Sunday, April 27, 2008

Meatless Satay Sticks..

Okay, so, disclaimer: I am a lifelong vegetarian, I have never eaten meat, and never I have no clue how these match up to real meat satay sticks. But I don't care, I think they taste damn good as they are, so I make them. :D

Satay Gluten Sticks

I made these ones under the grill, but they also are fantastic on the barbeque. You can serve them however you like; we usually serve them with rice and a salad, or rice and whatever veggies we have grilled.


This is how I make my gluten. You can make it however your favorite way is.

Gluten flour

Broth (You can make whatever kind you want...this time, I used a bouillon cube, soy sauce, chopped garlic, black pepper, and bay leaves. Other times, I use mixed herbs, bouillon cubes, etc; or soy sauce and other spices; anything to make a strongly flavored broth, with salt, so the gluten doesn't end up totally tasteless.)

Bring a large pot filled 1/4 of the way with broth (you need a LOT of head space for cooking EXPANDS!) to a boil.

Meanwhile, mix gluten flour, however much you need, with a LOT of water. Add the water all at once, and mix thoroughly, fast, so it doesn't clump up. It's better to mix too much water than not enough. Too much can be drained, or even strained, if there's that much. Too little is tough and horrible. I use like a 1:1 1/2 gluten:water ratio.

Mix the gluten til it becomes a cohesive ball. Break of 1-1.5 inch chunks off, and drop into the boiling broth. Cover, and boil for 20 minutes or so...when you pull a piece out and cut it in half, it shouldn't have the rubbery middle anymore. When cooked, drain.

Satay Sauce

1/3 cup or so peanut butter...we prefer crunchy, but you can use whichever kind you want.

1 cup or so coconut milk or cream

chopped clove of garlic

minced red chilli

sesame oil

soy sauce

sugar or sweetener of choice, enough to make the sauce nice and sweet

Mix everything together. Should be runny. Put on a burner, and heat gently til it thickens a little. You still want it to be runny, but not totally liquid.

Put drained gluten in a large bowl, pour satay sauce over, and toss, and then leave to soak for a little while.

Thread chunks onto bamboo skewers (you can add veggie chunks here, too, if you want..whatever you would put on a shishkebab), and grill or bbq. When nice and toasty on all sides, baste with sauce one more time, and put back over the heat to make it nice and bubbly and golden again. Serve!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Don't let them dress themselves...

So this is the top I made for dd, using my pattern. It's nothing super fancy, but it's what she wants, and also within my very noob-ly capabilities.

It's a smock top, with a bodice that only comes to just under the armpits (trying to figure out how to phrase this so it doesn't pop to the top of the google searches of dubious nature..yoicks). It fits well around the armscye, which I am very proud of. But, being the very beginner that I am, I am not sure about the back seems a little loose...and being so inexperienced with all this, I am not sure if I messed up the measurements, or if there was something I should have adjusted when drafting that pattern off the sloper pattern. Hmm. Obviously, more practice is in order! :D

And why don't let them dress themselves?? Just look at her. She refused to change out of that gawdawful teeshirt first, and totally brought down the awesomeness of my creation. A travesty. Kids should just stay babies, and wear what is put on them. Should be a law, or something. Would make sewing for them a lot simpler, too! :p

Lavender and Green...

I have a friend online. I became her friend by becoming her #1 fan on the forum we were on. :p She has the most amazing posting style, and following her trains of thought is an exercise in brain training....she is eclectic, super smart, self and very well educated, a homemaker by choice and design, and yet putting herself through college, as well. I just follow her around just read her, even if the topic of the post has nothing to do with me. lol

Anyway..being a SAHM and all (that's stay-at-home-mom to the laymen), naturally, things like aprons become a consideration. The topic came up, 3 pages of posters weighed in, many pictures posted, and she still didn't have an apron. So, I decided to make her one.

I am hoping she likes the style...all I managed to get out of her is that she likes lavender and green. I used the strawberry fabric I used here, and copied an apron I got in a swap with Kitten_Wrangler. I did a shocking job, I gotta say. Esp after she sent me an 8 page, handwritten letter, with illustrations, talking about techniques used by French seamstresses, among other things. How embarrassing. :p

Grilled Tofu Foccacia Sandwiches

ETA Added a better pic....I'm still obviously not a food photographer, though. :p

Anyway...these were a staple last summer. We made them on the barbeque, and if it was raining, which it did wayyyy too frequently (I know, we are in a drought, the rain is good, all that...but it sure sucks when you don't own a dryer and it RAINS FOR TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT), we would just make them in a frying pan and under the grill. Seriously, you have GOT to try them!!

