Monday, February 1, 2010

Sew Challenge… Burda Coffee Date Dress

I come from a long line of crafty women. My great grandmother was a hat maker. My grandma owned a dress making shop. My mom sewed both of my sisters’ wedding dresses, one with a broken wrist (and a hot pink cast). Either one of my sisters could sew, knit, and paint circles around Martha. I have a twinge of it but it could certainly be developed.

Even though it is 22 degrees on this balmy Boston day I feel like Spring is around the corner. Every year at this time I get the sewing bug, with the intention of crafting my own Spring/Summer wardrobe of skirts and dresses from scratch. This year is no exception and my first slated project is the Burda Coffee Date Dress. This amazing free pattern is begging to be added to my wardrobe.

With generations of such crafty divas before me, I can’t fail right? And by putting it in writing, I have no choice but to rise to the challenge. Pictures to come this Spring…

All Dressed Up

I recently invested in a micoplane because after watching countless hours of the Food Network, how could I not have one in my arsenal? I thought for its inaugural voyage I would take a crack at making my own salad dressing.

As long as I can remember, my dad has been making Good Seasons salad dressing. That little packet of salty seasoned goodness mixed with copious amounts of vegetable oil and cheap vinegar made a magical concoction that beckons me back to summers of my youth. Part of me thought “Why mess with a good thing?” The other part thought… “To hell with it. I’m making it my own!”

The ingredients are simple. Olive oil, vinegar (I had apple cider on hand), a lemon, a shallot, garlic, various herbs & spices. The rest is easy. Microplane the shallot and two cloves of garlic (watch your little fingers!). Take the zest off the lemon, and drop them all in your container of choice. My choice is obviously a good seasons bottle. Juice the lemon, and add as much olive oil as you like. I drizzled mine out of the bottle until it felt excessive, but it is no doubt a fraction of what you’d get in store bought. Add a splash of vinegar, some pepper, Italian herbs, whatever you like, and VOILA!
And as an added bonus, mine is mostly organic. Everything but the vinegar and pepper are certified organic, which make me feel even better about it. Keep it on the counter, give it a good shake, and you have cheap and healthy homemade dressing for the week.