Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

First off, I apologize for my lack of posts in over a month. I had a bit of a crafting injury (sore wrist. Convinced I've already got arthritis.) and have been off my crafting game for a little while. Truth be told, my wrist still kind of hurts but the doctor feels that even though I'm in pain, there's probably nothing wrong. Cool. Remind me to see another doctor. Anyways, I've decided to just continue on crafting regardless because I am wildly irresponsible. I will try to post some more crafts soon but for today, a recipe!

Mashed Cauliflower can be a substitute for mashed potatoes if you don't mind that it still obviously tastes like cauliflower. Or it can just be another delicious mushy side dish option. Some people like to say that its a healthy alternative to potatoes but I'm pretty sure the high amount of dairy I add to it completely makes up for any of that. Anyways, here's the recipe.

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 Tbsp cream cheese/sour cream/butter/any delicious dairy products you have on hand
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic
  • (Un)Healthy amount of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. First, you need to cook up the cauliflower. I use the whole head and get 3-4 servings. I just break it up into small pieces and boil it in a pot of water but if you want to get fancy, you could steam it. Apparently steaming is fancy in my eyes. Boil/steam cauliflower until it breaks apart very easily with a fork and seems easily mashed. This will take at least 20 minutes. When cooked, drain.
  2. Put drained cauliflower back into the pot and mash it into chunky pieces
  3. Add all other ingredients in no particular order and mash until a nice chunky but smooth consistency. It won't be the same consistency as mashed potatoes so don't even try.
  4. Taste and adjust accordingly. All the amounts are just approximations as I've never actually measured it. If it tastes good, eat it.

And that's it. Mashed cauliflower: The best thing that's happened to you in the last 5 minutes. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Super Hip Knotted Headband for Fall

I'm really into hats and all kinds of headgear, especially for Fall and Winter. But I can't justify spending money on new hats every year because my old ones are still perfectly fine and keep me warm. I've actually never been a huge headband person because it just seems like a waste. You're losing all your body heat through the top of your head! You've gotta lock that shit down. But a couple weeks ago I was walking to work and really, really wished I had something to cover my ears with as they were freezing but the rest of my head felt pretty comfortable. And that's where the headband comes in. I finally understand.
I think I mostly had a bias against them because in my childhood I always wore them like a regular hair band by bringing it down below my chin and then lifting it back up and pushing all my hair back with it. For some reason, up until about a month ago, I believed this was still the only way you could possibly wear one. Obviously I was wrong, and now I am the proud owner and creator of this little beauty.
I've mostly seen this style on ladies way cooler than me. They've probably moved on by now but I just finally have my cool knotted headband and I'm gonna wear the hell out of it. Or at least on those few days out of the year that you don't need a whole hat but you do need something.
Anyways, I found the pattern here. It is extremely easy and I finished it basically in an afternoon while watching Bridesmaids. The best. I highly recommend making this because all you'll have to buy is 1 skein of yarn. The one I bought was about $3 and I still have almost the entire skein. So essentially this cost me less than a dollar. Mmhmm.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pad Thai for Poor People who like Thai food

Hey everybody. Haven't posted a single thing in almost two months. Great job on my part. Whatever guys, crafting in the summer kind of sucks. It's just too hot. So get over it.
So, I decided that since I'm terrible I should at least post for you one of the most impressive meals I can make. And I can't make many impressive meals. In fact, pad Thai is the only one. But seriously guys, it is delicious and surprisingly cheap to make. It's actually our go to meal if we have no food in the house (which is often).
So, you are going to need:

  • 1/2 package medium rice noodles
  • 1/3 cup half full of ketchup, half full of Sriracha Chili Sauce (the stuff that makes everything taste good)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A pile of sugar (I've never actually measured it. I just measure it to taste. But you will need a lot of it so that the Sriracha doesn't burn your face off. I actually recently found the perfect amount by accidentally spilling a shit ton of sugar in there so...try that.)
  • 1 egg
  • Some kind of vegetables, I usually have onions and green peppers around so I just use those but if you're not poor you could also use some green onions and bean sprouts. 
  • Your choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu
  • Crushed peanuts (optional but fantastic)
This makes about 3-4 servings by the way so adjust as you need.