Grilled Tofu Foccacia Sandwiches

Garlic Chili Lime Butter

1 c butter
1 red chili
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest from 2 limes, and juice from 1 half

Mix all together well. Get the zest and juice for this first, cause it is hard to zest squeezed limes. This stuff is unreal.


Large block extra firm tofu (reg will work, too, but extra firm won't fall apart as easily), sliced

Marinate in:

1/4 c olive oil
Juice of the rest of the limes
1/2 T sea salt
1 red chili, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 T sugar (I've used raw and brown sugar, and honey; maple syrup would be just as awesome.)

Grill tofu slices on barbecue, basting with sauce; or, fry in nonstick frying pan, spooning sauce over it as it cooks.


Condensed milk
Balsamic or cider vinegar
Black pepper

Mix together CD and BV in 2:1 proportions, til it thickens. Taste. If too much like sour condensed milk, add more vinegar. If too much like vinegar, add more milk. Mix in pepper.

Salad greens

Mixed salad greens. I use the kind with arugula, spinach, and radicchio (however you spell that ), etc, but any kind will work.

Foccacia bread

I use this bread, cause we love it, but any chewy, hearty bread will work.

Split bread, butter with the chili lime garlic butter, and put on barbecue to grill and melt. If using a grill, toast the bottoms first, and then flip and put butter on, and toast again.


Um, yeah, sliced cheese.

Mashed Avocado

Assemble all ingredients into a sandwich. Serve. Yum.

Designer duds....

I would like to take a moment here to thank my Grandma for the Christmas gift she gave me this year:

Without that lethally sharp pair of scissors, which have me living in fear for my fingers, there is no way I would have survived cutting out 40 sets of liners and soakers for the 40 diapers I am making for my sister's coming baby. And I haven't even got to the outer fabrics, inner fabrics, and pocket fabrics.

And what makes them designer?? So, I am whaling away on the huge stack of thick towels I am using (all from St Vinnie's, soaked for a day in Napisan, and then a week on the line in sun and thunderstorms...these things are CLEAN), and then one is a terry robe...I have the whole thing chopped up, almost completely used up, and I reach the right front:

Yepp, that classy little logo is somewhere in the stack of cut out bits, destined to be wrapped around a baby butt. Living it up, I tell ya...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I made me a header..

So, I am trying to snazz up the ole blog. Made a header and all. Now, if anyone has any helpful suggestions for making it look better, I am all ears!!! If anyone just wants to tell me it sucks, but give no helpful advice with it, don't bother, cause I already heard it all from dh. :eyeroll: Don't worry, Felicity, I only have a white background cause the other one clashed with my header, and I couldn't get the stupid blogger template thing to give me better color choices. I'm not trying to drown my individuality! :p

I used my favorite picture, with permission from the lovely, lovely artist, who I hope doesn't mind the slight chop job I had to do to make it work. Yikes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I've been invited to join Jillian Curtis's homeschool project with her sons on her blog Blog Me Til Midnight, about the Holocaust.

I know...not a nice, bright, bouncy cheery subject. But I am really excited to be doing it.

My dd will be joining me, because the timing just perfectly coincides with our own studies of WWII and the Holocaust.

Jillian is inviting people to send in stars, any kind, in whatever medium you want, that she and her boys will use in a memorial symbolizing all the Jews and others who lost their lives during that time.

If you would like to participate, hop on over to her blog, and drop her a note.

Now I just need to figure out how I want to do this!

1. Hoogliart
2. Wow Imports
3. No idea..when I tried to get a link, I got redirected somewhere odd.
4. Stanton Glass
5. Origomi
6. HeartFeltAngels

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What's cool....

Very cool: Making your dd a pattern from scratch, with just a set of measurements, and a couple of tools.

Not so cool: Marking the patterns with the tracing wheel, on the hardwood floors. *cough* Yeah.

White Pizza..

