Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fried Mozzarella

This has nothing to do with the wedding but I just had to post this! Jaime and her husband were able to spend quite some time at home this year around Christmas and the wedding. One day while we were at the mall Christmas shopping, we decided to grab lunch at Maggiano's. Jaime and her husband ordered fried mozzarella and told me I'd love it. Well....they were right. I hope we get to eat this in Heaven it was so good!! My husband LOVES mozzarella and so do I. Last week I decided to buy some fresh mozzarella with no real plan for it. Yesterday, I thought of the perfect plan! I did some researching on the internet and had to experiment some on my own.

You'll need:
Thick (about a 1/2") slices of mozzarella
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Bread crumbs (plain or Italian)
Italian seasoning (if bread crumbs are plain)
a few tablespoons Vegetable or olive oil

My block of mozzarella was already in a sort of rectangular shape so I just sliced it from top to bottom length wise. Mozzarella doesn't always like to be cut to it wasn't the easiest. But I got a good slice and cut it in half so my husband could have one triangle and I could have the other.

Mix the egg and a little bit of water in a bowl. Put the flour in a separate bowl. And in a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs and some Italian seasoning (we have ours in a grinder so it was fresher). Ok now here's where I didn't follow the recipe all too well and I went wayward. The recipe told me to pat the cheese in flour THEN in the egg wash. Well, what I did was dip the cheese in the egg wash then dipped it in flour. Then I dipped it in the egg wash again which wasn't too easy for it to stick to but I covered that sucker. Then I dipped it in the bread crumbs really patting the crumbs down making sure every inch of the cheese was covered.

Now, in 12-in skillet, add the oil at medium heat. You can heat this up while you're preparing your bowls. Carefully place the coated cheese in the pan. Fry each side for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Do not melt the cheese completely. It will be very soft but not completely melted. If it completely melts it will come out of the breading and get all over your pan. Some cheese may come out and that's fine as long as it's not much :) Now serve with some warm marinara sauce (which I added after the picture) and dig in! SO yummy!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Delicious Carmelized Onions and Prosciutto Pizza

So my friend Megan is an amazing cook. She has a blog with some of her recipes on it and I would highly recommend them all! She can see the potential in a recipe she finds and she tweaks it to make it her own. Well last summer she made us delicious pizza and we replicated it on Sunday. We need to do some tweaking of our own but it was so good!

This is where she got the original recipe from.
Here is how I changed the recipe for us:

  • Pizza crust ( use the Food Nanny recipe which always turns out great!)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella (get this and the prosciutto in the specialty section of the grocery store if it is in water make sure you drain any extra water)
  • Prosciutto ( I used a whole 3 oz. packet- prosciutto is an Italian cured pork sliced in ultra thin slices)

1. Prepare your pizza dough. While the dough is rising continue with step two.

2. Chop the onions into thin long slices. Cook them in a medium pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and the brown sugar. Cook until caramelized stirring frequently. Slice the mozzarella in 1/4 inch slices

3. Roll out the pizza dough. I use my pizza stone and bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 
Ready for the oven!
4. Take the pizza out and cover the pizza with the mozzarella, prosciutto, and caramelized onions and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese has completely melted.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chapstick Valentine made with Silhouette Cameo

I have a little tradition for the month of February.

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 I call it the Month of Love and try to leave little notes or treats for my husband every day. I love to hide them in places he'll find later. It's not too hard to do, especially if you write up the notes in advance. Some places I love to leave notes are:
  • His bathroom drawer
  • His wallet
  • His briefcase/backpack
  • His suit pocket
  • His running shoes
  • His pillow case
  • The bathroom mirror
  • His car
  • Inside his huge headphones
  • On his keyboard
  • In a book he's reading or one we're reading together (Like The Book of Mormon)
  • By his hobby supplies
  • In his clothing drawers
  • On his computer screen/in his laptop
This year I had an idea for a Valentine plus a treat. I used my Silhouette to design this:

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The inside looks like this!


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(Font: Princess Muffin. Heart from "9 Hearts" purchased in Silhouette store)

I am in LOVE!


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 Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Big news! (And help me pick what to knit next!)

I've been keeping a secret from you (and my mom & sisters have helped), and I'm sorry.

I'm having a baby! In about 8 weeks! And it's a girl!

Photo by Kristin Ausk of Meringue Bake Shop
And now I need your help—I'm putting out the CRAFT CALL! (It's like the Bat Call, but for crafters. Right?)

Naturally, having a baby means I have yet another reason to craft. This time, even more so. This will be my third girl and fourth child. I've started a tradition with my first two daughters. In the LDS Church, babies are traditionally given a blessing in church from a priesthood holder (usually their father). It's somewhat like a christening, but it's a blessing only, not a baptism, which happens later in life, when we believe children are old enough to be accountable for their actions.

