Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pita bread is SO easy!

Today I made pita bread for the first time. My sister, Holly, showed me how AMAZINGLY EASY it is...I'll never buy pita bread again! I also didn't think I liked hummus until she fed it to me. Her homemade stuff was delicious.

Find the pita recipe and a helpful video tutorial here.

Lovely little balls of dough ready to be rolled out.
Who would have thought those little dough disks would puff up so quickly!!! Check this out:
video
I usually don't have the courage to cook without a recipe, but the hummus recipes online felt forgiving so I just threw stuff in the blender.
Hummus Ingredients:
One can of garbanzo beans (with a little of the juice)
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
1 clove garlic
(hummus recipes call for "tahini" which is really just toasted sesame seeds pureed with olive oil...so I just threw in the raw ingredients)
After I blended these into a nice paste, I took out half the mixture and made two separate spreads...one blended with a roasted red pepper (red pepper cut in half and baked up-side-down on cookie sheet in oven at 375 until the skins look like they will fall off, remove skins) and fresh parsley, and the other with fresh cilantro and another clove of garlic. Yum!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reversable Animal Print Pillowcase

Nick's sister is an animal print fan. I thought I'd make her something fun for Christmas, but I couldn't decide between giraffe spots and zebra stripes...so reverable it is!




If you don't happen to have any sewing experience...here's
how I did it:



(Click on image to enlarge)

Hollow Clay Sphere

Knowing how to make a hollow clay sphere is really useful for making fun sculptures. (For those of you who are new to working with clay, your clay can't be too thick without running the risk of it cracking or exploding when fired.)

I learned the following technique at a fabulous pottery class taught by MaryAnn Guerry through the Lake Stevens Community Education Program.

Making a hollow clay sphere:
1. Roll two equal balls of clay.


2. Plunge your thumb into the center.


3. Start pinching the sides out to form a "pinch pot."


4. Continue to work your ball into a bowl by pinching out the edges, with special care to keep all sides and base an even thickness.

Here are my two finished pinch pots:


5. Turn the edges of one pot in, and the edges of the other out...then score rim with fork, toothpick or other such utensil.


6. Dampen the edges by dipping your finger in water and running it along the scored surfaces.


7. Align the scored edges...


8. ...then blend the rough edges away by smoothing the clay together with your fingers. After all the seams are sealed you can even roll it on the table to work it into the shape you want.


VOILA!

I threw a silly little face on this one just for fun...although I squished him just after taking this photo. This block of clay is goofy so I want to try and exchange it...notice how the clay is cracking...this shouldn't happen. Poor wrinkled old man.

(I used this hollow sphere technique to make the dragon piggy bank in one of my previous posts...check it out here: Piggybank Dragon.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Labels

Nick and I were wrapping our presents a few days ago. For the life of me I could not find the package labels we got free from the post office...so I decided to make some new ones for us. Here's a peak at a few of them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sugar and Sandy



Nick's grandparents keep these (mama and daughter) cows in their yard as pets. They just wander around eating, drinking and being plain ol' lazy. Everytime I see them out there I feel the urge to get out my camera. They stir something creative in me, but I can't figure out what it is yet. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Speaking of Pie Crust...

Check out my lattice work on this backberry pie for Thanksgiving. If you'd like to give it a try, I've sketched "how-to" directions just for you:

Protecting your Pie Crust

Check out this nifty invention I found in my mom's cupboards. Since I don't have an official crust cover I always try to fold aluminum foil over the edges and it is always such a chore. Cutting a hole in a cheap aluminum pizza tray is a great idea! Way to go mom!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Pie in a Jar, Part II

Look for my first "Pie-in-a-Jar" post in the September archive for the intro to these great little desserts. These tutorials are just to give you a little more info. We sure do love these pies. This is the third time I've filled our set of 18 little pie jars for the freezer.

How to place the pie crust in the jar:
video

Filling the crust with the goo and placing crust top:
video

By the way...several people have asked about the hazard of putting a frozen glass jar in the oven...we put the jars in when we turn the oven on to pre-heat so they warm up slowly with the oven. I'd hate to clean up an oven filled with goo and glass shards. Yipes!