Tuesday, March 29, 2011

pita bread

I made pita bread for the first time. I used this recipe. It was very easy and from the beginning to end, I was done within two hours (including the rise time.) I used 2 cups unbleached white flour and 1 cup white whole wheat flour.

I used to avoid bread recipes that involved much kneading, but now I really like it. It's theraputic.

I used a trick to make the rising time faster: I turned on my oven, at the lowest setting, for a couple of minutes and then shut it off. I opened the door for a minute, then placed the bowl of dough on the oven rack. (You have to make sure the oven isn't very hot though - too hot makes the yeast cook!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Favorite Old Posts

Here are some of my favorite things I've made and posted:

DIY Dress Form
(Also look here for the beginning of the dress form)
DIY large art canvas
My favorite Happy Friday that I've made
The redesign Banana Republic vest
The cute videos I made for a couple of my math classes
Pixel cookies
and the wedding toppers for my brother's wedding! (here and here)

Built by Wendy skirt

I haven't sewn a garment since last summer! (the dress for Chloe). When I was in Colorado last summer hanging out with Tana, I found some sewing books on clearance. One is "Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics". It's a great, simple book. It comes with patterns too.

I USED A PATTERN! This is the first garment I have ever made with a pattern. (I have only sewn a small purse with a pattern before.) I honestly hate patterns, but I'm getting over my hate. I just really hate reading instructions. It's part laziness, but mostly I just want to figure out things myself. That's one reason math is fun: you can figure everything out yourself! Don't give me the formula!

Ok, that being said, I always run into problems I wouldn't if I used patterns. I'm going to start using patterns more. Wendy's patterns and instructions in her book are simple and not frustrating. I can use those sorts of patterns. The skirt was so simple to make since I had instructions. Chloe's dress I made last summer was really fun to troubleshoot along the way and come up with my own plan, but it's so much quicker having a pattern.

Here's a shot from the back, with a different shirt:

The suspenders are permanently sewn on, but it's not that tricky to get into. My fabric has some stretch to it (the design is intended for that because there is no zipper involved.) My fabric is thick and heavy so that whole thing is very sturdy.

A little off topic: I'm mildly considering buying a fancy-ish digital camera. I have been toying with the idea for a couple years now but I haven't wanted to spend the money. Wouldn't you like to look at much nicer photos? Say yes so I can buy a fancy camera with less guilt!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stuffed cow.


Two of my best friends recently had a baby girl, Riley. They live in Charleston (SC) so I haven't gotten to meet her in person yet. Last week I sent her a package of a few little things I made for her.

The cow should have been simple enough to make, but my sewing machine went nuts multiple times and kept getting caught on the fuzzy fabric. I ended up having to hand stitch quite a bit. I attached all the limbs before sewing the body in an effort to not have much visible hand sewing. This was a bit awkward because all the limbs (after being attached) had to be shoved inside the body tube while you turn it inside out to stitch up the side seams. It worked though.


Momma and Riley:


Happy Friday!

So happy it's Friday!

My spring break was fantastic, but returning back to work this week was rough. A professor was let go right before spring break and I have picked up one of his classes. It's MWF at 8am (ugh) and the class is really messy in terms of getting things ironed out. I have been very busy. (Don't feel bad for me though. I'm getting paid to do it.)

This weekend's agenda:

1. sleep in


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Have you heard of YouBar?

I hadn't until my brother made me some. (Maybe you didn't know my nickname was Mooch. It has been since I was 3 or 4 years old. Some members of my family still call me by this name only!)

You get to pick the ingredients choosing from a base like almond butter or dates and then you get to pick all sorts of add ins like protein powder, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. And, you get a personalized package! It's too cute. I thought mine was tasty.

My brother's was too chalky for me. He added too much protein powder (remember here I told you about his fixation with protein?). His nickname is "Coach C". He is a HUGE sports enthusiast, playing almost every sport existing. I think the nickname came more of a joke from teaching though. Instead of calling him 'Dr. Cicciarelli', you'd call him 'Coach C' from being......your thermal dynamics coach! (He's a chemical engineering professor.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

(SB Day Two, cont.) Cheddar-Sriracha Bread

Success! There was almost a huge mishap (read below.)

The recipe is from The Sriracha Cookbook. The recipe from this book for the bread can be found online here.

