Sunday, March 11, 2012

Baked Apple Pies

I'm a big fan of reusing or re-purposing just about anything I can think of- especially if I've created it with my own two hands. Most of this is because I'm just cheap, poor, and it gives me satisfaction when I can take something that I already have around the house that is being unused and fashion it to use vs. buying something new.

I also hate throwing away food. So...

Everytime I make a pie crust I have those extra bits that don't go into the pie, you know the bits that you pull off around the edges of the crust that you just throw out! So here's what I do:

I combine my extra bits and roll them out to pie crust thickness on two layers of saran wrap and put two more layers on top. (I've already got out the rolling pin and flour!) I fold the saran wrap over and freeze the dough. (In my tiny freezer this is the easiest way to store anyway) When the apples in my kitchen start getting to the point where they aren't quite bad but aren't super yummy to eat anymore, I take out the pie crust and peel and core two apples. I, then, set each apple over the crust and surround each apple with the left over pie crust including the bottoms, but not covering the top.

I make a cinnamon sugar mixture: 1 part cinnamon, 3 part sugar. I fill the apple cores with 1/2 Tbsp of cinnamon sugar and place 1/2 Tbsp of butter on top.

I put the dough wrapped apples in a pan and into a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until they look like this:

Whala! My own little baked apple pies. Perfect with some vanilla ice cream!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Making of a Dress Form

(Notice the new hairdo)
One of my recent projects has been making my own dress form...cheaply. Dress forms run into the hundreds of dollars and even the cheapest adjustable forms are around $100. So, I decided to try to make one myself.

I found a few online tutorials that said I could use duct tape to make a dress form. 

My good friend Amelia was kind enough to spend a Saturday morning duct taping the top half of my body for this project while we made some lard- yes, lard, that's a whole different story.

I got some very funny looks from her 4 boys! I think they were jealous of my armor!

When the form was finished, I tried to follow another tutorial on how to make a stand for the dress form.

As with most problems converting US instructions into UK instructions product availability was my obstacle.

I ended up with what I thought were about the same products from my local hardware store. Dun, dun, dun!

When the stand kept falling over, I enlisted the help of my husband and his BA in Engineering degree to get this thing to stand upright so that I could go about filling it.

We ran wood rods down the middle pipe to give some stability and used left over pipes to reinforce it from the sides. I then fastened my stand onto a wooden deck tile to give the bottom some weight.

I also bought a can of insulation foam to fill out the inside of the dress form.

The plan was to fill the form with grocery bags and insulation foam, but my foam turn out not to be the magical expanding polymer I had remembered from organic chem lab in college. Therefore, Todd and I smushed many grocery bags (and some cotton I had laying around) into the form to fill it out.

I tend to have grand illusions of glorious results when is comes to my craft projects and they tend to turn out like this.

So, instead of a sleek standing duct taped body double I have a decent dress form on an imperfect stand for which I only ended up paying around £20.

Now all I need is some time to make some clothes!