Friday, December 17, 2010

How to make andOven Mitt and Hot Pad

So I sort of have a late start on my holiday projects....but better late than never, also I am pretty sure I will get done everything I have planned to make myself. I just started and finished this project today. This was fun because I have never done any quilting/batting before, it is always fun for me to learn new things. Actually this project was rather simple the hardest part is marking your quilt lines correctly. Once you have that done it is a breeze.

You will need:

about a 1/2 yard of fabric
batting, (since I enjoy using recycled materials I used layers of old towels for this project.)
bias tape (I made my own with some fabric scraps)
tailors chalk
sewing machine
mitt pattern

Step one: For the mitt you will want to cut 4 , 10x13 in pieces from your fabric, and the same size for your batting/old towel cut 4 as well. On two of the pieces of fabric with your ruler and chalk mark 3 in diamonds. Take one of the pieces you marked and one of the un-marked pieces and place them wrong sides together. layer two of the pieces of batting together and pin and sew along your quilting lines. Repeat with the other pieces. For your pad cut 2 9x9 inch squares and 2 of the same size of the batting mark layer and quilt as well.

Step Two: Take your mitt pattern and pin to your quilted fabric and cut. Do this with both sides. Then with the right sides facing pin and sew the raw edges with 1/4 inch hem. Notch the curved edges and turn right side out.

Step Three: Finish the edges with your bias tape

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Special Request Recipies!

So my family and I attended a friends Thanksgiving day after vegan Feast this year.  It's is always fun when you are surrounded by compassionate people and delicious food! I made these tofu nuggets with three different dipping sauces which were a huge hit, numerous people asked for the recipe. Oh boy I should have made more because they were gone in less than an hour. I thought it might be easier to post them on my blog rather than emailing every individual person the recipes, this way it will also be easy for them to pass on the recipes to others.

These are actually really easy to make, they are great for parties, or to snack on. If you cut to tofu in larger pieces they are even great in sandwiches.

Tofu Nuggets

oil for frying (I use canola)
1 lb. pressed tofu
1 cup vegan milk ( I use Almond but Soy, Rice, and Hemp milk work just as well)
2 tbs cornstarch
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a large skillet (I use cast iron) heat about a 1/2 inch of oil over medium heat. Once your tofu is pressed, slice it down the center length wise and then slice width wise about every 1/4 inch so that you have flat squares. In a shallow bowl wisk together the milk and corn corn starch with a fork vigorously until the starch is mostly dissolved. In a mixing bowl mix together cornmeal and seasonings.

Test oil with a pinch of batter when it sizzles/bubbles you are ready to cook. Dip each piece of tofu in to milk and then in the cornmeal to coat. Transfer the tofu to the skillet in batches so you don't over crowd the pan. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Use tongs to flip.

You can also bake these in the oven in you want something a little healthier.

Backyard BBQ Sauce   (from Veganomicon)

1 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz ) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs mustard (I use spicy brown)
2 tsp liquid smoke

Preheat a sauce pan over medium. Place the onions in the pan a saute' in oil until browned. Add the garlic and saute' for another minute. Add all the other ingredients except the mustard and liquid smoke, cook for at least 30 minuets and up to 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat if the sauce begins to splatter. Add the mustard and liquid smoke, taste for sweetness/sourness. Adjust the flavors as needed and cook for 5 more minutes. If you like a smooth BBQ sauce you can puree it, but it's not necessary. Also if you want it a little more spicy add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper.

Cheezy Sauce   (Veganomicon)

2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
pinch of dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
several pinches of ground black pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp mustard (spicy brown)

Combine the broth and flour in a measuring cup and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for 2 minutes stirring often so not to burn the garlic. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, cook for about 15 seconds and add the broth, turmeric and nu yeast. Raise the heat to medium and use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture will start to thicken cook for about 2 more minuets then add the lemon juice and the mustard. Serve warm. cover if you are going to let it sit for a while, if it forms a top layer just mix it back up.

Curry and Herb Dip (my own personal recipe)

1 cup veganaise
1/2 vegan sour cream
1 tbs mixed dried herbs
2 tbs curry powder
2 tbs green curry paste
1 tbs fresh chopped parsley
2 tbs grated onion
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs liquid braggs

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Nursery Re-do How to!

