Tag Archives: thomas keller

Me Made May 2014, Part 1

13 May

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How’s everyone’s May going? I’m off to a pretty good start around here with a different me-made garment each day so far. I’ve also worn a few things that I haven’t shared with you yet and I have plans to do dedicated posts on some of them soon. But before we get too much further into the month, a round-up of my daily me-made picks:

 

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Top: Me Made Sammy Cami Jacket: LOFT Pants: Womyn Shoes: Me Too Necklace: Kenneth Cole

 

Thursday, May 1 — I worked in the office for most of the day then left a little early to catch a plane to Philadelphia for a conference. Two of my wonderful employees accompanied my on the trip. I wore an unblogged Sammy cami from Iconic Patterns, available for free download! And with only two pattern pieces, it’s as quick as lightning to sew up. I made mine from a navy knit with printed on white polka dots. I used white fold over elastic for the neckline and sleeves. I hemmed it with two-sided fusible tape, no stitching.

 

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Top: Me Made McCall’s 6898, unblogged but highly recommended Jacket: LOFT

 

Friday, May 2 — I attended some conference sessions to learn more about the EMR (electronic medical records) we use in my office. I skipped out mid-morning to check out Philadelphia’s Fabric Row and shipped myself home a nice little box of goodies including silks, knits, sequins, leather, trims, and zippers. That night we had a delicious dinner at Parc Brasserie. If you are ever in Philly, you should go there if for nothing other than the pureed potatoes!

 

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Left: with Zoe from Zo Sews at the Workroom Sewcial meet up Right: at Per Se Both: wearing Me Made Elisalex in Leggy Roses

 

Saturday, May 3 — I attended more conference sessions then we caught the afternoon train to Penn Station in NYC to spend an exciting 24 hours before heading home. That night for dinner, I got to pop in at the Workroom Social party before heading to dinner at Per Se in Columbus Circle. You may remember me talking about my excitement about trying the restaurant. While it was good, it wasn’t quite what I had built it up to be but it was still a wonderful evening out with two lovely ladies.

 

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Skirt: Me Made McCall’s 6654, similar version already blogged Jacket: Nordstrom Shoes: Me Too

 

Sunday, May 4 — I squeezed in a little time in the Garment District and picked up some more silk, knits, and cottons. ¬†Paron’s shipped my purchases home for a very reasonable charge (even purchases from other stores). The weather deteriorated as the day progressed and I ended up looking a little silly with my long skirt and trench coat, not to mention stringy, windblown hair. Before catching our late evening plane home, we popped into a local joint called Jack’s, just around the corner from the big button, and had a nice little meal with entertainment by a charming Irish bartender.

 

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Top: Me Made Renfrew Pants: Dillard’s Shoes: Cole Haan Necklace: Kenneth Cole

 

Monday, May 5 — Not getting into bed until almost 1 AM made for a rough start to the day. I opted for an oldie but a goodie that I could rely on for comfort while I saw patients in clinic.

 

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Top: Me Made Jalie 2921, unblogged Pants: Elie Tahari Shoes: Pliner

 

Tuesday, May 6 — Another normal office day.

 

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Top: Me Made Renfrew Jeans: Citizen of Humanity Rocket high-rise Shoes: Me Too

 

Wednesday, May 7 — My day out of the office and I spent it running errands.

 

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Top: Me Made Simplicity 2599 Pants: Limited Cardigan: Talbots Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Necklace: Premier

 

Thursday, May 8 — Back to the office.

 

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Left: with my sister and parents and our husbands, wearing Sewaholic Gabriola Right: after dancing to the Molly Ringwalds

 

Friday, May 9 — I was able to take the day off to attend my sister’s graduation from her doctorate of nursing program. I am so proud of her! That evening we attended the annual Steak Cook-off in our town and got to dance the night away to the awesome 80s cover tunes of the Molly Ringwalds. I actually wore two different me-mades this day!

