Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye - Disappointing Results

I purchased the above obnoxiously bright coral skirt on sale at Target for around $5 after a coupon as I liked the look (but not the color) and used a coupon for 40% off one item at Hobby Lobby to buy Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye in Intense Purple as I had not tried the brand before and I liked the color.

I processed as directed on the package but very unhappy with the results.  I am well aware that unless you start with a white garment it is hard to tell what the end result will be and you also have to take into consideration the content of the fabric; cotton will absorb color but other items, especially polyester, may not take as well or at all.   As the skirt is 100% cotton I did expect it to absorb the color and expected a much darker result than I achieved.

Additionally, you can only dye 1/2 pound of fabric in a 4 cup mixture of water/dye, which is half of other dyes I have used, such as RIT, where it takes one box for one pound of fabric, which makes this product double the price.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Flour's Famous Banana Bread

A great way to use up over-ripe bananas!

I had several over-ripe bananas so I went in search of a new banana bread recipe to try and found this recipe one on the Food Network site and was on an episode of Giada's Weekend Getaways.  The recipe itself byChef Joanne Chang, owner/chef of Flour Bakery in Boston. 

An interesting note about Joanne is that she left her management consulting career after graduating with an honor degree from Harvard with a degree in Applied Math and Economics to pursue her baking passion.  

I found this cake to be very moist and addictive and is more a banana bread for a non-banana bread loving person as their is only a hint of the banana flavor and it is only slightly sweet and is great with a warm cup of tea.

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • Parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of the baking pan with parchment paper.  I used a 9x9 cake pan instead of a bread pan to be able to get more servings by cutting the loaf in half and then into slices.
To toast the walnuts, put on a cookie sheet or baking dish and toast for 8-10 minutes while you are combining the other ingredients.

Sift together the flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, use a mixer beat sugar and eggs (with a whisk attachment if you have one) until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. 

Then mix in the oil, mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla

The original recipe advises to fold dry ingredients and nuts into the above, but I didn't think my bowl was big enough so I slowly mixed the wet ingredients into the dry one instead.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish with the parchment lining the bottom and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   Using the 9x9 pan, it took 1 hour in my oven before it was done in the center.

Allow to cool and cut into slices.  If using a 9x9 pan, cut down the middle and into slices:)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pasta Alfredo

The sauce has a bit of a nutty flavor from the nutmeg, a bit of tangy flavor from the lemon, and combined with the other ingredients is a filling main dish "comfort" food.

 (Start cooking both pasta and sauce on separate burners at the same time)
  • 16 oz pkg of bow tie pasta
    Cook to Al dente (usually 2 minutes less than indicated on the package) in boiling salted water, drain.

    Alfredo Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup half and half 
  • 3/4 cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp  pepper 

    • Garnish - Ranch Tortilla Chips (optional)
    Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes until thickened.  Pour over pasta.   If desired, garnish with Ranch flavored tortilla chips (which can be crumpled on the top to add texture and flavor) then serve.

    Linking up to Presto Pasta Night which is hosted on 8/17/12 by Simona at
    Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful pasta creations by other participants:)

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Dress from 3 T-Shirts

    This is a good way to use t-shirts that might have an imperfection, stain or logo on them but with the majority of the fabric useable to make a color block t-shirt dress.

    The measurements for the dress that I made are for a Girls size 2-3, but could easily be adapted to any size.

    Items used:
    • 3 T-shirts
    • T-shirt or tank top that fits
    • Paper and pen
    • Straight Pins
    • Sewing machine
    • Coordinating Thread
    • Iron
    • Scissors
    • Ribbon or double fold bias tape (I used 1 1/2 yds for this size)
    • Safety pin 
    • Measuring tape or ruler
    All seams are 1/2 inch wide

    For the top part of the dress it would be best to use the bottom part of t-shirt that fits or is slightly larger.

    Use the T or tank to that fits as a template to make a pattern - measure from the front neckline to under the bust and add 2 inches for the horizontal measurement.

    Fold the t-shirt you are using for the top in half, flip upside down and line up the pattern with the bottom of the shirt and cut out an armhole on the non-folded side (the bottom of the t-shirt will be where you thread the ribbon.).  

    Turn the area in the armhole under 1/2 inch and press. Stitch down on all sides.  Stitch sides together.

    For the middle part of the shirt measure from under the bust to the waistline and add 1 inch for for the horizontal measurement.

    For the width, angle down slightly so is is wider at the bottom.

    Pin and stitch to the top part of the dress.

    For the bottom part measure from the bottom of the waist to the length that you want the dress to be and add 1 inch for seam allowances and hem.

    The width should match the bottom width of the slightly angled middle piece.

    Turn under 1/2 inch at the bottom and top stitch the hem down.  Pin and stitch the bottom to the middle part

    For the ties, thread the ribbon through one shoulder in the back to the other side using a safety pin and then around to the front and thread through to the other side to tie in a bow.

    Happy crafting:)

    Linking up to: