Sunday, November 8, 2009

"I lie spread out on the floor looking at these things and most of them are yours"

I'm not exactly a grinch, but I'm not a huge fan of Christmas either. Usually, I avoid the holiday until it comes time to sitting around with friends and family playing board games and eating copious amounts of food. Thanksgiving hasn't even reared it's head and already I'm finding myself wandering into the Christmas isle.
This is I may just get into the spirit. I make no promises of santa hats.... but definitely garland, decorations, baked goods and a tiny tree.

My favorite part of fall are pumpkins. I love everything about them. Their big ol' rippled bellies, cute little stumps, nummy seeds and meat. So I made pumpkin bread. I'm lazy so I used canned pumpkin. The bread was aboslutely delicious. It was very very moist and the recipe made two loaves. Woot! It's not too sweet, despite it's 3 cups of sugar. I also didn't have any ground cloves on hand so I left them out. If you like pumpkin bread, you have to try this recipe. It's so damn good. Mmhmm.

Pumpkin Bread

1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
4 large eggs
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8”x5” loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, oil, water and eggs. Mix with electric mixer on low until smooth and incorporated.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Gradually add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.

Pour between the two pan equally. Bake for 55- 1 hour 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let pans cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire rack before wrapping up.

I have a few things on the to do list and a full schedule at work, so let's see what gets done. Till then!

Friday, November 6, 2009

....that's why, the lady is...a tramp.

For this year's Dragon Con I made chipotle cheddar biscuits, banana espresso chocolate chip muffins, blueberry muffins and apple muffins. I cheated with the blueberry and apple muffins. I used...boxed. Gasp! Pictured to our left, are the chipotle biscuits. They are soo yummy and spicy. The recipe will be at the end of this post. I sprinkled some alpine smoked salt on top before baking them.

Here, we have the banana espresso chocolate chip muffins. Dense like a muffin, but sweet like a cupcake. If you can't find the instant espresso, take a look in the "ethnic food section" A few brands from Mexico have the strange little grains you're looking for.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins (from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cups whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (6 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup pan muffin with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg. Set aside.
In another medium bowl whisk together the flour, espresso, baking soda, and salt together. Make a well in the center of the flour bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.
Divide the batter among the muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 15 minutes before removing. Then finishing cooling on a wire rack. Muffins can be kept in an airtight container for 2 days.

Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits (from
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp chipotle powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
2 cups grated and tightly packed sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups butter milk
1 large egg
kosher salt or smoked salt for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pepper, chipotle, sugra, baking powder, cream of tartar and the 1 tsp of salt.

Add the butter and, using your hands or the back of a wooden spoon, work the butter into the dough. The mixture should look like coarse sand. Add the cheese and stir to thoroughly incorporate it into the dough.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Don't overmix.

Use a small ice cream scoop or a smaller measuring cup to scoop the dough and drop it into mounds onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the salt and bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking time, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean.

Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack. The biscuits can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight containter for up to 2 days.

Till the next time!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mini Top Hats

So, my friend requested this "tutorial", so I decided to post it here for everyone to see. Whoever everyone is. This is for mini top hats. They're a little larger than the ones you see on lolita outfits.
You'll need some sort of awesome fabric, I used velvet, paper to do your pattern on, stiff double sided interfacing, some bias tape or ribbon, hot glue gun, or a strong hand and thread.

1.The center of my brim measured 4" in diameter. Brim measured 2 1/2". The diameter of the entire brim on mine was 8 1/2". The top of my hat measures 5". Now for the "stove" of the hat, I cut out four trapezoids and taped them together. Mine were 4 1/2" high 4" wide at the top and 3" wide at the bottom.

2. I placed everything out on the interfacing so I knew how much I would need. Then I ironed my fabric on to both sides of the interfacing.

3. I pinned my makeshift pattern on the newly iron fabric interfacing and cut out all the pieces.

4. Now here comes the parts where you may be able to improvise. Well all of it you can. If you find easier ways, please let me know. I used bias tape of a contrasting color to line all of the edges to make them neater. My basic style sewing machine didnt seem to have any problems taking the thickness.

5. I stitched together the ends of the "stove". I used cutesy little x's. Next, I glued the larger circle to the wider part of the stove and attach the smaller part of the stove to the brim opening.

For the most part, you're done. My room mate and I glued just about everything we could find to the darn things. Leaves, flowers, springs, bells and tulle. Heh heh.

Next up. My first time with donuts! Paula Deen has this awesome sweet potato donuts recipe. They were very very yummy the first night. Link to awesome.

Naked close up

Okay, I know what it
looks like, but it was
very yummy. Promise.

