Thursday, August 25, 2011

so many pouches

recently ashbash came over for a day of crafting.  this may sound like a straight forward act but really it was the work of a small miracle.  We had come up with a long list of crafts to do this summer but due to my traveling, both of our jobs, and some random disasters like my apartment flooding (wtf?) we made slow progress on that list.

when we did finally gather for take 523 million of crafting day we set out to make some pouches.
Ashley had requested that we make headphone pouches: pouches to hold our headphones while not in use.  Brilliant, obvi. So we did.  Loving stripes as we do, ashley picked a blue seersucker and i a green and pink number.  (unfortunately we were so distracted by the fact that we were actually crafting that no action pictures were taken.) The process to make these is pretty straightforward:

Headphone Pouch
Pretty fabric, 6 x 11 inches (approximately)
Fusible Interfacing, lightweight
Thread in matching theme
Button in matching theme
Sewing Machine

1. Pick your fabric, cut a 6 x 11 inches piece
2. Cut a piece of interfacing a bit smaller than 3 x 11 inches so it fits over half of the fabric lengthwise.  3. Press interfacing to the inside (or wrong side) of your fabric, following the manufacturer's directions.
4. Fold fabric lengthwise so right sides are touching each other -- aka you see the wrong side of your fabric only.  Press the edge.  You should be looking at a piece of fabric ~3 x 11 with one side being interfacing and the other the reverse of your fabric. Pin closed.
5. Sew around two sides of your fabric: the other long side and one short side.
6. You should now have a pouch that is 3 x 11 with one short side open.  Fold right-side out and press edges. Fold in the raw edges of the open side and sew closed.
7. Next decide how much of a lip you want on your pouch.  As you can see by the finish project Ashley wanted hers to fold over completely, while I went with a mostly covered look.
8. Sew a button hole to what will be the top of your pouch.  Use the attachment on your sewing machine for this, it's amazing.
9. Fold up the bottom flap and mark through the buttonhole where the button should go.  Sew on the button. 
10.  Fold up the bottom and pin sides. Sew closed.
Ta-da! you are done and ready to store those headphones when on the go!

We were so pleased with ourselves we made one more project: the very simple Lewis bag.
What is a Lewis bag? Well clearly it is a bag in which you crush ice for cocktails. duh!

How do you make such a bag? So simple:

Lewis Bag
Thick thick fabric, like canvas.
Pretty Thread in a bright color
Sewing Machine
1. Take a piece of heavy duty fabric and cut to ~14 x 24 inches
2. Pin the two short edges and and sew down.  You should fold them in opposite directions so that when flat you see pin heads on one edge but not the other.
3. Fold up one side about two-thirds up (see above pic). You should fold up the side so that the short edge you see is the wrong side.  Sew side edges. Flip right-side out and press edges. 
4. Um, yeah you are kind of done. I said it was easy.  Now fill with ice, take a wooden mallet and get out your stress.  Pour into glass and make a drink!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

pizza pizza

School has started and life is already crazy.  As such, I'm a big fan of my go-to meals.  This pizza is one such meal - it takes no time and is yummy, you'll also get two meals out of it. 
Start with some pizza dough, roll it out  (you know the drill).  Plop it on a sheet pan that has some cornmeal on it.  Drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop (or three) of ricotta.
Add some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Then some sliced zucchini, prosciutto, and parmesan.

Bake that baby according to your dough directions and get ready for deliciousness. 
So good. So easy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

When in Doubt

Brunch is my favorite meal of the day, and as such, why not eat it all the time?  Whenever in doubt for what to cook I go for some brunchy delights.  The other night I had a leftover ciabatta roll and decided to make some french toast.  I combined an egg, some milk, Kahlua, and vanilla and soaked the bread in it.  While it was frying up I scrambled a couple of eggs and topped them with some smoke shredded cheese.  The toast had a great candied crunch on the edges and together with the creamy eggs it was delicious.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So many braids

The summer obsession with braids is still thriving.  If you couldn't tell from the last braidtastic post, I have a lot of hair, thick hair, which can make braiding, and hairstyling a challenge.  That being said some good things are happening.

Braid + Bun = Balla. I saw this on cupcakes and cashmere and thought it was adorable and easy enough.  It was.  Just a braid on one side of the head followed by a bun. prec.
For fourth of July, I got a little crazy and decided that I needed to rock three braids.  I had two front side braids that led down into one full ponytail braid. ridiculous.
 Finally, I saw this on pinterest (duh) and that it was different and cute. So I gave it a try. One problem: remember all that hair of mine? Yeah, turns out it's not so easy to tie it into knots.  I only got one knot out of it; I thought it looked cute enough, until it fell out shortly after...
 More braiding to come later.

