Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tons of Tees and Tanks

More versions of Grainline Studio's Scout Tee and Tiny Pocket Tank...  I have gotten my money out of these patterns (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here).  These are mostly Christmas gifts, but I snuck one in there for myself, too, while I was at it.

These two are made from the same piece of beautiful batik I found.  I love how it has a geometric background overlaid with a floral print.  Also, I have rarely seen batik made mainly in black, so I dig this one:

I like how this pink batik is super simple and bright:

This ikat from Bali is awesome- I love all the colors incorporated into it:

An finally this traditional navy and white patterned batik tee... cute!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake

After seeing this recipe for peppermint meringue brownie cake both in the last ever (tears!) issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine and in the blog The Bitten Word, I had to give it a try.  I also had egg whites leftover from my peppermint ice cream from last week... kismit?  Maybe.

This recipe really is pretty simple, but looks pretty fancy.  Brownies and meringue.  Neither is too hard... Plus I got to use my peppermint extract (carried across the world by Meghan and Liz) as well as my cream of tartar (carried across the southern hemisphere from Sydney by yours truly).

I like how the brownie is dense and rich and then the meringue is light and both marshmallow-y and crispy.  Awesomesauce.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peppermint Ice Cream

I have been going a little bit Christmas crazy in my head for some reason this year... purposefully listening to Christmas music (not something I normally do), repeatedly viewing this gem featuring Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey and the Roots (love it), craving cookies (trying not to eat them), trying to convince Tim to sit on Indonesian Santa's lap for a photo opp at our local mall (unsuccessfully)...  not sure what it is.  Perhaps the anticipation of being in the U.S. for the first time in 14 months?

Anywho, I've been craving creamy pink, pepperminty, candy caney ice cream- the kind with the little candy bits in it. I found some candy canes here in Jakarta, have some peppermint extract that Meghan and Liz brought me back when they visited, and found a recipe from sources I trust (Simply Recipes using a David Lebovitz technique), so I had a go at it.  

Peppermint cce cream: success. Creamy, minty and awesome with chocolate sauce.  Can't wait to try it sandwiched between some chewy chocolate cookies.

Candy canes: FAIL.  Like many "western" things here in Jakarta, those candy canes were Not Quite Right (NQR, my most frequently used acronym these days).  Luckily I tasted them before adding them to the ice cream, because they were most definitely not peppermint flavored, despite their peppermint look.  Strawberry, perhaps?  Whatever flavor, it was gross, so these will be show candy canes, never to be eaten.  Sigh.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Another day, another baby romper.  This one made from some awesome yellow and multicolored striped seersucker from the Real Martha, made from the same pattern as the blue striped one I made a few months ago, Butterick B5625.  

I made it in this gender-neutral fabric for Baby Dos, because until I checked Facebook this morning, it wasn't clear that Baby Dos was a girl.  She'll probably get all of Zoe's hand-me-downs, but here's a start for her own personal wardrobe.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

This past Saturday was Tony's pot-luck holiday party.  With his famous Key Lime Pie already on the menu, we were trying to decide on another dessert to bring.  Pinterest strikes again! And Tony thinks it's a useless website, tsk tsk.  Well moments later I found  this recipe.  With some help from my ass groove Tony was able to make some damn tasty brownies!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Creamy Pesto Parmesan Salad Dressing

I had a bunch of leftover homemade basil/cilantro/almond pesto that needed to be used up as well as a craving for a salad.  Did some Googling and came up with this creamy pesto parmesan salad dressing recipe that looked pretty good.  Apparently it's based on a well-loved and much sought-after recipe from the Old Spaghetti Factory.  I've never been to that restaurant, but the dressing sounded pretty nice.  

I put my own twist on it as follows, upping the pesto quantity and subbing in yogurt for the sour cream.  I like how it turned out- tangy, herby and a hint of cheesey. 

Creamy Pesto Parmesan Dressing
Adapted from

1/4 C plain, unsweetened yogurt
1/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 buttermilk (I mixed milk with a teaspoon of lime juice)
1 TBS finely grated parmesan
3 TBS pesto
Freshly grated black pepper

Mix, chill and pour over salad!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wristers: Knit Your Bit!

 My latest knitting project: tubes with holes.

They don't look like much, but they're a big accomplishment for me... I used double-pointed needles (really tiny ones at that: size 2!) for the whole project, so new skills are being mastered.