I just love making things for the twins! Baby stuff is so much fun to make. (I am secretly hoping that one of my friends will have a baby soon just so I have an excuse to make awesome baby shower gifts!) When I had my baby shower for the twins I received a baby crib and bedding set from my grandparents. My Grandma which I adore made the bedding herself. She worked as a seamstress for many many years. (I think it rubbed off on me a little) She found this great owl fleece fabric and made a blanket and pillows and pillow covers. However If you have a baby I am sure you are well aware of how often there bedding needs washed....especially with twins. So there bedding unfortunately has gotten pretty dingy and worn out.  Also when we moved they ended up with an extra window in there new room and so I needed to make them new curtains anyway, so I figured while I was at it I should make them new bedding as well.

Things you will need:
Various fabric (washed and pressed)
bias tape
straight pins
sewing machine

Step One:
For the flags you will need to make a triangle pattern. Trace the triangle on to the fabric and cut out. Use different colors or patterns.  You will need a front and a back side for each flag. 

Step Two: Once you have all your pieces, pin the right sides together and sew together leaving the top of the triangle open for turning. Trim the bottom for a sharper point.

 Step Three: Turn the fabric right side out and press your seam. Then sew a top stitch around the flag.

Step Four: Take your bias tape and fold in half with the top side of the triangle flag between the fold and sew.

 For the pillow covers:
Measure the pillow that you are making the covers for and cut your fabric to its measurements leaving seem allowance. I made a smaller triangle pattern for the pillow and followed the same steps as above. Omit the top stitch and instead pin the completed flag banner across what will be the front of the pillow. Then top stitch it to the pillow. With right sides together sew the pillow case together and then hem the edge where the pillow will be inserted.

 For the blanket: I used a really nice and soft material...not sure what it is. Bought a pre-made lion applique and sewed it onto the corner. for the back side of the blanket I used the same material as the curtains. Pin the right sides together and sewed along the edges leaving a about a 12 inch gap for turning. I turned the fabric and pressed the seam then sewed a top stitch all the way around.

 Also made a small curtain  to cover the front of their changing table with the leftover material I had.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hanging Laundry bag.

As many of you know my family and I recently moved and when we did I acquired a laundry room. I have never ever had my own washer and dryer, which I must say is awesome, No more scrounging around for quarters or spending Jesse's days off at the laundry-mat. Oh and not only did I get a washer and dryer I got a whole laundry room/storage room! I have been to a few friends apartments who have had there own washer and dryer but it is located in their kitchen or bathroom. Which I am not knocking by any means (a washer and dryer is a washer and dryer period) Just saying its nice not to have my dirty clothes out in the open. However if you do have your washer and dryer in  a high traffic area this project would be perfect for you! My laundry room is very narrow so having a laundry basket on the floor doesn't work so well. That is why I decided to make this hanging laundry bag. I just love how convenient it is! With the right fabric It would look much nicer and uncluttered hanging on your wall that a boring laundry basket ever could.

You will need:
Approximately 1 to 1 1/2 yards of fabric depending on how large you would like the bag to be.
3/4 yard bias tape

Sewing machine
bowl/plate/something round for the opening
two hooks  for hanging 

Step One: Cut out your pieces. Decide how large you would like your finished bag to be. Measure and cut out two pieces. one for the front side and one for the back. Then cut out another piece the same width as your bag and  6 in tall. This will be the flap that hangs over the back. (When the bag is full of laundry this extra opening will make it easy to empty out. However It is not completely necessary. then cut out two strips for your loops. the size is not too important as long as they are big enough to easily fit over the hooks when you hang the bag.

Step Two: Take a bowl or a plate and place it on what will be the front side of your bag with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. Make sure you place it towards the top of the bag and in the middle. Trace the circle and cut it out. Once you have done that sew the bias tape around the circle completely covering the raw edge on the front and back side. Sew your loop strips to give them a finished look. Hem the piece that will make your back flap.
Step Three: Line up the back flap with the front side of your bag right sides together. fold your loops in half and line them up as well. The loops should be between the fabric and not visible except for about 1/4 of and inch sticking out of the raw edges. Pin and sew the raw edges together. Press your seam.

This is how it should look before you sew (above) and after to sew and press (below)

Top stitch across the top. Take the fabric for the back side of the bag and line it up with the front side right sides together. Make sure the flap is lifted up and not in the way. Pin and sew then turn right side out press and sew a top stitch all the way around.
 Hang and use!