Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Braiding loom!

My friend Alaine makes warp weighted braiding looms, as seen here:

I have the smaller rectangular base, as seen on the left. I also painted my board, to make it easier to see the threads.

So far I've made about 7 yards of braid, and I'm getting ready to warp up another one!

-Geeksweet.blogspot.com: Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Homemade Cherry Ice Cream

1 cup organic heavy cream
1 cup organic light cream
2 cups organic whole milk (or org. half & half)
1/2 cup sugar (veganized sugar is white without the chemical process)
4 farmers market eggs
1 tsp fiori di scicilia
3 tsps vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cherry concentrate (http://www.cherrybayorchards.com/cherry-concentrate/bottle/16-oz.html) (it's 100% cherry juice; nothing else)
2 cups fresh cherries (organic or farmers market)
1/2 cup fresh cherries, processed with 2 Tbsp vodka (or Kirsch)

Warm the dairy over medium low heat. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks & sugar, until pale, thick, and making long "ribbons." When the dairy simmers, remove it from the heat, add the fiori and vanilla, and let cool to room temperature. Add a little dairy to the eggs, incorporate it, then work in the rest.

Return the mixture to low (!!!) heat, stirring, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (and you can drag a finger through it, with no drips).

Remove from heat, whisk in salt. Cool to room temperature, whisk in cherry concentrate. Cool in fridge a minimum of 2 hours, but overnight is best.

Put into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker according to directions. Churn for 25-30 minutes. In the last 3 minutes, mix in the slurry of cherries and vodka.

Layer the ice cream and fresh cherries in your container, then place in freezer. Freeze for a minimum of 3-4 hours.

*the vodka keeps the ice cream from going absolutely rock-hard once it ripens in the freezer.

-Geeksweet.blogspot.com: Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pear-Cranberry Frangipane Tart

Take a 1/4 cup dried cranberries and soak them in some brandy (or, if you spent the summer making cordials, dig out the winter spice cordial you made with brandy, fresh ferries, vanilla, and a cinnamon stick, and soak them in that -- dang, it's tasty!). Just enough to cover them. Make the frangipane: (thank you to Foodie in Berlin's blog) 115g almond paste or marzipan, crumbled 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon almond extract 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 large egg, at room temperature 1 teaspoon rum, Kirsch or Calvados (optional) Place the almond paste, sugar, flour and almond extract in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer. Mix until the almond paste is in fine, uniform pieces. Add the butter and mix until very well-blended, then add the egg and the liqueur, if using. Mix until the frangipane is smooth (there may be a few tiny unmixed pieces of almond paste, and that’s fine–they’ll disappear during baking). Use the liquid you soaked the cranberries in for the Kirsch!!! So. Good. You can make the frangipane up to 2 days before and refrigerate it. Remember, unless you're buying unpasturized eggs right from the farmer, keeping it refrigerated will be just fine. I was making a half-recipe, so I just used an egg white. Prepare your crust of choice. Puff pastry, shortbread crust in a tart pan, or free-form "rustic" made from pie crust dough all work well in this recipe. You will not need to blind-bake the puff pastry or pie crust. Assemble it in the pan. Spread the frangipane over your crust evenly. Quarter your pears (about 2), and slice them thinly so you can fan them out. (if you are going rustic, don't be fancy.) Lay them on top of your frangipane. Arrange the soaked cranberries on top. Scatter a few tablespoons of sugar over the whole thing. Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes to an hour. Use the same logic as pie here, folks. You want the fruit to be cooked through, and you want the pastry to be crisp, not soggy. Juices may run over. Embrace this, but place a baking sheet under the pan in the oven. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bad Blogger: holiday edition!

I've been neglectful of this crafting blog, but I assure you I'm still out there! Since I last posted, my little sister got married, I've been working hard at teaching, become the sponsor of a second club at school, went to Canada for a 4-day vacay, and embarked on a couple of new health challenges (6wk goal setting type challenges), and taken the students to two different Latin club events (that's the first club I'm sponsor of), and went to Arkansas for thanksgiving. Ok, whew! I can't post my most time consuming craft project that I've been working on during this time, because it's my sister's holiday present, and she might read this. But, I do have pics, and they will be posted! With it being American thanksgiving weekend, and having had a couple days off, I've tried to get myself a bit more organized. Ordered some things towards the holidays. Oddly shaping up to be a very bibliophilic christmas. After I raked the leaves this afternoon, I set about to make all the drop cookies I had in mind, since they can be frozen, put into a ziploc and baked on demand when needed. Made 42 butter pecan, 42 oatmeal-dark choc-cranberry, and 29 gingersnap cookies: dough, unbaked, frozen, & bagged. BRING IT ON, HOLIDAYS. My friends (completely justifiably!!) make fun of me for my devotion to King Arthur Flour and their recipes/products, but they've never steered me wrong. The butter pecan and the gingersnaps come from their site, and the oatmeal is my own variation based off the Joy of Cooking. I recommend them, if'n you need cookies!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Well, it's been about a month since I last posted, which is not so good, but I have been handling mundane things like explaining subjunctive verbs and being handy for a family wedding.

But today, I'd like to post about my fledgling Hoopla Wall. What's a Hoopla?
Any kind of fiber art framed in an embroidery hoop. The hoop becomes the method of presentation as much as completion!

I just got finished with Ongoing Hoopla Swap found on Craftster (An excellent site not only for craft swaps, but all things craft). I'd already received one hoop in an earlier Doctor Who swap and loved the KYSMIK (old Norse for "kiss me"/Viking) I got in this one. It inspired me to finish the Labyrinth hoop that had been languishing in my crafts basket.

My Hoopla Wall

If you want to see some truly awesome hoopla that are being made, check out this link!

-Geeksweet.blogspot.com: Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Latest crafty endeavors!

Hiho, my few and faithful readers. Here's what I've been up to lately: work. My school system goes back to school ridiculously early, so since the last time I've posted, I've been back to the school twice before teacher InService started, and then participated in the week of InService itself. The less said about that, the better.

I've also been participating in craft swaps. Craftster.org is a great and fun site for those of us who need another outlet for outer crafty-foo, particularly if our friends and family do not want another scarf!

Here's what I received from my swap partner:
Lammas/Lugh swap!

It's a big retro apron (&reversible!) and a picture locket necklace!

Lammas/Lugh swap

Also, here's a pretend action shot of the blogs on Betsy, my mannequin, before I sent to my partner:

Lammas/Lugh swap

I also sent her bundles of dried herbs from the garden: Tuscan rosemary, Greek mountain oregano, Za'atar marjoram, and dwarf savory. (Blended, it's super good on grilled pork!)

-Geeksweet.blogspot.com: Posted using BlogPress from my iPad