Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Food Craft: Strawberry Lemonade Tart

So, I got a couple of new tart pans the other day and decided to break them in right off the bat. I had been planning on making some kind of lemon bars soon, so I decided to have the best of both worlds and make a lemony tart. Frozen strawberries were on hand, so viola! Strawberry Lemonade Tart. The crust is basically a shortbread (buttery and delicious!) so if you want a flakier pastry crust, feel free to use your favorite recipe instead. Also, any other berries would be fantastic, I am sure. I have plans for a Cherry Limeade tart soon. I think it's going to be an awesome tart filled Summer!

You will need:

For The Crust:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch salt

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
3 egg whites
1 egg
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons worth)
2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons worth)
2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1-2 cups of frozen Strawberries, defrosted
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cream butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer. Mix in 1 cup flour until just incorporated. Flour hands and press dough into a 9″ tart pan. Make sure to press the dough up the sides so your tart won’t stick to the pan when baking. (I like to use an extra tall tart pan, or split this into two smaller 7″ tarts in 1″ tall pans.)

Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. While it cools, prepare the filling.

Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, egg whites, egg, lemon juice and zest, remaining 2/3 cup flour, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Pour strawberries into a sieve and press through to extract all the pulp and juices. Whisk into the lemon mixture and pour into the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is completely set. Let cool completely. (I help mine along in the freezer for about an hour.)

Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

I find that sometimes frozen strawberries lack the bright red color I want, so I have been known to add a couple of drops of red food coloring if necessary.

Also, if you do not have or cannot find superfine sugar, you may use regular granulated sugar, or process granulated sugar in a food processor for a few pulses.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May Giveaway Day Winner!

I have selected a winner via and it is comment number 6:

Kristi said...

Tomatoes from the garden!

Congratulations! You will be receiving an email from me shortly!

The Craftinomicon

Monday, May 23, 2011

May Giveaway Day! Coasters

Happy Monday, everyone! More importantly, Happy Giveaway Day! As part of Sew Mama Sew's May Giveaway Day, I am going to be sending these "April Showers Bring May Flowers" coasters! As you can see if you have been in this neck of the woods before, the back of the coasters uses my own Rainy Day fabric design from

Now, on to the giveaway!

If you would like to enter to win these handmade coasters just post a comment at the bottom of this blog entry and tell me: What are you most looking forward to this summer?

A family vacation? Barbecues with friends? Picnics on the beach?

Entries will be accepted through May 25th at 9pm PST. A winner will be drawn at random and announced on the blog the 26th.

Prize will be shipped internationally, though if you live outside the U.S. and Canada please allow extra time due to customs.

Thank you for entering and good luck!

To enter more May Giveaway Day giveaway's go to Sew Mama Sew!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Etsy Shop Grand Opening!

Hey everyone! I have been really busy lately, and I am sure you have noticed a slow down in posts. Don't worry, I have just been putting together a new Etsy shop, which will be updated a great deal in the coming week with a bunch of new products and some old favorites. Some prices of old items have gone down (I've been finding some great deals on materials lately and I'm passing on savings!). The shop can be found Here.

Also, I am creating a new Craftinomicon Facebook page and will be posting about that as soon as it is live so you can follow me and get updates on new blog posts, contests and more!

Also, don't forget that tomorrow is May Giveaway Day! I will have my giveaway posted before the sun is even in the sky, and entries will be accepted until the 25th, so make sure to stop by and enter!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adding to the Stash

Fabric Depot is having their Summer clearance sale, and I dropped by today to check it out. I don't get over there as often as I'd like, which is probably a good thing since I would be poorer than poor if I did. I can't leave without buying something.

If you are in the Portland area, I recommend checking it out. Lots of great fabrics, including a lot of heavy weight decorator fabrics (that I usually don't buy as I don't do a lot of upholstering or curtain making lately). They also have some great suiting fabrics for $5.50/yard. I even found some steals at $1/yard. I love fabric. Mmmm.

I also made trip to Cool Cottons on Wednesday and purchased a few things. Anyway, I wanted to share some of my new finds with you all and let you know I haven't fallen off the crafty planet.

If you have been following me for awhile, I am sure you have also noticed the new header and background image on the blog. I've been busy, and there will continue to be more improvements, so bear with me as some of my craft posts have been getting pushed back (but in good news, the Sun has returned so many pictures will be better quality--let there be light!).

Also, don't forget that Monday, May 23rd is Giveaway Day! I have a special project all ready to go and will be giving it away as part of Sew Mama Sew's promotion.

Friday Food Craft: Pretzel Rolls

Friday Food Craft time again, and this week's installment features pretzel rolls! If you tried your hand at my homemade bagel recipe, you will find that these are actually quite similar. These are even a little bit easier as far as forming into their final shape. Also, if you like soft pretzels these will definitely get you your fix. I like to have these as burger buns, but you could just as easily eat them plain or with a dipping sauce, or make teeny tiny rolls as pretzel bites (watch the cook time If you try this, they won't need as long I am sure).

