WIP Wednesday

I have been working on *UFO’s, making a quick gift for a friend, and a couple of new projects just for me!

First the gift…

This is a smallish table rug 12 x 12 inches.  It was constructed as you would make a pot holder, and has a heat protective layer on the back.  I hope she likes it…

Now the works in progress…

My chicken block is on the project board whilst I futz with it trying to decide exactly how I want to finish it.   If you know me, then you know my love of chickens and all things chicken inspired.  This is a 12.5 X 12.5  block that will be the center of a new table runner.  I have two more blocks planned, but will reveal them when the project is closer to being done.

The Valentine’s centerpiece, supplied by my husband (Thank you Sweety 🙂 ) is sitting on my (almost) completed table runner.  The blocks go by Jacob’s Ladder, or the Underground RR.  This is one of the UFO’s.  I cut it out last March, but was too intimidated to actually begin the piecing process.  Two weeks ago, I decided to give it a go, and voila!  The picture of the completed project will be in focus I promise.  This project needs batting and a backing, but lacking a nice runner for Valentine’s dinner I put it on the table anyway.

So, that’s it for this Wednesday.

~*~

*UFO’s, according to the accomplished sewists out there,  are:

Unfinished Objects”

Valentine’s Day Review

So Valentine’s Day has come and gone and I accomplished what I set out to do.  My pictures aren’t the greatest  (still haven’t sprung for the tripod) but they convey the mood and my meager success at celebration.  😉

I want to discuss at the end what worked and didn’t with the cake too!

Gifts for the sweetie…

Assemblage for the GF Red Velvet Cake

The instructions said to bake in two round or one square cake pan.  I wanted a round cake for a change so I chose to line the springform pan and crossed my fingers that it would work… It did!  However, it took an hour and a half to bake all the way through!

The setting

How did Chanticleer get in there?  Well… Bob intended to get me flowers, the ones he knew I wanted.  I expected that he would do that very thing, so I chose not to buy a centerpiece…  problem!

He went to get them and there were none to be had!  Poor Bob… he was really sad about it too!  I told him it was OK, and just put  the Ceramic rooster there instead, and then I moved him again when we sat down to eat, as he  is way too tall for a centerpiece!

So, not the best table I have ever done, but better than paper plates, and again it needs to be said, I haven’t done this in years.   Hummm, maybe next time I will go visit “Between Naps on the Porch” for more inspired place settings!  Positively dreamy… (sigh)

OK, snapping out of it!

The main course was the fish a la In Danny’s Kitchen and it turned out well.  Bob wanted more flavor inside the fish, but he liked it, so next time I will marinate it with a bit of lemon and jalapeno pepper (completely seeded and veined!  I want flavor not heat!!!).  Use caution if you try this because  you want flavor not Ceviche!  Leaving fish in lemon juice will chemically cook your fish and you don’t want that! 😀  The Udi’s bread was perfect as bread crumbs.  It stood up to the seasonings, butter, and egg very well!

(For the Gluten Free readers in the crowd:  To make the bread crumbs I had to chill the bread in the refrigerator.  Then I used the large grate side on my grater and shredded it.  From here it could be toasted with seasonings if you like, but I chose to use it as-is and added the seasonings and egg, etc. and mixed.  NOTE:  I had tried to prebake the bread and then process them, but it all turned to powder!  YECH!  Best to shred them instead.   You will be a lot happier!)

Now to the cake.  While the cake was successful, it did not collapse, or fall apart (thanks to the springform pan)  I was nevertheless not entirely happy with the recipe.

PROS

  • Best texture of any gluten free cake EVER!  NOT chokingly dry like most GF chocolate cakes.   (Secret?  BUTTERMILK!)
  • Held up to being baked round!  I am somewhat encouraged with this recipe to try regular cake pans next time.
  • Taste?  Chocolate of course.
  • Frosting?  Dreamy… with a proviso (see cons).

CONS

  • While I liked the texture I didn’t find the flavor to be exciting.
  • And while we LOVED the frosting we found it insipid on this cake.  It would be awesome on a cake with robust flavor like spice or gingerbread for instance!  But when the recipe called for cream cheese, well we were expecting the flavor and texture of the cream cheese to come through.  It did not.
  • Red Velvet cake should be red, and to accomplish this you need LOTS of red food coloring (3 oz.)  I used only one and even only one oz.  had a  strange effect. (***see comment below).

Next time I am going to have to bake from scratch and use the old-fashioned recipe that calls for beets.  It sounds odd, but if you think about it, well, it’s no different from eating carrot cake or zucchini bread.  Right? Oh yes, and I will actually make the recipe into cup cakes and freeze at least half I think.   That is of course unless I have company coming to help eat it!

So, all in all for a first trial at celebrating I think this one was good, but not stellar.  So no biggie,  I got all year to get it right!

I’ll write about the upcoming celebrations this year so you and I can see how I’ve progressed.   It will be an interesting journey, well for me at least, and a challenge!

Thoughts on buttermilk… I ask you, if the recipe calls for buttermilk, and you go to the grocers to get buttermilk, then why would you want REDUCED FAT BUTTERMILK?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of using buttermilk in the first place?  If you would buy reduced fat buttermilk, then I would think that it is the same as regular milk, because the regular has the cream skimmed off, but still has some fats.  Isn’t the cream mainly butter fats?  Am I missing something here?

Comments on red dye in foods: I used one ounce of red food coloring, and as stated, the recipe called for three.  It was beyond my budget to use three bottles at well over $4.o0 per bottle!  So I chose to try only one.  I’m glad I did!  Even with the less than called for amount of red dye in my cake it made for lightly pink-tinted _____ (rhymes with Bee)!  TMI?  Sorry, but I thought you should be warned!

Imagine if I had used all three bottles!  Scary.