That's all the shopping I did this weekend. How about you?
November 30, 2008
That's all the shopping I did this weekend. How about you?
November 24, 2008
Everyone thought the basket weave technique was pretty cool. It took a long time, so I only went half way around.
I got a set of tips a few weeks ago so I could practice at home. I can't wait to do some more frosting art. I wish that cake had been real. mmmmm
November 21, 2008
This week I made Libby's® Pumpkin Roll from VeryBestBaking.com. For the full recipe, click here. I've always been intrigued by these fun looking swirled desserts, and a little intimidated too. It was actually really easy to make. The ingredients are pretty simple: Powdered Sugar Flour Baking Powder Baking Soda Ground Cinnamon Ground Cloves Salt Eggs Granulated Sugar Canned Pumpkin Walnuts (if you like) Butter Cream Cheese I know, it's kind of a long list, but they're all really basic things that you probably have on hand. The only thing I had to purchase special was the cream cheese, oh, and the pan. You'll need a 10x15" Jelly-Roll Pan to make this cake. A Jelly-Roll Pan is basically a cookie sheet with sides.
1. Be sure to read through the directions before you get started. You need to grease the pan, lay wax paper over it and then grease (and flour) again. If I hadn't watched this video, I'd have likely messed that up and had a sticky mess on my hands.
2. The cake is very sticky. When I tested it for doneness, I couldn't be sure because of this. I followed the directions and checked after 11 minutes. I could have taken it out at that point but gave it another minute or so. I think it was a little bit overcooked.
3. The cake itself doesn't have a very strong flavor. If I make it again, I'll add some ginger or maybe a little pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top.
4. The amount of filling in the picture had me worried, so I spread mine quite thin and discarded about 1/3 cup. I think it was just the right amount in the end.
5. Don't be stingy with the powdered sugar! It will save your life and keep things from sticking.
Check out NutritionData.com for more information on raw pumpkin and everything else you can think of. What a great website.
Now, let's check out what Jenn made with Pumpkin this week. (I think I know what I'm baking for Thanksgiving)
November 19, 2008
Posted by iSew at 11/19/2008 12:41:00 PM
November 17, 2008
Magazine #2 "Holiday Crafts", an impulse buy at the checkstand. Perfect! This one is from Better Homes and Gardens and it's just crammed with adorable craft ideas for the holidays.
There are tons of great magazines on the racks this time of year, tell me which ones you've found.
November 14, 2008
November 12, 2008
This past weekend Nick and I went to visit our friends who hosted our wedding back in April. It was nice to see them and to be back in such a special place. I love that they still have the wreath on the door from the wedding. So pretty!
We spent an afternoon wandering through some shops in Mariposa, a small town about 30 minutes away. I was most interested in the kitties hanging out by Chocolate Soup.
On our way home we stopped at the biggest outdoor shop I've ever seen. It was amazing. At the entrance we walked through a giant tree and there were taxidermy animals all over. It was really neat, and Carnaby had a great time too.
It wasn't all fun & relaxing. I got lots of new monkeys made while we were away. Better get busy with my camera and get these guys into the shop.
November 06, 2008
You know those cool cake pans you can get that look like something? I mean something other than a traditional cake, something cool like a giant cupcake or a beehive? Yeah, well I love those fancy cake pans. A few years ago, before I moved to the UK, I bought The Great Pumpkin Pan from Williams Sonoma. They don't carry it any more, but you can buy it direct from Nordic Ware. Did you know that Nordic Ware invented the Bundt Pan in 1950? That's so cool - I love Bundt pans too (I've got this one)!
The Great Pumpkin Pan is cast-aluminum and it's fantastic. Cast-Aluminum pans are said to distribute the heat evenly and this one is also nonstick. The cakes just fell right out, amazing!
I decided that I'd try out the recipe that came with the pan, you can download it here. I like to get all of my ingredients out and measured before I begin following the steps of a recipe. This one has a ton of ingredients but I think it was worth the effort. Even Nick loves this cake and he says he's not a huge pumpkin fan (though, secretly I think he is).
I found the directions pretty easy to follow, even though I'm a novice mixer operator. I made a huge effort to distribute my batter evenly in each side of the pan, but there was still some trimming required. The best thing about the trimming: we were able to give the cake a taste test before I take it with us to visit friends today. hehe
There were 3 photos of the cake along with the recipe and none of them impressed me as far as decoration goes. I decided in the end that with a cake this sugary and dense, I don't need frosting. I just sifted a little snow (powdered sugar) on top and added a few leaves from the tree in front of my house. I'm so glad I finally got a chance to make a cake with my fancy pumpkin pan. I'm sure it'll be a hit with our friends, it's delicious.
1. It took me all afternoon to make this recipe, mostly because of the number of ingredients. This isn't a last minute cake and you might have to do a bit of shopping to make it.
2. I over floured the pan and ended up with some unsightly edges on the pumpkin halves. Generously grease, lightly flour.
3. The recipe calls for walnuts. I left the nuts out because Nick's allergic and I'm opposed to nuts "in things". If you want to try something other than nuts, I recommend chocolate chips. They'd be delicious with this rich cake.
4. If you don't have a fancy pan, try making this cake as a Bundt. If you have some batter leftover, make a few cupcakes too. They'd make a nice addition to a packed lunch.
Now, lets stop in at Jenn's to sample her pumpkin bread pudding!
November 05, 2008
Thanks so much for stopping by to see the Virtual Home Show the past few days everyone. It was a lot of fun! I hope you enjoyed it too. And now I'd like to tell you who the lucky winner is...
Have a great holiday season!
November 03, 2008
Sue Bleiweiss has some beautiful handmade notebooks to show you.
Felicia Haywood has been making the cutest toys around.
Lisa Jordan makes the sweetest felted treasures.
Jenn Maruska's sewing gifts are just the best!
Julie Thomas has some gorgeous pottery to show you.
Karen Wittkop will help you wrap things up with her adorable gift tags!
Stop in and check out the beautiful things these girls are working on, there will be prizes and lots of great holiday shopping ideas.
As for me, it's all about monkeys! Yep. It's monkey season so I decided to tell you a bit about how it all started...
Early in 2007, while on a trip to California (I was living in the UK at the time), Nick and I paid a visit to some friends of ours who live near Yosemite National Park. (These friends recently hosted our wedding at their home...I had to mention that.) Anyway, I'd just made the first ever official Gadget Monkey, seen above. His name is Randy and he was promptly adopted by Jim & Julie. We took Randy along on a trip into Yosemite and that's when we all came up with the idea for the Monkey Travel Club Flickr Group and shop. At first, I sold my monkeys out of my orginal Etsy shop, iSew, but later the monkeys took over and demanded their own space. So, on January 1st of this year, Monkey Travel Club opened it's virtual doors. And the rest, as they say, is history. At this point I've made over 430 monkeys!
Now I'd like you to swing by and see my friend Felicia and her adorable little friends. Enjoy the home show!
November 01, 2008
For a while, I've been thinking about making myself some new recipe cards. The inside of my recipe box is a complete mess. There are folded sheets of paper, random cards, pages ripped from magazines and who knows what else. So, I went over to Paper Source and got myself some blank cards, whipped up some artwork, and voila! What do you think?
I used the A2 size flat cards with a scalloped border. They are the palest shade of pink with a little bit of texture too. Perfect for my particular recipe box.
Now that I've got all these cards, I need to rewrite all the messy recipes. I suppose I'll get to that after Christmas. Baby steps, right?
p.s. Sorry about the bad photos. It's been raining here for a few days and it's practically dark in the day time!