For this recipe you will need:

3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (not instant yeast)
2 1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp salt

1/4 cup baking soda (will be added to boiling water)
1 egg, beaten
Salt to top rolls (I used kosher flake salt as I had it on hand, but you could certainly use Pretzel salt, which is larger and a bit stronger in salty flavor)

Start by putting your warm water and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand about 5 minutes until the yeast foams up a bit (I generally add my sugar at this point as well, but you can add it with the rest of the dry ingredients if you want). If you don't have a stand mixer, place it into a mixing bowl instead.

Add the flour, salt, sugar(if you haven't already added it) and butter and mix with the dough hook attachment until combined. Once most of the flour is incorporated I generally turn my mixer to a medium high speed and let it mix for about a minute to develop some gluten. This makes for a chewier pretzel roll. (Again, if you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix by hand, or use a hand mixer with a dough hook attachment).

Cover with a clean towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Separate your dough into 8 pieces and form into balls by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place the formed rolls onto a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Cover and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a large saucepan with about 2 quarts of water and add 1/4 cup baking soda. Bring water to a boil and boil each roll about 1 minute, turning halfway to poach both sides.

Place rolls back on baking sheet (seam side down--we want our rolls to look pretty) and brush the tops with beaten egg. Lightly salt tops of rolls and then cut a slit or "X" into the top of each one. Bake in the center rack of your oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

This recipe makes about 8 dinner rolls. If you want to make burger buns, you may want to divide your dough into only 5 or 6 rolls depending on burger size (you could get about 10 sliders out of this recipe).


Saturday, May 14, 2011

May Giveaway Day!

This month on the 23rd, Sew Mama, Sew! is hosting a giveaway day. Tons of bloggers and online shops will be having giveaways, and I wanted to let you know The Craftinomicon will be participating!

I haven't quite decided what item I will be giving away, but I know it will be fabulous. Also, I will be rolling out some new blog graphics and a new Craftinomicon Etsy shop, that will feature many more of my projects from the blog!

Have a favorite project you would like to have a chance at winning? Comment here and let me know, maybe I will decide to give your favorite item away and you could be the lucky winner on the 23rd!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Food Craft: Magic Chocolate Ice Cream

Make no mistake about it, the title here is not lying. This ice cream is magical. Don't have an ice cream machine? Don't have time to babysit your ice cream and stir it periodically while it is in the freezer? Good! This recipe requires no such thing. I found this recipe in a Cook's Country magazine (they have a tv show on public television as well, and I watch it all the time--they make some yummy stuff!). This is very easy, super delicious, and I believe everyone should try it at least once, if for no other reason than to brag to your friends you have home made ice cream. :)

You will need:

1 tsp. instant espresso powder or instant coffee (I keep instant espresso powder in my cupboard just for baking--I add it to almost everything chocolate flavored. You don't taste the coffee, but it makes chocolate super awesome)
1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 pinch salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (the original calls for 1 1/4, but I had 1 1/2 cups so I used it all up and the ice cream was fantastic)

Start by dissolving your espresso powder in your tablespoon of hot water. I place them both into a larger, microwave proof bowl. Add in your chocolate* and the sweetened condensed milk, microwave on high for 10 second intervals and stir between each until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth.

*My husband thinks the ice cream is a little sweet, you could always use half bittersweet and half dark chocolate if you prefer.

Add in your vanilla and salt, stir to combine and allow to cool back to about room temperature (if you are careful you can get the chocolate to melt with extra stirring and it shouldn't be hot enough to melt your cream by the time it's whipped).

In a large mixing bowl, or with a stand mixer, whip your cream. Once the chocolate mixture is cool enough, add in 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir it together thoroughly. After it is incorporated, take the last 2/3 and gently fold it in. Be gentle and patient with this, you don't want to leave whipped cream streaks, but you want your ice cream to stay light and fluffy.

Pour the mixture into an air tight container and freeze for at least 6 hours, but it is better if you can leave it overnight. Serve. That's it! No machine, no stirring! It's a very creamy rich ice cream, I plan on experimenting to see if it works as well with a different flavor or the addition of chocolate chips, cookie dough, etc.

Also, I will not lie, if you didn't freeze it and just ate it in a chocolate cream pie, I wouldn't be able to hold it against you. Or forget the pie, eat it out of the bowl with a spoon. Go on, I won't look.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Papercraft Garden Markers

Here is a no fuss garden marker that uses very few items. It isn't as durable as the glass garden markers, but if you change up the items in your garden every year or have trouble keeping track of small items like these, this may be the route you want to go. All you need is some thicker paper (scrap booking paper, construction paper, etc.), scissors, pen or marker and some clear contact paper.

Cut out your marker shape from the paper. I just did a standard stake marker, but you can get creative--shape it like a pepper, tomato, etc., make them circles, squares...go nuts! Once you have the paper cut out, write your label on the paper and then cover both sides carefully with the clear contact paper (this step is what makes it water resistant so you don't ruin your labels the first time you water the plants).

