Monday, September 29, 2008

Decorating cakes - a fond memory

So, I'm watching some episodes of the Ace of Cakes on and it reminded me of how I once dreamed of owning a cake decorating business.

I grew up watching my father decorate cakes for folks in our church. He had some Wilton books that he used to learn how and we'd watch him. I remember one time when the eldest daughter of my mother's best friend was getting married and when the took the top layer out of the box, it fell. In a panic, they called my father to see if he could fix it. He mixed up the buttercream icing and once we were all dressed for the wedding, headed over to the church and he was able to fix the cake so it looked like it had never been dropped.

Anyway, when I moved to Houston, I took the opportunity to take some Wilton courses at Michaels and loved it. In 2001, I had moved out to Alvin and hadn't decorated any cakes in over four years but my neighbors across the street, Michelle and Chris, were getting married and had a tight budget. I offered to decorate their cake and another neighbor offered to bake it.

Please pardon the bad photos, I had a really cheap digital camera at the time.

On Wednesday, 7/25/01, I made the roses and left them out to dry. Not bad for not having made any in over four years.

Here is the basic cake that I put together on 7/27/01. I didn't level it quite right, so it's a little crooked, but hey, I never said that I was a professional. I put it in the frig overnight to thaw.

Saturday morning, 7/28/01, I decorated the groom's cake (note to self: never make buttercream icing with real butter in July in Texas). Once that cake was put in the frig to delay the melting of the icing, I started on the wedding cake again. I added another layer of icing around the sides and on the top. This photo is after I added some scallops and trim. I was really starting to worry because the cake really looks tilted from this angle and I wasn't sure if there was enough of the decorations on it.

After adding the roses and some leaves I felt much better about the cake. It really looked quite nice.

Here's another view of the cake. This is at about 3:00 pm Central time on 7/28/01, the wedding is at 5:00 pm. At 4:30 pm, Jessica carried the grooms cake over and I carried this cake. I was handed the topper and I placed in on the cake. The groom's cake started to melt because I had used real butter in the butter cream icing and it was very hot an muggy that day. Both Michelle and Chris were extremely pleased with both cakes, so I'm happy that they came out well.

Enough of memory lane ... I wanna decorate something ....

Shorah Y'all!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Squid- O-Licious Socks Finished!

I love these socks and the stripes from the yarn! I'm wearing the socks right now and my feet are warm and comfy!! I'm definitely going to buy more of this yarn when I can afford it.

Shorah Y'all! Blogs of Note

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Italian Sausage with Green Peppers and Onions

One of my favorite dishes is Italian sausage with onions and green peppers. It's extremely easy to make and tasty to boot.

Italian Sausage with Green Peppers and Onions - Pro/Fat Vegies, Level One

Makes 4-6 servings

Somersize Level One


  • Italian sausage (4-6 links), mild or hot, pork or turkey
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Green peppers
  • 1 large or 2 medium Yellow onions
Boil or grill the sausage. I don't recommend frying them as the outside will be cooked long before the inside is. When done, cut sausage into slices on a slight angle, set aside.

Cut up the peppers and onions into 1.5" to 2" squares. Add 1.5-2 TBL olive oil to a large frypan over medium heat. Add peppers and onions and cook until onions are semi-transparent but still crunchy. If you like your onions softer, cook until they are slightly carmelized. Add freshly ground salt and pepper then toss in sausage, stir. Cook just long enough to make sure the sausage is hot then remove from heat. Serve.

ETA (9/23/13): Somersize info, photos, and pin. Found out after I'd been making this that it was also one of the recipes in one of Susan Somers' books.

Shorah Y'all!

Squid-O-Licious Socks & CLF Book

I bought two skeins of sock yarn from in her Squid-O-Licious colorway. The yarn is 75% Merino and 25% Nylon and squishy soft.

I decided to use one skein to make a pair of arm warmers and the second skein to make a pair of socks. Starting with the socks, I selected the Ultimate Crocheted Socks by Dorothy Hardy. I started out making the large size but they were too large so I frogged the sock and started over making the small size. The instructions have you stop 2.5" from the back of the heel then begin increasing for the gusset however, this made the sock too long and too big. I frogged again until I was 3" from the back of the heel and this time it worked perfectly, well except for doing the heel wrong because I didn't read the pattern erratas in the comments. The cuff is a ribbing but since I wanted a looser cuff, I did a simple ch2, sc in each st around. I'm to the gusset on the second sock and once it is done, I'll have a comfy pair of scrumptious footies. I just love how the pink and lime sections form gorgeous wavy stripes up the foot.

