Creatures

April 20, 2009 at 11:34 pm (Crocheting, Shenanigans) (, , , , , , )

A collection of not-so-great photos of my creatures :]

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Percy the Penguin, Mort the Ghost, Melvin the Giraffe, CTHULU, Emily the Nightmare Bunny, Albert the Pig [also with wings.] And Thomas’ Bear.

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Vegan, Vegetarian, or otherwise Healthy food choices.

April 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm (Cooking, Shenanigans)

I’m not a vegan, though I have sincerely considered it, and tried to be. I’m also not a vegetarian (although I usually don’t eat meat, I still will.)
I never, ever eat pork, or veal. I almost never eat beef (the exception really being only when I am with my grandparents.) I rarely eat chicken. I do, however, eat a lot of fish.
I’m also a fierce supporter of PETA.

All of that aside, this is one of the most interesting blogs I’ve ever stumbled across.

The Apartment Vegan

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Vampire Cookies

April 4, 2009 at 7:13 am (Baking, Shenanigans) (, , , , , )

I am not as weird as that title suggests.

Today (Friday, not literally today) was very…hectic. I needed something to cheer me up.
So! I put on a vampire movie marathon (Underworld, Dracula 2000, Twilight, Interview with the Vampire, and Van Helsing) and baked Vampire Cookies.

However, I am trying to diet. So I used a relatively less fattening recipe.
(I got the idea from this site. Same recipe, but a slightly different method.)

You Will Need:

  • ¾ cup substitute butter [or butter, or shortening (for whiter cookies)]
  • ¾ cup Splenda [or 1/2 cup sugar]
  • ¼ cup egg substitute [or 1 large egg]
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
    [Note: I usually use wheat flour as opposed to all-purpose, but if you want the cookies to turn out white, all purpose is needed. The cookies don’t have to be white, though. You could even make them chocolate, if you wanted.]
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ~½ cup of sugar-free red jam [raspberry/strawberry] or Maraschino cherry juice.
  • ~2 tablespoons warm water or ~2 tablespoons Splenda.
  • A rolling pin, round cookie cutter, and flour for the rolling area.

What To Do:

Filling:

Jelly: Mix the jam and warm water, to make a somewhat thin syrup. Keep it out, at room temperature.
Cherry juice: Mix with Splenda to make it thicker, but still runny. Put it in the fridge until ready to use.

Cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter [substitute] and Splenda until light.
  2. Beat in egg [substitute] and extracts.
  3. Add flour and salt to the bowl, and mix them into the butter-Splenda mixture at low speed until dough is just combined.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°
  6. Divide the dough into halves, and put one half back in the fridge.
  7. Roll the dough out until it is about ½ inch thick.
  8. Use cookie cutter to make circles. (Mine were 2 inches.)
  9. Place circles on baking pan(s).
  10. Use your thumb (or a tea spoon if you’d rather not use your thumb) to make a small well into the center of each circle.
  11. Spoon a little of the jelly syrup or cherry syrup into the well.
  12. Place another dough circle on top, and press edges to seal the cookie shut.
  13. Use a toothpick or fork to make two, small holes (the vampire bites) into the top.
  14. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are set.
  15. Cool for about 5 minutes, then redefine the holes. Draw blood trickle if you so desire.

I also made Shirley Temples. Tonight was very red.

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Bags

April 2, 2009 at 8:31 am (Crocheting, Shenanigans) (, , , )

A few months ago, sometime before Christmas, I made myself a (rather gigantic) bag.
It was great! I usually used it to carry my books in, sometimes my groceries.
However, recently, I noticed it had stretched considerably. I realize that this was rather common occurrence with one particular type of yarn: Vanna’s Choice.
Granted, this yarn is very soft, and makes nice scarves and hats. But, it is very expensive (even when on sale!) and you don’t get very much for what you pay. Pros and cons, I suppose. Regardless.

I’m making a new bag. Well, actually, several.

First! My grandmother gave me this odd, sort of suede-like yarn, and I am making a smaller version of the gigantic bag out of that, using the same pattern.

Gigantic Bag
You will need:

  • Any type of yarn. I highly recommend a thicker yarn. I highly recommend it not be Vanna’s Choice.
    (Or Simply Soft, as that stretches like mad, too, but is so delightful for blankets.)
  • Any size? I’m using my usual K-hook, because I don’t like change.
  • Patience to count.

