Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nylon Flowers

Several months ago I was net surfing and found this beautiful flower instruction click here I've wanted to order the starter kit but with all the craft I've been involved with I put it out of my mind telling myself I didn't need to start anything else!  well, several months later I found myself ordering the kit and it arrived!! I got the tulip starter kit, comes with these rings to size the wire. 3 kinds of nylon, 2 kinds of wires for leaves and petals, stem wire, stamens, and magic nylon thread.  All you need is your own small pliers and scissors.

 Wrap the wire around the sizing ring, twist with a pliers, cut, then, re-shape the wire.

cover it up with nylon, wrap it with magic nylon thread.  why do I call it magic? because you don't tie it.. it stays put like magic!

Now put the stamen together just following the instruction

 Put it all together then tape it with yellow tape, then bend it back up and shape it to make it look like a real tulip!
*instruction said to use a straw over the stem wire and then tape with light green floral tape but I didn't have a straw so these sets ended up with skinny stems.

make the leaf like you did the petals following the direction for size and attach it to the tulip.  I'm having difficulty putting the nylon on the leaf wire but I'm sure more I do easier it will get!  Can't wait to try more!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday and 200 viewer! (Dobash Cake)

Happy Friday! last night I got my 200th viewer! as I write this I have 220 views!  Woot!! Woot!!  I started posting on Jan 26, 2011 and less then a month I have 220 viewer!  I know its not 220 different people.. surely my friends can account for at least 100 of it but I am very happy and also very thrilled to see people from other countries, well not surprise about Japan since that's my very good friend who visit me here often! but like Greece, Poland, Iceland, Puerto Rico, UK, Germany, etc so great to have you all here! well enough of the chit chat! on with the sweets!

I started thinking about my favorite sweets that screams celebration,  I though and thought and remembered about when I lived in Hawaii and one of my favorite cake was Dobash cake,  I am not a big cake person but this cake I do adore because its just sooooo good  unlike American mixed box cakes its more light and fluffy it is very rich! So today I will share Dobash Cake recipe.  If you live in Hawaii I suppose there is no need to make your own because you can just run down to your favorite  bakery like Lenard's, Napoleon's, Dee-lite bakeries to name a few! they all have great Dobash cake but those of us who has no choice but to bake our own here it is..  What? you don't know what Dobash cake is? its a chocolate chiffon cake with Chocolate filling and frosting which is more like  custard/pudding consistency instead of the traditional chocolate cream or butter cream frosting its plate full of chocolate goodness! Sooooo much better then the butter cream or the tub stuff yeek...   some time later I will share my other recipes of the cakes I LOVE (Chantilly and Guava chiffon).  Hope you give it a try its not that complicated!

***I think baking cake is like a science project and you want to be as exact as possible to get a good result so I use a food scale and weight the dry ingredients and use a good measuring cup for liquid.  always scrape the top of spoons with a flat edged items like flat part of your butter knife to get a accurate measurement of the dry ingredients. I wrote down apx in cups if you don't own a food scale.  You should get fairly good result but its not guaranteed. ***

3 eggs separated,
1/2 tbsp water
3/8 tsp cream of tarter
300 gm sugar (apx 1-1/2cups)
180 gm cake flour (apx 1-1/2cups)
3/4tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
30gm cocoa powder (apx1/3 cups)
1/3 cup canola oil (any vegetable oil is ok)
1 cup milk

tip: when you separate the eggs, separate one at a time making sure you don't get any yolk mixed in with the white.. no oil or any fat in the white or it will not get stiff!!

Oil and flour 2- 8" pans  I use cake release by Wilton just because it has not failed me yet!

in a large bowl add the egg white, water, and cream of tarter, if you have a electric stand mixer whip away and add 1/2cup of sugar when its starts frothing, whip until stiff peaks.

In a separate bowl, sift, cake flower, 1 cup sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well.  make a well in the center add oil and 1/2 cup of the milk.  beat until smooth.  add rest of the milk and yolk one at a time beat until sooth.

add a little of the stiff white eggs into the chocolate batter, mix then add the choco mix to the whites folding in gently.  I use the balloon whisk but you can use what ever you feel comfortable with.

see how much bigger a balloon whisk is to a traditional whisk?

this video shows how I "fold"

once folded pour into  2 prepared 8inch pans, bake 350F for 30-35mins.  cool cake!

while the cake is cooling we'll make the frosting.

