French Dip Feast

14 Apr

On Sunday, while my husband was out for most of the day, he texted me, “Feast?”

Who am I to deny him a feast.

We all define feast in our own way. This is one of my many definitions.

French Dip

Since I was home all day doing things around the apartment, I made a minimal work, optimal flavor feast — French Dip sandwiches.

I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Drip Beef. It starts with melted butter and onions browned in the pot. On top, throw on your chuck roast. I fit as much as I could in a single layer in the pot. It was about 3.5 pounds of meat — a true feast size.

french_dip2

Then throw in your flavoring — 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 2 cups of water, and 2 cups of chicken broth (Pioneer Woman uses sherry). Plus some salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, oregano, plus whatever you like.

French Dip

Turn the heat to very low.

Go tidy up your apartment, read through your mail that you haven’t opened for the past month, call your bank, watch Superman on HBO Go, etc. You know the drill.

Let it sit for 6 hours.

French Dip

Take a peak every now and then. Inhale the beef-y aroma.

French Dip

After 6 hours, fish out your beef and shred it using two forks. Then place it back into the broth.

French Dip

Prepare your bread. Place a nice layer of Pepper Jack cheese on the bread and pop it into the toaster. Get the bread nice and toasty and the cheese nice and melty.

French Dip

Pile it up with the shredded beef and onions.

French Dip

Big sandwich. You might need to cut it in half.

French Dip

Serve each sandwich with a small bowl of the broth for a dippin’.

French Dip

Here we go. Feast away.

French Dip

 

Webbed for Sure

7 Apr

I felt motivated one weekend and made two bags. This is Bag #2.

Bag #2

I was inspired by an etsy shop I saw: Rachel Elise. Pretty bags. I really like the flaps with the angled color highlights she uses and the design elements in the extra webbing and closure.

To make this, I upcycled pants for the main fabric and decided to “embrace” the seams. So I stuck one seam straight along the front of the bag, and the other a bit crookedly along the back of the bag.

Bag #2 - Front

The bag uses a clasp, which is connected to the decorative webbing along the flap, to keep your items safe. It works well for security and looks great.

Bag #2 - Clasp

The bag isn’t too big, more on the small side, perfect for a book, wallet, phone, and a few other small items.

Bag #2 - Inside

There is one inside pocket for small items, and a loop for keys.

Bag #2 - Inside pocket

One thing I wanted to add was an easy to access back pocket. Since the front clasp is quite secure, this zippered back pocket is for things you want more easily accessible, like your phone.

Bag #2 - Back pocket

Since one size does not always fit all, I used some extra webbing to make a nice long adjustable strap ideal for crossbody, over the shoulder comfort.

Bag #2 - Adjustable strap

My sister-in-law’s birthday is coming up, so I’ll be giving this to her.
Happy birthday, sister-in-law!

Bag #2

Birthday Dinner, WW-style

24 Mar

Today is my husband’s birthday.

Happy 31st Birthday, husband!

Birthday Dinner, Walter White-style

I’ve been pretty sick lately, so I didn’t do anything for him. I know, lame. If I wasn’t sick, I would’ve made him a nice dinner and a cake or baked good of some variety this past weekend. But instead, I was lying on the couch asking him to pass me the tissues for the past few days.

So instead of a nice birthday dinner, we had our current most favorite, quick and easy dinner. It’s boring, but pretty good, and takes about 15 minutes to prepare – roasted asparagus, homemade hummus, sliced radishes, and flatbread.

Roasted asparagus

Hummus

Olive Flatbread

Since it was a pretty boring dinner, I fixed up the birthday boy’s plate just like Walter White would – writing out his age with a few spears of asparagus.

Birthday Dinner, Walter White-style

In another life, if my husband was a singer, he’d be a crooner:

Queens Linocut

24 Feb

Although I loved my dremel “Deal With It” sign, it was pretty messy and loud — two things non-conducive to apartment living. So I tried my hand at something neater and quieter – a linocut print.

Linocut Print

First I drew my design, which was reminiscent of this Amsterdam print I pinned.

Linocut Design

After making my design, I transferred it to my linoleum “block.” Ensure your writing is backwards in order for it to appear on your final print correctly.

Transferring Design to Lino Block

Next, comes the time-consuming part — carving out your design. Use a linoleum cutter and take your time. I also used an Xacto knife to help guide my carving. Carve it pretty deep if you don’t want paint to be on the “blank” areas.

