Artist Paint Brush Carrier

When I started painting, I only had few brushes that I would throw in a ziplock bag for Art class. As my collection grew, I found it was very inconvenient. Then I graduated to a netted product bag. It kind served the purpose until I bought some expensive brushes that I needed to “take care of” properly. So that’s the inspiration for making this brush carrier. Of course I could have run out and bought one, but when you have a sewing machine and the materials to make one like that, it’s a crime to buy. I don’t have the patience to follow instructions nor do I have it in me to make a pattern before hand. So I took my fabric and started cutting which ever way I thought it would work. Before we go on to the instructions, here are some pictures. This would give you an idea of how it is done.

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Carrot Walnut Cake – Single Serve

Happy Valentine’s Day. Here is an awesome recipe for Carrot Walnut Cake. The difference is that it is just single serve. Meaning you can have your cake and eat it too! Without any guilt. Of course, since it is Valentine’s Day, it means you need to share it with the one you love! The recipe is easy too. Enjoy!

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The recipe was from this site. I modified the ingredients to fit the ones in my pantry.

I used wheat flour instead. Baking soda instead of baking powder. Buttermilk (freshly churned from plain non fat yogurt) Honey instead of vanilla essence. I also added crushed up walnuts in the cake rather than in the frosting.

I also baked my cake for 35 mins at 350 instead of 18 mins mentioned in the recipe. That is because of my oven. You should start with 18 mins and then increase until a toothpick comes out clean.

Just heat it in the microwave before serving. I feel its tastier that way.

No Cook Quick Fix Dessert – With Strawberries

Oh Boy! I have gone in to hibernation, what’s with the Polar Vortex in the North East.. Not really, but I had somethings to focus on.

So here is a recipe to break that routine. It takes 30 seconds and is ridiculously simple.

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In a pretty glass, put down some strawberries and blueberries. Top it with only, I mean, only Muller Greek Style Low Fat Yogurt. Nothing else comes close! Do not add in the Corner just yet.

Then top it with more strawberries. Now top it with the corner sauce. Put a strawberry on the rim and there you have it. Your guests will be blown away!

On to Martha’s Vineyard

T’was such a beautiful drive

On the road to the cape

Hearing the songs of birds flying by

Lost in the beauty of the world

 

There a far on the ocean

A Magnificent bridge hangs by

As we drove up the steel mountain

Sight to behold, underneath

 

In the season of fall

The dance of the leaves mesmerize

Sadly I can only think

Are they running away from me?

 

Oh! There! hoots the horn of the ship

That could have sailed the mighty seas

But here it is, sitting gently

To ferry us 3 miles out to sea

 

As we landed, the world changed

From chains of shops to mom and pops

Then came a sigh of content

Wish I could, right here, live

Bi-Fold Wallet

Recently, I noticed that, the more I follow blogs, the more I am inspired to be creative. I have recently started following craft blogs and in that this bi-fold wallet looked very impressive. So I sat down and started making it. I love to stitch. My favorite pastime as a kid was to sit at the sewing machine making bags and dresses for dolls. As I grew older, I even stitched dresses for myself. But when I started to work I lost the time and lost touch with sewing. Now that I am forcing myself to be creative, I am getting back fond memories of sewing all day. This purse is inspired from this website. This tutorial is so easy to follow. The biggest problem with my sewing capabilities is that I can never cut and stitch to the exact size. As a result, I made the purse bigger than it should be.  Hence the cards are sliding out. Turns out I didn’t have enough patience to read the instructions. If you follow the instructions word by word, it turns out perfect (I did make a second one, but it isn’t pretty too. Maybe third time could be a charm?) . Enjoy!

Hiking Shenandoah Valley

Per Wiki, Shenandoah National Park is part of the blue ridge mountains in Virginia. But from what I have seen, it’s a wonderful place to relax, enjoy and get your hiking appetite satisfied. We had planned to visit couple of “Touristy” places and then hit the mountains for hiking. The moment we drove in to our hotel, we were blown away at the sight of rolling hills. Miles and Miles of hills. Cows grazing, horses running about. I was transported in to another land where time stood still. At that point I just wished I lived in those hills for forever. Since we drove in , we took rest of the day off and just relaxed.

