30 April, 2012

Gluten Free White Birthday Cake

Bakery Girl's Gluten Free White Cake

1 cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs & 1 Yolk
3/4 tsp Hazelnut Extract
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Millet Flour
2/3 Cup Sorghum Flour
1/3 Cup Tapioca or Potato Starch
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp  Salt

Preheat oven to 350'.
Grease & Flour cake pans. I used 2x 8" pans.

Mix all flours, bak. pwd. & salt. Set aside.

Beat butter with electric mixer until light & fluffy.

Add sugar, beat again for several minutes until light & fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating 2 minutes after each egg.

Add extracts.

Fold flour mixture carefully so as to not lose the light softness that you spent several minutes mixing in.

Pour into/ fold into  prepared cake pans and smooth surface as best as you can.

Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out shiny but not sticky - around 18 - 20 minutes. (I needed 22 minutes -- 8" pans?)

Remove from pans after about 10 minutes and let cool.

Because of the double extracts, this smells devine out of the oven. Mmm.
Be sure to beat and beat some more. Goal is to incorporate lots of air into this batter.

When queried, the birthday girl requested chocolate frosting. I made a simple buttercream.
Loose measurements are:

1/3 cup softened butter beaten with mixer.
Add two cups of Powdered sugar and beat so butter sticks to sugar.
Add about 1 capful from the jug of milk (~ tbsp)
Add 1 -2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled a bit.
Add several Tbsps of powdered cocoa.
Add 1 capful of milk again until it starts looking like frosting.
Add up to two cups more of powdered sugar
Maybe another capful of milk

To spreading consistency. Finger licking is necessary.

And then - because I don't stock birthday candles or other decorations anymore, be creative for the decorations.
I had little valentine colored sprinkles that made the chocolate pop. Cute.
You could also utilize some flag toothpicks by glueing a triangle of paper to the tips as a flag.

And here was the best deal: Gluten-free baking (whatever your reasons) is done well by the combination of select & certain flours. Of which you buy the entire bag from Bob's Red Mill and because you infrequently bake (my health problems go beyond gluten), you are stuck with the remainder - all these bags piled into the fruit drawer of your fridge. I asked for and got nicely, the precise amount of flours direct from bakery girl. Beyond helpful to me.

A moist, light cake.

Technically, the extracts are in an alcohol (grain) base. Feel free to substitute but be mindful of the liquid replacement value.
Those specialty bags of flour store longer in the fridge.
Since the butter has salt in it, I added just a sprinkle.
I had minimal problems eating this cake. Two slices over two days.

27 April, 2012

It Became A Really Good Day.


The day of the garage sales. Work too - but we don't count that as part of really good.
This morning after finishing my am shift, I headed over to the next town to do a little garage saling. Along the way, I passed the field with the little lambs out frolicking - but as usual - no camera with me.
At the sale, I found 3 painted dressers that would be perfect for Lavender Hill Cottage , my creative friend's shop. Frantic texting back & forth - neither one of us owns a smart phone yet - produced an offer which was accepted. Before I even saw the dressers, I found a metal bathroom shelf which when queried, was only a dollar. Good vibes. No prices on anything but the prices continued to be fantastic.
My car would only hold two of the dressers so I will have to come back this afternoon to pick up the third dresser prior to going back to work.
What did I buy? A leather valise in great condition - perfect for storing some of my fabric - one of the smaller collections. I also got as a bonus, fabrics in the lower two drawers of one of the dressers which I split with creative friend.
Feeling smug about my good deal, I dropped off the dressers and headed home to bake a gluten-free white cake that bakery girl dreamed up. That's for my daughter's birthday cake.
I had time to check my etsy order page and pack up an order when I noticed an email from Best buy.
GIVING me a $125 coupon towards anything. Which means I am getting the IPAD for my birthday. Apparently part of my laptop deal from last fall.
Skip around the house. giggle.
I starting laying out the ingredients for the cake when I heard the unmistakable rumble of trucks outside. Running out to see  -- this--.

And this.

{{the shack}} wing parts

And this.

more wing parts

I picked up dog poop so no one would step in any but someone still managed to do so while pushing the fuselage back towards the hangar.
Then I ran back into the house to get that cake going so it would have time to cool and get it out of the pans before I needed to leave.

Meanwhile the guys unloaded all this.

Someday, it will turn out to look something like this.

One final pic.
Wait - I want you to know, bakery girl - your gluten-free cake recipe turned out stunning.
Out of the oven and it smells de-lish.
I'll post the recipe another time cause this day ain't over yet.

I get dibs on being PAT.

