Thursday, July 26, 2012

Door Latch Cover Tutorial

I've decided to make a full tutorial on the door latch cover. I've noticed that several of the searches people have found my blog with are for the words "door latch tutorial," and after doing a search myself, I found that a true step-by-step tutorial didn't exist.

Here's what you'll need:

Heavy iron-on interfacing
Elastic headband

Cut two 3x5" pieces of fabric and one 2x4" piece of interfacing

Iron the interfacing in the middle of the wrong side of one of the pieces of fabric

Fold each short edge back 1/2".

 Iron and pin to make a 3x4" rectangle. 

Sew about 3/8" from the edge.

Place fabrics right-sides together

pin and sew at the edge of the interfacing, or 1/2" 

Turn right-side out and press flat. Sew the casing by sewing 1/2" from each long edge. Be sure to back-stitch to make it secure

Look at your headband. You should be able to see where it is glued together. Cut it near the glue to keep at least one side from fraying

Put a safety-pin through the elastic on the end with the glue. This will help your elastic go through the casing.

Put the elastic through both casings. 

Pin the ends of the elastic together and fit them over your door handles to make it the right size for your door and door handles. Paint the end of the elastic with clear nail polish to stop any fraying.

Sew the elastic together. I've tried to do this on the sewing machine, but it doesn't work. It's much easier to do a few hand stitches. Pull the elastic through the casing to hide the stitching.

Pop it over the handles of the door, and you're done!

I hope this tutorial helps!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Buzz Lightyear Cookies

Katie went to Girl's Camp this week as a counselor. Her group name is Buzz Lightyear; all the groups have light-themed names. I made cookies to send up mid-week as a surprise. I hope the girls like them!

Add caption

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Evelyn!

Today is my nieces birthday. Since I couldn't be there to bake her a cake I sent decorated sugar cookies instead!

She lives in Hawaii and loves the beach, so I went with tropical colors and shapes. I tried to pick shapes that would break less (I hope!) 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

YAY! for the Solar Eclipse!!

Jonathan made a cool device to look at the eclipse. He stacked two welding masks and added a pair of sunglasses to reduce glare. It was really cool to see.
Mom modeling the fantastic goggles

After we all had a look, he took them to the neighbors across the street so their little boys could have a look too!

YAY! for Brownie Torte!!

This is what we had for dessert tonight. It was a small and rich chocolate cake.

This was a fast recipe to put together.

6 oz semisweet chocolate, divided
2 1/2 T butter
1 large egg
1/4 sugar
pinch salt
4 T AP flour

Set oven to 350 F. Melt together 4 1/2 oz chocolate, chopped, with the butter. Let cool slightly. Whisk egg with sugar and salt until frothy. Whisk in chocolate. Fold in flour then remaining chocolate, chopped. Pour into greased 6" pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with ice cream.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Door Latch Cover

Click here for a picture tutorial.

I've been working on a quilt and ran into a problem (the blocks won't line up right). I needed to take a break from the quilt problems so I picked a new sewing project.

I started with 5x3" pieces of fabric and a 2x4" piece of heavy interfacing. I decided to make casings for the elastic along each of the long edges and cut one piece of elastic (from a cheap headband) to make it easier to loop over the door knobs.

The fabric and interfacing keep the door from latching so it can be opened and closed more quietly. I'm sending it to Elizabeth to put on Evelyn's door.

Friday, April 27, 2012


The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.

I chose to make the nazook. The dough was easy to put together and rolled out smoothly. I'm not sure I would make it again. My family seemed to like it (they disappeared quickly!) but I thought they should either be crispier or softer and more moist. They seemed a little like a dry cinnamon roll to me. Maybe I made them wrong? The pastry dough reminded me of rugelach, so maybe I should have picked a filling to match?. Not really sure. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

YAY! for Coconut Ice Cream

Today summer decided to visit, so my plans of Earth-shaped gingerbread cookies for Earth Day died. Instead I made coconut ice cream from a new recipe. It was so good I had to share. She Simmers has a lot of good home-style Thai recipes, and this one is a new favorite. It was really easy and tasted great. Smooth and not too sweet.