Step 1: Put the noodles in a big bowl and pour super hot water over them. Set aside to soften.
Step 2: Cook your chicken/shrimp/tofu in a bit of oil in your wok. (A deep pan will work too)
Step 3: Add your chopped vegetables to wok and let cook a few minutes.
Step 4: Scramble egg and add to wok. Should be mostly cooked when you add sauce.
Step 5: Mix together ketchup/sriracha, fish sauce, lime juice, water and sugar in a small bowl. Add to wok and allow to heat for a few minutes. It will be very watery but it will all soak into the noodles.
Step 6: Remove the now softened noodles from the water and add to the wok. Now basically just keep cooking it all until the noodles are soft. If you run out of sauce but the noodles are still hard just keep adding water. Keep an eye on this as the noodles will quickly burn.
Step 7: Sprinkle your crushed peanuts on top and some cilantro or lime slices as a garnish if you're really trying to impress somebody. Enjoy!

And there you have it a tasty, seemingly fancy meal that is actually super cheap. I don't have a picture of mine for you because I just devoured it and then thought about posting this recipe but here's a picture of some pad Thai that looks way nicer than mine anyway. Yours won't look this good.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cat Bagging

This is what I call a cat bag. It's a bag for cats.
My cat, Nikki, loves bags. She can't get enough of them. So I decided I would make a little sack for her and stuff it with plastic bags so she would still get that satisfying crinkly noise while safely playing with something that won't suffocate her. I'm pretty thoughtful.
I used 2 old t-shirts for this and basically just used the entire body of each shirt. One shirt became the lining and the other became the outer layer of the bag. Before stitching it all together, I put 3 of the crinkliest bags I could find in between the 2 layers.
And so a cat bag was born. Nikki seems to like it though she has yet to actually go into the bag. This is probably just because I keep holding it open and trying to force her face into it. Possibly not the most pleasant experience. Whatever.
So far she has mostly been sliding across the floor on it, attacking it and sleeping on it. I'm sure she'll come around.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This whole cupcake thing has really gone too far.

This is gross. Cupcakes baked in eggshells? No one wants this.
I was already annoyed that everyone seems to think they can become a baker now because they've watched Cupcake Wars a few times but this is too much. Just stop.
No more weird, gross cupcakes. No more.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Red Velvet Cookies

"Oh my god." - Mary McDonald immediately after biting into one of these delicious little creations.
Yes, that is a Red Velvet cookie sandwich with cream cheese icing in the middle. Too good to be true. But it is true! It's right here! I'm eating one as I type this!
These really are just incredibly delicious. The cookies are quite cake-y giving it more of a whoopie pie feel. Which is obviously great.
I used this recipe from The Velveteen Baker, a young lady who bakes nothing but several variations on red velvet. Some might call it God's work. I would. I made it all from scratch except for the icing. I went the Duncan Hines route with that 'cause I'm a G.D. lazy S.O.B.
I don't know what it is about red velvet that makes it so delicious since it is just chocolate cake died red. But something in that dye just makes it taste a million times better. Some people fear so much dye in their food and I dislike these people. This beautiful cake will not hurt you, at the worst it will turn your poop red (and that's just kind of fun, right?).
So, here you go, one last look before they're gone. I'm eating all of these tonight.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homemade Iced Tea Without Ice (Not Recommended)