What to do:

  1. Chain 4, slip stich closed to form ring.
  2. Do 8 half double crochets into first stitch of ring. slp st closed.
  3. Do 2 single crochets into each hdc. (16 sts total)
  4. Do 1 sc in first st, 2 sc into next. Repeat. (24 sts total)
  5. Continue in this fashion, adding another sc for each subsequent row.
    (ex: 2sc in ea, 2 sc into next st for the 4th row; 3sc in ea, 2 sc into next st for the 5th; etc.)
    [Note: the whole thing is similar to a hat, with the initial flat circle being larger.]
  6. When you’ve gotten the flat circle to the size you want it, do 1 sc into ea st of the previous row.
  7. Continue with 1 sc into ea st until the bag is half the height you want it. At this point, do a hdc into each st.
    (SCs make for a sturdier base.)
  8. From when you begin the hdc, half way through that begin doing decrease stitches. I did mine in an 8 st decrease. This makes the bag somewhat tear-shaped.
    (I do a rim around the top, but this isn’t necessarily needed.)

For the handle(s) I just make a long strip of hdcs or cross-crochets and sew it on. If I ever figure out how to do something different, I will ammend this. I’ve also seen handles you can crochet on, but those don’t interest me.

The other bag!
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going about this, honestly, but I’ve had a few people ask me if I make those bags from shredded groceries bags, so I’m going to give it a go. I will probably use a similar (if not that exact) pattern.
This website has the best instructions I’ve found thus far.

I suppose it should be noted that one plastic bag does not equal a whole lot of “yarn.” However, most people have a ton of these lying around.
If you want a bag and/or have plastic bags on hand, but don’t want to do all that, let me know! I’ll make it for you.

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Sunflowers

March 17, 2009 at 4:33 am (Crocheting, Shenanigans, Sleep Remedy) (, , , , , )

I FINALLY FINISHED THIS THROW I MADE FOR MY SISTER-IN-LAW!

Okay, technically, I finished it in December,  and it got ruined, and I had to un-sew it and fix it, and…yeah it took me a while.

I will post a pattern when I find the notebook I wrote it down in. It’s lovely!

Sunflower throw coner view

Sunflower throw, corner view

A very poor, cell phone picture of the corner. I took this right before I sewed the whole thing together again.
But even in the poor quality, you can see the loveliness.

It’s 35 sunflower squares (5 by 7, 18 golden, 17 cornflower yellow, in an every-other pattern.) 24 large lace squares (coffee brown.) and 20 small lace squares (two different greens, because I ran out of the one. I forget the name of both, but all yarn was Red Heart.)

Also, making a Leprechaun for my adorable Nephew! Also, planning to make Irish Potatoes.

Also…Zolpidem makes you hallucinate! Wow. Normally, I wouldn’t take it. But I’ve been up since…Saturday afternoon? Whoo! Awful. Losing my mind.

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I doubt this is what Billy Mays had in mind.

March 16, 2009 at 3:19 am (Cooking, Shenanigans) (, , , , , , )

My brother Adam gave me a Pancake Puff maker for my birthday.

“What 20 year old would want something like that?”
The answer: this one.

I made pancakes, of course, just to test it out. And they turned out great! Aside from me squishing the life out of the first few. Usually when I make pancakes, I fill my apartment with smoke. Not this time!
After that, the logical leap would be muffins, or brownies, or something similar. But what fun is that?
So I made makeshift pancake puff-esq pierogis. And they were awesome.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tubes of your choice of crescent roll dough. (I used the generic brand I got at Aldi’s.)
  • 2 cups instant mashed potatoes. (you could probably use real mashed potatoes? I did this on a whim.)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese. (I used Cheddar!)
  • ½ cup diced onion (I used frozen Shop Rite kind.)
  • Butter or oil to coat wells of pan. (I used butter.)
  • Sour cream for dipping.

What to do:

  • Heat pan on low, melting butter.
  • Put onions onto pan, letting them brown
  • Make your mashed potatoes as directed on the box. Stir in cheese.
  • Unroll your crescents, separating them into triangles.
  • Place a heaping tea spoon of mashed potatoes into center of each triangle.
  • Fold corners into center, creating a ball. Make sure the mashed potatoes are fully sealed in.
  • Turn heat up slightly. Place the dough balls into the wells.
  • Using your flip-sticks (aka skewers) cook your pierogis until they are browned.
    [NOTE: You will need to flip more than once, or they will burn.]
  • Allow to cool, then serve with sour cream, and preferably kielbasa and sauerkraut.

[Note: The pan gets very, very hot. Please be careful. Don’t be like me.]

This was much easier than trying to deep fry them and harming myself, or trying to cook them on the foreman grill and squishing them flat. You could also do this sans the onions, but that was always the way my Mom cooked them. Oh man, so many pierogies…feeding 4 large Slavic men. We’d go through dozens. So delicious.

The hex is done! I have begun making non-voodoo dolls. If I ever figure out a good system I will, of course, post it.

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