craft

Too Cute Tuesday: Lobster Ravioli

Every Tuesday, it’s friends, a craft, and a cocktail. To get involved, check out the Too Cute Tuesday archives, join Too Cute Tuesday on Facebook, or contact Nicole to start your own Too Cute Tuesday group (it’s free and fun, we just like to coordinate!)

The whole shebang started on Saturday night when I got a phone call from my sometimes lobsterman boyfriend. “I’m bringing you six lobsters.” It was a good catch day and so Dan got to take some (not a usual thing).

I tried to make my own ravioli dough. At the point, I left to buy won ton wrappers. Problem solved (and stressed diminished) for $2.50.

I tried to make my own ravioli dough. At the point, I left to buy won ton wrappers. Problem solved (and stressed diminished) for $2.50.

I began to cook. I made a garlic olive oil sauce and a scallion butter when I got another phone call. “I told Joe and Beth we’d go out with them tonight. Is that ok?”

Of course it was nice to meet some of Dan’s friends but Sunday, we also had friends over for lunch who are ‘sick of lobster’ from serving it to out of town guests all summer. In other words, Sunday afternoon, Dan Dan the Lobsterman went back to fishing for the week and I still had two lobsters and a couple ‘sauces’ left.

I decided to make lobster ravioli so that I could use what I had created in terms of Saturday evening sauces and try something besides boil and serve. Sure lobster is good boiled (especially with rice wine vinegar and butter!) but Too Cute Tuesday is all about trying new things!

I ended up modifying this recipe on the Food Network for Lobster Ravioli to not have to create the dough (not to say I didn’t try of course but see steps below to see where I went wrong). Tonight, it was just me crafting… in other words, nothing stopping me from consuming a large amount of pasta unattended.

My dog is scared of anything: her grooming brush, cameras, and we can now add tasty ravioli to the list.



Materials
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1 shallot
1 tbsp. brandy
1/8 cup white wine, preferably Savignon Blanc
1/2 lb. lobster, cleaned (a nutcracker and poke-y thing help)
2 eggs
8 oz. marzopone cheese
1 tbsp. basil
Dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper
won ton wrappers (assuming you don’t have one of those pasta makers)

Cocktail of the Night: Cupcake wine, Savingnon Blanc (finished off from cooking)

1. Cook and clean two lobsters.

2. Put butter and oil in a pan and melt. Add shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes.

The final product with sauce number two (garlic/ginger oil-based) with cilantro. Yum.

3. Add brandy and white wine. You’re supposed to flambe it but being scared of an open flame, just let it cook on the stove 10ish minutes until a bit syrup-y.

4. Add lobster to the mix and cooked until warmed through. Turn off the heat.

5. In a bowl, put eggs, marzopone cheese, basil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add lobster mixture and stir it up.

6. Try to make the pasta dough from scratch without a pasta maker. Guess what? There is no way you can roll it that thin. Trust me I tried… and then I went to the grocery store and bought won-ton wrappers. Problem solved for $2.50.

7. Put lobster filling in wontons (and some in the dough you tried to make for experimental purposes) and seal. Boil until the ravioli float, about five minutes. Take out with slotted spoon. Serve with one of the sauces from this Bon Appetit recipe.

Aren’t you resourceful, and taking full advantage of Maine lobster during a gorgeous Maine summer?



Too Cute Tuesday: Bamboo Wind Chimes and Haikuesday

Too Cute Tuesday is a weekly event involving a craft, a cocktail, and friends. To get involved, see all the TCT archived posts at www.toocutetuesday.com, join us on Facebook, or contact Nicole to start your own Too Cute Tuesday chapter in your town.

My friend John contacted me awhile back, asking if we’d be interested in doing a Japanese related craft to cobrand with a weekly tradition he has on his Facebook page called Haikuesday. (In essence, you ask him to write you a personalized haiku on a Tuesday and he will. Here’s his Facebook page if you want to ask him about doing it for you!)

While the Bar Harbor branch of Too Cute Tuesday has opted to make a bamboo wind chime, Too Cute Tuesday Saint Louis is making paper koi. Here’s the link to their craft (EnchantedLearning.com, the website is on, is ridiculously addicting just to warn… just start clicking some related links!)

Materials
tiki torches (made of bamboo)
saw (Dremel tool caused a bit of burning if you are considering that)
scissors
random bendable hardware

Cocktail of the Night: Limeaid and Pims

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Too Cute Tuesday: Pralines

Every Tuesday, it’s friends, a craft, and a cocktail at Too Cute Tuesday. Get in on the fun, start your own TCT chapter, check out the archives, or connect with us on Facebook.

I just got back two weeks ago from Savannah Georgia, home of River Street Sweets and their wonderful pralines. I bought some for Chef Dan and proceeded to eat them all in the hotel room (shhh). I brought him back some pecans (in a sealed bag) and vowed to make some pralines when I got back home.

