Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mexican Horchata

I don't have many shows I watch on TV anymore, but I subscribe to new YouTube channels all the time.  my newest is tastemade.  I saw them do Mexican Horchata in an ad before something I was waiting to watch on foodwishes, and it looked really good.  I finally got a chance to make it this week after waiting forever to get to try it... and I forgot to get almonds!  I substituted walnuts and it was okay.  I ended up adding almond extract and that made it better.
I generally don't like when recipes make you wait to eat them, but I figured I would give it a shot because even though I hate waiting, all the recipes I do that require a day or so in the fridge are usually awesome, and this one was pretty good.
there were two things I didn't like about it, though: 1) there's a lot of pulp that gets strained out and I feel like it's a lot of waste, 2) even though there was a lot of pulp that got strained out, it was still a little too gritty for my liking.  I have some ideas of how to fix this, and because the cinnamon made me think it would be a better Christmas beverage, I think I'll revisit it later in the year and tweak it a bit.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

pressed flowers hand soap dispenser

this is the soap dispenser I did for Mother's Day with laminated pressed flowers.  I've never laminated anything (besides paper at work) so I wasn't sure how this would come out, but it really made the colors of the pressed flowers pop.  I pressed rose petals and cut them to a nice size/shape and added stems from weeds growing in my yard to create made-up flowers.  I'm sure this is a big no-no in the pressed flower world, but I wanted something pretty and this was how I could achieve it with what I had.
I started by making a template to cut around later.  after tracing the dispenser I went in about 1/4" from the outer line and trimmed it until it looked like it would fit inside.
I laminated my flowers making sure to leave lots of space around each of them, placed the template under the transparency and traced around it with a dry erase marker so the lines would easily wipe off later, and cut it out.
I put the insert I already cut on top of the other to decide how I wanted the position of the other to be, and traced around that one the same as before, but on this one I left the top a little longer so it was easier to separate the two once they were in the dispenser.
I removed the labels from the outside, and drained the soap from the dispenser so it was easier to put the inserts inside.
I rolled the inserts together (making sure the front was facing the side I wanted to use for the front) and put them inside the dispenser.
the tricky part was prying the front and back inserts apart so I could put the pump tube in between them, but it really wasn't that difficult with one of the tops being a little higher than the other.  once the pump tube was in I just poured all the soap back in.
I like the ones I did initially better, but even just these two "flowers" makes this cuter than the regular dispenser.  I suppose I could always add more layers as I find more flowers to press.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Eclair Cake

Friday night, Matt and I watched how to make an Eclair Cake on Cook's Country - it looked soo good!  so I told Matt I'd make it for him for Father's Day, which meant I had to start it the day before so it'd be all set up (unlike in their video... tsk-tsk!).
I added extra graham cracker layers and it almost didn't fit into my pan!  it makes a lot of cake so this would be good for a group of people.  the pudding isn't that sweet (to me!) but the chocolate on top is.  I'm a little torn on it, but Matt liked it so that's all that matters.  I think I'll half it next time I make it for just us, or use two smaller pans and give one away.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

crochet pacifier clip

a friend of ours had a baby girl recently and I wanted to make her something, so I searched to see what would be cute and quick to do.  I decided on a crochet pacifier clip like this one from BerryCuteBaby.
with doubled embroidery floss and a 3.25mm hook, I did a row of foundation double crochet until it looked about as long as I wanted, then did a row of double crochet down the other side and ended with a chain loop.  I fed the end through the end of a suspender clip and stitched it down real good, then stitched down a flower over that because to get it tight and secure on the clip it looked kinda... meh.  the flower made it cute and served its purpose to cover my sewing.
even if she ends up not liking pacifiers, this works good as a leash for teething toys.

Monday, June 10, 2013

dinosaur and robot

I was asked to make some props for Audacity Theatre Lab's play Dinosaur and Robot Stop a Train like the Blork doll I made a few years ago.
aren't they just too cute??  I was worried I wasn't gonna be able to pull it together and make it all work, but it did and it took me all the way up to the deadline to finish them!  I forget how much free time I had before kids when I try to tackle something that would have taken an afternoon to complete a few years ago and it takes me a month now.
the play is in the Festival of Independent Theatres at the Bath House Cultural Center until June 22nd - go see it!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stuffed French Toast Crunch

I've been going to Sunny Street CafĂ© by our house and getting their French Toast Crunch.  it's breaded in brown sugar, coconut and granola - it's so good!  every time I eat it I think about how I can make my own.  then I started thinking about my other favorite French toast - IHOP's stuffed French toast with cream cheese and strawberries.  then I wondered how awesome those two would be together!  so out came my mom's Snakmaster and here we are.
8 slices of bread (your choice of flavor, I used honey wheat because that's what we normally eat but cinnamon raisin bread would be really good!)
1/2 C shredded coconut
1/4 C granola (I use Archer Farms Pecan Sticky Bun granola cereal from Target because that's what I could find and it sounded good)
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk
4 oz. cream cheese
3 TBSP butter
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
fresh or frozen strawberries, or other fruit
Heat strawberries on stove (or in microwave) with a little sugar (optional) until they can be mashed up.  Set aside to cool. Cream butter and cream cheese together, slowly add powdered sugar until combined, add a splash of milk if too thick, and mix in vanilla.  Tweak flavor if necessary and set aside.  Add milk to beaten egg and set aside.  Pulse coconut, brown sugar, and granola together in a food processor (I use a coffee grinder) until it looks like bread crumbs, set aside.  Spread filling onto a slice of bread and sandwich with another slice, dip in egg and milk mixture, then dip in coconut and granola mixture and lay in the preheated Snakmaster.  Close the Snakmaster for a minute, then check to make sure it's not browning too much.  When the outside is brown enough for your liking, take it out.  Top with powdered sugar and/or fruit.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I remember watching HSN when I was a kid in the 90's and seeing the Snakmaster - it looked so neat to me.. for some reason!  my mom got one and we used to put pancake mix in it.  it was fun for a little bit and then we forgot about it.  recently I've been using it and coming up with some recipes, and all our food has pretty much been triangular, but it's all good.
some things I've made are grilled cheese (Leo loves this with Ranch dressing and eats it crust and all),
leftovers quesadilla made from a tortilla and leftovers from the fridge (chicken tetrazzini, I think) and cheese,
"corn dogs" made from Jiffy cornbread batter and hotdogs,
and muffin mixes (Leo's finger in the corner waiting to snatch one).
I'll be posting some recipes I came up with soon, and I have to say, they are really good!