Friday, January 27, 2012

Sharing Some Love For the Crafty People

What I was inspired by today: "Red gown with beading" by Chibirinoa on Craftster.

"I just completed a new gown for the Red Dress Fashion show at my college to benefit World Aids Day...The bulk of the work went into the big beaded motif in the center panel, it's made up of lots of bugle and seed beads in a couple of different colors. I had a really fun time with it since it was the first time I used different colors in a beaded motif. The rest of the gown was pretty straight forward except I needed so much of the chiffon that I had to buy out three JoAnn'ss worth of their stock and one ended up a slightly different dye lot!"

It's such a beautiful dress! I would love to have one just like it!

Another Night of Cooking

I love meatloaf. It's easy to make and there's enough variations to it that's hard to get bored with it. I usually stick with a meatloaf recipe I came across several years ago, back when I was in college and writing a "Kitchen Korner" column for a monthly agency on aging newsletter. :) But a couple weeks ago, I got my usual mailing from Kroger, with coupons and recipes, and I saw this meatloaf version and knew it was time to try something new.

Mini Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaves
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

--Kroger Canola Oil Cooking Spray
--1 egg, beaten
--3/4 cup milk
--Kroger Quick 1 Minute 100% Whole Grain Oats, uncooked (I actually used Saltine cracker crumbs here)
--1 tsp salt (left this out but added some garlic powder instead)
--1 lb lean Kroger ground beef, or ground turkey
--12 cubes Kroger Mild Cheddar Cheese Cubes
--2/3 cup Kroger Tomato Ketchup
--1/4 cup Kroger Light Brown Sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the beaten egg, milk, uncooked oats, and salt. Add the ground beef, mixing well. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Insert one cheese cube into center of meat and roll in hands to form the meat around the cheese into a ball. Place into muffin tin and continue with remaining meat and cheese.

In a separate small bowl, combine the ketchup and brown sugar. Stir thoroughly and spread over each mini meatloaf. Bake uncovered on center oven rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate any leftovers.

I had just gotten a set of silicone cupcake liners from my mom about a week before so it was time to try them out. I was a little skeptical because I hadn't had much success with those silicone baking things whenever I'd try them out. But the Wilton ones that Mom sent were great! The meatloaves baked perfectly and came out of the liners without any problems at all.

We actually had a friend over for supper that night, another meatloaf fan, so I made more than what the recipe called for, so we would have leftover for ourselves and for Bob, if wanted some. I made more meatloaves than I had liners for, so I popped some out onto some cookie cooling racks so I could use the liners again, which worked ou

I Need To Stop Watching Man v. Food

Seriously, Adam Richman and his show are going to turn me into a fat ass without even trying! I was flipping channel the other day and realized when I stopped at Man v. Food on the Travel Channel, it was a new episode and he was in Hawaii in a restaurant called the Loco Moco.

The restaurant's owner is a family member, a grandson, I believe, of the woman that opened the restaurant originally. Their signature dish, that Adam was getting ready to try, was called the Loco Moco, just like the restaurant's name.

The story behind the dish is pretty much the same no matter where you look it up online, but here's Wikipedia's version (so take it for what it's worth): "James Kelly, a University of Hawaii-Hilo professor, wrote that the dish was created in 1949 by the Inouye family, who owned the Lincoln Grill in Hilo, Hawaii. A group of boys from the Lincoln Wreckers sports club contributed to the creation of the name 'loco moco'. The actual dish had likely been served in various forms in many restaurants, but the name loco moco was created at the Lincoln Grill. The boys did not have a lot of spending money, so they asked Nancy Inouye to put some rice in a saimin bowl, a hamburger patty atop the rice and brown gravy over both. She charged twenty-five cents for this, much less than a hamburger steak entree. The egg was added later. One of the boys, George Okimoto, was nicknamed "Crazy" because of the wild way he played football. Several of the Wreckers were enrolled in a Spanish class at the local high school and knew that "crazy" in Spanish language is loco, so the boys named the dish loco moco. Moco had no special meaning except it rhymed with loco. In fact, moco in Spanish means mucus, or more commonly, "snot", which may actually have been a reference to the fried egg, when served "runny". It is possible that the boys intended to call the dish "crazy snot"."

So Adam is helping the chef make this monstrosity up to try.

My God, it sounded wonderful! I knew I just had to try it for supper one night. And my husband, being my willing culinary guinea pig as he always is, was up for it.

  • 16 ounces ground beef and 2 eggs, turned into 4-5 hamburger patties (I can't form decent patties without the egg added in)
  • Minced onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice (Don't do Minute rice here. Go get a bag of good white rice from the international food aisle at your local grocery store.)
  • 4-5 eggs, cooked, fried (keep them slightly runny)
  • Brown beef gravy

Season the patties with the minced onion, garlic powder, pepper, and some soy sauce. (Shane asked me to season two of the patties with taco seasoning instead, so to those I didn't add the soy sauce.) Grill or broil patties to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Divide rice between 4 plates and top each with a patty, gravy, 1 or 2 eggs, and more gravy.

Oh Lord, it was sooooooooooo good! It sounds like an odd combination of stuff but it was GOOD! The gravy and the runny egg yolk mix together really tastily (is that even a word?), and brown gravy on white rice is also really good (which is something I hadn't tried before). I made a large batch of this so we had it for supper the next night as well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Made a Blanket to Use as a Curtain

Not actually my crafting room.
My crafting room is upstairs in our house, which is actually the finished off room in our attic. I love it. It has floor and ceiling paneling, great storage, and the walls and ceiling follow the peak of our house's roof (kind of like this, but not as high).

That being said, the stairs going up to the room are narrow and steep. I've tripped going up and down them so many times. It's not even a big enough doorway for a door. I used to have two plaid paneled curtains in the door frame, because when I'm wrapping gifts up there, I like a little privacy from any wandering eyes.

Last summer, I started to crochet this blanket from Maria Merlino, which was a pattern I found on Crafster. When I did a little cleaning last summer, I decided to move those curtains to the dining room and get something new to hang over the open doorway. I originally thought I could make this to be a curtain for the window upstairs in my room, but I misjudged the finished size, so that's why it's my doorway curtain instead.

I started working on it in June 2011 and worked on it here and there, whenever I had some time and wasn't working on something else for someone else. I just finished the actual blanket last night. Tonight, I'm going to add some extra (removeable) loops to the top edge to I can slide a tension rod through it and use it as my new curtain.

It's almost 6 feet long and about 4 feet wide, and I actually left out some rows towards the top, making the chopsticks a little shorter (and a little wonky looking, in my opinion), because I really was starting to think that if I didn't cut this shorter, I  also think I made my blanket different than what Maria designed, but I'm not sure. I think her white sections are supposed to have SC chains in them to make it more of an open pattern. Mine is all DC's.

I used a J sized crochet hook. It's made with Caron white and scarlet (100% acrylic), but I've forgotten how much I used. I started out with the one pound skeins of each color but I think I had to buy one more of each but hardly used any of the extra skeins. It's just been so long. The edging is 1 1/2 skeins of Moda Dea yarn in Jai Alai (#6532), a  100% polyester yarn that I believe has been discontinued. I know it totally doesn't match in color to the blanket, but I love this stuff so much.

My husband has been a little crazy over it. As a Hawkeyes fan, he would have preferred a different color scheme. In his opinion, I should have finished this and give it to his friend Crystal, who is a Nebraska fan, and then make one for our house in yellow and white instead. I said no way, I've spent too much time working on this one to give away! :) Then I told him to be nice or I'd crochet us a Patriots blanket for our bed. :)