Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lemon Curd

So I was browsing through lemon cupcake recipes and came across this recipe for microwaved lemon curd. I linked it on facebook and joked that if it worked I'll be gaining 10 pounds in the next week.  It's a good thing it is going to be warmer this week so I can go to the gym and work off the coming calories because this was amazingly easy and good.  I only have a few pictures because I didn't think to when I started.

Lemon Curd:
1/2 cup unsalted butter 
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 juicy lemons)
lemon zest from 3 lemons (I highly recommend this article, if you haven't read it)

  • Melt butter in microwave, set aside to cool slightly.
  • Whisk together sugar and eggs in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. (I would use a large bowl so you have room to whisk - my stove top ended up being a mess)
  • Whisk in lemon juice and zest.
  • Finally whisk in the butter.
  • Microwave on 50% power for one minute. Stir. (I did this twice because I was paranoid about the eggs curdling)
  • Continue microwaving at 100% power in one minute intervals, stirring after each interval until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. The curd will thicken as it cools. (It only took me three times for it to be done).
  • Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove zest.
  • Pour curd into sterile jars and store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

  • This pic is before heating.  It looked foamy from the whisked sugar and the floating bits are the zest.

    This is after the straining.

    The total made was 3 1/2 pints and a generous amount left to sample.

    I will definitely be reusing this recipe.

    Throw Back Thursday

    I cut off quite a bit of the nerdlet's hair last night and it got me to thinking about her self-given haircut a little over two years ago.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    More Little Sister Hats

    After making the nerdlet her hat, it was clear that my other two also needed their own versions (and the drama princess has requested one for herself, too). I could only find yellow in the thick Redheart yarn and as I didn't want to go to more than two stores, I settled. It's a good thing that Darth Monkey has the least issues about what she wears.

    The bear cubs is the same yarn as the nerdlets but in blues and purples instead of greens.  It is also made smaller.

    Afterward, I decided to make Hannah one, too.  For Hannah's, I used an 'E' hook and sort of winged it.  Here is Hannah as a 'rock star' as Darth Monkey calls her in the sunglasses.

    The outfit and sunglasses are actually from Build-A-Bear.  Someone gave me a gift certificate at the nerdlet's baby shower and I finally got around to spending it this week.  The cashier was skeptical when she saw the date on it and I told her it hadn't been used, but the full credit was in there.  I chose the brave dress because the bear cub loves Merida.

    Here is a glimpse of her meeting Merida at Disney and you can see how happy she was about it.  The outfit came with a wig, too, but the bear cub was not interested in keeping that on Hannah (though she did wear it herself for a while).

    I may make one more of these hats for the drama princess, but it's kind of a wait and see since I didn't purchase any yarn for hers.

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

    McCall's 6875 - Versions 1 and 2

    Version 1 front

    Version 1 back

    Version 2 front

    Version 2 back
    I actually liked the blue a lot better, but I only had enough for one dress and I even shortened the straps to make it work.

    Don't they look so sweet.  Until you realize that they aren't hugging.

    These are both straight size 4s.  The yellow print is a Tutti Frutti fabric and the trim on both is quilting cotton.  I really like these dresses and will definitely make more of them.

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    McCall's 6875

    When McCall's were on sale this week, I picked up M6875 along with a few other patterns (and yes, 20 or so patterns can be described as a few).

    I did the doll's dress today with a few pattern changes.  I did not put on the flower because I didn't think it would look right in the busy green print that I used.  I changed the back fastening from velcro to snaps.  I also did not bother to slip stitch the skirt in between the bodice and it's lining because after all Hannah is not going to be bothered by the serged seam.

    Darth Monkey's favorite color is yellow and she recently realized that she doesn't have any yellow clothing, so the dress to match this is already cut out and ready for me to start.  I actually bought this pattern in both sizes because I suspect that the nerdlet may be ready for the next size up.  I cut the pattern in size four so we'll see which child of mine, if any, it fits.

