Monday, December 31, 2007

What a trip

We're back and we survived. Although not the worst trip to my in-laws, not one of the better ones. Claire spent the night before we left throwing up (Ben had the stomach virus about a week before and it's been going around school). We were about to cancel our trip, but by morning she seemed to be doing better. When I mentioned that we might not be going, the older ones were very sad and Ellie cried. I called my SIL and she said her parents were in good health and that we should still come. I was worried of sick children in the car, hotel, etc. but we went ahead.

On the way down we stopped at Rock City to enjoy their Christmas lights. We had visited this summer-first time for the kids-and they were very excited. We got very wet from rain and mist, but the kids really enjoyed themselves once again. Sunday night Trent and I got to go to the Melting Pot restaurant for a date and that was nice. We have one here, but we have to find a babysitter, pay the babysitter and pay for the Melting Pot, which is not cheap. At least down in Georgia we have free babysitters. Well, we don't have to pay them money, but it comes at a cost in other ways!

Early Monday morning Ellie was the next one to get sick. Fortunately she's older than Claire and able to aim a bit better. I stayed home with her most of the day while Trent and the kids went here and there. On Christmas Day Trent was the one who was sick and I had to take the kids, by myself, to the family part of Christmas. This would be fine if it were my family, but it's not and they never seem to really know what to do with me when Trent's not there. At least the kids had fun.

The most stressful part of the trip, other than sickness, was my MIL. She refuses to cook any meat using a meat thermometer or put any kind of leftovers away within the two hour window recommended to prevent food poisoning. Christmas dinner leftovers were left out for over 8 hours and then she proceeded to heat them up a few days later and serve them for dinner. This is where part of the stress comes in. Do I let my children eat those leftovers and take the chance of making them very ill, but not hurt her feelings (which isn't hard to do anyway) or do I put my foot down and say I will not risk my children's health?

Well, I took the risk and said a prayer. Most of the foods were not my children's favorites so they didn't eat most of them. She did make a fresh roast, but again the dilemma-no meat thermometer. Then she didn't cook it long enough so it was extremely rare and bloody. I had to microwave each of my children's meals to make sure they were safe to eat. That upset her and made her cry. UGH. She then put the roast back in the oven at 200 degrees and cooked for a long time after that, but at that temperature she was just inviting bacteria growth. After a few more hours, she asked me, "Do you think it's done?" to which I said, "I don't know. I always go by what the meat thermometer says." This is what I always tell her when she asks me if the meat (whatever she's cooking) looks done. She has a meat thermometer, I know she does, because I gave her and every other female member of my husband's family one for Christmas one year, along with literature on safe food handling practices. She still has the thermometer, just refuses to use it. When I question her about that or leaving out leftovers for extended periods of time, she just says, "Well my mother/MIL did it and we never got sick." How they manage to keep doing that and not get sick is beyond me. My husband has had severe food poisoning (from a restaurant) and I have had to witness the dehydration and seizures that accompanied it and so I am very careful!
On a happier note, here we are the day before we came home at the World of Coke in Atlanta. None of us had been to the new one they built this past year (?) so we decided to go. We were going to go to the zoo, but it had been raining and Ben didn't think that was very exciting, so we decided to go to the World of Coke instead. My children really had a fun time. Of course Ben would drink coke every living moment if we let him, so he was in heaven. Here Macy and he are waiting to go into the 4D movie:
I did manage to do a bit of knitting. Here are some socks I started working on for my daughter Ellie. They are the second pair I've ever made (well, they're not finished yet, but hopefully will be soon) and the first I've used double pointed needles. I bought two sets of sock sticks for a Christmas present for myself (so I could knit two socks at the same time) and I have already broken one of the needles-UGH! They are not cheap! The first pair of socks I made were for my husband and I used two circular needles. That was fun, but I wanted to try this way too. I'm using some kind of yarn that makes the stripes and designs for you. They are acrylic, so I don't really care for how they feel, but Ellie likes them. I just need to finish the feet and do the toes.
If you stuck with me this long, thanks. Sorry about the venting! I keep telling myself "what is one or two weeks out of the year?" and my children love going to Georgia so much. At least I won't have to go this summer, since I'll have the new baby. I stopped going when they were so young after taking Ben and the conflicts that caused (another post for another time). Trent will go with the four older ones by himself and they'll have a grand time. That means I won't have to stress for another year. :)

