Sunday, December 16, 2012


Mmmm, yummy!

I had the weekend off from work and of course I have a long "to do" list of holiday-oriented things that should be done. I managed to cross of quite a few, so I'll label this weekend... productive.

One ambitious project was candy-making. I've never really attempted much candy-making, but I was seduced by pictures on pinterest, and chose 3 types that seemed totally doable. MinimIal ingredients, and I had all the tools necessary, including the candy thermometer. I've only taken a picture of the 200 individually wrapped in handcut wax paper caramels, but I also made a 3-layer peppermint bark, and English toffee.

So, I'll do a quick review and link.

The soft caramels (which, for the record, I pronounce "car-mel", you?). Easy. I followed the instructions to the letter. Turned out great! The only downside... those suckers take a long time to wrap. And you get sticky. But definitely yummy. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd give them an 8 for taste.

Next up was a 3 layer peppermint bark.  Even easier to make. Melt some chocolate. Spread. Cool. Repeat 2 more times. Ok, there were a few more steps, but you get the drift. Downside: time waiting in between steps. My plan was to string the lights on the tree. Which would have been accomplished except the tree started seriously leaning and that project was abandoned. Taste rating: 10!

Finally, the English toffee. I had pinned a couple of recipes, but ended up using the recipe inside the Ghirardelli chocolate bar wrapper. Of course, I had used the chocolate in the peppermint bark, so I melted the chocolate chips that were called for in one of the other recipes. No downside to this at all except maybe it takes longer than you might except to reach 305 deg F. Taste rating: 15! It's that good. And sorry folks that might except me to gift this... nope. I'm keeping it for the family.

So. much. sugar.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kitchen Fabric Art

A little more sewing has occurred, but, yep, it's still kitchen related. Perhaps this year should just be called the year of blogging about the kitchen, with a teeny bit of sewing thrown in. Or not.

Anyway, this was a project that I also started (and mostly completed this summer). A quilted table runner. My mom and I had purchased a kit at the Houston quilt show when we attended way back in 2009. Mom made hers earlier this year, and that inspired me to get on the ball, and get mine made, too.

The pattern is Table Art by Calico Carriage Quilt Designs, and is still available. The kit at the quilt show, had some fabulous fabric, that has kind of an industrial look, which completely goes with our kitchen design.
A close up:
The quilting was free motion, and pretty random at that. Different sections got different designs, but mostly it was straight lines on the circles, outlining the big circles, and the fabrics with "pictures" also were outlined. I used a variegated thread on the top. My bobbin thread was initially a quilting thread (no Ellen... don't use that!!!... wait... where were you when I quilted almost 2/3 of the thing that way) Oh, I'm back. Quilting thread in the bobbin completely messed up the tension and I just couldn't get it to look right. Thankfully, the part that looks the worst is the back which is resting against the table, and I can completely live with that. So much that I even "signed" it...


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