Monday, May 17, 2010

Bread Head

Anyone who puts the phrase “no work” on the cover of a cookbook has instantly stolen my heart.

While I like to consume bread (you no-carb suckers have absolutely no idea what you are missing) baking it is a whole other story. I have memories of summer camp, in the kitchen, kneading dough until my forearms were aching and I had a cramp in my neck – all at the tender age of eight. I remember thinking to myself, “why didn’t I choose to ride horses?”

But Lahey, founder of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery, has devised this amazing “no knead” method that involves quickly (key word) mixing all necessary ingredients together, letting it rise for 12 – 18 hours, doing a little more two-minute magic followed by two more hours of rising, throw it in a cast iron pot and less than an hour later…..fresh bread!

Recipes include:

Walnut bread, banana leaf rolls, fresh corn bread, celery root pizza and sweet focaccia.

And here is what I made this morning: Apricot Almond bread.

Buy the book! Your forearms will thank you. And so will your gut.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eat Your Colors

Getting Mr. P. to eat his veggies is like getting troops to pull out of Iraq.
Though not as dire a situation, it remains nonetheless frustrating.
I came up with this simple solution,which, so far, seems to work.

With each meal, Mr. P. gets to move the colored pieced from the blue area to the red color wheel, showing a collection of the colors he’s eaten for the day in fruits and vegetables. The only trick for me is trying to make sure he eats a wide variety of colors.
Here’s the catch: Smarty Pants P. likes to argue the point that if he’s already eaten white banana at breakfast, he shouldn’t have to eat the white cauliflower at dinner. Luckily for me, Trader Joe’s sells the purple and green variety.

Homemade Play-Doh

Here’s a fun and easy weekend project that is non-toxic and virtually edible although very high in sodium.
Many of the ingredients online called for “alum”. I don’t know what “alum” is, nor have I ever seen it in a store. And you should have seen the look on the employees’ faces when I asked them where I could find this “alum”. They looked at me like I’d just asked them if they carried whale meat.
So I just ignored the call for "alum" and it worked out just fine.

First, you will need these ingredients:
2 cups Flour
½ cup Salt
Cream of tartar
Food coloring
Place the flour, salt and tartar in a saucepan and add water. Turn the heat on to low and start stirring. Is should all start to blend together. Keep stirring. It should start to solidify. If it’s too gooey…add more flour. Take off the flame and assess the consistency. Add more flour if necessary. It should be highly pliable, but not gooey.
Divide the mass into sections depending on what colors you want.
Add the food dye.

Use gloves. I didn’t. And, unfortunately, I think my hands will stay this color for a very long time.

You can even mush all the colors together to make one big tie dyed ball.

And when you’re bored with that, it can transform into a lovely hat.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Favorite Flowers

In case you were wondering what kind of flowers to get me....peonies are my favorite.

And they happen to be on sale at Trader Joe's.

Lucky you!

Craft! Baby Changing Pad

This has become one of my favorite baby-on-the-way gifts to make, mainly because you can use the pre-cut fat quarters, which means less margin for error by insuring I have nothing to do with the cutting of the material.
So… goes my first-ever tutorial.
What you need:
18 x 22 cotton print (and a bit extra for the Velcro fixture, or you could use a coordinating color)
18 x 22 terrycloth (I get the organic kind at F & S)
a two inch strip of Velcro
Step One:
Velcro fixture: cut a 2 x 5-inch piece of fabric. Fold and pin as shown.

Sew three sides (the two short sides and the closed side) leaving the fourth side open.
Turn inside out and sew on Velcro strip.
With terrycloth and cotton print, right sides facing, sew all the way around, leaving a three-inch gap so you can turn it inside out. Also, don’t forget to place that Velcro on material piece so it sticks out of the terrycloth and material (just sandwich it between the two materials and sew right over it)

Turn the whole thing inside out.
It’s so pretty!
Figure out how you’re going to compact the project either by folding or rolling. Then sew on the other piece of Velcro so that it jives with the first piece you’ve sewn on. I’ve made the rolling kind, which looks like a yoga mat and is fine for car trunk storage, but I find when I make these as gifts, the folded kind is much appreciated because it is much more compact.
Et voila! Wrap and wait for oo’s and aaah’s.


Let it be known that I am a wannabe crafter. I pay no attention to detail, I have no eye for design and, whenever possible, I take the shortcut.

That being said, I am trying to hone my skills being that I enjoy hammering out product and I have found that sewing (unlike knitting) is actually really fast especially when one is not worried about embarrassing errors. (I won't be selling anything on etsy anytime soon).

So for what it's worth: here is my blog (I abandoned the vegan blog after one month on the diet and a host of side effects I'd rather not go into publically.)

But I wanted a place where I could gather my own favorites: crafts, recipes, excursions, musings, and discoveries.


Fabric by umbrella designs (etsy store link)