Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easy Hamburger Patties

I was making hamburger patties over the weekend and decided I needed an easier method.  This is what I came up with:

I got out my tortilla press and placed saran wrap on the bottom.
I rolled the ground meat into a ball.

Next, I placed a piece of saran wrap on top of the meat.

Press the lid down gently.

Then press lightly with the handle.  
I did not force the handle down all the way.  
I just applied a little bit of pressure with it.

Now, I had to open it pick up all the saran wrap and 
flip the patty over to repeat the process one more time.  
Otherwise, the patty would have been thin on one side 
and thick on the other.

There it is, a perfectly shaped hamburger patty!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I just wanted to honor the fallen on this Memorial Day.

In Loving Memory
Alvin Louis Raper
(Uncle Sonny)
Navy ~ Hospital Corpsman, Second Class Petty Officer
September 16, 1942 ~ February 15, 1968
 Gave his life while running across the battle field to assist a wounded soldier.

He was an uncle I never had the chance to meet, but I am thankful to him just the same.

THANK YOU to all those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom.

May we never forget.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bridal Photography

I am NOT a professional photographer, but I was asked to do a dear friend of mine's bridal pictures.  I thought they turned out decent considering I don't have a clue what I am doing.  I did want to share a few of my favorites with you, so here they are:

The last one is a favorite of mine.  Which one do you like best?


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Outfits

The Easter outfits that I made for the whole family.

I hope you all had a very blessed day.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Homemade Belts

I finished the Easter outfits for Chickadee and myself, but felt like there was something missing.  I decided I could either buy each of us a belt or, better yet, I could make them.

This is what I did:

I measured how long and how wide I would like my belt to be.

I cut two pieces of fabric to the size I needed.  
I also cut 1 piece of very heavy/thick interfacing.

I then ironed on the interfacing to one piece.
With right sides facing together I sewed the two pieces of fabric together.
I sewed at an angle on the corners of one end to give the belt a pointed end.
Leave the opposite end open to turn the belt right-side-out.

Turn right-side-out and press.

Tuck the open end in and sew closed....

like so.

I then put it on and figured out where I would need to place buttons
I sewed some buttons on and made buttonholes.

You could always buy actual buckles or even D-rings if that is your preference.
I was going to go the D-ring route but couldn't find any wide enough for what I wanted.

Look for Pictures of us in our homemade clothes tomorrow.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Skirt

I showed you how I made ruffle tops for Chickadee and myself the other day.  I went with a gray and white chevron fabric for our skirts.

 I measured how much fabric I would need.  
I then folded it in half with right sides together.

 I attempted to line up the side seams.
I then sewed the open side straight down.
Use an iron to press the seam when your done.

 I folded the top down enough for my elastic to fit  (creating a waistband)
leaving about 1 inch open to insert the elastic.

I attached a safety pin to the elastic and began threading it through.
You have to be careful here because you don't want the other 
end to pull into the waistband.

Just another picture of the elastic inserting process.

Almost done!

Finished!  Now, sew the elastic ends together and 
sew the waistband hole shut.

 Hem the bottom of the skirt and your done!  It was sew easy! Hehehe


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ruffle Top for Easter

I showed you all a picture of the fabric I had picked out for our Easter outfits this year.  I have finally finished making the tops for Chickadee and myself.  This is how I did it:

First I took a tank top and laid it out on the material and cut around it. 
I had to cut two of the ruffle fabric and then two of the solid fabric.

I placed a piece of ruffle fabric and a piece of solid fabric right sides together.  
I sewed them together around the neck line and arm holes. 
I did not sew the top sleeve seams or the side seams together at this point. 
I then turned the pieces right-side-out.  
This made a front and a back piece with neat neck and underarm seams.

I took my 2 right-side-out pieces and placed them right sides together.  
This meant putting the ruffle sides together

Sewn together.  
I then had to sew down each side seam while I had them right sides together.
 I had to be very careful that the ruffles didn't go the wrong direction while I was sewing it together.

Then turn it right-side-out again. 



Friday, March 8, 2013

Easter Fabric Sneak Peek

I just wanted to let you see the fabric I have picked out for our Easter outfits.  I just received it in the mail.  I have a pattern for the tops I want to make, but I will have to get creative for our skirts.  I have seen a picture or two of skirts that I really like, so I am going to base ours off of those.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dinner Rolls

These are THE best dinner rolls.  Ever.  And guess what?  I'm going to share them with you.  I made this recipe today with it rainy and 50 degrees outside and they still turned out AMAZING!  I think they are actually classified as refrigerator rolls.

Are you ready to give them a try?  Well, here we go.

First gather your ingredients.

You will need:
1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup very warm water
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
2 cups warm water
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
About 8 cups all purpose flour - NOT self rising

Now we're ready to start mixing it all together.

First, you want to dissolve the yeast in the very warm water.  I don't have a clue what temperature to even tell you to use....I am a "by feel" person.  I normally put some on my wrist and if it feels slightly hot, but not burning hot I use it.  I also just dissolve it directly into my measuring cup.  Normally at this stage, I throw a pinch of sugar in with the mixture to help the yeast activate.  Set it to the side.  I totally forgot to take a picture of this step, so please forgive me.

Next, cream the shortening and sugar in a very large mixing bowl.

Now, you will add your beaten egg, water, salt and yeast mixture.

Mix that all up real well and then add about 5-6 cups of your flour.  At this point, if your using a stand mixer, you want to change to the dough hook.

Mix well.  Then continue to add the flour until you get a dough that is easy to handle but not too stiff.  At this point you may want to turn it out onto a counter and knead it to get a feel of how easy to handle it is.  You don't want it sticky, but you don't want it too stiff to knead.  Here is mine all kneaded and ready to go.  I normally can get all 8 cups of flour in and it turns out perfect.

Next, grease a bowl or spray with nonstick spray (that's what I do).  Put your dough down inside and swirl and turn it over to make sure it gets well coated.  I normally just give the bowl I mixed everything in a good quick washing and re-use it.

Now you want to cover it.  I cover mine with saran wrap.  Like so...

Now you can place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  I normally make the dough the day before I want to make my rolls and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  You can skip refrigerating the dough and go straight to shaping rolls if you want to, though.

How my dough looks after being refrigerated overnight:

Punch the dough down and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Pull off small chunks at a time knead and shape them into small balls of dough.  Place on greased baking sheets.  I use glass cake pans.  I make them about the size of or just slightly bigger than golf balls.

Cover and let rise for about 3 hours.  I normally will warm my oven at 350 for 1 minute and then turn it back off and put my rolls in there to rise.  It creates a draft-free warm environment for them to rise in.

Sorry, forgot to take a picture of the risen dough this morning.  This is a picture of the rolls I made back at Thanksgiving, so there isn't a full 3 pans.  I have gotten a full 36 rolls from this recipe ever since.  I think I rolled the ones above a little too big, so I didn't get as many out of the recipe.

Now you want to put them in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until nice and golden on the top.

I then proceed to brush some butter on the top of them to make the tops extra soft.

And last, but not least, savor them!