Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oatmeal Cream Cookies.

I saw a recipe for homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies, and I had to try it. Not so much for my love of the manufactured versions (though I was a fan of those in my elementary days), but more for nostalgia and the joy in making something that is so good in its processed form into something even better homemade.

Cookies:

1-¼ cup Flour
1-½ cup Old Fashioned Oats
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Cinnamon
1 stick Butter, Softened (microwaved for 15 seconds)
¾ cups Packed Brown Sugar
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract



Cream:


4 cups Powdered Sugar1 stick Butter, Softened
1/4 cup Crisco

½ (heaping) teaspoons Cinnamon (so more like 3/4 in my recipe then)
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Milk


Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and mix until smooth, then add the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Bake 1 Tablespoon-sized (or a bit smaller; mine were a bit large) balls of dough on a lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. On my parent's electric oven, 9 minutes was perfect. Let cool while preparing the filling.

For the icing, cream together the powdered sugar, crisco and butter. Mine was a bit lumpy, so I added the cinnamon, vanilla extract and milk and whipped on medium-high for a few minutes. I was using a hand-mixer, and didn't feel like holding it until it was super light.


And then I was faced with a dilemma. The cookies turned out like this, with a dome to their heads:


Also, the recipe only yielded about 30 cookies for me, and 15 sandwiches just wasn't going to be enough, especially with my dad and sisters lurked around and snatching behind my back. 


For a sandwich, I would have liked flat cookies. So instead of making a sandwich that would not have sat anywhere, I turned this into iced cookies:
And I have to say, they're pretty delicious. Dad couldn't stop eating them. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Monday, June 13, 2011

3D Picture.

I was at a loss as to what to do for my dad for Father's Day. I feel he always gets the shaft. Father's Day is in the summer, so it's past the point where us children know the days of the week, and it's in June, always sneaking up on us. This year, my two sisters and I are taking my Dad skydiving on the Saturday before as his 50th birthday present. (Note: I'm staring to feel like peeing my pants. All the time). I wanted to do something else as well, just because. The skydiving is serious, the ice cream we'll probably get him on Sunday is sweet, so this needed to be wonky. Behold, the 3D picture:



I chose to combine three pictures into one. The alternative approach is to use one picture and to make a few layers out of it. I didn't have a picture that had good background with different aspects to layer and a good shot of my parents and sisters (and, more important, Tasha). I made two copies of my parents next to a tree (both 5x7), one of my sisters (5x7), and one of our littlest sister, Tasha (4x6).

Next I cut around one of the shapes of my parents, the shape of my sisters, and the shape of Tasha using my cross stitch and fabric scissors and an exact-o knife, depending on the area and the sharpness of the scissors. Be sure to leave the overall background in tact (the extra 5x7 of my parents in this case).

I used a bit of foam 3M mounting tape to add the shapes (you mean the tape that is strong enough to rip down a hunk of drywall from my dorm? Yup, that one). I lined the cut out of my parents on top of the picture that was to be the background.



 I repeated the process, mounting the back of my sisters and Tasha with a bit of the foam 3M mounting tape.


 I repeated the process for my sisters and Tasha. Can you see the 3-D effect?

Huzzah! A 3D picture with the family for Father's Day. I kept the glass in the picture frame, not sure if it takes away from the picture or not. I considered using a shadow box, but couldn't find one under at 10x10 inch size at Target, and, well, this was too last minute to keep looking. I may decide to take out the glass later, but for now, I think it works.

Now I need to work on a portrait that will include all of our animals.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

T-shirt Blanket: Can't Stop, Won't Stop.

T-shirt blanket: Pittsburgh edition.

While making Veronica's beast of a blanket (I mentioned that thing was over 7 feet tall, right?!), Zach mused that it would be cool to make a blanket out of his Pittsburgh shirts one day. As Zach has no real ability in sewing, his musings were really just a dropping of hints. So I gave in, because taking on projects is what I like to do.

Making a boy's t-shirt blanket is much easier than a girl's blanket. You don't have the strange jersey material that's thinner, the shirts aren't cut to emphasize the waist, and everything is just a nicer square. I did the front of Zach's blanket in one afternoon.

All of the shirts were cut to the same size, to match that Pirate's shirt in the bottom right corner. Not all matched perfectly due to holes and shirt sleeve positioning, but it's about a 73" square blanket.

On the back, I'm going to do a quilt of Steelers and Pirates fleece. Unfortunately, the Penguins don't license their logo for fleece, so they'll be left out.

I set Zach to cutting 11" squares for the back:

Those aren't my man hands!
I'll head out to JoAnn's sometime soon after he finishes cutting and determine how much more I need. The finished product should be up by July!

Dresser Revamp.

After a week of training in Atlanta, I was itching to get back to some of my projects. I had started redoing my dresser the weekend before I left, and even though I wasn't around to stare at my piles of clothes that were once housed in my drawers, it was driving me nuts.

I'm horrible at remembering the before pictures, so here's the before on the drawers. See that lovely fake wood gloss? Gross. I took out the old hardware and filled in the holes with wood filler because my new pulls didn't match up with the holes.




You'll never see these again. You're welcome.











Then, the hard part: sanding. I sanded five of the drawers by hand using P80 on that lovely particleboard face and P120 on the edges.











So now to tackle the beast. 
As I'm sanding away, Zach pokes his head and says, "Why are you sanding that by hand?"
"Uh, how else do you suggest?"
"Where's your sander?"
"I don't have a sander."
"Your dad does."

What?! I got the sandpaper from my dad the last weekend I was home, and he fetched the sandpaper, knew I was redoing my dresser, and didn't mention that he had a power hand sander?!

My mum's response when I called to ask about the forgotten detail: "hahahahahah, I didn't even think to mention it!"

Weirdos.


So. This dresser project is to be continued... after I fetch the sander.

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