Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've Got the Gadget for You!

I was making Kim's Strawberries N' Cream Cupcakes when I realized that this would be the perfect gadget to tell you about.

Can you see it? It is perfect for zesting lemons! In fact it's called a Microplane Zester. If you don't have one you need to go get yourself one.

See how fine it zests the lemon? To perfection! You can't even tell that there is lemon zest in the recipe. Go take a look here if you are interested in one.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Choose Your Favorite Apron Giveaway From the Farmer's Wife

Oh, what a lovely apron giveaway has come to us this week from the Farmer's Wife!

A little about The Farmer's Wife - At Home, all items (excluding vintage linens) are handmade in a rural Illinois in-home studio. Care is taken to produce quality items the old fashioned way, by hand. Most of the sewing is done on a 1950's two-toned turquoise sewing machine named Beverly. And recently two additional vintage sewing machines have joined the stable - a lavender Fleetwood and a PINK Atlas.

Owner, Suzanne was taught by her grandmother to sew and grandma was a stickler for details. Suzanne freshly starches and presses all aprons before shipping.

At Farmer's Wife there are several "apron product lines."

If you see the phrase "Green Line" in the description, it refers to the aprons which are constructed from repurposed men's dress shirts, paired with designer fabrics and trims. Ii.e. aprons are made from repurposed and new materials.

If you see the phrase "Repro Apron Line" then this is Suzanne's line of aprons made from patterns created from her vintage collection. I.e. aprons are made from all new materials.

Now to the giveaway . . .

Visit the Farmer's Wife Etsy store and browse the selection. Come back here to TAG and make a comment about the apron you would like to win. 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 May 11, 2010.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Bitt Of Raw is an Apron Goddess

This is Bitt at A Bitt of Raw! She has a blog to document her life and her path to better health. One big part of her path to wellness is the consumption of a raw diet rich in RAW veggies and fruits.

At her blog A Bitt of Raw, Bitt provides enumerable ways to eat healthy, conserve resources, and recycle those bits of things you may not think are useful any more.

And she even has a recent post about CHOCOLATE!!! Spicy chocolate! Bitt tells you why it's good for you too, so I suggest you find some raw in your life cause it can include goodies you thought not possible. Oh, I forgot to mention her post on Moon Pies too.

You must check it out. I MUST be craving chocolate tonight. *Sigh* and there is none to be found in my immediate vicinity.

Thanks for sending in your photo Bitt! You are a great Apron Goddess.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Winner of the Apron from Quilt-A-Treasure

Good Evening Apron Goddesses!

I'm just doing some house cleaning so to speak, finished a pile of dishes by hand. We don't have a dishwasher and I often lament that my hands suffer the perpetual wrath of water and soap. I swept the floor of all the dirt crumbles and hopped on the computer, then remembered I needed to announce the winner of the apron from Quilt-A-Treasure!

I just visited Quilt A Treasure and they have a some new aprons up at their Etsy store. I do love their color combos. . .

However, back to this drawing. Using the random number generator I processed the data and POP! Out came number 29!

That gives us:

Leanne at Life as a Wife who said, " I love the polkadot date night apron. Adorable!!"

Well she can now look adorable too.

Congrats Leanne!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

These mini cheesecakes are a snap!

Hey all, the Ungourmet here. A couple of days ago we celebrated the birth of my dear husband. I wanted to make him something extra special for dessert. I decided on cheesecake since he loves it so much. It was my first time making it. I was happy to find that my lucky apron was clean and ready for the task. I slipped it on and got to it. The original recipe calls for a graham cracker crust but I thought gingersnaps would be more fun! This recipe was a snap and I love that these are just the right size for a nearly guilt-free treat.

mini strawberry cheesecakes with gingersnap crust
inspired by 500 cupcakes

makes 24 cheesecakes

2 cups gingersnap cookies
10 tbsp melted butter
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups softened cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
fresh sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 24 paper baking cups into muffin pans.

Put the cookies into a food processor and pulse until you end up with course crumbs. Stir in the butter. Place a tbsp of this mixture into each paper cup and press firmly into the bottom. Chill until set.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the ricotta until smooth. Add the cream cheese, vanilla and confectioner's sugar, blending until smooth. Slowly add the eggs, blending well. Spoon mixture evenly into each cup over crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool 5 minutes. Then, remove the cheesecakes and cool on a wire rack. Chill until ready to serve. Top with sliced strawberries.

My husband loved these and I know you will too. Slip on your aprons and give 'em a try! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Teen Apron Goddess Sew's Her Own Apron

Good Evening Apron Goddesses. Or should I say TGIF? Well I'm saying it if you aren't. Really, I am ready to slow time down over the next few days.