Linocut Template

After you finish carving your block, comes the fun part. Grab your block printing ink, and put a dab (about a tablespoon worth) on your clean scrap cardboard. Using your ink roller, spread the ink out on the cardboard until it is an even coat.

Setting up the paint

Apply the paint to your template.

Applying the Paint

Roll your roller back through the paint to grab more paint for your template until it is evenly applied on the template. Cover the entire template.

Applying the Paint

Place your paper on top of your template, and firmly push it down, careful to keep it in place.

Making the Print

Keep pressing the paper down on the template over every single spot of the template.

Making the Print

Keep pressing. I used the back of a flat-ish spoon to make sure I got every spot.

Making the Print

Carefully unveil your print.

Unveiling the Print

I made two prints. The second one had more paint for a more consistent look.

Linocut Print

But I preferred my first print more, which used less paint. I think this one looks much more authentic and imperfect, which makes it less printer shop-like and more one-of-a-kind.

Linocut Print

Kale Pesto Pizza

13 Feb

Oh man, this was a good pizza.

Kale Pesto Pizza

My sister-in-law bought a ton of kale and gave me a bunch. I made pesto out of it and plopped the pesto on a pizza with tomatoes and fresh mozz. Oh man, I wish I was eating this pizza right now.

First, make your pizza dough. I like Pioneer Woman’s dough – it’s easy and doesn’t need a lot of ingredients (1 tsp yeast, 4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup olive oil).

Pizza Dough

While the dough is rising, make your pesto:

Ingredients needed: 1 bunch kale, 2 medium-sized onions, 6-7 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp red pepper, salt and pepper.

With a little olive oil in the pan, saute the chopped onions and garlic (through the garlic press) for five minutes until onions are soft.

Onions and Garlic

Add kale (de-stemmed and chopped). Cook it down for three minutes.

Kale

Put your onion-kale-garlic mixture into the blender, add olive oil, parmesan cheese, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend.

Kale Pesto

Once your dough has risen, roll it out into a pizza shape. Spread your pesto on top, spread out a layer of fresh mozzarella, and then place thinly-cut tomato slices on top.

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto Pizza

Bake at 500 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Kale Pesto Pizza

Kale Pesto Pizza

Kale Pesto Pizza

Oh man, that was good pesto.

Some music for Valentine’s Day:

Etsy Art and My Etsy

6 Feb

For Christmas, I asked for this bear poster from Henry James Paper Goods on Etsy.

I love it. It’s a nice, fun piece of art for our apartment. And it fits in with the other big bears we have hanging around this place.

Bear Print

We hung the picture up in our dining space on the wall opposite the mirrors.

I also recently made bunting out of some scrap felt and hung it across the mirrors.

Bunting

The felt for the bunting is from the scraps of felt crowns that I’ve been making. See them at my Etsy shop: Crowning Around.

Crowning Around

The Etsy shop is for fun and it’s nice to make a little extra scratch. And, it works out well since I enjoy sewing but am running out of room to put my creations.

Crowning Around - crowns

The crowns are made out of felt, are adjustable in size (velcro on the back), can be made in different color combinations, and are perfect to celebrate birthdays, play make believe, or just for kids to hang out around the house.

Crowning Around - crown

And although, I called the shop Crowning Around, there are hair bows too!

Crowning Around - hair bows

So, if you know a kid who needs a crown (or hair bows), visit my shop.

Poblano Posano

30 Jan

Since we don’t have cable at home, when I go to the gym, I have this bad habit of watching Food Network. So while I’m on the treadmill or elliptical, I just think about food. It’s terrible.

Tomatillos and Red Onion

Usually Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is on. You know that show where they make nothing but unhealthy, extra greasy, really delicious dishes. But fortunately, a few weeks ago, I caught Rachael Ray’s show. And she made this delicious looking dish — Poblano Posole.

Roasted poblano peppers

It’s healthy since there’s no meat, just a ton of vegetables. And it’s like a stew, perfect for this freezing weather.

Roasted tomatillos and red onion

The recipe is basically roasted poblanos, tomatillos, red onion, and garlic, blended with cilantro and spices. Then mixed with some broth, roasted corn, and hominy on the stove top.

Poblano Posano

To top it off, slice up some radishes. Rachael Ray puts avocado on top as well, but all the avocados at the market weren’t ripe enough to eat yet, so I skipped it. She also uses a little lime juice, but I think it’s already acidic enough.

Radishes

The corn and hominy really add a little extra bite to this.

Poblano Posano

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