Friday, April 29, 2011

Lollipop Garden Cake

We celebrated a second birthday last week (where did the time go?!) and I attempted a more elaborate cake than I ever have. The cake is from this recipe. It was delicious, but extremely difficult to frost as it is a VERY moist cake and basically disintegrates upon touching. In spite of the hang ups I ran into I think it turned out quite cute. I got my inspiration from a couple Martha Stewart creations.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

GF Amish Antisocial Bread

I've been dying for some cinnamon lately. Amish friendship bread is an all-time favorite and I've never attempted a gluten free version. There are recipes for GF starters and breads, but I didn't want to mush for 10 days. I think we nailed it on the first try with this one. I combined 4 or 5 recipes and it worked out pretty well. (I'm ashamed to tell you how much we ate... while we watched The Biggest Loser).

GF Amish Bread
Fake Starter
3/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Milk
3/4 C GF Flour (1/2 C Rice Flour, 1/4 C Corn Starch)
1 C Oil
1/2 C Sour Cream
3 Eggs
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C White Rice Flour
1 C Sugar
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Xantham Gum
1 Small (3 oz) Box of Vanilla Pudding
Cinnamon and Sugar Mixture (1 C Sugar, 1 t Cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the fake starter. Add oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients (leaving aside sugar mixture). Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Grease two 9 x 5 loaf pans and sprinkle some sugar mixture to coat. Divide batter between 2 pans and sprinkle remaining sugar mixture. Bake for 45-55 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Before & After

She arrived a week earlier than scheduled and she's perfect. We're enjoying every moment with our new little treasure.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No baby, just baby things

Baby continues to threaten an early appearance. We shall see...  In the meantime, I've been doing some sewing (and lots of sitting). I put this set together for a friend who recently had a little girl. The bib is from this pattern. I used quilting cotton for both sides and put a thin layer of batting in the middle. The burp cloth is quilting cotton on one side and toweling on the other. The finished size of the burp cloth is about 8 x 20. I just put the right sides together and left a little opening for turning. I top stitched the edge to keep it together better. The quilting cottons are by Heather Bailey. I'm super happy with how this set turned out! Might need to do a set for our little munchkin. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cranberry Cake with Butter Sauce

My mother-in-law makes a wonderful cake around the holidays that is similar to this (but includes rum extract, which isn't my favorite). I've been dying to try it for a long time and finally gave it a go the other day. Honestly, the cake doesn't even matter that much if you're pouring the sauce on it. Put some coffee on. You're going to love this!

Cranberry Cake:
1 1/2 T butter
1/2 C sugar
1 egg1/4 C water
1/4 C evaporated milk
1 C GF flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 t baking soda
1 t xantham gum1/2 t salt
1 1/4 C cranberries (fresh/frozen), chopped

1/2 C walnuts, chopped

Butter Sauce:
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk and water. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in cranberries and walnuts (I chopped both in the food processor). Pour mixture into greased 8 x 8 baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Heat butter, sugar and milk in a saucepan. Bring to boil, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm sauce over warm cake. Yum! 
You may want to eat this in solitude so you don't feel as silly licking your plate clean... and running for a second slice! 

This has been the extent of my projects for the last couple weeks. Been holding down the couch due to some pre-term excitement. Hoping baby will cooperate and bake another couple weeks. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

GF Recipe Roundup

I've been baking as much as ever and haven't shared much (or photographed much for that matter). I thought I'd pass on some links and a few comments on some recipes I've been enjoying lately.

Focaccia Bread – I used white rice flour and cornstarch for this. I put 2 T of sugar in on round 2. This is great for paninis (another food I've been missing over the last few years)!
Fruit Filled Coffee Cake – I used cornstarch in place of the starches on this one, and used strawberry pie filling. I think this tastes like a cereal bar only better. I'd like to experiment with some other fillings, maybe even raisins and brown sugar?
One Bowl Chocolate Cake – I tried this recipe out a few weeks ago in hopes of finding a birthday cake for Eliza's party. I wanted a simple, delicious chocolate cake recipe to add to my collection as well. (I'm a big fan of crazy cake). This is an easy, delicious recipe. I just used white rice flour. You'll want to use a fairly thin frosting as this is a very moist cake. I'm wondering if putting it in the freezer for an hour would help with that. I put a vanilla butter cream frosting on it. Yum!
Baked Penne with Chicken – I doubled the chicken and cut the noodles in half on this one (and omitted the mushrooms). I just used a shredded Italian blend of cheeses in place of the provolone, and subbed rice flour of course. I love Martha's recipes and this has made it into the regular rotation.

