Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody! Use this day as an excuse to eat lots of candy.

I just remembered that I had a chocolate bar in the cupboard while I typed that. Not kidding.

Going to get it now.

In honor of Halloween, I hope you enjoy these pictures of my cat Fox dressed up as a Jack-o-cat.

crazed Jack-o-cat

What, not every cat has his own Halloween costume?

dead with shame.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bloody Bite Cupcakes


If that's what you just said...mission accomplished.

This is where I was going with those chocolate dentures the other day. While these might look kinda complicated, they're really not. It's just cake mix, store bought frosting, canned strawberry pie filling and plain old white chocolate chips for the teeth. I'm as fierce a lover of 'from scratch' as anyone, but let's be honest, we all have our limits. These cupcakes are not about slicing organic strawberries to make a homemade compote or scraping vanilla bean seeds into cake batter.

They are about an orphaned set of demonic dentures biting into a bloody cupcake.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chocolate Dentures

Just a little glimpse of something I'm up to this week...

White chocolate dentures anyone?

Halloween's right around the corner!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hidden Message Glow in the Dark Embroidery

In case you missed it, last week I had a guest post on the great site WhipUp. I'm excited and honored to be included in Kathreen's guest blogger series.

My post was a how-to for this simple but really cool embroidery project. It uses glow in the dark embroidery floss to hide a secret message in a seemingly random pattern of white stitches.

How awesome is glow in the dark embroidery floss?? Having a geek out.

The post includes all the directions plus a free PDF download of the embroidery pattern. Head on over there to check it out!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Heather Ross Giveaway Winner

The comments are in, and thanks to a handy random number generator, we have a winner:

Congratulations to Lorrie for winning these little gems.

If you missed this giveaway, be sure to sign up for my email list so you don't miss future ones!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sugared Chili Pumpkin Seeds


After my recent burst of teeth-rotting, muffin-top-inducing Halloween recipes [though those sorts of things are my specialty], it was actually a relief to make something a little more low key that I didn't have to feel too bad about eating.

These pumpkin seeds are roasted in one of my favorite flavor rubs - brown sugar and chili powder. I love it because it has that perfect sweet / salty thing going on. The brown sugar is carmel-ly and robust, the chili powder is smoky [not spicy], and the salt rounds everything out in a perfectly mouth watering way.

It honestly tastes great on just about anything savory. I've used it when baking salmon and chicken, and this chicken-bacon appetizer from Paula Deen [though not for the meat-wary] is one of the best party / football day finger foods ever. People seriously devour those little nubbins like they're crack. 

So as you carve your jack-o-lanterns this year, don't throw away that pumpkin goop until you get those seeds out to roast up and enjoy.

Sugared Chili Pumpkin Seeds
seeds from 1 medium pumpkin [about 1.5 cups]
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Rinse and dry the seeds thoroughly. Mix the sugar, chili and salt in a small bowl.
2. Pour the butter over the seeds and stir. Add the sugar mixture and stir to combine.
3. Spread in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Keep an eye on them so that they don't burn. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Heather Ross Fabric Giveaway

Free fabric! Did you hear me? I said FREE FABRIC!

Miss Make is quickly approaching 100,000 views, and I have a guest post on the awesome site WhipUp coming up next week. Things in the land of Miss Make are pretty happy. So to celebrate I decided to give away eight Heather Ross fat quarters from my own stash to one lucky reader. Well, seven are fat quarters, and the eighth, the yellow frog prince, is actually a true quarter yard off the bolt.

Heather Ross is my favorite fabric designer. I love her illustration style and color choices, but most of all I love what she chooses to draw. It's always something whimsical that reminds me of being a kid, but it's never too cutesy.

These fabrics are all out of print designs that are getting harder and harder to find. I hope you're especially excited about the yellow dog print because I AM. I inexplicably found two fat quarters of it in a remnant bin at JoAnn's in Chino, CA last year. When I found them it had been at least a couple years since they were available. I have no idea how they got there, but as I was squatting on the dusty linoleum floor pawing through chunks of ugly polyesters and gaudy metallic plaid, I felt like a prospector finding gold when I pulled those two soft yellow fat quarters from the depths.

The peach tadpoles in jars is one of my favorite fabrics I have. It's so wonderful and soft. In fact, I have not been able to bring myself to cut into the several yards I bought and hoarded two years ago until now. Baby steps!

For a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post, and I will randomly select someone once the contest closes. Make sure that you have an email address in your profile somewhere so that I can reach you for shipping info should you win. The contest will run for a week and remain open until 11:59PM PST on Friday, October 14.

Be sure to become a follower or sign up for my email updates too [both over there in the righthand column] so you don't miss any future giveaways and contests!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Climbing on the Hallowagon

After bombarding the internet with a surge of intensely Halloween inspired posts, I decided it was time to cut myself off from orange and pumpkin by starting a new, completely non-holiday-themed sewing project.

It's a simple KwikSew dress pattern that has a kind of retro vibe. I wanted to make a practice version first since it's my first time making a dress [with a zipper! gulp!]. I thought about buying cheap muslin but then I realized I could just use an old sheet I still had from my college days. I [hopefully] don't have any XL twin mattresses in my near future. Never mind that it's the color of medical scrubs. It's just practice, right?

And of course since it was a floor project, I had a helper in no time, more than willing to flop limply and unceremoniously into the very center of what I was doing.

Oh, Gingher dressmaker shears, you are a thing of beauty.

Thanks for your help, Hootie!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Candy Corn Vodka Tonic

Remember how I posted about my potentially disgusting idea a little while ago?

Well, it has been executed. I have made candy corn vodka. I mixed them together in a jar, let it sit for a week, then strained out all these little weird stringy pieces left behind.

The results are not earth shattering. My life has not been changed. But it did turn out better than I expected. [Though I did expect to instantly upchuck the moment I tried this stuff, so the bar was pretty low.]

Despite its intense, eye-melting neon orange color [thank you, cheap candy dye], the flavor of the candy corn is very subtle. It mostly tastes like plain old vodka, with a vague corn syrup and imitation butter finish.

I will honestly probably never make this again. BUT, I was very excited by the fact that when I made a vodka tonic with it, the layers of liquid and ice separated and looked JUST like the stripes on a candy corn. That might be the best part of this whole experiment.

So if you don't want the taste of candy corn but want a drink that looks like it, you could put food coloring in regular vodka. You could also swap out candy corn for orange skittles so that at least it tastes like something definitive [because let's be honest, this is not a high brow drink]. Or you could use a liquor that's already bright orange colored, though none are coming to mind for me at the moment. Anybody?

UPDATE: Veronica from PlantedLA suggested using orangecello as the liqueur instead of the vodka if you're not too into the taste of candy corn. I think that's a great idea. The orangecello would still create the candy corn striated look when you pour the tonic on top of it. Thanks Veronica! :]

Candy Corn Vodka Tonic
1 oz candy corn vodka [recipe follows]
splash orange juice
tonic water
candy corn [for garnish]

1. Mix the vodka and orange juice. Pour it over ice.
2. Gently and slowly pour the tonic water on top. Do not stir.
3. Press a candy corn onto the brim of the glass and serve.

Candy Corn Vodka
2 c vodka
3/4 c candy corn

1. Mix both ingredients in a glass jar. Seal tightly and let rest in a cool dark cupboard for 5 days.
2. Give the jar a shake and strain through a paper towel. Store in the jar in the freezer.


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