Here's hoping you all have a fun, non-stressful and food safe 2008!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Cookies

In just two days we will be leaving for Georgia to visit my in-laws, but for the last few days I've been frantically trying to bake half batches of several different kinds of cookies to take with us on our trip (we'll be driving-ugh). The above cookies are a new venture for me this year. I got them from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. They are a slightly sweet, very soft cookie with a colored egg wash. After you bake them, you add a powdered sugar/milk/egg white frosting to accent. Her's were much prettier to look at than mine, but my children helped with the painting of these cookies and my icing was too thick and hard to squirt out of my piping tip to really make it do what I wanted. As far as eating, I really enjoyed these cookies, as I'm not fond of very sweet sugar cookies. These were just the right amount of sweet for me. If you like a very sweet sugar cookie, these are not for you.

In addition to the above cookies, we made chocolate chip, shortbread, chocolate peanut butter chip, Oatmeal raisin (my husband's favorite), oatmeal scotchies and Chocolate Peppermint Drops. The chocolate peppermint drops were a new favorite from last year. This is only the third time I'm made them. They are very good right out of the oven and the first time I made them they were moist, brownie like and wonderful. My husband and I agreed they were a fairworthy cookie and I saved some candy canes to replicate them this past year at the fair. Unfortunately they were not fairworthy when I made them a second time. They were fine right out of the oven-delicious even, but by the next day they were awful. They were chewy and just wrong. So of course I didn't enter them. Although not awful, they weren't as wonderful this time either. Better tasting, but still chewy and kind of tough. Luckily we ate a bunch right out of the oven and since I only made about 2 dozen, they are almost gone.

I've been trying not to eat too many as anything sweet has made me very ill this pregnancy. I will say though the Pioneer Woman's sugar cookies have been worth the risk. Maybe because they aren't too sweet? All I know is that I just ate four and hope to go to bed in the next 15 minutes or so before the resulting nausea hits me. I think it's okay to eat four at one time since I found out I lost 3 pounds at my midwife appointment and it's a bit too early for me to be losing weight. So I'm just trying to play catch up. At least that's my story. :)

One last parting shot of my youngest Claire. She was very quiet this past Saturday and I wondered what she was doing. She filled up a laundry tub with sheets of stickers, sat inside the tub and proceeded in applying the stickers to the inside of the tub. Why can't they do anything like just read a book when they're off being really quiet? At least now we have a very decorative laundry tub-on the inside anyway.I hope everyone has a nice couple of weeks. I will be glad when we're back from Georgia. Except for all the smocking and knitting I will have a chance to do, along with a date or two with my husband, I don't enjoy the trip very much. My children, on the other hand, love going to visit my husband's family, so I will have to let that be good enough for me! Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A gift for an Angel

A Salvation Army angel that is. I made this dress for their angel program. Every year Ellie's preschool picks several children through the Salvation Army's Angel program to provide clothes and toys for the holidays. I asked if they thought it would be okay if I made something and they said yes. Our angel was the same size as Ellie so it was nice to see if everything would fit. Just perfect with room to grow.

Ellie helped pick out the material from my stash (a pink sweatshirt knit from All I had to get was the butterfly applique since I don't have an embroidery machine and wanted to add something to liven up the dress. Pattern is Kwik Sew 2708. It was very easy to sew up-much easier than Macy's dress. It was the fabric.

