Monday, February 27, 2012

Preemie Speckled Pink Buttons Sweater

This newborn sweater is so sweet and soft. With sleeves and little pink pearly buttons that button right into the sweater (no additional button loops), you can't help but fall in love with it!

Preemie Country Blue Sweater

Continuing from the Newborn Baby Blue Sweater, this one has a contrast color edging with buttons and button holes. The slip stitch edge does not have any give, preventing the body of the sweater from stretching out.

Available on Etsy!

Newborn Baby Blue Sweater

A variation to the 6-12 month baby girl hoodie, I came up with a smaller version for a newborn (smaller hook size and shorter starting chain). These baby sweaters work up quickly once you get the hang of them and they are just so cute! Perfect gifts for baby showers. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mushroom & Artichoke Grilled Pizza

My current dough recipe for pizza turns out inconsistent results. As my dad would say, "poor quality control." It's probably the user, not the recipe. Thanks to Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, I have a new pizza dough recipe that I will stick to not only because it is delicious but because it has consistent results! The recipe below is adapted from Ina's "White Pizzas with Arugula" recipe. I have kept the dough recipe exactly the same but altered toppings based on what I had at home. I also changed up the cooking method. She baked hers in the oven at 500°F for 10-15 minutes, I grilled mine on medium-low (the grill read about 550°F).

Yield: 6 personal pizzas
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees. This part is very important! If the water is too warm, you'll end up killing your yeast!)
  • 2 package of dry yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • good olive oil
  • flavored olive oil as desired (I used red pepper olive oil and garlic olive oil)
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I only needed 3 1/2)
  • sea salt
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used the chunks I had left in the fridge which today happened to be Pecorino Romano and Asiago)
  • 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichokes
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved (and foamy), add 3 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed for 10 minutes. While mixing, add up to one more cup of flour to avoid the dough from sticking to the bowl. The dough is ready when it is clumped into one smooth lump. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be a wonderful smooth and elastic pillow. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl (like the mixing bowl from earlier) and turn it to cover lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. I left mine for about an hour while I helped my husband plant vegetables in the garden, grated my cheese, and sauteed my mushrooms in red pepper olive oil. 

After the dough has risen, divide it into six equal portions (I divided out two portions and wrapped the rest in wax paper, covered with a kitchen towel and stored it in the fridge. Per Ina, OK to use the dough immediately or refrigerate up to four hours). Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes covered with a damp towel (I forgot that part and it didn't dry out). Press and stretch each ball into an 8ish-inch circle (or 10ish-inch squarish circle like I did - I ended up using a rolling pin to get more even thickness). Brush pizzas with garlic olive oil, and sprinkle each one with salt. 

Grill pizza for two minutes on low-medium heat. Dough should start to bubble and bottom should have grill marks and be lightly browned. Remove from heat, and with grilled side up, sprinkle pizzas evenly with grated cheese. Divide up sauteed mushrooms and artichokes between pizzas as well. Place back on grill for another 2 minutes, until cheese is melted and bottom is lightly browned. Crusts should be crisp (but not charred!). 

Serve immediately!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Yellow & Pink Floral Bib

Explore fruits and veggies with your adventurous eater! Bananas, carrots, and sweet potatoes will be nice additions to this yellow and floral bib.
Reversible. 100% Cotton. Snap Button Closure.

The Yellow Green Tweeting Flowers Bib

100% Cotton. Reversible. Snap Button Closure. 

The Gingham Chicks Bib

Chickens + Gingham + Cute Baby + Happy Eating = Life is Sweet

Reversible. 100% Cotton. 

The Green Fish Blue Bib

Using a similar method to aprons and tote bags with the additional experimentation of appliqués, I added baby bibs to my bag of tricks!
Reversible. Colorful. 100% Cotton.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Bubble Gum Pink Striped Tote (reversible)

Perfect for library books, a trip to the farmers' market, magazines for the beach, or something just for everything!

The Spring Green Tote (reversible)

This tote is full of smiles! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Yarn Bag (reversible)

No way the totes stop at the The Purple Pear Tote. There are so many more waiting to be made! This one is slightly wider at the base (to hold balls of yarn), has a single strap across the top, and a special pocket designed for crochet hooks (or pens/pencils).

The Spring Apron

Birds singing. Sun shining. Train passing by. It may still be winter but our tree out front is budding away and the tulips are coming up!


Not for the faint of heart....
Butter. Milk. Flour. Eggs.
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Oven: 375°F
Yield: 10-12 popovers

1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk (I used vanilla soy)
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs (I used 3 extra large eggs)
1 tablespoon sugar

Grease twelve large muffin cups, including the edge and around the top of each cup*; set aside. In a medium saucepan melt butter; add milk. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that does no separate easily. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute with a wooden spoon after each addition or until smooth. Divide dough evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling cups about two-thirds full; sprinkle with sugar. I ended up filling 10 cups instead of 12. 

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Remove from pan. Serve immediately. If desired, serve with honey or orange marmalade

*Sometimes it's tricky to grease muffin cups well so I dipped a pastry brush into the melted butter (prior to adding the milk), and brushed the cups. 

Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 75the Anniversary Edition

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mango Salsa

Looking to brighten a dish in flavor and color? Broiled salmon? Fish tacos? Or maybe an alternative to a heavier chip dip? Try this easy mango salsa! I LOVE mangoes. A case of twelve disappears in a week.... Hey, who ate my mangoes? 

1 mango, peeled, small diced
1 Mexican lime, zested, juiced
2 Roma tomatoes, small diced*
2 T cilantro, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 radish, thinly julienned
dash of red wine vinegar
pinch of sea salt

Mix all the ingredients together. Let sit in fridge for a couple hours for the flavors to come together...or maybe less time if you prefer to eat it right away!

*To avoid having a watery salsa, scoop out the tomato guts before adding to the salsa (Don't discard. Eat them!)

Candied Citrus Peels

Pretty. Easy. Tasty.

2 lemons (from our tree)
1 tangerine (from in-laws' tree)
1 orange (from in-laws' tree)
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar, and some extra

Boil water in small pot. With a sharp vegetable peeler, remove peels from fruits, careful not to get the bitter white part. Boil peels in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove peels, add sugar to boiling water and stir until dissolved. Return peels to pot, stir to submerge, and simmer until translucent. Resist to urge to stir them again. I simmered mine for about an hour. Strain peels and sugar water through a strainer with a bowl underneath to save your citrus simple syrup. On a wax paper-lined baking sheet, spread out peels, sprinkle on sugar until they're evenly coated. Let them dry in a closed oven overnight (and make yourself a note you have stuff in the oven so you don't preheat without looking). Store in an airtight container with a little extra sugar if needed so they don't stick to each other. Chop finely for garnish on chocolate cake, crème brûléecupcakes, cookies, etc.!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Turquoise Necklaces

Bold. Carefree. Effortless.

Tucson is world famous for its annual gem, mineral, and fossil show. Hundreds of vendors set up tents throughout Tucson. With so many tables of colorful beads, this opportunity was too good to pass up! I made two turquoise necklaces, one short and the other long enough to wrap around twice. In the photo, I'm wearing both together!

Note: Actual turquoise is pricey and not good for wandering eyes with light wallets. This stone is real stone but it is magnesite (magnesium carbonate) dyed a turquoise color. It has the veined imperfections and bold color I love about turquoise.