Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chocolate-coated coffee meringue

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Meringue are cookies that are made using only two main ingredients - egg whites and sugar. Flavouring can be added such as vanilla. I had never tasted meringues and wanted to try them out once. The recipe seemed very simple and easy to make. You need 1/4 cup of fine sugar for every egg white you use. I used 3 egg whites and 3/4 cup of sugar. Normally during baking I measure the sugar and powder it in a blender. That way it is easy while mixing as the sugar gets dissolved quicker.
 Here is what you have to do - first separate 3 egg whites. Powder 3/4 cup sugar as you need super fine sugar. Having an electric mixer is handy because beating egg whites with your hands until stiff is not fun. First beat the egg whites until foamy. Then you add the sugar little by little (not all at a time) and beat well. You have to beat until the egg whites form a stiff peak and the sugar is all dissolved. This is how you do a plain meringue. You can add vanilla for flavour. I decided to use coffee flavour. I added 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the sugar before powdering. If you have a piping bag you can use it to pipe the mixture on to the tray, otherwise you can spoon onto the tray. Baking has to be done at a low temperature for longer duration. I baked them at 100 degree C for 1 hour or so. You know it is done when it comes out easily from the baking sheet.
It came out perfectly well. Now, how was the taste? It wasn't much to my liking. I was not too happy with the coffee flavour and I felt it was too sugary for my taste. May be I should have used the vanilla instead. But my kid liked it. Then I decided to give it a chocolate coating to mask the coffee flavour. Belive me, it was so yum after the chocolate coating.
For the chocolate coating I didn't follow any particular recipe. I just took little milk, around a teaspoon or two of butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and heated it, stirring continuously until it thickened. Then cooled it and dipped the meringues into this chocolate sauce. But after the chocolate coating the meringues softened up. They weren't crisp any more but I loved the taste of it.

Now there were three egg yolks left and so the next day I made yellow cake which I made for the first time. I will show that at a later post. That's all for now folks. Now I will go and take a short nap. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Vibrant Cushion 1

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The granny stripes that I showed you earlier has taken the form of a beautiful, bright-coloured pillow cover. I initially started to make a cover for another stool but then changed it to a pillow cover. I needed this cover very much because the set of three cushions that were without cover were starting to get dirty with my son throwing them all around the house. So the cushions were a priority and the stool could wait.
Instead of making the whole cover multicolored I chose to use multiple colous for one-third of the pillow and use a single colour for the rest of it. This gives an ethnic look to the pillow.

I have two more pillows from this set. I don't want all the three to look similar but at the same time I don't want them to look entirely different. So I am using the same color combinations for those two but going to change the pattern.

I have started working on my next pillow cover and hope to finish it soon.

Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

simple Pleasures

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Yesteday the weather was okay, actually it had rained heavily in some parts of the city but not ours. For over the past one week I hadn't been keeping well with cold and fever and generally feeling lousy. So yesterday when I started feeling better I thought I would take my son to the park. He could practice on his skating and I could use some fresh air.

When I had gone to the park around ten days back there were plenty of flowers and I missed taking the camera along. Keeping that in mind this time I took the camera with me and thought I might do some macro shots. But I was very disappointed. There were hardly any flowers and even those one or two that were there had started to wither. Then I started chasing bugs, at least I could take some macro of those bugs. But again no luck. Those bugs wouldn't stand still and I started feeling silly chasing them around. So gave up on that too. Finally took some pics of Harshu skating and turned back home.

Flower for mamma, sweet isn't it?

 On the way home I picked these tiny flowers so that I could make some tiny arrangement.

Ok, my idea wasn't to make such a lengthy post but I got carried away.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blue Doily

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This blue doily that I started ages ago is finally done. I wanted to make this big enough to cover my round coffee table but that was not possible because,
1. Thread was not available. I purchased this thread long time ago (many years ago) and a similar colour was not available.
2. I didn't have any more patience.

The pattern is my own. Of course, I got inspirations from several other patterns. As I was working this I was also writing down the pattern. After completing every round I would write it down but after several rounds it became difficult for me to keep track of what I was doing. I took it along during my vacation and it was not possible to jot down everything I did during my travel. So I just gave up.

It has turned out beautifully and I love this color.

Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Progressing with granny stripes

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I have started my next big yarn project. If you are my regular reader you know that I have already made a stool cover but there is one more stool which also needed some covering up. So initially I started this as a stool cover but midway through I changed my plan and ended up making a cushion cover.

I have three cushions of similar size, so I am planning to make three cushion covers with similar colour combinations but with changes in the pattern, so that they make a set but don't look similar. Hmmm, I don't know. It all depends on the outcome of the first cushion cover. If I am not satisfied with it, then I might drop this idea of making a set.

I also made a tree of hearts inspired by attic 24, but I did not use the heart pattern from there, instead I used the pattern provided here.  

Husband thinks I am going bonkers.

Anyway have a nice day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strawberry potholder

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I had been wanting to do these ornamental potholders for a long time. So I started out with a vintage strawberry potholder pattern but I am not sure if I followed the pattern correctly because the strawberry turned out too small. It was more like an applique strawberry rather than a potholder. So I made a square with double crochet stitches and sewed the strawberry onto it.

I forgot to make a stalk for the strawberry. It would have made the strawberry look even better. I got the pattern for the strawberry from here.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Paper bag in a jifty

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I did this paper bag as a school project work for my son. He wanted me to make something out of waste. I had this brochure which was nice and thick. I liked the color. So I decided to make use of it. I was just holding it in my hand and thinking what to do with it. I was trying to fold it in different ways and suddenly this idea struck me.  So here is how I made the bag in simple steps.

This is the brochure that I had.

I folded it into half.

Then I folded one side

Then the other side on top of it.

This is how the bottom part looks.

I punched two holes at the top for the strings.

Like this

I selected coir ropes for the handles

I took the first three sheets together and inserted the rope through the holes and secured them by placing a knot as shown here.

Similarly the other side

Now one side of the bag was wide open.

So I used glue to close it shut

The bag is ready.

You can put some flowers into this cute bag and hang it on the wall.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Crochet vase cover

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I had seen plenty of beautiful crocheted vase covers in the net and had wanted to make one. But I don't remember seeing instructions anywhere, so I had to figure it out myself. Not a big deal, of course. It is quite easy. But since those of you who are new to crochet could use some guidance I have shown you how I did mine.

Take a bottle or any container that you wish to use. (If your vase has curves, then this instruction is not for you).

Using your yarn and hook make any number of chains to correspond to the circumference of the bottom of the container that want to cover.

You can check the length by placing it tightly around the bottom of the container as shown in the picture. (top or bottom dosen't matter if your container is a straight one. Mine widens slightly at the top).

Once you have reached the required length you can stop making any more chains and join the first and the last chains together with a slip stitch.

Make 2 ch to serve as a starting stitch and start working 1 sc (single crochet) or make 3 ch to serve as a starting stich and work 1 dc (double crochet) into each chain and continue working around. Join with a slip stitch. Continue working this way until you have reached the desired height.

 Sometimes, if your container has a widened top like mine, then you might have to expand your work towards the top. For this at the beginning of a round where your container starts to expand you can work 2 sc/dc into one stitch. If that is not enough then somewhere around the middle of the round you can work another 2 sc/dc into one stitch. That would do. Always check now and then to see if your work is fitting the container. Otherwise make adjustments to make it fit.

Here is a multicolored one.

Hope that was useful. Have a nice day.
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