How many hours are in a day? August 22, 2010 – Posted in: Sewing

I’ve been horribly absent this week. I have a good excuse, too! Well, actually, I have several.

For starters, I’ve had one unhappy baby. I took Chloe off her reflux medicine prematurely and boy have I been paying for it!! I had 4 or so days of extremely unhappy baby before I decided to put her back on the medicine. Then it took about a week to get built back up in her system and finally provide her with some relief. During that torturous time, she just wanted to be held. 24 hours a day. Holding a baby and sewing are 2 things that don’t go well together!

I also have a giant list of things people have asked me to make for them. At the top of the list is 7 shirt skirts for 3 different friends. Sounds easy enough, only now my sewing machine is refusing to shirr!! It’ll sew about 10 perfect stitches, then all of a sudden it goes completely haywire and there’s thread everywhere. I’ve spent nearly 2 weeks trying to figure out what’s causing it and I can’t figure it out. I want to rip my hair out! It’ll sew just fine, but not shirr.

I’ve started 2 different projects to blog about, but abandoned both in the middle of creation. One is a cool messenger-style man diaper bag for The Hubs. But I got nearly done with it and some things didn’t line up right and looked horrible and I refused to rip out the stitches and try again. I wasted almost an entire Sunday on it! The second project is an old shirt of mine I was turning into a dress for Sofie. It was supposed to be a 20 minute rehab, but I have to shirr the back to do it the way I want it, and my stupid machine refuses to cooperate.

So, I’m trying to chug away at the ever-growing list of things to make that are un-blog related. About 6 things are mid-project so I don’t have much to show. I did get this cute giraffe onesie made and mailed to a sweet new baby boy in Canada this week.

I’ve also been doing some cooking. I’ve stumbled across many recipes for soup lately, and it’s been sounding delicious. I typically can’t eat soup unless it’s cold out, and this mid-90s weather every day for weeks on end doesn’t jive with my soup craving. Until I stumbled on a recipe for bread bowls. I decided that day we needed to have beef stew in homemade whole wheat bread bowls. And we did!

I didn’t let my bread bowls rise long enough the second rising because the troops were starving. Next time I’ll plan further ahead so they’re a little bigger. Though truthfully, at this size we were able to eat our stew and all of the bread bowl.

And when you’re making them yourself, you can make mini bowls for the little people at your table!

For the bread bowls I used this basic recipe. But because I wanted to make it healthier, I changed it a little. For the initial flour mixture, I used 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups AP.  Then as I mixed the dough and added more flour, I put in 1.5 C wheat and .5 C AP. So in total I used 3.5 cups wheat, 2.5 cups AP. I’m still experimenting with how much wheat to AP to use. Breads usually come out better when they’re around half each. Also, when I mixed my wet ingredients together, I substituted 3T flax seed for 1 of the TBSP of oil. Next time I’ll omit the oil completely and just use flax seed.

Commenters recommend making just 6 bowls instead of 8. I actually ended up with 9 because I split 1 of them into 2 Sofie-sized bowls. I think next time I’ll go for 6 and just give her some of the insides instead of her own bowl.

When I pitted my bread bowls to put the soup in, I kept the insides to use as my own bread crumbs. Can’t wait to make meatballs or meatloaf with them!

For my beef stew I used this basic recipe. But because I can’t make anything the way the recipe calls for it, I made some changes:

*I only had 1.3 lbs of beef stew meat. I tossed my cubed meat in flour that was seasoned with pepper and garlic powder before browning in the pot. It was delicious!

*I like my veggies to lose their crunch in soups, which I find short cooking times DOESN’T allow for. So I let them boil for 20 or so minutes after adding them. Because of this, I used 7 C of water and 1 C red wine. I didn’t thicken it with the cornstarch.

*I used red potatoes. Regular russet potatoes have a tendency to fall apart, but red potatoes hold their own. Even through all the boiling, they came out amazing!

*I didn’t have rosemary so I used rubbed sage, and I added 2 bay leaves.

I didn’t add any liquid while I took pictures because I didn’t want soggy bread bowls before we ate, so I added some before I served dinner. This smelled SO wonderful while it cooked that Sofie was begging me “Eat Mommy? Eat please?” I’m definitely looking forward to this hearty meal again!