Posts Tagged 'disappointing'

Pinkish Pasta

My friend Paige and I got together last week at her house to make fresh beet pasta (recipe from Martha Stewart).

The beet puree was gorgeous, though if I did it again I would use the juicer to make pulp that is finer and drier.

The dough was pretty. The baby was TRYING to be helpful. We wore old clothes so we wouldn’t get stained.

But in the end the dough was too soft, stretchy, and sticky and we used a bunch of flour to keep them from reforming into a mass.

I thought the noodles looked like hookworms.

Neither of us took pictures of them cooked up. I thought they were UGLY when cooked, having changed from Sunset Violet to something like this reddish pinkish brownish bag . A whole lot of work for something vaguely unappealing.

Homemade Pop Tarts

I made these at the beginning of May, and forgot to post the pictures! I’m sure I didn’t post them because I made a ridiculous mistake in the baking, but I thought that you deserve to see:

I forgot to eggwash the tart tops until halfway through baking so I thought, “oh, I’ll just put it on now”, not realizing that the hot tarts would instantly scramble the eggs. *unappetizing*

Other than their unattractive appearance, these poptarts were fantastic! SOO much better than the storebought stuff. And easy too! For this first try, I just used strawberry jam, so that I would be able to truly compare to the commercial version. But then I couldn’t help it and I used some whole wheat flour for deeper flavor.

Now I want to make poptarts with all different kinds of stuffings, especially a savory version with pesto.

This awesome recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, a really beautiful foodie blog, whose recipes are also delicious.

Boysenberry Beret

viney beret

I made this for myself because I tried on the shop sample at Black Sheep Wool Company and it was adorable and I can’t resist Baby Cashmerino yarn, and the sample fit beautifully. Unfortunately, mine turned out too big. It was easy to make, with an easily memorized vine and leaf pattern. It made me want to venture out and try more lace and more cables!

Perhaps some larger-headed friend will get this for xmas, because it’s done now and I can’t bear the thought of stitching elastic into the band.

Homeliest Baby Hat Ever

mochi 555

(I borrowed this photo from the Crystal Palace Website, where you can see all the lovely colorways of Mochi Plus self-striping yarn)

I bought this gorgeous yarn at Black Sheep Wool Co. months ago. I knitted my favorite baby hat design.

0 hideous hat (Small)

It is so hideous that I couldn’t give it to the intended new mommy. I should have used one of their other colors!

I was reminded of this experience when Jane Brocket published this too-true¬† post about the beauty of handpainted yarn…before it gets knitted up!

Please don’t go saying that this hat is beautiful. SOMEHOW, it is just marvelously photogenic, but I know you’d agree that in real life, it’s atrocious.

Tales of a Bad (Overconfident) Daughter

felt hollow (Small)

A tale of woe. A tale of overconfidence. A tale of yet again saying “how hard can it be?” only to find out that I should have read up on it a little more.

So. I saw this beautiful tutorial over at Kleas. Felted beads…so easy that the preschoolers were able to do them. I thought, this is great, these are gorgeous, I will make these for my mom, who always wears interesting necklaces to coordinate with her outfits.

Such is my confidence in my fiber-wrangling abilities, that I waited until Mother’s Day morning before starting this project. My friend Kristin came over to help (I also consider her a specialist in wool control). She made the puffs.

felt tufts (Small)

I wetted and rolled a puff with a tad of soap. Ok, maybe too much soap. I labored alone in the kitchen, whining and wheedling that this was taking longer than I thought it would, and that the snakes weren’t felting properly. And that jeez, this is not working! Kristin felt certain that I was doing it wrong, so she came to the rescue:

felt process (Small)

She had no more luck than I did. Our snakes never did get firm enough; one felt hollow in the middle and the other had a permanent slit up the side.

felt snakes (Small)

When we cut the beads up, they were not as pretty as I had hoped. Worse, they started falling apart almost immediately. I am not as talented as the preschoolers at that other blog!!

felt beads (Small)

I ended up giving my mom a baggie full of vaguely bead-looking fuzz stuff. Happy Mother’s Day from your not-so-talented daughter.

Zach kept teasing me that I should have glued them and some gold-painted macaroni to a piece of construction paper and told her the Boogedy made it for her.

My mother, bless her heart, oohed and aahed and tried to think of ways to salvage them and still use them.

A good mom praises a good effort.

Spring Heartbreak


This will be our third summer in this house. Every year we’ve planted new baby fruit trees, and lovingly nurtured them all through the scorching heat with daily watering and care. This last summer the neighbor’s rabbit escaped her measley, miserable confines and ran away to our backyard paradise. The neighbor eventually gave up on fetching her home, because she is really hard to catch. That was ok with me, and we fed her leftovers and greens from our kitchen. Zach even put up barriers to keep her from eating the baby trees. However, once the snow got deep enough, she just walked up to the trees and was able to nibble the bark off of anything she wanted. And she did.