The next day, we went to the Luray Caverns. Most of the people I spoke to said its not that interesting, but I found it fascinating that the rock formations were formed over millions of years ago. Just makes you wonder at the power of mother nature.

In the afternoon, after a good hearty lunch, we hiked on the Rose River Loop, a 4 mile hike along the river and you would also see couple of waterfalls. Here is a good description on the trail. By the end of that hike, we were so tired, but the good kind of tired. We then parked by one of the view points and watched the sunset. It was so beautiful

On the third day, we hiked up the Lewis Falls trail. You cannot really get up close to the falls, but there is a scenic viewpoint from where you can see the falls down below. The trail goes across the face of the mountain and looks easy, but it is really not. The good thing is the trail is situated close to the visitor center. We came back to the parking lot by 6.30 PM, but went back out a mile in to the trail to catch a perfect spot to watch the sun set. The spot was two boulders in the shape of a sofa opening out to the entire valley. With the sunset, the breeze and sweeping mountain views, it was gorgeous. Enjoy!

>>View of the Shenandoah Valley

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>>Entrance to the Shenandoah Park

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Mirchi Ka Salan | Italian Peppers in Peanut Sauce

I do not know why I waited so long to do this dish. I do love peanut sauce. Oh Wait! I do know. The funny thing is, whenever we buy peanuts at home, it just vanishes. We keep munching on it so much that there is hardly anything to cook with. So this time we bought unshelled peanuts, so I guess its just slowing the munching down. So that’s when I decided, its now or never. Incidentally I had other ingredients as well. What are the odds??!! Well, when the world gives you peanuts, you make peanut sauce…I adapted the recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor’s. Enjoy!!

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Canned Tomatoes by Tuttorosso – Product Review

This post has been in drafts way too long. Hence without further ado, here is a very small product review. Canned Tomatoes by Tuttorosso. The team at Tuttorosso contacted me about a contest promotion they had. This was back in November ‘12. But then I was away for an extended period, so I couldn’t participate. When I did become available, I inquired with them to see if I could do something, and they offered to send me a gift basket of Canned Tomatoes, just like that!! This was my first gift basket that I received since I started writing this blog 3 years go! When I finally received the basket, I was like a kid on Christmas. Inside the box were three beautiful canned tomatoes, a cup sleeve, oven mitts, recipe cards and measuring cards. I thought the way they had packed the box was itself very beautiful. The best part was, of course, was the canned tomatoes. Tuttorosso product line is owned by the company Red Gold, a family company, since 1929. The moment I opened the box, my instinct was to immediately do something Italian, but then, I thought these would be better in a soup. Hence I tried my Tomato Basil Soup with the “peeled plum shaped tomatoes”. I would say that these are, by far, the best canned tomatoes I have used. There was no discernible taste between this soup and the one made with fresh tomatoes. On the whole, I am really satisfied with the product. These are available in all major grocery stores. So next time, pick up a can of Tuttorosso, and try it. Better yet, try it and leave a comment on my blog. Enjoy!

 

psst : I really, really loved the oven mitt, so much so that I use them daily to handle my stainless steel pans

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Cushions, Cushions and More Cushions

I had vowed that I would, one day, stitch cushion covers to my cushions that has been, bare naked on my sofa for, oh so many years. Now the time has cometh!!! I went to “That &1.99 Fabric Store” to get me some fabric. Seriously, the store is called that. I am not making it up. Every yard is $1.99. That’s a steal. Plus if you shop in the clearance section, you can come away with 2 to 3 yards for $1.99. That’s just plain wrong, if you don’t seize the opportunity. My Mom also embroidered two covers for my cushion which had been sleeping in my cupboard. So, this weekend, I embarked on the cushion saga.

I just had four cushions, but I had material for 6. So I got some stuffin’s from the same store. $1.99 per bag of sponge. I also got a white fabric off the clearance section to make the two extra cushions.

For the rest of the four, I found mix and match fabric, bright yellow and orange. It looks good, I must say and brightens up, my rather dull looking sofa. So glad I finished it all in one weekend. Enjoy!

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Close up of my Mom’s Embroidery. Its so beautiful!!! Thanks Mom!

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