Wednesday, December 11, 2013
*Shannon - if you are reading this, stop now!*
this pattern which is a free pattern I found through Ravelry. I did modify the pattern a bit to make her shorter - I shortened every piece from the head to the legs, I just left out a few plain stitch rows here and there. The pattern pieces were a breeze to make, but holy cow the head...
I'm very excited to show my items that I've finished over the last 2 weeks (since I was so crazy busy I forgot to post it last week). So check back for them on Friday :)
To see what others are making this week, check out Tami's Amis' blog!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I decided on this class because it seemed the most out of my usual cooking comfort zone, so I would gain the most knowledge from it. I've never made anything like dumplings before :) I was able to watch the first several lessons of the class the next day, and it really made me want to jump right in and make some dumplings! The class starts off with simple wontons and the teacher - Andrea Nguyen, chef and cookbook writer - shows you how to make them with soup as well as fry them. It all looked so easy and delicious, not to mention I already had most of the ingredients on hand except the wonton wrappers. So, I bought some wrappers and got to work :)
Then came the fun part: assembling the wontons :)
And that's it! Crazy easy, huh? To serve them, you scoop the wontons into the bowl first, then pour some of the soup in, then garnish with scallions and sesame oil. Et voilà!
Isn't it pretty?! I just love the colors mixed around in there. Even better - it tasted fantastic! It tasted just like it was supposed to, which I was thrilled about :) My husband loved it too, so this is definitely a successful recipe.
A few days later, Justin and I decided to make more wontons :) This time, I tried frying them. My whole family wanted me to make them some to try, so I actually made a triple batch, lol. I ended up making 63 wontons in all. These also had ground chicken filling (again, I already had it on hand).
These were super simple to make, just a little time consuming because you can really only fry about 10 at a time. And what would fried wontons be without something to dip them in?
The class includes a delicious recipe to make your own sweet & sour sauce - which is incredibly each and so much better than the generic red glop you usually get at take out restaurants. Everyone really enjoyed these. I served them with rice and called it dinner, lol.
So, what did I think of the class?This class has seriously demystified Asian dumplings for me. I think we are naturally inclined to think of any different types of food as difficult, but that really isn't true. It's not hard at all to make Asian food, just different than I was used to. I never even thought of making my own Asian food before about a month ago and every recipe I have tried has been not only delicious, but also really easy to make. These dumplings are no exception! The class very clearly shows you how to make wontons, siu mai (dim sum), gyoza, wonton wrappers, and more. I've learned quite a bit of useful cooking advice that I've already applied to my non-Asian-cooking as well. Andrea Nguyen really breaks things down so that anyone could make them. She describes different ingredients you can get at an Asian market too, which is a whole different type of welcomed info :)
I'm very into dumpling making now, and it's all because of this class! I've even asked for some of the tools to cook them with for Christmas so I can make more, lol. I love that this Craftsy class made it so easy for me to gain these new skills, and my family is excited about the new foods they get to try :) I give this class an absolute 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to make more dumplings!
Want to win a cooking class of your choice from Craftsy?
Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below (give it a few seconds to load if it doesn't show up immediately). This giveaway will run until Sunday, 12/15/2013 at midnught EST. This giveaway is open to international readers, too. The winner will be announced on Monday, 12/16! Good luck!
* This giveaway is sponsored by Craftsy. I was given a free cooking class to review, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own and not influenced in any way. I just really loved this class!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
For those of you who don't know, I work in a jewelry store. On top of selling and repairing, we also buy gold and silver over the counter and sell it to a refinery. Our refinery guy comes once a week to buy what we have to scrap out, and this week he brought in something another store had sold to him just to show me.
Know what it is? Here's a top view:
It's from Tiffany & Co. I can't find any info on when it was made, but they certainly don't make it anymore. Sadly, it was already destined to be a gift for someone else, but it was exciting to take a look at. It's also engraved "A Tale of Two Cities" C.G.G. I have no idea what the tale of two cities is supposed to mean, but I assume the CGG is the initials of its original owner. Can you imagine getting a solid sterling silver yarn holder? Crazy. This is truly the gift for the knitter who has everything :)
Anyway, sorry I don't have a wip to show, but I figured that other knitters out there would get a kick out of this fancy tool. To see what others have in progress (actual yarn items, lol), check out Tami's Amis' blog :)
Friday, November 29, 2013
It's that time again! The annual Black Friday Craftsy Sale! This is always a fantastic opportunity to grab any classes you've had your eye on as they all are $19.99 or less :) This is ALL of their classes - even brand new ones that are regular price $50 or so. If you're a regular reader, I don't need to tell you how much I love Craftsy classes. They are so worth the price, especially since they are so marked down.
The sale is going on this whole weekend until midnight on 12/2! So you have all weekend to deliberate over your choices. This is usually the best sale of the year, so I highly recommend you go here while you can!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Enjoy your family and friends today wherever you are! Eat lots of delicious food and be thankful for what you have :) I am extremely grateful that there are actually people out there that read my little blog! You make my little outlet possible and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
So, I'm still in full gift-making mode here. Most of my time has gone into this little number:
I'm also cringing over my red hat still. I spent all spare time on my day off last week knitting it, and I really kicked butt on it and it now measures 8" tall. From mid-needle it looks great:
That is one picture of each needle joint. Isn't it horrible?! I shouldn't have kept going when I first noticed them after crossing my cables, but being me I just kept on knitting thinking I could correct it or maybe block it out. Now, I've just given up hope and resolved to frog it and start over - YET AGAIN! I've tried everything - yanking the first and last stitches really tight on each needle, moving the stitches from needle to needle so it's less noticeable (this just caused a diagonal line of ladders - nice), inserting the dpn above the needle, below the needle, etc. I finally asked a fellow knitter at church (one with many more years of experience than me) if she knew of anything else I could do. The only things I hadn't tried yet are 1) using 4 dpns instead of 3 or 2) just using a circular needle and doing the magic ring. Which is what the pattern is written for anyway (grrr). At the time I started it, I thought, "I don't have a size 8 circular, but no big deal since I have pretty much every size of dpns and I'm comfortable with them. I'll just use those." Oh, poor, naive little me. I had never made anything with mostly purls on dpns before and now I am a cautionary tale. I know there are some out there who would just finish it like this and not worry about it, but I know that those ladders would drive me crazy as long as this hat existed and I would never wear it. So, I will be investing in a circular needle for this and trying again.
This hat is lucky I really like it and that I am determined to conquer it - otherwise it would be thrown back into my stash never to see the light of day again, lol.
Any advice for a desperate knitter? Or are purl stitches at dpn joints just a no-go across the board?
So that's what I've been consumed with lately. To see what others are up to, head over to Tami's Amis' Blog and check it out :)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Rewards Gold is offering a free 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food magazines :) Just go here and fill out the quick breakfast survey to claim yours.