17 March 2011

Sublime Stitching's Meaty Treats Patterns, and a Rather Epic Apron for Dad

My dad recently celebrated a birthday, way back in January.  I had the wonderful idea to make him an apron, since he's always cooking for someone- whether in the kitchen for family, on the grill, or for his fellow Masons and all the other organizations he's involved with.  The apron that I had in mind would feature steaks.  I searched and searched for the right fabric but nothing really caught my eye.  I wanted it to be quirky and fun, maybe a little retro.  Finally, with nearly one week to go and no steak pattern fabric in sight I realized it was time to seek out other options.  Enter the amazing Sublime Stitching patterns of Jenny Hart.  
Though familiar with Jenny Hart and her embroidery company, I had never used one of her patterns, nor had I done any major embroidery since I was in the 5th or 6th grade when I embroidered a colorful daisy flower on the back pocket of my most favorite jeans.  A quick Google search directed me to the company and her then newly released Meaty Treats pattern.  I hit the jack pot.  With designs for sausage links, and steaks, and hams, and hamburgers, and chicken wings I was equipped to make the most epic food-themed apron for my dad, ever.  I would not stop with a single steak.  Oh no, I had to add as many items on the apron as I could- complete with a sausage link pennant-like banner across the top from which various meat items would hang and a Sunday ham dinner flanked by two partially eaten chicken wings across the front pocket.

07 March 2011

Mental health day

After a long weekend that culminated with me accidentally plunging my iPhone into a cup of chocolate milk, I've decided to take a mental health day to save my sanity from "a case of the Mondays".  I plan on relaxing on the couch with coffee under a fluffy down blanket, walking Heidi around the neighborhood, and maybe making myself a pretty pair of earrings, just for the heck of it.

But for now, I'll share a collection of feathered ones that have me thinking spring.

02 March 2011

Meyer Lemon, Asiago and Roasted Tomato Pasta Salad

With the mild, spring like temperatures the east coast has been having as of late, Dan and I found ourselves itching for warm nights and barbecues.  To settle our pangs for the Spring we decided to make a cold pasta salad earlier this week, paired with simple teriyaki chicken, grilled on Dan's beloved vintage Webber. (yes. Vintage.  c. 1986.  That boy is a sucker for a good grill.)

I have a feeling that this simple pasta salad is going to become a spring and summer barbecue staple in our little household.  I think any sort of vegetable and pasta would work rather well, especially grilled asparagus and roasted red peppers.  The key to it, and that which you must not skimp out on, is the quickly roasted tomatoes and the tangy Meyer lemon dressing.  The slow roasted tomatoes do add a little bit more prep time than one would hope for, but if you do them in advance- say, the night or morning before- you are smooth sailing my friends.  I decided to roast them that evening so I opted for a shortcut by slicing them into half inch slices, drizzling them with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Under a 400 degree oven, they should be roasted enough for your needs, in about 10 minutes.  Because I was prepping all the other ingredients, I kept them in for at least a half an hour and they were tasty as can be.