Monday, July 28, 2008

Blue Run Run Run

What's with me and all the blueberry pies, right? It's odd. I think my blueberry loving nephew rubbed off on me, because blueberries have suddenly become one of my favorite fruits. And it really is my favorite pie to make. Making pies is so much more fun with my new food processor. It really cuts dough making time by eighty percent.
The dough
And I still get all the hands-on fun with blueberry mashing.
The Berries
I made 2 pies today. One for the lovely Kim, who just gave me the cutest sailor girl pin, ever. She sells the most amazing vintage jewelry on ebay here.
The dough of a mini tart
The little dough star melted a bit, emphasizing the wonderful use of butter.
Mini Blueberry Pie
And another pie for a birthday party at work tomorrow.
The dough of a big pie
Lots of stars and dots of butter on this pie.
Blueberry pie before the oven
I left it a little light, so I could reheat it without burning in the morning, fresh for work.
Blueberry Pie
I start class again this week, so I imagine life is going to be a little busier. I've been really lucky to have an independent study so far this summer, which has given me a lot of freedom to craft and pursue new projects, while keeping up with homework at my own pace. During the past few months, I've picked up a few extra curricular activities, such as buying a new bike, trying to learn how to DJ, and probably the most time consuming of them all.. I am training to run a 10K run at the end of August. The running has been pretty great. I've been averaging on about 10-12 miles per week for now. If all goes well, I hope to do a marathon someday.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Honeydew Melon Gelato

I finally gave in and purchased a new ice cream maker! For my first attempt, I went for a honeydew melon gelato recipe. Actually, I couldn't find a recipe, so I mashed together a bunch of different recipes I found online and came up with something pretty interesting. The star of my gelato was, of course, fresh honeydew melons.
Honeydew Melons
I chopped them up and put them in the food processor until creamy. I added a quick squeeze of a fresh lemon as well.
Honeydew Melons
I then worked on the base, which included 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups milk, and 1 cup cream.
Making the base
After heating the mixture, then pouring it through a sieve, it was a bit hot. I chilled the mix for a few hours, then let my new machine do the work.
In the Ice Cream Maker
When it was done thickening up, it seemed a bit runny, so I put the mix in the freezer for a few hours.
Honeydew Melon Gelato
The overall outcome was pretty nice. I do think the recipe could use a little fine tuning, but I'm pretty happy with my first attempt!
Honeydew Melon Gelato

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Boyish Lasagna

I really can't take credit for this. Sure, I provided the recipe and guided the steps along, but I hardly lifted a finger. Really, I didn't even wash the dishes! It was pretty nice actually. I taught a friend to cook and taught myself to give up a little control in my kitchen. Growing up, my family really never taught me how to cook, because things were just easier if they did it themselves most of the time. I did eventually find my way around the kitchen, but I hope I'm never so impatient as to allowing others to help.
Boyish Lasagna
I left all of the big seasoning decisions up to my friend and let him make mistakes. There was light teasing when all of the noodles were arranged haphazardly, but I even let some of that go.
Boyish Lasagna
And of course, those noodles burned quicker. I think it had to be seen to be believed, or else I'd be labeled a lasagna perfectionist and that would be the end of that.
Boyish Lasagna
The results were pretty good. I like to think I made a friend feel less intimidated by the concept of cooking.
Boyish Lasagna
To celebrate this grand achievement, fruity champagne drink was served!
Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries
Peaches, strawberries, and blueberries mixed with sweet champagne in the food processor, until smooth.
Champagne + Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries
It was dangerously good.
Champagne + Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cheese Toast

Cheese Toast
A simple dinner for me tonight. Swiss on wheat, with freshly brewed Tropical Jasmine iced tea. Tomorrow, I will be teaching a friend how to make boy-friendly lasagna. My favorite thing about lasagna is that you can get super creative with it, or not, and it's usually always good.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Border Patrol