It's traditional (but optional) for infants receiving blessings to wear white, and both of my daughters have worn the same Swiss dot blessing dress that my mother made me for my blessing, and which my sisters wore for their blessings. (My son wore the same little yellow suit that my father wore for his baby blessing.)

To go with the white dress, I wanted to make some sort of blanket for each of the girls—but my first two daughters were both summer babies, and most blankets would be too warm. So I had another idea: why not make a lace shawl?

I've always loved the idea of knitting lace, and I also love the idea of giving the shawls to my daughters on their wedding days.

For my older daughter, I bought the back-issue magazine with the Swallowtail Shawl pattern from Interweave Knits. Now, four and a half years later, the pattern is free. It took about three weeks to knit—including taking time off to actually have the baby!

Here she is, two weeks old, modeling my dress and matching bonnet, as well as the shawl. (I think she has on booties that were my mother's too!)


I kept up the tradition for my next daughter and made her a shawl too (she's a month old here):


This shawl is the Aeolian Shawl from Knitty online magazine. It's also free! I knit the shawlette size and omitted the beads from the pattern. It took me two weeks to knit.

Both of these were made from the same skein of Baruffa Cashwool laceweight yarn in white. (It was some of the only natural fiber laceweight wool I could find in white!) Each took a little over a third of the skein, so I hope I have enough left!

Since the day I finished my last shawl, I've been collecting patterns for another. I've got a collection of 18 patterns and now I have to choose one to knit!

A couple notes I used to narrow the selection down a bit:
  • Both of the previous shawls feature "nupps" (the white dots, or little balls, on the shawls).
  • Both of the previous shawls are triangular.
  • Both of the previous shawls feature points along the edging.
  • I love my lace light and airy. Large fields of plain stitching defeat the purpose of lace, in my opinion.
  • A pattern with charts is a lot easier for me to follow.
  • A minimum of yarn would be ideal. I'd hate to run out!
  • I'd really like a free pattern!
My top choices (mine will still be white; clicking on the photos will take you to the Flickr page for that picture; clicking on the pattern name will take you to the pattern page on Ravelry):

Echo Flower
Example by WoofBC
Percy
Example by sand_and_sky

Frozen Leaves
Example by ulygan


Fragaria Lace
Example by designer, Alina Appasov

What do you think? Which of these four is your favorite? Come vote!
Poll closes 11 Feb 2013.

Want more gorgeous lace shawls? Check out the runners up:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paper Balloons

 The ancient art of origami

Ok... I am really only assuming that origami is an ancient art. I learned how to do what I am going to do 1000 years ago it seems, so that is pretty ancient. I learned how to make the paper balloon on a school bus ride home from elementary school. An older girl taught me how to fold a torn sheet of notebook paper into an inflated box. She called it a paper balloon, so that is what I have always called it.

Start with a square piece of paper. In the pictures I am using colored computer paper, but it is a little thick. Origami paper (or notebook paper!) work better. Fold the paper in half, and then in half again.
Unfold the paper once so that it is in half with a crease down the center. This is a little tricky to explain, but I think picture 2 above will help. Bring the lower right corner inside the paper and have it touch the center line. Crease it well and repeat on the other side. It will look like picture 3 from the front and picture 4 from the top.
Lay the triangle with the point nearest your body and the open end away from your body. Bring one flap down to the point of the triangle. Repeat with the left side. Flip it over and repeat on the back. It will look like the middle picture, top row. Next fold in each side of the diamond. Two on the front, two on the back as shown in the third picture top row. Just for orientation sake, not the the top has a hole in it and the bottom does not have a hole. It has 4 flaps.

Fold the top of each flap into a triangle. (First picture top row.) Tuck each folded down triangle into the opeinng on the sides. (That gaping opening in the first picture. The second picture is another few.
Almost done! I like to crease the top and bottom as shown by that faint line in the bottom row.
Crease everything very well one more time and gently blow into the hole at the top. It should look like this:
It should look like this:

You can do it! I learned it as a 5th grader!

There are lots of origami direction online. The piggie at the top and this little fox below are easy to make. I used to have my students try them (and a paper crane) when we read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  (Piggy)  (Fox)

I'm Back!

Hello faithful readers! After the wedding, honeymoon, traveling across the country and finally getting somewhat settled into our new apartment back at school...I am back! So...what do I have to blog about? Well I have LOADS to talk about the wedding but...my computer decided to move on to Computer Heaven so all of my pictures and files are a little inaccessible right now (will be visiting a computer help desk place thingy soon!) So let's do some planning for when I actually get all these pictures back. What do you want to know about?
Here are some things I can/ probably will post about:
My wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses
Centerpieces
Tablecloths
Reception food (choosing a menu, making vs buying)
CAKE! (well...mom should post about that since she made it)
Flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres and arrangements)
Accessories (shoes, jewelry, ties, all that good stuff)
Wedding Favors (seriously LOVED making these)
Reception decorations!!

