14 October 2015

Two Sashiko Projects

Sashiko and orchids wall hanging quilt, sayagata background quilting. Sashiko and orchids wall hanging quilt. I used a spotted fabric for the lip. Sashiko tote bag, side 1, yokogushi rows and Archimedean spirals. Front 1 of my sashiko tote bag, with traditional sayagata stitch design. Profile of my sashiko tote bag, showing a teeny bit of both sides. I went with Lush fabric for the lining.

Small Quilted Thingamajig Catch-Up Post

I made this for a mini-swap. Not too shabby for my first DWR!
Mug Rug Revival- My first mini DWR block.

I even liked the way the back turned out.
Mug Rug Revival- It's rare that I like the back as much as the front of something I make, but this is one of those times!

This was what I made for the spring pillow swap.
I forgot to take an overall shot.

I had been desperately wanting to do some low volume EPP... The result made me not so happy. But meh. Luckily it is a potholder so it will be covered with sauce anyways.
Finally finished a potholder! It doesn't look exactly how I planned, but it is functional and relatively pretty.

Here is the back with the quilting. I also forgot to change the bobbin thread. Meh, all around on this poor potholder.
Finally finished a potholder! It doesn't look exactly how I planned, but it is functional and relatively pretty.

This was what I came up with for the fall pillow swap...
Finished Fall swap pillow

Back zipper/envelope closure.
Finished Fall swap pillow

Fabric close-up
Finished Fall swap pillow

Then I made a postcard for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Wooo.
Postcards + quilting = happy Sabrina. This one needs a home.

This was what I came up with for the Teal Mini Swap for Ovarian Cancer on Facebook. It is a Lone Starburst.
Teal Mini Swap

I got a little crazy with my new walking foot. Oooops!
Teal Mini Swap

And this is what I'm working on for the winter pillow swap. To be continued...
Is this going in the right direction?

Gratuitous Catch-up Food Post

This post will cover all of the new and exciting recipes I have tackled since April. Wow. I am bad at updating. Let's start in the past and work our way to the present...

I got married (June 5th)! We made our own cake! It is a German beesting cake
Beesting cake with Bavarian cream. I cook when my brain won't turn off.

Sourdough rye breads (James Beard recipe)
Saturday Sourdough: James Beard's sourdough rye recipe.

Buttery sourdough paprika rolls
Whole wheat sourdough rolls with paprika butter!

Braised short ribs, our first meal to cook together as a married couple!
Our first meal to cook as a married couple. <3 Braised short ribs, Brussels sprouts, cucumber salad, and rosemary focaccia.

Roasted veggies
I'm not sure what I love most about roasted veggies: their taste, smell, or appearance!

Spaghetti squash with homemade marinara and quinoa sticks
Spaghetti squash, roasted marinara sauce, quinoa cheesy "bread", and spinach salad! Omnomnom.

Pork chops and roasted poblano soup
Nothing like making poblano soup and pork chops during 100 degree weather to take the edge off!

Peach chicken with veggies and mashed cauliflower/sweet potato/red potato
Peach chicken, mashed red potato/sweet potato/cauliflower, with steamed broccoli and carrots.

Mushroom, garlic, salmon, cream cheese, asparagus quiche with standard crust
Nearly everything quiche, with standard quiche

Mushroom, garlic, salmon, cream cheese, asparagus quiche with hashbrown crust Nearly everything quiche, with hashbrown crust

04 March 2015

Food and Swaps

I am catching up on blog posts, so bear with me. This will be a quick one.

I made this tote for the Sew Sew Modern 6 swap.

This is what I'm tentatively working on for the Mug Rug Revival swap.
Partner, is this any good or should I try again with more colors of the rainbow?

This is the Valentine's Day Feast I made for my fiance, mom, and cousin: Crown rack of lamb with roasted veggies.

I also made this from an episode (Frontier Fiesta) of the Pioneer Woman show: Tequila lime chicken, refried black beans, and cheesy rice casserole. We loved the chicken and black beans, but the rice was slightly boring. I would rather just make my great grandma's Mexican rice.

02 March 2015

Tardis! Tardis! Tardis!

My fiance's best friends are having a baby boy, named Topher, and he is due any week now. In January, I helped to throw them a Dr. Who themed baby shower.

For the shower, I made some triangle bunting with multi-Tardis fabric (is the plural of Tardis Tardii?) and K9 fabric.
Close up of the multi-Tardis fabric. Is it Tardises or Tardii?

I did not think to get a picture of them. But I do have a picture of the Topher blocks I made into bunting. 
Decorations for a Dr. Who themed baby shower I'm throwing for a friend. So much Tardis fabric!

Hopefully the letters and triangle bunting will all end up getting used for something now that the shower has passed.

As for my shower gift, I decided to make a Tardis quilt. As for the design, I made up the pattern as I went, so if you are interested, let me know and I can get you my diagrams and cutting measurements. Here it is in phase 1, without a border.
Tardis quilt front for Dr. Who baby shower gift. Does it need a border?

I'm calling it "Tardis Sunrise." Sticking with my goal of using up my fabric stash instead of immediately buying fabric for quilts, it was made entirely from my stash!
Tardis quilt finished! Just in time for the Dr. Who baby shower.

The quilting was done in royal blue thread and is just random straight lines which created some neat geometric shapes.

The soon-to-be parents sent me this picture a while back. It shows the quilt in its new home. Yaaay! Thanks to Mike and Jamie for the picture.

17 February 2015

Two Bunnies

Within the past 6 months, Anjo and I have adopted two [fixed] house-bunnies through Bunny Buddies in Houston: Luna and Neville. 