Chef Dan stirs the praline mixture, essentially sugar, vanilla, and pecans. Hey, even if it doesn't turn out, at least it'll taste good!

Then, I proceeded to sprain my ankle for the third time this summer. Thank goodness my pantry is stocked and Chef Dan only needed to pick up two of the ingredients on his way to Craft Central. Also, thankfully, there wasn’t too much involved in praline making and people were able to 1) relax and give me sympathy for my injury and 2) recover from last week’s epic craft failure, the first in Too Cute Tuesday’s history.

As Sue said of the experience, “Our crafting egos needed a reality check anyway.” True. But we were back on game tonight with this super easy craft. Dan whipped us up a signature drink: The Sad Lemonade to celebrate him finding blue curacao in our geographic area (for those wondering, Global Beverage Warehouse in Ellsworth).



Materials:

Sue helpfully licks the praline dish to help me with dishes. She's so sweet...or is she just opportunistic?1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

wax paper

Cocktail of the Night: Sad Lemonade
Put 1 oz vodka and 2 oz blue curacao in a glass. Fill with lemonade (or if you’re fancy like us,pomegranatelemonade)

Looking for something non-alcoholic or just more southern? Try the sweet tea recipe I was going to make before I got gimpy.

1. Put everything except pecans and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Stir and heat until 236 degrees. Take off heat.

2. While cooling the ten minute period, drink Sad Lemonade and relax.

Yummy pralines cooling on the marble counter, probably at River Street Sweets, via Flickr person Joseph Leonardo. .

(Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeruny/4380289611/in/photostream/)

3. After ten minute period, stir in nuts and vanilla until the mixture ‘loses some of its gloss’. Plop on wax paper.

4. Laugh as Chef Dan pours the mixture, creating several large pralines instead of small dainty ones. Proceed to eat in the middle of them, creating borders. Have a friend offer to lick the pan out ‘so you have less to wash’.

I love when eating large amounts of sugar can be passed off as helpful. Even Jessica, who is a total healthy nut, took some home. Yup they were that good!

Aren’t you crafty… and unable to resist sweet southern treats!

(Want to see the actual recipe? It’s from Paula Dean, a Savannah Queen.)



Too Cute Tuesday: Bottle Glasses

Too Cute Tuesday is a weekly event involving a craft, a cocktail, and friends. To learn more, read all the archived entries at www.toocutetuesday.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/toocutetuesday.

This week, we attempted a craft that I (Nicole) saw in a ReadyMade magazine, or so I thought. I ripped apart the house looking for this article. I am now convinced I am crazy and somehow hallucinated it. Nicole 0, Craziness 1.

This cheesy Youtube video allows you to believe that cutting a bottle half with string is easy, involving fire, acetone, string, and cold water.

And when Nicole was on her trip to Savannah Georgia last week and saw glasses made of beer bottles inthe SCAD store (the glasses aren’t online but they have other pretty things at the online store), an attempt was going to have to be made by Too Cute Tuesday.

A final semi-successful attempt at the craft. After this ta-da moment, we called it a night. Craft fail!

Materials
Acetone, and lighter fluid
String
Scissors
Bottles of Corona, empty
Lighter
Basin of cool water
Safety glasses (sun glasses)
Sandpaper (was supposed to smooth out the small shards left over)

Cocktail of the Night: Coronas (so we could use the bottles)



Most photos are of bottles on fire and us standing around. Consider this your summary photo of the evening.1. Drink Corona and get to talking. Realize it’s Too Cute Tueday and head into the backyard.

2. Tie string around a bottle where you want it to break, snipping off excess.

3. Take it off the bottle. We tried soaking in acetone like this video but it didn’t work. So we tried lighter fluid for a more heated experience.

4. Put string back on bottle. Put on safety glasses. Light on fire.

5. As it’s about to burn out, submerge in cold water.

So we attempted this unsuccessfully several times. We doubled string, tried hitting the bottle against a hard surface after firing, and I even took out a Dremel tool in desperation at one point. Finally, we were able to break the top off the bottle like they did in this video but the edge was too jagged to work with.

Craft fail! Oh well, at least we tried… But be warned, this isn’t as easy as the video above makes it look. May we suggest if you love these to buy them from someone cool like this person:http://www.etsy.com/shop/bottlehood

Aren’t we crafty, yet able to respect our own crafting limits?

Go on Etsy and buy glasses. It seems way easier, at least in this case!



Too Cute Tuesday: Clothespin Animals

Every Tuesday, it’s a craft, a cocktail and friends. To join the action, check out past posts at www.toocutetuesday.com, fan the page on Facebook to get the inside scoop, or contact Nicole to start a chapter where you live.

The following post is written by guest blogger Sarah, head of the Saint Louis division of TCT. They get organized on Facebook so join them there to follow their crafty pursuits!

This week, since Nicole is out of town in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, Too Cute Tuesday ) St. Louis picked up the slack and, instead of just crafting like we usually do, tried to pitch in with a blog post.