 

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Dress: Me Made McCall’s 6559, unblogged but 2 blogged versions on the site

 

Saturday, May 10 — I did a lot of housework this day so I wore a simple cotton knit tank dress that was my muslin of McCall’s 6559 — you can see my other two versions here and here. I know this picture is crazy but I sent it as a joke to my office RN who HATES mayonnaise! ūüôā

 

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Dress: Me Made Simplicity 1810 Shoes: Cole Haan Necklace: Dillard’s

 

Sunday, May 11 — My new dress, Simplicity 1810, got its official debut at church and afterwards at Mothers’ Day lunch. Blog post to come soon.

 

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Top: Me Made Vogue 1291 Jeans: Citizens of Humanity Shoes: Me Too

 

Monday, May 12 — Vogue 1291, which I made last year during the Sandra Betzina workshop. I don’t really like this top because I forgot to center the pattern and the bottom is too snug to stay where I want it to on my hips so I have never given it a blog post. If you make this shirt, consider using a knit, not a woven. If you use a woven, you may want a larger neck opening and more ease at the hips.

 

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Skirt: Me Made Vogue 8603 Top: Limited Cardigan: Boden Shoes: Chinese Laundry Necklace: Kluster Stethoscope: Littmann (haha, just seeing if anybody is reading the fine print:)- )

 

Tuesday, May 13 — Another normal day at the office. I wore my Vogue 8603 skirt which is one of my favorite makes.

 

On a side note, Kluster, the Etsy seller I purchase many of my bead necklaces from (including the coral one in the last photo), is having a huge sale through the end of the weekend. Check out her shop and score an extra 40% off sale items with the code FINAL40. I am in no way financially connected to the Kluster Shop (other than being a normal customer), but I love their products and wonderful customer service so I thought I would share this sale with y’all.

 

That’s it so far, friends. I will be back soon with more details on the new dress. Have a great night!

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Susie Does Housekeeping… And Me Made May ’14!

30 Apr

 

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Hi, y’all! I hope your week if going well. Ours is very wet here on the Gulf Coast. I don’t have anything new to show you today but I do have a few exciting things to tell you. First of all, I am squeaking in under the wire to say that I am participating in Me Made May for 2014:

‘I, Katrina of Susie Homemaker MD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear¬†at least one handmade item¬†each day for the duration of May 2014 and at least one¬†hand knit item during them month of May.’

Alright, next on the agenda is an award — the Sunshine and Shine On blog awards to be exact. I was kindly nominated by Annette over at Mrs. Toad Sews. I am apologizing in advance for not fulfilling all the requirements of the award (listing 10 things about myself, nominating 10 others), but I hope you will forgive me because of the next item on the agenda…

 

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I am packing as we speak to leave for a work-related trip but I have managed to squeeze a little sewing related fun into the mix and I will be joining my brothers and sisters of the needle and thread who live in the NYC area for the Workroom Social Sewing Swap Meet and Party! I am so exciting about meeting the faces behind some of the blogs I follow. I am also going to get to do a little fabric shopping in Philly and NYC so I will tell you all about it when I get home.

The last little bit of excitement may not seem like much to most¬†of you but I finally get to eat at a restaurant of my favorite chef, Thomas Keller, while I am in NYC — Per Se. I will let you know if it lives up to my expectations when I return.

That’s it for today — meeting adjourned! ūüôā

What We’re Eating — Recipe Round-Up

2 Jul

Mr. Homemaker and I have been contemplating buying/building a new house recently so we’ve been trying to save our pennies. ¬†That means we’ve been eating out a lot less and cooking a lot more. ¬†You’d think I would have a lot more recipe posts for you but on weeknights when we both get home at 6:30 or later and dinner isn’t on the table until 8:30 or later, the last think I want to do is arrange food on a plate in a photogenic fashion and take pictures of it. ¬†I mean, we are starving by that point and I think Mr. Homemaker would bite my hand if I told him he had to wait even 2 minutes for me to snap some shots of his plate! ūüôā

Being an empty nest part of the week, we tend to eat out a lot. ¬†And even with just a party of two, that can get expensive, especially when you aren’t satisfied with the same few restaurants over and over again. ¬†Mr. Homemaker and I knew transitioning to exclusive at-home dining wasn’t going to be easy for us — sure, having a goal helps — but we knew that we would have to keep the menus fresh and interesting to keep us motivated. ¬†So each weekend we sit down with our bi-weekly produce delivery list and come up with a tentative menu and grocery list. ¬†I use the¬†Epicurious and Food Network¬†websites as well as some of my favorite food blogs for inspiration and recipes. ¬†We also try to recreate some of our favorite restaurant dishes at home.