25 April, 2012

24 April, 2012

Plucky Maidens

Lavender Hill Cottage
oregon city, oregon

This last weekend of April showcases several fun venues to buy plants and vintage re-purposed goods.
My friends from Lavender Hill Cottage in Oregon City will be at the Plucky Maiden's Junk Fest along with 75 - 100 other vendors in Portland.  It's at the Columbia Conference Center on 85th and NE Columbia by the Portland Airport. Lots of fun items to look through Friday & Saturday.

During the week is the Canby High School's Plant Sale where you can score big deals on your garden plants. Often only 50 cents to a dollar per plant, I will stock up on Tomato starts as well as geranium, fuchsia & other flowers. Hanging Baskets available too (think Mother's Day?). The CHS students provide and plant the big baskets around town.

Also this weekend is the RiteAid Distribution Center Plant Sale with proceeds going to Doernbecher's Children Hospital. Fundraiser held on Friday and Saturday with plants donated by 60 area nurseries. Apparently Miss Oregon will be signing autographs on Friday afternoon. Best prices are Saturday afternoon when things start winding down.

Just When I Think My Life Has Too much Drama

A friend shared this video on the facebook:

Sometimes I want the giant red Emergency OFF button.

23 April, 2012

Sewing WIPs

Yes, I hand-sewed this zipper in and I may have pulled the thread too tightly
- see the gathers along the top teeth?
Gah - I'll have to pull those stitches out and sew with better tension.

 WIP: Work in Progress.
I was sewing yesterday and my brain became exhausted.

I am making another Lunch Bag utilizing the tutorial by Pink Penguin and of course, I have to modify it - just a teeny bit.
This is the lining. I have an inset zipper, and one regular pocket. When we finish boxing the corners, the lining will also have a center divider. My brain was too tired to think that one through.

The gathers might respond to some serious steaming.
I will try this first before I rip out stitches.
 Well - more or less - I got stuck. Does the center divider need a zipper, a slim double pocket or just keep it simple. haha. As if I could.
No instructions, just me and my engineering brain figuring it out as we go.
 This is the hidden pocket. I doubled a piece of fabric with the fold on each part where it needed to be sewn to the zipper. I left the excess for stability when pulling on the zipper.
This part is hidden between the lining and the outer fabric.

Sunlight casting shadows on my open pocket. The top raw edge is bound with a pretty contrasting fabric.
It helps to keep this pocket from being invisible on the dark lining, aka, the black hole.

My first time making a diagram in Paint.
I'll try and tackle the divider pocket on Tuesday and post again on the progress.

22 April, 2012

First Flight 2012

I never thought to take a photo of the mailboxes before. It turned out kinda funky. The hill behind (across the main road) appears to be the roof to this mailbox row. Not sure what the farmer is growing. He tends to plant something in the winter for the Canadian Geese. It has been so wet here in the Willamette Valley that no planting has occurred and it is almost the end of April. Too mucky in the fields. If you turn the soil too early - it will turn into baked clay later on. Lots of rainfall this Spring.
{We have around 36 homeowners on our private airstrip. Taxi-way, aka, Skylane Dr. is an half-mile long - hence, the long row of mailboxes out by the main road. My mailbox is behind the front spar of the airplane (hidden - at right)}

After all the rain and cold, the foliage has unfurled  this last week. St. Paul, Minnesota has been about 20' warmer this winter and I believe, we - here in the Willamette Valley, Oregon might have gotten more snow than they got. Our Spring has been around freezing since January with grey, dreary days. The nights too - as no one could see the stars or moon because of the grey dreary cloud cover.

Through my pergola you can see the shack next door. I am still working on my living fence. Last year, much too late, I hit upon the bright idea of planting a l-o-n-g patch of sunflowers between us and them so we can sit outside and not have to see dry rot, crap siding, - basically not the best view.

Several trees still need to go in this bordering bed. View is much better at this angle- towards the runway.


 After napping for six months in the hangar, it's a relief to have the airplane engine rumble and catch.
The smoke coming out is the residual oil that collects at the bottom of the cylinders when at rest.
Our plane does not have a canopy - it's an open cockpit - so it's a mite cold up at altitude until late April. We can fly until early October when it starts getting cold again.
Just right yesterday.

I was trying to take photos of small towns around us as we flew over and less than 24 hrs later, I'm not sure if this is Aurora. Can't see any identifying markers.
I think this is Aurora. . .

 I think this is Hubbard. Squinting doesn't help. I got them out of order from the camera and now. . .
I'll have to do this again (and concentrate!)

Well, for certain, this is the North Marion Schools. The high school in front with athletic fields to the left. Then the middle school and the grade school with another grade school/administration bldg on  the opposite side of the road.
My creative friend's house backs onto the soccer fields at top right.
At least, I got one out of three right!

This morning, guess who was attempting to get a bird's eye view?
With an eye on the sky?

Flying high?