Colleen (who is my number one blog reader/commenter/fan) sent me a skein of this pretty, self-striping sock yarn (Patons Kroy Socks FX in Cascade Colors) with no instructions for its use, so I made her something with it. Gloves were still a little bit out of my comfort zone and I wasn't sure there was enough yarn for socks.  But fingerless gloves?  Don't mind if I do.  Good for texting, right?

I used this super easy pattern (k3, p2 in the round until the thumb hole, then work flat for a bit, then in the round again for the hand part) that has a super interesting back story.   Apparently back in the day, during World War I (and again during WWII), the American Red Cross provided yarn and instructions for Americans to knit socks, gloves, scarves, hats, vests and other warm things for service men and women to wear while on duty in freezing cold Europe.  There was even knitting propaganda: Our Boys Need Sox. Knit Your Bit.

Pretty interesting!  Hopefully she likes them!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stove-top Naan

Tim and I went to our favorite Indian restaurant last weekend for lunch.  We love the food there, but it's not somewhere we could feasibly go on a weekday, as we could be stuck in Jakarta traffic for 2 hours there and 2 hours back, possibly.  As such, I decided to also order some of my favorite dishes (chana masala and saag paneer) to go (dibungkus, which means wrapped up, a useful phrase to know) to eat later in the week.  

I was planning to make rice to accompany the leftovers, but honestly, we're a little sick of rice.  Naan it is, then!  I made this recipe from Aarti Sequeira, which is a simple stove-top version made in a cast iron pan and then brushed with butter at the end.  Pretty good! The dough is ridiculously sticky and I knew trying to use my rolling pin would be a disaster, so I shaped the loaves with my hands.  They're probably not as thin as they could be, but still quite awesome.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Latest Toddler Duds

Duds in the sense of clothes, not in the sense of disappointments, although I am a little disappointed with the sleeves on the sweater below.

Kate requested more sweaters for Izzy, and after my success modifying the Super Natural Stripes pattern, I thought I would try it again.  The body seemed to come out ok, but for some reason the arms are kinda fat. Not sure what happened there.  Sorry, Izzy!  Lots of extra space for the gun show, I guess.

Well, despite the strangely large sleeves, the sweater is pretty cute thanks to these heart-shaped buttons that I got at Pasar Mayestik here in Jakarta:

Barbara, on the other hand, requested more pants for Andrew.  I had already made and sent him some Big Butt Baby Pants, so this time I decided to make him some regular sized butt pants.  I used the pants pattern that had used for Zoe's batik and plaid outfit, Simplicity 1894.  I used some cute cotton plaid and seersucker that I also got at Pasar Mayestik.  I hope Andrew likes the preppy look!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

So Many Tiny Pocket Tanks

So many Tiny Pocket Tanks (all without pockets... I have a bias against unpractical pockets for some reason).  I love this pattern, though; it's quite cute and works so well with funky prints.

During their wild and crazy adventure here in Indonesia, the EPA girls took some time to pick out a piece of fabric each, to be made by moi into a Tiny Pocket Tank.  

Jenny chose this amazing navy and turquoise hand-made ikat in Ubud (I took the remainder of the cut and will probably make myself an identical shirt).  So beautiful.

 Ms. Guitar chose this funky batik and I convinced her that she should split the yardage (handmade batik usually comes in 2.25 meter lengths, the length of a traditional sarong, but not quite long enough for 2 tanks) and make one tank for her and one for her twin sister.  I cut the back of the tanks from a solid black cotton that I got at Pasar Mayestik here in Jakarta.

Eileen chose this cool, funky colored ikat.  Love it.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Leftover Cranberry Sauce?

Got leftover cranberry sauce?  If so, make these cranberry crumble bars.  Super easy and quite a big hit at the Thanksgiving party we went to in Jakarta...  they went slowly at first, but at the end of the party, as we were leaving, I had at least 6 people pull me over and tell me they were awesome.  Pretty ringing endorsement.

I used this cranberry crumble bar recipe from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living, which conveniently arrived here in Jakarta the day before Thanksgiving.  The recipe looked pretty easy and delicious, but I had to make a few changes out of necessity:
  • First, a 9"x13" pan doesn't fit in my mini oven, so I decided to switch up the pans.  I went with my removeable bottom tart pan so I would end up with pie-shaped bars... I split the dough recipe into 2 and made 2 tarts, each cooked for 30 minutes. 
  • I probably used 1 and a half cans of cranberry sauce between the 2 tarts, though.  
  • Also, I substituted toasted, slivered almonds for the walnuts, which I couldn't find for some reason (the Real Martha thinks there is a walnut shortage of some sort this year- she says prices of walnuts have skyrocketed of late).


