Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pyrography - iPhone4 Case

Custom wood burned iPhone4 wooden case - pyrography is awesome!
I have wanted to have a wooden iPhone case from the first moment that I realized that my iPhone that Verizon gave to me for free would need one in order to take a call and not drop it. (Seems to me that is normal cell phone activity - the ability to take a call and stay on the line until you're through - but, in the case of iPhone 4... apparently no.)

In any case (pun intended), I wanted a wooden iPhone case because I thought that it would be pretty unique, especially when I got done customizing it with pyrography, the art of burning designs into wood...something I have done quite extensively in the past but that I haven't done in years due to work, college, graduate school, etc, etc, etc.

Anyway... so I bought a wooden case off of Amazon some time ago, but I never got around to putting the design on it before my 2-year-old broke the case. Broke the back of the iPhone, too, come think of it. Recently, I bought another wooden case and, this time, I actually did the pyrography work.

I had decided long ago that I wanted to memorialize my car - my 1971 Ford LTD Brougham - on the iPhone case, so I printed out a scaled outline version of the car from the front - where it looks really angry and mean, TBH - and taped it to the outside of the phone and then drew over the lines with a ballpoint pen. Here is what it looked like at that point:

You can sort of see the outline there in that shot.

Next, I dug out my old, trusty wood burning tool and plugged it in and set to work. I realized that, unlike my first wooden case, this one has a coating of some sort on it. So, I cut through it with a precision screwdriver and finished the design... and I realized it was missing something, so I freehand burned in a crescent moon, three retro-looking stars, and the '71 at the bottom. Then I put a coat of clear spray paint on it to seal it, and, once dry, I Super Glued the two pieces around the phone so that the baby won't be able to get it off if she gets a hold of the phone again.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe

Super yummy, spicy pulled pork sandwiches!
I have never been a big pork fan, but this is one way that I actually enjoy it... and the whole family loves it, too... and I live with a bunch of picky eaters! Though this recipe does take some planning to pull off, it isn't difficult in the least.

Here is a link to a PDF download of this recipe on a stylish, printable, retro recipe card:
Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Or you can copy from my Pepperplate account:
Clicky clicky here

Or you can copy and paste from here:

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
[For Spice Rub]
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

[For Brine Solution]
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon spice rub (above)
2 quarts water (approximately)

[For Pork Bake]
1 pork loin (about 2 lbs)
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 Walla Walla sweet onion
1 Anaheim pepper
1 jalapeno pepper

[for spice rub]
Mix all spice rub ingredients together and mix well to combine.

[for brine solution]
Mix 1/2 cup salt into 2 quarts of water and mix until completely dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon spice rub mix. Place pork into brine solution and add more water if needed so that pork is covered. Put a lid on the pot and put in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

[for pork loin]
After brining time is up, remove loin from brine solution and pat dry with paper towels. Rub down generously with spice rub on all sides. Place in baking pan (fat side up) and surround with chopped vegetables. Cover pan with tin foil and bake at 225 degrees for 8 hours.

Remove from pan and place pork loin in shallow bowl and shred with tongs or two forks. Serve on potato buns with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, BBQ sauce, or whatever you choose.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies!
 These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies, bar none. They are soft, not too sweet, and not too crumb-y. I love them, and they never last very long around my house.

I'm attaching the recipe on one of my recipe cards as an image and as a .PDF file you can print on card stock and cut out. Or you can copy and paste it:

These babies never last very long!

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add in brown sugar and egg and continue beating until creamed. Mix in vanilla and sour cream and beat to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat dry mixture into wet mixture 1/4 cup at a time until completely combined. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts (if you're using them).

Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies will get a very light golden brown but will still be pretty pale.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on the size you make them. ;-)

Click for larger view!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rehabbed Washing Machine Update

 I have been utterly SWAMPED with work, so I haven't done very many really creative projects here lately outside of the band, marketing videos for work, and some graphics for work here or there. But, my previous creative projects are taking care of themselves... well, with some water.

As you may recall from a previous post, my Tommy Lee and I rehabbed these old wringer washing machines, brushing off the dirt and giving them a coat of red paint. I also planted lots and lots of all white petunias in them, with the hope that they would look like soap bubbles pouring out of them. Now that the petunias have had a chance to grow, I really think that they are starting to look like soap bubbling over the top. What do you think?

I bought WAAAAAY too may petunias. After giving my Mom a flat of them, I still had this may left over from the project!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Windowsill Herb Garden

 Last February when I got my tax refund, I bought these cute planter sets at Target, one group of teal and one group of dark orange-red ones. They're three plastic planters set in a matching water tray, and I realized while still at the store that you can pull the planters off the tray and mix and match the things. So, I did. And then I planted herbs in them.

Maybe I just wasn't thinking, but it took me quite a while to figure out what I had planted. I mean, I knew what I planted at the time, but, after a few weeks, I forgot what was in each planter and the next thing I knew, I was waiting for the sprouts to get a little bigger to figure out what they were. I know I planted two kinds of parsley, oregano, two types of basil, and chives. One of the basils and the chives didn't make it past the sprout stage, so I swapped them out for a store-bought oregano plant (not knowing that one of my surviving sprouts was oregano) and green onions (the tips about growing them from store-bought kitchen scrap totally works, although you can skip the stinky water and just toss them in some good dirt, seriously).

 So, what I have ended up with is the two types of parsley (flat leaf and curled), two planters of  the same kind of oregano (I think), green onions, a separate planter (there in the yellow pot) of chives, and a plant I can't identify. I figure it must be one of the basil plants, but it really doesn't look like basil. Since I only remember planting the basil, parsley, chives, and oregano, I still have no idea what it is. I might have planted something else and don't remember; might not have, too. They mystery plant is on the far right in the second photo.
In any case, I have to say that cooking with fresh herbs makes all my dishes taste better. The parsley and oregano in particular make my pasta dishes taste AMAZING, especially fettuccine alfredo! Wow!

I think I may replant these into a very large planter to keep in a sunny spot inside and try my hand at some other herbs now, too. Maybe rosemary or thyme...

Yorkdale 4' Window Box - White - Planters (Google Affiliate Ad)