2 cans coconut milk (I used lite, but regular would probably give you a more scoop-able ice cream)
2 tsp powdered gelatin
2 T cornstarch
1 cup dry milk
3/4 cup sugar
large pinch salt

Whisk together all ingredients in a pan over medium heat until thickened and smooth. Cool completely before freezing in ice cream maker. Freeze processed ice cream for several hours before serving. It was just the right amount of mix for my Cuisinart ice cream machine, which holds about a quart.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

YAY! for Spring Pillows!!

I can't really call them Easter pillows since I didn't finish them until a week after Easter, but they are fun and cheerful so we'll keep them up for the spring!

The larger pillows have a chevron design that was quite fiddly since the stripes ended up at 1" and have to be laid out on the diagonal, and cats and dogs love to sleep on quilt layouts. I ended up laying out the top 3 or 4 times since my boys kept messing it up. 

The pattern I used is from here, but I changed the size of the strips to make it much smaller. My strips were cut to 1 1/2".

The other pillow is a block from Moda Bake Shop. It was quick and easy to put together and I will for sure use it again!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

30 Minute Puff Pastry

Puff pastry is much tastier when made with real butter, which is hard to find at a store. Luckily, making your own can be quick and easy. This recipe won't puff as much as a true French puff pastry, but will puff as much as what you can buy in the supermarket.

2 ¼ cups flour (bread flour is great for this, but all-purpose works too)
1 ¼ c unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit salt) cut into ½” cubes
½ tsp salt
6 T cold water
Butter and flour, ready to go!

Put flour in mixing bowl, add the cubes of butter. Toss to coat.

Dissolve salt in water. Pour over flour and butter and mix with a spoon or hands until it comes together as a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times.
 Form the dough into a square, cover with a towel and let rest for a few minutes
  3 Double Turns

For each double turn:
Roll the dough into a long and narrow rectangle about ½” thick
 Make a mark in the center of the long side of the rectangle.
Fold both ends of the dough in to the center.
 Brush excess flour from the top of the dough and fold once more as if you were closing a book

When you begin the second double turn, place the dough 90 degrees from the way the dough lay when you “closed the book” with the first turn.

After you've done this 3 times, roll it out to ½”, wrap in cling film and store in the freezer (up to 6 months) or refrigerator (up to 4 days, after that it will turn gray). Thaw in refrigerator before using as your recipe requires.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dutch Crunch Bread

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!
We made sandwiches with leftover Easter ham and cheese and had tomato soup

I know this is pretty late, but the last month has felt pretty crazy and I just didn't have the time or energy to bake more bread after the pretzel extravaganza. Today has been rainy and chilly, so soup and sandwiches seemed like a good idea. I made the dutch crunch topping with brown rice flour and spread it on the rolls with a small off-set spatula, one of my favorite kitchen tools (I think I have 6 or 7 of them)
The topping spread on the rolls 

The roll dough was easy and rose plenty in my cool kitchen and the topping was easy too. I see us eating this more often!
and, as always, Hunter wanted some too!
Dutch Crunch Rolls
1 1/2 T yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup warm milk
2 T sugar
3 T oil
2 tsp salt
5-6 cups flour
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer  combine yeast and half the flour. Add wet ingredients and stir to combine.
2. With the dough hook in place add the remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Let the mixer run for a few minutes to knead.
3. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size 
4. . Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal portions. Form into rolls. Place on greased baking sheets
5. Let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
6. Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping (recipe below). 
7. Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated 375ยบ oven for 20-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely.
2 T active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 T sugar
2 T vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1½ cups rice flour, I used brown rice flour
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat hard with a whisk to combine. It should be thick but spreadable. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes.

2. Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. You should err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
3. Put rolls directly in the oven. The batch that sat out to wait didn't crack as much.
4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Cruch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Goodbye to A Piece of Cake

I recently (like yesterday) left my position at A Piece of Cake Bakery. Here are some pictures of cakes I did while I worked there. I rarely did a cake start to finish, so I had help with several of these, but many I did not.