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Wordless Wednesday – Workplace Concepts

Dell Concept Work Area

 
 

Leather Quiver Complete!

It’s done!

This is my very first leather working project so it’s far from perfect but I did it! I love it and it fits right where it needs to. So happy!

The hardest part was all the stitching. Well, punching the holes for all the stitching as well as the actual stitching.

But once I got it done, it looked so nice! I used waxed thread since it would wear better. It was a bit of pain to work with but once I got the hang of it, it went y pretty quick.

And most importantly, my bolts fit!

Can’t wait to take it out!  :D

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Crafts, DIY, Leatherworking, SCA

 

Rachel Ray’s Crabcake Mac N’ Cheese

Being a New Englander, I have a love of crab cakes. Love them sooo much and living in the South, it is very hard to find these delicious morsels.

I was flipping through Rachel Ray’s Week In A Day cookbook and came across the recipe that marries my love of crab cakes and macaroni and cheese. WIN!

I went out and did my grocery shopping yesterday, purchasing only the items I needed for the week’s worth of dinners I had planned. Here is everything one would need for this dish:

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Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi or elbow pasta with lines on conchiglie (small fat tube/shell shaped pasta with lines)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • About 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves, several sprigs
  • About 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked for shells and flaked
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 pound, about 1 rounded cup grated sharp white Cheddar
  • 1/3 pound, about 1 rounded cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls

 

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Add the pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, (it will be undercooked). Cool, drain well and add it to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, red pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the crabmeat to the vegetables and season liberally with seafood seasoning. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.

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  • In a medium sauce pot, over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste, and cook for a few minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the mustard and the cheese and stir in a figure 8 motion. Add the vegetables and crab, sauce to the bowl with the pasta and transfer the mixture to individual baking crocks or a large casserole dish. This can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • To complete the dish, melt a couple of tablespoons butter in a small skillet, over low heat and add 3 tablespoons hot sauce. Warm through, then add the panko crumbs and toss to evenly coat the crumbs in sauce mixture. Cool the crumbs, then toss in the parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese. Top the mac n cheese with the spicy crumb mixture. Arrange individual crocks on a baking sheet or put the casserole on baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until brown and heated through, about 10 minutes. If cooking from cold, the mac n cheese will take 40 to 45 minutes, but add the crumbs the last 10 minutes of baking.

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The final verdict? Oh yes, this is to be on the monthly rotation of dinners. It was a big hit!  And there is enough for at least 3 or 4 leftover portions. I highly recommend it!

If you make it, I would love to hear your thoughts!

 
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Wordless Wednesday – Fencing

 

Tax Day!

Today is probably one of the most dreaded days all year. But a few companies have some deals to help take the edge off. :)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Life, Randomness, Tax Day

 

Quick and Dirty Utensil Roll

I got tired of hunting all over the place for my camping utensils so I finally sat down and made a utensil roll. Nothing fancy, just something to contain them.

Just cut out a large square (ish) of some fabric I fell in love with, hemmed it and made pockets.

Added a kumihimo braid and voila! A utensil roll that I can just toss into my camping food box and find pretty easily!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Camping, Crafts, Randomness, SCA, Sewing

 
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Wordless Wednesday – Puppy Love

 

Abraham Poodleman!

This has got to be one of my favorite puppies!

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Abraham Poodleman is a standard size poodle which means he’s HUGE! I got to puppy sit him and his doggy brother this weekend while their humans were at an SCA event. He is such a cuddlebug. He was laying on the other end of the couch with me while I was watching the Game of Thrones marathon.

He was very disgruntled when I called him to take his picture. I got a long sigh afterwards before he put his head back down. :D

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Randomness, SCA

 

Leather Quiver Progress

I finally found some time to work on my quiver!

I was able to put on the second coat of leather dye and I *love* it!  I didn’t want a bright red, more a deep burgandy and that is exactly what I got. The color is actually called Ox Blood, it looks a tad splotchy because it is. This was my first time dyeing leather so it is a work in progress. I wasn’t too terribly concerned with it being perfect so it is all good. :)

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I was also able to put on the protective layer which is called Tan Cote. It is meant not only to seal the dye in so it doesn’t bleed all over everything but also meant to seal the leather itself. Especially since I didn’t dye the inside or edges.

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You can certainly tell the difference between the treated and untreated. In the picture above, the piece on top is untreated. I ran out of tan cote before I was able to finish so I need to get over there this week and get some more. I am hoping to get started on assembly this week but I may have to put it aside to work on a brewing project. It’s been sitting since Jan and I need to get some bottles done so I can hand them off to the people who have asked for some.

Busy times! :)

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Crafts, Leatherworking, SCA

 

Vincent and the Loom

Vincent loves when my loom is warped. He will sit here and look at the world through it all day long.

Maybe he was a criminal in a past feline life? :D

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Life, Randomness, Vincent

 
 
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