. . .from the tiny skeleton! Hope everyone had a swell time!
. . .from the tiny skeleton! Hope everyone had a swell time!
If your crisper looks like this too. . .then its probably applesauce time. I followed this recipe with small modifcation of using ground instead of stick cinnamon. I had a TON of apples, so I also doubled the recipe (it all cooks down so much more than you'd think).
* Quick tip: there are about 3 medium apples per pound of apples, and each pound makes about a cup of finished applesauce.
Start out by setting the oven to 350 F and preparing your apples (5 lbs if you're not doubling, so about 15 apples). I love macintosh for this.
I pretty much always use my apple peeler thingy for appley recipes because 1. its super fast and 2. its addictingly fun.
Cut your apple slinkies in half and spread the slices in a nice big roasting pan. . .
Don't forget to share with the baby! (she may make this face, but she truly does love apples)
Add 1/2 cup quality cider. . .
1/3 cup maple syrup. . .
And cinnamon. You can nestle four cinnamon sticks among your apples, or you can sprinkle a few teaspons of ground cinnamon, and then toss with a spoon to evenly coat apples. . .
Bake for 45 minutes, giving the apples a quick toss and rotating the pan every 15 minutes. . .
Remove from oven and pour into a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or wire wisk for chunky applesauce (which is how we like it), or process in a food processor for smooth sauce. . .
Enjoy for up to two weeks if kept in the fridge, several months in the freezer, or a year if canned!
Sorry I've been missing for a day or two, please accept this slightly blurry picture of a mustacheod Indy as compensation for my absence. We've been busy enjoying fall weather and good food. . .I apologize for some of the less than great iPhone pictures. We've been. . .
Puzzling. . .
Grocery shopping. . .
Blackberry-jam-and-peanut-butter-sandwhich eating. . .
Delicious-beer-that-tastes-like-pop-rocks drinking. . .
Fall-weather-walk taking. . .
Up-into-the-treetops gazing. . .
Tea-with-lots-of-milk sipping. . .
Awesome-smoky-bbq noshing. . .
Late-at-night-pumpkin fetching. . .
And, apparently. . . mama's-kitchen-towel stealing. . .
A new cooking store recently opened up across the street from us called Marcel's. Alan and I have been eagerly watching the space for months, fascinated by their intruiging and ever-changing window displays. They did an absolutely amazing build-out, the store is beautiful and chock full of quality and unique cooking goods, and they offer fresh and affordable cooking classes which I am just dying to take. Needless to say, we're constantly looking for excuses to pop over there. Inspired by an amazing fruit tart that we had at Urth Caffe while in California, we went down to Marcel's the other day to pick up these wonderful little tart pans and then got cooking!
You will need:
Step 1: preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: place the package of graham crackers in a plastic bag and have at it. I usually start using the palms of my hands and the finish off whacking with a nice heavy spoon.
Step 3: empty crumbs into medium bowl.
Step 4: add 1 tbsp. sugar and melted butter.
Step 5: mix well with a wire wisk. The crust should just hold together. If it's too dry add more butter, too moist, add more crumbs (mine was a little dry but I was too lazy to melt more butter, haha).
Step 6: Press the crumb mixture into tart pans with your fingers.
Step 7: place softened cream cheese into medium bowl and add remaining sugar, lemon juice, egg and vanilla.
Step 8: whip until smooth and just slightly fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
* The vanilla is from Penzey's Spice, it comes in a glass bottle and its pretty much the most amazing vanilla I have ever used.
Step 9: divide the cream cheese among the tarts and smooth with a small spatula.
Step 10: place on a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.
Step 11: nurse the baby (optional, unless your have a hungry baby, then its imperative).
Step 12: remove from oven and let cool, then place in the fridge to cool further.
Step 13: cut up your favorite fresh fruit of choice, I chose strawberry.
Step 14: remove tart from pan, arrange fruit on tart and enjoy!
We just recently got home from a whirlwind two week trip to California where we visited Alan's parents in LA, hopped over to the Four Seasons Biltmore hotel in Santa Barbara to celebrate our two year anniversary (we stayed there for two nights on our honeymoon, and we've been starry-eyed about it ever since, this time we spent three nights there and retraced a lot of our honeymoon steps and it was downright magical), and then scooted out to Palm Springs to visit Alan's Nana and Papa. The whole trip was super fun, and Indy loved seeing her grandparents and great-grandparents. Highlights from the trip include, but are not limited to:
Meeting Sammy the dog, what a sweetie. . .