Luna was adopted on August 2, 2014, and at the time we had no plans to adopt a second housebunny. She is a Californian but was nearly all white with light grey points. Awww, isn't she a cutie? We named her Luna because of how beautifully light her fur is AND her light grey points reminded me of  bassalt-rich outcroppings found on the moon. Moon = Luna. 

What a gorgeous bunny! The previous picture shows her in the warm, Texas summer. Once the weather started cooling, she went through a molt, and her points came back much darker. It is hard to imagine, but this is the same bunny, just 6 months apart. 

Californian rabbits get darker in winter and lighter in summer because the mutated gene that causes their albinism is temperature sensitive. The cooler it is, the darker the fur. To put it more scientifically, the mutated color blocking gene cannot function in lower temperatures, which frees the dark fur genes, that had been suppressed, to work their magic. The points are only visible because the ears, nose, feet, and tail are the coolest places on a bunny.

Oh, yeah! I started this post with the mention of TWO bunnies. Let's get back to that.

A few months into our life with Luna, we started to notice that she might be needing a companion. On January 25, 2015, we found ourselves, with Luna, at a Bunny Buddies adoption event looking for another bunny. She met four rabbits that day, and got along as well as could be expected with three of them. She even groomed two of them, which left the ultimate decision up to us. We decided on this little fella, and named him Neville, because he is sort of awkward. He is fully grown, but small (half Luna's size) and he has huge feet that he trips over.

He also has ambidextrous ears! Sometimes they are up, sometimes they are down. What a cutie patootie!

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will understand the names. Even though JK Rowling did not decide to have Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom marry each other, we felt that they were meant to be together in SOME way. As to what extent that is, we have no idea yet. They are not exactly on friendly terms now that we are back at Luna's home. She is a territorial little bun! They have gotten in a few squabbles, so we are taking it easy and letting them live in separate houses. Fingers crossed for an eventual friendship between the two of them. 

20 January 2015

Syrniki Recipe

I love cooking! I love Postcrossing! I love having breakfast for dinner! I especially love when these two hobbies and one passion collide, as they recently did with the making of this delectable Postcrossing-inspired, breakfast for dinner extravaganza: Syrniki.

It all started when I received a gorgeous recipe postcard from Belarus. For those of you who might not be geographically inclined, let me begin by giving you a teensy bit of background information about The Republic of Belarus, which can be found here:

Belarus declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, and now is home to roughly 9.5 million people. The capitol is Minsk (where more than 1/5 of the population lives). Perhaps one of my favorite Belarusian tidbits is that they have insanely gorgeous stamps! Every time I receive a Postcrossing postcard from Belarus, I am blown away by the stamps! Their wildlife collection is far-and-away my favorite.

Oh, yes, I was talking about a specific postcard before my propensity to go off on geographical and philatelic tangents took over. This postcard, to be exact:

Ain't she a beaut? 

The pictured syrniki, or Belarusian cheese pancakes looked delicious, so Anjo and I decided to try making them (after perusing the interwebs for other syrniki recipes to make sure the postcard recipe was comparable. I'm on to you, cake recipe card I purchased in France!). 

They turned out as delicious as we could have imagined. These are not going to feel like your typical breakfasty pancakes. They are much more dense, quite filling, and oh-so-tasty! Naturally I would expect this given that the average winter temperature in Minsk, (the capitol, in case you forgot) is 20.46 F degrees (or -6.41C). In that kind of weather, you need hearty food! ...Said the Texas gal who lives where it has not even dipped below freezing this winter. 

After making the recipe twice, Anjo and I have filled in the gaps that were in the postcard version. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! Spoiler alert for your tastebuds: Anjo said these are officially his favorite pancake. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 500 grams of cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 4-6 Tbsp. sugar
  • scant 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • oil for cooking (I used vegetable, the card suggests sunflower)
1) Crack 2 eggs in a bowl.

2) Add 500 grams of cottage cheese and mix. It will stay lumpy. I tried to measure it out in cups, but a scale really worked best.

3) Add 1.5 cups of flour, a scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I just don't have a 1/3 tsp. scoop!) and 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and mix. I found varying info about how much a "packet" of baking powder contains, but this amount seemed to give the pancakes a wonderful texture, so I'm sticking with it.

4) Add 4-6 tablespoons of sugar and mix. The postcard called for 6-7 tablespoons, so we tried 6 the first time and it was too sweet for us. Four tablespoons made for a nice and savory pancake. Basically, add how much sugar your heart tells you to... Provided it is somewhere around the 4-6 range.

5) Heat a splash of oil in a pan. Add batter to the now heated, and oiled pan. A 1/3 cup measuring scoop works well at keeping the pancake sizes even.

6) Cook the pancakes covered for about 5 minutes, over medium low.

7) They should look about like this when they are ready to flip. 

8) Carefully flip them. Cook on the second side for about 3 minutes. If they are too brown or too pale after flipping, adjust either your heat or the length of time on each side. Not all stovetops work exactly the same.

9) Transfer to a paper towel lined plate/tray and dab some of the grease off. Or just eat them greasy. This is a judgment-free grease dabbing zone. Apologies for the gratuitous engagement ring shot! 

10) Enjoy! The postcard suggests topping the pancakes with sour cream, but syrup would also work if you are trying to convince these pancakes to be more like other pancakes. Personally I feel they are fine without any topping, but a nice serving of fruit and a slice of bacon definitely rounds out the plate. Eat them hot or put them in the fridge and microwave them later. If they get too soggy after microwaving, pop them in the toaster oven for a bit to crisp them up.