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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Apples, Apples, Delicious drinkable apples... on: October 24, 2010 05:47:49 PM
My brother has 5 apple trees in his yard that usually produce A LOT of fruit that mostly goes to waste. This year I was so on it, I don't think a *single* apple didn't get processed in some way - from homemade pectin to traditional applesauce and apple butter to more exciting apple cider and apple lemon balm lavender jelly. Here are some pics of our cider, in its various stages:

these two ciders were pressed at the end of August and in this pic have just been racked off for the first time. I think it's so interesting the variance in their colours - they were more or less the same apples (we weren't totally professional in our apple blending - we ended up scouring the neighbourhood for fallen apples to make 2 full carboys of juice when we were pressing, so there is definitely a random mix of apples we'll never be able to exactly repeat in there)

this cider was pressed at the end of september and this pic is of it after the yeast activity had died down and we threw the stopper on. We only used wild yeasts with our cider, cuz they're better  Wink
    Unfortunately no pics of the incredible process of getting the apples from their apple state into the carboys. It was fun, despite the wasps! Roll Eyes We hand crushed the apples, with a bucket and a large fence post, and pressed them with a hydraulic car jack our brother borrowed from his work. I'm pretty sure if we hadn't had the hydraulic jack this wouldn't have worked - definitely something I would recommend if anyone else is thinking of pressing anything!
And, my apple jelly:

Thanks for looking!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / blue and black lumberjack with puppydog reverse applique on: October 23, 2010 01:05:31 PM
I've been slowly trying to recon some hoodies for my nieces and nephews - it's hard, there's four of them - but this is the second one I've done. I will see if my eldest niece will be so gracious as to let me get a photo of her in the hippo hoodie I made for her a year or so ago. I made this one for my youngest niece, Ginger. She loves dogs. It was pretty straightforward - I just unstitched the lining at the back to get the applique fabric in, and used a free online template for the dog silhouette. Now that it's done, I kinda wish I'd used a different style of dog template.... anyways:

3  COOKING / Dessert / Peanut Butter and honey "pie" with blueberries, cherries, and chocolate... on: October 09, 2010 07:38:14 PM
So I always try to make my nieces and nephews what they want, treat-wise, for their Birthday's. This year my youngest niece through me for a loop: A peanut butter and honey pie, with chocolate, cherries, and blueberries. She basically rattled off a laundry list of her favourite things as a pie. I said okay, and made her this:

so you've got a chocolate cookie crust, a blueberry reduction layer (with honey), some peanut butter and chocolate ganache-like layer, the cherry and honey reduction, and another peanut butter and chocolate layer on top. once everything was layered, I let is set in the freezer for awhile. It was delicious and decadent!

4  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Absolutely Homemade Lasagna on: October 09, 2010 07:24:42 PM
I got a pasta machine for my birthday, and, let me tell you, fresh pasta is a whole new world compared to the packaged store bought kind. On a side note, we actually eat a lot less pasta now, as we're aiming to only eat it if we've made it, and a lot of the pasta types are a bit more time consuming than dumping a bag of pasta into a pot of water.... not lasagna though! Definitiely the easiest noodle to roll out. So, we made a lasagna feast of epic proportions: homemade lasagna, roasted red peppers and zucchini (from our garden), a greens layer (also from the garden) with roasted corn as well, the obligatory "enough cheese to sink a battleship" - ricotta, parmesan, and mozza, homemade tomato sauce, cilantro and pepita pesto, as well as homemade garlic bread, homemade caesar and shrimp salad, tetra pak wine (sooo fancy) and some tasty treats for desert. It was probably one of the best meals I've ever had, in my life. Enjoy the pictures that are probably as over-the-top as the meal was!

artsy shot of the incredible machine:


assembly shot:


out of the oven:
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Dino (or dragon, depending on when the mood strikes!) hood and tail on: October 09, 2010 07:12:11 PM
I made this hood and tail for my nephew for his 3rd Birthday.  The hood is all scrap fleece, and  the tail is a scrap cotton/denim fabric, with felt scraps for the spikes. I found the pattern for the tail online elsewhere for free, and the hood was modeled on one that meg2101 posted here on craftster.

from the back:

A little side shot:

6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / George the cat on: October 09, 2010 07:03:57 PM
I made George for my niece's 5th birthday present. I have recently gotten into sewing stuffed animals, and am really stoked at how he turned out. I found the pattern online for free.

Here are the pics:


George from the side:

George's bum:

Ginger & George (the birthday girl - don't mind the disturbingly dark eyebrows - she slept in face paint!)

Thanks for looking!
7  COOKING / Dessert / Desperation Cake - Edited with *hopefully* working image.... on: October 09, 2010 06:49:09 PM
My BF and I tend to get ridiculous cake cravings rather late at night..... This cake sprung from one of those nights, and was born out of me trying to make cake with whatever random ingredients I could find already in the house. It's and apricot and orange flavoured basic vanilla cake with some walnuts, baking chocolate, and a peanut butter frosting. It was absolutely delicious!
   This is my first post so here's the link:


** Still DESPERATELY trying to get my photos to work - here goes...**

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