Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh woe is me.....the laundry

Ugh....anyone who knows me, knows how much I detest doing laundry. I can stomach most domestic chores, but there is something about doing the laundry, that makes me want to hurl.

The thing with hating to wash the fam's clothes, is the pesky little problem, of not having anything clean to wear. I mean, the hubs shouting "Do I have any clean chonis (pronounced cho-nees, for the uni-lingual), at six in the morning, as he is scurrying to get ready for work, is not even enough for me to get my act together, and just wash the dang things already.

I don't know what it is. Since it's January and all, new year, blah, blah, blah, I figured I should at least devote a few minutes to pondering why, I almost need a death threat, to get the laundry done.

1. I like clean clothes.
2. Doing laundry equals clean clothes.
3. I do not like folding clean clothes....or dirty ones for that matter.
4. I do not like putting aforementioned clothes away.

The last two points equal this:

I have no shame! Sabrina's pink Christmas tree is also a casualty of my lack of motivation. See it's branches peeking out...Aye, ya, yay! What's a girl to do?
What I really need is a laundress, one that comes once a week, washes, dries, folds and puts away all our dirty clothes, all while I lounge on the couch eating bon bons and watching HGTV.

That would be the bomb, but since there is no chance of that happening anytime soon, I am resigned to doing this lousy task myself. So, I will resolve to do the laundry, at least every three days, so I don't end up with laundry baskets full of grotey clothes, I am loathing to wash, and wanting to cry my eyes out.

For now, I will channel the domestic-laundry-loving-goddess that is buried deep within deep that only a crowbar, and the hub's bribe of a dinner date, if I promise to wash his chonis, will unearth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Addiction is a good thing....sort of

I am an avid blog reader. There is a long list of blogs I read faithfully...nothing like a hot cup of coffee, and my computer, to start the day off right. I was browsing this morning, and one of my faves Fabrichound, is celebrating it's one year b-day. Myrinda is giving away free stuff, and there is almost nothing I like more than freebies!

Because I am such a fabric ho, and want as a big a chance as I can get, to win something cool, I am going to post some pics of my sewing "studio." What's with the quotes around studio, you ask? Well, my house is pretty small, and because of this sad fact, no square inch of space remains unused. I have learned to be creative in lots of ways, hence my multi-purpose "studio." It is actually a small nook, in my dining area. My hubs installed the cabinets, and my sewing table, is one of those cool ones that offers a ton of space while sewing, but is quite compact, when not in use, which is really handy.

Here is the view from the adjacent kitchen:

Despite my efforts to remain neat, tidy and organized, my area is a mess. I try, really I do, to keep things under control, but I am just not capable of this, and don't fight it anymore.

Here are a couple more angles:

My fabric, is actually in another cabinet in the living room...again creative storage. Here is the fabric cabinet closed...

Here is is open:

I am lucky that my peeps, have learned to live with ( and ignore) all the stray threads, scissors, and the occasional pin (aye, sorry!) strewn about, and that they just step over all the works in progress that find themselves in various spots throughout our pad. Because of course, my sewing projects, cannot be confined to only the studio space.

One of my favorite things though, are these three. They have taken up residence in one of my shelves. Cuteness.

Hopefully one day, before I turn old and gray, and can no longer sew, I will have an actual room to work in, but until then, welcome to my sewing happy place.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lemon Pound Cake and The Little Chef

I may be a "just-getting-by" cook, but I love to bake, and let's just say, no one who's been a recipient of my baking, has gotten food poisoning yet. I guess it's wanting and thoroughly enjoying the baking process, that produces pretty tasty treats. I'm not tooting my own horn, by any means, but I'm not half bad as a baker.

Over the holidays I bought the Handmade Holiday Christmas magazine that Martha Stewart puts out, and had high hopes of making several of the mouth watering items, shown in Martha's cool mag. Of course, I didn't get around to it, until today.

One recipe in particular, made me start salivating almost immediately, as I love lemon and lemony recipes. This one is called Glazed Mini Lemon Pound Cakes, but since I didn't have any heavy cream in the house (fresh out...hahaha), I opted not to make the glaze. They are really quite good without the glaze, and you'll save yourself a few hundred calories....not that I'm counting.

