Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Caesar Dressing

This is my absolute favorite recipe for Caesar dressing.  It's also my only recipe for Caesar dressing but that doesn't matter.  It comes from Cooks Illustrated magazine which is a fantastic place not only for recipes, but also an explanation for why they do the things they do, the best way to store things and sometimes product reviews.  This particular recipe came from the light and healthy edition.  This is my version...no anchovies for me! It also recommends using a blender to mix it all together. I use a fork. Works great, less mess.

Caesar Dressing
1/2 C low-fat buttermilk
3 T light mayonnaise
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T water
1.5 t yellow mustard
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, squished in a garlic squisher
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t salt
1 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Mix everything except the Parmesan cheese together in a bowl.  Grate the Parmesan cheese with a microplane grater and weigh with your kitchen scale (yes, of course I have one).  Mix it all up and eat it because it's sooo good!

For those of you who don't know what a microplane grater is...

there ya go. It's a grater with little tiny blades and it will severely damage the tips of your fingers. So be careful! It's also good for zesting, grinding up ginger, saying you have a microplane grater, etc....I do actually use mine all the time.

Also, if you don't have a garlic squisher (AKA a garlic press), get one of those too.  I mean really, who wants to mince garlic?! NO ONE!  Here's a little garlic tip...the best way to peel garlic = silicone pot holder.  Yes, you could buy one of these...
but it's really only good for one thing.  Instead get one of these...
They're good for peeling garlic, keeping your hands from being burned, holding your cutting board in place, getting a lid off of a jar...so many uses! They have really cute ones at Sur La Table that come in the shapes of animals. And at Christmas they have gingerbread men, snowmen, penguins...things like that. Way more fun/useful than a silicone tube.

**The microplane grater picture came from a blog which I stumbled upon called A Bountiful Kitchen. It appears to have all kinds of recipes and is very well organized. Worth takin' a look at!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

1/2 Apron Tutorial

I made this apron for a bridal shower over the weekend and it turned out pretty cute.  I love the fabric and wish I would have bought more. It's Amy Butler who pretty much always has awesome fabric.  I adjusted the tutorial from Stop Staring and Start Sewing.  My lovely model was rushing to go to the shower but took 4 seconds to take a pic for me! Thanks Cakes!

1 Fat Quarter of Fabric
1/2 yard of coordinating fabric

From your fat quarter cute a little bit off to make it 16" x 20" (you can use your whole fat quarter. I adjusted mine for the little person I was making this for).  Also cut 2 pieces of coordinating fabric 5" x 21" and 1 piece 5" x 22" (*).  Again, you can adjust the 5" if you want a larger tie and increase the length if you want it longer.

Sew the band together, end to end, right sides together so you make a really long strip.  Make sure you put the 5" x 22" piece in the middle. Press seams open.

Fold and press 3 sides in, leaving one long side undone.  I folded twice to create a nice edge. Sew in place.

With right sides together, sew the 2 pieces together and press the seam towards the band. I found out later that you should press towards the band, so the picture it wrong but I wanted to show the backside.

Next, fold down the top 1/4" but only the part that is above the main piece.  The straps do not need to be folded. Iron in place.

With right sides together, fold the straps on top of each other to and sew to create a tube. (check out the pic below for how to do the ends) DO NOT sew the part that you just folded down.  See in the picture? The part above the main fabric is open. Don't sew it!

When you get to the end, sew it diagonally. Then trim the excess.

Turn the tubes right side in. Fold down the top of the band and pin in place.  Top stitch around the entire band and you're done!

*My numbers for this are slightly off because I was in a hurry and didn't trim the selvage off. So, adjust accordingly.  The trouble comes when the sides of the main fabric piece are turned in to create an edge. It depends on how big you make your seam allowance. But if you're not in a hurry, think about it a little and it'll be right. I think i also would have made the straps a little longer for tying in front. It's probably fine if you're tying in back but I didn't try it.