Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Happy Little Surprise

Morning Apron Goddesses in Blogville! Julia here, and I am wishing you a bright start to the week.

I got a little package yesterday. A simple little package. I want to share it with you.

But first rewind.....

This is my favorite cooking pan. Classic cast iron. Deeply blackened from seasons of use. It cooks eggs, sautee's vegetables, braises meats...

A valued and critical instrument of cooking in my kitchen.

Warning: It has a naked handle that heats to searing.

Now jump forward again. Let's leap to the package.

Inside was this colorful beauty!

And the reverse side looks like this.

Now it can be used like THIS!! See, no more fumbling with full sized oven mits. On. Off. On. OFF.... it can be dreadfully slow putting on oven mits especially with wet hands. Let's just say I should have bought one myself by now.

And most importantly, this sweet pot holder came from Anna at Sewing Through the Muck. I don't know how she knew I needed one of these, but she did!

Thank you Anna for your wonderful gift. It really made my day.

One more thing I forgot to show.
This is what my oven mitts look like...
They are ready for retirement.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good morning, muffin!

Hey, hey, it's me, the Ungourmet. Just in case you are in the mood to don your aprons and bake up some muffins this weekend, I thought I'd give you a fun recipe to try! I found the cutest cookbook at the library the other day. It's called 500 cupcakes and it's bursting with wonderful cupcake and muffin recipes.


Morning Granola Muffins
adapted from 500 cupcakes

1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 1/4 cups granola (I used honey and almond)
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup orange blossom honey
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil 18 muffin cups.

Whisk together the apricots, granola, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the juice, oil, honey and eggs with an electric mixer until combined. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until combined.

Fill muffin cups about 1/2 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Have a terrific weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daffy is An Apron Goddess

TGIF Apron Goddesses!! This is Julia here, and I am wishing everyone a relaxing and peaceful weekend.

To start us off I want to show you one of our latest Apron Goddesses extraordinaire. Her name is Daffy. Daffy the Adorable, I think.

Daffy explained, "The story behind this apron is that a wonderful friend of mine made me this apron about a month ago. She's a wonderful seamstress and was laughing heartily at my misadventures in the kitchen.

When she found that for years I've just used chipbag clips and affixed dish towels to the front of me, she took pity on me and made me this wonderful apron! It makes me feel very wonderful to wear it.

Usually once I've put it on, it is with great regret to take it off. I'm sort of a dork that way.... I would dearly love to add to it and start a collection of aprons.

I love gardening as well and am thinking I should have a whole basket of gardening aprons to choose from! Good idea, right?!?"

I think Daffy has all the right ideas here. And in fact, it reminds me of the gardening apron tutorial that I posted last year. I was wearing my gardening apron today while getting the vegetable beds ready too.

So, I want to send a thank you to Daffy for her lovely apron photo and for her great reminder about the gardening aprons that can be donned this spring!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winner of the Retro Revivial Choose Your Favorite Apron Giveaway

Rush hurry, hurry rush.... I am all a tither the last few days but am going to keep on track!! Really I am!

In the spirit of organization and efficiency I will be brief. There was one winner for the Retro Revival promotion. From the 190 entries (which includes A LOT of extra credit from photos!!) the random number generator spit out magic number 78.

That placed the winner as Elaine R who wrote,

"I like the Betty Crockers 1950s Vintage Apron-my older sister would love this!"

So I think Elaine R may be gifting this apron to her sister. Lucky sis!!

Now for the non-winners.... The aprons at Retro Revival are totally affordable and maybe you can get your favorite anyway!

Support your handmade in the USA!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quilt A Treasure Sponsors a "Pick Your Favorite" Apron Giveaway

Good Evening Apron Loving Goddesses!!

I am happy to announce another "choose your favorite" apron promotion and this time it is sponsored by Quilt A Treasure!

Quilt a Treasure also has their own blog:Quilted Treasures at which local classes are announced and tutorials can be found on quilting. They are already working on some Halloween quilts cause they are so organized!!!!

But back to APRONS! I'd like to show you a few of my favorites from the Quilt A Treasure store at Etsy.

Since spring is in the air and flowers are burgeoning everywhere in my town I am enjoying the thought of this pink floral inspired halter style apron. It is made from Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom fabric which is wonderful stuff!

