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181  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Forfar Bridies with Whiskey Cream Sauce (Say what?!) on: October 05, 2011 08:27:27 AM
Its strange that I've never posted in the cooking section when majority of my life falls into this category.  I'm always cooking and trying new things!  Time to post in a new section!

Last night I went on a journey of food exploration.  Last June, my husband's family all went on vacation at Ocean Shores, Washington.  There, we ate at an Irish pub called Gallaway Bay.  There my husband and I had forfar bridies (well, I had fish, but I liked my husband's so much that I ended up eating his instead ^_^) with whiskey cream sauce (which is to die for!).  Now you must be thinking, what is a forfar bridie?  Wikipedia's definition is a horse-shoe shaped meat product with a shortcrust cover, beef, onions and seasonings. 



Here is a brief story of its origin (from Wikipedia).  "The Famous Forfar Bridie originated in the early part of the 19th century [in Scotland]. One story of their origin is that they were made for wedding meals (the Brides' meal) hence the horseshoe shape (for luck). Another story is that they were made by Margaret Bridie from Glamis, who sold them at the Buttermarket in Forfar. James McLaren and Son have been making Forfar Bridies since 1893 and the present owner, Mrs Karen Murray, is the great, great granddaughter of the firm's founder James McLaren and the 5th generation of the family to run the business."

Well, I was sitting at work yesterday and was pondering what to make for dinner when all of a sudden I had a craving for that delicious meal I had at the Gallaway Bay and I was determined to try to replicate it from memory.  So I scoured the internet for recipes on Forfar Bridies and on Whiskey Cream Sauce.  I ultimately used a combination of recipes and my own additions for the bridie and one of the whiskey sauce recipes was right on.  Traditionally, the recipe doesn't have potatoes and carrots, but it is really good with them.  It gives it some more nutrition.

So here is my Forfar Bridie recipe:  (For all the cutting and cooking, this recipes took me a little under 2 hrs to make.  Some of the steps could be done ahead of time to save time, like all the cutting, and the filling could feasible be make ahead of time)

Ingredients:
Forfar Birdie
-1lb lean round bottom steak
-1 onion, chopped (I used 1/2 of a sweet onion, since we are not huge onion fans, but we are starting to like it)
-2 carrots, chopped
-1 large potato (I used a russet), baked and cut into small cubes (I left the skin on)
-1 teaspoon ground mustard
-1/4 cup beef broth
-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or more)
-1/2 teaspoon savory
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 1/2 lb of flaky pastry or, what I used to cut time, Pepperidge Farm's Puff Pastry Sheets (they are in the frozen food section with the pie crusts)
-egg or 2 tablespoons of butter for crust

Whiskey Cream Sauce:  (The one recipe doesn't make too much.  If you are planning to each both the Bridies, I would double this recipe so you have enough for both)
-3/4 cup beef broth
-cracked black pepper to taste
-1/2 ounce whiskey (I used Maker's Mark)
-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
-1/2 teaspoon stone ground mustard (I used dijion, because that's what I had)
-1 tablespoon butter

Directions:
-preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
-pull the pastry sheets out of the package to let them thaw out
-cut the meat into 1/2" pieces, tossing out the fatty bits.  Brown the meat in a skillet.  Once browned, put the meat into a large bowl, leaving the juices in the pan.
-put onion and carrots into the skillet and cover and cook until tender.  Pour all into the bowl with the meat.  Add the mustard powder, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, savory, salt and pepper.
-lay out the pastry sheet and put half of the meat mixture onto it in a triangle shape and fold over the pastry.  Fold and pinch over the edges.  Cut two venting slits into the top.  Then brush the top of the pastry with either butter or egg.  (I did butter.)  Repeat with the second pastry.
-Place the two pastries onto a greased cookie sheet so that they aren't touching.  Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
-While the forfar bridies are baking, make the whiskey cream sauce.  combine the broth and pepper in a small sauce pan.  Reduce to half.
-Add whiskey, cream and mustard.  Reduce to the desired amount.  If needed, add a little flour to help thicken up.
-Remove from heat and swirl in butter.  Allow to cool slightly to thicken.

