What I made in 2022

I like to do these end-of-the-year recaps of what I finished in a year. It always makes me feel productive, and I even want to start more projects.

Knitting

Hats were my thing this year. They are my go-to project when I need something to do. Several were donation hats, and the rest were gifts for friends.

Left to right, top to bottom: tape yarn pouch with vintage cloth lining, Antler toques for donation, Feather and Fern wrap, Year of hats, March hat, Scrapy shawl, Felicity hat for donation, Jelka hat, Kaarre hat, Maize mitts


I’ve also been slowly getting rid of my yarn stash. Luckily I meet “L,” an amigurumi crocheter, at the thrift shop. I’ve been giving her yarn for projects.

Stitching

I’ve been using stitching in my upcycling project this past year. The stitching keeps me present as I usually don’t have a well-laid-out plan, and I’m letting the stitches inspire me on the subsequent placement.

Left to right, top to bottom: Stitching to cover up staining, bookmark, top stitching on the underside of the whale, stuffed whale out of a vintage dress, Hawaiian quilt pillow for donation, Aloha shirt patchwork, blanket stitch top of trivet, trivet made out denim scraps and hand stitching, cat toys made out of scraps of fabric from my cousins mask making venture.


Cooking

I’m breaking this section down to savory and sweet, and I’m not including the jam I made this year. I’ll say the strawberry guava is always a hit and the cherry jam is also a favorite.

Savory

I’ve been trying to be more healthy for dinners. I need to use a lighter hand on the salt. Ahh, signs of getting old. My recent favorite is Mapo eggplant. Here’s the link to the recipe I used from Just One Cookbook: https://www.justonecookbook.com/mapo-eggplant/

Left to right, top to bottom: roasted tomato salsa, zucchini and caramelized onion quiche for Julie, my attempt at pad see ew, cheesy biscuits, tuna and tofu patties, pickled veggie slaw, lemon and capers halibut (thank you, Dave, for the fish), mapo eggplant, ginger pork.


Sweet

I’ve been going through my mom’s recipe box, making my favorite recipes. One day, I’ll put them in a book for my family. I made several batches of Tanaka bars (a family favorite) for my holiday bake, and a few bakes came out too gooey. I googled “blondies too gooey” and found an article from food52 saying the batter needed more air. I need to return to my hand mixer to get the air into the batter. Here’s the link to the article: https://food52.com/blog/21928-why-your-blondies-are-raw-in-the-middle-the-stella-parks-cure

Left to right, top to bottom: Pumpkin bread, pineapple cookies, garbage cookies, lilikoi coconut pie, mixed berry creme fraiche scones, Nutella rice crispy treats, Tanaka bars, Laurie’s pear cake, cherry scones, lemon loaf cake, Tre Leche cake, apple crumb cake, apple vanilla pound cake, lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate birthday cupcakes for the birthday girls.


To my surprise, I worked on a lot of stuff. It didn’t feel like it. I’ve been struggling this year to find what I should be doing with my life since my freelance gig has dried up.

I’ve discovered myy stitching is good for my brain. It lets me move through the piece spontaneously, letting the stitches decide for me. So I decided 2023 would be my year to sell or show more of my works. I need to be brave and put it out there. So there will be more to come. I hope you stick around to join me on my journey.

Remember when . . .

I was a crazy baking lady. I was going through some old pictures and found these pictures when I made 100+ cupcakes for my office event. I think I did it twice. I don’t think I could do it again, especially without any ac.

These days I’m not so much a crazy baking lady. I’m usually making something an occasion, birthdays, getting together with friends, or when I’m craving something. My last bake was for mom’s birthday, Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I liked the cake, should have added zest and juice from one more lemon. (my bad habit not reading the recipe through before I start). It still have a nice lemony taste and good crumb.

The frosting was too sweet for me. But no one else thought so. If I adjusted this recipe for my taste, I would take out 1/2 c of powder sugar, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and some lemon zest to up the lemon taste. Note to anyone making frosting in hot and humid climate, it will be very soft and needs to be chilled before frosting or after frosted.

Or if I had lemon curd available, I’d add it as a filling between the layers.

What I’ve made so far

This is what I’ve made so far this first quarter of 2022. I wanted to keep track of what I’ve done. Trying to keep myself busy.

Food

Top to bottom, left to right: Laurie’s pear cake, chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, cheese biscuits, pickled veggies, chichi dango, roasted sweet potato pudding, Costco rotisserie chicken broth, tuna tofu patties, fig and orange jam, caramelized onion and zucchini quiche, pad see ew, roasted tomato salsa


Craft

Top to bottom, left to right: stitch and mend sampler, denim whale with pleats, Feather and fan scarf, denim whale with topstitching, Hawaiian quilt pillow, Aloha shirt blanket, Year of Hat March hat, garment cover with upcycled aloha shirt

Fav Pics: Grilled Tomato Salsa

Veggies on the grill.

I haven’t posted one of these in a while. I’m still cleaning out my images. Lots of memories make it hard to eliminate. I decided to post this grouping as I just made this recipe and remembered how easy and delicious it was. This salsa is versatile. I made it for the chips that I bought, but it is also excellent on eggs, salads, fish . . . etc.

I can’t find the recipe initially used, but it is so easy and versatile to your taste. Here’s the list of ingredients and what I did for my recent batch.

  • Tomatoes, sliced in half–for the last batch I made I use about six medium size tomatoes, locally grown
  • Bell peppers, sliced in half, deseed–I use the mini peppers, about six, what I had in my refrigerator
  • Round onions, sliced in half–two large
  • Garlic–four cloves
  • Serrano peppers-two, could use more if like hot or use spicer peppers
  • Green onions-didn’t use because I didn’t have any in my fridge
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Lime–I use local lemon to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

I placed all the ingredients, except cilantro and lime, on a baking sheet, cut side up. Placing them cut side up captures the juices they produce during the cooking process. I set the oven at 400ยบ and cooked for about 30 minutes. Veggies should be charred but not burnt to a crisp. (my veggies were a bit more burnt than I wanted)

*Note: after grilling, remove the root from the scallions, seeds from the bell peppers, and stems and seeds from serranos (if you like it hot, leave the seed in)

Placed the grilled veggies in the food processor or blender and process till pureed. Depending on your food processor or blender, you may have to do it in two batches. Add coarsely chopped cilantro, lime (or lemon) juice, salt, and pepper to taste. The recent batch made about a quart and a half of salsa.

Four quarts from NJ tomatoes

If you use a grill, this salsa takes on a smokey quality. This recipe is worth trying, and it makes a lot to share. Enjoy!

Fav Pics: Pickled Veggies

Summer veggies getting ready for the brine

I love the colors of this pickles. The natural light in my kitchen always made my kitchen picture looks so beautiful. I got most of the veggies from my local farmers market. The recipe is from smittenkitchen.com and her beautiful pics inspired me to make it myself. This recipe is delicious and get in a salad.