Friday, October 26, 2012

Dr Pepper Float Whoopie Pies

Adapted from this book (thanks to my cousin and her husband for a great wedding gift)

The official soft drink of DH and my Alma Mater is Dr Pepper. Every Tuesday there is Dr Pepper hour on campus (used to be Coke Hour) where Dr Pepper Floats (there is a special recipe of like 1 liter to 1 gallon of Blue Bell) are served to all students and faculty who show up. It’s a time to smooze with professors and the college president. I never made it to one in my four years there but I can’t have a lot of sugar and ice cream is a bad idea anyway. I can smooze at almuni events now, I guess, if I really want.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Quick and Messy Fez

It's almost Halloween again, so I thought I would share another costume piece DIY (also works for a lazy cosplay for a convention.)

When I made my TARDIS dress, DH wanted to be the Doctor (the 11th to be exact) and he needed a fez.
If my costume was hasty, his was … worse. I had every intention of sewing a bowtie and fez. Things got away from me so he rented a tie from Men’s Warehouse and in the 5 minutes I had between rehearsal, decorating the gym and the dance I took two plastic cups, a staple, and some red fabric and made a very messy fez.

This is more or less how it went.
Take 2 *matching* plastic cups. Cut on the dots.
Staple the two cups together along the long sides to make a larger loop. Then cover in fabric (again, staple) however you can. I didn't like how I did it soo... yeah. Ya'll are on your own.

And this is how it turned out

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rethinking the TARDIS Dress

A couple years ago (2? 3?) I made a TARDIS costume.
This is the TARDIS:

It travels through time and space and according to Neil Gaiman’s really awesome episode, The Doctor’s Wife, is female.

I picked a 60s type dress and handstitched the thing in a week. It was serviceable but so ill fitting. I want to tackle this again, just to have it on hand (doesn't work for my plan for upcoming-next-year-big-event.) So here’s the original:

A cardigan will cover a multitude of sins... like unfinished/incredibly sloppy armholes that were supposed to have sleeves.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Roast Chicken with DH’s Favorite Sauce

I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen into a meal that DH and I go to fairly regularly. It is fairly cheap, it’s not too-too work intensive, and I can get DH to eat a whole head of broccoli. All in all, a winner.

If you hate vinegar, the sauce is not for you. I don’t really but I sneak a little sugar in to cut it a bit (and the first time I made it we didn’t have heavy cream so I used what was left in the whipped cream bottle in the back of the fridge so DH is already used to it being a bit sweeter.)

The onions aren't the prettiest but this is such a delicious meal. Especially with steamed broccoli or string beans drowned in the sauce, though it tends to overcook the broccoli so keep them separate until on the plate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Olive's First Halloween: Progress Report III

I gave up on the plume. Nearly spent more on a boa with the correct tinsel (white with gold, for those wondering) than I did on fabric. It arrived with new trimming sheers for little Ms. Barky McBarkenstein (thank DH for that one, even though she is remarkably quiet for a Sheltie) so I was very excited. Sheers are awesome (tidy paws and ears now, so cute), boa not so much. It's a sad, sad, sad boa. If I were going for a ridiculous May West costume, it might have worked but with it going to be a very small section for the chicken, it would look just weird. Also, it shed everywhere and Squishface (my name) tried eating the pieces*.

The boa is now sitting on my scrap pile until I decide what to do with it. I never put a plume hole in her shako (which is adorable) so it's not a big loss. There's a weird pucker on the top that I need to touch up that I was hoping the plume would hide. Otherwise her costume is done.

 Not her costume, but still cute (pre ear and paw trim)

Made three epaulets (one was sewn with buckram forgetting that that stuff doesn't bend and it when flipped inside out should not be between the front and back). Sewed button holes for the epaulets and the cape. Used fancy gold-plated buttons (Fabric Warehouse 5 packs for $2 sale) to attach everything. Freaked out about the zipper (only had a white invisible, should have gotten a white separable) decided to do a fake lapped zipper and have with a gap at the top and bottom (also didn't have the right length). Freaked out about which type of hooks to use, ended up sewing in two different types before realizing I'm worrying about a dog's costume. Drank a lot of cups of tea (Early Grey, hot- also, Turkey Hill Diet Green Tea). Cooed a lot over Ms. Smooshface (DH's name, again) and how cute her costume was).

Olive (halfheartedly tried to convince DH we needed to remain her Oveta after Col. Oveta Culp Hobby) will likely debut it this Saturday at the Petsmart Howl-o-ween, there are at least two we will also do. So no pictures until then.

