Sunday, April 24, 2011

I want this book

It looks like a nice collection of simple, natural, meatless dishes. Must remember to ask for it for upcoming birthday.

Leafy branch draft catcher

I saw this project first in this awesome book and then promtly forgot about it--until this winter when I noticed that the door in our new house is quite drafty and would really benefit from a draft catcher. I remembered this pretty leaf-covered branch project and just did my best to re-create it sans instructions.

First, I drew a branch nubby branch design on doubled up muslin. The branch should be about four inches wider than your door. I pinned the fabric together loosely to make it easier to cut out.

After cutting out the shapes, I ran it through the sewing machine but left the base of the branch open. Then I trimmed the excess fabric to about 1/4 inch and snipped the corners.

Turn it right side out, carefully turning out the nubs. You can iron it, but I didn't bother.

Then fill it with something like corn, buckwheat hulls, cat litter, sand, rice or beans and sew up the end. I used a funnel and this helped tremendously. I made one out of a plastic soda bottle.

I also used cat litter because that's the only thing I had enough of to fill the branch with. It's kind of dusty and a bit heavy, but it works in a pinch and is certainly a better choice then polyfill, which I think was a strange suggestion I saw online.

 Then I cut some leaves out of green and brown felt and sewed them onto the branch nubs.  It was a fun and quick project which will probably save us on some heating bills.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My favorite pancakes

I love pancakes. I mean, I really love them. This love has inspired me to try countless recipes, most of which I try and then move on because they aren't all I want them to be. But these ones are awesome. They have an almost skin-like texture. They aren't cake-y or fluffy, they are more like thick crepes. They are the pancakes I make when I am cooking for myself or maybe my sister, who loves them as well.

Can you see how dense and eggy they are? Yummmmmm

I've adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, my go to site for recipes.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/ 4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat a griddle over medium-low heat.
Stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in the bottom of a medium bowl. Dump the sour cream in on top and stir it together very gently. Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and stir them into the sour cream mixture, being careful not to over-mix.
Spray the pan with cooking spray and pour the batter in, a scant 1/4 cup at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, or until bubbles appear all over the surface, flipping them carefully and cooking for about a minute on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
Top with a pat of butter and maple syrup.

Makes enough for about 2 people.