Thursday, September 20, 2012

Unicycle Cookies 2012

Last year I created a unicycle cookie cutter and made decorated unicycle cookies. It was a major project and this year I wanted to do it again, but easier.

I decided a stand mixer would help make things easier and it certainly did!

I made up the dough on Sunday and cut out the cookies on Monday. After baking and cooling, they went into the freezer until Wednesday night. While they were freezing, I made up royal icing and read about a different method of using it. Last year I attempted the two step process of flooding and detail work. This year, for some of it, I would use the 20 second rule for applying icing.

Thursday was decorating day. It really did help to have the frosting made up and colored. And in order to color the frosting, I had to have planned out the decorating. My mom was able to join me again and my toddler had a super nap after swimming all morning.

It didn't take too long at all. Perhaps two hours was spent decorating including some clean up. The simplified method of decorating worked well and knowing a bit better what to expect helped too. I wish I had thinned the blue for the saddles a bit more. The thinned black on the saddles worked very well. I started with a larger tip opening and too much icing came out. Switching to a #5 tip worked better.

In addition to the unicycle cookies, I made ovals depicting the Schlumpf logo. Schlumpf is the company who created a geared hub that my husband uses. I also made some square shaped cookies I cut with a fancy cucumber knife. My mom wrote the "MUNI" on them which stands for Mountain Unicycling. The cupcakes are for my husband's birthday which happens to fall on race day.

I enjoy celebrating the great group of unicyclists I've come to know through my husband's hobby.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Memory Mug Rug

My grandmother used to send me fabric from time to time.  She was always a sewer.  She mainly made clothes for herself and her husband.  And she was very talented, no patterns necessary.
Memory Mug Rug

My grandmother died last year and my grandfather died just last month.  I know people do all kinds of neat memory quilts and wall hangings from the deceased clothing.

I thought about the fabrics I have from my grandmother.  One is from a shirt she had made my grandfather, another is from an outfit she made my daughter.  Others I'm not sure of their stories.  I collected these fabrics together and some other scraps that reminded me of my grandparents and a couple that would tie everything together.

Back of Mug Rug
Instead of a quilt, I would make a mug rug.  These are cute mini quilts which are designed to use as a coaster for a cup of tea and perhaps a cookie.  This memory mug rug is for my mother in memory of her parents.  I like the idea of my mom having tea and having a remembrance of her parents right there with her.  I hope she likes it too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pancakes for Breakfast

My older daughter isn't a fan of your average breakfast fare.  In fact her favorite thing for breakfast is leftover dinner.  We have been encouraging her to try new, easy things that are sure to be available, especially for school days.

She does however love pancakes and I have been known to make some ahead and freeze them, but I hadn't in a while.

It's a napping child that probably inspires me the most, or perhaps it's the quiet that comes with a napping child.

Anyway, I was happy to use my new mixer again and try out a new recipe for pancakes.

I used a basic recipe from the cookbook entitled, Whole Foods for the Whole Family, and then made some modifications.  I often add mashed bananas to my pancakes, but we were all out.  But we did have a bunch of mini Chobani Honey-nana Greek yogurts which have a nice banana flavor.

2 cups of yogurt and milk mixture - 2, 3.5oz  
  Chobani Honey-nana (banana flavored) Greek
  yogurt and skim milk together to make up 2 cups
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached white flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

I used my whisk attachment and my lovely new mixer.  It certainly makes baking easier.  They cooked up quickly and I placed them on a cooling rack.  They will be frozen layered in wax paper for a quick, easy breakfast.  It's a fairly nutritious breakfast as well as my daughter prefers applesauce as her dipping sauce.  These are actually so tastey that I sampled one mostly cool without anything extra and it was great!  Between the sweet yogurt and the added sugar, they are sweet.  I probably could leave out the sugar entirely.

Mixing Bliss

After a year of wishing I had a stand mixer, I decided the time was right.

It's time to make unicycle cookies again. I purchased the Kitchenaid Artisian mixer earlier this week, but didn't open the box until today. I had my eager helpers ready and we were all excited to try out the new mixer.

I had actually read the online manual earlier too which made it really easy. I opened the box, washed the parts and started making cookies.

Even with the first ingredients, it was clear that this is a superior machine. It seemed very efficient and mixed everything quickly. This gingerbread cookie recipe calls for quite a bit of flour and the dough gets stiff. I decided to switch my beater to the dough hook for the last cup of flour. It mixed beautifully.

I look forward to our next mixing opportunity. I read that mashed potatoes can be mixed in it as well. Maybe I'll mix and we'll have dinner too.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Oktoberfest Bound

My son is in 7th grade and started a language this year.  I was excited that he chose German as I studied German for many years and even hold a couple degrees in German.
Toddler Dirndl

Jumper Before
For extra credit, he can attend the Oktoberfest happening this weekend and next.  As I was trying to find out more about the event, I saw many pictures of participants from past years.  There were some young children in Dirndls and Lederhosen.  I thought a small girl here might like a Dirndl too.

I wanted this to be a quick project, so I started with a jumper we already had.  While looking at my ribbon selection, I didn't see exactly what I wanted.  Starting with a strip of felt, I tried out my different decorative stitches.  This would make up the sides of the ribbons which would crisscross.

Dancing Girl
After looking at my stash for a floral print, I was happy to find this green floral.  It was leftover from kitchen valences from long ago.  The leftover piece was the perfect size.  I sewed it together and gathered the top edge.

First I added the decorated felt and ribbon, then I cut the jumper.  The gathered skirt went on quickly and finally I sewed a hem at the bottom.