So far I would say we have been pretty successful.  In the past month, we have only eaten out once, and that was just a shared fajitas for one at the cheap Mexican joint. Compare that to our prior habit of dining out 6-7 meals (lunch and/or dinner) per week! We have also enjoyed spending time together in the kitchen getting back into one of our mutual hobbies.  Each meal inspires us to cook up different menus and dishes for the next week.

So since I don’t have time to do an individual post for each recipe that we have enjoyed, I am giving you a recipe round-up and brief review so you can enjoy these dishes, too. ¬†Please feel free to ask questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. ¬†And when we make these things again, I will try to takes pictures and add those to this post. I am also giving each recipe my star rating along with my review and suggested modifications. ¬†Total possible stars = 4. None of the photos are my original photos — they are the property of the recipe source. ¬†Click recipe title for source.

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Steak Picadillo Tacos ****

We LOVE these tacos. ¬†We have made them twice now in the span of two weeks. ¬†They are easy and quick to throw together. ¬†We make them exactly as directed (yes, we put in the olives AND raisins), but we do buy a more tender cut of meat since we found the skirt steak to be way too tough on the first round. ¬†We prefer sirloin for this recipe. ¬†It would even be great with left over filet ūüôā ¬†I also use mild Rotel as the regular makes the tacos a bit on the spicy side. We top our tacos with a healthy dollop of sour cream to tame the heat.

 

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Pork Meatball Banh Mi ***

These meatball subs were one of our attempts to keep things interesting in the kitchen.  This recipe is another one that is simple to throw together although some of the ingredients can be harder to find (my local Publix did have some Daikon radish). Matt really enjoyed the pickled carrot and radish topping and has eaten it as a side with other dishes since (the recipe makes more than enough). I am giving it three stars because some of the ingredients can be hard to find but I do love the flavor combination that it creates and I think the meatballs would be good served alone as an appetizer (or even in spaghetti).

 

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Simple Roasted Chicken *****

Did you notice this one got 5 stars? If you check out the recipe link, you will see that it was created by Thomas Keller, one of my favorite chefs. ¬†I have raved previously about one of his other roasted chicken recipes, and since y’all know I don’t discriminate against a roasted chicken (that’s two already on this blog), I had to try this one. ¬†Funny thing is, I didn’t realize this recipe was by Thomas Keller until the day after I made it. ¬†I have now deemed him Dr. Chicken.

But to get to the point, for no more time and ingredients than this involves, you will never put a better piece of chicken in your mouth. ¬†Like shut up and go slap your momma good kind of chicken. ¬†And so easy you just season the chicken with salt and pepper and throw him in the oven in a skillet. ¬†Then when he comes out, slather him with a little butter and maybe a little thyme if you feel like it. ¬†And his skin will be so crispy and his meat will be so juicy. ¬†And not to mention flavorful! ¬†Please, before I ruin my keyboard drooling all over it, just go make this chicken — you can easily do this on even a tired weeknight!

 

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Roasted Potatoes ****

Who doesn’t love garlic roasted potatoes? ¬†Enough said.

 

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Arroz con Pollo ****

I referenced a meal in a prior post that my husband deemed one of the best I had ever cooked — this was it. ¬†I woke up on my day off craving something exotic but comforting and for some reason Arroz con Pollo came to mind. ¬†Now, don’t think Arroz con Pollo is something we ever ate as kids — we didn’t even eat the American version of chicken with white rice. ¬†But I have seen it on menus and have seen recipes enough recently that it sounded just exotic enough and just comforting enough to fit the bill. ¬†And boy did it! The smell in the house was incredible and the process to create it was fun and new — I definitely learned some new techniques while preparing this meal. ¬†And sofrito, the seasoning blend used to flavor the rice, has become a staple for us to make various things such as Spanish rice and stuffed peppers. If you have some kitchen skills, I definitely recommend trying this recipe out — it is well-written and if followed, will yield wonderful, flavorful results.

