Monday, February 28, 2011

Frilly Lamp Shade

I love this lamp shade.  I made it a while before I started this blog, but I really wanted to add it to my DIY so I thought I would do the same layering to this little glass light that I have on my night stand.  It's a cheapie that I got from Ikea a long time ago, and during some move it got cracked.  So, why not spruce it up a bit.

What you'll need:

Parchment or wax paper
Glue (plain ol' Elmer's works perfect)
Lamp shade
Pen Knife

First, you want to cut out your pieces of paper.  For the first project, I took my metal ruler and used that as my width guide as well ad straight edge to cut along.  I just laid the ruler over the paper and lined it against the edge of the paper and ran the knife along the other side of the ruler.  Then I cut those strips into 2 inch long pieces.

For the second lamp, I couldn't find my pen knife, so I tried just folding the wax paper in half, then half again, and agin until i was about an inch wide, then I folded that like an accordion into 2 inch sections, to give myself a guide for cutting with scissors.  It wasn't nearly as neat.  But I will post the step by step photos anyways.

Once I had a good size pile of cut paper, I ran a line of glue along one edge of a strip, and starting from the bottom and working around, I over lapped each piece half way. I let the first layer hang over the lamp shade about half, so about 1 inch was hanging over the shade. When you get all the way around, you will have to lift the first piece up and slide the last one underneath.

Make sure you pay more attention to the bottom of the paper than the top that it is lining up.  The top line (where the glue is) will get covered by the next layer or paper.  The bottom shows.

For the second row, you will want to start it so it covers half of the first.  Glue the second row all the way around, lifting the first strip and sliding the last underneath again.  Continue this all the way to the top.  The second to last row should be flush with the top of the lamp shade.  For the last row, cut the strips in half again, so they are one inch, and glue them around the top flush again with the top rim of the lamp shade.

Here was my last full sized layer, but I didn't stick it flush with top.  I should have, because you can tell when the light is on that they layer under the last top layer doesn't go all the way.

Done!  Isn't it cute!!!  Kam says it looks like a skirt.  Its probably a little too frilly for him (or any guy) but I love it!!  This is Dexter while I was working on the lamp, he was snooze'n in his favorite position.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yarn Balls

I just sat here for a full 2 minutes and tried to think of something other than balls to call these, but they're balls, made from yes, the title of this post will be yarn balls.  And, they are really cute and fun to make.  You could make a bunch of them and fill a bowl or vase.  I'm thinking I might make some really big and hang them inside the big tent at our wedding.

What you'll need:

Mod Podge
Different colored yarn or twine or any kind of string
Some sort of contraption to hang them from
close pins
pie plate

Mix 1 part Mod Podge to 2 parts water in your pie plate.  Unwind your yarn into the glue mixture.  You will want about twice as much yarn as you think.  For my first one, I probably had about 10 feet and it wasn't near enough to wrap around my balloon as many times as I wanted.   Besides, if you have too much, you can always cut it off once you have the desired look you want.  Blow up your ballon to the size you want and tie the end.  Make sure your yarn is fully soaked in the glue, then start wrapping.  Just tuck the ends under the layers of yarn.  Now, hang your yarn ball from your hanging contraption and let dry for about 24 hours.  You will want to place paper towel under the yarn because it will drip and splatter.

After they are dry, just lift the knot up and put a little slit in it to let out the air.  Try and hang onto the end, so that way you don't have to try and fish it out from inside the ball.

My hanging contraption (invented by Kameron). A long plastic spoon, shoved under a box in the cupboard  above our washer.  I could only fit two at a time, but it worked!!

Pretty fun little decoration, you could even mix yarn colors.  That is above my kitchen sink.  Have fun!

(update, Kam just suggested I call then Yarn Spheres. Balls is way classier, ha)! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Egg Foo Yung (is so yum)

This stuff is good.  Really good.  And it's easy!  It tastes like restaurant quality and you barely even have to try.  That's the best kinda of easy!  Seriously, make this, TONIGHT!

What you'll need:

1/2 bag bean sprouts
2 stalks celery chopped (pretty small)
1/2 onion chopped
1/4 head cabbage or bok choy chopped into small strips
4 good size button mushrooms chopped
10 eggs
1 to 2 cups cooked pork, chicken, chopped or salad shrimp or all 3 (this is optional too)
Pepper to taste 
2 tablespoons soy sauce
a little oil to fry

for the sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons corn starch 

Chop everything and put into a large bowl.  In a separate bowl beat eggs, soy, and pepper.  Combine eggs into veggie/meat mixture.  Stir until well combined.  You have have to keep mixing as you cook the patties because the egg will keep sinking to the bottom.  Heat oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat.  Use a 3/4 measuring cup to scoop egg mixture into pan.  The egg will run, but just keep scraping it back into the veggies until it starts to firm up.  Fit as many as you can into the pan, leaving yourself room to flip.  They will take about 3 minutes on each side.  Maybe a little longer, you want to make sure they are nice and brown on each side.  

While your waiting for your first batch of patties to cook, put your water, sugar, soy and oyster sauces in a small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Add a dash of water into your corn starch and mix around so its a liquid.  Once boiling, pour in liquid corn starch and whisk until begins to boil again.  Turn down to low and stir occasionally.  It should begin to thicken.

I always put tin foil over a cookie sheet and place it in the oven on low.  Then as the egg foo yung patties are done, I put them on the cookie sheet to keep warm while the rest are cooking.

