Sunday, August 17, 2008

The tale of three sewing machines

It's been probably three years since I've last sewn, beings I didn't have a sewing machine. But, my birthday was last week (the 9th) and now I have one!

My dear Husband and my Mom bought me this, and everything to go with it:

A brother CE-4000! I've already made a giant mess of my work area, as I'm sure I will do for the next few months :)

And this is from my in-laws, they gave it to me a few weeks ago. Isn't it gorgeous?! Even my H, who hated the idea of having "old" furniture loves it. When you unfold the leaf there is a gorgeous painted sewing machine inside.

And now I guess I can use this! It's a QVC tiny serger my boss gave me years ago. I've never had a reason to use it, but I'm hoping i can finally get some use from it.

So now I have three sewing machines. I've already made one shirt ( I hated it, but it was practice) and today my bff and I spent about 7 hours making her a fall dress. I had forgotten how much fun this is.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grandma's 6 week Bran muffins

My Grandma used to make these for my mom when she was growing up. The recipe was lost for awhile, but my mom found it a few months ago and copied it for me (the original is still on my Grandma's original recipe card--it's pretty cool)

The claim is you can keep the uncooked batter in the fridge for 6 weeks. I don't know about that, the longest it's ever lasted in my house was 3 weeks.

6 cups 100% Bran flakes (not cereal!)
1 Cup boiling water
3 Cups sugar
5 tsp. baking soda
1 qt Buttermilk
1 Cup oil (vegetable)
5 Cups flour
4 Eggs
2 tsp Salt

In a huge bowl, Mix 2 cups bran flakes with 1 cup boiling water. Add sugar, eggs, and oil, mix well. Gradually add flour, salt, baking soda and 4 cups bran, alternate with buttermilk. Mix well.

Bake the desired amount, refrigerate excess up to 6 weeks. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 6 dozen.

That's it!

The bran flakes are a little hard to find, but I found them in the bulk section of my local grocery store for .37 cents a pound! (A pound makes about 1 batch)

And just for fun, I took pictures of the process.

These are the bran flakes-they look like wood shavings.
Added 1 cup boiling water. I'll be honest, this smells terrible. But hang in there! It's worth it.
Added sugar, eggs, oil
Mixed well
In a seperate bowl, I mixed the remaining 4c bran, flour, salt, and baking soda.
Then I alternate the dry ingredients
with the buttermilk
until both are all mixed well
Then I took out a few cups, and tossed in some raisins and cinnamon
and mixed well.

And then my memory card was full. I filled a muffin tin half full, and sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar. mmmmm. You can toss almost anything in these: Cinnamon apples, cranberries, applesauce (especially if your mix gets a little dry), walnuts etc.

*edit 9/9/08 I have to add that you can't half this recipe or double it. Something goes off and they wont turn out right! Also, be sure the bran you're getting is not cereal, that doesn't work. It has to be wheat bran. Good luck!