Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doctor Coffee Sampler

I was cruising around flickr a few months back and found some amazing cross stitch, embroidery, and other stitching project photos. I think the last time I picked up a needle and floss was about six years ago when my first nephew was born. I cross stitched an entire blanket of the alphabet (complete with cute little animals/people for each letter).*

At any rate, seeing those pictures really got me inspired to cross stitch again. It helps that I'm commuting an hour (each way) to work on the train, which gives me plenty of time to work on small projects.

A very close friend of mine turned 30 in October and I wanted to give him something special and personal. Sure, I could've gone to the store and spent $30 on new CDs or a video game- but 30 is a big deal in my eyes (having just reached that milestone myself), and it deserves a special gift.

My friend is an MD and for as long as I've known him he's had an intense relationship with coffee. To the point where everyone around him notices if he hasn't had any.

I decided to use the old proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," and put a spin on it. I wanted my sampler to say "A pot of coffee a day keeps the doctor awake," and have a stitched coffee pot.

I'm sure it will surprise you to learn that no one makes a pattern for such a sampler. So, that left it to me to create my own pattern. I figured it couldn't be too tough. Boy was I wrong.

After a few missteps and many edits, I finally had my pattern ready to go. I used simple black letters for most of the phrase and a more elaborate font and blue floss for the words "coffee" and "doctor" for emphasis. The little coffee pot was modeled after the diner coffe pots I always see.

Now I'm looking forward to creating more personalized samplers for holiday gifts.

*(I was just reminded by a friend that I actually cross stitched a little Charlie Brown scene about a year or two ago.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Root Beer Float Cupcake

Mmm....root beer floats. Whenever summer rolls around you can bet your sweet bippy that I'm thinking about root beer floats.

This past summer I started thinking about trying to recreate that taste in cupcake form. I poked around online looking for a recipe, but the ones I found called for root beer extract. I didn't have any of that handy and I certainly couldn't find it at my local grocery store.

Then, I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful gift certificate to the online shop, Bake It Pretty for my birthday. And whaddaya know? They sell root beer extract!

Last Saturday my schedule had some free time so I got out my extract and started baking!

The recipe I used called for both root beer and the extract. The extract I had was for candy flavoring- a little goes a long way with the candy extract. Instead of using the full two teaspons of extract I used a few drops.

While making the SMBC, I also added a few drops of the extract.

These cupcakes are super moist and while they may not taste exactly like root beer floats, they certainly get the idea across.