March 22, 2012

Sew Weekly... MAD MEN!!!

I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone how excited I am for Mad Men coming back in a few days.  It's my favorite drama on TV today and it will be back so soon!!!!!

This week's challenge on Sew Weekly was a Mad Men challenge!  Go check it out on over at Sew Weekly!

March 19, 2012

Sewing Craving

Do you ever have a craving to sew something very specific that you know you can't do... that sounded more confusing than I wanted it to.  I have been craving corset sewing.  I used to make them when I worked in the costume shop, and it was one of my favorite things to do.  They were pretty heavy duty with steel boning and all.  And I loved picking fun fabric, like my rainbow one below.

But my problem is that I don't have any of the materials to do it and they are really expensive to get.  Also, I'm not sure what I'd need corsets for.

What do you do when you have a sewing craving?

March 14, 2012

Baking with Eggs!

A couple of weeks ago I was gifted a bunch of eggs by a friend... about 4 dozen eggs... I don't eat eggs by themselves very much, but I do love baking (as I'm sure you've guessed).  I started looking up recipes and found a recipe for angel food cake, a chocolate soufflĂ©, and meringue kisses. 

The angel food cake tastes good, but I lost a lot of the outside crust because I didn't have the right pan for it.

The chocolate soufflĂ© fell after a bit.  Oh well, but it tastes like a big brownie now!

The meringue kisses turned out amazingly!  My mom makes these every year for Christmas so I know how temperamental they can be.  I pulled out my extracts to see what flavors I could make them.  I had orange, peppermint, mint, and rum extract.  The first two sounded like they'd be the best.  I put a chocolate chip in the peppermint ones.  

March 12, 2012

Mini Grapefruit Meringue Pies

This weekend I ventured away from a recipe and created my own dessert... it turned out... ok...  It tastes good, but it's not my favorite.  I had lots of eggs and a big grapefruit, so I had the idea for a lemon meringue pie, but with grapefruit instead of lemon.  I made my own mini crusts in a muffin tin, filled it with grapefruit curd (made the same way as lemon curd, just with grapefruit), and topped it with meringue.  I burned a few of them in the oven while toasting the tops, but most came out fine. 

The biggest complaint I had with my recipe was that I personally feel the reason lemon meringue pie works is the tart of the lemon in each bite.  The grapefruit was much more mild so it didn't have that same punch.  They are at least cute to look at though!

March 7, 2012

Striped Wall!

Here is my finished accent wall.  Painted two coats of burgundy paint (it probably could have had another coat, but I ran out of paint), and stripes with the same color in a semi-gloss.  The part that took the longest was taping up everything.  The striping part took around 4 hours to complete.  I didn't want to do all even stripes so I created the pattern you see with small and large stripes.  Take a look at the before and after pictures!



and a close up of the paint!

March 6, 2012

Accent Wall Painting

I am painting an accent wall in our apartment!  Alex mentioned painting and I of course went on one of my project rants... and this one ended with a newly painted wall.

Our apartment is mostly in neutrals and outdoor colors.  We were torn between teal and burgundy, but ended up picking burgundy as the best choice for our wall color.

I bought the paint today and put on the first coat.  It's a bit uneven, but tomorrow I'll do a second coat.  Let's just cross our fingers that we don't need more than that!  The next step after that will be putting stripes on the wall.  I'm painting stripes in varying sizes with a semi-gloss version of the same color.  That may be the hard part... we shall see.  Once I get better lighting to take some photos I'll show you how it looks!  Hopefully tomorrow I can finish up my painting!

Here is our inspiration for the color.

March 3, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

Today Meg had another fantastic sewing class!  And I of course felt a need to bake for it.  Well for this, a birthday party, and so Alex could bring some treats to his coworkers... This time I made lemon cupcakes with a raspberry jam surprise inside, a raspberry frosting, and fondant buttons!  The buttons seemed perfect since it's a sewing party!  I used my homemade fondant recipe and cut them out with the ends of the icing decorating kit I have.  A little time consuming, but they look great.

Also... I finally made a pretty dessert!!!  I am so proud of these!  

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes (adapted from here)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
3 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2-3 dozen cupcake tins with paper wrappers.  This made 32 cupcakes for me.  Beat sugar, butter and lemon peel in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon juice.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Divide batter among prepared pans along with a dollop of raspberry jam. Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 18 minutes.

Raspberry Jam Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup raspberry jam

Whip butter, salt, and vanilla till creamy then whip in powdered sugar in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add jam and continue until incorporated.

And to thank Meg for doing all these classes, we gave her a Dalek alarm clock for her Doctor Who themed bedroom.  I sort of want one of these... haha.