I would definitely enter this in the fair if I were to keep it. I think I'll enter Macy's dress that I gave her for her birthday. Remember her coat? It already has ink stains and a big black smudge from who knows where. If those don't come out, it's not going in the fair. That's why I like to make most of my items in July before anyone has a chance to wear them and ruin them for the fair!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Den Flag Completed

This is not the best picture, but here it is finished. I wanted to have my children hold it up, but they were busy doing other things today. I put it on the floor and stood on a chair to get the picture.

As I mentioned before, I got help/ideas/suggestions from Mary. I actually found her site while googling the words den flag or cub scout flag-I don't remember which. She was nice enough to write to me and post an extra post about her flag making experience. There's not much out there. So if you look at her flag, you'll see some similarities. I did make a couple of mock ups for the boys to vote on and the above design is what they chose.

I wish I could say this went as planned or smoothly, but of course that would be too easy! I had this great idea that I would have the boys draw pictures of what they liked about scouting on paper, scan those in and then print them out on fabric that I had soaked in Bubble Jet Set. I would then apply the fabric to the flag and outline the pictures with yellow ribbon. I had been wanting to try out the Bubble Jet Set ever since I read about Rowena using it to make dolls for her daughter.

I already had the Bubble Jet Set. Soaked the fabric (although not as long as I was supposed to because I hadn't read the directions in a while), let it dry and then ironed it onto freezer paper. So far, so good. Then I tried to use it in my printer. Sometimes it worked, but more often it didn't. The paper/fabric would jam, get folded over or get these black streaks. The colors were just okay. I could see I would need a plan B. So I thought about it and remembered I had some iron on transfers I had tried after reading about Debbie using them to make T-shirts for her sons. They worked like a charm! I applied them to the fabric I had left over (but hadn't soaked) and then cut them out and applied as planned. The colors were much more vibrant and the pictures turned out really well. Here's Ben's (the invisible man is camping and roasting marshmallows apparently):

My application of the pack and den numbers is a little off, but hey, that's the story of my life. I told my husband you won't notice from a galloping horse!

I'm glad that's done, although I'm glad I volunteered to do it. I'm still waiting on one more picture and hopefully can add that by next week. It will go in the blank space above the pack number.

I just finished a dress for the adopt an angel program my daughter's preschool participates in this time of year. I want to apply a bit of embellishment and hope to have that up by tomorrow.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm famous!

Okay, I'm not really famous, but I did get a little blip posted in our local newspaper, a little publication called The Washington Post.

In the metro section they have a column called page three which appropriately enough is on page three of the metro section. It covers all sorts of topics that people write in about with their personal experiences-random acts (of kindness), observations and one I submitted for called "What Bugs Me". Without further delay here's the blip (it's the very first one!):

Put on hold at a Parent-Teacher Talk

You may have to register to see it, but it's free and I haven't been bugged with spam or anything so it should be safe.

Hopefully by tomorrow or the next day I will post a picture of the den flag I've been working on for my son's cub scout troop. Special thanks to Mary for giving me tips from her den flag making experience.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Chocolate!!!

It has been a rough couple of weeks with the goings on with life. Mainly feeling poorly with nausea, tired with running around for all the things I have to do just being a wife and mother and to top that off a particularly contentious woman who I should be grateful to for taking over my daughter's brownie troop next year (since I will have a hard time being the leader with a baby) but instead she has been the bane of my exsistence. She has caused me all sorts of grief and in the end I will be unceremoniously pushed out and really who will care as long as there is a troop for everyone's daughter.

What does that have to do with Christmas chocolate? Nothing, but today was the first day that my children were able to start opening their Chocolate Advent calendars. Each year I go to Trader Joes and get these for my kids. I think I do it because one year someone gave one to me when I was a child and I loved it. My children are no different. It's amazing how a $1.00 worth of cardboard and chocolate can make someone so happy. It's all they've been able to talk about since I got the calendars last week. Godiva has nothing on these chocolates let me tell you. The fun of watching my children write their names on their calendars, search for the number one, wrestle the little spot open and popping out that chocolate was just what I needed.

