Thursday, June 20, 2013

Aloo Gobish

This week I'm a counselor for Camp Get Fit.  It's a grant-funded program aimed at educating 1st-6th graders about healthy lifestyles.  While I was a little apprehensive about working with younger kids, it's been great so far.  It's been a good refresher for me on things I can do to improve my health as well.

We watched a video about ways to include more fruits and veggies in your diet, and it inspired me to make this dish, aloo gobi (or potato and cauliflower curry).

I dabbled in Indian cooking in my PB (pre-blog) life, but I haven't picked up the garam masala in several years.  But after watching a student in the video talk about potato and cauliflower curry, I decided to get some supplies at the grocery yesterday.

It's safe to say my style of Indian cooking is non-traditional.  This is what I normally do:
Cut an onion and cook it in a pot in oil.  Get out a variety of spices and sprinkle some and dump some into the pot.  Let the spices cook.  Add in a liquid or two.  Then add in veggies to let them simmer until tender.

For this dish, my spices were garam masala, cumin, garlic powder, tumeric, coriander, and curry.  My liquids were coconut milk and tomato juice (last jar, weep!).  And my veggies, potato and cauliflower.  I think aloo gobi is normally served dry, but I decided to make it a little soupier and serve it over rice.

It came together really well.  At the end, I added some salt and lime juice just to brighten the flavors.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

One Fish, Two Fish, Pink Fish, Blue Fish

My friends Corrie and Michael are expecting a baby in November, and I volunteered to help with their gender reveal party.  Michael, resident fisherman, wanted to reel in a pink or blue fish from a lake.  I made the fish, and his friend (the only one with the inside info on the gender) attached the correct one to the pole and let Michael reel it in. 

I drew out the design on some leftover pieces of wood and then had them cut out with a jigsaw. 

Next came the painting.  I've been getting into painting more and more recently, and I've really been enjoying it.  After I was happy with the results, I sprayed each one with multiple (like 10) coats of clear water proof acrylic spray. 


Drilled holes in the mouths, attached a hook and a heavy sinker on each one so they wouldn't float. 

Here are C & M before the big moment. 

And the result.....

A GIRL! 

I'm thrilled for my friends and was so happy to be a part of their celebration. 

Annnnnnnd, not to self promote, but if anyone else is interested in a a fish-themed gender reveal party, I'm your girl. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Refashion: Can I Pull off a Romper?

The short answer, no. 
The long answer, see below.

I snagged these pants at the Bargain Barn last weekend, and my first thought was to turn them into a romper. I was inspired by Refashionista, who was, in turn, inspired by Lena Dunham.





So, I ripped out the pant leg seams from about the knees up, and then sewed them up the center to create a longer torso.  I tried it on with a belt, and......no dice.  It was decidedly not becoming.  As you can see.  I fear my romper-wearing days may have ended at the age of three, not thirty-three.



So I scratched the romper plan and decided to go with a dress.  I ripped out the pant leg seams, sewed it straight down the center, and then took the sides in quite a bit.  I love the pairing with the loose belt. Perhaps cowboy boots as well!



Here's a nice before and after shot. 



Last Bulletin Board of the Year

"Nerd Humor"

My favorite - Snakes on a Plane (middle of the top row)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Back on the Blogging Bandwagon!

So April and May happened.  And apparently June is currently happening as well.  School has been out for a couple weeks, but I've still be busy finishing up the year and getting ready for the next one.  Patti Wagon living hasn't stopped; just the blogging took a respite.  I make no promises, but with summer, comes lots of free time, and there are only so many episodes of Mad Men / Game of Thrones / Arrested Development I can watch before I must peel myself off the couch and into the kitchen.

So what's been happening on this Patti Wagon? 

Book Club happened.  I chose The Round House by Louise Erdrich.  Good (not great, in my opinion) book about a Native American boy seeking revenge.  I chose a taco bar as the food.  Accouterments pictured below.  But honestly, the highlight of the evening was dessert -- Mexican popsicles from La Michocana.  It is dangerously close to my house. I might have to move. 



Jam happened.  As per the usual.  But it happened this year in copious amounts.  Twenty-three jars.  Perhaps I'll make it January before running out.  Here's last year's post if you're interesting into getting into the jam freezing.  Blueberry season is almost upon us! 





Fish happened.  My friend Michael (husband of blogger and teacher extraordinaire Corrie) is an avid fisherman, and I asked him to save me some bass from one of his fishing trips.  The reasons therein are manyfold. 
  • The idea of knowing exactly where every part of my meal came from.  (Who needs organic when you can have this?  But that's another post for another day.)
  • I always want to extend my skill set in the kitchen.  (I thought "fish gutting" would be a nice resume enhancer.)
  • I will never turn down free food, and in fact, I will seek it out.  (I think that'd actually be a good quote for my tombstone: "RIP Patricia ~ She never said no to free food.")
No pictures of the gutting, but here is a nice before and after shot.  I quickly marinated the filets in lime juice, herbs, olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper and then sauteed it on the stove.  Delicious!  Cheers to Michael for the fish and the lesson! 



Suddenly and Inexplicably Obsessed with Polyester


How awesome is this tank top?
  1. It's polyester.   Where have you been all my life, wonderful fabric?   And where can I find more of you?  I am completely serious.  Why do people have such disdain for polyester? 
  2. There is neither front nor back and neither tag nor vestige of tag.  To me, there is a certain exoticness to that mystery. 
  3. I'm not ashamed to admit I've worn it every day this week and just might wear it every day until July 4th.  It puts me in such a patriotic mood. 
  4. It cost 15 cents!  Thanks, BB! 

Executing a Vision in Lace

I have been envisioning this shirt refashion in my head for about as long as I've been refashioning.  I wanted a simple tank top in the front with a lace panel in the back.  I have a box of lace that belonged to my great-grandmother, and I love the idea of using it in projects.  That is, as opposed to just keeping it in a box at the top of my sewing closet. (Remember this gift wrap job?)

Lace?  Check.  Now onto the shirt.

Every time I went to the Bargain Barn, I would look (to no avail) for an appropriate shirt to adapt.  Lo and behold the perfect shirt was in my closet the whole time. 

Here is the before circa 2010.  Dark green.  Plain.  Boring.  And obviously in desperate need of a lace panel in the back!  (Hi Paige!  Remember this trap door bar in Croatia??)


And here is the after.  I took off the sleeves and cut out a big chunk of the back.  Then simply sewed the panel in with my sewing machine.  The most difficult part was figuring out a way to finish the edges of the straps and arm holes.  After several failed attempts, I used double layer seam binding, and it worked great. 

This is exactly how I envisioned the shirt, and I can't wait to show it off this summer!  (Bee tee dubs, the best part about sewing my own clothes?  Getting to answer the question, "Where did you get that shirt?" with "Oh, this? I made it." Even if I have to fish for the question!)