Everyone has their own favorite recipe for pizza with red sauce. But I've found that not many people have heard of pizza with white sauce. Let me tell you, they are missing OUT. We had a little get together with the IL's for MIL's birthday, and I made white pizza, and actually remembered to take a pic! :p So you guys get one of my recipes. Heh.

This is a pretty full on pizza, and we usually only make it for special occasions...we couldn't handle it much for an everyday thing!

White Pizza

Your favorite pizza crust. I don't have a recipe, so I can't give you one; I just dump stuff in the bowl.

White sauce, made with milk and cornstarch, salt and pepper. Make it plenty thick so it doesn't run off the sides of the pizza. Not gluggy, though!

1/2 block of cream cheese (optional), added to white sauce after cooking



Sliced red onions

Sliced mushrooms

Pitted kalamata olives

Roasted pumpkin or winter squash chunks

Baby spinach leaves, whole, or larger leaves, chopped

Marinated artichoke hearts

Red, yellow and green bell peppers, sliced

Feta cubes

Ricotta (this is not the stuff in the tub, this is the Italian stuff in the's basically the same as paneer, so you can use that, instead)

Fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly

Shredded mozzarella

Other options:

Sundried tomatoes

Roasted peppers

Minced hot red chilli

Avocado (Note: this is actually on my pizza up there, but the general consensus among anyone with any sense of taste is that cooked avo is putrid. Dh doesn't agree, though, so his half had some on. Blech. Other people might like it, too, though, since cooked avo seems to be on gourmet pizza menus all the time, so I added it to the list)

Corn (fresh off the cob, frozen, canned, whatever)

Etc etc etc

Make your dough, and after rising, etc, roll it out, put it on a well greased pan, poke with a fork all over to keep it from bubbling all out of shape, and bake in a HOT oven (I usually just turn the oven up to 500*...a HOT oven makes the best pizzas) for 10 min or so, til almost done. Take out, and top.

Spread the pesto on first, all over, and then a nice layer of white sauce. Top with all the rest of your toppings, top with the shredded cheese last, and then throw in the oven til browning and bubbling on top. YUM!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Stone swirls...

If you look closely at my inspiration board, you will see this picture on it. I am totally fascinated by stones and rocks arranged in patterns.

When I lived in Hawaii, one of the walks we went on regularly would take us along a path that had gravel on the edges. In one spot, some anonymous stranger would arrange the rocks into huge spirals and shapes..I would always have to stop and walk the spiral, or stare at the patterns.

The other day, I was reading Altered Thoughts, and read about the World Beach Project.

Now I have this wild desire to go to a beach, and make my own random act of art.

Of course, with winter coming on, I might be too much of a wuss to get all wet and cold like that.

But it might be worth it.

1. I am not sure...another one of my random saves. I know it's out there, though, so if you know who it belongs to, please let me know for proper credit!
2. World Beach Project. Sue Lawty on a south Devon beach.
3. World Beach Project. 'Oakura' Jerry Morris
4. No idea. Tell me if you know, etc.
5. World Beach Project. 'Appledore, Devon' Chris Dunseath
6. World Beach Project. 'Porthleven, Cornwall' Jo Kehyaian

Mega yummy brown rice salad..

I made this one day by throwing the last little bit of everything edible in my fridge together, and it turned out to be SO yummy that it gets requested at least once or twice a week, even by the brown rice haters around here (

Recipe, of sorts:

Brown Rice Salad

4-6 cups Cooked, cooled long grain brown rice

4-6 cups salad mix, chopped into bite size pieces

A couple of grated carrots

cucumber or two, sliced

sliced green onions

a stalk or two of diced celery

2-3 cups plain yogurt...I use Greek yogurt, cause it is nice and thick

shredded cheese, 1/4 cup or so

the chilli oil I talked about here, 1-2 tablespoons, depending on how much heat you like

salt and pepper to taste

Assemble and mix well. Serve!!

ETA This recipe makes a LOT...enough for a full meal for my large eating family, and enough for a normal family to take to a potluck, lol. It can keep for about two meals, otherwise the cukes and salad starts getting soggy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Reading Poppytalk, one of her guest interviews, Two Trick Pony, mentions Maija Louekari, which totally struck a vague chord in my memory. So I go google "Maija", and lo and behold, I found the artist who made my green picture! Maija Fiebig, to be exact.