So tell me what you're the most interested in. I hope you all are interested in everything. I would love to tell you all about how we planned and pulled everything together. So yes, tell me what you'd like to read about most and I'll make those posts even better...ok, I don't really know how to do that but I'll make sure to post about those first with lots of good details!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

500!!

Hello all you wonderful Wayward Girls' Crafts readers! Today is a pretty great day for us! It's our 500th post! AND we have exactly 500 followers! We've really loved sharing our 500 posts! We thought we'd highlight our most popular posts:

Jordan

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Jaime

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Brooke

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Jasmine

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Mom/Diana

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Thank you so much for all the comments and encouragement you've offered us! We are grateful for your support! Here's to 500 more!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vinegar Pie vs. Transparent Pie: smackdown!

As I hunted for a chess pie recipe to try, I found some interesting distinctions. Some believed vinegar was a key ingredient in chess pie, but others opined that vinegar automatically made a pie a vinegar pie. I can say that adding vinegar made a pie pretty delicious . . . okay, I don’t think the vinegar made that big a difference, but it was a little bit tastier that way.

Another pie I came across during my recipe hunt was a similar pie called transparent pie. The Kentucky area claims it, so you can sometimes find transparent pie and chess pie at the same event. The biggest difference is that transparent pie is thickened with flour rather than cornmeal. It’s also purported to be a short step away from a nut-less pecan pie—but no corn syrup here.

Like chess pie, both transparent pie and vinegar pie are basic egg-based sweet custard pies. When I made my chess pie and buttermilk pie, I also made this week’s transparent and vinegar pies. In fact, I batched them—and more about how to do that next week. For the pictures in this post, the pictures on the left-hand side are vinegar pies, and the ones on the right are transparent.

Vinegar Pie vs. Transparent Pie: Smackdown!

I found my transparent pie recipe on Boonie Foodie, and my “vinegar” pie recipe is Martha Stewart’s chess pie recipe. I modified both slightly: I lowered the amounts of egg and sugar in the transparent pie to match the other pies for better comparison, taking it from the equivalent of four eggs and two cups of sugar to three eggs and one and a half cups of sugar. I tripled the vinegar in the vinegar pie—but don’t worry, the flavor didn’t carry through to the final version.

Both pies (modified) use the same amount of sugar, eggs, vanilla and butter. The transparent pie also added the flour thickener and cream. Since the vinegar pie features neither corn meal or flour, this pie is thickened solely by eggs.

As with the chess and buttermilk pies, the top of these pies had a delicious sugar crunch like a very thin meringue, and the centers are simply sweet without tasting exactly like sugar. Obviously, without the corn meal, neither of these pies were at all gritty, but surprisingly, I didn’t find them noticeably smoother than the corn meal-based pies.

Personally, of these two, I preferred the vinegar pie. It had a beautiful golden color and the butter and sugar combined for a wonderful caramel flavor. The transparent pie was also good, in a straight-up sweet way.

The winner overall, from all four pies, was the buttermilk chess pie. The notes of buttercream in its filling just edged out the caramel flavors in the vinegar pie. But really, all of these are good pies!

Scores:
Vinegar Pie, Martha Stewart
Transparent Pie, Boonie Foodie
Taste:3.5 stars3 stars
Texture:3 stars2.5 stars
Easy to make:4 stars4 stars
Durability:5 stars—the crunchy meringue-like upper crust actually held up on the counter, instead of getting soft like a meringue does5 stars—same
Wow factor:2.75 stars2.5 stars

Recipes
These recipes have been adapted for 5″ pie pans.

Vinegar Pie
adapted from the Martha Stewart
  • 1/4 cup plus 1.5 tsp granulated white sugar
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp liquid egg product or beaten eggs (just over half an egg)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla (if you have a “pinch” measuring spoon, it’s actually 3 pinches)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 unbaked 5″ pie crust
Transparent Pie
adapted from Boonie Foodie
  • 1/4 cup plus 1.5 tsp granulated white sugar
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp liquid egg product or beaten eggs (just over half an egg)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla (if you have a “pinch” measuring spoon, it’s actually 3 pinches)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cream
  • 1 unbaked 5″ pie crust
Directions for both pies
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then add wet to dry. Pour into pie crust. Although most recipes will tell you to lower the temperature at about 20% of the total baking time, I left my oven on 350 and baked them for about 25 minutes. (The vinegar pie did take slightly longer.) Check your pies often—I considered them done once the top crust was fully set, and might crack but wouldn’t collapse if I tapped it.

