Tuesday, October 26, 2010

French Toast Cake

This year, The Ol’ Man had to work all day on his birthday, which was a total drag. But, to make the drag less heavy, I tried my hand at a yummy recipe I found on Confections of a Food Bride. You see, the Ol’ Man just loves French toast. He also loves cake. Why not put the two together? My concoction varies slightly from the Food Bride’s in that I only used heavy cream. I didn’t substitute regular-ass milk into it. I also skipped the part about caramelizing the sugar as I do not have a kitchen blow torch, although I kind of wish I did. I just dusted it with powdered sugar and it tasted amazing. Lastly, I used store-bought thick white bread instead of homemade Challah bread. This simple recipe would be a great treat for visiting family this Thanksgiving.

1 loaf thick white bread (AKA French Toast Bread)
4 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
2 TBSP sugar, divided
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup powdered sugar

Do this part the night before for best results.

Grease a 9-inch round cake pan

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and leave on a baking sheet to dry out for a few hours. Go watch a movie or something.

Place cubes in a large bowl.

Whisk egg yolks, half and half, 2 Tbsp sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until well combined and pour over bread. Toss until all liquid is absorbed. Pour into the prepared pan and lightly press down on the bread to spread evenly.

Wake up about a half an hour before everyone else to bake.
Preheat oven to 325. Bake the French toast cake for 25-30 minutes, until browned. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the rim. Evenly sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Cut into 6-8 wedges and serve warm, with maple syrup.

Serves 6-8

Monday, October 11, 2010

Crochet Pumpkin

There is no better way to re-start the crafting fun here at Apocalypse Meow then with a bit of Halloween fun!
I found a cute pattern for a very simple pumpkin at Lion Brand’s website. I wanted to make some pumpkins of varying sizes though, so I created a crochet pattern for a slightly larger one. I think it turned out pretty good! Give it a try. It is really simple.

Cute Pumpkin

Chain 2
Row 1: SC 10 in first chain. Place stitch marker
Row 2: Two SC in each SC around (20 SC total). Move stitch marker to last stitch in round (repeat after each round).
Row 3: Two SC in each SC around (40 SC total)
Row 4: *SC three, two SC in next SC*. Repeat from * to end of round. (50 SC total)
Row 5-16: SC around.
Row 17: *SC three, SC2Together.* Repeat from * to end of round (40 SC total)
Row 18: SC2Together around (20 SC total)
Row 19: SC2Together around (10 SC total. Stuff pumpkin with Polyfill or other cotton stuffing. Cram that stuff in there, as much as you can!
Row 20: SC2Together around (5 SC total)
Bind off, weave in ends.

Chain 2
Row 1: SC 5 in first chain. Place stitch marker
Row 2: SC in front of stitch around. Move stitch marker to last stitch in round (repeat after each round).
Row 3-5: SC around
Bind off, leave a long tail to sew stem to pumpkin. Sew stem to top of pumpkin, weave in ends

Please note: I’m writing this pattern off the top of my head, so please forgive any inaccuracies.

Friday, October 8, 2010

We aren't dead!

Dearest blog,

So sorry about abandoning you. Things have been crazy busy around these parts. I promise to try to keep the love alive and post again more frequently. Please don't be mad. Lory and I love you.

heart, kb

I love this song and can't stop listening to it. Just thought I would share!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jenny and Johnny - First Listen

Jenny and Johnny, aka Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, are getting ready to release their first duet album together titled, " I'm Having Fun Now ". Yesterday NPR Music has begun to stream the album in it's entirety and I have been listening non-stop! The record sounds totally awesome. A perfect marriage of the two performers, awesome melodies, perfect harmonies, catchy pop tunes without the fake smiles and noxious auto-tuning. My only complaint about the record is that it is being released on the last day of August - the end of summer - when it has all the things anyone could ask for in a fun-loving-good-time-rock n'roll-summer-time album. I guess I better hope the rock n' roll groundhog climbs out of his hole only to be frightened by his shadow and grant us 6 more weeks of Summer thus 6 more weeks of Summer-time tunes.....or something like that....

Listen HERE
I can't stop listening to THIS song!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alley Philosophies....