THIS face. . .
The Biltmore's beautiful grounds. . .
Baby splash-face. . .
The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. . .
Indy eating chicken tikka masala at this awesome, sit-on-the-floor Indian restaurant. . .
Indy's first time at the ocean. . .eating sand. . .
Recreating this photo from our honeymoon, but with a new set of chubby feet!
And spending time with great-nana. . .
I apologize, because this post is a tiny bit belated. We went apple picking the last weekend in September (myself, Alan, his twin brother Joel, and Joel's wife Kate, and Indy. . . of course). Our apple orchard of choice: Oriole Springs, which is just over the state line into Wisco. It is the same ochard that Alan and Joel went apple picking at as kids, and the same orchard we went apple picking at on the same weekend two years ago right before our wedding. In fact, we had a basket of apples from Oriole Springs out for guests to enjoy at our wedding. Anyways, the place is pretty darn swell, and most definitely an inherited tradition for our little family. The absolutely beautiful pictures are thanks to Kate, who also happens to be a very talented photographer. Hit up her site here.
I was getting sort of sick trying to snappi 2 prefolds plus a doubler onto a wriggling Indy every night so I ordered a few fitteds online, but since they were taking forever and a day to get here I decided to try making a couple of fitteds, plus it gave me an excuse to give my new serger a go at a real project. I used some cheap thrifted tshirts, though if I like using them I might invest in something a little schmancier (a little organic cotton velour, perhaps?) I made this one 6 layers thick because its for nighttime, and it turned out THICK. I used the Babyville pattern that Joann's just started carrying, but I think most fitted patterns are about the same. I traced my pattern and then cut with an inch or two of allowance since I'm serging to finish.
I sandwiched 1/4 braided elastic between the layers and attached it with a 3 step zig-zag stitch at the legs and back, though I used a straight stitch on a different fitted, and as long as you are careful to stay straight I think I might prefer that. The zig-zag turned out, I dunno, a little "bulky" or something. Stitch over the end of the elastic several times to tack it down, pull taut and sew using your preferred stitch, and then sew several times over the end to finish off.
As always. . . a little bit of THIS was going on:
Then I serged to finish off the edges, and traced and serged some inserts as well. I still haven't found a a way of finishing off my serging that I like. I found some tips online but haven't really liked any of them yet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Anyways I turned out pretty well. I planned on using pins to fasten it, but its so thick they won't go through the fabric! I'm using a snappi for now, though it doesn't work that great with jersey. Maybe some snap pliers are in my future?
And for your viewing pleasure. . . ROLLS!
Indy inherited my baby blanket, which I. . . ahem. . . may or may not have been sleeping with up until the day she was born. But it's getting a little threadbare, plus I really wanted her to have a blanket of her own which would be both beautiful and meaningful. I picked up this sheet at Salvation Army a while ago with the hopes of using it on our guest bed, but it turned out to be a full, not a twin, so I decided to use it for this purpose instead. I really love the water lily pattern. I paired it with an old sheet of ours which we haven't really been feeling the love with anymore, sandwiched some cotton batting inside, did some straight-line quilting, and finished it off with rounded corners and pink bias tape.
Of course, I changed my mind about my quilting approach after I had already sew on the bias tape, so I spent a good while sitting on the couch with the seam ripper (that seems to happen at least once a project). But it's all serving to make me a better seamstress right? Right. I did my quilting diagonally in each direction at about 5 inches apart.
Another recently new sewing goody that came in the mail was a nice big self healing cutting mat and a rotary cutter. I've definitely found the rotary cutter love, and I'm sure I would have loved it even more if I hadn't run over a pin on one of my first cuts and made a little nick in my blade which resulted in a sort of elongated perforation that called for repeated cutting for the remainder of the project. But STILL way better and faster than scissors, and when paired with some kind of straight edge, getting nice straight edges is super fast and easy. I flip a bowl upside down and use the edge of the bowl and the cutter to make nice smooth, uniform rounded corners.
Then I reattached my bias tape.
I'm really happy with the final result.
Ahhh. . . aren't I lucky to have a husband who is invested in my crafty-ness (NOT craftiness. . .I don't think Alan would be invested in that, haha)? Anyways, he bought me this wonderful serger!
Ain't she a beauty!
Sewing projects soon to come!