I would pour the sauce over each piece as apposed to the whole Bridie, so that your leftovers don't get mushy.


Here are the two bridies.  Normally they are made into smaller, serving portions, but it was easier for me to do it this way and just cut it into thirds.


A better view of the filling.  It was so flaky and delicious!  It was exactly what I was looking for.  My husband started eating and told me he didn't realize he was craving it until he had started eating it. 

More fun facts from Wikapedia:
"In some establishments the contents of the bridie can be indicated by the number of holes in the top, one hole signifying that no onions are in the ingredients, and two holes indicating onions have been used."  I guess I did my slits correctly, since I added an onion!

Thanks for looking!
182  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Jackalope Stuffie!! on: September 12, 2011 07:15:47 PM
I did a personal swap with Suereal, and she loves cryptozoology critters.  After much research, I decided to make her a jackalope. 

I used kwoozy's rabbit pattern for the body.  It can be found here:
http://kwoozy.blogspot.com/2006/05/kwoozy-rabbit-and-carrot-pattern.html


He is made of felt.  His antlers have pipe cleaners inside so they are pose-able and so they will stick up straight.  I stitched on his nose.  I also made a pom pom out of some yarn that I had for his tail.

183  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Painted Gourds on: September 12, 2011 07:04:04 PM
About 5 years ago, I was up at Green Bluff here in Spokane, WA, USA at a farm called Knapps.  Its a place where you can U-Pick berries and pumpkins, and has a cool pumpkin cannon.  They also have a bunch of bins of different squashes and gourds, and some dried gourds of different sizes.  I bought a whole bunch of them, and painted up some for myself that sit on my bookshelf.  I had a whole bunch of extras that I've been hording all these years.

I've been dying to make more of these, I just never found the motivation to, until I angeled for the Monster Swap.  I made these for my partner:


Here is the whole bunch!  A vampire, mummy, zombie, and werewolf!  They are painted with regular acrylic paints.









YAY GOURDS!

Thanks for looking!
184  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Monster of a Table Runner on: September 12, 2011 06:52:11 PM
For the Monster Swap, I made my partner a table runner!  I'm quite proud of it, because my sewing skills are shaky, at best.

Here are upclose shots of the ends:




(I so don't know sewing terms, so please forgive me as I stumble my way through my process).  The green fabric is home dec fabric, and its a 1/2 yard wide and 54" long.  I started by ironing over the edges on the shortest edges and then sewing them.  The polka-dot fabric is Halloween fabric.  I ironed over the long edges of this fabric and then top stitched (I believe that what its called) it onto the green fabric.  I then ironed over the long edges of the green fabric, that included a bit of the polka-dot.

I found the images of the monsters online, printed them out cut them out with freezer paper and used that as my stencil.  I used fabric paint, and then freehand painted the edges in black fabric paint.

Then, to add some bling, I sewed on some sequins and beads to the bottom of it.


Here's the whole thing laid out on my table. 

Thanks for looking!

185  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Bigfoot Necklace on: September 12, 2011 06:36:05 PM
I angeled for the monster swap, and I made this little beauty for my partner.  Now she can take a little cryptozoology where ever she goes.



Its make from shrinky dink paper.  I printed off the image from the internet, taped the image to the shrinky dink paper, used an exacto knife to score the paper and scissors to cut it out.  I then punched a hole in his head so the charm could hang on the chain.  Bake, and then you have a bigfoot charm!  On the chain, I added some black beads to fancy it up a little more.

Thanks for looking!
186  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Chunky Yarn Hair Falls on: August 17, 2011 11:07:13 PM
I recently just finished up the Hair Accessories Swap, and my last partner had on her wish list a set of hair falls.  I had no clue what she was talking about.  Hair falls?  I had never heard of it before.  After some craftster investigation I figured out I could probably whip of a set of these.

