9/25/11

Thrift Find 6

Mr. Pendleton, I presume?

Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe is inspired by America's Test Kitchen, Cooking for Two.
I've never been a fan of eggplant, but holy moly, this stuff was GOOD.



Ingredients:
A half batch of Oliver's Marinara
1 eggplant, about 12 oz.
Four slices of fancy white bread, torn into rough pieces
3/4 cups Parmesan
salt and pepper
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make or heat up the sauce. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch slices. Toss the bread into a food processor and pulse till fine crumbs are formed. Toss them into a pie pan and mix with 1/2 cup parmesan, salt and pepper.
Whisk the eggs into a separate pie pan.
Put the flour into a large ziploc and add the eggplant slices. Toss them around in the bag till they are evenly coated with flour. Shake off remaining flour. In batches, coat the slices in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Set them on a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.


Heat the oil in a 12-inch oven-proof pan over med-high heat. Add half of the eggplant slices and brown four minutes on each side, or till golden brown. Set them on the wire rack. After browning the second batch, turn off the heat, discard any excess oil in pan and wipe clean with paper towels. 

Coat the bottom of the pan with one cup of sauce. Place slices in the pan, overlapping one on top of the other from the outside to the inside. Top with another cup of sauce, but do not cover the outer edge of the slices so that these will stay crispy and un-soggy.

Top with remaining parmesan and sprinkle the mozzarella on top.

Place in the oven and bake for about 14 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before serving.


How to Upholster a Padded Stool

Take a thrift store padded stool and a scrap of fabric and in just a few minutes you'll have a transformed piece of furniture that's worthy of your home!

Here's how.

What you'll need:
A padded, fabric-covered stool
A piece of awesome fabric that's a big bigger than the seat of the stool
Screwdriver
Staplegun

Bone color -- how neutral!

Directions:

  • First, remove the screws from the stool and set them aside. The seat should easily separate from the frame.
  • Place the seat, padding side down, onto the wrong side of your fabric and cut cut around the cushion leaving about two inches of room. Just make sure there is enough extra fabric to wrap around the cushion on all sides.

  • Make sure your fabric is flat and there are no wrinkles. Staple four edges in place and then start working around the cushion, making gathers if necessary. 

  • Staple all around, double checking the top of the cushion every so often to make sure there are no wrinkles. 

  • Trim any excess fabric.
  • Screw the cushion back onto the frame.

Pizazz!


Ta-da! Ten minute project. The best kind.

Dress Shirt Tote Bag -- Tutorial

I just nearly had a heart attack. I went to log in to my blog and it said it had been deleted. Somehow, though it was miraculously restored without any effort, so I'm back on track!

My husband decided to get rid of about 30 dress shirts the other day. I knew crafts were in the making, I just had to decide what craft.

Tote bag!



And here's how to make it.

Ingredients:
1 large dress shirt
lining fabric, about 1/2 yard
stiff iron-on interfacing
necktie

Directions:

  • Sew the middle of the shirt down so the buttons are in place. There is already a seam to follow, so try to sew on top of that with matching thread. Once you've sewed this, you will be unable to unbutton the shirt.
  • Cut your lining fabric into two 15x16-inch rectangles.
  • Do the same for the dress shirt, but you may have to cut them separately since sometimes there are pleats on the top of the back. I made sure the buttons were in the center of the rectangle -- so at 7.5 inches. I also had to cut the back rectangle way low on the shirt because there were pleats.

  • Cut the interfacing about 14.25x16.25 inches. It doesn't have to be exact.
  • Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the dress shirt material. 
  • Iron down the top edge of the exterior and lining about an inch.

  • Pin the dress shirt material right sides together and sew the sides and bottom. Do the same for the lining.
  • If you'd like your bag to have a flat bottom, then open up the corners of the bottom and iron flat. Then measure about an inch up from the corner and draw a line. Pin the corner down and sew along the line. Then trim the corner off. I turned mine right side out to make sure I sewed them correctly and one of them was actually longer than the other, so I just resewed the short one a little bit higher and it came out just right.

  • Sew the edges and bottom of the lining this way too.
  • Now, turn the exterior right side out and slip the lining inside it, keeping the lining inside out.

  • Pin the top edges in place all around, making sure the lining doesn't stick out above the exterior.
  • Now you're going to measure your necktie handles. My husband wanted short handles so I let him figure out the length and had him add 1.5 inches on each end. When he gave me his preferred length I just cut another bit of the tie the same length. One strap will probably be wider than the other because the tie is tapered, but that's OK by me. I think it's cool.
  • I measured two inches outward from the buttons and pinned my handles in place. Nestle the edge of the handle between the lining and the exterior fabric so you can't see any raw edge. Pin it in place near the edge.

  • Stephen also wanted the neck tie to come out of the top and be loose, like the tote back is wearing the tie. I had him measure how long he wanted the tie to fall and then added about 2 inches. Pin it in place so the edge of the tie sticks up. This way, when we sew, the tie can flip down over the seam and hide it.

  • Sew all the way around the top of the bag, leaving about a one-inch seam allowance. Remove all pins and sew another seam around the top, very close to the edge.
  • Stephen wanted to use a tie clip so I used a seam ripper to make a hole where he wanted to put the clip.

9/24/11

9/22/11

Thank You, Anna. I finally made a quilt.

My friend Laura has a new baby boy named Connor and I had just enough time to be inspired and then actually motivated to make him a little quilt to match his monkey-themed crib.



My mom is a whiz quilter, having won countless blue ribbons and judges' choice awards at the Alaska State Fair. She's so successful that I've never felt quite worthy enough to try and quilt. I lack patience and overall desire for accuracy. But recently my friend Anna made a baby Pooh quilt that was so darling. She said it really wasn't too tricky.

So one evening I bought some fabric and cut out the squares. At 7 a.m. Saturday I was up and at 'em.  I sewed the top all together. Then I was clueless. Thanks to my mom I was able to pin the top to the fleece back and to create a binding. I didn't use any batting since the fleece was pretty thick on its own. All in all it was a seven-hour project.

It's definitely not perfect, but hey, It's homemade and I'm sure Laura can't wait to bring Connor home and place him in his monkey crib.


I'm Back! Swedish Meatballs!

Hi all in Blogland who bother to look at KnitNatAk,
Sorry for the month-long silence. A lot has been going on and also I've been really lazy. I thought there'd be no better way to start blogging again than with a recipe for Swedish meatballs!



This is a really quick dinner. I recommend making a double batch and freezing half of the meatballs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and then placing the frozen meatballs in a ziploc for another time when you have even less time.

Ingredients (makes about 24 meatballs):
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1 slice of fancy white bread, soaked in milk
1 tsp. salt
pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 Tbs. butter
4 tsp. Wondra flour (or just regular flour)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
egg noodles
green beans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When the bread has soaked up the milk, smash it up with a fork and gently squeeze out most of the milk. Mix together the meat, egg, onion, bread, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg. Form into 1-inch meatballs. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil.

Add the egg noodles when there is about 10 minutes left on the meatballs. Place the green beans in a pot and cover the bottom of pot with water. Cover and turn heat to high.

When meatballs are 7 minutes to being done, melt the butter in a small saucepan over med-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Let it thicken for a couple of minutes. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of allspice and nutmeg too if you want. Add the sour cream and turn to low.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and scrape in any yummy bits that may have ended up on the cookie sheet.

Drain the beans and noodles when they are done. Pour the sauce and meatballs over beans and noodles.

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