15 fruit trees will be dead this year. Heirloom apricots, almonds, peaches, dwarves and standards, all gone. Only the cherry and apple remain untouched.

Zach caught the rabbit and tossed her over the fence, but has vowed that we will be eating rabbit stew if she dares to return.


Update: We caught the rabbit. And my big words about rabbit stew were useless against her cute bunnyness. Instead, I gave her to my brother-in-law, who said she could live in his yard, where all the trees are adults. Plus, he lives 10 miles away.

Lemon Heart Tart


Here’s a photo of the lemon tart I made using this great-sounding recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I’m sure the recipe is wonderful…but since I used a mixture of powdered sugar and honey on hand (no regular sugar), I’m equally certain that whatever went wrong was my fault. Plus, I don’t like it when people complain about recipes when they made all sorts of modifications.

I used meyer lemons. Turns out I am of the camp that should have used a regular lemon, I would have preferred more tartness.

The crust I did exactly as instructed and it was ok, a bit stiff, so I think if I do this crust again, I will press it in, rather than roll it out.


It was pretty though! I’ll say that. And actually, improved with age. Two days later the leftovers are Yummy.

Stirrings-Lavender blossoms

No. 2 in my collaboration with Jen at Painted Fish Studio.

I was walking home on Wednesday and was thrilled to see a small patch of lavender flowers blooming in the shade of some green grass amidst a lawn of dead-looking groundcover.


I got in close to take a macro shot and realized they were actually melted nerds or something. Woe!


I’ll be looking back at this lawn in the next few months, because I could swear this plant produces little lavender flowers!

Ginger-Pumpkin Spice Chiffon Pie

This really should be better than it is. It was a three-day process to make these pies.

Monday, I baked two sugar pie pumpkins that I got at the farmer’s market.

Tuesday, I scraped them out and pureed the flesh with a hand-blender. I also made the pie crust…by Sort Of following this Cooks Illustrated recipe for vodka pie crust (meaning I altered so much that it was absurd to think it would work). I’ve tasted this crust before; my sister-in-law Natalie made a peach pie last year that was the best I’ve ever had.

I tried to make a 1.5 recipe (not a straight double), and my math may have been off. I substituted half of the flour with homeground whole wheat that I made that day using the kitchenaid attachment. I used coconut oil (solid at cool room temp). I failed to chill it. The dough was sticky wet and I ended up adding lots more white flour. Wet and pasty before I ever added the vodka.

Wednesday, I added the vodka/water to the chilled crumbles. I rolled out a sample and baked it up with cinnamon sugar and it was yummy. Nice and crisp. So I formed my crusts (the dough didn’t hold together great and I had a few tears) and put them in the freezer.

Then I stirred up the pie filling Kind Of following this “old-fashioned” recipe (we’re trying to cut out canned stuff, so I was avoiding evap. milk). I substituted the sugar for honey and molasses, mixed. I cut some of the milk to account for this extra moisture. I used too much molasses. I used eggs from our chickens, and milk from a local dairy. I baked them forever in order for that light custard to gel.

This pie should be GREAT. It was more like a fluffy-light, OVERLY spiced gingerbread souffle in a crust. But Pretty. It IS pretty. and tasty enough when served with a whole pile of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Here you can see it’s homely stepsister in the background.

Chompers and Watchers

Cool: This craft project is hilarious! Thanks so much to BitterBetty for her creativity, a great blog, and for this excellent tutorial. Here are pics of the assembly line:

And photos of more creepy plants. The orchids “watch” the front door. The chomper guards the water fountain.

Dissapointing: I invited 5 people to my little craft party on Sunday, and everybody but my mom cancelled. Tis the season, I know. Fall means everybody gets sick. The way I usually structure these get-togethers is to have everyone pay a small (like $5) materials fee to offset the costs. So after my mom gave me $7 (she’s a good tipper), it meant I spent 23 bucks on styrofoam, paint, pipe cleaners, my first glue gun, silly vampire teeth, etc. About $18 More than I would have with my tight budget, if I’d known it was just going to be us.

I spent tons of time shopping for this project, and hours ahead of time pre-painting everything. Zim’s is going out of business, so I saved $$). I was really looking forward to social time with my friends around the hot glue gun, and potluck snackies. I don’t like sounding whiny, but making 36 chompers practically by myself was exhausting. Mom and I only finished two “watchers”.

Oh well. More chompers for me. Anybody have any pointers on making craft parties successful?