Waiting very patiently for DH to finish making her special dinner (between trims)

*Discovered that she will eat anything. Also, discovered she has as sensitive a tummy as her mom. Hello, Saturday morning vet visit and "special" food that requires a scrip. Also, special ear drops for her mild reaction to something that she ate.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Russian Apple-Thing with Salted Caramel Sauce

Pretty much taken verbatim from Smitten Kitchen

The way our old church did things, home groups could rotate hosts for a group meal with everyone contributing. For our home group we had to be slightly conscious of not having too weird of foods. While I love “weird” (aka non-generic-American) foods* some people did not care for them. Well, we were having something, maybe brisket, that begged for something lighter and I thought this looked good. But what’s a cake without some sort of icing?

What I changed:
-          I used the springform pan we had that isn’t quite a spring form but I’m not sure what it is then, it's like a really tall-sided removable bottom tart pan.
-          I added the Caramel Sauce also from Smitten Kitchen

Other Thoughts:
      -     I would mix the apples with the custard, it didn’t sink as much as I would like, or maybe I wasn’t patient enough. I probably wasn't patient enough knowing me. Patience. Not a virtue I'm terribly known for (though I hold I found my Christmas presents by accident, I can wait for that at least)

*My family has Rømmegrøt every Christmas Eve when we get together. I made DH have a bowl his first Christmas with us. I cackled. I’m trying to convince him that fiskeboller with white sauce are delicious (they are, at least that I remember from the last time I had them ... which was probably more than a decade ago) since I've given up on lutefisk and he had a bad experience with geitost last Christmas. He at least agreed to a kransekake at the wedding reception (my dad insisted so there wasn't so much of an option). He does love cardamom bread, at least.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Olive's First Halloween: Progress Report II

Olive's costume needs:

Shako Brim
Shako Emblem (trying to figure out how to do that, may be lazy and just make a star)
Shako Strap (do not trust her to keep it on out of the kindness of her heart)
Shako Top Piece
Chicken Plume (must be a universal thing, my high school band called them chickens, and my college band called them chickens... despite being separated by ~1500 miles)
Epaulets (not sure I'm doing these. Me=Lazy)
Cape Buttons
Zipper (or some sort of secure method, I don't have a separating zipper so that puts me in a sticky place)
New Hem on the Coat (positive I measured correctly but surprise...)

I think that's it... that just seems like so much but it really isn't. I'm on the fence about some of these - do I really want to hem the coat? It's reminiscent of my uniform junior year. I could have been a good 6 mo pregnant and not needed a new uniform. Senior year at least it was near perfect. Like it should since it was built to my measurements (or near enough, whatshisface has no idea where the waist is and put my high hip for my waist measurement so that was a wee bit roomy). Epaulets may look silly since her "shoulder" is so sloped (nevermind that's now how you measure the shoulder on quadrupeds) but I'm wondering if I need to hide the attachment of the cape... I still have a month to figure it out.

Here's how fitting has gone most times...

"I'm not so sure about this..."

 "That's the cookie bag!"

 "Yay! Cookie!"                        

Since she forgets she is getting a cookie until the very end (every single time), I feel that it's not a bribe. More a reward. Or compensation. Whatever. She gets a cookie, I question my ability to measure correctly.
I swear I measured her several different times but somehow all of the pattern pieces were too big and I ordered far too much fabric. Now I'm tempted to make a cape for myself, just because I miss mine and we didn't have them with the new uniforms and that made me very sad (just like the news about the changes to Homecoming this year. I want to know who thought that was a good idea. But I digress). I have no idea how to draft an armhole for a dog so I aired on the side of caution and it's huge. Like I could fit my arm through probably (I am not trying, I remember what happened when I tried on an old ballet costume. I think my mom almost laughed herself sick while looking for the seam ripper).

But you can see that Olive's ruff is coming in so very nicely. Three months ago it would have barely puffed up and would have looked very sad. Now it's adorable. I just need to remember to hide her tags for photos. I really want to get her a new ID tag- DH put the wrong zip code on the back (before we moved) and it is heavy for her heavy martingale collar, not the thin safety collar. We switched so her coat wouldn't separate as much- no worries, we still use the martingale for walks (or as she knows it "potty", I'm not sure how she figured that out, wish she knew "walk" instead) so there won't be a pretty-much-Sheltie running loose. If we didn't use a martingale she would have slipped her collar long ago when we were just starting on leash manners,.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Peg people

At some point in the wedding planning I wanted a peg people topper and DH humored me. They were really popular at the time, usually with the people in their ceremony attire. They were especially popular with the hipster crowd (which we are not, unless you count liking a certain off campus coffee shop frequented by the slack line and chaco wearing crowd). When DH and I started deliberately hanging out, it was Halloween and I was mechanic!Kaylee from Firefly/Serenity. However, I thought her pink!Dress was more wedding appropriate and since … well if you saw Serenity, you know.  So I set out to make my own. I posted this DIY on another site a while ago but I’ve edited it a bit.

Photo By Epic Photography