Next I love this floral, (you see there is a theme here...) with blues and whites and reds. Very vibrant and spring like too. Again this great halter style is quite flattering I think. The wide waste will really accentuate your figure in a good way with this one. This fabric is from Riley Blake Designs.

And my final pick of favorites is this lovely to the left. Cool as a cucumber, lemony twist, floral happiness....Maybe a glass of Long Island ice tea with lemon. Hmmmm. Well, that's how I see it. And can you imagine, it's made from Amy Butler's MidWest Modern fabric? It is.

So, onto the giveaway instructions...

To enter the giveaway for the apron of your choice from Quilt A Treasure, visit the web store and browse the selection. Come back here to TAG and make a comment about your favorite. That will give you one entry into the giveaway.

For five extra entries into the drawing create a blog post about this giveaway, leaving your permalink in your comment. Be sure to mention this in your entry.

And for 10 extra, bonus chances at winning send in a picture of you or a family member wearing an apron and a few words about you and your apron. Give me the dirt! Leave a comment that you are sending in a photograph too! (Contact is above) No headless apron wearers please!! We will write up your "apron-ography" in the weeks to come.

Closes midnight April 6, 2010

Winner of the Apron from AnnieG Aprons

Sorry for the late, late post of this drawing... Our vacation in Montana with sights like this below kinda got me off track. The pictorial of our visit is at Our Simple Life, so you can see more pics like this if you like!

I ran the numbers adding extra credit to all those who blogged about this giveawway and sent in photos AND....

The random number generator spit out number 99.

That means Miranda at Momma is Sweeping is the winner of the AnnieG apron. Congrats to Miranda! Enjoy your apron and wear it well. Please send me your address and I will forward to AnnieG.

If you want your own AnnieG Apron, there is time to hop over and get one for yourself at her store! Support hand made in the USA!

She will be back in full apron production at the end of the month and will process any order you place as soon as she is able.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pooba Remains an Awesome Apron Goddess

Good day Apron Goddesses! Julia here. I've been away on vacation for the past 10 days and am finally back to catch up.

So I wanted to kick off this week with an apronography from Pooba.

She sent in this picture a few weeks ago for extra credit and said, "OK, now I debated whether or not to send you one of these pictures, I think you know which one. But I thought what the hell, I'd love to have my big ass posted on the internet for all to see.

So there you go.

My Hiny.

With a little bit of apron."

Since her butt is small this matters not at all. I find the faithful Dozer gaze more troubling. LOL. What a DOG!!

Kelly continued by saying, "I guess I will tell you a little bit about this apron, it is definitely one of my favorite retro styles. My good friend, Melanie, of 16 years gave it to me for my birthday last year, she knows me well! I just love the brown with pink polka dots and the little bows on the pockets are the icing on the cake! I admit it doesn't go so well with a Broncos T-shirt but hey, it was superbowl Sunday so I had to wear something footbally. And Broncos was all I had."

"Dont' judge."

We never judge here at the Apron Goddesses so no worries Kel. Thanks for sending in your picture!!

Now go and visit Kelly at Pooba! Now!!! That's right!

Time for a biscotti break!

Hey Apron Goddesses! The Ungourmet here. How is your weekend shaping up? Mine is much better after a cuppa joe and one of these wonderful biscotti. I found this recipe over at the Pink Apron and just had to try it! I've been on a bit of a biscotti kick lately. I think this one is my favorite thus far.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Mocha Hazelnut Biscotti
adapted from the Pink Apron

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and coffee powder. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Stir in the flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Fold in the nuts and chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands from dough into two 10 x 2 logs. You can play around with size of logs to come with the size of biscotti you prefer.

Bake logs for 35 minutes until slightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. On a cutting board cut biscotti on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices. Arrange biscotti cut sides down on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, approximately 10 more minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container one week or freeze for up to one month.

Hope you love these as much a I do!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Calling All Animals

Of course this is a blog about aprons! Aprons of all kinds!
Now have a look at these. These aprons are on animals that have been embroidered on a blanket.

Such a beautiful quilt.