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have a good holiday!

Tim and I got a head start on the festivities by cooking a turkey and mini-Thanksgiving meal this past Sunday to ensure that we had leftovers.  We've also got a pot-luck party coming up on Thanksgiving itself with a bunch of folks we met here in Jakarta. 

Here's how we did our turkey... it was a bit of free wheelin', so bear with me:
  • cleaned the bird up, salt and peppered the cavity
  • stuffed it with half an onion (cubed), half a head of garlic (cut in half), half a lemon, a carrot (rough cut), a handful of fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
  • rubbed it and stuffed the skin with a compound butter made with minced rosemary, sage and garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper
  • tied up the legs with a strip of foil, tucked the wings in
  • put it in our pre-heated mini oven (adopted from Ben and Erin), which was at approximately 375 F, give or take
  • let it brown a bit, then loosely covered it in foil
  • let it cook for about 3 hours, taking off the foil again towards the end to brown it up again
  • let it rest for 20 minutes while 
It came out pretty tasty!  Definitely not overcooked, definitely moist, definitely delicious.

We also had some great leftovers concoctions:

1. The most delicious leftovers sandwich ever: toasted bread spread with mayo on one side, cranberry sauce on the other, a thin layer of stuffing, mixed white and dark meat turkey, lots of lettuce and two pieces of bacon.  Awesome.  Like a Thanksgiving turkey club.

2. Turkey and white bean chili, made loosely based on this Martha Stewart recipe, with the addition of 2 chipotles in adobo, 2 cloves of garlic, and a handful of leftover stuffing to thicken it up.  I also left out the water because it looked far too liquidy already.  Pretty good, though!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

Coffee ice cream has been and always will be my favorite.  This Vietnamese coffee ice cream, made with sweetened condensed milk and very strongly brewed coffee, is extra special. 

I used David Lebovitz's eggless and super easy recipe from The Perfect Scoop.  I used some Trung Nguyen coffee that Tim brought back from Vietnam.  So good.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Salmon with Guava BBQ Sauce

Mmmm... guava BBQ sauce. So good.  Made with my guava jam and caramelized on top of a nice piece of salmon, quite tasty.

I used this recipe, although I added a liberal squirt of Sriracha for extra spice to balance the sweetness in the sauce.  I plopped the salmon atop this bell pepper free mango and cucumber salsa recipe from Simply Recipes, mixed with a can of black beans.  Good stuff.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bacon Weaved BLT

BLT Night!

Made BLTs tonight, decided to try another Pinterest post where bacon pieces are weaved to make sure there is  delicious bacon in every bite! Three pieces of bacon cut in half and weaved together.  Added some Sriracha mayo to it, yum.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guava Jam

Tim and I saw some really pretty pink fruits at the grocery store last weekend... we had no idea what they were and the Indonesian label was not particularly elucidating for me (I only recognized two words- "merah," which means red and "biji," which means seed).  We thought perhaps they were some sort of round papaya, maybe?  We took a chance and bought them.

When I got home I did some googling and realized that we had purchased guavas.  Interesting.  My next question was: what the hell do I do with guavas?  More googling... guava paste!  Apparently guava paste is a big thing in the Caribbean, where its made into empanadas or paired with salty cheese. 

I made the paste based on these recipes I found and it was mostly successful- mine didn't seem to gel as much as it should have (perhaps it needed pectin to do so? maybe more cooking time?).  I tried to mold it in these shallow muffin top pans so that I would end up with little guava paste discs that I could cut into wedges, but ultimately it never hardened and stayed jam-like, so I put it in a jar and popped it in the fridge.

I spread it on crackers and topped it with a tiny square of feta cheese- awesome appetizer.  It also worked quite well on crackers with a smudge of cream cheese as well as on buttered toast.  Mmm.

4 guavas made a lot of jam, so maybe my next step is a recipe with the guava paste... cheesecake? BBQ sauceTurnovers or some sort of pastry? Souffle?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Big Butt Baby Pants Galore

Made some more Big Butt Baby Pants (Triple B P?) a couple weeks ago...  

Barbara requested pants for Andrew since he's feeding himself now and things get quite messy, requiring multiple outfit changes per day.  These are like the reverse of the rocket pants I made for baby Alex last month:

This time I made a cuff detail so they can be rolled up or unrolled at the bottom:

Also, a Christmas "day look" (har har) made from the same fabric as the Christmas dress I made Zoe a few weeks ago, one pair for Zoe, one pair for Izzy: