Note: This post was originally written and meant to be posted on Sunday; however, because of some technical issues with WordPress first obscuring my photos and then abruptly deleting my entire text, there has been a slight delay.

My neighbours, who are DINKs (to clarify: very nice people, who happen to be Dual Income, No Kids), made the rookie mistake of going out for breakfast this morning.  The restaurant, they reported later, was absolutely packed.  You people have no children!  That’s a free pass from having to do the Mother’s Day brunch mob!  That’s one big advantage to not having kids!  Of course, the advantage to having children who are old enough to use the stove without summoning the local fire department is that you also get to avoid the crowds, and enjoy a home-cooked breakfast, possibly still in your pajamas.

I had mulled over a few ideas for what to make for breakfast, but decided to go with an old standby: giant(ish) baked apple pancakes, which I’ve posted on here before.  They come together really quickly, and yet look so impressive – because whoa, that thing’s the size of my plate!

Just after coming out of the oven, all puffed-up and golden at the edges.

The butter and brown sugar create a built-in syrup of sorts as it bakes, no maple required.  Fun fact: I once forgot to add the brown sugar to the pie pans before baking, and although they released super-easily, they were a little dry and not…quite…right.

I also wanted to make something for dessert, but not the same-old.  Cupcakes are nice, and all, but it’s been done.  While flipping through my collection of cookbooks, I found a recipe for flapper pie in the Kitchen Magpie’s book.  (Hardly surprising, since said book is titled Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky.)  The recipe took me a little bit out of my comfort zone, but seemed fairly simple, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Did I say “a little bit out of my comfort zone”?  This thing had me tense.  It was only the second time I’ve had to make a thick, pudding-like filling using cornstarch and heat as my catalysts (the first time was the pudding for my Brooklyn Blackout Cake), and I thought it was never going to thicken.  When it did, though, did it ever.  One minute, I was stirring what was in essence a pot of liquid, and the next it was producing a diabolical plopping sound as it came to a boil, and I’m pretty sure I could have gotten my spoon to stand up in the middle of it.  Also, I had never had occasion to make meringue before, and was convinced I would never get stiff peaks out of what seemed like fairly benign ingredients.  But lo (and behold!), the Kitchen Magpie did not fail me, and before long I was topping my pie and popping it into the oven to brown up.

It didn’t come out of the pan quite as neatly as I would have liked, but it did stay more-or-less intact, and tastes like it’s supposed to.  Certainly the Woman of the Hour was impressed – and that’s what matters, right?

Thanks for reading – Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂

Did everybody have a great Mother’s Day?  It took me longer than usual this year to come up with a cohesive gift/meal plan, but luckily that all fell into place within the last week or so.

My original intention had been to make the Tiramisu Pancakes from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, but then I saw the IHOP commercial touting their new Cupcake Pancakes and Red Velvet Crepes, and darn it, I was moved.  The nearest location to me that doesn’t require a passport still requires an overnight bag, so it was time to take matters into my own hands:

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Behold: Confetti Pancakes, courtesy of the plain pancake recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance plus a handful of sprinkles thrown into the batter.  (Note that “plain” is a bit of a misnomer; the batter has cinnamon and maple syrup and vanilla in it for flavour before my own addition, and is wickedly delicious.)  And yes, that’s blueberry syrup drizzled on top.

My Birthday Cake Theory extends to Mother’s Day as well, so I whipped up a batch of chocolate cupcakes from VCTOTW last night and decorated them this morning.  Now, as I’ve gotten older and less cute, I’ve been replaced by a furry, four-legged little sibling, and he provided me with decoration-inspiration.

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It’s like looking into a decorating gel-covered mirror.

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He’s really quite impressed by this homage.

Also:

 

 

Thanks for looking!

When I first saw the issue of The World of Cross Stitching with a free Margaret Sherry card kit attached – featuring a hedgehog, no less! – there was really no doubt as to whether I’d buy it.  I try to cross stitch a card for Mother’s Day every year, and the hedgehog factor was just the icing on the cake.  (Since hedgehogs aren’t indigenous to the region, their likeness can be difficult to find in stores.)

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Despite a slow start, this came together much more quickly than I expected.  And the backstitch really makes his prickles stand out!  It made a cute addition to my mom’s gift.

Thanks for looking! 🙂

Don’t worry –  I didn’t forget Mother’s Day.  I was oh-so-dilligent, producing a homemade card and breakfast.  I just had some…issues…securing appropriate photographs.

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This is not one of the giant apple pancakes (à la Pancake House, but better!) I made last week.  Those got devoured within minutes of their hitting the table, and it wasn’t until we were halfway through that I remembered my camera was in the other room.  This is from a second batch, made today, and with camera close at hand.  It’s criminal how good these are, and how easy they are to make, too.  This may be my new special occasion recipe.

And it’s not Mother’s Day without a homemade card, is it?

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I found the pattern in an issue of Cute Cross Stitch I bought last summer, and had pretty much hung onto the magazine specifically for this card collection.  I modified it a bit – made the kitty’s nose black to look like mine, and left off the tail since she’s a bobtail – and mounted it on some pink cardstock I had on hand.

Happy May Long!

Wait…that’s not right…

Long time, no blog!  Work, class, two ridiculously convergent time-sensitive deadlines…aargh!  But: I completed my first non-cupcake project in ages and ages, and had to share.  For Mother’s Day, I made Mumsie a pair of hedgehog-printed boxer shorts.

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I hadn’t actually been near my sewing machine since the start of December, but this was a nice, easy project to get back into things.  I spied the fabric earlier this year at Fabricland and bought three metres on a whim with no real project in mind – this fit the bill perfectly!  I think this may be my new favourite pattern: cute and practical, with quick results.  Boxers for all!  (Say, wouldn’t that make Christmas gift-giving easy….)

I’m happy to report, she loved them and they have been in regular rotation since last weekend – hence, the creases in the photo.  And they go so perfectly with the awesome t-shirt I found for her on Mental Floss:

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I’ll try to be more faithful about updates.  But with Father’s Day/anniversaries/birthdays around the corner, there’s got to be something craftacular to do, right?

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 13, 2012

This year has been a far cry from last year’s adding French knots and framing on Sunday morning.  For once, I actually came prepared for Mother’s Day.

Besides the towel that I posted last weekend, I stitched up a little card for Mumsie:

It was a free kit that came with a recent issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.  The kit included googly eyes that looked freaky-deaky (the mama koala looked merely surprised; the baby looked like a strung-out Keane kid), so I added French knots to give a somewhat more natural look.

And you can’t have Mother’s Day without dessert, can you?

This is a variation on the raw strawberry cheesecake from The Post Punk Kitchen.  I made the filling as per the recipe, but used the vanilla cookie crumb crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky instead.  I’m not normally a cheesecake fan, but this wasn’t bad – light and mousse-ish, with a nice strawberry flavour.

The cake, incidentally, made a lovely finish to our breakfast of cocoa-Kahlua pancakes from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites.  Dense and chewy, they were like eating brownies for breakfast.  Yum!

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

I shake de tree.

May 5, 2012

Sshhhh!  This is a top-secret sneak preview of a little something I whipped up for Mother’s Day, so think of this as an advance screening.

You may recall that a couple of years ago I embroidered a Swedish Chef towel for my mother’s birthday.  He still gets a lot of use, but it’s seemed to me that he could use a companion towel – most of our other tea towels come in pairs, except for the poor, lonely Chef.  So, bork-bork-bork, I decided to embroider the squirrel design from Sublime Stitching’s Forest Friends pack.

At this point, you’re probably questioning the connection.  Why not another Muppet, or something more kitchen-y?  Well, it all started like this: the very first episode of The Muppet Show that I remember seeing was the one guest-starring John Denver, with a camping theme.  In this one, the Swedish Chef has traded his kitchen for a little set-up in the woods, and has decided to make squirrel stew.  I can’t do it justice; just watch the video.

Now that it all makes a little more sense, on with the towel:

Here it is, posing on the oven door.

A better view of the stitching.  It’s done mostly in stem stitch with the little tufty fur bits in backstitch, and a hint of satin stitch to keep it interesting.

I also got some baking done!  (Although this is not for Mother’s Day.)  Behold, the Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins from Veganomicon:

Truly, I have no future with the Muppets, as I didn’t haphazardly fling a single ingredient while making these.  🙂

Just for you…Mum!

May 22, 2011

Yes, Mother’s Day was two weeks ago.  I’ve been remiss.  I did, however, manage to get both little stitchy pieces finished in time for the big day, even if I wound up putting in the last ten French knots the morning of.  It was worth the stress, though, and the end result was… ïжак!

(I can’t remember how to ask where the train station is, for example, but ïжак , I remember.  Oy.)

I found this Margaret Sherry design in an issue of Cross Stitcher magazine and knew that I had to do it up.  I did it on 28-count evenweave rather than aida, mainly to make the crazy backstitch just a little easier – and did this ever pay off the night before Mother’s Day, as I was frantically working the lettering.

And lo and behold, Mill Hill released new spring kits in plenty of time for me to stitch one:

This one was from the kitties.  🙂  The kit came with a magnet, but no one would ever get to see it on the fridge, so I finished it as a hanging ornament instead and backed it with some holographic paper I found in my scrapbooking stash.

(As always, clicking on the photos will make them larger – thanks for looking!)

I don’t think I could let a Mother’s Day pass without making at least some small handmade item…that would be too weird.  I knew I wanted to do a stitched card this year, and after flipping through my ample collection of British stitchery magazines, I decided on this one for two reasons:

1) Mumsy likes dragonflies (this sort of stems from the fact that the kitties like watching and chasing them in the back yard, and since the card was supposed to be from the kitties, well, that made perfect sense)

2) It was a welcome break from my latest project, a Charles Wysocki kit called “Too Pooped” which, though enjoyable, has possibly the largest tree ever and is primarily brown and more brown.

Bonus: Now that I’ve finished it, I feel confident that I can one day tackle the Frederick the Literate kit I’ve got stashed away.

Without further ado:

Happy Mother’s Day!