1-1/2cup water
200gm sugar (apx 1cup)
1/4tsp salt
60gm unsalted butter (apx 1/4 cup)

45gm cocoa powder (apx 1/2 cup)
45 gm corn starch (apx 1/3cup)
1/2 cup water

in a saucepan combine 1-1/2 cup water, sugar, salt and butter on stove to bring to a boil, while the liquid is heating up, combine and sift cocoa and corn starch.  Then add 1/2 cup water and mix to make a paste.  Once the water/butter mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat off and add a little liquid to the chocolate paste, mix, add a little more liquid, mix, repeat this  until the mixture is combined and lump free. return the chocolate liquid to saucepan on med heat and mix with a whisk until it come to a boil. Turn off heat, transfer to a different container to cool.  if you find lumps you can pour it into a sieve while its hot or use a stick blender with the immersion blade to get the lumps out. cover with plastic wrap and wait for it to cool. (plastic wrap is put directly on the frosting to keep a skin from forming just like custards) mix well before frosting the cake with it.

once the cake is cool, slice each layer into 2,so you'll have 4 layers of soft fluffy moist cake.

 mix the cooled frosting... see how creamy it is?   frost each layer

 frost the sides and the top, Chill for several hours before cutting for best result!

so rich and good!
Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Swing Your Partner

No I'm not going square dancing! I want to share this cute cute cute basket I just finished the other day called "Swing Your Partner" and I can't wait until spring when my local farmer's market starts and I'm going to take this basket to get me some goodies! I got the free pattern from Basket maker's catalog you can get everything you need from there.  I did do the spirals after the basket was finished, though the instruction said to do it while you are weaving it.  It was just not working out for me so I finished my basket and then did the spirals.  this basket uses smoked reed instead of dyed.. it was my very first project with smoked reed.. love the color but not a big fan of smoked round reeds.  The no 2 smoked reeds are very brittle and it breaks easily so you may want to spray them before getting them out of the coil then soak them well before making the spirals.  Also the basket handle are special handles and I've only found them at 2 net shops.  Most shops do not carry them so do order the right handles.  I suppose you can change the handles but I do love the look of the basket with this handle! 

Psssst  My husband had to take his car into the shop tomorrow because his heater died so he took the day off tomorrow.  He'll be taking the boy to the school field trip and I will be home alone with my apron and my oven!  I will be making something super yummy and posting sweets for Friday to celebrate my 200 viewer! last time I checked I had 198 viewer, so surely by tomorrow I will hit 200!! though I only have 2 followers there have been lots of viewers from around the world! I appreciate every one of you who take the time to stop by and visit! Thank you everyone! please come back often and if you feel like it follow me on Google friend connect!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's for dinner?

Tonight I wanted to make something healthy, lower in fat and carbs but tasty that all my family would love.  so I made lettuce wrap/stir fry why is there a slash and a stir fry? Because my very Hoosier husband do not want to eat things wrapped up in lettuce.  so he ate the "stir fry" and we had tasty lettuce wrap.

Before I tell you how I made this yummy concoction let me show you one of my favorite kitchen tool.  I purchased this kitchen aid tool at Marshall's which is like Ross, T.J. Maxx, Home Goods store. I didn't read the packaging, I saw the shape thinking its veggie peeler (I can't stand the ones you peel side ways) and I came home with it, and tried to peel a carrot and I realized I had a shredder!! no matter how I came to own this tool I love it and its one of my favorite tool!
                                                                                                     2 small carrots                                 1 small bunch green onion                  1 med onion sliced

                                                        1/2pound bean sprouts washed and drained.  little ginger             and        couple of cloves of garlic

 mice it up                                                           1 pound chicken breast sliced

in a frying pan add a  little olive oil, fry up the chicken.

once the chicken is white, add the onion, cook it until the onion is translucent and very limp. 
Add minced garlic and ginger.

Add carrots, 
 add sprouts and green onion don't over cook you want a little crunch.

then add 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce, 2 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce, 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir it up sprinkle with sesame seed.
I found this lovely lettuce at Kroger last night.  
Wash it and dry it

 its so tender and fresh!

make peanut Sauce:  Its kind of a guessing game here because my taste buds could be different from yours and depending on your peanut butter you need to change the amount of sugar, soy and vinegar.  I purchased Simply Jif and it apparently is lower in sugar and taste blah.  I used about 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp sugar. mixed it until its like cake batter consistency. taste it see if you like it, it you want more sour, add vinegar, sweet add sugar, salt add soy sauce to your taste!
put the stuffing on the lettuce, put a little peanut sauce wrap it up and eat it up! Yum!

For variation,  you can try it with water chestnuts, bamboo, Shitake or some kind of Asian mushroom, peanuts, cashews, what ever floats your boat!