On top of that, today was the secret shop run by my daughter Macy's old preschool. This is the fourth year we've participated and my children love it so much they talk about going as early as January! They love getting presents for Christmas, but not as much as they love going to that shop without my husband or me and buying presents for us and the rest of the family. They are so excited and can hardly wait to give everyone what they bought. You can tell they are thinking about what they bought by the way they get all giggly and keep looking under the tree. Most of the gifts are handmade, although nothing fancy, but it gives my children an inexpensive way to give presents to everyone in the family. I've had the hardest time keeping them away from the packages which are now stored under the tree.

Now if I could only get that silly woman out of my head. Compared to Christmas chocolate and presents picked especially for me by my children who is she?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pretty in Pink

It only took me almost two years to finish this for Macy, but it is finally done. It's what we call in our house a "pretty" coat, usually reserved for Sunday mornings, going to church, etc. In the past the girls have either received a Rothschild coat for a Christmas or Birthday present but a few years ago I thought, "I can make one of those" and so I did. My first (and I thought last) attempt at a pretty coat resulted in this:

I had the hardest time with this coat. I hated it by the time I was finished. On top of that it fit Macy perfectly so that she was only able to wear it for a couple of months and then it became her sister Ellie's (which I have to say it looks much better on Ellie than Macy). I had wanted to make it out of pink with cream trim, but Macy wanted it to look just like the pattern envelope (Vogue 7792). I wasn't going to enter it in the fair because it was just awful, but my husband disagreed. I reworked the buttonholes, gave it a good pressing and brushing and this is what I received:Yes, I was very surprised! This was last year and the very first time I took grand champion/best of show in clothing at our county fair. I did not think the coat was "fairworthy" by any stretch of the imagination, but the judges did. They loved it. So I thought, I would attempt another pretty coat for Macy last winter.

Needless to say a lot of things happened and the pink pretty coat never was finished. It was a much easier pattern (Butterick 4650) but I could never get much done with it. I started it last summer. It was too hot to apply the necessary interfacing. Then I didn't have enough hymo canvas for the shoulders and this thick wool needed something to give it shape in the shoulder area. Weeks later I finally got not one but two shipments of hymo canvas after buying the wrong thing at G street fabrics (where I bought the pink wool and cream velveteen). Then I was very sick for a while and the weather didn't get cold until December. It hung half finished on our office/sewing room door until last month. It's been a struggle with my pregnancy sickness to finish, but it's done.

The coat fits Macy nicely and I think she'll be able to wear it next year as well. It was still difficult to sew due to the fact the wool was so thick. I like it okay, but not great. I need to fix the stationary buttons on the front since they are a bit lower than they should be.

Will it win a ribbon next year? Hopefully, although it seems too simple to win the "big" one. I was hoping to embellish the collar and cuffs with some bullion roses, but it was just not going to get finished if I waited to do that. The construction is fine. The buttonholes are as bad as the red coat but that's my machine's fault and I'll just suffer through until I can remedy that problem! Will I make another one? Well I'm not planning on it, especially when you can get Rothschild coats for $45.00 at Costco at the beginning of the season. The materials for this coat easily cost twice that. I also bought too much material thinking I was going to make another version of the Vogue pattern. I do think I might attempt to make a matching coat for Macy's American Girl Doll. We'll see.

Ellie is getting too tall for the red coat and wants me to make her a new coat now or definitely for next year. I'm too tired to think about that right now. Maybe I'll feel up to it after the baby is born. Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Macy!!!!!

Thursday was actually Macy's birthday, but today was the first chance she had to wear the one present I made for her, so I'm posting now.

