Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meet Vicky

Last Friday I woke up early, wanting to do some serious sewing and about 30 minutes into my project, my machine had a total meltdown. I tried to be patient, took it apart, figured out what was wrong, and also figured out that I couldn't fix it. Yes, I will take my good old Singer sewing machine in to a shop to get fixed . . . someday. But in the meantime, meet Vicky.
Vicky is my new love, she is a sturdy, Husqvarna Viking who can embroider letters and everything. And thanks to Vicky's help, I finished a quilt on Friday. Free motion quilting is a lot of fun with my new baby.
I've also spent most of my weekend cleaning for my mom's visit. She's coming on Tuesday and we've got some fun stuff planned, but to be honest I won't be surprised if we stay home and sew for most of her visit. Just in case you thought that all of my craftiness comes from nowhere, here's a picture my mom sent me of her latest weaving project. Beautiful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in DisguiseGarlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I've read for a new food-themed book club and if it's any indication of things to come, then I'm very excited.  Ruth Reichl is such an easy-to-read and easy-to-like author.  She has an amazing job and instead of being insanely jealous of her, I just fell in love with her.  She's like the popular girl in school who you want to hate, but then you get to know her and you find out she's the nicest person ever.  Gah!  She doesn't even need to be writing about food for me to appreciate her words, but boy, when she writes about food, it is gooood.

Book club meeting will be a pot luck of some of the recipes throughout the book.  I don't know if I can wait the 2 1/2 weeks until that dinner!

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cupcake mania on a Sunday afternoon

A while ago my friend Brittany and I signed up to take a cupcake decorating class this weekend.  If I had known I would be having a physics test the following day (which I should be studying for right now instead of writing this post!) I may not have planned it.  Nevertheless, the 2 hour class was a sweet study break.
            The class was run by Give me Some Sugar, taught by a lady who seems to split her time between a couple different bakeries, giving classes, and offering private classes in people's homes (she'll even clean up your kitchen afterward).
            We started by making cake balls, which are just balls of crumbled cake mixed (by our own hands) with some buttercream frosting, then chilled in the fridge for about a half hour.  Here's Brittany, getting her hands right in there and mixing things up.
            We got to dip them in multi-colored candy melts, and could even put them on lollipop sticks to make them look like lollipops.  This was my first cake-ball experience and I was not bowled over, but I could be talked into giving them a second try.  Even though most of mine didn't look as cute as I wanted them to, they tasted just fine.
            We each had 6 cupcakes to decorate however we wanted.  There were 3 little girls in the class who went pretty crazy with the frosting and sprinkles especially.  I wish I had gotten a picture of some of those cupcakes.  Brittany's and mine were a little more subdued.  I was taking my sweet time with some of them, and was actually the last person to finish frosting my cakes.
            I experimented with a basket-weave, which I had never tried before.
            Brittany and I each made a plaid cupcake (mine is on the right).
            We also got to try out some fondant, which Brittany and I agreed doesn't taste that good, but I'm definitely going to decorate with it again, and hopefully soon!
             The best (or worst) part of the whole class was that we each got to take home our cupcakes and cake-balls, so I've got about a week of desserts in my fridge.  Unless someone wants to come over and help me eat them!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Me, published on the internet

             I mean, in a different venue than this one.
             My friend Ruthie write reviews for Gapers Block, a website reviewing places and happenings around our fair city of Chicago.  Ruthie recently started writing restaurant reviews for GB, and I've been lucky enough to be her date to a few new, hot restaurants, including Girl and The Goat.
            Anyway, Ruthie also writes about books, and a while ago she sent out a little questionnaire about what her friends are currently reading.  It took me a while to get back to her because, even though I am normally reading 2 or 3 books simultaneously, I either didn't like or wasn't proud of the books I was reading.  I finally buckled down and answered her questions.  Here is the result.