3.31.2011

Making Homemade Ravioli

Homemade Ravioli.


For this, I used the same pasta recipe as before (it's really perfect), and then I cranked out with my Pasta Pro to setting 4. I placed it on a floured suface, made a second piece. The first piece I brushed with flour and then added the filling I made. Since I did not have the fancy tool to give my ravioli a crimped edge, I simply used a fork.


These cooked fast! The only changes I would make would be to probably make them a little thinner (maybe setting 5), and to cut the amount of filling in half. I made 4 servings (about 2 pounds of pasta) and then STILL had enough to fill some store-bought manicotti. I will definitely be making these again.


Goal is to finish this dress (I'm now calling it the "Three Generation Dress", which I'll explain when I finally post it) I've been working on for what seems like forever over the weekend.


Anyway, here are pictures of the ravioli!! I still need to make pasta sauce from scratch though. Maybe this summer?


3.21.2011

Green Greenhouses

I was up late one night a week or so ago and I was reading some of my more eco-conscious blogs. Plastic items, especially one-use water bottles, are definite no-nos, but there are occasions (such as when I misplace my aluminum one) when I end up buying plastic. On one of the sites they mention a re-use for the bottles here--use them as mini greenhouses by cutting the bottle in half. Now, since I have a light shining on them, I may be releasing the plastic bpa and other chemicals into the plants (didn't see any notices about it), but I thought it was cute regardless.

Take a look!





3.13.2011

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I've seen these on a few blogs, and I was enthralled. What a deceptive little cupcake! You look all plain and vanilla-y, but you have a surprise--chocolate chip cookie dough in the center! I specifically found them first on the These Days We blog, but took the recipe from Kevin and Amanda's blog (which was linked to from the previous...if you scroll WAAAY down, you'll get the receipe).

If I make these again, I probably will use smaller chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough...or I might smoosh them into the batter more.

I know my oven is rather dirty, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of the cupcake batter engulfing the cookie dough. The nerdy science teacher that I am thought of endocytosis...

...and here's why I would have used smaller chunks. Despite the success of other bloggers, my cupcakes did not cover up the cookie dough chunks 100%. It's not a big issue since they get frosting, but I have to say I was still a little disappointed.



I have never made frosting before, and certainly not one as sweet or as rich as buttercream frosting. 3 sticks of butter! 3!!! If I were to make these again, I'd probably halve or take away 1/3 of the recipe because even after 24 cupcakes, I still had a lot of frosting left. I put it on the failure of the chocolate cake, but there was still some more even after that!

In sewing news, I am still cutting out the pattern. I am trying to be as meticulous as possible, so I'm being sure to do a lot of marking and remeasuring. We'll see...

3.05.2011

New Projects

After a week where I learned that my recently acquired job security now means nothing, and after I had TWO failed creative experiences, I have be uninspired and too cautious to really try anything new.



The cardigan, despite placing darts in the back to actually bring the fabric in contact with my back, still fits awfully. It's simultaneous too long and too short; too tight and too loose. I even added a button to the bottom as a closure to give it shape, but it made no difference. I tried to wear it to work on Wednesday, but after having it on for two minutes, I removed it, sighed, and placed it in the Goodwill bag.



I did try to make a chocolate cake using my cake pans, but it was a HORRIBLE mess, both literally and figuratively. Despite cooking at the right temperature and adding a good 10 minutes, both of the cake pans cratered in the middle (even though they were completely cooked and passed the toothpick test). In addition, they expanded much more in the one pan (the awesome tiered one) than my regular cake pan, so there was batter all over the bottom of the oven. I greased and floured both pans, but the cake refused to come out in clean pieces. So we've been eating the cake "globs" (which taste fine), but it was still a kick in the pants.




Personal finances have taken a hit as I now have to pay for braces ($5000), a grad school class ($3000) in addition to my normal car payments, student loans, and other grown-up nonsense. SO I made ONE last craft purchase--4 patterns. They're beautiful and lovely, and I got them for a steal. I'll discuss my plans for them tomorrow.


I'm hoping to make a two-toned (or is it color-blocked?) version of dress B in the pattern. I have medium weight navy fabric with a mini herringbone texture for the skirt portion and the waistband.

For the top portion, I'm hoping to use this pretty lace my grandmother gave me. I'm going to use the ivory fabric (look! I've already cut out the pattern pieces...it's started) below as the lining for the top.

The pattern also calls for lining on the bottom, but I'm going to see if I can get away without it as the skirt portion may already be a bit heavy.

My sister is coming down from Boston to spend her college spring break here, but I am hoping to have all of the pieces at least cut by the end of the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed that this will not be another botched project...