Friday, September 12, 2008

Halloween Blankets

The holiday season is in the air!

I've been in a sewing mood, but still only want to do easy projects. I've never made the monkeys holiday blankets, so I decided to give it a shot this year.

Here are my supplies: Decorative fabric cotton, fleece fabric, matching thread, batting, Heat n Bond, and bias tape double single fold.
Wash, and iron fabric. Layer fabric, batting, fabric. All right side out. Pin, and trim excess fabric off. I used a fabric mat, and a rolling fabric cutter to do this. Iron Heat n Bond to bias tape as directed. Fold bias tape in half, and wrap around edge of blanket, and iron on. Sew edge with machine, or whip stitch edge like I did with embroidery thread. If you like you can embellish your blanket with words, or images. I back stitched a cob web, and the word BOO! The project is very similar to the baby blanket project I blogged about. Check out those photos.

Here's Remy my monkey with his blanket. He sleeps with it every night. I'm glad I made this for him. One down, and two more to go...

Fry Bread Dough

Let me just say I am no expert at this, but I can make the dough. I have never known anyone who has measured this recipe out, so I'm not about to start now. I'll just explain this process to you the way I was taught. I hope you fry bread lovers will give this a try. It's more intimidating than hard. I don't make this very often because it pretty fattening, but it's oooooh so good! I've decided to show you just the dough making process since I wasn't making the dough to use at this time. I usually make a batch and freeze in freezer bags. When the mood strikes I can take a bag out of the freezer, and thaw. I will blog on a later date how I roll out my dough, and fry it. I'm warning you now it's not the traditional Indian way. I use a rolling pin! Here's my process...
Here are the ingredients: Flour (bleached), salt, baking powder, oil, and warm water.

First I use a big bowl. This is the biggest one I have. It's easier to make this dough using a big bowl since you'll be kneading the dough. I add about 8 cups of flour here. I used a spatula to mix flour, or you can sift with a mill.
Next add the salt. This is how much I used.
Next I add the baking powder. This is how much I used. Once the salt, and baking powder are added I mix dry ingredients with my hand. This should feel light, and silky. This is a good indicator that you are on the right track.
Use the spatula to create a pocket for the warm water, 1/2 tbsp of oil.
Fill the pocket with warm water.
Use your hand to stir the center of the pocket to start incorporating the water, and flour. This part of the process your hand should easier be moving around. It should feel wet, and not dry. The best way for me to describe this to you is it should feel like your playing with muddy water.
Once you feel your hand pulling against the dough you should add more water. Usually about a 3/4 cup at a time.
Here's an example of the dough drying out. Time to add more water.

In this photo you can see that I have very little flour on the sides left. I incorporated the flour from the center to the floured sides. At this point, the process remains the same, but you will need to use your other hand to hold the side of the bowl to steady. The dough is heavy now, and it will take more effort blending, but your almost there.
The goal is to use all the dry ingredients. I'm not that good. See I have flour on the sides of my bowl. Oh well, it's good enough. Now that all the flour is incorporated the best I can. The dough will be sticky. You have to start the kneading process. Now I'm warning you this takes muscle! Sometimes my forehead is beading with sweat. The flour is sticky, and will be sticking to your hand. You will need to loosely sprinkle flour on top to knead dough. Start pulling dough from the under side, and pull dough up, and toward you. Then punch back into center, or side closes to you. See next few photos.

The most you knead, and push down the dough. The smoother the dough will become. By adding the sprinkled flour periodically this will help the dough from being sticky, and help you form a great fry bread dough. Most Indian women I know usually don't have dough, or flour left on their hands. Well like I said I'm no expert, but I can make the dough. Cover, and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Afterward you can use immediately, or freeze.
Once the rise is completed. I divided the dough into two freeze bags for later use. If you decide to fry immediately. I use a cast iron skillet. You can use a regular frying pan, but cast iron is better. Add a lot of lard. Yes lard! About 1 cup. Heat up oil. You know your grease is ready when you sprinkle a little flour into the pan, and it dissolves immediately.

Flour hands, tear off a piece of dough (size of lemon). Place onto floured surface. Turn dough over several time to flour. Form a ball. Then flatten with floured rolling pin, or use your hands. Make thin circle. Try to remove as much flour as positive by flopping dough back and forth in your hands. The excess flour will cause the oil to turn black. Not pretty on finished fry bread. Good luck, and look for the rolling, and cooking photos next. P.S. Tammy this one is for you! I know your a wild indian at heart. Love you!!! From your JIP (a.k.a. Jewish Indian Princess)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Macaroni Soup

This simple soup was served to me as a child by my Aunt Marlene. I remember loving eating this soup when I was a child. I always looked forward too seeing my aunt because of this soup dish. There is nothing fancy about this recipe. It's just one of those simple meal that's easy to prepare, and for some reason kids love it. Whenever I have a group of the kid's monkey friends hang out here. I usually prepare this meal for them. It's easy for me, and a winner with them. Here's how.

Ingredients: Macaroni noodles, tomatoe sauce, ground beef, salt, pepper, and water.

Cook ground beef, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large sauce pot boil your noodle in a lot of water. Add cooked ground beef to noodle water. Cook noodle until al dente. Turn off stove, and add about 3 tbsp. of tomatoe sauce, and mix. Serve. Add salt to taste.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fun Art for Kaya

I love my Pottery Barn magazines!!! Ever since I ordered my first catalog I've kepted every single issue. I love the children rooms the most, and I get many ideas from these catalogs. I love the art work in this bedroom, and I thought this would look perfect in Kaya's bedroom. These pieces of artwork are pricey, and I hate spending money on things I think I can create myself. So off to Michael's I go... I will post my creations very soon...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cocktails Anyone?

Lately I enjoy talking about wines, and different types of beer with our friends. I decided to share a few recipes that are simple, and popular with company. The first one is a recipe my friend Lavonne introduced me to while I was still a single gal. Over the years I've continued using her recipe she called "Sip and Go naked!" I've used this recipe at baby showers to holiday celebration.

Ingredients: 1 can frozen pink lemonade, 3 cans of a beer of your choice, and 1 shot of vodka.
In pitcher combine all ingredients and serve. That's it! It's delicious, and don't be surprised if friends ask you for the recipe.
My friend Stephanie shared this next cocktail recipe with me at a recent cook out. Boxed wine! Yes, I said boxed wine. Now don't be too snobby to give it another chance. This stuff has come along way. After taking your first sip you will be surprisingly happy. I was!
Ingredients: Franzia chillable red wine boxed, and Smirnoff ice.
All you need to do is mix the two, and toast! It's refreshing. My friend Stephanie, and I enjoy this one all night.