Friday, October 30, 2009

Perry Family Salsa Recipe

Salsa has quickly become tradition in our home. No Mexican meal would be complete without it. But, it can't be just any ol' salsa. It has to be home made salsa. This stuff is sooo tasty that our oldest who won't eat any veggies will eat this stuff by the spoonful. And, as an added bonus, the kids love to help make it.

I'm going to share our recipe with you all. Well... I guess it's not so much a recipe as it is a general idea of how to make salsa. Just a note before we get started though. All measurements are approximates. Really... just add in the ingredients until it tastes good to you. Some people like more onion, tomato, or heat. We find that we like equal amounts of onion and tomato. If the onion is really strong, then more tomato. Also, the recipe uses a food processor, but I have chopped all ingredients by hand many times and the salsa turns out just as yummy!

Perry House Salsa
1 medium yellow or white onion
8 Roma Tomatoes – this was all I had in the house when I made this batch. I would probably have added 4 more if we had them.
½ to 1 Bushel Of Cilantro
4-6 Slices of Jalapeno – we use the kind that comes sliced in a jar. It's not to hot, but has great flavor. You could use fresh, but I've never done that!
Juice of 1 Lime – or you can use 1 tbs or so of the bottled lime juice
Salt to taste
Optional – 1 tbs Garlic

Yield – This batch made 3+ cups of salsa. I usually make more than this, but we only had a few tomatoes today.
Step One – Pull off leaves of Cilantro. I had approx 2 cups. Don't worry about the stems to much. Throw it in the food processor and pulse it until it's fairly well chopped. Then scrape it out and into a bowl. It should look something like this:
Step Two – Chop off ends of onion and the outside skin. Chop into quarters and put in food processor. Chop until desired consistency. We like it a bit chunky. But, you could certainly keep chopping until smoother if you prefer that. Add to bowl.
Step Three – Chop tomatoes in half and remove insides. We do this so the salsa won't be to watery. But, if you prefer more liquid then by all means just chop the tomatoes in half and toss into food processor.
I do my tomatoes in two or three batches so they don't get to mushy. In one of the batches I add the jalapeno and garlic so they get good and mixed in. Put tomatoes in bowl.
Step Four – Mix it all up and add the lime juice and salt to taste. You may want to add more cilantro or tomatoes... Don't be afraid to add stuff if you want!
Step Five – I usually stick it in the refrigerator until dinner so the flavors can all meld together. But, you can eat it now if you want. I can't tell you how many times the salsa never makes it to the refrigerator before it's gone.

Eat and enjoy with chips, burritos, eggs... or even just in spoonfuls.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Simply Sweet Baby Gift

A friend of mine is having a baby next month. I'm off to her baby shower today. For her gift I made her a little baby vest, socks, and a reusable shopping bag to wrap it all up in. I just loved knitting this set up. The baby socks were done in less than 3 hours and the vest was done in about 6. Next time they will both go faster as this was the first time I've used either of these patterns.
For the yarn I used Plymouth Encore Worsted. It's 75% acrylic and 25% wool and is machine washable and dryable. I loved this yarn. It's so soft and perfect for baby wear. Both projects on my Ralvery project page if you want to check them out.
This vest buttons down the side and on one shoulder. I was able to dig into my button jars for this project. I decided on pink, white, and pale purple buttons to make the top more "girly". I just love love the pink girls holding hands button. It reminds me of my friend and I as little girls. I've known her forever.

Pattern for "Pebble" vest is here on Ralvery
Pattern for "Simply Sweet Baby Socks" is here on Ralvery

Monday, October 19, 2009

My BJD Family

Ok... so I got distracted. After that last post I noticed that I rarely write about my BJD dolls that I sew for. They are a large part of my hobby/art life and I'm surprised at myself. These dolls are used as models for my clothing, inspiration, and just general enjoyment. I've always loved dolls. But it wasn't until my mid 20's that I truly got back into the doll hobby. All clothing and a few of the wigs were made by me.

