Thursday, February 10, 2011

Money Munching Monsters Tutorial

Last week, Studio 5 (a local craft, fashion, cooking, EVERYTHING show) had a $5 challenge (I've posted about it earlier, Here) and I knew I just had to enter. The rules were you had to make something using only $5 and you had to use 1 item that you already had on hand. I thought long and hard on it and decided that I was going to make something for all the boys out there. You always see "girl" crafts (bows, skirts, tuts, etc.) but being a mother of boy it's hard to find cute crafts for them so I search the web and found something that I could make but that I wanted to put the "Jessica" touch to. I made 2 of these with the allotted $5 and I only had an hour to go shopping, make it, write up my entry, and send it in (I wasn't procrastination, my hubby didn't get paid until that Friday and we only have 1 car so I had to wait for him to get home before I could go shopping). Needless to say, it's a really simple craft, especially if you are a sewer. Just a side note, I took these pictures in a hurry so I could write up this tutorial so if the pictures are a little blurry, I'm sorry!

Things needed:
1 colorful Washcloth (on hand) (if you don't have any, Walmart has then in a 10 pack for $4)
1 red Zipper (mine was 7 inches)
12 inches of White Rick Rack
Large Googly eyes

1. Start by cutting off the finished edge of your washcloth and cutting it in half (mine where square so it didn't matter which Half I cut it).

2. Take one half and cut it into half again. You'll have 2 squares (I can't cut straight so mine weren't perfect but you can fix it when you sew the side together. P.S. I know, My towel is stain. I used the cleanest one for the actual contest. Sorry!)

3. Cut one of the squares in half horizontally (this is for the mouth).

4. Cut your Rick Rack in half (6 inches) so that you have 2 pieces.

5. Open your zipper (NOTE: if your zipper is bigger than your project, it's ok. You just have to sew over it a bunch of times when you sew the sides), place the rick rack between the zipper and the towel and sew. Make sure the rick rack is sticking out enough so it looks like teeth.

6. Close the zipper and repeat step 5. Take time to line up the rick rack so they fit like teeth. They don't have to be perfect but the closer the better.

7. Take your other full square and put right on top the "face" square. With right sides together sew around the edges, if your zipper is bigger than your washcloth make sure to go over it a few times.
8. Turn out (this was the hardest part for me, try to sew it with your zipper slightly open and you might not have the problem that I did.) My googly eyes were glue on so I just hot glued them on.

And that's it! It's super easy and really cute! I'm so glad that people actually liked my craft. Thanks everyone, you've made my day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Braided Sandwich

This is a recipe I came up with so I can use my White Bread dough for dinner. It's ham and cheese with a twist.
1. I rolled out half of the dough on to a greased cookie sheet and smeared the middle 1/3 with cream cheese (leave the sides empty, so you can braid it).

2. Layer ham (or any sandwich meat) over the cream cheese.

3. Top with a hand full of shredded cheese. Layer with more ham and more cheese (we like cheese in my family).

4. Cut the sides at a slight angle and make sure you have the same amount of cut or else your braid wont work out.

5. Stretch and fold over the top middle over the filling (this helps the cheese stay inside) and start braiding. I started on the Left and laid it over the filling. Then right, then left, right, left, right, left...Etc.

6. This is how it looks when its all braided. I brushed it with an egg wash, sprinkled it with garlic powder and a little parsley.

8. Pop it in a 350 degree preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. Mine took closer to 45 minutes for the color that I wanted. Let it cool about 5 minutes or else you'll burn your tongue like nobodies business.

We really loved this dinner! Of course we love anything with ham and cheese. Hope you enjoy!

Handmade/Homemade Bread

I love homemade bread! Ok I said it! And with all the advances in technology why make bread by hand? Because it's fun! I'll admit, I have a bread maker and it's nice. I put in the ingredience and push a bottom and in a couple of hours I have warm, homemade bread but there is something lacking. I love getting my hands dirty, and using my muscles to pound out the lumps in the dough and make it elastic. It's kind of my new obsession. When I get bored, I make bread. I thought I would share my love (and my recipe) with you. It comes from the Better Homes Cook Book and is delicious. Hope you enjoy it!

White Bread
5 3/4 -6 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
2 1/4 c milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 c flour and the yeast; set aside.

2. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt until warm and butter almost melts (120-130 degrees- i don't have a thermometer so I just tested it on my wrist and if it burn for a second but doesn't scold then it's good).

3. Add milk mixture to flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, and then on high for 3 minutes (it helps to develop the gluten). Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

4.Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and kneed in flour until it makes a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes). Shape into a ball. Placed in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 45-60 minutes). I like to preheat my oven to 200 while I'm mixing the dough. When it preheats TURN IT OFF and put your dough in it. If you add a pan of boiling water to the bottom rack, it's the perfect environment to proof your dough.

5. Punch dough down, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease 2 loaf pans (8X4X2 inch).

6. Shape dough and put into pans. Cover and let rise again for another 30-40 minutes. (I repeat the oven process so it's perfect).

7. Take out the loaf pans, cover, and preheat the over to 375 degrees. Once preheated, bake about 40 minutes until it sounds hollow and is golden brown (if it gets too brown, cover with foil so it wont burn). Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack).