Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Awesome Halloween Costumes and How I Made Them

There we are: Gru and a minion
How did we do it? Here's how.
Gru's nose: take some foil and shape it into a nose, leaving a bit of an opening at the wider end to shape onto the person who's going to be wearing it. Then cover it in masking tape. Paint it to look like a nose! I bought skin colored paint and used it as base. Then I mixed a tiny bit of vermilion with the paint and sponged it on for a mottled effect. I also mixed some white with the base paint and sponged that on too. Here's the pictures!

Ok, so you can't see the mottling very good. Oh well. It's there and it looks good!
To finish Gru off, we bought Josh a big sweater and he padded himself up with 8 layers of shirts underneath. Then he borrowed my welding goggles (yes, I own welding goggles!) and put those on along with a scarf around his neck. Too bad he looked more like Dr. Horrible than Gru... we could have done without the welding goggles, but he wanted to wear them.

For a minion, we bought me a yellow shirt. It was rather large since the small and medium sizes were cleaned out here. I also bought a kids pair of jeans and a pair of yucky old suspenders that were made for your typical Idahoan potato farmer. Here's a picture:

I tried to put them on just to see how they worked and the little criss-crossy part in the back ended up being on top of my head.
I wanted to make suspenders that looked like overalls without being overalls. Why? First, it's not the 90's anymore. Even if I wanted to wear overalls, not even DI has them anymore. Second, overalls are not allowed on campus (along with flip-flops, capris and short skirts... but honestly, when would you ever want to wear those in Iceburg?). So I took the pair of jeans I bought and cut them into strips about 2 times the width of the suspenders like so:

Little kid jeans are only so long, so you have to cut out 4 strips. Then you take 2 strips and sew them together

And yes, I did have to do this all by hand since I don't have a sewing machine. It's definitely going on my Christmas list!
Next, pin and sew the strips to the width of the suspenders

Once you're done with that, you get to destroy the really icky suspenders!!! I cut all the metal pieces off and used them on the strips. First, you thread the adjuster part on, then the clip and then loop the end around and thread it through the adjuster one more time. Sorry, I don't have pictures because I was doing this project while listening to my teacher drone on about Galileo, Copernicus and other Renaissance scientists. But here's a finished side.

When both are done, put them on and adjust them. Then take them off and put them on backwards, criss-crossing them in front of you and pin it where they cross. Then sew that together and you have faux-overall suspenders!!
For the minion face, you just need yellow hairspray, yellow facepaint, and black and white face paint sticks. Draw like so

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun date idea!

We've done this date twice and it was so fun both times, I decided to share it. And this doesn't even have to be a date. Girls, this would be a great thing to do with roomies! Here's what you do:
Go to your nearest grocery store to the specialty cheese section. Pick out at least 3 different cheeses. At least one needs to be one you've never tried. Be bold!! Try that cheese that you can't pronounce! Cheddar is a big no-no for this. To date, Josh and I have had Chevre (pronounced shev), Gouda (awesome!), Muenster, Feta (I am seriously addicted to Feta), and Fontina.
Next, buy a bagette. Another suggestion from this last time is to take Tums before hand and also get something else to eat with it. Olives are great if you like those. We had Asparagus this time. Here's a really good recipe for Roasted Asparagus:

olive oil
Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb or Tomato Basil
Set the oven to 425. Snap off the ends of the asparagus and arrange on a pan. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle the salt and Mrs Dash on. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Goes great with Feta or Parmesan!

So once you've got all this ready, spread a blanket out in front of your TV and enjoy with a movie. Good movie ideas for the mood include Letters to Juliet, When in Rome, Leap Year, A Walk In The Clouds or Sabrina. Here's what our spread looked like (minus the vegies, they were cooking).

Happy eating!

Monday, October 11, 2010

This weekend...

This weekend was pretty eventful. On Friday, we went with Nate, Sam and their roommate David to the straw maze over by Big Jud's. It had been raining that day and the temperatures had finally dropped into what is normal for October around here (I LOVE COOL WEATHER!!!). So we bundled up and went. On Fridays and Saturdays after dark, the maze is haunted. I would have had pictures to put up, but I was dumb and forgot to bring the camera. I would definitely recommend the haunted maze to anyone who wants the pants scared off them, but for those who don't like being scared, every other day of the week is just normal.
At first, it was no biggie. Just a few kids in masks jumping out from behind the walls and stuff. Then we all turn a corner and up walks this guy wearing a really freaky mask holding a chainsaw. Of course, being the girl (and a pretty tiny one at that!), he comes right up to me. I'm talking in my face, about to kiss me, creeper close. I'm trying to hold my ground, so I say (semi-bravely), "Wow dude, you're really close to my face and I'm married..." That must have hacked him off, cuz he pulls the chainsaw. Nate and Sam go running off one direction, and the chainsaw guy follows me and Josh. I'm terrified at this point because creepy-stalker-dude-with-the-chainsaw-who-wants-to-kiss-me won't leave me alone. So I'm running away and Josh is attempting to slide tackle the dude just to get him to leave me alone (my hero!!). Once we finally get away from him, we run into some people coming from the other way who said there was ANOTHER chainsaw guy back where they'd come from. Great. SO we go and I just want to get out of there by now. so we're near the end and we see a part of the maze with boards over the top, so we figure it's the way out. then out comes this other guy with a chainsaw, who pulls on it to scare us off. I've had enough, so I screamed and ran until I got to some other people who he could chase. But apparently that wasn't enough cause he circled back and got us while we were in the home stretch. At that point Nate came in to find us and when the chainsaw went off for the last time, I actually grabbed him and used him as a shield (Josh wasn't close enough or I'd've grabbed him... can you tell how scared I was?!?). Then some guy in a mask follows us out to the car and attempts to get in with me, by opening my door when I'm already in. Yeah, apparently I'm a monster magnet.
Saturday was our "mystery date." I'd bought tickets to Stargazing and Dessert a few weeks ago and told Josh to plan to do something at that time, but I didn't tell him what. It was really cool, they drove us out to the Henry's Fork property outside of town, set up some telescopes and cooked us Dutch-oven cobbler. We got to see Jupiter and four of its moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto...I'm such an astronomy nerd!) through the telescope. You could even see the Great Red Spot! Then we had 2 helpings each of cobbler. Our first helping was Chocolate Peach (extremely yummy!). Josh tried White Peach next and I got Apple-Raspberry (a little too much raspberry for me). Here are some pictures:

