Pages

October 17, 2017

The Madness Which Comes Before Midnight

(you can't tell he had it wadded up in his pack all day, right...)
The #MidnightMadness tradition at GCU gets bigger & better & wilder & crazier every year.
(These tickets were a precious commodity --
many were turned away at the door!)
(They start planning the event more than a year ahead!) Last year was our family's first glimpse of the impressive spectacle.


My drummer's costume from a year ago was mostly thrift-store items with a little sewing/crafting added on. This year, however, we decided to complicate things by only having a children's-sized costume pattern! We'll get to that after the videos:
This is GCU's take on the whole evening. (Can you tell why they call it MADNESS?) There's a split-second glimpse of the drumline's show at about :31. I don't think my pirate got in the frame...


And this is our view from the other side of the arena. What fun!

But before all the fun, there was much hard labor in assembling the drummer's costume:
(Duncan is an excellent snoopervisor...)
Drafting an enlarged vest wasn't near as difficult at getting those boot covers big enough to disguise size 14 marching shoes!

I found these tools to be invaluable when sewing vinyl!
I used upholstery thread in the needle because I knew tugging these on & off would put a lot of tension on the stitches.

I saved a little time by using the embroidery machine set-up to stitch all 17!!! buttonholes. I covered the buttons with yellow fabric and then brushed them with gold metallic craft paints.
The welted pockets are not something I'm going to try again anywhere in the near future!!!


The sash was split in sections & stitched to wide Velcro® so it was quicker to don than winding/unwinding yards of fabric. I used my Silhouette® to cut the gold antelope logos. The belt I made from some leather yardage. I was going to embellish a large buckle with the 'Lope's logo, but since the drummer was wearing his drum all night, it would've been a waste of time...

The grey pants came from a thrift shop and got 2 cans of paint sprayed into stripes.

It was my plan to find stage make-up gold pirate teeth & to fill the drummer's fingers with rings. I got an emphatic "no" on the teeth & a "Mom, you know I won't be able to perform stick tricks with that junk on my hands, right?" I did talk him in to wearing a plastic gold (touched up with a little of my metalic paints) pirate earring.

What I was not expecting was his vision of a handful of shrunken skulls attached to a rubber knife. The skulls would have the logos from GCU's seven division rivals.
We found the plastic skulls at Michael's. A little bit of tan and cream paints gave a nice weathered touch...
I used glow-in-the-dark paint for the eye sockets. Originally I printed the logos on Silhouette® sticker paper, but they didn't stick!
We ended up using computer paper & tacky glue 'cause we were running out of time.

#vinylallthethings

I've been such a "cut-up" lately...

I had been wanting to make a giant canvas for a long time. A little re-decorating of the front room plant shelf was my impetus.

This is Psalm 100 on a 24" x 36" canvas from the HobLob.

My friends are relocating their antique shop to downtown Glendale and asked me to make a few signs.
front shop window

I usually spend way more time designing than the cutter takes to cut the vinyl! 


And then my friend found stashed (& forgotten) stocking-stuffers from 2 years ago. I tried a little stretch vinyl on them. 

I also made the hubs a shirt he'd been asking for since the one he special ordered at a shop (who knew tall men need longer t-shirts?!?) has started to wear.

I've also got a few more projects in the planning/designing stage...

October 12, 2017

Snickerdoodle Scones

SUGAR & SPICE is the theme for October's Improv Cooking Challenge. (You can check out Nichole's blog for information if you'd like to participate...)



I've been wanting to make scones with almond flour for some time now. And Snickerdoodle, to me, is the epitome of sugar/spice flavor.

Snickerdoodle Scones (gluten free)

2
c.
almond flour

½
c.
butter, cubed
¼
c.
potato starch




¼
c.
sugar

2
large eggs
½
t.
cream of tartar

2
T.
Greek yogurt
1
t.
baking powder




½
t.
baking soda

2
T.
sugar
¼
t.
salt (I used fine sea salt)

2
t.
cinnamon
½
t.
xanthan gum





Blend all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter. Beat the eggs with the yogurt and stir into the flour mixture.
Form into disk on parchment paper. Chill 10 minutes then slice into 8 wedges. Place in freezer for an hour. Carefully roll wedges in cinnamon sugar mixture & return to parchment with about an inch between each scone. Chill until ready to bake.

Preheat oven & pizza stone to 350°. Slide parchment paper with cold scones onto hot stone and bake for 30 minutes or until done. Let cool then serve with fresh whipped cream and cinnamon sugar leaves.


I was very pleased with how these scones baked up. And I loved how the cream of tartar "tang" was noticeably present in the flavor.


I made the whipped cream without vanilla so that the goodness which is cinnamon & sugar could shine through. mmmmmmmmm!