What's your favorite kind of pie?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crafting from Birth!

Crafting has always been a part of my life. I just didn't realize how far back it went until this week when my parents gave me something they had found among my late aunt's mementos.
It was a handmade birth announcement addressed to my uncle for me!

















(I thought publishing the girls' mother's maiden name might not be the best idea.)

My mother drew the tree, stapled a  little branch, and then glued a tiny bow to each announcement. I wonder if she had them made in advance, just waiting for my arrival to fill in the details and determine the correct color ribbon. The information is very precise! She likes to inform me I was the fattest baby of all her children. (I am not now!!! I am definitely the runt of the family.)

Check out the envelope.






Stamps were 4 cents!  Zip codes weren't invented. But the most amazing thing to me is that my mother mailed this out 6 days after my birth. What is she, Wonder Woman? (Yes.)

It was really touching to receive this for lots of reasons. First off, to see what my mother had made to announce my birth, second to see that my uncle had kept it for these many years and somehow it had ended up with his sister. Finally, to see that we have generations of crafters in the family!






Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valentine's Day Round Up!

It's time to start crafting for Valentine's Day....but some of us haven't started yet. So here's some inspiration to get you in the mood for pink, red, hearts and chocolate!


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Get your home ready with ideas for some Valentine's Decor


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Need a treat for your Valentine? Why not try Hazelnut Creme Puffs or Marble Chocolate Cheesecake

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Here's a Valentine that will last forever: Clay Conversation Hearts

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Is your Valentine a little young? Maybe very young? A Valentine's Day Onsie could be perfect!

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Hope you found some inspiration! Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Tags Made In Word

I've made some tags lately and they were super cute and super simple. I made them in Microsoft Word and printed them on some heavy card stock. I made ones to go on the caramel I made my neighbors and the fort kits I made my nieces and nephews. I also made labels for my craft organizers.

Step 1: Go to the insert menu and insert shapes. I usually use the rectangle with rounded corners on the first line.

Step 2: Draw the shape
 Step 3: Decide what background you want.

 Step 4: Add text by hitting the "add text" button. You then can add clip art. You may need to change the text wrapping on this. (Found on the right side of the screen).
 Step 5: Print on card stock and cut out. I usually use my corner rounder to get uniform corners and a hole punch of its tied onto something. These are three examples of the recent ones I did.
These could be great for Valentines!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The RED Valentine's Day Party

Last year I held a Valentine's day party. I wanted to share it again this year before the big day comes. Enjoy!

Last Saturday I threw my first big party. Thankfully I had the best help a girl can get, my friends Jessica and Anne. The theme of the party was RED. We asked everyone to wear red, with a prize going to the people who wore the most. We also asked them to bring a red dessert or appetizer. The playlist I made for the party had songs with "red" in the title. It was fun to put together.

Anne's idea to have luminaries was a great one. They welcomed everyone and added enough light to the stairs.

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Aren't the hearts perfect?

Our guests came in and got photo booth style shots taken and then got a name of a famous couple put on their back. I was Olive Oyl. Others names included Bonnie and Clyde, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and Mickey and Minnie. It was a good ice breaker and got people talking. This was all Jessica's idea. Here's an example:

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Then eating ensued. This picture was taken before the party really got started so there isn't much food on the table.

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A few close ups of decor:

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Three pom balls and a hearts display inspired by Being Brook's idea. For mine, I used my Silhouette and cut out over 450 hearts from wax paper. It was perfect to diffuse the light. I sewed strands of hearts together and then attached them to a lightweight frame, which was strung from the ceiling. I got lots of compliments on it.

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My vintage Valentines from eBay. They were so cute!

The main event of the party was a battle of the sexes. The men were assigned to give their wives' a new hair style, paint their nails and write down a quote from a romantic comedy. The ladies were asked to tie a tie on their husbands, draw on some facial hair and write down a sports quote. We set some stations out. I made the signs with my Silhouette. (Do you see my rosette ball and XOXO art?)

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Now here are some action shots:

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Jessica drew on the facial hair of her husband's dreams!

My husband and I were the judges (I have no pictures of myself at the party! That's what you get as the photog). Everyone came out and showed off their spouses' handiwork. 

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I love this classic Anne face.

We gave out prizes to the winners and then mingled for a long time. We wrapped up the evening with a slow dance to "Lady in Red," It was such a fun party and I had such wonderful help! Anne, Jessica and I stayed up late after the party discussing our next one. I'll let you know how that one goes. 

Happy Valentine's Day!
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