 

Raspberry Basil Limoncello Cocktail ****

I had a pint of fresh raspberries in the fridge that had gotten a little too soft to eat straight so I went in search of a cocktail recipe. ¬†This one from Bobby Flay was on the top of my to try list and it didn’t disappoint. ¬†The basil is not very strong but does add just a hint of herbal flavor that I found very refreshing. I will definitely be making this one again and maybe it will be a Thirsty Thursday if I can get a photo of it.

 

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Debris Po’Boys¬†****

So Mr. Homemaker has been craving a New Orleans style roast beef po boy for some time now. ¬†The kind that gets your hands all messy and drips down to your elbows when you eat it. ¬†I don’t know if most people even think of these as po boys because I think most people think of seafood when they think of the traditional New Orleans sandwich. ¬†But nonetheless, the debris po boy is a thing, and a delicious thing at that. ¬†I cooked up a chuck roast according to this recipe then reduced the cooking liquid down to a gravy consistency (had to add a teaspoon or two of cornstarch) to make a delicious meaty mess. ¬†We dressed our sandwiches with mayo and provolone and baby Swiss because that’s how we like them. ¬†I don’t care what any of you Cajun say ūüėČ

 

Skillet Lasagna ***

Who doesn’t love lasagna? ¬†And lasagna that you don’t have to layer and mess up every dish in the kitchen for? ¬†That’s even better! This lasagna is easy to throw together and tastes great. ¬†I substituted ground beef for the Italian sausage just for personal preference. ¬†I found it to run a little dry so I ended up adding the whole second can of tomatoes and then a little more water as it cooked. ¬†I also reduced the cooking heat a little as it seriously stuck to the bottom of the skillet. ¬†Although the one skillet was a cleanup nightmare, the soul-warming meal was worth it and I will definitely make it again.

 

Vinaigrette ****

This is another Thomas Keller recipe that I found while browsing the Epicurious site. ¬†I think this recipe is a great base for creating other flavors but I haven’t really had time to experiment yet. ¬†So far we have just put it on basic green salads seasoned with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies ****

I had a serious craving for chocolate chip cookies last night but didn’t want to be in the kitchen all night changing out batches in the oven and didn’t want the temptation of eating 3 dozen so this little recipe for 12 cookies was perfect. I added a few toasted pecan pieces and they were divine warm out of the oven!

 

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Mocha Brownies ***

I saw this recipe come up in my blog reader and I was sold on the brownie with frosting. ¬†As a kid my mom always made wonderful brownies but they never had frosting and I always craved brownies with frosting. I guess I now have an unfulfilled desire for frosted brownies because I make/eat them when I can. These brownies were decadent and tasty and the girls in my office RAVED about them. I found the brownie base to be a little bland to stand alone but with the frosting it is just fine (if you are going to make it without frosting, I would add a little salt or vanilla). ¬†My issue was with the frosting. ¬†The recipe calls for too much water. ¬†At the ratio given, the butter separates out and curdles. ¬†I think the recipe should call for 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount of water listed and next time I will stop at that. ¬†Because I wanted to follow the recipe as written (I am a rule follower), I added all the water and I regretted it. ¬†I ended up adding more sugar, butter, and cocoa trying to get the butter to re-emulsify. ¬†I got it to be palatable (based on compliments), but I wasn’t please with the grainy appearance of the frosting. ¬†I will definitely remember this next time I make this recipe.

 

New York Cheesecake ****

I made this for the Fathers’ Day dinner at my parents’ house. All but 2 slices were eaten that night and everyone said it was the best cheesecake that had ever had — better than New York City’s itself. ¬†I think that’s enough explanation!

 

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Vanilla Cupcakes ***

Since I was worried the kids wouldn’t want to eat cheesecake, I also took cupcakes to our Fathers’ Day dinner. ¬†I have made this recipe before and it is a moist and tender cake with a good vanilla flavor. ¬†My only gripe with it in cupcake format is that it doesn’t crown well and it pulls away from the cupcake wrappers. ¬†My suggestion is to fill the cupcake papers closer to 3/4 full and this will help keep them from pulling away. If you are looking for a good basic vanilla cake, though, this is it. I omitted the vanilla bean and doubled the extract.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my little recipe round-up here.  Let me know if you try any of these recipes or if you have any suggestions for tasty new recipes to try out!

