Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lazy Saturday


Stuff I've made so far this weekend...

Pretty much the best breakfast sandwich known to mankind, if I can toot my own horn. Hint, it involves 2 slices of bacon and these marvelous egg fry rings from Williams Sonoma. A must have. Really.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Strawberry Margarita Pie via Annie's Eats



First, can I say how much I love the site Annie’s Eats? It’s fabulous. Tons of great recipes, PLUS Annie responds to comments if you have questions. Neat, right? I love Martha, but Annie’s got her beat there.

I found this fab recipe last week while trying to figure out something fun to bring to a Memorial Day pool party. Strawberries + whipped cream + tequila = deliciousness. Done!

The filling was really quick and easy, but I had problems with the crust. My first try failed miserably. It just slid down the sides of the pan, and you really do need that high edge to hold in the soft filling. The second go round worked much better, and the trick was that I allowed the melted butter to cool completely and also added an extra graham cracker.

So, here’s the dessert porn:

Pros:

1) Delicious. You can taste the tequila, and nothing goes better with a sunny day.
2) Fairly simple and easy to throw together. Quick.
3) Doesn’t require a ton of ingredients

that's it, folks!
Cons:
1) Tricky crust
2) LOTS of dishes (see below)
3) This is most important, the pie HAS to remain frozen. Yeah. I went to serve the thing after it had been sitting in our friend’s fridge for a few hours, and it was a semi-solid mess. Still delicious, though, and the half-drunk group didn’t mind a bit.


overshare? maybe.



Strawberry Margarita Pie


(from Annie’s Eats. Visit and show her some love, ok?)

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 graham crackers, so 1 sleeve + 1 cracker)
1/3 cup sugar
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled.

For the filling:
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 tbsp. tequila
1/4 cup triple sec
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Zest of one lime
2 cups heavy cream

For garnish:
Fresh strawberries
Lime slices or wedges

Directions:
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment, as well as the sides of the springform. In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter and toss with a fork until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the springform pan and evenly cover the sides and bottom of the pan with crumbs (use the bottom of a ramekin to even the bottom crust). Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, combine the strawberries, sugar, condensed milk, tequila, triple sec, lime juice and lime zest in the bowl of a food processor. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add one third of the whipped cream to the puree and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Stir in the remaining cream.

Pour the filling into the crust, cover, and freeze until firm at least overnight. To remove the springform sides, wrap a towel soaked in hot water around the outside of the pan for 10-15 seconds. Carefully remove the sides of the pan. Before serving, garnish with fresh strawberries and lime slices as desired. To serve, slice with a hot, dry sharp knife, wiping the blade between slices.

Source: adapted from Manchester Highlands Inn via Hostess with the Mostess

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Martha-filled post

More satisfying than a jelly-filled donut.. well, maybe.



I am a subscriber to Martha Stewart's ultra fab daily email blasts, Craft of the Day and Organizing Tip of the Day. So even on days like this one when I'm miserable and sick in bed, I can ooh and ahh over Martha's ideas and be productive in spirit.

A recent Organizing Tip of the Day: How to Fold a Fitted Sheet. Oh, Martha, don't tease. That's certainly something that has always alluded me. When we lived in the city and there were cheap wash-n-fold places aplenty, I used to send all of our laundry out. I was always so fascinated as to how they got the sheets to fold all crisp and neat like. I was convinced they had a magical sheet-folding machine hidden in the back. The amount of joy I get from nicely folded things is disturbing, and probably a direct result from my years folding t-shirts at a big national clothing store. Anywhoo. Way off track here. What I want to say is THANKS Martha for finally clearing this up for me. I highly recommend signing up for Martha emails (she has others, too - like Cookie of the Day)

Martha tidbit #2:
All Martha Stewart Crafts at Michaels are right this very moment 25% off. This rarely happens, folks, so run over and snap up all of your Martha goodies. I just got THIS, THIS, and a whole mess of THIS. Don't tell the husband I bought more ribbon, kthnxbai.


*Martha discounts trump sickness. Apologies to all of the michael's employees I may have infected. I know, I know... my mother would not approve.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cool Stuff Other People Made

So, this is incredibly exciting in the blog world!

Check out the Better Homes and Gardens 48-Hour Challenge. From their site: "We rounded up five talented home and garden bloggers and charged them with a tall task: designing a $500 outdoor project that you can re-create at home in a weekend. Check out the five final projects and vote for the recipient of a $5,000 bonus!"

Awesome, yes? I have to say, I'm so happy for Making it Lovely and This Young House, two of my very favorite and always inspiring blogs.


bhg challenge

So, check out their designs and of course, vote!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vintage Apron - What I Learned



I had it in my head that for my inaugural sewing project, I had to make a vintage apron. Most sewing books (Sewing for Dummies, for sure) recommend a pillow or something equally straight forward. Nope, not me. Gimme that vintage pattern that may or may not have all of the pieces, and let's DO IT! (imagine fist pumps, ok?)

I spent 5 hours making this apron, and I'm still not happy with it.

Learn from my mistakes, people.
-First, sew the damn pillow.
-Second, if you must sew the apron, pre-wash your fabric. At the time, we didn't have on-site laundry, so my impatience got the better of me.
-Third, learn about your hem allowances. Don't guesstimate the first time.
-Fourth, don't choose a fabric with horizontal lines. Tricky to match up and make sure everything is heading in the right direction.

So, here's the finished product:



Say hello to Alex P. Kitten's butt.





Baby yellow rick-rack. Which I love.


A little too nurse-y. Not flattering. But I think a lot of that has to do with not pre-washing the fabric, as it looks a bit stiff. Anyway, live and learn. Next project, much better. Promise.