To kick us off, I have a picture to show you that was submitted by Rebecca at Buttons and Bows and We are Forever His.

She said, "My daughter just made this apron about a week or so ago. She didn't have a pattern, she just made it with the knowledge she had from making one in Home Economics last year."

I am thinking that this "girl" did awesome on her first try without a pattern of any kind! Three cheers for "girl power." Or rather woman power . . .

Thanks Rebecca for sharing your daughters great little project. Congrats on raising a child who can DO things! Yeah!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Winner! Winner! Winnner!

I have a winner for the Le Creuset baking dish. The lucky person to receive this beautiful dish was chosen by the random number generator.........and the winning number is 31! Congratulations to ikkinlala who said "I'd love to enter, please!" Shoot me an email and I will send your information to CSN Stores so that they can get you your lovely baking dish.

As for the rest of you, go check out CSN Stores! I know I am going to see about one of these baking dishes, they are just too beautiful not to have. Have a great day and congratulations to our winner.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Goddess of Slacking . . . That's Me.

Apron Goddesses,

I have gotten behind again. But with good reasons.

With many projects gathered in my proverbial "apron" I wanted to give you an update. Below you may inspect this gathering apron with long ties at the bottom. One puts veggies and such inside and ties the strings up to carry things hands free. I think I might need one slightly larger than this.

We all strive to balance everything in our busy lives, take care of kids, juggle work, hobbies, and personal projects. I am no exception.

I've been really preoccupied with one main project which is on the brink of being finished. It's a book, a children's book, called Bingo's Big Adventure. You can get a sneak-peek HERE. I only have the cover and back to finish and I am DONE! Yeah! When it comes back from the printer I will offer a giveaway here for a few copies for sure.

Meanwhile, be sure to enter the giveaway sponsored by Modern June. It's just gorgeous.

Bye for now!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My new favorite cupcake

Happy Saturday, Apron Goddesses! It's the Ungourmet once again. I just can't get these strawberry and cream cupcakes out of my head! I baked them up for Easter brunch and they were over-the-top fantastic! Now, I'm longing for Oregon strawberry picking season to roll around so I can whip them up again with some yummy local berries.

strawberries n' cream cupcakes
by theUngourmet -inspired by 500 cupcakes

for the cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 eggs
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Place 18 cupcakes liners in muffin pans. Combine all the cupcake ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

for the topping
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups slice small strawberries
4 tbsp strawberry jell-o
1 tbsp water

Whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon onto the cupcakes and arrange the strawberries on top of the whipped cream. In a small saucepan, heat the jell-0 and water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Brush this mixture over the strawberries. Chill until ready to serve.

Try these! I know you will just love 'em! Oh, and don't forget to wear your aprons! Strawberry stains are a killer you know...and not the good kind of killer! Ha! ;D

Thursday, April 8, 2010

History of the Casserole

Hi all...Suzi here to teach you a little about the casserole.

The word casserole originates from the French regarding the type of dish used to make one-dish meals. It is the saucepan or deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel.

According to Wikipedia the casserole, as we know it, is a relatively modern invention. The "original" casserole made it's appearance in the early 18th Century, but used rice that was pounded, pressed, and filled with meats or sweet breads. Casserole cooking as a one-dish meal became popular in the United States in the 20th century, especially in the 1950's. In the 1950's it became easier to do one-dish meals because the pans used for casseroles were being produced with lighter weight glass and metal.

Speaking of casseroles, I have a recipe for you. It is a favorite of my husbands, one he grew up with that I had to get from his mom. It is called Picnic Casserole, it's a little different, but sure is good.

Picnic Casserole


1lb ground meat (I use beef or turkey, sometimes I use 1/2 of each)
1 onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
1 can creamed corn
1 can slice olives
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs. Worstershire Sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tub Kaukauna sharp cheddar cheese spread
1/2 bag extra wide egg noodles (I use the whole wheat ones, my hubby can't tell when they are in a casserole)

Saute the onions and garlic to softness. Add the ground meat and cook thoroughly. While cooking the meat boil the noodles according to the package. Drain the meat. After draining the meat add the tomato sauce, soup, creamed corn, olives, cheese spread, Worstershire Sauce, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. When noodles are done, strain and add to the casserole dish. Make sure the cheese spread is melted with in the casserole before putting into the oven. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.

This pairs well with homemade garlic bread and some broccoli or a salad.

This type of casserole would look great in a beautiful Le Creuset casserole dish. In fact we are having a giveaway for one of those dishes right now. The giveaway will be going on for one more week. Make sure to enter said giveaway in the comment section of THIS post.

Happy casserole making and good luck with the giveaway. Have a great week!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Time Apron Giveaway from Modern June!

Happy Spring Apron Goddesses! Happy, happy days are here!

