Sunday, September 30, 2012

Peach Cobbler

Summer has ended. Fall has begun. 
Peach cobbler is the perfect combination of lingering summer stickiness and earthy autumn spices. 





Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup soy milk (or regular milk but we don't usually have regular milk in the fridge)
  • 4 cups pitted and thinly sliced fresh peaches (about 3-4 large peaches)
  • zest from 1 lemon (zest first, then juice - it's easier)
  • juice from 1 lemon (the one that's now naked from being zested)
  • dash of ground cinnamon 
  • dash of ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour the melted butter into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish (Note: I may have used 5ish cups of peaches and that combined with this size of baking dish led to a slight volcano of peach juice erupting in the oven...to avoid overflow, perhaps aim more closely to 4 cups of peaches or use a bigger baking dish!).
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, and the salt and mix well. Stir in the milk, mixing until just combined. Pour this batter over the butter but do not stir them together.
In a small saucepan, combine the peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Pour the peaches over the batter but do not stir them together. 
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden-brown. Serve warm or cold.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunshine Tunic Dress (Toddler)


100% Cotton. 100% Machine Washable. 100% Cute.

Inspired by Simply Modern Mom's Pleated Bow Pillowcase Dress Tutorial, this sunshine tunic starts out as a roomy dress for a toddler and as she gets taller, pair it with leggings or jeans as a top! My hems are much cleaner this time around (compared to the first dress I made) and this design looks more polished. Instead of a pillowcase, I used a discounted remnant roll from the fabric store (I scout the bins weekly for inspiration!). Can't wait to continue experimenting! This is so cute, I may have to make one for myself....!

Blue Floral Ribbon Tie Pillowcase Dress (0-3mo)


Here's my first attempt at making a baby girl's dress! It's a really simple pattern and I only deviated from it slightly. I was going to use bias tape for the ties but couldn't get the sewing machine to cooperate to sew up the sides so I ended up using a wide ribbon (singed the ends so they wouldn't unravel). I also sewed the ends where the ribbon meets the edge of the collar so that the neck width isn't adjustable; the gathered effect is still there by squishing the fabric together slightly before sewing down the ribbon. The front and back halves at the top are still open so it's easy to fit into the dress. I was nervous about having the ribbon free flowing because kids like to pull on things and I envisioned a self-choking accident waiting to happen.... Anyway, it was extremely easy to make, but not my cleanest hems. First time using bias tape (love the instant finished look) and will need to keep practicing to make it neater! Maybe I'll even be brave enough to try a trim!

Happy sewing!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pink Lemon Coconut Bars



Remember the cute pink lemons? They're making their way into lemon coconut bars today. Because the pink  of the lemon is only a hint of pink, the color doesn't translate to the bars. However, if you're looking for pink, adding a little bit of strained, pureed strawberries or raspberries could do the trick! I didn't do that for this batch but may try it for a future round.... Feel free to make this recipe with Meyer lemons as well (really I can't taste the difference between a pink or yellow lemon if given a blind taste test ... but the pink ones are just so cute!).



Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs
4 tablespoons pink lemon juice
2 tablespoons pink lemon zest
2/3 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350F. If using non-stick 9x9 ceramic baking pan, no need to line with foil and butter, otherwise, you might want to be able to pull it out and cut in serving squares for fanciness (versus eating the squares right out of the pan).

I used a food processor for the whole recipe, made it easy for clean-up! To make the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Process briefly, just until mixed. Add the butter and coconut and process until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Transfer to the pan and press into the bottom and up a little on the sides to form a crust. I got a little carried away and made my crust too high; in hindsight, I recommend going up no more than 1/2 inch up the sides (on the other hand, if your favorite part is the nutty crust, having the extra crust above the filling gives you something to crumble over the top of your finished product for extra crunch!). Bake until light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.

While your kitchen is filling up with the smell of toasted coconut, make the filling. Rinse out your food processor and combine the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest, baking powder, and salt. Process until smooth. When the crust is ready, pour the filling in and hear it sizzle on the hot crust. Put back into the oven and bake until the edges begin to brown and the middle springs up with a light touch, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Top with powdered sugar if desired before serving.

Sleepless Inspiration

At any given time, I may have three, four, five, eight projects ongoing at the same time. It may be an unfinished baby bootie. It may be a single boot. It may be a sleeveless baby sweater. It may just be skeins of yarn, paired together for color inspiration with a list of what-ifs scribbled on a Post-It. Currently the list includes all that and a few blankets, throws, coasters, and tote bags filled to the brim with fabric itching to be touched.Yes, this is what keeps me up at night. If a slice was taken of my brain, you would see a multi-colored, shape shifting kaleidoscope of ideas morphing in and out of each other in a dance with no end. What inspirations keep you up at night?


Pink and Brown Polka Dot Apron

My sewing machine has been collecting dust for months. Time to clean off the work table, sort through the fabric piles, and be inspired!


100% Cotton. Double layered. No tie neck strap. Two straps for waist ties. Pocket to hold phone.
Pink ruffles for the girly chef. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pink Lemons

I'm a true believer in finding joy and giggles in the little things. This week, I found something to smile about in pink lemons. These lemons (from the bountiful garden of my in-laws) wear a beautiful variegated green and yellow peel that when sliced, reveal a delicate blush pink. 

What made you smile this week?
Pink lemonade anyone?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Garden Update - September 8, 2012

Not much to report on the garden. We had some enormous zucchini weighing in at >5lb and itty bitty yellow squash. The production slowed down so my husband pulled them out to make room for some winter plants. Not sure if we'll grow any vegetables or just go with a garden bed of flowers? The tomato plants reached nearly 4 feet tall and then died out with the heat. Banana peppers keep popping out (I still wonder why we plant so many peppers when my husband and I have such low tolerance for spicy foods...). We've had a productive monsoon season which has led to a few mushrooms...they look so harmless but are probably poisonous...probably better to leave them alone (as in not eat them). Here are a few snapshots from today (the sunset was taken a couple days ago). 



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Make any day a special day.


Gray Green Gavin Beanie


This multi-colored beanie in gray, shades of green, and yellow is sure to bring smiles to any child! It is inspired by a little boy named Gavin who loves to play outside and offers smiles to everyone. A couple years ago, I remember his favorite joke went like this:

Gavin: Knock Knock
Me: Who's there?
Gavin: (looks around the room...) Book!
Me: Book who?
Gavin: (bursts out in hysterical laughter) Hahahahaha! Isn't it funny???

Available on Etsy!


Newborn Lavender Daisy Flutter Sleeve Sweater


Show off your newborn to family in this sweet sweater. Securely sewn on cotton yarn daisy adds flair to your munchkin's outfit. The bottom is flairs out over a cute outfit. Depending on your baby's chest circumference, she may be able to wear this for a couple of months. Once she outgrows it, dress up her favorite doll and keep the memory of when she was itty bitty! 


Available on Etsy!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Turquoise & Coral Necklaces

Remember the turquoise necklaces from February? This long weekend, my mother-in-law and I brought out her beads from that trip and created some summery accessories.