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    More Underwear and Diaper Covers

    I wrote a post a little over a year ago about how I make underwear covers.  I had to make some more because Darth Monkey has actually burst some of the seams from the last batch.  Both Darth Monkey and the bear cub are wearing 3Ts right now and they were in around 18 months when I made the last batch.

    These aren't all of them because we've already used about five of the new ones.

    For these covers, the rectangle I started with was 13 inches x 20 inches and I left the sides at 6 inches and the part between the legs 5 inches.  The bear cub's waist measures 19 1/2 inches and Darth Monkey's is 21 inches.  For the waist elastic, I used 18 inches and 10 inches for the leg openings.  These should fit the girls for a while - at least another 1 1/2 years, I think.  So you could use these measurements for any child in a 3T, but you might have to increase the lengths of elastic used.

    These get used around the clock here and for Darth Monkey, because she is on a daily antibiotic still, we often go through more than one a day, so even though I made 22 in total this time, I might still end up making more in the near future, but I'm hoping these will hold us since I can still use the older ones that we still have on the bear cub.

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Little Sister Hat

    I downloaded a free crochet pattern from Craftsy called the Little Sister Hat.  It's apparently also available on Ravelry and other assorted sites.  I used a thicker gauge of yarn and so the hat is a little bigger than the toddler pattern that I followed, but that is okay as the nerdlet has a huge head and there is no way that the toddler pattern would have fit her head.  Really, I may not have followed the pattern quite right because I learned to crochet from my grandmother who mostly spoke Spanish and none of the words that she knew in English or that I know in Spanish are words for crocheting.

    Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with the finished hat.  The nerdlet said she will wear it and Darth Monkey says she will, too.  The bear cub still doesn't say much, but she kept picking it up and taking it when it was being made.

    It's supposed to be cold tomorrow so it should get some immediate use.

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

    Hip Stability Shorts tutorial

    Kids with Down syndrome have low muscle tone.  This means that they do the splits very easily.  When our children are first learning to crawl and walk, they often need some hip support so that they can keep their legs together while learning the skill.  They sell various types of shorts to do this, including Hip Helpers.  They are fairly inexpensive to buy (starting at $16.00/pair), but much cheaper to make, and they aren't that difficult.

    I made the bear cub's when she was learning to crawl and didn't think I would need them again after she was up and going.  Today, the drama princess is having a birthday party at the skating rink.  We bought the nerdlet adjustable roller skates a few weeks ago and tried them out on all the girls.  The nerdlet and Darth Monkey took to them right away, but the bear cub started to immediately do the splits each time we put them on her, so I decided to make her a pair of hip stability shorts.

    Here is what I did.  I measured the bear cub's waist, hips, the length from waist to knees, and how far up her legs that I wanted  the stitching to come.  I added an inch to the hip measurement for the width of fabric and two inches to the length.  I used a knit with good recovery, but I have used swimsuit fabric for more support when she was learning to crawl.  I used 1 inch elastic and cut it to her waist measurement - 1 inch. I had two small pieces of elastic so I just sewed them together for this.

    I sewed the elastic to the wrong side.  Here I used a three step zig zag stitch, but you could just serge it to the top.

    I folded the elastic over to the wrong side.

    And folded the right sides together.

    Sew or serge the sides together.  If you don't have a serger, make sure you use a strong thread and zig zag stitch so that it will stretch when your child moves instead of snapping the thread.

    Hem the bottom and turn right side out.

    Draw a line halfway across the measurement you took for how far up the leg it should be.

    Sew a straight stitch on this line and secure both ends.

    It was pretty easy and fast to do.  I tried them on the bear cub and she immediately tried to do the splits in them.  She simply pushed the leg parts up her leg until they were bunched there and she could have full movement again.  Luckily babies that are learning to crawl and walk haven't figured this out yet.  We'll see tonight if the bear cub will leave them down while we try her on the roller skates.