What else? Erm. Well. Till things get awesome....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

So. What else do I blog about? My baking has come to a sputtering halt, life has made sure of that. I could review albums but I lack the street cred. (I found myself "rocking" out to a Miley Cyrus song. I know. Special hell. Shunned by indie snobs) hmm. Vinyl toys? Nerdy updates? Well dammit. I'll keep thinking.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"You know that black river water is as black as sin.."

Bleargh. Nothing new!! Sewing, sewing, sewing. Worrying about Dragon Con. Cleaning the house and doing laundry. Turns out I have ten pillows and one trout shaped body pillow on my bed though....ha ha I hadn't noticed there were that many. Pillow fort time. Pizzazz is done, so soon I'll have my "progress" pictures up of this year's costumes. We will see....
...till then.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Put your suitcase down and leave your shoes, gently by the door, in a puddle with your blues

It sure has been a while. Ill be honest... My suicide girls blog has been receiving most of my loving. Hmmm... Lately, everything has been pretty hectic, so there hasn't been much creative cooking or baking. I only have a about a month before Dragon*Con, so I've been working on costumes. I think this year will be a pretty easy one. Last year, I made a dress out of Monopoly money, a Professor Umbridge, a wench and a Mrs. Lovetts costume. This year, I'm going to be Pizzazz, the lead singer from the Misfits from Jem and the Holograms, Umbridge, and I believe a burlesque character and a wench or gypsy. It's just time for me to put the final outfits together and see what I'm digging. I did make two mini top hats. One for my room mate and one for me.

There wasn't any real strategy to constructing them.
Mostly trial and error and the good ol 2rPi. Ha ha.
I used very stiff, double-sided interfacing and some left over velvet. Of course, if anyone cares to give it a try, let me know, and Ill post a detailed tutorial on how I did it.

Hmm... What other news do I have?
Derby season is soon to come to an end, but we're trying to schedule
some scrimmages between now and February.
We've been doing amazing.
Our team has been working so hard towards communicating and working together. It's paying off. A little picture of a ref and I talking inbetween periods. That's Wille B. Faire. I'm usually inside line, so not many diginfied in action pictures have been taken.

For my birthday, my friends pooled together and gave me a bun ton
of Webber Street Studio tattoos gift certificates.
I just recently used
them. Ha ha. I don't have a wonderful picture yet,
but here's a preview. The picture doesn't do it justice.
The colors are bright and beautiful. It was inspired by a
Susan Crawford piece. She does some very cool mixed
media pieces.

Alright, I'll just dump a few random bits in here... New Superchunk album is ahhhhmmmaaaazzziiinnngggg. Jon Favreau still makes my heart twitterpated. I love roller derby, I hate my job and our house is finally looking like a semi-normal house again. Now I have a blooger app on my iphone, let's see if that helps me update just a bit more.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No one's making us do what we're supposed to so lie here in my arms.

So, between derby and work, the only free time that Ive had has been devoted to sleeping and showering. But I'll update some things that I have tried lately. The blanco pan on the left is my failed attempt at marshmallows. Turns out it's a thousand and three times easier if you have a stand up mixer. Well, more necessary. They never quite set, but man were they yummy. They were also very fun to play with and difficult to cut or manage. The obvious brownies on the right are ammmaaaazzzing. They're from the Baked cookbook. Sadly, I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, but even I find myself craving one ocassionally. Moist and fudgy brownies. Nom Nom.
For dinner recently, I made Chicken with Mustard Pan Sauce from the How To Boil Water cookbook. It's a great beginners cookbook. I'm usually terrified when baking chicken in breast form. I usually...chicken out and slice or cube everything. I'm getting better about it though! It was tangy and very tasty.

And to top off my dump pictures in a plcae post... Megan and I made home made tortilla chips. It was so much fun! Plus salsa tastes so very nummy on dinosaur and unicorn tortilla chips.

Right now, there are candied citrus peels drying in my oven. Grapefruit, lemon and oranges. I'm pretty excited to roll the little suckers in sugar. 14eleven studio is having a(nother) Grand opening. So Thursday and Friday day, I'm going to go into full time baking mode and finish up sewing projects so they can have a whole lot of things to sell and give away. Also, Harvest of Hope music festival is this weekend, so at some point I have to pack for the weekend. Josh and I are going to see Lucero in Ybor Friday night after the gallery opening. We're going to come home, sleep for a couple of hours and wake up super early to leave for the festival in St. Augustine( about a five hours drive) stay the night Saturday and leave Sunday about midnight. Poor Josh has to be at work Monday morning at six. Looking at who's playing, it should all be worth it. Lucero, Against Me!, Gaslight Anthem, Harlem Shakes to name a few. Alright enough for this update! Till next time.