Last Monday, I said that I'd like to have the quilt border sewn by today. When I got home from work, I realized that no progress has been made since - so I got really busy.
Sewing the border
We chose a somewhat time consuming design for the borders, which required lots of cutting, measuring, and double measuring. The borders - not attached to the quilt yet
It may look a little off here, but that's only because the borders have not been sewn to the quilt yet. Usually measuring is my weakness, but I'm feeling confident about it this time. I worked extra hard to get things done perfectly for the group, plus the fabric yardage was the exact amount needed, so there was no room for mess ups. I'm feeling really good about it, I didn't think I had the patience in me!
The Quilt Top - Borders sewn, but still unattached
About 4-5 hours of hard work later, the border is done!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Unfortunately, I haven't been as crafty as I'd like to be lately. I've been a bit overbooked with friends, projects, school, and lots of fun distracting stuff! That also means, I've been going out to eat rather than cooking at home, and my empty refrigerator reflects this quite nicely. One thing (well, the only thing) that I have been keeping in stock are fresh fruits - primarily watermelon (or watermelonian, as my grandmother calls it) and blueberries.
Watermelon (It's what's for dinner)
Today, I also purchased strawberries and Jujubees.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Group Quilt Progress

I cut lots of fabric tonight. I did buy a fancy new rotary cutter, which made the task a little exciting! Yes, rotary cutters are exciting! The first cut is my favorite... the way the sharp blade glides through layers of fabric with such ease and comfort, something about it warms my heart just a little bit.
Group Quilt
Now that the border pieces are cut, it's time to sew them together. Hopefully, I'll have the bulk of it (or all) sewn and ready one week from now - though, I have been overbooking myself quite a bit lately and fear that things might be done in two weeks instead. Updates to come soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Bastille Day!

We are celebrating Bastille day tomorrow at work, so I decided to prepare Quiche Lorraine. It really is my favorite dish to bake, so I'll use any excuse to bake a quiche! As usual, I prepared the dough with some Parmesan, rosemary, and thyme.
Quiche Lorraine
After preparing the crust, I quickly snuck away to catch a showing a Valley Girl at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Valley Girl at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary
I can not believe I have never seen this movie! Especially since I'm technically a valley girl myself at the moment. I was pretty impressed with Nicholas Cage's performance in this movie! He's a little Hollywood punk rock boy dream! Who knew? I love a sappy love story, especially one that takes place in my home of Los Angeles. The scene above was shot at a restaurant called, Dupar's, which a short bike ride away from my apartment. I've only been there once, but this movie might have inspired me to go back! And now, back to the quiche...
Quiche Lorraine
Don't forget to celebrate Bastille day and wear your tricolour clothes! Vive la France!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Disconnect The Dots

Let the polka dot obsession begin. On the way home from work, I made an impulse turn into Joann's and bought the best of their polka dots. Unfortunately, there wasn't much of a selection available, but I did okay. I didn't fall in love with these dots, but I think they'd make good fillers in my potential polka dot quilt.
Polka dots are taking over my life lately
These polka dots are really taking over my thoughts. As I began planning my outfit for a friend's wedding this weekend, I got stuck deciding between two particular dresses.
Which dress to wear at a wedding this weekend?
That's right. Polka dot dresses! Still not sure which one to wear, but either way, I really do wear my dots thoughts.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

So It Begins

Another quilt or a possible quilt back for my scrap quilt? I'm really not sure yet.
Polka Dot Quilt
Because I spent so much time trying to avoid matching dots touching with my scrap quilt and this quilt right here, I decided to break my own rules and start sewing polka dots together. This could be a potential back for my quilt or a whole new quilt altogether.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Scrap Quilt Top

I think the quilt top is finished!
Scrap Quilt Top
Of course, I might add more, but I think I'm done with it. Right now, the top is 72"x92". My only fear is of how much this quilt might shrink when I square it off with the batting and eventually the back. Speaking of, I'm at a real loss of ideas for the back of this quilt too. I know I want to add my librarian embroidery, but I'm not sure what else. I'm also not sure what type of stitching pattern to use when I quilt the layers, but I guess there's plenty of time for me to think about that. In about 5 weeks, I'll officially be halfway done with library school, so I'm glad to almost officially be done with the top half of my quilt! After I graduate, snuggling up in this quilt is going to be as good a feeling as holding a diploma.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Shark Cupcakes

My niece and nephew had a birthday party this past weekend. It was a beach themed pool party, so I made shark cupcakes.
Shark Cupcakes
Tomorrow a quilt update!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pie + Tart = Part-Tie

I'm so glad blueberries are in season.
Blueberry Pie-Tart
There was a birthday/pot luck bbq at my friend Brian Tartan's place over the weekend and I decided to go with a nice blueberry pie.
Blueberry Pie-Tart
Well, it started off as a pie and ended up being made in a tart pan. I decided to keep the blueberries a little on the tart side (but still sweet), since it was in this pan. So, it was a hybrid of pie and tart and we all called it a part.
Blueberry Pie-Tart
Whatever you call it, it was gone in minutes.