Vicki has an online shop called Pattern Bee Vintage Embroidery Shop. Through her shop she sells vintage embroidery patterns, iron on transfers, traceable PDF's. She even has the ability to restore patterns which can be used over and over.

This is one of the many items she has created. If I were to have another baby (which I am NOT) I might want to have her make me something special. She also has a blog called Turkey Feathers where you can see some of her beautiful handy work. So hop on over and give her a shout!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jerky-Sweet and Spicy Yum!

Do you like to chew on some tough and rough beef jerky?

Not me! Nope!

And the Sweet & Spicy Mango Beef Jerky and Sweet & Spicy Orange Beef Jerky that came to sample from Jerky.com were perfect!

My husband Mike is a self proscribed jerky connoisseur and was available for his opinion on this product. I handed him the bags and instructed him to, "Taste away O' Spouse of Mine."

He inspected the packages and raised his eyebrows. That can only mean one thing.

He grabbed a piece of the orange flavored jerky and sniffed it. Then popped it in his mouth. The eyebrows raised higher.

"This stuff is hotter than sh**! It makes me thirsty for beer. That's a good thing for Anheuser Bush."

He kept chewing and thinking. Then he blurted out, "This jerky has the perfect chewiness of meat. I love the hint of citrus."

I also liked the citrus flavor that was subtle and not overwhelming.

Mike continued, "The meat is dry but still chewy. This texture is good. I can't stand that slimy kind of jerky and this is not in that category at all!"

He finished his evaluation with, "I love them both!"

So I guess that does it. Go buy some of this jerky from Doug over at Jerky.com . It's really the best you can get! Great tasting and genuine quality that is tough to beat! You take a look at the Sweet & Spicy Mango Beef Jerky and Sweet & Spicy Orange Beef Jerky and get some for yourself. You know you want it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You never know what your mother will find at Goodwill!

Hello my fellow apron goddesses! It's me, the Ungourmet! I hope you all had a lovely week and that you are enjoying an even lovelier weekend!

My mother called a couple of days ago to tell me about an apron she found at the Goodwill. It has a darling angel on the front of it and is signed 'Sarah'. There are also some other words on the apron in teeny tiny font. They read, MD Anderson Cancer Center Children's Art Project.

I enjoy playing detective so I immediately set to work...googling. I came up with this website. MD Anderson Cancer Center is in the state of Texas so I'm not sure how this cute apron ended up here in Oregon.

It seems that children (from all around the US) going through cancer treatments create artwork for aprons and many other items from jewelry to calendars. The monies go toward cancer research. According to the website, the project has returned more than 25 million to date.

If you have a few minutes to spare, go on over and take a peek at the wonderful things these amazing children have created!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can you feel it?

Spring is in the air!

So Garden Goddesses, tie on an apron, get out in the sunshine and get that garden going. I know I will.....as soon as I get back from Idaho.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Retro Revival Giveaway-Choose Your Favorite!

What a week Apron Goddesses.... In brief, I am packing for vacation and will be on the road and in Idaho and Montana for the next week. But before I depart I can offer up this lovely giveaway sponsored by Retro Revival!

Owner Cindy has told me that you can pick your favorite from her store and win it. I love her wide variety of fabric patterns and styles to choose from. My favorite is this vegetable themed apron pictured to the right. As a botanist I am a sucker for the greenery.... This veggie pattern accented with the green and white polka dots is adorable to my plant loving eyes.

Other aprons that caught my attention were the cherry patterned varieties like this one. Our cherry trees are not yet blooming here, but will probably start breaking bud in about three weeks. I don't have a cherry patterned apron yet so I'm thinking I need a new addition to my apron assortment.

And this cutie-pie cherry apron caught my eye too. It reminds me of an Apron Goddess take on the standard tennis outfit except with lots of great cherries on it!

At Retro Revival, you can find vintage-inspired aprons that will provide a colorful barrier between your frock and your souffl├ęs. The apron styles are all handcrafted from original patterns, designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era! You may find kitchen towels, full and half aprons, tote bags, and shower caps.

I happen to have two of the wonderful totes and LOVE them! Click HERE to see my Retro Revival TOTES. They are amazing.

So, onto the giveaway instructions...