A food photographer, I'm not. Actually I'm not good at photography in general, and don't have a burning desire to learn, so these pics will just have to suffice.

As a side note, how much do you love that birdie dish towel? My wonderfully sweet Tia Sylvia made it, and gave it to me for Christmas, along with two other equally fabulous towels. I almost can't bring myself to use them for something so mundane as drying the dishes....but I'll manage. I love the dish towels that Anthropologie sells too, and these remind me of those, only better, since they were hand made by my favorite aunt.

As I was photographing the pound cakes, I had to stop, and admire my Little Chef, also a gift...from my lovely Grandma Clemen. He is actually part of a set of several little chefs, and my Abuelita has had them displayed in her kitchen since I was a little girl . The chefs and I have had a mutually exclusive love affair since then, and a few years ago, she gave them to me. They are "well-loved" and I count them among my most prized possessions.

Talk about going off on a tangent... If you are still reading, and want to try making the glazed (or not) mini pound cakes, which I highly recommend, the recipe (taken from Martha Stewart's 2008 Holiday magazine) follows below:

Glazed Mini Lemon Pound Cakes
Makes 9

For The Cakes:
Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus three more for brushing
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tables spoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish

For The Glaze:
1 cup plus three tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 table spoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat over to 325 degrees. Coat nine 2 1/4 by 4 inch mini loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice; beat until combined.
Add eggs one a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour and poppy seeds, and beat on low speed just until combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans, dividing evenly, and filling almost to the top. Transfer pans to a large baking sheet.

3. Bake until a cake tester (aka toothpick) inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.. Immediately brush tops of cakes with lemon juice. Let cool thirty minutes in pans, then unmold and remove to a wire rack. Cool completely, top sides up.

4. Make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar, cream and lemon juice until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into another bowl. Drizzle cakes with icing (about two tablespoons per cake) and garnish with poppy seeds. Cakes can be stored in airtight container, at room temperature for up to three days.

Another side note: I did not have the small mini loaf pans that the recipe called for. Mine were a little bigger, still mini though. It took another thirty minutes or so, for the cakes to be done. You can probably even use the standard size loaf pans (not sure of the dimensions, off hand), just keep your eye on the oven, so they don't burn.

Happy Thursday and Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Is it 2009 already?

Good Morning!
Wow, it's January...and it's cold, at least for SoCal, and well for me. I know, what a whiner, but I've lived here all my life, and it's usually pretty mild in the weather department during the winters. It's still lovely though.

I've decided I like January. I never have. I am one of those crazy Christmas people, who starts playing Christmas carols in October, and breaks out holiday decorations, as soon as November hits. So, I usually have major Christmas withdrawl once all the holiday hoopla is over. This year, however, the season really snuck up on me. The carols, the decorating, and well, the entire thing. When January first rolled around, I actually found myself looking forward to a new year, and gasp, my decorations are even put away! I may be hanging up the crazy Christmas lady apron, at least for a while.

It's crazy how retailers switch from one holiday to the next without waiting for the current holiday to end. I was shopping on Christmas Eve (another first for me) at Target, and to my dismay, and sort of delight, they had already started to display a few Valentines Day things. I was slightly put off, until I got a good look at the cuteness they came up with this year for V-day. I am partial to owls, and it seems I am not the only one. I picked up this cute little guy, along with some totally adorable place mats, and some hand towels for my bathroom.

I hesitated at first, since Christmas hadn't even happened yet, but then I came to my senses, and snatched these guys up. Yesterday, I happened to be at Target (again, yes I love that place), and what do you know, no cute owl stuff to be found....huh? It was January 6....! I hope they get some more, I am kicking myself for not getting more place mats.

I have not been sewing lately, not for lack of desire, but mostly for lack of time. I am inspired and ready to get back to it though, and will be making more home decor stuff, as I have really missed the aprons, dishtowels and such. Funny, since I am a lousy cook, and hate washing the dishes....hahaha! I will post pics of my new things, once I have some new things to share.

Happy Wednesday!