Archive for June, 2007

On the Range

Horse Make-up Bag

Horse Make-up Bag

Horse Make-up Bag, Inside

I made this make-up bag for a sweet girl who just turned 15. She’s not all that into make-up, but I filled it with girly products to get her started, just in case she changes her mind (which of course she will). It’s made out of paper, clear vinyl, and the inside is lined with oil cloth. I wasn’t sure about how the paper would work out. I’ve used it with wallets, but they stay flat and uncrinkled. This project couldn’t be done without turning it inside-out, so I was worried. But the crinkles look pretty cool. I’m glad this worked, because I’m always jealous of the scrapbookers’ options compared to fabric options. The papers available are gorgeous–pretty patterns, nice materials, lovely color schemes; it’s just not the same at the fabric stores.

17 comments June 30th, 2007

Pickling

Pickled Green Beans

Giardiniera

I love pickles. Anything drenched in vinegar is a real treat for me. Which is why I’ve picked up an awful pickled green bean habit. I say awful because these tiny jars of goodness are $6 a pop, and at one a week it’s put a dent in the grocery budget. So I decided I’d make my own. I like pickling. I like preparing the vegetables, making witch-like concoctions, the canning process, and, especially, the pretty line of jars when all is finished. Now if only I had a root cellar.

I spent Monday making two different kinds of pickles, Spicy Pickled Green Beans and Giardiniera. I found basic recipes online and altered them to suit my taste buds. The giardiniera looks particularly pretty and seems very fancy with the fennel in it. I think the pair of these with some pretty labels, along with a pickling fork or something cute, would make great Christmas gifts. I just might do that this year.

7 comments June 27th, 2007

Giardiniera

Pickling Giardiniera

Giardiniera

Makes 3 pint jars

4 small zucchini
2 fennel
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
4 large carrots
30 oz. white wine vinegar
6 oz. cider vinegar
6 oz. white wine
6 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 tsp. fennel seed
2 cloves
8 cloves garlic
8 bay leaves
1/4 c. salt
3 pints water

Clean the vegetables. With a mandolin, thinly slice the zucchini, carrots, and fennel. Cut the peppers into matchstick-sized pieces. Layer the vegetables is a non-metallic bowl. In between each of the layers, sprinkle evenly with the salt. Cover with 3 pints water, cover, and let sit overnight.

Rinse the vegetables, strain, and let dry on a tea towel.

In a large pan, combine vinegar and spices (leave out the olive oil). Bring to a boil for one minute. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fill jars about a quarter full with vinegar mixture. Fill with mixed vegetables and top off with vinegar mixture and 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Continue until all jars are filled.

4. In your largest pot, bring water to a boil. Place filled jar so that it is completely submerged and boil for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Continue until all jars have been heated. Let cool. This will seal your pickles so they will keep six months to a year if stored in a cool, dry space. If you do not want to can your pickles, after step 3, place in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 4 weeks.

5. Let pickles sit unopened for 3 days or more. Enjoy!

1 comment June 27th, 2007

Spicy Pickled Green Beans

Pickled Green Beans

Makes 4 pint jars

1 tbsp salt
boiling water

4# green beans
2 c. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. vodka
1 c. sugar
4 tbsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 heaping tbsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. dill seed
10 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves

1. Rinse and remove ends of green beans. Bring enough water to cover green beans to a boil, add salt. Cook beans about four minutes, until crisp and tender. Drain and immediately place in an ice water bath.

2. Combine vinegars and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil for one minute, stirring, then let cool.

3. Fill clean jars about a quarter way with vinegar mixture. Fill with green beans and top off with vinegar mixture. Continue until all jars are filled.

4. In your largest pot, bring water to a boil. Place jar so that it is completely submerged and boil for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Continue until all jars have been heated. Let cool. This will seal your pickles so they will keep six months to a year if stored in a cool, dry space. If you do not want to can your pickles, after step 3, place in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 4 weeks.

5. Let pickles sit unopened for 3 days or more. Enjoy!

1 comment June 27th, 2007

Herbs and Dinner

Cafe Flora Cookbook

A very tasty, upscale vegetarian restaurant here has published a cookbook with ALL of their menu inside. I don’t think they’ve left a tasty niblet off. Everything look delicious in the book and, surprisingly, most don’t call for Martha-sized ingredient lists. They seem rather simple, until you read the 2-page long recipe that follows. Man, are these complex! I’m ready to take a stab at it… soon.

Potted Herbs

I planted some potted herbs to enjoy this summer. Gardening in Seattle is very different from gardening in Kansas, where I was born. It’s June 26 and yesterday I wore a light sweater and a coat and had to wear winter socks to bed. It’s warm (and I say warm, not hot) for about 2, maybe 2.5 months every year, which makes for a very short growing season. The tomatoes don’t usually ripen until late August. I felt like I had put my plants out a little late, but really it’s been so cold. Did you know few people have air conditioners here? I haven’t even used a fan yet this summer. The very first summer I lived here, I vividly remember the newscast interrupted regular programming to tell people to stay indoors, drink lots of water, don’t move too much–because it was 99 degrees. Breaking news! I love heat and summers and warm, freckled skin laying in cool grass. Thankfully, it’s supposed to be nice today–80!– and I have the day off. I hear the beach calling my name.

7 comments June 26th, 2007

Summertime Fun

Summertime Fun

Summer Reading

I haven’t spent much time in the craft room this week, unless you count playing this game as crafting. I was technically in the craft room… Other than that and work, I’ve been reading and spending some time in the sun with cherries. Yumm! About the books. I really enjoyed “Mirror, Mirror,” which is by the same author who wrote “Wicked.” I didn’t know that he had published a few other alternate fair tales. I ate the book up. It was delicious, different from “Wicked,” but delicious all the same. As for “The Last Days of Dogtown,” it was also written by an author I had read previously; she also wrote “The Red Tent,” which is a fantastic, if a little difficult (content-wise). This book is not so much. The characters were enthralling, it was well written, but it just wasn’t that good of a story. And, a story that ended poorly at that. I’m off to the next book!

4 comments June 21st, 2007

Previous Posts


Pages

Tutorials

beforejeans
How to Hem Jeans

Bird Skirt
Free Skirt Pattern

Log Cabin Pillow Front
How to Make a Log Cabin Pillow

Sushi Wallet
How to Make a Wallet

How to Make a Yo-Yo
How to Make a Yo Yo

Fabric Pears
How to Make a Pear Sachet

Tote Bag
How to Make a Tote Bag

Beach Blanket
How to Make a Free, Easy Beach Blanket (Pattern)


How to Make a Little Man Bow Tie

Makeup Case Tutorial
How to Make a Makeup Brush Case

Pinterest

Flickr

Categories

Links

Feeds

Posts by Month