This is how I feel on Monday mornings.

This is Jeff O's photo btw.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Easy Camera Bag Pattern

I recently bought myself a new digital camera. My previous one was six plus years old, so I decided it was time for an upgrade, especially on the day that the Casio Exilim went on sale on Woot.com. My new toy was about half the size of its ancient predecessor, so I needed a new camera bag. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to store my small electronic devices in a sock until something better comes along.

Working without a pattern, I decided that I’d try out this fancy yarn I bought about a year ago. At about $10 per skein, Tango by Universal Brand Yarn makes a self-ruffling yarn that is a cinch to use, if you have a bit of patience. I was prompted by the sales clerk when I purchased the yarn that you are supposed to stick the knitting needle through the middle of the yarn and knit within the webbing (wow, it is a lot harder to describe what I am talking about than I realized!). The Lion Brand Yarn website has a fairly comprehensive how-to guide for knitting with self-ruffling yarn.

Anywho… here are my instructions, from memory, not a professional pattern by any means:

Ruffled Camera Bag (Fits Casio Exilim Camera)

1 Skein Tango Self-Ruffling Yarn (22 yards/50 grams)
Matching, DK Weight, Non-ruffling Yarn for sewing the edges and the Strap (use one of your stash scraps)
Size 4 Knitting Needles
Size G Crochet Needle
Embroidery Needle
Sewing needle
Matching Color Sewing Thread
Complimentary Style/Colored Button


The Bag- Knit
Cast On 15 (wrap entire yarn ribbon around needle, do not implement ruffling affect)
Knit 18 rows in Garter Stitch using the ruffling method (No need for fancy knit stitches)
Cast Off
Sew in ends.
Fold in half, right sides touching, and sew the long edges together with a matching DK weight yarn. Sew in ends. Flip bag inside-out so that right sides are now on the outside and sewn edges are hidden.

The Strap- Crochet
Chain 12
Row 1: Insert hook into 3rd chain from hook . Single crochet across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 2-12: *Insert hook into back of stitch and single crochet (This makes a “ribbing” pattern). Repeat from * until end of row. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 13/Button Hole: Single crochet 5. Chain 2 (more if your button is bigger). Skip next single crochet (skip 2 if your button is bigger). Single crochet across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 15-16: *Insert hook into back of stitch and single crochet. Repeat from * until end of row. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 19: Cast off (wrap entire yarn ribbon around needle, do not implement ruffling affect)
Sew one side of the strap into the inside of the bag at the second row from the top.
Using sewing thread and sewing needle, sew button onto the bag, centered and approximately 3 rows from the top. Using yarn to attach the button is nearly impossible, sewing thread is better.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sew Shoe Me Shop Update!!!

New items have been posted and many more to come! Check it out!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lory took these photos of Jeff and I each holding the same 32 oz bottle of Miller High Life. He's 6'7, I'm 5'3. Pretty funny.
Jeff O Holds Miller High Life
Kortnee Holds Miller High Life

Big Bend Camping = Big Fun Camping

Yet another summer camping trip has been completed. At the behest of some of our friends that didn’t make it to previous camping trips, Kortnee booked a group site in the Tahoe National Forrest, to which I immediately said, “No way, that’s too cold!” and she subsequently told me to stop acting like a baby and grow a pair. I never grew a pair, but I did manage to procure some snow gear from a Tahoe-local friend of mine. With parka and snow pants in hand, we drove 5,000 feet up to one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever camped, Big Bend Group off the Yuba River.

We played dice games and chess games (I didn’t lose to Ted). We ate steak and campfire balls (Kortnee’s camping specialty). We drank beer and whiskey. Our friend, Jeff O brought all of his own freeze dried food to test out his backpacking gear. His Jet Boil was an amazing contraption. I want one for myself. We spent an afternoon at Donner Lake and an evening stargazing (my favorite part of the trip). The Ol’ Man and I failed at setting up our new 20-man tent cabin (in our defense, there were no instructions, or even a picture of what it should look like). There was much napping and good times had.


Far away from any main family camp area so there was no threat of harassment from rangers for being too loud.

The site was literally right next to the Yuba River. With just the slightest bit of effort, one could find a good spot to swim.

