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11  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Baked Onion Rings (Extra Crispy) on: May 08, 2011 11:39:20 AM

I love onion rings, but I won't venture with a pot of hot oil for both safety and health reasons. So, I concocted this recipe and tadam: onion rings minus the frying but with all the crispiness!

  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup Panko*
  • 2 tsp steak spice
  • 1/2 tsp oil - make sure ou use an oil with a high heat resistance - like canola (don't use butter or olive oil)
    *Panko are coarse, Japanese-style breadcrumbs; can be subbed with regular plain breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 450F; lightly oil a baking sheet.

1. Peel and slice onion into rings. Place onion and flour in a ziploc bag; close and toss until onion are coated.
2. Beat egg whites with water and mustard; mix Panko and steak spice in a separate bowl.
3. Place baking sheet in oven and heat 5 minutes (this is the secret to the extra crunch, technique can also be used for fish 4. sticks or chicken fingers/nuggets).
5. Meanwhile, dip floured onion rings in the egg mixture then in the Panko mixture - making sure they are nicely coated.
6. Remove baking sheet from oven and place the onion rings on the hot sheet (you should hear them sizzle).
7. Bake 4 minutes, turn onion rings, and bake another 4 minutes. Baking time may vary depending on your oven.

Inspired by this recipe.

They are so easy, anyone can make them and flavours can be varied. In my recipe they are quite spicy, so if you prefer more neutral (especially if making for the kids), you can omit (or reduce) the steak spice and substitute salt and pepper; you could also omit the mustard and add a bit more water or some garlic paste.

Let me know if you try them, I'd love to hear your comments!
Enjoy Grin
12  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / ipod Nano Sleeve (with earbud pocket) on: March 20, 2011 09:54:00 AM
I created this pouch for my ipod Nano (5th generation) in such a way that it can be used or stored without ever having to disconnect the earbuds.

It's a little hard to explain, but here's how it works:
  • You insert earbuds in top pouch, pass the wire (plug end) through a hole at the bottom and into a hole at the bottom of the back pocket, then you connect it to the ipod.
  • For storage, ipod is slipped in back pocket, you pull on the wire so the earbuds are in the top pocket; there is a space between both pockets to tuck in loose wire.
  • To use, untuck wire and pull earbuds out of their pocket and into your ears; ipod can be slipped in and out of its pouch to control it.

13  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / TVP Jerky on: March 17, 2011 07:25:01 PM
Healthy + delicious + chewy + vegan + inexpensive + easy = my favourite jerky!!! Recipe is made with my own personal marinade, but you can go ahead and make your own (see links below for other ideas). Though this can be made with either, I largely prefer the TVP (textured vegetable protein) over the tofu. I recommend the longer marinating time for the tofu. I've made tofu jerky in the past, but since trying it with TVP, I've never gone back... it's just so much easier and the texture is closer to the real stuff.  A dehydrator is not required.

TVP Jerky

2 cups textured vegetable protein, chunks (not granules) or 2 cups extra firm tofu (cubed, *see note)


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons steak spice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/3 cup water


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small saucepan; add dry TVP or tofu.
  • Over medium heat, bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • You can now proceed to next step, or: pour everything into a Ziploc bag and squeeze out all the air. Refrigerate and allow to marinate 1 hour or overnight.
  • On a cookie sheet or dehydrator tray, distribute TVP or tofu chunks so that they are not touching and brush on any remaining marinade.
  • Giving the pan an occasionnal shake, bake at 175F for 3 to 4 hours,  or until desired texture is attained.

And there you have it!

*If you want the recipe to be truly vegetarian, make sure you check the ingredients in the Worcestershire sauce.

NOTE: To prepare tofu, squeeze out as much water as possible. You can also freeze it for a meatier texture.

Check out the 3Men Jerky Recipes' website for several marinade recipes or, for a entirely different twist, try this Asian Marinade.
14  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Cardi Cozy and Cie. on: February 17, 2011 12:54:22 PM
For Christmas, I gave away a cup with a cozy along with a whole bunch of edible and drinkable goodies.
Here are pics of all the cozies:

Colleague #1:

Hidden buttons for easy removal:

Colleague #2:

Colleague #3:

Matching tissue cozy:






15  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Rainbow Hat on: January 11, 2011 10:22:59 AM
I finished my first knitting project ever Grin

I followed a great pattern called Capucine.
The yarn I used for the hat is Bernat Mosaic. I like how this project used just enough yarn to go through every colour of the rainbow, without repeating. For the tassels, I used several colours of yarn, each with a different texture.

It looks a little small on me, but that's because it's for a pre-teen.
All in all, I'm quite happy with it!

C & C appreciated, and here's a last picture of me being silly.

16  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Needle-Felted Coin Purse on: November 18, 2010 01:46:46 PM
This is the first time I've needle-felted anything, and I'm quite proud of it! I jotted down the mushroom on a piece of paper first to get an idea of the shape, but the hedgehog and flowers were all done as I went. I made it on a piece of red commercial felt. The inside is "sealed" with a layer of fabric mod podge. I had quite a battle with the ball clasp as I'd never tried installing one before (hence the dings and glue stains) . Lesson learned: it's better to make the piece larger than the frame rather than the same size as it shrinks during felting. Enough said, on to the pictures!

Question: how do you remove your finished item without destroying the foam mat?

Thanks for looking, C & C appreciated!
17  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Teeny Comfort Doll on: November 17, 2010 07:37:24 PM
This is my second attempt at needle felting (I'll be posting the first shortly). It was made for a friend going into the hospital. She's got a nose, arms& hands, little braids, and is holding a peace lily.

Thanks for looking!!!
18  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Horse Wall-Hanging (with chart) on: November 06, 2010 10:23:19 PM
I made this horse for a swap and I must say I'm quite proud of it! It's not done in Tunisian but using the Flat Tapestry Crochet technique. It's basically tapestry crochet, but instead of turning your work around at the end of each row, you switch hands (1 row left-hand, 1 row right-hand) - I can now officially say I'm an ambidextrous crocheter Cheesy

I started with this image (found on Google) and, using KnitPro, turned it into this chart. Then I painstakingly re-coloured all the squares in my 6 colours (using Fireworks) and ta-da:

I used less than one skein of each colour (black, burgundy, red, orange, yellow, peach). Since I had so many colours, I didn't carry them, so the back was pretty messy, but I hid everything with some felt. I mounted it on 2 wooden dowels which I painted in black and added some frilly ribbon to give it a more finished look.

And just because, I made matching coasters:
19  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Toe Socks on: October 28, 2010 08:16:28 PM
Does anyone know of a pattern for making crocheted toe socks?

Thanks in advance!!!
20  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Linked Crochet Hooded Neckwarmer (pics +++) on: October 16, 2010 01:31:17 PM
I just discovered the wonders of linked crochet and had been wanting to make myself a hooded neckwarmer for a while now. I figured this would be the perfect technique for this project as it's so easy to shape the piece without there being any holes between longer stitches...

Here's how it turned out:

And it's reversible:

I can also fold the edge over if I don't want it to be as deep:

This picture shows the difference in the look of the stitches on each side:

A few other pictures:

I'm really happy with how it turned out and it's really comfy and warm!
Thanks for looking Grin
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