It's delicious.

I made bbq pulled pork today. I went to the little grocery store down the street to grab a pork shoulder, but the only pork they had was a pork tenderloin. Although it's not recommended to make pulled pork from something so lean, it turned out awesome.

Pulled Pork with tenderloin:
1/2 pork tenderloin
1 cup ginger ale
1 onion
pinch of salt, pepper, cumin

I chopped up the onion and put it on the bottom of the crock pot. Then I rubbed the tenderloin with the salt, pepper and cumin and layed it on top of the onion. Then I poured the ginger ale on top and allowed to cook for 6 hours on high.

* Sometime in between I made bbq sauce. See my recipe for bbq sauce below.*

Then I drained the contents of the crock pot, saving the onions and pork. I put everything back into the crock pot. Using two forks, I pulled the pork apart, poured the bbq sauce all over, and cooked on low for and hour and a half.

SO good! The tenderloin was not dry at all. It was awesome and it really seems unnecessary to use a fatty piece of pork to make pulled pork now that I've done it with a lean piece.

We ate the bbq pork on top on a slice of the sriracha bread...IT WAS AMAZING! SOooo delicious.

BBQ sauce recipe: (I made half of this)
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 heaping Tbsp brown spicy mustard
3 Tbsp soy sauce
7-8 small squirts of Sriracha


Right before you put the loaf into the oven to bake, the recipe tells you to spray water on all the oven walls generously and to spray the top of the loaf generously. No problem.

After I put the loaf in the oven, I saw the squirt bottle sitting on the counter. I started yelling "OH Noooooo........NOOOOOOO..." as I started to cry. We have two identical squirt bottles, both containing clear liquids. One is labeled "Bleach & Water" and the other is not labeled and contains only water.

Which one was sitting on my counter? Yep, the bleach and water bottle. Shit.

I looked up stuff about consuming small amounts of diluted bleach and it didn't seem like a huge deal. The top of the bread only got three squirts I think.

No traces of bleach smell or flavor were around and the bread was completely normal. Whew.

Spring Break, Day Two.

Here's what I've been up to.

I wanted something fun to wear later this week when we are running around SXSW.

Here's another picture:

I'm going to wear it like this:

It was really fun to make. I spent over an hour making it..eek. I used floral wire (around 22 gage) and measured a loose ring around my head (the flowers, floral tape, and extra wire will take up thickness). I wrapped another three loops around to make a thick base.

Then I started attaching flowers with wire -

(Clip your flowers with at least an inch of stem, then wrap wire around the stem to attach to the base. Wrap floral tape over top if needed. I didn't use floral tape that often for these steps.)

You "stack" the flowers on top and arrange them as you go. When you need to add a flower to a crowded area (one full of stems wrapped wire already), I found it useful to trim the stem very short, wrap some wire around the base of the stem, and use floral tape to hold the wire to the base. This enables you to easily squeeze more flowers or leaves into a crowded space. See below:

Pliers are great for certain parts of making this head piece. You can wrap your wire tighter in places and your fingers start to go raw anyway without them.

** Edit ** Here's a photo of me and Meg wearing one. I ended up making her one, too.


And now I'm making Cheddar-Sriracha Bread. (It's rising now, hopefully I can post a finished picture later.) Mmmmm. I love spring break.

(P.S.: Tana, your cookbook holder rules)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



oH this is a great Friday! Around 5:00pm today begins my SPRING BREAK!!

And Eric's birthday is Sunday (yay) and SXSW is next week (yay)!! This is my first spring break since I've finished graduate school where I'm not traveling.

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. My computer has been "out of service" so I haven't been using the computer much. I have been sewing a little bit recently, so I'll post that soon. I'm hoping to be doing crafty projects over spring break too.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

when your boyfriend isn't home for dinner...

...you get to use any vegetables you want!

My dinner tonight: cooking some broccoli and brussel sprouts and adding them to a bland soup. (I actually like that brand of soup a lot, but this soup was too boring. The bottle also doubles as a cute vase after finishing the soup too.)

I also added some shredded cheese to the soup. Much improved.

I am trying to eat pretty healthy this week after considerable amounts of unhealthy foods in the last weeks. (This will only last until Saturday though because my brother and sister and law will be in town and I want to show them all the yummy food in Austin!)