And I made pie again. I forgot to set the timer for the last 35 minutes of cooking, so it technically over-cooked, but it tastes great! Here's the recipe!
Apple Pie
Double Pie Pastry (see next recipe)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I didn't have nutmeg, so I substituted for cinnamon)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp flour or cornstarch
4 cups (6-9) apples, peeled and sliced (Fuji or Granny Smith recommended, I used Granny)
Heat oven to 425. Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and flour. Add apples and mix. The longer you let the mixture sit, the more sauce you will have. Place in pie shell and top with crust. Cut slits in top. Bake for 25 minutes and reduce heat to 350. Bake for an additional 35 minutes.

Mom's No Fail Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
5 tbsp COLD water
1 tbsp vinegar (yes, I know, vinegar)
1 egg-beaten
Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture. Add vinegar, egg and water. Knead together until well mixed. Roll on floured surface.
Makes a 9" double crust or a 10" single. If cooking only the crust, bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.

Josh took the car in today to get an oil and lube. He almost didn't because it's cheaper on Fridays and Saturdays, but that still small voice told him to go in. Lucky he did! Our serpentine belt was about to snap. For those of you who are not auto-savvy (like me), if it had snapped, our power steering would have gone out and our engine would have over-heated. Thank heaven for little promptings in everyday life!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What to do with that leftover roast....?

I was perusing other people's blogs and and finding yummy sounding recipes today and wanting to cook something gourmet really bad. I had to leave for a meeting, but told Josh to look over some of the recipes I had up on my computer while I was gone to see what he thought looked good. When I came home, I had the idea to grill up what was left of the roast we cooked Sunday. He told me that the Chicken Parmesan looked good off the internet. So.... I combined them! Here for your culinary perusal is Leftover Roast Parmesan!!
So you start with your leftovers. Put them on a griddle or in a frying pan with a little bit of bottled minced garlic like this

Let that grill for a while and season it with a little oregano (Eets Italian, you gotta to hava de oregano!). Then grab a bottle of spaghetti/marinara sauce and dump it on! Lower the temperature of the griddle or the sauce will burn.

If it's like the kind I get, it doesn't have much flavor, so I always spike it a little. To taste, add oregano, onion powder and garlic powder or salt (again, amice, eets Italian, you musta hava da garlico!). Stir that around for a bit while the noodles are cooking and about a minute before the noodles are done, add some mozzarella cheese to the top. Let it melt.

When everything's done, put the noodles on a plate and scoop the roast/sauce mixture over the top. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

I served it with a salad and my favorite dressing. It's homemade and AWESOME!! Due to the fact that we have NO CLEAN DISHES in the house except a plate and a bowl, we had to share. It was kind of like Lady and the Tramp, I almost swore I could hear "Bella Notte" in the background. Anyway, here's the recipe
Greek Dressing
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar (any kind, red wine makes it a little sweeter than regular white)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Mix ingredients in a jar and shake. Do not refrigerate or the oil will congeal.
The result? Total yumminess!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kayla's first attempt at typical Sunday dinner

I made pot roast, garlic mashed potatoes, salad and homemade apple pie today and while I haven't tried the pie yet, everything else turned out AWESOME!!!!
For pot roast, I used my slow cooker and put my roast in this morning on high for an hour and then on low until we were ready for it. I only seasoned it with onion soup mix. For mashed potatoes, I pretty much wing it. I bake 4 potatoes in the microwave and then cut them up in the mixing bowl. Then I add milk, caesar dressing, garlic powder, garlic salt and regular salt to taste and beat it to a creamy consistancy with my beaters. They turned out great this time, didn't even need gravy!! And for the apple pie, I used 2 separate recipes, both from Mom.

Also, here's the proof that we made waffles yesterday (they were delicious!) (for my family.... "I'm makin' WAFFLES!!").

And here's all the decorations for Halloween I have up!!