I got two skeins of chunky yarn.  The black/white one is Jo-Ann Sensations It's A Wrap Yarn, and I unfortunately don't remember what the purple one was called, but that it was a wool roving yarn.  I looped them around elastic in groups.







It reminds me of faerie hair! 

Thanks for looking!
187  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / "Stays in Place" Ribbon Headband on: August 17, 2011 10:50:36 PM
I was determined to make my Hair Accessories Swap partner a headband of some sort, and decided to take a step out of my comfort zone and try my hand at sewing.  I have a sewing machine that I like to fight with, only because we don't know each other well.  I found a wonderful tutorial online on how to make Sweaty Band headbands.  They are wonderfully easy to make.  You need wide ribbon (mine was 1 1/2"), velvet ribbon, and elastic.  That's it!  Bam, boom, and you have a headband that stays in place! 

Here is the tutorial:  http://holy-craft.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweaty-bands-knock-off-revisted.html


Here's what mine turned out to be.  I see a future filled with these wonderful "stay in place" headbands, since they were so easy to make! 
188  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Freezer paper stenciled bandanna on: August 17, 2011 10:43:55 PM
Yes yes, you haven't heard the last from me on freezer paper stenciling!  This time I did a design on a bandanna for my partner in the Hair Accessories Swap to go with her hair falls.  I found the image online somewhere. 

Here are the progress shots:


Here is the stencil all cutout and ironed onto the bandanna.  I've started applying the white paint with a foundation sponge.


The white paint is all on!


Peek-a-boo!


The finished design.



Thanks for looking!
189  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Go go Spiderman and Mario T-Shirts! on: August 14, 2011 06:21:20 PM
It was my nephew's 6th birthday party today.  Along w/ a cake, I also made him two shirts w/ a couple of his favorite subjects on them.  I did the freezer paper method of stenciling.  The first that I made was Spiderman, using a pictures I found on the interwebs. 


I unfortunately didn't take any progress shots of this one.  I did three layers of stenciling.  I did the red first, then blue, then black.  I added in the details (including all the spiderwebs) by hand w/ a paint brush. 

I did, thankfully, get progress shots of the Mario shirt.  For the Mario shirt, I had Mario coming out of a warp pipe from the bottom of the shirt.  I, again, found my images online.
I started w/ the pipe.


So the first layer was regular green and the second layer of stenciling was a lighter green for shading.


Here is what it looked like w/ the two colors.


Next I put on the black outlines.  Afterwards, I cleaned it up a bit w/ the stenciling.  The layers get a little messy when they are applied on top of each other, but they are easily fixed.

Next was mario!  I didn't really have a clear way of adding the layers.  I kinda just cut out the layers as I thought fit, and not in certain blocks of colors like I normally do. 


I started out w/ Mario's hat, boots, mustache and side burn.  Next was the white on his hat, his top white glove, overalls, and the soles of his boots.


Then I added his mouth, shirt, and buttons.  The next layer was the M on his hat, his skin, and the bottom glove. 


I then did a stencil for the thick layer of black that went all the way around Mario, and I didn't take a picture of that step.  Afterwards, I added the rest of the black details on Mario's body by hand and cleaned up any of the areas that needed cleaning up.


TADA!  Mario shirt!  (yes, I did hum the Mario theme song to myself as I made this.)

Thanks for looking!
190  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Zelda and Mario Stitch Markers on: August 10, 2011 04:02:28 PM
I tried my hand w/ Fimo clay for my swap partner in the Video Game Swap.  She requested stitch markers for knitting.  What nerd is complete without a set of nerdy stitch markers for nerdy knitty?  Well she is definitely complete now! 

Ocarinas from Zelda and Mushrooms from Mario!


The ocarinas ended up having a lot of fingerprint ridges, and I wasn't sure what to do with that.  I guess I could have sanded them down, but I didn't, since they were so small.  I painted them w/ regular acrylic paint and added a clear coat to them afterwards. 





Thanks for looking!
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