 

 

 

 

Wicked Caramelized Sea Scallops

1 Mar

This past weekend Matt and I took an itty bitty teeny-weeny little tiny mini vacation to¬†see the musical Wicked in Birmingham.¬† While I had great plans to¬†sew a skirt especially for the occasion, I just didn’t have enough time to finish narrow hemming¬†four layers of thin, silky fabric before we left.¬† And it’s a shame, too, because one of the leads in the production wore a very similar skirt in one of the scenes of the musical.¬† Instead, I¬†decided to wear a beautiful store-bought dress that has been hanging unworn in my closet for a while.

While we were in Birmingham, we stopped by Whole Foods to do a little shopping (but mostly to just look and drool).¬† We brought home some gorgeous 10-count sea scallops that I cooked that evening for dinner.¬† Those of you who know me, know that I am a die-hard baker — I love that baking is very scientific and follow-the-directions.¬†¬†I am less fond of cooking since it is more art than science (back to the whole OCD/control-freak bit again).¬† Scallops are one thing that I¬†like to cook, though, thanks to the excellent directions in¬†this cookbook.

I first learned about Thomas Keller when Matt and I were in Napa Valley a few years ago.¬† While we didn’t eat at any of his restaurants, I sure wanted to.¬† When we got home, I purchased the French Laundry and ad hoc at home cookbooks.¬† I don’t know that I’ll ever make anything from the French Laundry but I do use ad hoc on a pretty regular basis.¬† The roasted chicken has become a regular on my table (I’ll share it with you sometime), and his ice cream is divine.

These scallops are extremely easy to prepare and are almost fool-proof.¬† I recommend waiting until you can find really large scallops — like those that are 12 or less to the pound — so that your dish will turn out successfully.¬† This dish is definitely one that you could serve to impress guests but also works well as a quick, light meal on a busy night (like it was for Matt and I after we spent 4 hours on the road home from Birmingham and made a detour by the state farmers’ market in Montgomery).

A few notes about this simple recipe to ensure it succeeds without a glitch:

1.¬† Try to use the specified brand of Kosher salt.¬† If you can’t find it or don’t have it, measure your salt by weight, not volume.¬† In other words, if you don’t have Diamond Crystal, weigh out 5 ounces of salt — don’t use a measuring cup.

2.  Do not use olive oil.  Olive oil is not well-suited for high-heat cooking and may scorch.  You could use canola or vegetable oil if you had to, but clarified butter really is the best.

3.  To clarify butter, simply melt 1/2 stick of butter in a small sauce pan over low heat.  Pour it into a small, narrow glass.  Let it sit until the milk solids have settled to the bottom and you see two distinct layers.  Skim the foam off the top and discard.  Carefully pour the clear yellow liquid off the top into another small container (this is your clarified butter).  Discard the milk solids that remain in the bottom.

4.  Use a stainless steel pan.  It will caramelize the scallops better than a nonstick pan.

Caramelized Sea Scallops

Serves 6
 
1 cup (5 ounces) Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 cups boiling water
8 cups cold water
1 dozen large (8-10 count per pound) or 1 3/4 pounds sea scallops
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1/2 lemon (optional)
 

Line a small baking sheet with paper towels.  In a large bowl, combine the salt and boiling water, stirring to dissolve the salt.  Stir in the cold water.  Add the scallops to the brine and let stand for 10 minutes but no longer as the scallops may become too salty.  Remove from the brine and rinse under cold water.  Place on a single layer on the baking sheet to drain.

Heat the clarified butter in a¬†large stainless steel frying pan over medium-high heat until it ripples and smokes.¬† Sprinkle the scallops lightly with salt then add to the pan without crowding (scallops should not touch — cook in two batches if necessary).¬† Cook, without moving the scallops, until the bottoms are a rich golden brown, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.¬† Turn the scallops and caramelize the second side.

Transfer the scallops to a serving platter and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice on top, if desired.