I hope you're enjoying some delicious foods this winter. We've had a little relief from the arctic temperatures, but I'm still in comfort food mode. I'm sure I'll be ready to fire up the grill before too long, though. Spring will be here before we know it (and so will our baby girl)!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Log Cabin Potholders

A crafting friend was having a birthday, so I decided she needed something handmade. I went round and round and finally settled on some potholders. I bought some insul-bright awhile back because I was feeling inspired by the potholders I saw popping up on blogs. I saw some really cute log cabin potholders on the Crafts Dept. blog (Martha Stewart).
These are really simple and came together super quickly. I've never done log cabin blocks before, but may be incorporating them into more projects. I think I would add an extra layer of batting to these if I make more.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby making

I've had the machine fired up a lot lately with pink and white thread trying to get a few baby things done. I even managed to fire up the knitting needles and get a couple hats ready. I'll be heading to the hospital with multiple sizes this time as our little munchkin was a (shocking) mere 5 pounds 13 ounces. She drowned in everything I had for her. We haven't had any babies in our family under 8 pounds, so that was a giant surprise.

I decided to get a contour changing pad this time around. We don't need much, so I picked out a few convenient items to add to the baby gear. The pad covers are so expensive though, so I did a little hunting for a tutorial. This one was great and I'm really happy with how this came out. I'm hoping I have enough Anna Maria flannel to do another.

I also managed to crank out a couple bibs and will likely do a few more as these were super easy and turned out pretty cute. If you use this pattern beware that the hole you leave for turning is quite small. It works, but just barely. I had a bit of hand-cramping to get them turned.

I wanted to do a lacy homecoming hat in a worsted weight. I thought it would look pretty, but knit up fairly fast (I need to limit time with my needles due to some carpal tunnel troubles). I used this pattern and only worked 2 rows of seed stitch. They're not perfect, but I think they turned out very sweet. I used BSA Worsted Cotton in Shell.

I'm sure there will be more baby things before April arrives, but I should shift gears back to Eliza's quilt so we'll be ready to dress her bed when (and if) it arrives. The verdict is still out on upgrading her to a toddler bed, but it would make mom's c-section recovery a bit easier. I'll be forging ahead as energetically as I can muster to get some more crafting in before a hiatus come spring.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh Anna

I had some Anna Maria flannel from last winter that I never really earmarked for anything in particular. I got the itch to sew something for Eliza one chilly day and pulled it out and dug in. I used Simplicity pattern 2668. I used contrast facings, and lined the entire thing. I added the contrast cuff and even lined the sleeves. This was the easiest, slickest way to do a sleeve and I'm so happy with it. (Sometime I'll just post about that). I ended up doing snap closures with non-functional buttons. I had a little trouble doing buttonholes on the flannel, so if anyone has any tips please share them. The feed dogs didn't like the flannel I think. I'm super happy with this jacket and I hope it still fits when it's warm enough to serve as outerwear (doesn't fit that well under a winter coat).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shamefully Overdue

I've been very delinquent on posting progress on the oodles and oodles of projects I've been working on. I'm gearing up to back the quilt I started last winter, have another quilt ready to be quilted, been wearing a new maternity skirt for weeks now, made some potholders for a friend, finished up a jacket for Eliza, whipped up a changing pad cover and made a couple bibs this week. I even knit a couple baby hats! Boy, my needles were getting pretty rusty. The crafting is never-ending around here of late. I've got some other projects up my sleeve as well, but those will have to stay quiet for a bit. I've been preparing for the arrival of baby girl #2. We're feeling fairly well-prepared at this point, but that may all derail any day now. We're expecting her the first week of April, but baby #1 came 10 days early, so I think all bets are off at this point. Half my projects are in with a sleeping toddler this afternoon and I have a walking foot to go fiddle with, so no pictures today. Oh, I also need to share some pictures of my loot from a recent shopping trip. I'm loving my new Anna Maria goodness. I'll be back soon with some proof of all I've been up to. I might even have a recipe or two to share!