As you can see, at the bottom of the marker I have a little point to help it go into the soil more easily. You will probably want this point on your markers for the same reason, but it isn't absolutely necessary.

Also, I left a tiny bit of room when cutting around my contact paper. You want to make sure that the paper edges aren't exposed to the moisture of your soil or it won't be nice looking or last as long.

Glass Garden Markers

As promised, here is another idea for making your own garden markers. There will be a couple more fun ideas for more of these soon, as well. This garden marker is made from a glass tile (the same kind I use to make magnets). I used some of my favorite glass paint that you cure in the oven, and just painted on my herb name. If you get your glass paint in pen form, this would certainly look a little bit neater than mine, but I used what I already had on hand.

These are great for me, as I have my entire garden indoors on my windowsill. However, if you have a large outdoor garden I would suggest finding river rocks that are a bit larger and painting them with your veggie names and sticking them at the end of your rows. You could use regular paint if you do this, and just cover the entire rock with polyurethane (though many paints will be just fine if you skip that step).

Don't want to put all this effort into your garden markers? Later this afternoon I will have a super easy garden marker that uses only colorful paper, pens and contact paper coating!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Food Craft: Deviled Eggs

I have another picnic-perfect food craft for you all this Friday, deviled eggs! The sunny days, while a little chilly here, are putting me in the picnic mood! Here is another easy recipe to take with you to a picnic, barbecue, or any other get-together. These can easily be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

You will need:

6 eggs
1-2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Mayo or Miracle Whip
2 teaspoons sugar
Smoked Paprika to garnish

To start, I use my perfect every time method of hard boiling eggs. Place your eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and place on the stove top. Heat until the water is boiling, then place a cover on your saucepan and turn off the heat. Let these sit for 12 minutes, then drain and cool. *To prevent the yolks from getting that yucky grey/green outer color you want to cool them quickly. I usually run cold tap water over them, and then add ice into my pan, after about 3 minutes they should be cool when you pick them up to remove the shells.

Remove your egg shells and discard them. If you have very fresh eggs, this can be quite a task, fresh eggs tend to hang on to their shells for dear life--I usually hard boil my eggs after they have been hanging out in the refrigerator for a week or so.

Cut each egg in half and place the cooked yolks into a bowl. At this point, I usually do a little pre-smashing of the yolks to try to keep lumps to a minimum, you could also make your entire filling mixture in a sandwich bag and squeeze any lumps out with your fingers (the bag can be used as a pastry bag for filling your eggs by simply snipping off one corner with a pair of scissors when the filling is done).

Add your mustard, mayo and sugar to your egg yolks (you may also add salt and pepper to taste if you wish, but I have never found it necessary. Use white pepper if you want to avoid black specks in your egg mixture). Mix everything together until smooth and then pipe or spoon into your egg whites. Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika (you can use regular paprika as well, but the smoked gives it a little something special). Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Craftinomicon "Rain" fabric now for sale @ Spoonflower!

Hey everyone! Just thought I would drop a quick note on this once again cloudy, rainy day in Portland to let you all know that my Rain theme fabric is now up for sale on Spoonflower!

I have a small proof of it here at home, and the computer images are just not doing it any justice at all. If any of you happen to purchase some of it, I would love to see the crafts it inspires!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More projects from vinyl: Ideas from the readers!

I had to share this awesome project with you guys. One of my readers, Tania, asked for some tips on sewing with vinyl when I made this in February. Not to be outdone, she had some Frito chips bags and candy wrappers she wanted to reuse and turn into zipper pouches of her own!

Here is her blog post, poke around a bit, she also has one made with some candy wrappers. What awesome little pouches!!

DIY Garden Markers

I've been busy the past few days working on my container garden. We have a very small apartment, with no outdoor space but a large window ledge. This year I decided to try out some lettuce in window boxes, tomatoes in individual pots, and also some lemon thyme. We may or may not add some basil when it warms up a bit. To keep my plants organized (I have several types of lettuce and tomatoes) I decided to try my hand at making some bright, colorful garden markers.

I had some sculpey clay you bake in the oven to cure, so I thought I'd see how it worked in this application. As you can see in the picture, this marker is for my lemon thyme. I decided to make a little yellow lemon (that turned out ok, but not as well as it maybe could have) and stuck it onto a larger pink stake that I gently wrote "thyme" into. I allowed my creation to dry and harden overnight before I followed the baking instructions on the package to cure it.

I will say, that If you want to try this out, I would only use these markers for indoor potted plants, and I would probably make mine a bit thicker next time (these are only about 1/16 of an inch thick). I don't see them lasting me any longer than this season.

Worry not, for I will be sharing some other garden markers ideas with you later this week that I am still in the process of finishing. All of these other types will have much greater longevity, but are not quite as family friendly to make. This particular garden marker would be great to do with the kids in an afternoon.