Since Macy was turning 7 we asked her if she would like an American Girl "Just Like Me" doll and she said yes. Of course that meant I needed to make matching clothes! The dress for Macy is Kwik Sew 2708 size 4 but arms and skirt lengthened. The doll's dress was Simplicity 4654 with the sleeves lengthened. Both dresses were made from a very soft pink velour I think I purchased at G street fabrics or maybe it was can't remember. It was a bear to sew. I actually tried to make the same dress for Macy last year for her birthday, but it was a disaster and I had good intentions of trying again before now, but obviously failed. I mentioned to her that I made the dress and she was very surprised. She said, "I thought you bought it.", but was pleased nonetheless. I'm planning on making at least one more matching outfit for her and her doll for Christmas. Here's a full length shot of the dress:
Now Ellie wants a dress just like it but in Red. I have the red velour and so that's one Christmas present I'm planning on for her. I'm not looking forward to sewing with it though! Even with my differential feed to the max and some major stabilizing and the use of elastic here and there, this material is wobbly. The neckline isn't as nice as I would like it so I'm not sure if I'll enter it in the fair. We'll see. Of course I already noticed some marker spots on the sleeves. If those don't wash out, then it won't be entered in the fair since they require things to be clean and unmarked. Hard when you have children wearing them!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Overalls for Claire

I made these overalls for Claire last year and entered them in the fair. They earned a red ribbon. They were too big for her last winter, but fit now. She really wanted to wear overalls and I remembered I had these. She was very pleased. These are the from the Kwik Sew pattern (sorry don't know the number and not sure where the pattern is.) for toddlers.

The material is an embroidered corduroy that I bought at JoAnn's a long time ago. I've made three items from the fabric and still have some left over.

If you look behind Claire in the first picture, you'll see her halloween bag from last night. She won't go anywhere without it. You'd think my children never get any sweets!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween !!!!!

Here's all my children in their costumes just before going to trick-or-treat. Since Halloween fell on a Wednesday, we went trick-or-treating in a neighborhood close to where we attend church. We had dinner with a wonderful family whose son used to be in my preschool class, once upon a time, when I was a teacher. He's now a freshman in college. Yikes! They bought us pizza and treated us like royalty. The kids had a great time too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You win some, you lose some

Okay, so it's the night before Halloween and I am officially finished with everyone's costumes. Ben wanted to be a pirate, Ellie a witch, Claire a witch (although if you ask her, she says "A Halloween") and Macy a doctor. We already had the doctor scrubs, so Macy was easy, but the other three required a little more work on my part.

I finished Ellie's dress (Simplicity 5402-OOP-I think) on Friday in time for a party on Saturday. Here she is in the dress she deemed "perfect":
I finished putting the velcro on Claire's dress today. No picture yet, but the dress is almost just like Ellie's, just different black sparkly fabric for the skirt and no sequins on the bodice. I'll take a picture of everyone tomorrow and post.

Then there was Ben. I stayed up until 1:00 this morning working on the pants and vest. Today during Claire's and Ellie's "rest" time I worked on the shirt. The pattern (Simplicity 3644) is not by any means difficult, just a lot of pieces and lets face it I'm pregnant, still bothered by nausea and by the time evening comes, soooo tired. I didn't get to even cut out anything until 9:00 last night and although I wasn't planning on entering the costume in the fair, even so, I try to employ some standards.

This afternoon after Claire decided to paint the floor, numerous tattlings from Ellie ("Claire hit me again!") I got the shirt mostly finished by the time Ben got home from school. Had him try on the outfit and then came the tears. Nothing was right except for the vest. I think the "puffy" shirt was just a bit too much for him. I knew this was going to happen. He looked so cute. I told him not to worry, we'd figure something out. So tomorrow for school and Trick or Treating he's just going to wear jeans, a white t-shirt and the vest I made (along with the Hat and eye patch which were either purchased or gifts). But I did convince him to put on the outfit once I got the buttons on the vest and I took a picture so at least I'll have the memory of all the hard work I put into the outfit. Here's my son who is too embarrassed to be seen at school like this (shh, don't tell):I promise not to bring this picture out again until after he's married and his wife stays up making a costume for her son or daughter and they won't wear it either. In my defense, I showed Ben the pattern before I bought it. It was just like the outfits he saw in Target and other stores that were $30.00 and made out of that cheap poly material that is just nasty. I used my winnings from the "You be the judge" contest and had plenty left over. The material for the vest and the buttons I already had in my stash.