Put the sauce on the Egg Foo Yung and serve these babies with plain white rice, or fried rice, or just about anything.  The are good reheated the next day.  They would probably be a good sandwich, and if I could ever have enough left over, I'm wondering how they would freeze.  Does cooked egg freeze?  Anyway, you will enjoy this simple yummy meal, I promise!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snowy Day

We had a feeling we were going to get one more snow storm for this winter.  And last night it came.  We just went out and snapped a few pictures with Dex so I thought I would post a few sense I haven't shared anything in a while.

I just dumped my camera from the past few weeks, lots of good recipe photos on there.  New posts soon to come!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

i heart u

Happy Valentine's Day!  Hope you have something fun planned with someone you love.  I do!  Kam and I got each other a gift and we are having an extra fattening yummy delicious dinner tonight made by yours truly. Baked mac and cheese will be involved per Kam's request.  I Wanted to post something cute and Valentine's Day inspired, so I made a little 8x10 print if anyone is looking for a little lovely for some random nook or cranny.  Or, shrink it down and make a card.  Do what you wish, hope you like it.  Have a lovely day!

Download PDF HERE!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rich Chocolaty Gelato

Chocolate lovers rejoice.  This gelato is so rich and chocolaty that two small scoops will leave you melt into the couch happy.  Its very smooth and doesn't freeze so hard like other ice creams that you can scoop it without extra muscle power.  Its perfect, and I can't wait to start tweaking this recipe to see what other delicious flavors I can come up with.

What you'll need:

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (I just used a good quality chocolate chip)
1.5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start by melting your chocolate in a heat safe bowl. Place a mesh strainer over bowl. In the larger bowl, fill half way with cold water and a hand full of ice.  Set both aside.  Heat milk to a simmer.  In another bowl, whisk your egg yolks and sugar together until well combined.  Add in cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt.  Whisk until sugar/egg is no longer clumpy.  It will be a little dry, but if you use a whisk, it will combine.  Slowly add half of your simmering milk whisking continuously.

Slowly return chocolaty mixture back into saucepan, whisking until all is combined.  Turn heat up to medium and switch to a wooden spoon.  You do not want it to boil so you may have to adjust your heat a time or two.  Keep stirring until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of spoon, 4-5 minutes.  (If it gets too hot, the egg will begin to cook.)

Pour mixture through strainer into the bowl with melted chocolate. Whisk until blended and then add vanilla. Once you feel you have all the chocolate mixed in, then transfer bowl into the ice bath and leave until mixture is cool.  About 45 minutes.  Give it a quick stir every so often to keep a film from forming on top.  Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture.  Store in the fridge over night before adding to your ice cream maker.

After you freeze in the ice cream maker, transfer to an air tight container and freeze for 2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

(Sorry no pictures of the process.  I hadn't planned on posting the gelato, but it was so amazingly delicious, I had to share)

Friday, February 11, 2011

BBQ Sauce with a pep!

We found some yummy chicken little smokies at Costco, so I decided to make some homemade bbq sauce to go with them.  It was spicy and sweet and good enough to just eat with a spoon!

What you'll need:

1 can tomato sauce (I only had diced, so I gave them a quick zip in the food processor and saved myself and extra trip to the store. Yay me!)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Catsup
1 airplane bottle bourbon (cheapest you can find!)
1 teaspoon Cayenne (more or less depending on your spice.  I would give this a 3 star rating)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup strong coffee

Combine all ingredients in a large skillet over medium high heat and reduce reduce reduce until color darkens and is a nice thick consistency.  About an hour.  It will splatter a bit, so you'd better wear your apron or else you will have a new polka dot outfit.

mmm...adding these pictures makes me happy that I opted to buy two bottles of the bourbon so I can make this again very soon.  I'm thinking pulled pork is in our near future.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Apple Tart

This apple tart wasn't too sweet or too tart.  I made it to have something sweet for the super duper game on sunday to go with the other 8,000 calorie dishes we would be munching on.  I really like the crust.  Its a little sweeter that regular old pie crust.  Why does pie crust always have to be that same old same old flour, butter, boring old crust.  I think I'm going to stick with this crust for pies from here on out.  

What you'll need:

For the Crust
1 Stick plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

3 granny smith apples
2 melted tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar

Core and peels from the apples
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Zest and juice of 1 orange

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg.  Mix in salt and flour.  Scrape dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disk.  Refrigerate anywhere from one hour to over night. Remove from fridge and place on floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch. Place dough into tart pan and gently press down to form the sides of the pan.  Cut off excess.

Peel and core apples, and put aside (don't throw away).  Slice apples into 1/8 inch thick slices.  Stack them into your tart pan starting with outside and working toward middle.  Once you have filled the entire pan, you can still pack the extra slices in to the open gaps, especially around the edges. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 375 for 50 minutes, or until edges of crust are golden brown and apples are starting to brown on the tips.  My oven sucks, so my crust was done but my apples weren't quite browned enough so I flipped over to the broiler for a few minutes.  Worked perfect!

While tart is baking, place the glaze ingredients into a medium sauce pan.  Simmer for about 30 minutes until think and syrupy.  Strain glaze from the cores and peels.  Allow tart to cool, then generously apply glaze.

Just out of the oven, before Glaze

After Glaze

This was yummy, and next time I feel like apple pie, this will be my go to.  It was so pretty with the apples layered and browed on top.  I like not having the crust on the top.  Next time I will serve warm and make a little vanilla ice cream to go with.  Enjoy!