Weather was extraordinarily beautiful. It did not seem like we were in the mountains. The nights were even reasonable. I didn’t need the snow pants, but the parka was a life saver.

It was only five or so miles from Donner Lake. Kortnee & Ted even rented a Kayak for an hour.

No serious animal invasion situation. We saw some mangy squirrels, but that was about it. There were bear warnings, but the ranger assured us that it was very rare for them to wander into that area.


Right next to the 80 freeway, so the sound of cars rushing by was hard to ignore at three in the morning.

Vaulted toilets smelled horrible in the morning, and was so strong, the stench wafted into our campsite, making breakfast smell like a dead dog that had been decomposing in someone’s ass (sorry for the description, but it was REALLY stinky).

That being said, it was still an amazing and beautiful camping trip, filled with friends, food and booze. That makes three camping trips down and one to go.

Good night camping, love Lory & Kortnee.

Friday, August 6, 2010

We're off to the Mountains!

We'll return with adventurous stories, full camping bellies and maybe a couple of photos.
Scott and Cathy
Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Mom is The Best!

I just have to tell this story, even though pretty much all of my friends have heard it already.

I was eight. It was third grade. Annie, the movie, had released that summer to great fanfare. Red and white Annie dresses were in the girl’s clothing section of every department store in America. Little girls in red and white dresses were dotting the streets of my home town. I wanted one. I wanted an Annie dress so bad I could taste it. But, they were expensive. We couldn’t afford it. Like any crafty and resourceful mom, mine decided to make me one. We could afford that. Mom was a wiz on the sewing machine. She hand-made Cabbage Patch- style dolls for myself and each of my female cousins on year for Christmas. She made mine and my brother’s Halloween costumes every year. One year, I was a lamb and my mom sewed hundreds of cotton balls to my leotards and made me a lamb’s hat out of a cut up milk carton. Brilliant!

Anyway, she made me the best Annie dress a girl could have. It was perfect! I thought I looked exactly like the orphan waif in my new red and white rags. I even had my own matching heart-shaped locket. I wore that dress every single day, all summer long. I was the bee’s knees.

And then, school started and third graders are sadistic. My dress was considered less than adequate because it was hand-made instead of store bought. I was laughed at for having a “fake” Annie dress. Musings of my financial status were discussed with vicious delight. I was ridiculed and shunned. My heart was broken. I was ashamed.

Crushed and defeated, I slunk home to mom and relayed the horrors of my day to her, tears streaming down my face and my dress crumpled tightly in my dirty, sweaty hand (I took it off the second I walked in the front door). Mom, with her nurturing insight, spoke only one sentence that renewed my love of the dress all over again. The next day that I wore my Annie dress to school, my resolve was strong and my confidence was high. When my callous classmates began their relentless taunting again, I responded with the wisdom of my mother’s words, “My dress is more real than yours. Annie would never have worn a dress with her own name printed on it.” Take that, you heartless monsters!

I love you Mom, and Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Featured on ETSY!

I got a convo on Etsy from Mills Design Co. saying she featured my shop on her Treasury!

I didn't know what that meant but I was excited anyways. I did a little poking around and learned that treasuries on etsy.com are "member curated shopping galleries".

Sounds good to me! She featured a pair of shoes from my shop alongside some of her site-wide favorites. It's totally awesome! Check it Out!!!!!

Rock N' Roll Clothing Swap

Amid the plethora of spreadsheets and expense reports I sometimes can find time in my busy work schedule to peruse fashion articles and blogs on the internet.
Several weeks ago I stumbled upon this blog post which led me to this website which led me to this article.
My bud Kristie and I had been throwing around the idea of having a clothes swap party but just never got it off the ground....that is, until I read all the swap-erific literature the webz has to offer!
I quickly put together a list of girlfriends and sent out an evite. We had a turn-out of 10 which was actually quite ideal.

The rules were as follows:
-Everyone must bring a minimum of 5 articles of clothing, shoes, accessories etc
-Everyone also brings a snack or a boozy bottle of sorts
-We all drew numbers to determine our "picker" order - numbers were re-drawn for each round
-We went in order of our numbers and chose from the pile what we wanted to claim as our own!