I'm off to do the dishes by hand since our dishwasher decided to stop working. Then I'll iron some shirts for my husband and make some items for my daughter's first grade party tomorrow, but no more sewing for me tonight thanks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Be The Judge

When I posted how I did this year at the fair, I forgot about one of the contests I entered. Every year our fair has a contest called "You Be The Judge". Every year there is a different charity that we make something for and the fairgoers vote on their favorite. At the end of the fair, they tally the votes, give out prizes (usually a Jo Ann's gift certificate and a plaque) and give the items to the organization chosen that specific year. Items made in the past have been walker bags, baby items, cancer caps, etc.

There are four ways you can win. The most votes on children's day (the day children get in free), the most votes on Golden Year's Day (the day seniors get in free), the favorite of the Home Arts Building workers and Most Popular Vote (most votes gathered over the entire fair). The nice thing about this contest is even if you're not the best at construction, no one will really ever know. Judging is mainly based on how it looks from a distance. No one is allowed to touch or handle the item so if your seams aren't perfect or your knitting gauge is off, no one will ever know. It's a great contest for those who are just learning a skill.

This year's contest was to make hats, mittens, scarves, etc. for school children for winter. (Yes, I believe it will get cold eventually) The items could be sewn, knit, crocheted-whatever the maker chose, just as long as it would fit a school age child. My items would have fit a small kindergartner, but I doubt anyone much older would have wanted to wear them.

I am proud to announce that I won the most popular vote this year. Below is a re-creation of what I made:

Why a re-creation? Well they gave the original ones I made away of course! The above set I made for Ellie for her birthday. I used two patterns with some adaptations. The hat and the bear face design came from McCalls 9084 (oop). It's actually a baby pattern so I had to make the hat a bit bigger, but not much. I used this pattern when I taught head start to make all of my students hats and mittens and they fit perfectly. I used a different mitten pattern than what was in the pattern because I needed the mittens to be a bit larger. For the mittens I used the Easy Mittens pattern by Timberlane press and added the ears, etc from the McCall's pattern. I added the pink bows. I don't know if you can tell, but I added ears to the hat as well.

Here's Ellie modeling her birthday present:Now we just need some cooler temperatures for her to wear them outside!!!

Next year's contest is to make book bags for the Head Start program in our public schools. I have the sheet with all the specs somewhere and already have some ideas.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Today Ellie is Five!!!!

Where did the time go? It's been a very busy weekend and we're still not done with the fun yet! After a dinner of hot dogs, pasta and grapes, we will be eating the above cake made by Ellie and myself. Don't let the pink frosting with purple sprinkles fool you, there is a carrot cake lurking underneath. I can't help but wonder if a carrot cake by any other color will taste as good. Hmmm.

These were the cupcakes requested for her big party on Saturday. They are just a white box cake mix with a chocolate ganache frosting on top. I got the frosting recipe from baking bites. The only problem was when I made the frosting and gave a taste, it was much too strong. I didn't even use all bittersweet chocolate. I had a bit of dark chocolate, some semi-sweet and the rest was regular milk chocolate. Still very strong for a bunch of five year olds. Luckily I had a container of vanilla frosting hiding in my pantry. I mixed it in with the chocolate and it was deemed perfect. Ellie added the cherries on top. Most all of the children ate only the frosting. I don't blame them, it was the best part! I just need to finish one more present (which is actually fair related) and then I am done with this birthday girl. I'll post about the present in the next day or so.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hair today . . .