Are we above using cute orange cats to promote our crafting agenda? Absolutely not. Meet Patty. She loves Too Cute Tuesday.

This week, it was just a few of us since there’s a St. Louis Cardinals game tonight (and at 95 degrees outside, I think we have the better end of the deal). And, in honor of it being summertime and being able to hang our laundry out on the line (or, we would if we had a backyard), we’re getting crafty with clothespins.



Most TCT-StL crafters nightlight as graduate students, and it shows. No simple caterpillars for us! Instead, we tackled a mysterious deer-antelope creature, a Green Bay dragonfly, and a butterfly.

Cocktail: Cabernet and Guinness. Not together.

Are we above using cute boys either? No, meet Kevin, proving here that real men craft.

1. Acquire all materials at craft central: clothespins, hot glue gun, and construction paper.

2. Realize that you don’t have any construction paper. Improvise instead.

3. Take a spring-loaded clothespin and make the body. Kevin used marker, Sarah used wrapped yarn, and Jillian went au naturale.

Butterfly product (wings eventually figured out). Crafting, like science, does not always turn out as expected, which makes it fun.

4. Decide how to deal with wings.

4.a. Discuss how such insect planning parallels thesis planning. Get stressed out and remember you’re at TCT! Crafting isn’t stressful!

5. Create wings using pipe cleaners or felt (or the lost construction paper) and attach via hot glue.

6. Add whatever other features your insect requires.

Kevin's dragonfly. In the flesh...er, clothespin.

6.a. Be marveled at how Jillian managed to create a whole animal using only clothespins.

6.b. Show your graduate student-ness as you insist on “appropriate anatomy” and add legs to your insect.

Quote of the night: Kevin ) “I am very proud of my dragonfly. It is the best craft I have ever made.”

A fun evening with friends, insects to hang around the lab ) aren’t you crafty?



Too Cute Tuesday: Chocolate Portraits

Too Cute Tuesday logoEvery Tuesday, it’s a craft, a cocktail, and friends. To join the fun, check out Facebook at www.facebook.com/toocutetuesday. To see archives of past TCT evenings, see www.toocutetuesday.com. And to start your own chapter or join ours, contact Nicole.

A little overly eager, I peeled my wax paper away a bit soon before part of my 'N' could harden. Oh well!I have no idea what posessed me to bookmark this craft post sometime in March but all I can think of is it fits some of my favorite crafting criteria: 1) it involves food 2) it’s easy and 3) it looks impressive.

It was decided that my lack of Photoshop skills meant that rather than making photographs into a three color workable situation that we’d make our chocolate creations using initials and just be creative on the font front.

Over the weekend, I stopped by discount liquor store with the sole purpose of picking up items to try at Too Cute Tuesday. Enter a nice bottle of wine that had a fun label. Yay KungFu Girl!

This week, Dan, Sue, and I created some sweet treats.



Materials

white chocolate
brown chocolate
plastic baggies
scissors
wax paper
pencil
bowls of warm water
toothpicks

Melted chocolate and friends... a great combo.

Cocktail of the Night: KungFu Girl wine (a lovely riesling from Washington State)

Dan with his 'D'.

1. Print out the initial, symbol or photo you want to work with in black and white, preferably after reworking it so you can use three colors (brown chocolate, white chocolate, and a blend of the two). Note: Make sure you do the mirror image of the image if you are using writing.

I like a rieisling with a good label, don't you?2. Pour KungFu Girl wine and call Sarah (of Too Cute Tuesday Saint Louis) over Skype. Enjoy Sue’s bear story and talking with Sarah again. Continue talking with Sarah as the craft commences.

3. Cut a piece of wax paper and trace the chosen image onto it.

4. Pour warm water in a bowl and brown chocolate in a plastic bag. Let chocolate warm. (Tip: if you want this to happen more quickly, use chips, which have a greater surface area and will melt quicker. Yay science.)

5. Cut small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe brown chocolate onto the parts you want the brown chocolate to go, using a toothpick to smooth it and keep the edges.

6. If you want things to solidify quicker, put the wax paper in the refrigerator.

7. Do the same with the other two colors. Since white chocolate is not the same as regular chocolate, you need to work especially quickly with this one.

Aren’t we crafty, and sweet tasting from drizzling lots of chocolate onto our fingers!

Special Bonus: Our Saint Louis branch of Too Cute Tuesday (which exists on Facebook) sent some of their much more ambitious creations. Start your own TCT group by contacting Nicole.

Who's not too lazy to rework photos? Our TCT friend in Saint Louis, many who double as grad students.Makes me feel a bit like a slacker!

Crafters in action. Sarah (in purple) is the founder of the TCT Saint Louis group. Woot Sarah!

Crafting is good for girls and boys... Look at this cutie proudly holding his creation!

This picture makes the Bar Harbor crew miss you, Sarah. Way to craft!



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