That's it! So simple yet so effing awesome! Everyone had a blast and we were able to trade in some of our closet clutter for some new treasures!
It has already been determined that this swap is going to be a bi-annual event..... I kinda can't wait until February!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

CA State Fair 2010

It is that time of year again, time to strap on the walking shoes, comfy shorts and sun screen and head to the California State Fair for a day of pigs, rides and food. Not necessarily in that order. In fact, first order of the day was food. The Ol’ Man and I started the fair right, arriving just as the gates opened to the public and heading straight for the food promenade. We shared a world famous county fair cinnamon bun, complete with cream cheese frosting. It was so gooey and delicious that I wanted another one right away. Listening to my smarter sub-conscience, I decided not to.

After being chased by animatronic dinosaurs, we headed to the livestock nursery where we saw a calf that had just been born only four hours earlier. We also got a close look at the baby piggies. There was no one on “petting duty” so I did not get to hold one, but I sure do love their cute little piggy butts!

On our way back to the main food court, we wandered through the wine tent. Normally, there is this hokey fake jungle that fits the theme for the year. I always like to go through it and pretend I am a part of what ever adventure lies within. This year, however, we had our socks blown out of our asses when we wandered into the view of a real life anaconda. Holy poop, it was huge! The thing was no less than 15 feet, and maybe more, since we couldn’t actually see the whole body. There were also giant turtles and enormous boa constrictors. There were so many different varieties of snakes, I couldn’t remember them all.

The reptile excursion left us hungry for something deep fried. I found the perfect food stand and ordered deep fried cheese curds. Now, I’d never had a cheese curd, so my mouth was pleasantly surprised to have such a horribly delicious treat. Craig found the jumbo corn dog stand, and we were set for a few hours.

We wandered around for the rest of the day, checking out the gadgets in the retail expo buildings and admiring the pencil drawings of that kid from Twilight at the high school art exhibits. Another favorite area for me is the “Fur and Feathers” building. I love the giant, floppy-eared bunnies and the exotic Japanese black chickens. This year, I fell in love with the Peruvian Guiney pigs. I’m seriously thinking about raising one myself. Maybe I’d even show it at next year’s State Fair. That is if my stupid cat doesn’t eat it first.

After we visited every exhibit, ogled every farm animal and scoped out every souvenir we hit the food stands one last time for an ear of roasted corn and a root beer float. State Fair: done! I’m going back again, at least two more times. I have to do my “pick-up” days. That’s when I go back for the fair food I didn’t have room to fit in my stomach, the rides I was too tired to stand in line for, and the crash-em-up derby that is only on the last two days of the fair.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Etsy Strikes Again

While wasting away hours of my time on Etsy, I came across an adorable store called Do-Rah Designs. This store specializes in handcrafted purses, satchels and bags. I myself am not a purveyor of such womanly novelties, but what did catch my eye was a reusable lunch tote. Now, I’ve already got a cute little reusable lunch bag, complete with a lovable panda bear, al-la Hello Kitty style. The problem with mine is the size. I can pretty much only fit a sandwich, a baggie of chips and a package of instant oatmeal. That’s it, nothing more. So, whenever I try to bring something interesting for lunch, or if I want something like a banana, I’ve got no room! I have to put the additional food items in my purse. Since I ride my bike to work, that can be a problem. I’ve actually lost parts of my lunch along the Sacramento River bike path, true story.

So, when I came across the handmade lunch totes from Do-Rah Designs, I was ecstatic. I found the perfect sized lunch bag, and it is adorable to boot! I bought it right away. The lunch totes are $18, but well worth the cost. They are sturdy and well-

Do-Rah Designs is based in Elk Grove, so I’m buying local as well! Now, I’ll no longer be forced to decide which parcel of food to stuff into my tiny sack. I’ll no longer have to hide my sweet treats at the bottom of my purse, risking the possibility of either getting chocolate all over my wallet, or lipstick all over my pastry. My new and super-cute lunch tote is big enough to fit it all. But it is still small enough to look like a lunch bag.

If you are interested in a handmade, reusable lunch bag that will make you the envy of all your craft loving co-workers, check out Do-Rah Designs on Etsy.