Thursday, September 8, 2011

More copper

This is my attempt at Hammer Time by Jane Dickerson. I saw this project in Easy Wire 2010 by Interweave Press. It looked like a chance to try a few new skills and keep hammering.

Basically, I hammered a piece of 10 gauge wire until the hubster asked me to stop. (Then a few more pounds for good measure.) Then I got to play with texturing and stamping the resuting copper band.

I loved this project not only because of the hammering, but because I learned alot from it. I didn't realize the copper wire would flatten out in a wiggly shape (probably because I did not hammer evenly). I also had ample opportunity to practice stamping the design. Finally, I got to try my liver of sulfur. I loved the look of patina on copper.

While I see the mistakes in this piece, it will not go to the scrap pile. I want to show off my effort and the simple design goes great with almost everything.

Copper Jewelry

I've been moving away from seed beads lately. I'm not sure why. I guess I just wanted to try something different.

I borrowed Contemporary Copper Jewelry from the library a few weeks ago and am loving it. I would never have considered myself a metal worker. But now, this seed bead girl is hammering and coiling like a mad woman.

I've completed my first project from this book. It's not perfect, but I'm pleased with it considering my beginner status.

This is my attempt at the Forged Paddle Earrings. I got to hammer large gauge wire and practice spiraling wire.

I had a bit of trouble with the spirals. I found this tutorial from beaducation, which helped tremendously. Even so, it took about 10-20 spirals before I really got the hang of it.

I'm itching to try more projects from this book. There are so many that look interesting. I hope our library isn't expecting this back any time soon.

Paleo power bars

My household has been in search of a protein bar substitute. Between us, my husband and I have tried a dozen recipes. We had yet to find a good one .. until now.

The kiddo and I tried yet another paleo protein bar recipe yesterday and it was wonderful. I loved them, the kiddo said they were "the best thing ever" and my husband even said we found "the" recipe.

We followed the recipe exactly when making our
first batch. They were yummy, but they were a bit crumbly.

The kiddo and I made a second batch today and we added both an egg and an extra tablespoon of almond butter. The kiddo, of course, insisted on adding chocolate chips. Not one to disagree with chocolate, in went the chips. The result was a moist bar that held its shape. (I'm sure the chocolate was the key.) I did bake them a bit longer and the result was well worth the wait.

Paleo protein bars
(makes 12 bars)

1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup whey protein powder
1/4 cup + 1 tblsp almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup carob chips or mini chocolate chips

Toast the pecans, walnuts and shredded coconut in a dry skillet or in the oven. In a food processor, pulse the toasted nuts until they are the consistency of coarse crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add in the almond flour and protein powder.

In a separate bowl, melt the almond butter and coconut oil. When cooled, stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. Fold in the dates and carob/chocolate chips.

Spread mixture into an 8x8 pan (no need to grease the pan) and bake at 325 for 15 - 18 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into bars.

Try not to eat all of them at once. :)

Primal Chocolate Muffins

My husband and I have been following the Primal diet for a while now. (If you haven't heard of Primal, Mark's Daily Apple is a good place to start.)

The hubster started before I did, and, for quite some time, I attempted to "primalize" our dinners so he could eat what I cooked and maintain his diet. I made pasta or pizza with lots of veggies and he ate what I called "Italian stir fry." He's eat my chicken curry on it's own while I ladled it over rice to sop up the gravy. After a few months, I stopped making a dinner roll with our steak and tried his cauliflower rice. It wasn't long before I was on the bandwagon.

There are some things I don't even think about anymore: bread with dinner, sandwiches, rice, and pasta, for example. However, I really do miss other things: pizza and chocolate (more on that later).

The hubster and I are slowly moving the kiddo away from wheat and grains, at least, in what we make at home. Almond flour pancakes and muffins have become a breakfast staple for her. And she absolutely loves them.

Sometimes, though, she just needs a treat (as do I). Enter the chocolate muffin. These may not be strictly paleo, but these muffins are certainly a treat. They break up the breakfast routine and the kiddo has such fun helping to make them.

Don't they look yummy?

Primal chocolate muffins
(makes 12 regular size muffins)

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cups cocoa
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cups plain yogurt
4 eggs
1 - 2 tblsp honey
1/4 - 1/2 cups carob or mini chocolate chips (optional)

Mix almond flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa in one bowl. In a second bowl, melt the coconut oil. When it cools, add yogurt, eggs and honey. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until mixed. Fold in carob/chocolate chips, if using.

Pour into the tin muffin cups. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

A few notes:
  • These stick to muffin pans. They also stick to paper liners. Use the tin liners. I promise, you'll be happier.
  • The carob/chocolate chips are not strictly primal, but the kiddo likes them
  • The same goes for the baking powder and baking soda. I've tried the muffins without and they didn't quite rise. I figure the small amount is worth the end result (something the kiddo LOVES)