Craft Apron

october2008-029

At the end of October my oldest niece O celebrated her 4th birthday. O loves to paint using watercolors, and she is really good at it. I thought I would make her a little art/craft apron to protect her clothes. I did not use a pattern for this apron, and completely improvised everything. For the pocket “flower pot” I ironed on a stabilizer to the back of the yellow fabric, to give it more structure. When making the flowers I did whatever came to me. I attached them to the green fabric by using stitch witchery. I also added a decorative stitch to the flowers. I hope O enjoys her new apron and gets lots of use out of it. It was fun to make and watch it come together.

Here is a link to free patterns and tutorials for making your own apron.

These are links from blogs I currently read that offer apron tutorials:

Retro Cocktail Apron at Craft Stylish

Craft Apron at Creative Little Daisy

A Walk in the Park Apron at Craft Leftovers


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Cooking Camaraderie

My friend Jessie of Little Calorie send me a link to a Wall Street Journal article about “cook-through” blogs. This article talks about the new trend in food blogs; these are the blogs that cook and blog about every recipe in a particular cookbook. I haven’t cooked through an entire cookbook myself; but the idea does strike me as very interesting.

I have joined the group The Daring Bakers. Now The Daring Bakers aren’t a “cook-through” blog; but we are a community of bakers that prepare the same recipe each month. I have been a member of this cooking club for three months now and have enjoyed sharing the same recipe each month with hundreds of other bakers world wide. We have a private forum where we can discuss any problems we are having with the recipe. Having so many people working on the same recipe provides a wealth of information, regarding how to fix problems you may have encountered during your preparation. You post a question on the forum and several people will give you an answer what worked best for them.

If I were choosing recipes by myself, I may not be so daring. I joined Daring Bakers to learn new technique I may not have learned on my own. Many of my favorite bloggers are part of Tuesdays with Dorie. These brave people are baking their way through one of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks, posting their recipes every Tuesday.

Are you part of a cooking club, or cooking your way through a cookbook? Why have you joined a particular group? Please tell me about it.

Happy Eating!

Giant Crunchy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies


Sasha all bundled up.

It has been extremely cold here in Iowa. We have received about 10 inches or more of snow in the last five days. This morning when I woke up it was -17 and with the wind chill it felt like -30. BRR that is really cold. Needless to say, Marley does not enjoy going outside when it is that cold. When he is outside he does his business and he does it fast. I have been cooking all the comfort foods this week. Including Chicken Noodle Soup and Chunky Potato Soup (I will include those recipes in a separate post).

On Monday I felt like turning on my oven and do some cookie baking. I came across this eggless cookie recipe on Patricia’s website. However she calls her cookies Chocolate Chip Whoppers. You need to use both your hands to eat these cookies! I added crushed pecans to my cookie dough. My cookies came out EXTREMELY crunchy, so I changed the name. I may have accidentally left out a cup of flour, which could have caused the cookies to become so crunchy. I will try to make these cookies again and see if the result is the same. Alex and Sasha love these cookies, and that makes me happy. In fact, Sasha has become a pro at saying “Cookie. Please.”

Giant Crunchy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 c unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly–I used salted butter and omitted the tsp salt
1 c sugar
½ c packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 T water
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips –I used milk chocolate chips
1 c crushed pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and place rack in the middle of the over. Mix flour, soda and salt together. In separate bowl cream butter and vanilla with sugars. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. The dough will look crumbly. Mix in the water. The dough will become soft and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.

Using 1/4 c measuring cup, scoop dough onto baking sheet and smoosh until 3/4 in. thick. Place cookies at least 3 in. apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tops are browned with a few cracks.

Makes about 16 giant cookies.