Gin: What Summer Tastes Like

I was recently reminded of a something my dear Ashbash said towards the end of last semester: "Gin is what summer tastes like." She is clearly correct in this opinion and I'm quite thankful for it.  Gin is my favorite and I have enjoyed it in some tasty cocktails this summer.  But all of the fancy gin cocktails this summer have had something in common: cucumber.  A delicious addition.
Given my growing appreciation for this new twist I followed in Ashbash's footsteps (and fine recipe) and made some cucumber infused gin. 
I started with some sliced cucumber, a mason jar, and a bottle of gin.  I went with the lime-twist gin since I always like lime in my gin drinks.
It's pretty simple: just put some slices of cucumber in the jar, top with gin and seal it. I let my set for probably 3 days

When you are ready to go pour the contents of the mason jar into a measuring cup (I went with my gravy separator to catch the cumbers.)   Pour the gin back into your bottle and you have made some infused booze!
 Now all that's left to do is pour yourself a bit, top it with some soda water, and take a sip of summer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

southern charmer

Peanut Butter and Tomato Sandwiches. I grew up eating them because the women in my family do. Apparently most others did not and think this is a strange combo... Don't let those fears get you, they are delicious. 

I was thus, quite excited when TJs in NC was selling Arkansas tomatoes (which are the best in case you were wondering).  I went to the freezer and pulled out a couple slices of my grandmother's bread, slathered it up with PB, topped with the 'maters, a dash of salt and was happy.

You really should give it a shot sometime, I promise it's not too weird.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

La-La Land

I was recently home in Cali for a week of loveliness with some of my favorite people.  The trip was filled with many great meals from all of my favorite restaurants, obvi.  Over the weekend though, we went up to Big Bear Mountain with some friends.  We were celebrating Marisa's bday so I made some cupcakes, watermelon cupcakes.  I started with a yellow cake batter and added chocolate chips (to act as seeds) and a combo of neon pink and red food coloring.
 The baked up quite nicely and had a pretty good 'watermelon' tint to them.
The frosting was the basic sugar-butter-vanilla-lemon combo.  I separated it into two batches, one in watermelon green and the other a lime-ier one to act as the stripes on a watermelon.
 I ran out of the lime green though so I topped the others with pink and chocolate sprinkles to keep the theme going.
They were quite tasty but my seeds sank to the bottom :(
 Once we got to the mountain we were well fed by Tyler who cooked up some delicious meals all weekend.
 Finally, I must mention the late night treat that was tater-tot nachos, amazingly delicious.
After a crazy night out and about what else could you possibly want?

Amurikan Cupcakes

So, recently it was America Day, aka the Fourth of July.  I celebrated the rainy day with Ashbash, Shira, and Casey with some delicious food, great music, and some scattergories. I contributed some strawberry layer cupcakes which were awesome.  I whipped up a yellow cake batter and filled the cups about halfway. 

I then added some sliced strawberries and then topped off each cupcake with more batter.  For the frosting, it was the basic butter-sugar-vanilla combo just kicked up a bit with lemon and amaretto.  Boom.  I didn't want the frosting to be too heavy though so I lightened it up with some whipped cream...

The final touch: a few more strawberries on top!


delicious. xoxo


Now I am behind on my blogging, to see how far behind, check out when Ashbash wrote about this...
A few weeks ago, Ashbash, Shira, Amy, and myself set off on a flashback to our childhood. We ventured to Cary, the land of phds and strip-malls.  Our first stop was DQ. Oh yes, you remember the days of blizzards and fried goodness.  We relived all the goodness.  We each got a blizzard and I also had to get a burger and fries, obvi.  It was delicious, the blizzard was so good, and of course did not spillover when turned upside down, the true test of goodness. 
After that we headed to the roller rink, which was supposed to be rocking out the classic jams of the 80's and 90's but their taste was not up to par.  Ashbash showed off her mean skating skills and I apparently forgot how to roller skate and fell a few times...Amy did award me as best dressed though. I clearly rocked a side pony, scrunchie, old 80's t-shirt and knee high socks. Need I say more?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh Arkansassy!

I recently got to spend a few days in Little Rock with my Arkansas team and it was of course a wonderful time filled with my wonderful people and delicious food.
I of course had to go to my favorite brunch spot, b-side.  Seriously people, it may be my favorite place to get brunch in the country.  I force myself to get something different every time I go and I'm never disappointed.  I went basic this time with the traditional breakfast - eggs, bacon, toast, gouda grits. Yes gouda grits, they are so friggin' good it should be illegal.  Did I mention the $3 mimosas? Yeah, I love this place.

I also got to enjoy some items that really you can only justify while on the south. Items like, buffalo chicken dip and a bacon cheeseburger topped with a fried egg...

During these fine few days I also had a take on my summer fancy.  Any gin cocktail that combines cucumber, mint, and lime will do.  It is an amazingly refreshing combo that never disappoints.  This one was called the effin good martini, and it was.

Finally there was the absolute ridiculousness that was dessert.  We ordered key lime pie and a flourless chocolate cake topped with ganache, blue bell, and whipped cream.  Now the piece of pie in the picture was a standard slice of pie to help show how absolutely massive the chocolate cake was.  And it was every bit as delicious as it looks.  Now Arkansas holds a good piece of my heart, but I worry I can't ever live there again or else I'll blow up like a hot air balloon...