Sunday, 16 November 2014

ÅSOM SEWING: SKIRT

Just thought I'd update you on what we've been making in my Åsom sewing class! For our second project, we made skirts. Everyone learnt how to make a pattern for a half-circle skirt in the class I missed, but I picked up a similar skirt pattern from Stoff & Stil. It wasn't quite a half-circle skirt, but I got a quick catch-up on how to make the patterns from scratch, so that'll be another sewing project for the future!



The skirt I made was in many ways very similar to this one I made earlier, though there were also some key differences. While the one I made earlier was based on rectangles, the pieces this pattern used were a bit curved, which I think made doing the gathering easier, as there wasn't as much fabric to deal with. The waistband was also a simpler version, as I only cut one piece of fabric and folded it over (with interfacing), rather than cutting two pieces and sewing them together. My sewing instructor commented that this was the lazy version of a waistband, but I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out. I also learnt how to attach a zipper and how to use bias binding, so my skirt even looks neat on the inside. I haven't really bothered with this in previous projects, but definitely will in the future!

Friday, 7 November 2014

CARDAMOM AND ORANGE CRUSTLESS CHEESECAKE

Oh, how I love cheesecake! It's my go-to when I'm ordering dessert at a restaurant. While I was a student in Glasgow, six of us shared a flat right around the corner from a Peckham's that sold the most delicious cheesecake. During this time, a couple of my flatmates and I went through a bit of a phase where we perhaps visited that Peckham's a little too often, and ended up eating a little too much cheesecake. Though, there is no such thing as too much cheesecake, is there?

I've never really made much cheesecake myself though. I've made a couple of gelatin-based ones, but my heart lies with baked cheesecakes for sure. I was convinced they were really difficult to make though, until I stumbled upon this recipe for baked cheesecake in apples. I tried it out on a couple of apples, but ended up with a bit of leftover cheesecake mix which I poured into a ramekin and threw it in the oven with the rest of the apples. And while the cheesecake in the apples didn't seem to set properly (maybe my apples were too juicy?), the cheesecake in the ramekin turned out delicious. I've since tweaked the recipe a bit and added some flavors, and now it seems it's my go-to when I'm making dessert at home as well. No such thing as too much cheesecake though, right?

Ingredients:
200 g cream cheese
60 g powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cardamom
zest of half an orange
1 egg
digestive biscuits (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Add the cream cheese to a small bowl, and mix in the powdered sugar. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Divide the mix into two greased ramekins, I use two 12 cm terracotta dishes. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Once baked, take it out and place in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours to cool. Serve with a crumbled digestive biscuit on top.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

PHOTO BOOK: PHOTO ADVENTURES VOLUME II




Yay! I made another photo book! I made a short to-do list of 11 items this fall, and this was one of them (which leaves me with 5 items left on this list, eek!). Photo Adventures Volume II, is as you may have guessed, the sequel to this photo book (and you can see others I've made here and here), and contains photos Graeme and I have taken with our analog cameras. One thing I love about these books is how they're divided up. The first volume contains photos from all our photo adventures up until Graeme proposed. In fact, the last photo of that book is a photo I took of him with my Diana mini, seconds before he popped the questionI love that photo! This second volume contains the photos we've taken while we were engaged, most of which time we were living in separate countries, so there's a lot of photos both from Scotland and Norway. I've already started on Volume III, which starts with an iPhone photo (I'm including digitals in this one!) of my super excited face as Graeme surprised me by showing up on my doorstep a week earlier than he was supposed to when he moved to Norway this summer.



Making a photo book is a really time-consuming task for me though, so I'm way behind on the list of photo books I want to make. First I gather all the photos (which usually requires a bit of digging as they're all in different folders organized by camera, then year, then occasion--that's how it goes when you have about 15 cameras and organizing geek tendencies). Then I spend ages deciding which ones to include, before deciding on the order and then eventually the layout and placement on each page. And I have tons of little rules I follow, like how the colors of a page have to go together, and how I can't have two pictures of the same person next to each other, unless there's other people in that shot or unless it for some reason just works really well. I've also started editing some of the photos in photoshop first, though so far only to add titles as I'm not a massive fan of the title page options and fonts the blurb software comes with. It's a very time-consuming process, but I also really enjoy it, and these days I'm making more of an effort to dedicate some time to actually sit down and do it. However, my dad recently asked me if I could make one for him using his pictures, as he'd gotten a flyer in the post for a special offer on Cewe photo books and because I help him with all things computer-related. I laughed in his face.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

ÅSOM SEWING COURSE

So I joined a sewing class! A friend of mine (who's behind the sports brand Åsom) is running a sewing course for beginners, and it sounded fun so I decided to join.  We meet on Mondays at 18.00 at Sølvberget in Stavanger (join us!). However, I wasn't able to make it last Monday as I was travelling, so I decided to finish up my project from the first class at home. And ta-da! Check out my mini shopper, aka my new yarn bag. I'm not sure how many projects we'll be finishing during this course, but I'm looking forward to having some dedicated sewing time each week, learning more about different types of fabrics and techniques, as well as meeting some like-minded people who enjoy sewing too.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

BALSAMIC TOMATO TATIN

Pinterest can be both a blessing and a curse. While it's great for finding inspiration, I find that I often end up pinning things and never look at them again. This is especially true for me when it comes to recipes for some reason. So I decided to take a look on my pinterest boards for something to make for breakfast, and came across this recipe for a tomato tartin. I'm a bit of a breakfast enthusiast, and love trying out new things for breakfast on the weekend. The past couple of weekends, I've made tomato tartins for breakfast.

I first tried a variation of this recipe using green tomatoes from the garden. It's getting colder and I've started to lose hope that the tomatoes on my plant will ever end up actually turning red. A handful of them have made it, and they've been the sweetest and most delicious tomatoes I've ever tasted (of course I'm not biased), but we are now at the end of October, we've started lighting up the fireplace and my tomato plant is still full of green tomatoes. But at least this recipe is something that works with green tomatoes, too. But my favorite way of making it is with caramelized balsamic red onions. I love the flavor you end up with, and while some might argue this is a bit of a summer dish, I think it's perfect for a weekend breakfast/brunch in fall, when it's all stormy and wet outside.


Ingredients:
200 g flour
100 g butter
1 egg
pinch of salt
250 g tomatoes (mixed)
olive oil
1 large red onion
2 tblsp balsamic
1 tsp sugar
olive oil

Directions:
First make the dough: Mix flour, salt and butter until combined, and your dough is forming little pebbles. Combine the egg, and let chill for 30 minutes. While your dough is chilling, cut your tomatoes in half, add a bit of olive oil to the bottom of your pan, and add a layer of tomato halves, skin sides down. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Bake in the oven on 175 C for half an hour, until the tomatoes are soft. While your tomatoes are baking, slice your onion and sauté in a pan with some olive oil. Once the onions are soft, add the balsamic and sugar, and continue to cook until caramelized. Take out the tomatoes, add a layer of carmelized red onion. Roll out your dough, and place on top. Prick with a fork, and stick it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Once the dough starts to brown, take it out and dig in!