How Scarves Can Save Fashion

September 16, 2009

Times are hard. Times are tough. How’s a lady to keep her look fresh when she’s scraping to get by?

Well my fashion-loving friends, the answer may lay in an almost extinct accessory—the silk scarf. Using those over-under techniques perfected during the days of French braids and topsy tails, one scarf can transform into a multitude of looks. From the cocoon to the accordion bow, outfits will never feel stale and thanks to this gift-with-purchase scarf guide, we’ll all be able to achieve these “classic” looks.

Classic KnotAccordian Bow / Kneck WrapBib & AscotPleated Drape & Slip KnotFake Bow & BowForehead Bow & Flower KnotShawl & Coat Wrap

Can’t read the tiny print? Email me if you want this guide in one printer-friendly file.

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Whichever way you say it, these bite-size pies are the dream treat for all pie crust lovers with their high crust-to-filling ratio, dessert lovers with small appetites, and lovers of all things fun. I made these for my #1 pie crust/dessert/fun-lover’s birthday party and they turned out so well, he thought I bought them…or does that mean he has little faith in my baking abilities? Nahhh.

Inspired by Luxirare’s genius, I present to you step-by-step Pie Pop baking directions.

Pie on a Stick / Pie Pops

Pie on a Stick / Pie Pops

Ingredients

2 frozen pre-made 9″ pie dough shells

1 C filling (I made mine with mixed berries, sugar and corn starch)

24  lollipop sticks, 4 inches long

egg whites

plastic wrap & twisty ties

Preheat oven to 375. When pie shells defrost to a malleable condition, flour dough, and roll into a thin sheet. Using a round cookie cutter with roughly a 1″ diameter and scalloped edges, cut out 24 circles. Peel away excess dough and transfer 12 pieces to an non-greased cookie sheet.

Pie Pop Ingredients

The Goods

To keep the lollipop sticks from browning in the oven, wrap 3/4 of each stick in aluminum foil. Press the stick into each mini pie shell, making sure to leave space between the foil and dough. Using a demitasse spoon, place a gum drop size dollop of the filling into the center of each circle. Place a pie shell on top, press the edges with your fingers to seal and, using a lollipop stick, make those oh-so-cute indents around the edge. Brush with egg whites and bake for 12 minutes or until just lightly golden brown.

Pie Pops Uncooked

Oven Ready

Let cool, cover in plastic wrap, and seal with a twisty-tie. I had a cardboard brick laying around (who doesn’t?!) so I used it as a stand but really, these guys should be in people’s hands and mouths–not on display.

Why did I use my iPhone to take these photos?

Why did I use my iPhone to take these photos?

Here are a couple lessons-learned tips for you: Don’t fret over getting them paper thin. If they’re too thin, they crack and ooze filling while baking and are difficult to handle. I had better success when I didn’t re-chill the dough after cutting out the circles. Trying to pile a lot of filling on will just result in it bursting at the seams in the oven. If you see little cracks in the dough when you’re done assembling, make a tiny bandaid with a dot of dough.

P.S. If any birthday party attendees have photos with their pie pops, send them on over and I’ll make you a food model right here on this not-world famous blog.

The Uniform Project

July 15, 2009

The Uniform Project

The Uniform Project tells a visual story of how one stylish woman wears the same black dress everyday. Day in and out, she wears the same (albeit very versatile) dress, accessorizes it, and snaps a shot of her outfit. While the fashion challenge was created to raise money for charity, the fashion creations completely raise the bar on accessorizing. I’m beyond impressed with the outfits she puts together.

If my blogging promises (ahem, refer to the 6/23 post) are any indication of what I’ll be like as a mother, my children will constantly be waiting for me to take them to the promised Disney Land, arcade or park. They’ll ask me each day when we’re going and I’ll reply, “Mommy’s gotta work late, kid. I’ll try to find time tomorrow.” Then two weeks later, I’ll finally come through and fulfill my promise. Then to make sure they forget how negligent I am, I’ll tell them they can have Texas Sheet Cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Back to the blog world, work has been consuming and I have been neglecting this. I’m going to scale back to a couple posts a week instead of my unattainable goal of five times a week. This way I can follow my brother’s lifelong mantra and keep expectations low so I can easily meet them.

Anyway, here you have the (possibly) much anticipated recipe for the easiest, moistest, most delicious cake.

