Thursday, February 24, 2011

An unexpected hiatus...

I was so excited about this new blog of mine and pledged to myself that I would create and post at least one recipe per week...either something delicious or something crafty.

Well, dealing with this fractured ankle has temporarily brought my best intentions to a halt.  I'm getting better at hobbling around the house with a walker but it's nearly impossible to cook and/or bake and photograph the process while balancing on one foot or clinging to a walker.

I also sprained my right arm when I slipped and fractured the ankle...wouldn't you know?  Frankly, my arm is more painful than my leg.  I've heard that sprains can be more painful and take longer to heal than breaks...not sure how accurate that is.   Sprained arm + fractured ankle = not accomplishing much.

As for crafty recipes...all of my art supplies, sewing supplies and crafting supplies are downstairs.  Downstairs is off limits, of course.   I'm hoping that on March 8th, the x-rays will show that the bones have healed and I will be allowed a walking boot!  Can hardly wait to dig through my stash of crafty/artsy stuff!

March 8th...can't get here soon enough!

In the meantime, I've tackled a project that will ultimately be very useful...check out the post about it on  Lake Mary Musings.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp**
This is a recipe that I created last summer when I wanted to make a rhubarb crisp but also needed to use ingredients that were in my pantry or freezer.  I haven't made this since then but am confident enough to post the recipe.

RASPBERRY RHUBARB CRISP

For the Filling:

4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 cup fresh raspberries
3 Tablespoons sugar (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons water

For the Topping:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
1 Tablespoon wheat germ
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup sucanat
1/4 cup butter


Ready to bake
Gently mix the filling ingredients together and place in an 8" x 8" baking dish.   Combine the dry topping ingredients until they're well mixed and then cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

Carefully distribute the topping evenly over the rhubarb/raspberry filling.

Fresh from the oven!

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes or until the fruit filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Cool for 10 or 15 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.


A little background:
I was experimenting with rhubarb recipes.  A follower of Lake Mary Musings told me she loves rhubarb but she's the only person in her family who does, so I offered to bake something "rhubarby" and send it to her!

"E." doesn't like nuts so I used wheat germ and ground flaxseed to give the topping a nutty texture.  I love nuts, though...from now on when I prepare this recipe I'm going throw in a few nuts just for an extra crunch.  As it turned out, fruit crisps just aren't suitable for shipping.  So...we enjoyed it, ourselves!

In the end I made an Orange Rhubarb Breakfast Cake because it was the only recipe I tried that I could send through the mail without spoiling en route.  It was very good but the rhubarb flavor was a little too subtle for me.  I'll try the recipe again with a tweak or two and probably post it, as well.

** When I baked this Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp I forgot to take a photograph of a single serving!  So...the photograph at the top of the page is courtesy of Creative Commons and Flickr photographer Little Blue Hen. 

Many thanks!   I 'll prepare this recipe, again, and post my own photograph. In the meantime, thank goodness for the generosity of photographers like Little Blue Hen and the Flickr community.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creating Mirror Matted Pictures


I made this framed mirror picture for my mom many years ago.  This is me when I was five years old.   You can see the ceiling molding reflected in the mirror if you look closely.  Actually, I made three of them...one each of my two sisters and this of me.

About a year ago one of Jack's cousins called to see if I had any ideas for a craft that she could teach to some friends.   Every year two or three couples (who live a great distance from each other) meet somewhere in the middle for a few days of shopping, visiting and while the guys go golfing or fishing or whatever they do (I haven't a clue) the ladies work on a craft.

I remembered these little "mirror" pictures and mentioned them to her.  She asked me for the instructions.  Well....it had been many years and I had no instructions but I called my sister in Washington because I thought she still had these at her house after my parents passed away.

Sure enough...they were there!  She packed them up and sent them off to me, bless her.   Then I took them apart to see how I put them together!  Wasn't very difficult.  Here's the scoop:

Supplies needed:
  • Small mirrors
  • Fine steel wool (#0 and/or #00)
  • Photographs (naturally)
  • Picture frames
NOTE:  The mirrors I used were 3" x 3".  I found the frames somewhere...probably a craft store or maybe a flea market.  It's possible that I found the frames and then the mirrors that fit perfectly at the same place.  It was a long time ago, remember.  But, I digress...
 What you do:

Place your photograph face down on the back of the mirror.  Draw a pencil line around the photo.  Remember that you just want to clear enough of the silver finish so the portion of the photograph that you want to frame is visible.

Starting in the center, gently rub the steel wool in a circular motion inside the line to remove the silvering.  I used #0 steel wool on this demonstration.   When your clear spot is almost the size you want it to be, you might want to switch to the #00 steel wool for the "feathering" process.

At first you'll think you're not making any progress at all.  Then, all of a sudden, you'll notice that you've got a small clear spot on your mirror.  Keep checking to see how much of the photograph is showing through the mirror until it's just the way you want it.

Gently rub in a circular motion to remove the silvering


Feathered Edge

Important: Feather the edges so they're irregular but don't remove the silvering all the way to the edge of the line you drew.  Otherwise, you'll be able to see through the glass around the edge of the photograph.





Back of Mirror
Place the photograph face down on the mirror back and tape it in place with a small piece of clear tape.  Replace the frame backing and secure it.




Turn it around and...Voila!...admire your handiwork!

This is an especially pretty application for old family photos.  However, the frame that you choose will definitely determine the style of the piece.

If you choose colorful, whimsical frames you'll have something perfect for the kid's school photos or birthday party pictures.

Use your imagination and you'll come up with some unique ideas.  Wouldn't these make terrific gifts?