Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mounting a Map Poster as Art

Coming soon...

Map Art Project

I have a large map almost 3 feet by 4 feet and a smaller one, just under 2 ft x 3 ft that I found on Wikimedia Commons.

Did you know that there are tons of copyright-free images there?

I found a really seventeenth century map of the region of Italy where my family comes from and an eighteenth century map of the region where my boyfriend comes from.  I am in the process of mounting the smaller map on foam board this week so that I can hang it on the wall.  I will update the website as the project progresses.  When I have successfully completed the project I will move on to the larger map and post some photos.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Skeleton Key Art

Think 'Restoration Hardware' for a fraction of the price.

Online at RH you can purchase a single framed skeleton key for $99.  I had some keys that I have been hoarding for several years, waiting for inspiration.  The shadow boxes were on sale this week at Michaels, I had the paper and spray adhesive from another project.  The only other item I purchase for this project was the E-6000 glue. You can pick up skeleton keys from eBay and put together your own for so little.  I think I spent less than $20.

I started by tracing the backing onto good quality paper, cutting it out, then gluing it to the front side of the backing piece with spray adhesive.  I let it set for an hour.

I drew a blank template matching the size of the backing. I drew centre lines down and across to play with placements on the template.  When I found a layout I liked I used the measurements from the template then traced a light pencil line on the backing where I would glue each key in the right spot.

I used clear E-6000 glue to hold the keys in place...  Tip! put the glue on the keys, NOT on the paper.  The glue is stringy and it will mark the backing paper.

I also suggest having some spacers for keys that don't lay flat, like those big clock keys. I used large toothpicks. The keys tend to roll to one side, which is likely not anyone's the desired result.

I left them overnight to set, cleaned up the shadow boxes, assembled them and hung them in our entryway.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Best Homemade Frites

These are, Seriously, the best Oven Frites I have ever tasted. I believe that they are probably healthier than anything that comes from a restaurant deep fryer or out of a plastic bag from the grocery store freezer.

I followed this recipe from Pixelated Crumb.  I only made two large potatoes and I ended up with an overcrowd the pan. I  can appreciate the difference spreading out the fries and keeping them in a single layer would make to the final product.  Oh well, maybe another trip to my favourite kitchen supply shop and another serving of garlic fries.

I didn't make the garlic aioli and I didn't miss it. These are so flavourful that they can be enjoyed with just the spice mixture and garlic oil. 

Using only two large russet potatoes I ended up with lots of fries.  The mandolin really saves time and produces nice consistently sized fries. I left the skins on... I like them that way and one less step.

Here is the garlic lightly sautéing in the oil. 

One of the steps in the recipe tells you to oil the pan and sprinkle it with sea salt and pepper. I thought it made a really interesting landscape. 

I put all my spices in a little bowl and was very intrigued by the colours. I think they are so beautiful.  And when people say to have lots of colour in your meals I will think about my fries.

Your hands are going to get messy.  Jump in, it's worth it.

It's easy to see here that there are too many fries the pan is too small for the amount of fries I made

 Before baking

Yeah, sometimes this happens when I cook.

The final product

Try these, you'll love them. And as they cook they fill up the house with the aroma of those colourful spices.

Here's the link to the Pixelated Crumb's Recipe again.

Enjoy!! I am off to make my third batch of Avocado Brownies this week.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Avocado Smoothie

After trying the Avocado Brownie Recipe from the Chubby Vegetarian's website I eyed their Avocado Mango Smoothie and included the ingredients in my shopping list for Saturday morning. 

 I love the colour. 

I made them this morning. I didn't add the honey (trying to cut down on sweets) and didn't really miss it. I did use a significantly increased amount of almond milk compared to what is called for in the recipe.  

We will have these again!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Browniecados...? Yes Please!!

Yes Please, indeed!!

A family member sent this post to me a few days ago from the Chubby Vegetarian's Blog.  He made them last night and confirms that they are delish!!

So, looking for an excuse, justification really, to replace my damaged mini-muffin baking pan, I jumped right in...

Click here to link to Chubby Vegetarian's Recipe

I admit that the contrast does not look appealing.

My batter made enough to fill 16 mini muffin cups to about 2/3's full and I baked them for 18-20 minutes.

Whuut..  where did that one go???  :-D

I would recommend trying these.  You cannot tell that there is avocado in the mix and they are moist and chewy too.

The Lovely Iris!

In December 2012, a couple of weeks before Christmas a new member of the family arrived. An early Christmas gift from my honey.  And she's purple! Even cooler!

I think she is gorgeous!! A six quart bowl professional 600 series.  Wow! am I ever fortunate. Someone really likes me.

Iris and I made doughnuts, whipped cream, tiramisu and the best cookies, ever!  the list goes on.  In fact she plays a starring role on the Smalldeluxe Blog.  Since she came home to live with us she has inspired me to become more adventurous in the kitchen.

Not long after she came home I noticed that she was experiencing some problems with her switch and at high speeds she just didn't seem to work smoothly.

I called Whirlpool to find out how to correct the situation and they offered to replace her, straight out...  I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and efficiently they wanted to rectify the situation. Unfortunately at the time they only had four colours in stock and my beloved boysenberry stand mixer was not available.  They suggested that I try at a later time.

I called on Monday to try again and I was so pleased that they had one in stock and I could expect it within the next three to four weeks.

The new Iris came today (Thursday). "That was quick!".  I had planned on baking today and I had one last spin with Iris before I send her back to her maker (literally).  Here is the post of my last adventure with Iris.  

Goodbye Iris...  I will miss you. 

I look forward to more adventures with the new Iris.

New Iris on the left, Iris I, on the right.