Let me first say, that you should really confirm that you have ice before you start making iced tea. However, I did not follow this first step so it took me a good hour and a half to get pretty cold tea. Which was moderately refreshing. Seriously, go check your ice tray right now. If it's not full, fill it. I don't care if you plan on making anything with ice anytime soon. Just fill it.You will love yourself later when it's 37 degrees outside and your neighbours who control the A/C just see no need to turn it on. Why turn it on? I'd rather sit on my couch naked and just sweat it out. Way more comfortable.
So anyways, I'm pretty fancy and I have a Teaopia Tea Master and a bunch of fancy loose leaf teas. I decided that the Mate Citrus Buzz sounded lovely and refreshing so I brewed up a pot of that using twice as much tea as I normally would and I also added a couple tablespoons of sugar in while it was brewing so it would dissolve better.
This is when I thought, "Oh yeah, ice." Great job, Mary. Looked in the freezer and out of 3 ice trays I had 4 ice cubes. Fantastic. I should also mention that I was making two glasses of iced tea. One for myself and one for my boyfriend, Steve. 2 cubes each. Which is what we use to just cool down our tea when we're drinking it hot. This is going really well. So I put those cubes in the glasses and then put those glasses in the freezer to chill them.
I wish.
The tea finished brewing and I foolishly poured it into the chilled glasses thinking that oughta cool it right down. Nope. Not even a little bit. The boiling tea blew through those ice cubes and chilled glasses before I was even done pouring it in there. So, I put those glasses of tea in the freezer and then proceeded to check them every 5 minutes for the next hour. I then stuck a freezie in each of them, left them for another 10 minutes, filled up my ice trays in this time, and then just gave up and drank it. It was pretty cold was also 37 degrees outside.
Moral: Always fill your ice trays. Always.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Gift for Chub Chub

So, tonight I was home, doing nothing and decided that my cats, Nikki and Chub Chub (Jack), needed a new toy and then I knitted up this little gem.
I did this in about an hour and a half while watching RuPaul's Drag Race (fantastic television).It was quite simple really. I cast on 20 stitches using 3 mm needles and then just knit until I had a square (which ended up being 37 rows). I'm planning on making another, smaller one more for Nikki because this one is the size of her head. However, Chub Chub is giant so it is just perfect for him. Anyways, back to the explanation; I took the square I had knitted and folded it into a triangle and stitched up one of the sides. So you have kind of a cone shape and then I just stuffed it with some fabric scraps and stitched up the rest of it. And the tail is actually just the excess yarn left at the end.
And I stitched on some eyes and a nose and, there you go, cats. You're welcome.

They both look really unimpressed in these pictures but, for the record, they were playing up a storm with this bad boy about 2 minutes later.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something Truly Rude and Dainty

I found these recently and I want one (or many) desperately. Unfortunately, shipping is $40 to Canada which doubles the price of these wonderfully adorable necklaces. So, I suppose I'll just have to pick one up whenever I happen to be in NYC.
I love them because they combine rudeness and daintiness so beautifully together. Balls to the Wall is my personal favourite. But I also love Hot Mess and Sweet Tits. And all of them.
They're $40 from "In God We Trust". Some store in New York that I can only assume is very hip. And if you happen to be making a trip there soon and feel like picking one of these up for me, let me know. I will pay.

The Perks of Being a Hoarder

Now, hoarding has gotten a pretty bad rap in the past few years but frankly, as a mild hoarder myself, I'm starting to see the pros of keeping a bunch of shit lying around that you'll probably never use. (I also recently watched Grey Gardens. Some of the best hoarding I've ever seen! "This is the best outfit for the day!")
Anyways, I have actually gotten a lot better with my hoarding in recent years mostly due to moving around and not wanting to bring all the hoarded crap with me. But I do still hoard clothes like nobodies business. 'Cause you just never know when you're gonna wake up one day and suddenly love that Chester Fried Chicken shirt you inexplicably bought 6 years ago and have never worn.
Moving on, I found out recently that it's going to be an extremely hot summer here in T.O. I hate the heat. I really do. And I realized that I only own one pair of shorts and they really don't even go with very many things. So the race was on to find shorts before the heat hit. It was also particularly crucial that I find shorts quickly because I am going to be working in a bakery all summer and...shit's 'bout to get sweaty.

So I dug into my closet and found about 3 pairs of jeans that I'm pretty sure I've had since I was 16 and haven't worn since I was 18 and decided to get crafty. And 20 minutes later I had 2 new pairs of shorts for the summer. One longer pair for work so I don't somehow spill hot soup down my entire leg.
And a shorter pair for my days off when I want that little bit more thigh to see the sun. Because clearly, by the colour of my legs, you can tell I'm a real sun worshipper. Whatever guys, it's gonna be hot! Make yourself some cut offs stat!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Double Rainbow (Cookie Stuffed) Cupcakes