To enter the giveaway for the apron of your choice from Retro Revival, visit the web store and browse the selection. Come back here to TAG and make a comment about your favorite. That will give you one entry into the giveaway.

For five extra entries into the drawing create a blog post about this giveaway, leaving your permalink in your comment. Be sure to mention this in your entry.

And for 10 extra, bonus chances at winning send in a picture of you or a family member wearing an apron. Leave a comment that you are sending in a photograph too! (Contact is above) No headless apron wearers please!! We will write up your "apron-ography" in the weeks to come.

Giveaway Closes 3/25/2010.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stepford Housewife-Apron Goddess

Julia here this morning Ladies....I would like to wish you a Gooooood Monday!!

Now give a big greeting to Carmen at Closer to Lucy who is our resident Apron Goddess for today. She has shown up wearing her favorite Halloween costume and her FAVORITE apron.

Carmen said, "I love it because my neighbor (whom I adore) made it for me." But I think one could really scare or happily surprise their husband wearing this when he came through the door. I know my dearest husband would fall on the floor in shock just seeing me in a dress....but I digress.

I must say, Carmen pulls this number off with little effort! She looks fabulous in her color coordinated polka dots and apron. And the jumbo pearls add that genuine touch of perfect accessorization! I think she has "a little" Apron Goddess attitude... Thank you Carmen for your fun photos!

You can give Carmen holler over at Closer to Lucy!!

Tomorrow a new apron giveaway is coming so stay tuned.

And remember to sign up for the giveaway from AnnieG Aprons

Click HERE to sign up. Bye for now....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tie on your aprons, it's time to bake cookies!

Hey all you apron goddesses! It's me, the Ungourmet! I'm so excited to be here! I stumbled onto the Apron Goddesses when I first began blogging and I am so glad I did. What a fun place for lovers of all things apron!

I did a little searching around to see if there were any foodie blogs with the word "apron" in the title and I ran across The Messy Apron. Great blog!

I found this scrumptious cookie recipe over there and just had to try it. It was love at first bite!! Seriously! I ate at least four of these today!


Granola Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from the Messy Apron

makes about 3 dozen

1/2 lb butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 cups granola (I used one with raisins, dates, and almonds.)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I didn't have chunks on hand.)

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla, beat until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in the granola and chips.

Using an ice cream scoop, place a scant 1/4 cup of dough on cookie sheet, spacing each scoop 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350 oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Place on rack to cool.

These are so good! The granola adds such a nice crunch and you can never go wrong with chocolate, right?!

Thanks so much Julia for inviting me to be a part of your wonderful blog!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bulls in Aprons

Spring is near and BBQ season is almost here.
I imagine that I will be donning all the BBQing aprons, as my husband has rescinded that job.

I love the spring and summer time cook outs. Bring me a beer, glass of wine (or anything else to drink), good company, and lots of food to be grilled and I am happy. This picture depicts how I enjoy my longer days, even if it is just my family.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fed Up With School Lunches?

Apron Goddesses, have you seen this site?

Fed Up: School Lunch Project (By a Teacher who is eating school lunch just like the kids every day in 2010)

If not you should. I knew some school lunch programs were in sad shape and recent efforts in some schools have resulted in improvements to the nutrition and calorie content of kids lunches. BUT there is a long way to go!

If you want a blow by blow account of an average school lunch program check out this site Fed Up: School Lunch Project. It is eye opening.

This teacher's account is matter of fact and shows a photo of the lunch daily. She is also providing other discussions about recess in school too. It's a good site to check out for a "reference" check on your own school lunch program.

We are lucky at our school to have Revolution Foods as the provider of our school lunch program. I love their motto "Make ever bite matter!" We bake cookies and the like at our home but they are given judiciously and I make sure that their "treat" is just that. A treat. And that it does not comprise a large proportion of my kids food. Revolution Foods takes it even further and does not provide any "treats" in the lunch box.

I order my son one lunch per week from their menu and we pack his lunch the other days of the week. The lunches are not packed with extra calories, are tasty and healthy. It's a good thing!

It is so hard to teach a balanced approach to eating in kids. What is healthy? What is a treat? How much treat is OK? I don't think you should eliminate fun snacks in a diet but teach the kids to moderate themselves at an early age....

How is your lunch program? And are you happy with it?