Archive | January, 2011

Focaccia

25 Jan
the finished focaccia

You totally want this. Mmmmm... focaccia!

Focaccia. Why Rob decided to do this this week, I’ll never know. He and I are going on a cruise in a little under 12 weeks to witness some friends of ours getting married, and so we’re both suddenly very conscious of what we’re eating. (Why? Two words: bathing suits.) And so OF COURSE he decides to bake homemade bread. And OF COURSE I decide it needs to be a DIY or Buy project, and then, of course, we have to go buy a focaccia that’s baked by someone else, for the whole comparison aspect. And now we’re both trying to resist the two giant hunks of flavorful, fragrant bread that are sitting around the kitchen but we’re also simultaneously conflicted about NOT eating the bread, because then all that delicious bread goes to waste. But the cruise! Bathing suits! Love handles!

There are Twilight levels of angst in Casa Glazebrook. I fully expect myself turn all glittery and fang-y and marble-cold by the end of the week.

Anyway, this week, my Husband of Awesome decided to make focaccia. I decided to photograph and get in the way and sample the breads. And because that wasn’t challenge enough, I present to you:

Challenge: Focaccia

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Pretty Storage Boxes, Part Two

19 Jan

So, last week I attempted to make a storage box, wrapped in fabric, that was attractive and sew-free. I did that because a) I figured that not everyone has a sewing machine, and perhaps it would be more universal, b) I wanted to play with spray adhesive, and c) I had a cardboard box hanging around and looking for work. But then I found a storage box that used fabric and interfacing, and I do happen to have a sewing machine and I thought, perhaps this version will work out better.

It did not.

And so, this is where I admit that I still don’t have the project for this week finished. Not because it’s particularly difficult or challenging. In fact, I enjoyed the making of this version much more than I did the last one – no stickiness, no smelly glue, no wrestling with cardboard. The issue has more to do with the fact that I’m using my mother’s 1970’s era Viking sewing machine, and it somehow got stuck in reverse. So I can only sew backward.  And also, I didn’t entirely follow the instructions I was going to, and I sort of didn’t know what I was doing. And I broke a needle.

Anyway, I don’t really have much of a challenge this week. I’ll tell you up-front – you’re still better off just buying your storage stuff, because the homemade doesn’t look as good and isn’t as sturdy or practical as the store-bought version. But I did attempt to make a sewed-together storage box, and it’s slightly entertaining, so I’m carrying on with the post anyway.

Non-Challenge: Pretty Storage Box, Sewing Edition

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Pretty Storage Boxes

11 Jan
The finished fabric-covered Storage Box

The final product. And some stuff that needs storing.

So, walking through Target the other day, I got lost in the storage section. Does that ever happen to you? You wander in there, and before you know it, you’re thinking “Why, yes, I DO need 8 different shapes and sizes of cubby-holed storage furniture! Now my closet with be clean and well-organized!” Nevermind that you’re really bad at Tetris and there is physically no way you’ll ever get those particular 8 storage pieces crammed into your tiny closet, and even if you did, how would they help organize the random collection of polka-dot ties and glittery tights that are strewn about?

Ahem.

Anyway, if that DOES ever happen to you, one solution might be to return un-usable cubbies and invest in those brightly colored fabric storage boxes to fill the pieces that you keep. A box for tights, a box for ties, a box for belts, a box for sweaters…  But then I always run into the trouble that a) none of the colors are the exact one that I want, and b) solid colors can be a little dull. Rob the Husband of Awesome and I lean toward a rather modern aesthetic in the house, with lots of solid colors everywhere, and so when the opportunity strikes, I like to add a little texture, a few patterns. Which is why I decided to try to make my own fabric storage box.

Challenge: Pretty Storage Box, No-Sew Edition

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Beef Jerky

4 Jan

You ever decide to try something new, and the whole adventure seems ill-fated from the start? Like, one thing after another just refuses to turn out right? Welcome, my friends, to…

Challenge: Beef Jerky

So, I wrote a draft of this blog while I was marinating my jerky. And, as you may have guessed from my opening, my jerky-making adventure did not end well. I’m going to go with most of my original copy, because a lot of the information is solid. But I’m making a few edits, in italics, for your knowledge and/or entertainment.

First, the technical details: beef jerky is simply dried beef. That’s it. And it’s shockingly easy to make. Note: Unless you’re me. You trim and thinly slice beef, let it sit in a marinade or cure, and then let it dehydrate in an oven or dehydrator. Note: Not just any beef. We used a rump roast, because it’s what we had in the freezer. BAD IDEA. Fat does not dehydrate well, and leaves you with a greasy mess. Use something lean, like a top round or eye of round or flank steak.

We’re making two homemade batches, one with a commercial cure, and one with a DIY marinade.  Continue reading