Anywho.... Here are lots and lots of pictures of some of the dolls that I currently have in my home.
Inara - Inara is my favorite . She is a Narae from the Narindoll company. 43cm tall and sooooo pretty. She is a dream to dress and sew for. She can wear pretty much any wig and her sculpt is perfection.
Lucas - Lucas is a Latidoll Blue Rucus. He is taller than most MSD males and has mature body sculpt. Boy do I need to get some better pictures of the two of them. He has facial hair now and I couldn't find a single current photo of him.
Persephone - She is my smallest bjd. She's a Dollzone BB Ani and is about 27cm tall. I've had 4 other tiny bjd's all smaller than her. But the were just to small. I call her a "petite" bjd because she's to big to be a tiny and to small to be a msd. I love her little face with her freckles. And, I love making little girl clothes for her.
Saphron - She is the newest to my collection. She is also a Narae from the Narindoll company. But, she is 58cm tall. She came to me second (maybe even third) hand. But, I love her. Narindoll makes such pretty dolls.
Simon - He is an Bobobie Apollo. I have to admit that I only really have him to serve as a male model for me. To spice him up, my very talented mother painted him some facial hair, chest hair and um.... other hair. He's been a great model, but someday he will be switched out for another SD male.
Vena - Ah... Vena..... She was my first ever BJD and has undergone more transformations than any other doll that I own. She started out as a Obitsu. Then I traded her for a Dolfie dream who's body she still has today. Eventually I got a Luts Nanuri head and painted her up to the doll that she is today. I don't think I'll ever sell this doll. To many memories. She really started my sewing business.

Finding Inspiration

I found myself starring at my doll cabinet today. Due to the "staging" of our home, it no longer contains all my dolls. Now, it's used for neatly folded fabrics and a few "inexpensive" dolls. My favorite BJD's have been exiled to a drawer in my desk. Not glamorous, but it's UV protected and away from prospective buyers nosing around the house.
As I was standing there starring at the contents of the cabinet I found myself feeling very uninspired. The house is sterile and almost museum like. I'm afraid to get anything out and actually start a project even though all I want to do is create something. I knew I needed to find the fabric that I needed for my commission and get started, but I just kept starring at my first BJD, Vena. My mom dressed her all up for show and she was sitting there starring at me with her dolly eyes. I looked at the bomber jacket that I had made...and her jeans.... and her tank top and suddenly found the inspiration that I so needed. I grabbed the fabric I was looking for and I got to work . It's been weeks and weeks since I've used my sewing machine for making doll clothes. It feels so good to be sewing again and I'm so grate full for the commission that I'm working on. I drafted and cut out three patterns today and after this post I'm going to sit down and start sewing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Now It's No Wonder That Her Name Is Beauty"

My favorite Disney movie of all time is Beauty And The Beast. I was quite surprised when my oldest daughter told me a few months ago that she wanted to be Belle from the movie. But, not the "big puffy yellow dress Belle", but the "normal Belle from most of the movie". She wants to carry a basket like the one that Belle carries in the beginning of the movie with books in it. I looked online for a pre-made costume but I didn't find one in our budget or one that looked good. So, I dusted off the sewing machine and took a well needed break from gardening. I just love sewing for my girls. And, this dress just made me smile. The fit on her body is perfect. And, with a total price tag of under $10.00 it fit into our budget perfectly.

Details about the dress: I used super cheap blue cotton fabric for the main part of the dress and then I used up more of that white Ralph Lauren sheet that I've used on soooo many projects over the years, for the "shirt" and the apron. I used Simplicity pattern 2843 and made just a few adjustments to it. I redid the collar. The one in the movie looks almost rolled, but costumes that have been used on stage and the one that the girl wears at Disneyland have more of a Peter Pan collar. I adjusted the fullness and length of the sleeves. I also cut off the point on the bodice. Then I made up an easy apron (using the hem of the sheet as the bottom of the apron) and made a large bow for her hair.
The most important thing is that she is so thrilled with the costume. She will have her hair curled and all the accessories for Halloween.