the result. My baking leaves something to be desired but I enjoy it so much I keep trying. HAHA- even the flops contain enough sugar to make them desirable.

The friend I got the recipe from is an amazing baker and her version of these.... WOW. Here's a moment- ice cream pail full of these morsels of perfection. A number of hungry adults pretending to have a deep conversation while trying to subtly inhale as many of these cookies as possible without looking glutenous. I did not succeed. (I think the original recipe is from a Hershey's cookbook?)

Can you believe that I forgot about this recipe for a whole year?!?! This is the first time Aaron's even tasted these. Poor man. I don't think he was enraptured with them as I am though. I believe he thought them too rich. PSHAW. His favorites usually have some sort of fruit in them. FRUIT?! IN COOKIES?! Seriously? Weird.

The Best Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips EVER
(I don't know what they're really called)
1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips (I only had white chips)

8-10 minutes at 350 degrees (I have a gas stove and it took about 12 minutes for soft cookies)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

backpacking in our living room

Yesterday our new sleeping bags came. They are Big Agnes, Lost Ranger, rated to 15 degrees F, mate-able and down filled. The underside has no insulation, it just has a pocket that you slide your sleeping matt into. Likely more than you care to know about sleeping bags. Same here.

Aaron loves gear. Unfortunately when you grow up you can't funnel every single cent you make into buying gear so when we do buy something he gets really, really excited.

So last night we moved our living room furniture around, turned off the furnace, and crawled into our sleeping bags for the night.

I will never, ever again sleep in a sleeping bag if my bed is in the same house and unoccupied. Aaron slept well though. Here's our setup:

Then we work up early and headed to Menards to eat our free contractor breakfast. Biscuits with gravy, made to order omlette, chocolate milk, coffee and root beer.

Marriage does weird things to a person. I love it:)

Monday, March 7, 2011

mountain backpacking

When Aaron and I first got married we planned on doing something big for our first year anniversary. We dreamed of different continents, long journeys and foreign languages. Maybe one day that'll happen. Like- maybe for our 25th wedding anniversary. So for now we've had to readjust our expectations to fit our budget and we're going to have to stick with...


What a deflator eh?! "On our way home" from seeing them though we plan on stopping in Montana for a weekish and going backpacking. I've never been overnight but I love camping and hiking and have always wanted to attempt it. Aaron's been itching to go his whole life but see, I came along, and halted all plans of adventure and excitement.

We've bought some of our gear. Aaron made me buy a backpack for our honeymoon (so we didn't have to pay for checked baggage- so romantic) and he's had one forever. We just bought down sleeping bags off of steep and cheap. And we have a cute little tent that you can barely move around in that's light enough for Aaron to carry (he has agreed to carry anything of weighty significance). He has a little stove so all we need is cooking stuff. I'd rather eat dried fruit and nuts for a week straight as I hate cooking while camping. Fortunately my husband loves it. So all I have to do is sit back and watch him work. Right. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The other big thing we need to do before going is, um, well, move. Like I need to get off my rear end and walk or run or skip or anything. I used to run about 5 miles a week. That's not amazing but there is. no. way. that. could. happen. now. Aaron gets a lot of exercise with working but no cardio so he really needs to do stuff with me but he is in better shape than I am. Another thing to help us get into the groove is a mini backpacking trip maybe in May- to the pictured rocks in the U.P. They look so pretty!

So after I write this I need to go for a walk. But I have a house to clean, laundry to do, bow ties to sew, dresses to sew (I have passed the difficult stuff so you'll see photo's soon!) and I promised my Aaron that I'd bake him some banana blueberry bread.

So we are looking forward to a week of wearing the same clothes, not showering, swatting mosquitos continually, sleeping on the ground and getting to see some of God's gorgeous creation. We'll take a million pictures and I'll tell you all about our adventures!

Of course all plans are subject to change without notice. I've been informed that I still need to get my passport renewed "just in case" and he checks flights to random corners of the world continuously. I am not going to the middle east though. No matter how cheap the flights are.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

hairbow rerun

Is this better? And if you say no then I challenge you to take a picture of the back of your head while managing to not look deranged, get your head in the photo, get massive bow in the photo and to not look deranged. At least in these I only look like I'm in a raging mad mood.

Good quote: "Treat your kitchen like a business; you will spend more money there than anywhere else..."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

houndstooth hair bow

I told my two sisters that I would make little bow ties for their little boys and this is what I ended up with:

I used a combination of numbers I had found online but it looked massive! Note: if you make one of these babies 6"x3" is too large for a two year old. I had Carla measure T's neck width and am going to make the next one that wide (3.25" finished width). I'll also use a wider strip of fabric down the middle- more like a neck tie knot.

Now I need to decide if a hair bow looks ridiculous on me!