To kick off April we have a beauty of an apron giveaway sponsored by Modern June. This is the Eva Apron in Olive. . . Can you say wowsie wowow? I can.

Owner of Modern June, Kelly wrote, "Although we have left the days of June Clever behind I believe there is a bit housewife all of us. Our homes ground us, it just sounds charming to have a nice house that we have lovingly decorated. To create wonderful meals for our happy family. This may not be our reality but we can dream."

I agree with her philosophy and am dreaming about this apron! It's just gorgeous.

About Modern June: All aprons are 100% handmade in Virginia!!! You will not find any factory made wares in the shop.

Modern June started out as a simple creative outlet for a semi-desperate housewife. Kelly had become anxious to do something that was just for her. She had also become obsessed with vintage aprons so she started selling her growing collection at the local farmers market. Kelly could not bear to see them go so she drafted patterns of her favorite vintage aprons. By Christmas of that year Kelly was making tots and a few aprons but everyone wanted more Modern June. Those patterns went to work.

Modern June is now sold in over a dozen brick and mortar shops across America and Canada. As well a few online boutiques. The best place to find Modern June is on ETSY!

I love Kelly's motto, "Put on your apron and be creative."

Now here's what you need to do if you want to be in the random drawing for the Modern June beauty pictured above. Visit the Modern June Etsy site 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 20, 2010.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Who Said Easter, Aprons and Camouflage Can't Go Together!

Happy Easter to all the Apron Goddesses in the World!

We colored a few eggs on Saturday so the Easter Bunny would have less work to do.

Ella is my Mini-Me Missy Apron Goddess who can pull off the camouflage sweatshirt with the tan leaf print apron while coloring earth tone eggs. She's got it all together at the wise age of three.

I love that the brown eggs our hens lay don't color like normal eggs. They take on pretty natural-looking shades of color. We added oil to the dye to get the mottled look.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A muffin so good I just had to share!

Hey, fellow apron lovers! It's the Ungourmet here again. I hope you don't mind taking a peek at another muffin recipe because this one is so moist and delicious with such a nice bright Springy flavor, I just had to share it! I was inspired once again by 500 cupcakes. That little cookbook just rocks!

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Muffins
by theUngourmet -inspired by 500 cupcakes

makes about 12 muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 -3/4 cup orange blossom honey
1 cup nonfat Greek style yogurt
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup fresh blueberries

In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, honey, yogurt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Bake in greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing I just used 1 tbsp honey, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 tsp poppy seeds, 1 tsp milk and enough powdered sugar to make a honey-like consistency. Then, I dipped the top of my muffins into the icing. So Yummy!

Happy Easter!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Leanne The Walker is an Apron Goddess

Today, I have an apronography from Leanne at Leanne...The Walker. She has sent in a photo highlighting her her breast cancer awareness apron. Leanne also writes about about cooking and life with her husband at Life as a Wife.

I really appreciate Leanne's photo below. Leanne said, "Here I am in my cute pink apron. This apron was handmade for me and has breast cancer ribbons and inspiration on it. I walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure and am a huge supporter of a world without breast cancer."

Leanne also wrote, "This apron means a lot to me because it showcases something so dear to my heart. While I love the apron, as you can see, it doesn't cover the top of me!

My husband and I cook all the time and are always making new recipes and trying new things in the kitchen. I would love an apron that provides coverage so that I don't get spaghetti sauce on my clothes! :-)"

Thanks Leanne for sharing your apron with us and thank you for your support of a great cause that all to often effects someone we know and love.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Giveaway Time!

Hi ladies and gents....Suzi here to bring you a giveaway from CSN Stores.

What's that? You can't hear me? Well go get yourself some speakers, speaker stands, and turn up the volume! I said I have a GIVEAWAY for you.

Can you hear me now?

What's that? You're deaf now?

Oh good, I was beginning to wonder...

But on to this vision of beauty dressed in white below? It is a Le Creuset 4.5 Quart Rectangular Casserole Dish with Lid. I would love to add this to my collection, it is perfect for a casserole I make for my family (more on that next week as I will reveal a top secret family recipe then...).

This multi-purpose Rectangular Casserole with Lid can serve so many uses, any cook will wonder how they ever lived without it! Whether heating a dish in the microwave or baking lasagna in the oven, the uses are endless. The durable finish resists chipping, scratching and staining. It has sure grip handles for easy handling from the oven onto the table to create a beautiful table presentation.

So if you are interested in entering this giveaway leave a comment below. You will have 2 weeks to sign up by leaving a comment at the end of this post. I will announce the winner April 15 and then send the winner's address to CSN Stores so they can send the lucky winner this beauty of a casserole dish.

And if you are in need of some speaker stands be sure to check out CSN's selection HERE.

Good Luck to you all!