Monday, August 31, 2015

Retro Mouse Stuffed Animal

My mom recently went through her sewing box, tossing the items that were no longer needed. Whilst doing this, she came upon a pattern she purchased when she was a teenager in 1973! The pattern is for a precious mouse stuffed animal, eating a piece of cheese. I decided to make this yesterday, for my friend's daughter who will be turning one next week.

Though the directions were a bit vague, I persevered! I'd like to give an out of this world shout out to my great grandma Esther, who taught my mom how to sew and to my mom as well, for teaching me how to sew when I was in the sixth grade. I've made so many quilts and fun little things like this mouse because of this skill. I shall treasure it always!

I never got to meet my great grandma, as she passed before I was born, but I believe that there is a connection to her as I sew her patterns and bake her delicious recipes!

My great grandma had enough foresight to copy the pattern onto parchment paper. I doubt she or my mother thought that it would be made 42 years later! Here is the cute little mouse. I still need to sew the mouth and teeth on, but I'd say that it looks pretty nice so far.

(Secret shout out to myself for keeping fabric from every project I have ever done. It makes spur of the moment projects like this so much easier! My mom would have thrown every scrap away by now. Good thing I don't live with her. Ha ha. The blue fabric was from the curtains that I sewed for this little girl's nursery just over a year ago!)

Photos of the entire process are below.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Getty Villa and The Getty Center

When I was in college, I went to the Getty Center Museum a couple of times and I loved it. Over the summer, my friend Josiah and I decided to make a special trip to the museum again. However, we discovered that J. Paul Getty also had another museum called The Getty Villa. Neither Josiah or I had ever been there. So, we visited both in one day! I've wanted to share these photos for a while, but things have been a bit hectic. I was finishing up my second masters course, I quit a teaching job that I have had for four years, I got hired at a new school (we are in week three with students already!), and I'm moving! Ugh. Talk about change! I suppose it is best to get it all done at once.

Anyway, here are the photos!
(All photos were taken by me, except the one where I am pictured with Van Gogh's Irises. Please ask before sharing any images. Thank you.)

Me and Josiah enjoying the outdoor portion of The Getty Villa.
The photos below are of many of the different floors at the Villa. I loved them.

The atmosphere of the Villa, below.

(I used Instagram Layout for this photo.)

It was a lovely misty and mystical day outside.

The below photos are at The Getty Center.
I was enjoying the foliage.

Check the museums out:
If you go to both in one day, you pay for parking at one location and get free parking at the other!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bon Appetit Desserts: Double-Ginger Gingerbread with Orange-Ginger Sauce

This recipe makes me yearn for the fall. Such warm and lovely flavors in this cake. The orange-ginger sauce adds an extra element that is wundebar (wonderful)! 

This recipe calls for crystallized ginger. If you live in California, it will be hard to find, because there was a recall due to LEAD being in the product. Many sources vowed not to sell the product again, as part of a suit that was brought against them. However, some companies never responded to the suit, so their product could still be out there. Don't buy it at Target or Trader Joe's. I got mine at a health food store, so there really is no telling if it contains lead or not. I am hoping that it doesn't. All other ingredients should be easy to locate.

Photo by: Tiffiny Hargrave

Double-Ginger Gingerbread with Orange-Ginger Sauce

1-1/2          cups unbleached all purpose flour

1                teaspoon baking soda

1                teaspoon ground ginger

1                teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2             teaspoon salt

1/2             teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2             cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2             cup (packed) dark brown sugar

2                large eggs

1/4             cup robust-flavored (dark) molasses

2/3             cup buttermilk

1/4             cup chopped crystallized ginger

1/2             cup chilled heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

                  Orange-Ginger Sauce (see recipe)

Preheat over to 325ºF. Butter 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan; dust with flour. Sift flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in molasses. Mix in half of dry ingredients, then buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients. Fold in crystallized ginger.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake slightly in pan on rack.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool completely. COver with foil and rewarm in 375ºF oven 10 to 15 minutes.

Cut warm cake into squares and place on plates. Top with whipped cream and Orange-Ginger Sauce and serve.

Orange-Ginger Sauce

3                large oranges

1                cup (about) fresh orange juice **I used 5 juice oranges**

6                Tablespoons sugar

1                cinnamon stick

3                Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

Using small sharp knife, cut off peel and white pith from oranges. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes or oranges, releasing segments. Transfer segments to medium bowl. Pour accumulated orange juice into measuring cup. Add enough orange juice to measure 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Transfer juice to medium saucepan. Add sugar and cinnamon. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and simmer until juice mixture is syrupy and reduced to 6 tablespoons, about 12 minutes. Pour over oranges. Add ginger. Cool.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.