Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Zippered Pouches

I had a special request for 15 assorted pouches this last month.  No special colors or designs.  I just pulled out a bunch of sweater parts in lots of colors and started cutting.  What a mess that makes and then I start obsessing about every detail.  Some were already made and listed in my shop, I decided they could join the party too.
These don't take long to sew, the selection process is the time killer.  If I was making a dozen at a time, all the same, it would be more time-cost effective.

I/m pretty pleased with the results, some are kinda fancy and others left very plain.  A little something for everyone.  Yes, that's bacon and eggs.

The backsides.  I've used one of my pouches for my camera.  I like how soft it is.  I need to get these in the mail today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Whether you say carmel or caramel, they're delicious!  Before Christmas, I got a craving for homemade carmels.  I hadn't made them in years and knew they would be a good addition to all the holiday goodies.
I didn't have a thermometer, so I bought one at the grocery store for $4, how bad could it be?  I made one batch that disappeared real fast.  Right before the holiday, I made time for 2 batches intended for taking to my family gathering.  The first batch went fine and the second seemed to stall at 220 degrees.  I watched it forever before I decided the thermometer must be broken.  Into the trash with that thing!  I saved the carmels, barely.
I went to the kitchen supply store last week and steeled myself to buying a good thermometer, I feared it might be $20-30.  Happy to say, it was $10 on sale 10% off.  I know good tools are important, why hadn't I gone there first.  I've had many a "cheap" thermometer over the years.

Gather all your ingredients-

2C sugar
2C dark corn syrup- the whole pint
1/2 C butter, salted- the whole cube
2C whipping cream- the whole pint
1 tsp vanilla
nuts if you like

Prepare a 9 x 13 pan.  Iv'e always buttered it, but discovered a new use for my Silpat.  Genius!  I just pushed it into the pan and it worked better than anything else I've tried.  I only wanted half of my carmels to have nuts.

Add the sugars and butter together and bring up to a boil over medium heat.  After it's really at a boil, start adding the cream a little at a time.  You have to go slowly and stir a lot to make sure it doesn't boil over.  All that liquid in the cream.

When all the cream is in and your sure it won't boil over, let it continue to boil and watch the temperature.  It'll stay at 220 degrees or so for quite awhile.  When it starts to climb it won't take long.
At 240- 245 degrees, take it off the heat, stir in the vanilla and pour it out into your pan.  Don't dawdle.

The nuts all stayed right where they were,  Not sure if that was the Silpat or not.  The next morning, I put a piece of waxed paper on my cutting board, lifted the Silpat out of the pan and turned it upside down on the paper.  I worried about getting any residual garlic or onion flavors. 
I cut them into pretty small cubes, 1/2- 3/4 inch square, they seem to grow when you chew them.  Use a sharp knife and wrap them in squares of wax paper.  If you don't, they stick right back to each other.  Cut a little, wrap a little.

This is about half of the carmels.  I took a bunch to work.