Texas Sheet CakeTexas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

2 C sugar

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 C water

2 stick margarine

4 Tbs cocoa powder

2 eggs

3/4 C low fat sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

Mix first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Heat water, margarine and cocoa in a sauce pan to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix. Mix in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Bake in a parchment paper-lined 9×13 dish at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Frosting

1 stck margarine

4 Tbs cocoa powder

5 Tbs milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 C powder sugar

Bring first three ingredients to boil in saucepan then gradually mix in remaining ingredients. Let cool slightly before frosting cake.

Summer Grub: Sliders!

June 18, 2009

slidersThese sliders are so easy and simple to make. They might look kind of boring in this photo but I promise you they are 100% amazing.

Ingredients

Makes 20 sliders
3 lbs ground chuck
2 T kosher salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper
½ C minced white onion
1 T minced garlic
20 potato rolls

Knead first 5 ingredients together with your hands. Divide into 20 balls. Cook on an oiled skillet on medium-high heat, flattening the meat with a spatula. Cook until both sides have browned and centers are no longer pink. Transfer to a paper-towel, pat off grease, and put in potato roll. Fix it up with a pickle and your favorite condiments (I recommend this sauce called “ketchup”) and go to town.

I made some food for friends this past weekend and had a couple fan fave dishes. I’ll post the slider and Texas sheet cake recipe in the following days but here you have the recipe for my favorite summertime classic, the potato salad.

potatosaladI adapted this recipe from Chow.com.  It’s not too mayoey (yes, mayoey) so you can taste the veggies and the celery gives it a great crunch. A potato salad hater told me that it looked so appetizing he was willing to try it and judging by his clean plate, he liked the way it tasted as well. I use Vegenaise, which is more flavorful than mayo. Vegan or not, I highly suggest it in all dishes calling for mayo.

Ingredients

2 lbs red new potatoes

2 lbs white new potatoes
3 medium celery stalks, small dice
1/2 medium red onion, small dice (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1.5 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste

Boil the whole potatoes and drain when potatoes are soft enough to pierce through with a fork (about 18 minutes). Let cool and peel the skin off of half the potatoes. Cube potatoes and mix with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 2+ hours.

Popover for Breakfast

March 12, 2009

popoverThey’re delicious, fun to eat and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. I made these last weekend and can’t wait for Saturday to roll around so I can make them again.

Popovers
Makes 8-12
1 cup flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1⁄4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sift together flour and salt into a bowl.

2. Whisk together eggs, whole milk, and butter in a bowl. Then add to flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined (some lumps may remain).

3. Pour batter into a buttered 8-popover tin or muffin pan, filling individual tins two-thirds to three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and continue baking until puffed and browned, about 20 minutes more.Don’t open the oven to check on them until about 5 minutes before they’re finished baking, or they will deflate.

4. Unmold, pierce sides of popovers with a toothpick to allow steam to escape, and serve immediately.

This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #50

Get Cubee Crafty

March 9, 2009

cubee craft

For a good time, go to cubeecraft.com. Download and print a cubee. Cut, fold, build and be happy.

Jailhouse Fondue

March 6, 2009

fondue

My stepdad makes chili on the cheap that he calls Jailhouse Chili. I wanted to make fondue last weekend but didn’t want to spend what was looking to be $60 on ingredients. I revised my plan and made what I now like to call Jailhouse Fondue, using much more affordable types of cheese and alcohol. Ma Barker, would you be a dear and pass the fondue fork? Thanks, dollface.

Jailhouse Fondue
Serves 5 as an appetizer/snack
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour 1 tsp.
Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 bottles of 12 oz. beer
2.5 cups cheddar cheese
2 baguettes, cubed
Sliced apples

In a saucepan, melt butter, blend in flour, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Open beers. Drink one and pour in the other. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat, add cheese, stir until melted. Transfer to fondue pot and place over low heat. Stab bread cubes and sliced apples with the fondue forks and dive in. Resist urge to lick the skewer. That’s gross. Just because you are cheap doesn’t mean you have to be classless.

Walls Notebook

I’ve got crazy mad graf skillz. It’s true. You’ve just never seen them because I don’t vandalize property. That is illegal and disrespectful and doesn’t gel with my upstanding lifestyle.

I recently gifted Sherwood Forlee’s Walls Notebook. It’s filled with 80 blank walls to tag. I can’t wait to steal it and burn each page with back-to-back pieces.

You can get a taste of the book here by creating your own emailable piece. And while you’re at it, brush up on the terminology here. Not that I had to or anything.