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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I wish my kids would get up so they could eat these...

This morning I was in the muffin making mood.  I'm not sure how I came upon these Snickerdoodle muffins, but I decided to try them.

If you are at this very moment comparing the pictures, you will notice that mine look a lot different than "hers".  I have this habit of tweaking recipes.  I can't help myself.  I had blueberries in the fridge and I wanted to use them, but the nostalgic snickerdoodle recipe was beckoning.  So, I added blueberries to the batter right before I put them in the muffin pans.  This was the perfect thing to do, especially since I like my muffins with a lot of texture and not cake-like.  The oatmeal and blueberries in this recipe make them full of texture AND flavor! 

One more thing I changed...I told you, I can't help myself.  Instead of saving the sprinkly sugar/cinnamon coating for after they came out of the oven, I sprinkled some on right before they went into the oven, then every 5 minutes or so, I sprinkled more (while they were baking).  When they had about 3 minutes left in the baking time, I put a little dab of butter on the top of each muffin and sprinkled even MORE sugar/cinnamon!  This made the tops of the muffins crispy and crunchy and cinnamon/sugary.  And that's all there is...there isn't any more.

Duvet cover/shams

I have been diligently working on this the past couple weeks.  Well, as diligently as possible in the middle of running teenagers who don't drive alone yet to all their summer activities ;)  I got a couple hours of sewing in most days, well, a couple days.  Oh forget it, I fooled around for 4 days last week and then killed myself sewing for 12 hours straight, ok?!?  It is done and that is all that matters, right?

This duvet cover with 2 shams is for my "original client".  I think I've mentioned her before.  She keeps me in business.  If it wasn't for her, I'd fool around every day doing meaningless stuff like laundry and blogging and then wonder why everyone else seems to get so much more done than me.  (My codependency counselor would reprimand me for comparing myself to the most truthful, loving and encouraging way possible, you understand.)

I've been told that my blog sounds exactly like me when I talk...scary, isn't it?  I can jump from one subject to the next totally unrelated topic at the drop of a pin.  No wonder I don't get anything done.  I need pictures to keep me focused.
Ah, yes, duvet cover.  It is very girly, no?  Doesn't really go with my aqua color scheme, but my bed was the only one big enough to spread it out.  It does look amazing on a black bed, though.
The main body of the duvet cover is this really furry, fuzzy fabric and the trim is sheer pink chiffon. The fuzzy fabric can also be seen on a few outfits I made for the same client.  People really seem to love this fabric and her daughter gets lots of compliments whenever she wears these one-of-a-kind items ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jake's bone

This has nothing whatsoever to do with sewing or any other project.  This is all about the crazy, lovable dog and the randomness of my life.  Every morning before I back out of the garage, I have to first clear the path of Jake's bone.  And every time I pull back into the driveway, he has strategically placed it again in the path of my car tires.  He WANTS me to run over it to break it open so he can get to the inside stuff!  I laughed at DW when he first told me Jake was doing this.  But he is absolutely right.  This AM I almost backed over it, then got out of the car and kicked it into the grass.  When I came back 30 minutes later, this is what I found:

just waiting there...note the position of the largest bone, perfectly aligned with where my right tire would be.

I don't have time to be blogging about this crazy stuff, but it just made me laugh when I pulled in the driveway and I had to share :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another dress

I just completed a dress that is a variation of Waverly's dress. 
Waverly's dress

Version 2 of Waverly's dress

There is not much difference in the two dresses.  Waverly's was made to wear belted so it has a little elastic in the waist, but the 2nd dress was made to wear unbelted and loose so I just added a tiny band of unfinished lace the the waistline...just for a little definition and interest.  As with the first dress, all skirt seams and lace have unfinished edges.  I love the front lace inset and lace edging that is longer in back than in front.  Waverly wears a slip with hers, but it's really not necessary.  the fabric is very thin and a little sheer, but skin-colored boy shorts are my friend :)  What is the point of wearing a cool summer dress if you layer stuff under it that makes you cook?!?  As my friend so brilliantly said the other day..."I thought slips went out with big hair and white panty hose."  or was it dusting that went out with slips and white panty hose?  Either way...I don't wear slips OR dust.  I've trained my children to do the dusting and slips are just ridiculous.

The new dress is in the washer and after drying I will trim the frayed seams and put it in the mail to my friend in upstate NY, where it may actually be cool enough in summer to wear a slip.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Simple Summer Meal

Last night in between sewing and laundry and baseball camp I was determined to try a new recipe I found.  I had 30 minutes to get it in the oven and run the baseball player to his All Stars practice...could I do it?  It is the perfect test of a summer recipe.

The truth is...there are so few steps to this recipe that it's not even worth blogging about really.  But it was soooo good!  Really, really fresh...lots of flavor...and easy!  We will eat some variation of this meal once a week this summer :)

First, I got out my Real Simple, April 2011 magazine.  Trust me, finding the magazine that contained the recipe I remembered was truly the longest step to making this meal.

1 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper or chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
4 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin (lucky for me, I had just stocked up on these BOGO's @ Winn Dixie)
2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 avacado, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (I used more because I LOVE fresh cilantro)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red chili pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

Mix up all the spices, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, and 1 tsp salt.  Put the pork loin on a rimmed baking sheet, OR I used a loaf pan, and coat it with the spice mixture. 

This is when I was almost ready to leave for practice so I had to think about how to get the meat done by the time I got back without over-cooking it.  Sometimes this is tricky and I have learned to NEVER cook it as long as they say in the recipes!  They are obligated to tell you to cook it till it's shoe leather texture so they don't get sued if someone gets a stomach ache.  I have no such obligation.  I like my meat juicy.  I have never had food poisoning and I have cooked for me my whole life.  And that's all I have to say about that.

So, do what you want, but I set the timer to be done @ 7pm, with a cook time of 35 minutes (recipe said 40-50 min, preheated...psshhhhtt!).  I knew it would take me longer than 35 minutes to get back because I had to walk all the way back to Harrison's field and hand out trophies/pictures/hats and walk through a couple creeks with Eden and Waverly on the way back to the car, then stop @ Publix to get the fresh stuff :)  So that means that the oven had to heat up, and cook, then shut off all in 35 minutes but then it would sit in the cooling oven till I got back. (I was just winging it here.)

This deserves it's own paragraph:  The meat was PERFECT when I got back at 7:15ish!  I know, right?!?  I am amazed myself.  Some days are just like that.  I love summer.

Then I just tossed the rinsed beans, avocado, cliantro, scallions, chili pepper, a few sloshes of olive oil and a little salt & pepper together, squeezed some lime juice over the whole thing and served it up.  The recipe said to do this while the meat was cooking so the flavors could blend but I didn't have all the fresh stuff because I'm practicing to live in Costa Rica when we retire and I run to the market every day for my fresh stuff  :) 

Enjoy your summer!