Now, for the "Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book" which has just been published! I have a pattern in the book for arm warmers and one of the ones I made (the green one) is on the back cover of the book. If you love crochet, then you must get this book. It has patterns, stories, and tips & tricks.

Shorah Y'all!

Noodle Bowl

When I worked for Boeing in Houston, the cafeteria in the building I worked in would have a special each week and my favorite was the noodle bowl. I love it so much that I started making it at home. It makes for a nice fresh meal with tender rice noodles and crunchy raw vegies. The hardest part is finding the noodles.

This dish is great for a buffet style lunch or light supper. Just place the bowls (you'll need some fairly large bowls as this will become a family favorite) at the top of the table, then the noodles and chicken, then the bowls of vegies/toppings, then the broth to pour a bit over the noodles and vegies, and finally the sauces to top it all off.

  • Rice noodles, cooked
  • Chicken broth (can use broth after cooking chicken or purchase ready-made)
  • Cooked chicken breast, cut or torn into bite sized pieces
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce and/or Oyster sauce
  • Variety of Asian sauces, mild or hot or both
  • Salt and pepper
  • Variety of vegies, chopped as needed into fairly small pieces
    • Broccoli,
    • Green peppers
    • Green onions
    • Bean sprouts
    • Garlic (finely chopped or pressed)
    • Tomatoes
    • Jalepenos
    • Cabbage
    • Spinach
    • Bamboo shoots
    • Water chestnuts
    • Mushrooms (fresh)
    • Any other fresh vegies and herbs you can think of
I am so craving this right now .... guess I need to double my efforts at finding a job so I can afford the vegies, eh?

Shorah Y'all!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Diagonal Box Stitch (aka Corner-to-Corner)

Someone made a blanket using the Diagonal Box Stitch and brought it into the Unraveled Sheep in Sandy, UT. Several ladies were interested in learning how to do the stitch and so we scheduled a class - but no one signed up. Quite disappointing after all the interest was shown in it.

Anyway, this stitch can be used to make just about anything, from items for the home, such as washcloths, blankies, afghans, and blankets, to clothing items.

Shorah Y'all!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Linoleum Stamp

I was applying for a job and remembered I'd carved a design in linoleum for an art class several years back and went looking for it on my web site. I found a photo of the stamp but not of the finished project, so I pulled examples from the class portfolio and scanned them in. All of my projects for the class used variations of designs found on Ukrainian Easter Eggs.

Stamped on a piece of colored cardstock for practice:

Stamped on a piece of handmade paper (yes, I made the paper) and framed:

The rest of the projects from the class can be seen on my website: UHCL Gallery - look for the pottery jar, ostrich egg, and clay tiles.

Shorah Y'all!

Crochet Uncut - A New E-Zine

I've been working on a new e-zine, called Crochet Uncut, targeted towards crochet articles and patterns and the response on Ravelry has been tremendous! I'm so excited and already have a featured columnist who will be writing patterns specifically for beginners along with a dose of humor. I also have a voluteer editor who will be checking submitted patterns against the submission guidelines and for readability. Several other Ravelry members are also working on patterns to submit for the first issue due out at the beginning of November.

Just to give folks a sneak peak, I designed a childs hat specifically for the first issue and it is adorable, if I say so myself!

The pattern will be released with the first issue of Crochet Uncut, but you can check out the Ravelry pattern page for it and favorite it or queue it up.

Shorah Y'all!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vegie Pizza

It's been a while since I've posted but I've been trying to find a job - with no luck mind you. Anyway, I thought I'd post one of my favorite recipes. Hope you enjoy it!

Vegie Pizza

  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Shredded Pizza Cheese or other cheese, such as feta or blue depending on taste
  • Fresh vegies (broccoli, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, tomatoes)
Take the can of crescent rolls from the fridge and allow to warm up a bit while preparing the vegies. Check the can of crescent rolls and preheat the oven as directed on the can. Wash and slice/chop the vegies. Open the can of crescent rolls and spread it out on a cookie sheet. Pinch the edges of the triangles together and gently push the dough to cover as much of the cookie sheet as possible, being careful not to tear the dough.

Use a small brush to spread a thin layer of olive oil over the dough then sprinkle salt and pepper over the olive oil. Cover the dough with the vegies and then sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake the pizza based on the directions on the can of crescent rolls.

The crescent rolls give a slightly sweet flavor to the pizza which goes well with the olive oil, cheese, and crunchy vegies. You can use any brand of crescent rolls but the Pillsbury ones are the best for this pizza.

Shorah Y'all!