Fresh whipped cream
1 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. powdered sugar
Beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and continue to whip until peaks form. Chill.


The cinnamon leaves were a last-minute decision, but I love the little texture they added to the whipped cream. You could also cut them tiny into little chips to sprinkle over the scone & cream.

Cinnamon sugar leaves
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. avocado oil
1 T. light corn syrup


Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Roll to 1/16th inch on parchment paper with plastic wrap on top of dough. Bake at 225° for 30 minutes. Let cool, then cut into shapes. (If mixture hardens too much to cut through, return pan to oven to soften slightly.)


My method of scone consumption consists of breaking off a chunk of the lovely biscuit and slathering it with a dollop of whipped cream...



Scrummy!

You can check out my friends' SUGAR & SPICE creations by following the links below:



October 6, 2017

Fallin' for low carb

When your friend asks if you want a bunch of apples; you say, "Yes."

When the apples ask for a nice, warm place with cinnamon sticks, fresh-grated nutmeg & a dash of cloves; you say, "But of course!"

When the apples have gotten all cozy and made a trip through the blender; they'll want you to help them into a jar...

When breakfast calls for no carbs; you make cream cheese waffles.

But when breakfast says, "How 'bout a tiny bit of sweet?"

You say, "I thought you'd never ask!"

posted from Bloggeroid

September 14, 2017

Versunkener Apfelkuchen gluten-free

Because it's been a few years since I'd made an apfel kuchen for my German-loving sons, I thought perhaps something like that would be the perfect recipe to highlight September's #ImprovCookingChallenge ingredients APPLES & HONEY. (The Improv Cooking Challenge is a once-a-month blogger recipe challenge lead by Nichole from Cookaholic Wife. You are welcome to join us for the monthly linky party...)


While googling honey + apfelkuchen I came across "sunken apple and honey cake" by Smitten Kitchen. I thought it looked beautiful and would be easy to adapt to an almond flour recipe to keep it gluten free.



The cake tasted wonderful, according to two of my four taste-testers. (One didn't like the honey flavor and the other dislikes anything that has the "eggy taste")

I thought it perfect for breakfast or brunch!

August 10, 2017

Peach Æbleskiver with Habañero Honey Whisky Glaze

Our August ingredients for the #ImprovCookingChallenge are the unlikely duo of Peaches & Peppers. Usually my go-to with these two ingredients would be a salsa sorta like the one I created here five years ago... But, since my sis handed me down a cast-iron æbleskiver pan, I figured it was about time we tried that out -- making some peach-filled itty-bitty round Danish pancakes/doughnuts.




(The hot-pepper glaze was just a happy little afterthought!) 


If you have never made æbleskiver before, I recommend you try a recipe using regular flour.


Also, I will suggest that having a filling (many cooks serve plain with jam or syrup on the side) makes these more difficult to turn properly. Other than that, these little guys are fun to make & eat.

Let's start with the glaze: Boozed + Infused is where I found the recipe for the Habañero Honey Whisky. It was quite simple to make. 
  • 1 habañero pepper, quartered & seeded (unless you want it super hot!)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1.5 oz. water
  • 1 c. whisky
Put the first 5 ingredients in saucepan, simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove pepper and let the remaining ingredients cool. Strain honey mixture into jar & combine with whisky. Shake once or twice a day for 3 days. Strain through coffee filter into decanter. Let infusion rest a few days before using.
 
 To make the glaze:
  • 1 T. butter, melted
  • 1 T. Greek yogurt
  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 T. habañero honey whisky
Mix yogurt & melted butter until smooth. Stir in sugar. Whisk in the whisky!
This glaze was amazing! It totally elevated those peach-filled pastries.

Now for that æbleskiver recipe -- the first batch I made with coconut flour, and they weren't bad; we just prefered the ones made from almond flour.
  • 1.5 c. almond flour
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 peach - peeled, pitted & finely diced
Separate eggs and whip the whites. Whisk first 5 ingredients and egg yolks together in a bowl until batter is smooth. Gently fold in the whites. Allow batter to stand at least 15 minutes.
Heat (maybe a half teaspoon in each cup) oil in æbleskiver pan over medium heat. Drop about a tablespoon of batter into each cup, top with around a teaspoon of the peaches, then top with another teaspoon of batter.
Cook until bubbles form around the edges, then turn the batter a quarter turn with a chopstick. The wet batter should slide down into the cup while the browned portion rolls upward. Repeat process until the pastries are browned all around.
Makes 24 æbleskiver. 



Now you don't HAVE to enjoy your æbleskiver with a bottle of iced coffee, but I highly recommend it!


OK -- so go check out the links below where my friends share their peaches & peppers recipes: