Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream!

I apologize for not posting this week. I had to go to Arizona for work and couldn't do anything crafty. Its SO good to be home!

We got an ice cream maker attachment to go with our Kitchanaid mixer and had yet to use it. My best friend and her husband were coming over for dinner and a game night, so I decided that this would be the best time to whip it out and make something delicious.

We love coconut and we knew our guests love coconut, so I scoured the web for an easy recipe to try out and found this one on allrecipes.com, which made about a quart of ice cream.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (optional)


  1. Combine the milk and cream of coconut in the container of a food processor or blender, and mix thoroughly. Stir in cream and flaked coconut.
  2. Pour into the container of an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions

With this recipe it is super important to use cream of coconut, not coconut milk. Cream of coconut is similar to sweetened condensed milk, where coconul milk is similar to evaporated milk. You really need the sweetness from the cream of coconut to have a delicious, sweet ice cream.

I also added a bar of dark chocolate, which I chopped up and added to the ice cream about 15 minutes into the churning process. I made this the night before so that it would have time to set-up, but it was still a little on the soupy side toward the bottom of the container, but I realized our freezer wasn't turned down very much. Hopefully I'll have better luck the next time around, but it was still very yummy.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sewing Class Fail

I attempted to sign up for the sewing classes that I had mentioned before, and found that the class was full. I was sure that there were multiple sessions of this class and even checked my flyer again to verify this. Sure enough, there were 6 sessions listed.

I checked the website multiple times over the next few days to see if they might be adding more classes to their roster, but still nothing. I had attempted to call them, but kept getting a recording, so I sent an email. It took them 3 days to get back to me just to inform me that the class is a 6 week session and that I had read the flyer wrong.there were already 5 people on the wait list, so chances of me getting in were slim to none. They assured me that if I was on the wait list, that I would be the first to get to register for classes in the Spring. WTH?!? I have to wait until SPRING??

Now, this is not at all what I had expected, and I had inquired about the class last Spring and was told I would be informed of when this sessions class would begin since the past session had been canceled. I guess thats what I get for trying to save money on sewing classes. I need to suck it up and spend some money on other, more expensive classes.

Now I just need to find one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My First Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

I was finally able to sit down with my Silhouette and start to figure it out. I decided that an easy starter project would be a t-shirt made with a freezer paper stencil. I saw this great onsie on Pinterest and knew I would want to make this for friends who love all things Potter.

To get started, I downloaded a Harry Potter font on dafont.com, which is one of my favorite sites for free fonts. 

I then measured my shirt to determine how big I should make my stencil.

I opened up Silhouette Studio and created a new project. Since the shirt measured about 10 inches across,  I decided the stencil should be 7 inches wide.

I then cut my freezer paper just a bit larger then my stencil using a paper trimmer and placed the paper, shiny side down on the cutting mat. I tried to use the sticky mat and had horrible results when trying to peel the stencil off, so I switched to the less sticky mat.
I used the settings for vellum, and told my Silhouette to cut.

When it finishes, just peel the stencil off the mat. You'll have something that looks like this left on your mat
You will need to peel out the center of the remaining letters and use those to fill in the stencil on your shirt.

Before applying your stencil to your shirt, make sure that you have pre-washed and dried it in case it decides to shrink a bit. You should also iron your shirt before applying your stencil.

To apply your stencil, simply place it on your shirt and iron it in place using medium-high heat, until you are sure it is nice and secure. Then add the centers of your letters and iron in place. Make sure you are not using a steam setting on your iron, as this will mess up your stencil.

You are now ready to paint! I used Tulip permanent fabric paint, which can be found in a wide variety of colors and finishes at any craft store. I got mine during a sale a JoAnn's for around $1 for a small container. I then used a foam brush to evenly apply the paint.

To get the look I wanted, I applied 2 coats of paint and waited a couple hours for each coat to dry completely before applying the next. I also placed a piece of cardboard inside the shirt in case the pain decided to bleed through the fabric.

Once both coats were dry, I simply peeled off the freezer paper to reveal the finished product.

The instructions on the paint suggested that you heat-set the paint, so I took a dish towel that I folded in half, and placed that on top of the shirt and ironed it using high heat for about 30 seconds.

All in all, this was an easy project, and I'm sure I'll be making plenty more of these in the future.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Attempt at Scones = Success!

On weekends, we like to stop by a local coffee shop for pastries and coffee and we almost always get scones. I've had a slight desire to make them, but figured they would be too much trouble and I was terrified that they would be dry and inedible. Well, I recently found a recipe for blueberry scones from Cooks Illustrated, and I'm always a fan of their recipes and knew I would be trying this one out.

I did just that this weekend. I got up early and headed out to the store to pick up ingredients and got started. All in all, it was a pretty easy recipe. The most annoying thing about this recipe was having to grate frozen butter, but I know this step was integral in making these scones so delicious. Also, the dough was very sticky, and I didn't add enough flour when I rolled out the dough, so I'll have to be mindful about this for the next time. Because the dough was so sticky, I also had issues with cutting the dough as the instructions stated, so I just made them drop scones. They aren't the prettiest, but who cares!

These came out crispy on the outside and nice, soft, and moist on the inside. The blueberries were plump, tart, and paired wonderfully with the lemon zest. I will definitely be making these again and will seek out more scone recipes to try.

Scones fresh out of the oven

Blueberry Scones
Makes 8 large scones
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine, Jul/Aug 2007 issue
  • 1 stick plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen whole
  • 1 ½ c fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces), picked over2
  • ½ c whole milk
  • ½ c sour cream
  • 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
  • ¾ c sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 T for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate 1 stick of butter from unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater. Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.
  2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
  3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen.

To make ahead:

After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425°F and continue with step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375°F, resume with step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Silhouette Update!!

I've been traveling for work this week, so haven't been able to post, or actually I haven't had much to post about as work travel doesn't allow much time for crafting. Anywho, I reached my goal and ordered a Silhouette SD! My machine arrived this past weekend, and as we were busy, I barely had enough time to pull it out of the box and install the software. I have big plans for this long weekend to start seeing what this machine is capable of. While I was out of town, I was able to look through Silhouette's online store and several blogs and Etsy shops to get some ideas,and I am pumped to get started!

I promise I will post my experiences this weekend.