Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter outfits, or good intentions gone astray....

The Pinwheel was a no-brainer. I mean, 

the pattern illustration even looks like her. plus no zipper. The bias, I made from fabric off the sale rack at City Quilter, and it has pinwheels on it! So whoop whoop finished, made in a size 5 it is a bit wide for her but not so it looks terrible. Just with a lot of room for longevity.

His was a different story. I've had in the the back of my mind (blame celebrate-the-boy and project run and play) that making a blazer was something I needed to do. Yeah, that didn't happen even though I got the flannel -- too many pattern pieces and too little time. Soon tho.
But also, practicality means that he needs more school pants. So the pants got made from some very nice wool (from which I had also made the wedding skirt). 

I'm actually pretty psyched that these tuned out so well -- adjustable/buttonhole elastic waistband, contrast pocket linings and all. 
The shirt is a cheat -- I made it more than a year ago, but it fits much better now. The bowtie will probably make an appearance in my Etsy shop ...

Jade-green brocade and pea-green silk, but a bit skimpy for an adult I think.

Overall, a snazzy Easter set with growing room.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

veg of glory, rainbow edition!

How do vegetables and fruit that is in all different colors get made into yummy snacks? We made muffins!
Before I had this blog, I've been tinkering about making Morning Glory muffins without the egg. It is a thing in our house, and I make them in my allergy-friendly bake sale class. So today, a riff on that: all the colors in one muffin!  

The eggplant was the only thing I was iffy about, so we only used a little and chopped it up small. But carrots, apple, zucchini all grated up nicely in the food processor. I think it works out as long as it's roughly the same volume.

yummy, healthy, and best of all they'll be eaten for snacks for a few days. so hard to get Kikay to eat varied foods, but she's learning about nutrition in school so maybe a breakthrough soon.
 Color Veg of Glory Muffins! 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, or 1 cup apf and 1 1/4 cups wholewheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup sugar (brown can be used, but it makes the muffins really dark)

Grated in processor:
1 1/2 -2 cups carrots (about 2 medium?)
1 apple, not peeled
1 zucchini
1 small japanese eggplant, seeds removed

 1 cup (8 oz can) crushed pineapple in juice -- you can also use fresh
1 cup (7 oz) canola oil
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup blueberries

Mix all together, then scoop out and bake at 375 about 15 minutes.
This makes 24 cupcake-size muffins, or 12 large (Texas type) ones.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I am a stalker for a few things. In this present of previews and first looks and sneak peeks, I stalk many things. Not like I used to in the days of hyenacart, but sales and songs and patterns. hope to have something to show for it soon.

Lamination Nation!

I love making laminate doughs... they're like the definition of pastry for me. The oooh! factor of seeing your literal effort in keeping those layers intact produce a spectacular rise and flake -- it's the stuff of wonder and internal fistpumping.

There's puff pastry -- old-school and lovely for sure, but kinda meh in terms of producing things to eat warm (with the exception of turnovers. but that involves filling-fiddling). No, I'm talking croissants. Yeasted, tangy with sourdough and wrapped around your heart-attack-inducer of choice, butter. Plus eating one is such a nice thing to do for yourself, with the fine buttery crispness and warm chew spreading its loveliness over your palate and fingers.
The dough I like (similar, but slightly tweeked, to this one from Karen Bornarth and Roger Gural) is made from milk, malt, mother and a combo of whole wheat and AP flour, with some salt to keep the gluten in shape, and just a little butter and dry yeast; chill it nice and cold, preferably overnight, so it can rise low and slow, and helps keep the butter block cool as well. It's then rolled and folded and rolled and folded, like a business letter 4 times with a rest/chill in between.

Yep, because of the layers... you want to keep the magic. So no, there are no scraps when I make croissant (both classic and filled with almonds or ham and cheese) and their cousins pains au chocolat, because every bit of dough and every opportunity for rise is precious. For Pains au chocolat, rectangles:

Be sure that the seam ends up on the center bottom, or else it will flip over from the rising and unroll.

For croissant, a trapezoid

 that is then triangulated and rolled, either around a filling or not: 

then a short stint to let the yeast beast do its thing, producing an almost-unimaginably light balloony wobble, before being washed and baked: 

 sprightly and beautiful emerging from the oven, shattering with a good amount of chew right in the middle. 

Oui, you betcha they're worth the effort. And needless to say, so are you.