This doesn't have anything to do with the fair, but something I'm proud of nevertheless. A while ago (a year?) I was watching the today show and Ann Curry had grown out her hair and donated it to locks of love. I had found myself with hair below my shoulders and decided I would do the same thing. Unfortunately my hair wasn't long enough to donate (you must donate a minimum of 10") and I wasn't really ready to cut anyway. So I grew it out for about another year or so and finally made the plunge. Here is a before picture:

A few hours later, a 12+ inch donation and a few highlights later this is what we have:
I'm enjoying my shorter hair and it will be a nice length when the baby is born. I loose a ton of hair about 4-5 months after giving birth and hopefully it won't be as noticeable when that happens. It's a lot easier to comb now too!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Baby time

Here is a baby outfit I made for the friends who came over for dinner on Saturday. They are having a baby in the middle of October and don't know what it is. It's my favorite outfit to make for new babies. The material is a knit white velour that I got from Very Baby which used to be called One Stop Diaper Shop. I used Kwik Sew2433 for the main baby outfit and the Baby Essentials Pattern found at New Conceptions for the hat. I especially like to make this for someone if they're not going to find out if they're having a boy or a girl.

I made this outfit for my daughter Ellie to go home in from the birthing center when she was born. She was also born in October and it's perfect for the fall weather. I did enter that outfit in the fair and it won a red ribbon. I have to admit I was disappointed since it's not an easy pattern and I had done a perfect job. The judge did say it was a hard decision so I know it was well made. Snaps are from the snap source.

I'm thinking of making this outfit in pink for our newest addition who is due sometime in February. Here's a sneak peak of the newest little member of our family:

This is the first time we've had a 20 week ultrasound done since I was pregnant with my son. We wanted to find out what the baby was this time. I guess when you're on baby #5 you get a little crazy! Anyway, these 4-D images are amazing.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fairworthy Cheesecake

Well yesterday we had friends over for dinner and I used the opportunity to make a new dessert with the hopes that if it was good, then I might have something worth entering in the fair next summer. I think we have something that is definitely fairworthy! I made a Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake that I saw on Smitten Kitchen .I encountered only two problems. First I discovered I only had two blocks of cream cheese and one of neufchatel cheese instead of the three regular cream cheeses called for (I just used what I had). Second, I had failed to bake the cheesecake long enough so that when we cut into it the center was still oozing. That was kind of gross.

Anyway, the cheesecake was every bit as good as we had hoped. I followed the reciped exactly except for the cream cheese problem and I didn't have bittersweet chocolate, so I used a Hershey's Dark bar we had been given. My husband said upon eating another slice today, "You need to enter this in the fair." The last time someone told me that about a cheesecake it won a blue ribbon. So this will definitely go in the "to make next year" file. Click on the links above for the recipe. My picture isn't as nice as the one on Smitten Kitchen's website, but I bet it was just as tasty! Go there now and make this cheesecake. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fair Results

This is my first entry! I just wanted to use this to keep track of my sewing/crafting projects that I work on throughout the year. Every August I then take what I deem is Fairworthy and enter them. Sometimes the judges agree and sometimes they don't! This year I entered 9 items in the fair. Four photographs, cookies and two dresses. I only got two ribbons and those were for the two dresses. It was a slow year for me! Here are pictures of the items that did get a ribbon:

The above dress is one I made for my daughter Ellie for her first day of preschool last year. It received a red ribbon.
This dress is one I made for my daughter Macy for her first day of Kindergarten. I was very surprised to get a champion ribbon for it! I didn't think it was very good and didn't think it was fairworthy, but my husband encouraged me to enter it since there are fewer and fewer entries every year. So it took a champion ribbon in the smocking division of the clothing section of the home arts building. Now I will tell you that I wouldn't have given it more than a red and it was one of only three items entered for smocking. Let's hope I can get a few more items finished this year-ones I feel are truly worthy of a big purple ribbon!