Friday
Jul022010

on a rainy july day

It has been a bit frustrating.  It is rained all day.  Hard rain where Houston floods.  Which also means that businesses close down early and so do government offices, including the library. Due to budget cuts, the library will not be open tomorrow.  Sigh, a long weekend without more books to read and movies to watch!  It is really not a hardship but there was a cookbook I really wanted to try in my pile of holds.  Sigh.

I did make myself some handkerchiefs though.

 

I like handkerchiefs.  I look for them at thrift stores and gift shops.  It is hard to find truly nice ones though.  I have been making my own.  When I make something and have a square of fabric twelve to fourteen inches square leftover, it usually becomes handkerchiefs.  I just hem the edges.  Russell really likes that the handkerchiefs match my dresses or aprons.

 

So I have new pretties for my nose.  

Thursday
Jul012010

Experimentations in chocolate and peanut butter

Russell and I tried a new cafe called Pie in the Sky Pie Company.  It was pretty fabulous.  Think healthy grill food.  We both decided to try pie.  Russell tried the sour cream raison pie.  It was an "Oh my God" delicious.  I will have to experiment for my Dad.  It is his favorite pie from his Mom and has not been replicated yet by anyone in the family.  I had the chocolate peanut butter pie.  It came to the table hot and was out of this world yummy.  Since the combination of flavors is one our households favorites, I have starting experimenting with it.

I took the Espresso Fudge Brownie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero and changed it up a bit.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit

3 ounces Enjoy Life chocolate chips

5 tablespoons olive oil

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup original hempmilk

1 tablespoon tapioca startch

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder

a two finger pinch of salt

In a large saucepan over medium low heat, put the chocolate chips and oil.  Heat until melted.  Turn off the heat and mix in everything else, following the list.  That is right, one pan:

This mixture gets spread into a 8 inch by 8 inch pan that has been lined with parchment paper.

 

In another bowl, I mixed up the peanut butter topping:

3/4 cup natural peanut butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons original hempmilk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

I dump this all in a bowl and mix it together.  Spread it on top of the fudge brownie mixture.  Bake it for about 24 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out all but clean.

Cool and slice.

Now, this was yummy right out of the oven.  It was much better the next day.  But honestly, it does not meet the same level of uberness as the Pie in the Sky Pie Company.  More experimentations are called for this weekend!

And I have a line of testers who are waiting with anticipation.  None of the not perfect samples were willing to be shared by any of the testers.  That is still praise, just can be better.  I am not a perfectionist!  I am not!  Bring out the cauldron!!!  More experimentations!!!!

Wednesday
Jun302010

The shirt(s) are done!

The shirt that I blogged about earlier for Russell is done.

 

He likes it.  But the fun thing was somehow I bought way too much of the shirt fabric and was able to make another shirt.

So he now has two new shirts.  I expect the white one will become a work in the yard or workroom shirt not in the too distant future.  But that is Russell with white.

Tuesday
Jun292010

I wear aprons.

I am that crazy lady in the grocery store who is wearing an apron.  Or maybe not in the just in the grocery store and around town too.

I wear aprons.

I have a tendency to bake and get flour in the middle of my back.  I am not exaggerating, just ask Russell and Danica.  All my aprons are handmade.  My sister made me one for Christmas and the rest I have made myself.  I have tried different patterns but I have decided that I like an Edwardian apron style because it covers me.  If I go out, people think it is a dress most of the time.  I started with a pattern from Sense and Sensibility.  I have changed the pockets, the waist tie, and all the edging.  This weekend I decided to make another.

 

The one negative about this pattern is how much fabric it takes.  Four and a half yards.  It should not surprise me because that is similar to what my frontier dresses take and they cover me in a similar manner.  The waist tie was difficult until I figured out a different way to do it.  Maybe it was just me and the directions but I made it simpler and had to cut out one less pattern piece.

 

Then it is just stitching.  

And it is ready to get dirty.  Russell keeps telling me I need one for every day of the week.  I probably do.  I have printed fabric to make more.  I keep thinking I need to make some plain muslin ones, maybe with an embroidered appliqued patch on the chest.  Then people will really think I am Amish or Mennonite when I am out and about!

Monday
Jun282010

All the straw bales are covered

Russell and I have been working on the Teahouse together.  He gets the cob mixed and I help apply it to the walls.  He finally got the scaffolding at a level where I can easily get into the loft to work on the wall.  I still have issues reaching the outside edge but he finishes that bit.

The straw bales are covered.

We are at the point of designing the roof.  We are going to put a reciprocal roof.  We need to even out the top edge a bit and also cover the straw bales just a bit more.  The cob in some places is very thin or stair stepped over the bales.  

There are actually not that many resources on how to build a reciprocal roof but it is one of the strongest roofs out there.  We are coming up with ideas and Russell is very excited.

He also got to work on knives yesterday.

I would say that we had a good day.