Sunday, November 29, 2009

Looking Back at Thanksgiving 2009

With Thanksgiving done, conferences done, and home improvement projects nearly done, I am hoping to have more fun to share coming up.  I wanna start out with some pictures from this year's thanksgiving. :-).

We actually did a decent job in spacing out the appetizers and the dinner, which let us enjoy both the dinner and the appetizers without feeling way too stuffed. We started out with appetizers at 2:30ish and actually ate dinner close to 8:00.  Here's some of the appetizers (I apologize for the apple pie that made the pictures, oops, we didn't really have that for an appetizer). Starting with the top left and going clockwise: homemade lemoncello, baked crab rangoon, smoked salmon rollups,  bacon and onion quiche, cocktail shrimp, apple pie and in the center, homemade no knead bread.

Here's the table setting.  I made the table runner (not really showing), and the napkin rings, which I'll share the tutorials to very soon.

Here's what was for dinner. Starting left to right, and top to bottom, pumpkin roll, deep fried turkey, mac and cheese, bread, grilled asparagus, bbq pork skewers, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple cranberry stuffing, quinoa with butternut squash, bacon and walnuts, coleslaw, and last of all a slice of the pumpkin roll.

That was it.  Thanksgiving is always a fun time with the family and really let's us take in what we are grateful for, especially the food. :-)  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend... Let the holidays truly begin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Planning for Thanksgiving 2009

Hi all!  It sure has been a while since I posted anything.  Sorry about that, but it's definitely been a busy month.  Anyway, last weekend I finally gotten around to "finalizing" the Thanksgiving menu for this year.  Finalizing is in quotes because, it seems like it's never quite finalized... something always gets added or changed last minute.

Anyway, here's what I have.  This year I did my searches in old magazines, so I haven't found the links to all of these yet, but once I find them I'll update the list.

Thanksgiving Menu 2009

Cocktail Shirmp
Baked Crab Rangoons
Spinach Dip + bread + chips
Quiche (bacon and onion, jalapeno)

Deep Fried Turkey

Mashed Potatoes
Mac and Cheese
Cole Slaw
Quinoa with Butternut squash, Bacon, and Walnuts
(or asparagus rice pilaf)
BBQ Pork Skewers (?)
Steamed California Blend Veggies (Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower)
No Knead Bread

Apple Pie (?) -- got some apples so why not... right? 
Pumpkin Roll (?) -- depending on availability of pumpkin (I heard there was a shortage eeek!)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - probably just going to pick up a Dreyers unless any of you have a good suggestion for this.

I was definitely much more prepared for thanksgiving last year... luckily the same general time line will work this time around.

What are you cooking for thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kumihimo Braided Bracelet

This kind of braiding reminds me of those plastic keychain weaves that we made way back when.  In slightly more technical terms, according to wikipedia, kumihimo is a form of japanese braiding that interlaces cords and ribbons. It doesn't necessarily require a loom, but the loom is mightly useful.  I've created a template for you to download.

ribbon (I'm sure you can use different media such as yarn maybe dmc thread )
kumihimo loom

Download template here.

How To:

- Create a cardboard cutout with the template.  You can glue the template on the cardboard or just trace it.  You can use an exacto knife to cut the circle in the middle, and scissors to cut the little notches.

Okay, so I'm gonna cheat a bit here...

Anyway, the video shows you what you need to know, but the basics are:
1. First,  find the middle of the ribbon (4 ribbons with the of length 4 ft) and tied the ribbons together, then feed the knot thru the hole in the middle of the loom

2. Next, attached the ribbon 2 on top, 2 on the bottom, 2 on the left 2 on the right. I also wrote down ABCD on the template so I know what section I'm working on (just a marker).

3. For the actual braiding, remember, top right goes down, bottom left, goes up, turn disc counter clockwise and start again. :-)

4.  You pretty much keep on doing that til you have the length you want.  It actually takes a lot of time to get a decent length, but it looks great in the end.

 5.  Once you've braided to the length of the bracelet, you can make another knot at the end of the braid, I actually, just took half of the ribbons and made a knot around the other half so the knot wasn't so thick.

There you have it, Kumihimo braiding. I love the design it creates.  I think this should work fine with DMC thread, but I haven't tried it. If you try it with DMC or yarn, please let me know how it goes. :-)