Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ballet bag...all done!

Chloe's bag:  This side...

...that side.  All done!
Here it is...a ballet bag for Chloe.  I used white fabric on each end (instead of pink), each side embroidered with cute little ballerinas, because the pink duck cloth was not easy to embroider on and the colors were simply not as vibrant.  Hurray! all done.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ballet bag for Chloe

Ballet bag for the making
Chloe will be 4 yrs old in November.  New beginnings for Chloe this autumn, as she has just started preschool part time, as well as ballet lessons.  Chloe saw little girls performing at the mall and fell in love with ballet.  She loves to go to school and loves her dance class, too.  Leaving the nest and her baby sister behind for a few hours a week is a big adventure that our Miss Chloe enjoys thoroughly.  Chloe is in need of a dance bag so I am sewing one up for her.  I made a prototype bag and so I know that this one will come together nicely and quickly as well.  No problem inserting the zipper, but my biggest challenge has been to insert the lining nicely.  The duffle will measure 7" x 14" when finished and will be just the right size for Chloe to carry her things in.  There is an embroidery unit built into my sewing machine which I finally have the opportunity to make good use of.  As you can see in the photo, I am customizing Chloe's bag.  (Did you see?  Chloe and I share the same initials, C.K. Paz.)  I could easily complete this bag in one day, but I have taken two days instead.  This bag will be finished today; that's a for sure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


 Round and bouncy, delicate orbs;
merriment in motion.

Mini Pie Maker...Chicken Pot Pies

See what I made?
Here's my own recipe for yummy chicken pot pies, using my brand new Breville Mini Pie Maker.  I also use this recipe to make handheld pies.  You may want to include cooked potatoes, mushrooms, onions or peas and carrots to this recipe according to your own preference, but pre-cook before adding any of these ingredients to the filling so that those veggies will be yummy tender.

2 cups chopped and shredded, *roasted chicken breast
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp Knorr chicken boullion granules
1/2 tsp Lawry's garlic salt
A sprinkle of pepper
About 1 cup chicken broth

Place chicken breasts skin side up on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Generously sprinkle with salt (I use kosher salt) and pepper.  Place in pre-heated 350 degree oven; bake for about 35 minutes or until done; meat temperature should be about 165 degrees inside.  Don't overcook!  Remove from oven when done; allow to cool.  Strip and discard skin and bones, then chop and shred chicken meat into chunks.  All done!  I usually roast and prepare a large pack of chicken breasts, then divide pieces into 2-cup portions and freeze, to be used as needed.

Combine flour, chicken boullion granules, garlic salt and pepper in a large sauce pan.  Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring over a medium heat until sauce begins to bubble and thicken.  Add chopped roasted chicken pieces to sauce.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

3-1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, chilled well and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used lard for a very flaky crust)
5 tbsp (or more) ice-cold water

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add enough cold water for the dough to come together and form a ball.  Knead until smooth.  Let rest for 10-15 minutes. 

Roll out dough, top and bottom crusts; fill and cook in pie maker, according to manufacturer's instruction.

Roll out dough and cut out 5" or 6" circles.  Fill each circle with cooled chicken filling (about 2 tbsp per circle).  Fold in half and crimp around edges; slash top to allow steam to escape.  Brush tops of pie with an egg wash (1 egg slightly beaten with a little milk or water added).  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place pies on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until pies are golden brown.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sourdough starter...

The sourdough experience begins...
Today I received sourdough starter that I ordered, all the way from Vermont, from the King Arthur Flour Company.  Accompanying paperwork says this starter has been passed down in one form or another for the past 250 years.  That's a long time ago!  Tonight, I began the process of getting my starter to come alive.  If all goes well, it'll be bubbling and ready for use in no time at all.  Today's date...September 6, 2012.  I kept a sourdough starter years ago, but somehow over time, I let it fizzle.  You have to feed the starter regularly to keep it going.  Nonetheless, I have many good memories of sourdough pancakes, biscuits and breads that my family enjoyed way back when.  Sourdough starter; I'm ready to commit to its keeping once again; maybe pass it along to my granddaughters some day.