Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For Sale.

I am sure you have all experience this, but once people know you sew you get asked to do the craziest things. I have been asked to sew cushions for outdoor patio furniture, repair a bathing suit, alter a men's suit and the list goes on!
Hello, I am a quilter, not a seamstress!
But this time I have to say it was a blessing! My husband's friend came across a box full of sewing "stuff" as he called it! He knew I sewed so he gave it to him to give to me.
Wow! What a find, however these don't work on my machine.....Darn!
So I am selling them.
This box full of 11 different presser feet are for the 8 series Bernina machine.
The feet are as listed; #40C #1D #1C #2A #3 A #5 #18 #20C #26 #4D.
There are several other accessories as shown in photo.
Contact me at:  Fran@sewbella.net for more information.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looks good and taste even better!

This French Apple Tart is always a crowd favorite.
Little do my guest know that it is easy to make, shhhh don't give my secret away.
This recipe is one I got off the Food Network site many years ago.
 I have also made this with pears.
The ingredients for the pastry crust.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (1 1/2 stick)
1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
4 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jam.
For the pastry, place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times. The secret for a good flaky crust is not to over work your dough.  You want the butter to look like the size of peas. Next add ice cold water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough comes together. Dump out on a floured surface and kneed quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out to about 10 by 14. Place dough on prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
Peel and core the apples, slice apples 1/4 inch thick and than cut apple slice in half.
Place the apples overlapping diagonally down the middle of the tart and and then down each sides. Continue until the crust is completely covered. I leave a small amount of crust around the sides and bottom and curl it up slightly to give the tart a slight lip.
Next take a 1/2 cup of sugar and sprinkle over all the apples, dot with butter.
Now you could add some cinnamon on top. The recipe doesn't call for it but I have done it in the past.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is brown and the edges of the apples start to brown.
Heat Apricot jam in a pot and bring it to slight boil. Using a pastry brush, brush a light coating of jam over the apples.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Farmers Market finds.

When most farmers markets are shutting down for the season ours in Arizona are just getting good again. Not much grows when it's 110 outside, besides who wants to walk around a farmers market when it's that hot!
I hit two markets this week, one in Scottsdale Thursday night and the other on Saturday in Gilbert. Saturday was a family event, Wally, Amanda and my Dad tagged along.
Wally found green chilies and asked if I would make him Chile Rellones.
I am always up for a food challenge and quite frankly tired of making the same old stuff.
So I googled Chile rellones to check out some recipes. I always take a recipe and make it my own and this one was no different.
First thing you have to do is remove the skin and seeds.
Have to be honest, not my favorite part.
Next I took a brick of Jack cheese and cut long strips, I carefully placed the strip of cheese in the center of the pepper and stuck them in the refrigerator while I made the batter.
For the batter I took two eggs and 1/4 cup of flour and whisked until smooth. I thought my batter was a little too thick so I added some chicken broth and salt.
You don't want your batter too thick, thinner that pancake batter is the best way for me to describe it. Now you could just use water but I had the broth out for my rice so I just used it.
Set my oil up in a large frying pan and started to dip my Chile's into the batter.
They didn't take long to fry up and surprisingly the cheese stayed in the pepper.
I served them with my version of Spanish rice and Wally wanted refried beans.

They were very good and easy to make.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Nordstroms Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad.

The other night I had dinner with a friend at Nordstroms. I had ordered the Cilantro Lime Chicken salad and fell in love! The flavors were over the top and I knew I had to try and make it at home
A quick trip to Sprouts later I was in the kitchen with my mad scientist apron on trying to duplicate the flavors.
First I cooked the chicken, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and lime zest. I drizzled a little olive oil and cooked it on the oven. The secret to moist chicken is to take it out a few minutes before it is completely done and cover it with foil. It will finish cooking and all the juices will stay in the chicken.
Next I roasted zucchini and red peppers. Now this salad had corn in it, I know this may sound odd but the corn must have been freeze dried. It wasn't hard, but it also wasn't chewy. So 10 minutes before the zucchini and peppers were done I put some corn on the tray to mimic the corn in the salad.
I also chopped up tomatoes and cucumbers.
Now onto the dressing. I added the juice of 4 limes into the Cuisinart along with two cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of honey. I then added the leaves of cilantro, about a cup full and pulsed until everything was blended.
Then I slowly added olive oil until my dressing was emulsified and creamy looking.
I chopped the chicken added all my ingredients to a bowl of mixed greens poured my dressing over the salad and garnished with Pepita and sunflower seeds.
The picture is not the greatest but the taste is over the top!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Just love fall.

Fall is my favorite time of year, the cooler weather, the holidays, and warm hearty comfort foods. I love making soups, homemade breads, crock pot stews, apple desserts and all the fall vegetables.
Today I decided to try this new recipe that I saw on Pen and Fork website.
I love Acorn and Butternut squash but have never try Kabocha.

My new favorite thing to do with vegetables is to roast then in the oven with a drizzle of Olive Oil and salt and pepper.
So I cut this squash in half, took out the seeds and cut into 1/2 wedges. I left the skin on because they are very hard and it makes it difficult to peel.
I drizzle with Olive oil, and salt and peppered them and roasted at 400 degrees until they were soft and getting golden brown.
Then I took a 1/2 cup of pure Maple syrup and brought it to a boil. Reduced it to a 1/3 of a cup. Added 1 tablespoon of Rice Wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice. Drizzled the syrup of the cooked squash and put it back into the oven for about another 10 minutes.
The glaze is so good that I think I am going to do the same recipe with sweet potatoes next time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween costume!

My daughter Amanda has allowed me to make her costume this year!
Now I am sure some of you are wondering why I said "allowed" I will explain!
When Amanda was born my amazing Mother started making Amanda her Halloween costumes. Each year out doing the prior year.
My Mom

When my Mom got sick, Amanda and her Dad starting going to the Halloween store to buy her costumes. Now mind you they never asked me to go because I would never have let them pay that crazy money for something that is worn one day out of the year!!!
So this year I decided to make Amanda's costume myself, I mean really how hard could it be, I can sew!!!!!
So first Amanda had to decide on what she wanted to be, let me tell you that wasn't easy, if you have a 12 year old daughter you know what I mean.
We were in Target trying to get some ideas when we came across this plain white plastic mask, similar to one worn at a masquerade party. I suggested to Amanda that we buy it, decorate it with glitter and crystals and build the costume from there. Guess what????? She liked that idea.
So she spray painted it black and added her touches with glitter and crystals.
 Next I found some great fabric 50% off at JoAnns and started designing her dress.
I found this wonderful black shimmery fabric that look green in one light and purple in the next, so I used that around the neck and bottom of the dress.

I didn't have enough to go around the sleeves so I got out the glue gun and added some crystals.
Last but certainly not least were the shoes. Amanda had a old dingy looking pair of white sneakers, so we spray painted them black and added some glitter.
Her costume was complete and all under $20 bucks!
I am not sure how many more years she will be dressing up but I am sure I have passed the test and will be able to make next years costume.
By the way she and her friend Abi have decided they want to be Thing 1 and Thing 2 next year. Maybe I should get started now!