Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candied Pecans


This was my first time to make candied pecans. I made a few changes to an exisiting recipe and this is what I came up with. The measurements are a little odd because I adjusted them for the amount of pecans I had.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 lb pecan halves
1 3/4 c white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon and 1 1/4 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together water, vanilla, and egg whites in another bowl, until frothy. (An easy way to separate the whites from the yolks is to use a slotted spoon.)
  • Pour the pecans into the egg mixture and stir to coat; then pour the pecans into the dry ingredients and toss/stir to coat.
  • Spread the pecans out on the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Yields approx. 8 cups of pecans.

I packaged the pecans in "broom bags" and gave them to my coworkers as a special fall treat! The idea for this project came from marthastewart.com. (I made similar bags last year, which I wrote about here.)




To make the broom bags, you will need paper craft sacks, scissors, twine, and sticks. You will use 2 bags per broom. 


Cut strips down all four sides of one bag, leaving the base of the bag intact. For the second bag, cut slits all around the top, a couple inches down.


Fill the inner bag with candy and insert stick. Place the inner bag on the base of the outer bag, with the strips fanned out. Then gather the strips around all four sides of the inner bag and secure around stick with twine.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seven Oaks


While in Oregon we stayed at Seven Oaks Bed and Breakfast.  The house was built in 1928 by an inventor named August Guignard. We stayed in the Seven Oaks Cottage, which is detached from the main house, but we got to tour the house and all of its beautiful rooms. The house also had some quirks; Guignard installed red lights above all the closet doors, so you would know if you had left the closet light on.


Images from sevenoaksbb.com

The owners of the bed and breakfast, Greg and Linda, were very friendly and served some very tasty breakfasts. We enjoyed sweet potato waffles with walnuts and homemade pear preserves, breakfast burritos, pumpkin blueberry scones, and apple stuffed pancakes. It makes me hungry just thinking about it... They had a large vegetable garden on their property as well as several chickens, so we enjoyed fresh laid eggs with our breakfasts.


We really enjoyed our stay and would recommend Seven Oaks to others.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oregon

We traveled to Hood River, Oregon this past weekend for a friend's wedding. The wedding was held at the home of the bride's parents, with Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams as the backdrop. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day.


The family had done some landscaping in preparation for the wedding, putting bark dust down in their flower beds. What is bark dust, you ask? It's what mulch is called in Oregon...and grass clippings are called mulch. And Einhorn is Finkle.

We also experienced a full-service gas station for the first time, since pumping your own gas is illegal in Oregon. Apparently the law was passed in 1951 due to the possibility of inexperienced pumpers setting themselves on fire. Ironically, when Zach and I were pulling away from the pump, after the eloquently spoken attendant had filled up our tank, I realized the engine had been running the entire time. This is something that has never happened when pumping my own gas. I also got pulled over for going 38 in a 25, which we learned is the speed limit for the entire city of Hood River. Fortunately, I got off with a warning.


On Sunday, along with our friend Jake who was in for the wedding, we took a hike in The Dalles where we had a great view of all the orchards. Afterward we had lunch at the Full Sail brewery.


Then we headed back to Portland, where my aunt and uncle treated us to Greek food at Alexis Restaurant and pastries at Voodoo Doughnut. Their menu includes the Bacon Maple Bar (maple frosting with bacon on top), and the "Tex-ass" which is the size of a small pizza.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spa wraps

I made a set of spa wraps for my sister and two of her girls...similar to the wrap I made for myself a few months ago.


Monday, October 11, 2010

ABCs

Remember those plastic alphabet letters you had as a child?


I decided to make a soft version out of felt for my youngest niece, who's turning one this month. This was a really fun project! I chose felt in teal, purple, and pink, and sewed a magnet inside each letter.

I started by printing out each letter of the alphabet, using Arial Black font, size 220. Then I cut out each letter and traced it on to my felt, using a fabric marking pen or chalk. I then cut out a square of felt around the letter and sewed around my outline, slipping the magnet inside before sewing the letter closed. If you're using a metal bobbin, you want to be very careful that the magnet does not pull your bobbin out of place while sewing and tangle your thread. Try to keep the magnet as far away from the bobbin as possible while sewing. I found it helpful to pin it in to a corner so it wouldn't move around.


After that, I carefully cut around the edges of the letter, again minding the magnet so it didn't stick to my scissors and cause a crooked cut.



I also made a drawstring bag to hold all the letters.





Thursday, October 7, 2010

Monster

I had a request for a black and red monster...


Can you guess which sports team the buyer roots for?