I am so in love with her art. It's AMAZING. Maybe someday when I have no kids in the house, and am retired or something, and have hours long blocks of time all to my self (hahaha!) I can see how I can do with art. Probably not as amazing as her, but it will be awfully fun to try.

She also has works for sale in the G. Gibson Gallery, too. Too bad it is WAY too rich for me, even if I DID put artworks on my walls.

Check out her Youtube, too!

Oh, and during my google search, I am thinking I probably found her through Design*sponge.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


So...I started an inspiration board, for several reasons. One is, I am totally visual, and I really wanted everything that inspires me up in one place where I can actually see it and be reminded of it. Two, I have a million pages ripped from mags, a million more images saved on my harddrive, and bits and pieces all over the place that I love, and just never remember exists, because I never see them.

So I started putting the ones that inspired me the most, the ones that made me itch to go make something, up onto my board (which, btw, is totally warped and about to fall down, lol):

After awhile, I realized, I wasn't putting up a crafty inspiration board; I was putting up a picture of whoever the heck is lurking in my head. Who is this person, and how bizarre is she???? I am a simple, basic, no-nonsense kind of person, very normal. So why do I seem to have a bizarre infatuation with bondage and restraint


and hidden faces??

It's been very interesting discovering what grew on my board. I don't feel like getting psycho-analyzed, though...I have a feeling I wouldn't like the results! :p

Here's a pic of the whole corner....I refuse to show what lies six inches below's scary :p

Credits: This is going to be spotty, since most of them are ripped out of mags a long time ago, for my own inspiration, never meant to have to credit.....

The orange corset was on Craftster, I think, a couple of years ago.

The red shoe is out of the Aussie InStyle, Bloch Shoes.

The mega corset belt was out of Aussie InStyle, too, I think, from a catwalk pic. I dunno who.

The decayed green pic I blogged here, and the credit goes to Murderdoll17

The face with dark eyes, cut from...I am not sure which mag. Maybe InStyle. Was an ad for something.

The pic of Coco Chanel in black and white was in a Chanel advertising mini magazine thing.

The headless floating girl was a card by Sonya Pletes.

Anyone, feel free to drop me a line if you know who else deserves credit here!

Summer rolls.....

I LOVE summer rolls...the rest of the family, not so much. So I don't make them that often. I made them the other day, though.

If anyone cares, here's basically the recipe:

Summer Rolls

Assorted veggies, shredded or julienned as appropriate (carrots, green onions, cucumbers, lettuce etc)

Shiitake mushrooms, dried or fresh (dried, soak in hot water til soft, and slice. Fresh, just slice)

Bean thread (cellophane noodles, bean noodles, whatever they are called in your area of the world)

Seasoned tofu, sliced into sticks

Toasted sesame seeds

Rice paper wrappers


Soy sauce

Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow chilli oil (more about that in a second)

Chinkiang vinegar (ditto)


Prep all the veggies and have them laid out on the board, ready to go. Get a bowl of hot water ready, wide enough for the whole wrapper to settle in at once without cracking.

Dip one wrapper in, hold there for 30 seconds or so til it's soft enough to bend without cracking, lay it on your plate or board, and fill with a little bit of everything, laying in a short line at the bottom. Don't overfill, or you won't be able to roll it. To roll, fold the bottom up over the filling and pull it all firmly in. Fold the sides in on each side, and then roll the filling up the rest of the way. Continue with the rest.

Mix the sauce together, and enjoy. :)

Note: For the sauce, I used two easily available Asian ingredients, but I don't know what the English terms would be. The chilli oil is the same stuff you get when you go to a sushi or Japanese dumpling place, for dipping in. This is what the bottle looks like:

I *know* the bottle looks all greasy and cruddy. I use it all the time, what do you expect!? Hmmph. (I make an unreal brown rice salad using it..I'll post that recipe one of these times, too :D )

Anyway, it's not the same as normal chilli oil; it's seasoned, and has a fairly distinct, yummy flavor.

I also used a vinegar...I think it's what might be called black vinegar, but don't quote me on that. This is what *it* looks like:

It's also a fairly distinct flavor.

That all said, you can make whatever sauce you want, as long as it's nice and strongly flavored. My dh prefers peanut dressing, anyway. :p
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