So I made some rainbow chip cupcakes stuffed with goddamn rainbow chips ahoy cookies. And there you have it, Double Rainbow cupcakes. But what does it mean?
It's so intense.
I don't know. But I'm gonna eat a lot of them. Partly because they're delicious. Mostly because I made them for no occasion and now my boyfriend and I have 20+ cupcakes on our hands. Time to get down and dirty...and eat ten cupcakes.
If you would like to make these yourself, it's really quite easy. Just make up some cake batter (I used a cake mix because I'm lazy and mostly because it was 99 cents! Killer deal.) and, using a muffin tin, pour enough batter in each cup to cover the bottom then plop a cookie in there and fill it up the rest of the way. I'm definitely going to experiment with cookie/cake combinations. It's all very exciting.
But I will not be baking a pie into a cake. Because that is just dumb.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Laziest/Poorest Craft Blogger in all the Land

Hey guys! Just wanted to apologize to all my loyal readers (mom) for my slacking lately. Truth is, I'm straight up living in poverty over here. Not quite, but I'm too poor to spend any money on supplies I require for certain projects. So, I've been living the craftless life as of late. Which is just the worst kind of life. I don't know how people do it. But anyways, I've got my tax return coming in anyday now and then I'm living the high life. Buying Mod Podge and shit like it don't even matter.
No, I don't know why I'm talking so tough. But whatever. You do you, and I'll do me. That's a phrase I heard used by someone really cool at the mall the other day and I'm totally in love with it. And from now on, I'mma just do me.
This whole post has gotten very aggressive and I apologize. It's 11pm on a Wednesday and I'm going wild just eating brownies and watching Top Model and I guess I got a little out of hand. I'll reel it back in for the next post which will hopefully actually be about a project I've completed. And that concludes my long-winded, unnecessary explanation as to why I have been very inactive. Have a wonderful night! Peace!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My (possibly over-confident) plan for the summer

Hey everybody reading this! You're great! You've come here just to read about my plan. So here it is.
A little while ago I purchased a book called Little Green Dresses by Tina Sparkles. And I must say, it is some kind of wonderful (remind me to start using that expression way more). Basically Tina challenged herself to make all of her own clothes out of repurposed clothes and fabrics that she already had in her closet/stash or bought secondhand. I was super excited by this idea because a) I'm like real poor guys, and b) Altering clothes and refashioning things was always the most interesting part of sewing to me. One of my very first projects was a skirt made out of some old cords. And one of my favourite stores (that I have never once been able to afford an item from) Preloved, does this very thing with all of their pieces.
So, with all that said, I am setting out on this same challenge myself. My plan is to follow her rules at least until the end of the summer. The Little Green Dresses Rules are:

  • Any clothes in your closet on Day 1
  • Clothes made, altered or refashioned by you
  • Reused clothing and textiles from places like thrift stores and clothes swaps
  • New eco and ethically friendly designer items
  • Small amount of conventional items 
  • Perpetual reincarnations of all items in closet
I'm actually pretty excited about this. Especially since I'm a pretty bad clothes hoarder and have a lot of old crap to work with and make it into lovely new crap. I also just raided my boyfriends stash of old crap today. For some reason, I kind of want to hang onto his old Blue Jays t-shirt. Don't ask me why. It's a pretty heinous t-shirt.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"$40? Don't buy that! I will make it for you myself! I promise!" - Mary McDonald making a promise she has no intention of keeping

Really? An elastic waistband, UO?
It's like you're not even trying.
 The above quote is something I say on most shopping trips I go on. I pretty much never follow through on this promise because a.) I usually forget that I promised you anything immediately after promising it/don't want to make you anything and pretend to forget the promise and b.) I am usually exaggerating the truth and could not, in fact, make that item myself. But once in a while, I follow through on this promise. Only when I make the promise to myself, and only when the item in question comes from Urban Outfitters. A company that knows that really cool people love the idea of second hand a lot more than they love digging through smelly racks of second hand clothing. They capitalize on this by creating their "Urban Renewal" pieces. And by "Urban Renewal" they mean, "Let's buy a bunch of shitty old clothes for cheap, wash the stink out of them, gussy 'em up a bit and sell them for a %600 profit." It's genious. It really is. But I actually own a sewing machine, UO. And I can recreate most things you sell in a few hours.
So I took this skirt, which would have cost me $40 and made it for $3. Literally $3.
It wasn't even hard. If you have a basic knowledge of sewing and own a sewing machine, you can easily whip one of these off in an afternoon.
You just take a large or XL men's shirt, depending on your size and how full of a skirt you want. I used an XL shirt and I ended up with a pretty full skirt. 
Then you cut straight across the shirt from armpit to armpit (you may have to remove pockets). The bottom part will be the skirt.
Use some of the rest of the shirt to make a waistband and sew one of the existing buttons and buttonholes to the waistband so you don't have to make a new buttonhole (it truly is the worst part of sewing).
Then, gather the skirt as much as you need to and sew it to the waistband and you are done!
Cheapest skirt I have ever owned. The best.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mug Cake! Cake in a mug!

