Thursday, June 24, 2010

LYAGY- Clothes Pin Holder

Well this week I whipped up something I've been needing for a while, a clothes pin holder. We live in an apartment but we have a nice little balcony and I bought a small clothing rack at Ikea. Anyway, since we cloth diaper our son and since this is after all the desert, I love to take advantage of the heat and sun to dry the diapers and even our clothes. It seriously dries so quickly! The only problem I've run into is that taking the pins off the line or moving them while I'm hanging seems to add time. So I whipped a little bag up this week to help me out.

I started by tracing a small salad plate to make the bottom onto some freezer paper. I cut out the circle, folded it in half and cut.

Next I cut the bottom out of the fabric.

Then for the sides of the bag I cut a piece for around the curve (13.5" long x 7" tall) and another for across the backside (about 9" long x 7" tall).

Then I sewed them together in side out. I folded down the top edge a little to hem that and then turned it right side out.

Next I constructed the straps by cutting out two strips about 6 inches long by 1 inch wide. I sewed them into a tube leaving one end open,

turned them inside out...

and gave them a final hem.

I sewed them onto the bag and attached some velcro to the straps.

Finally I put it to work as soon as it's done and it works perfectly!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let Your Art Guide You - Pavlova

So this week my post is a little late in the day because I made a really yummy dessert for a Church activity (basically a buffet of world foods, yum). I got the recipe for Pavlova from my friend from New Zealand (thanks Hannah!). She made this for me and my host family when we were both exchange students in Belgium. I've had it once since then, but not a very big piece so I've been some what craving it for a while and this Church function was the best excuse to get me to make it. I thought I remember it being hard to make but it wasn't that bad. So here are the ingredients:

3 egg whites (4 if small eggs)
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup berry sugar (superfine sugar...i'll explain later in step 2a)
1/4 cup ordinary sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

Step 1: Beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Like a meringue, nice and frothy.

Step 2a: Berry Sugar, or ultrafine sugar is different from cane sugar. I couldn't find anything at my store by that name so I just put my regular cane sugar in the blender for a minute or two and it worked just fine. I made sure to carefully tip the blender side to side so all the sugar would get ground up. Its really cool when you open the lid after this - its like dry ice smoke coming out :D
Step 2b: Add the berry sugar *gradually*, beating all the time.It's most important that their be no undissolved sugar. By this stage you should have a reasonably thick white (almost shiny) gloop.
Step 3: Mix the sugar and cornstarch together and gently fold into the mix with the vinegar.
Step 4: Scoop mixture onto a baking tray (try to keep it reasonably circular and don't let it spread out too much), and bake for 30-40 mins at 250-275 F. Let cool in the oven (Hannah's mom generally make them in the evening and let them sit overnight). Kiwifuit and/or strawberries are of course the traditional toppings (in addition to large amounts of whipped cream...)
Be sure to do something so it doesn't stick to the pan, tin foil worked great for me! I messed my first one up because it stuck to the pan and wouldn't transfer to my serving dish. So I made a second, but hey I'm not complaining I've got a whole one waiting to be eaten by my husband and I.
Here is the finished product. I had to run so quickly to the activity after the second one finished cooking (oops, didn't let it cool in the oven so it cracked) that I forgot to take a picture. So this one is from a camera phone.

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