Today, we will hit 80' - not quite ready for actual HOT but the sun is shining. I planted my garden peas today. The bit by the fence (pole peas) turned over pretty easy but I could tell when I used my finger to push the seeds into the dirt that it was a tad mucky.
The other side of the garden where I was going to plant my sweet peas was too mucky. I turned it over roughly and hope today's sun will dry it out somewhat. Tomorrow, I can turn it over again and maybe plant the sweet peas.
Usually, I can plant my peas in February or March but it was too darn cold and really wet this Spring.

Now, I am going to hide out in the cool house and sew.

18 April, 2012

Säter Stearman

When we go on vacation, we tend to find other people who own airplanes. This one was just northwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Gorgeous Strearman.

17 April, 2012

Lunch Sewing

I had today off to sew. There's an overwhelming leaning aspect to the sewing room that keeps me out sometimes. I desperately need a little elf to sort and straighten.
After my doctor's appointment, I did go in and came up with fabrics to sew Ayumi's Lunchbag fairly quickly. Ayumi (aka Pink Penguin) has written other tutorials and she is fantastic at piecing together fabrics if she doesn't have enough. And the fabrics she has are beyond cute in the way she mixes them.

This bag reminds me of the chalk bag I sewed for my son. It also incorporates a drawstring closure to keep the contents in/safe/dry. You should also read the comments for this tutorial post. Several sewists dropped by with their links to the bags they made.

Made December 2010

This is a small bag that can be used in many ways. I plan to sew a couple more as part of my trip gifts (summer trip to Sweden & Finland). Along the way, I will change up some details.

1. The bag bottom was two pieces of fabric sewn together. It can be one piece, embellishments can be sewn prior to construction. The seam on the bottom does make it easier to make a precise box corner.

2. I did sew a touch bigger seam on the lining and this worked perfectly. Sometimes when linings are made the same size as the outer bag, you get a lot of waddage hanging around inside instead of a slim fit within the other.
3. You see the pocket I added? Hidden.  I might add a zip pocket or at least a pocket with a flap. All of my bags have tipped over (overloading - moi?) at one time or another so a flap for the hidden pocket would be good.

4. Some exposed seams on the cover which I would turn under one more time so no fraying threads keep sheering off, bugging me, making me twitchy.

5. The linen I used could be stamped on with a word or two. . . .

I love how easy this was to make. It turned out fabulous with ideas on how to take it to the next level percolating.

13 April, 2012

Garage Sale Airplanes

Show & Tell. My deals of the day.

Airplanes at each garage sale stop today ranging from the weird: Softie toy disguised as a 707 jet (?) -- to this cool biplane shelf.

My best score? This set of old stationary.
Little factoids on the left side reaching across the top.
"Little Men Notepaper" - doncha love it?

Gold embroidered fabric to put in the Etsy store.

Sewing Hams. Everytime I find these and list in the etsy shop, they are gone within a week. Interesting that most of them were made here in Portland, Oregon. For my non-sewing friends, these are necessary for sewing garments in order to steam or press them well with the iron. They are filled with sawdust and hard as a rock almost. The ham on the left - shaped like a canned ham- is for steaming flat a curved seam. The long roll is for tighter spots - the cuff on a shirt, for instance.

Also destined for the etsy shop, a box of four cams for use in a buttonholer attachment for older sewing machines - New Home, in this case.

Upper left a floss caddy, up front a Ziploc with more floss and an embroidery project.
On the right is a Japanese Enrico Cover ??? Idk, It's Japanese. There is a fan and a square piece of material. I have a small medium stash of Japanese textiles.

Guinness Glasses 3 for a buck. I have found my green juice tastes better  in these big glasses. The Guinness glass somehow makes it taste better than drinking your veggies.
Random packets of legos and more random sewing supplies.

 A nearly completed Bucilla embroidery psalm. Another etsy shop item.

 Next door to one sale was this yard full of wheeled kids toys, plus the fabulous weeping cherry tree fort!    Just starting to bloom - in just a few weeks, kids will be hidden.

 Same yard  with a row of llama topiary. Lots of kids plus llamas to ride equals . . .
Look -- the last one has a red bow on his neck from Christmas.

This was my steal from two weeks ago. Our last sale of the day - a well hidden sewing mecca. A 'nearly new' cutting mat for ten bucks. I think these retail for over $40. Saved me a bunch of money as my old one was getting a little thin in places. We found so many quilt rulers, sewing books, and fabric,  we were reaching into the bottom of our purses to cough  up spare change. My creative friend tossed her truck for more loose change and I came up with my lucky gold dollar coin in the pocket of my purse. The sweet old lady watched our cash frenzy  and finally called a halt so she could say, "That's enough." She was going to move out of her too large home into a smaller assisted home and had decided to let go of her quilting stash. She was fun to talk to as we lingered telling our own sewing stories.