Monday, August 26, 2013

Les petits macarons

I have been on a macaron baking spree. My brother got married last week and I made them for the wedding. Hundreds! They were up to their traditional macaron tricks- hundreds of them didn't rise properly in the oven due to one of a thousand potential trivial changes.

The end result was what mattered though. The duds were still delicious to eat! I ended up making a couple hundred more than first planned because of the ones that rose poorly. 

Pink: Rose water butter cream
Orange: Peach blossom butter cream
Blue: Chocolate ganache rolled in coconut
Purple: Blackberry jam made by the monks at St Tikhons
Lavender: Vanilla bean butter cream rolled in lavender flowers
Green: Peppermint chocolate ganache
Yellow: Lemon curd
White: Coffee bean topping with mocha ganache filling.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Parchment Salmon with Mushrooms and Spinach

2 Cups spinach
1/4-1/2 Cups fresh mushrooms
2 Salmon steaks
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Springs of fresh dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer parchment in a baking pan. Spread spinach and mushrooms on parchment (the juices of the salmon will cover them with deliciousness) then cover with salmon. Drizzle with oil, then a good shake of salt and pepper. Top with fresh dill, then fold parchment so that its scrumptiousness is sealed inside. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 15 minutes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Make your own Waldorf doll (links)

A good friend of mine recently gave me a Waldorf doll kit. I've wanted to try making a Waldorf doll for a while, but never got around to getting all of the supplies (which are not that much) for it.

What supplies do you need?

Wool or other stuffing medium
Flesh colored knit 1/4 of a yard should do the trick with some left over.
Yarn for hair
Colored thread for eyes, mouth and detail work of body
Strong cotton string
Stretchy tube thing (like a thick nylon stocking)
Beeswax crayon or something similar for cheeks

I followed two tutorials online. This one shows in great detail how to make the head. This post covers most essentials of the body and reiterates most of the first tutorial about the head. They both have printable pattern pieces, though you may need to tweak them to get the right size.

I used a different method for adding the hair. Sandwich strips (lots and lots) of yarn over similar colored tissue paper (or tape). Sew a tight seam down the middle, then rip off the tissue paper. Now you will have a strip of parted yarn hair that you can hand sew on the doll's head. There are lots of other tutorials online if you search "how to add doll hair" or something like that.

These dolls are very expensive ($100+) to buy, but if you make one it is very inexpensive. I made the whole thing from start to finish in one day. Granted, I devoted a lot of time to it, but I still had plenty of time leftover to make breakfast, lunch, dinner, go to church and watch two episodes Deep Space Nine. Haha.

My daughter fell in love with it before it really had a form. It was just a ball of wool stuffed in a white tube with some strings, no face or anything. I made the body, attached the finished head and also made a quick dress while she was napping. She was so excited when she woke up!

I certainly made some doll making rookie mistakes, but I'm pretty satisfied for a first attempt. I hope you give it a try!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Crock pot goulash

This is an old stand-by of mine. My mother and grandmother used to make it often, though I think it was a little different. You can also make it on a stove-top just as easily.

2 cups ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups egg noodles or 1.5 cups elbow macaroni
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water or vegetable stock (tastes better)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

If you want it to taste extra delicious, fry the ground beef with the onions and garlic on the stove top(add a little oil to keep from sticking), then add to a pot with the stock and tomatoes.  You could also just put everything in the crock pot and let it sit for a few hours on low.
Add the pasta about ten minutes before you want to serve it. It probably goes without saying, but bring the soup to a boil before adding the pasta, then let simmer for about ten minutes- or until the pasta is cooked. Add salt and pepper.
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