So, it's Saturday night and I'm having one heluva time. I made mug cake. Basically you put the ingredients in a mug and microwave it. Incredible! Here's how!

So, you put the dry ingredients in the mug first (a big mug) and mix it up. Then add the wet and mix it up and then add the chocolate chips if you're adding them. I recommend adding them though unless you have icing as well because the cake could be a little dry without them. After that you just pop it in the microwave on high for 3 minutes and you have cake. Just like that.
I couldn't even believe my eyes. Cake! In a mug!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Seemed like a great idea at the time...

So, this is a craft I did, oh, 13 years ago. My mom found it and thought I should post pictures of my handiwork. So here it is, Mary's Wheel of Fortune.

So basically you just gave this bad boy a spin and then found out what kind of day you would have. Those days included: a bad day, a good day, a good hair day, you'll get a compliment, you'll get in trouble, you'll win a contest and, everyone's favourite, you'll go to the hospital. 9-year-old Mary had no problem getting real apparently. My dad's a carpenter so there was always scrap wood lying around when I was a kid. So I just found this round piece and loosely nailed it to another piece and then went to town with the glitter glue and markers. Absolutely my best work to date.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Mom's Old Activist T-shirt

I found this in my mom's closet one day. She said it was one of her t-shirts from her protesting days in the 80s. I'm pretty sure I started wearing this in an attempt to look a lot cooler than I actually was. I think that was around the same time that my brother and I insisted on going shopping at Value Village and bought a bunch of old t-shirts that we never actually wore. Good phase, that one. Anyways, all of that ended in me making this lovely wall piece.
The t-shirt is actually still intact. I could take it off and wear it again if I really wanted to. All I did was just stretch it over a canvas and tuck all the edges between the wooden frame and canvas. Pretty simple project and an easy, interesting way to decorate your place.

What started out as a badly made scarf...

...turned into quite a lovely cowl!
I started out making a scarf sometime a year and a half ago and quickly realized I had cast on way too many stitches for a scarf. But I didn't really feel like undoing everything or just throwing it away so I just kept going and decided to figure it out later. I don't understand this logic either.
Eventually, a friend of mine suggested that I somehow turn it into a cowl. She had also recently given me some cute wooden buttons as a gift. So, I combined the two and this is what I got. Pretty nice, I'd say. It can also cover your entire face so that's a plus.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Discopants and haircuts!

I made this from a pattern I found on Etsy. My mom's favourite movie is The Blues Brothers so I gave this to her for Christmas. She was excited.
The original design had "We're on a mission from God." underneath but I ran out of time before Christmas so this is what I got. I was planning on putting "Discopants and haircuts!" (my mom's favourite line) in it's place but that would have taken just as much time.
There really isn't anything rude or dainty about this particular craft of mine, I'm just impressed with how well it turned out.

Let's start off with some straight sass

This is a lovely design I created for a Christmas gift for a friend of mine. It's my favourite expression of his.
I designed and created this in a day. Kind of wish I had brought some kind of high heel aspect into the design but I think it turned out pretty nice.
If you aren't quite sure what this expression means, here it is used in a sentence:

"Is Mary McDonald dainty?"
"Oh I don't know...does a bitch wear heels?! She's only the daintiest around!"

Just like that. Now that you know it, you'll probably use it a lot. Like, I'm talkin' twice a day. Twice a freakin' day.