Friday, January 25, 2013

Cross Stitch Baby Birth Announcement Project-Present

A Present for Aléxias

Cross Stitch Birth Announcment for my niece, Aléxias

In few weeks, I will be an auntie for the first time of a baby girl named Aléxias (baby due: January 23rd). To celebrate her birth, I have been working on a cross stick baby birth announcement project. This project was done by completing a cross stick baby birth announcement and painting a wooden "frame".

The little baby girl was born on Thursday, January 17th, 2013! 

  • Cross Point Pattern:

The cross stitch baby birth announcement that I picked for the special occasion is called "Baby Feet" from Janlynn. It is a cute, simple, and very easy cross stitch pattern to do. The cross point was made using an ivory Aida 14 count and DMC threads. I did not quiet follow the template for the placement of the name and date. I got that pattern several years ago when my best friend gave birth to a baby boy and made it as a present. I like the design so much that I have made a few "Baby Feet" birth announcement since then  ;-). This time, it was for a baby girl and my niece.

Side View of the Painted Hoop

  • Frame:

This time, I wanted to come up with a different framing than a rectangular one. The finished size of the cross point is 5" by 7". So, I had this vision of a painted circular frame using a wooden hoop. I got a 8 inch wooden embroidery hoop with a height of 1/2 an inch, a matching color from the thread's letters for the paint color (purple or Concord Grape # 20595 acrylic paint by Apple Barrel), and some gloss (medium) for acrylic paint. After sanding the hoop, applying 2 quotes of the purple, and 1 quote of gloss, I was done. I only applied paint on the visible parts of the hoop. The purple is a rich color which adds some character to the cross point.

  • Assembling:

First, I centered the Aida in the hoops and tightened the screw to have it nicely secure. Second, I cut the extra Aida on the back of the cross stitch. To execute this part, I folded the extra Aida sticking out of the hoops all the way down to the bottom of the inner hoop and carefully cut it. Third, I hot glued gun the extra Aida on the inner hoop. I applied the glue carefully on the top of the hoop and pressed down the Aida on the wooden hoop. I also thought about applying some Elmer glue with a brush but I went with the hot glue gun. I was a bit afraid on ruining the cross stitch by applying too much glue but I was very careful by only putting a thin layer of hot glue and repeated the process several times until the Aida was nicely glued on the inner hoop. Make sure to apply so glue on the top of the empty space where the screw is to have the Aida nice and flat.

View of the Back After Gluing the Aida on the Hoop

Check out my "4 Square Patchwork-Button Holes Bag " on my Homemade Fabric Gift Bags page to find the cute bag that I made to go with the cross stitch.

Happy Cross Stitching!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Protein Bread with Flax Seeds - Recipe

Protein Bread with Fax Seeds on Top

This recipe makes 1 loaf (18 slices).

Each slice would be around 65 calories with 1.33g of fat, 8.75g of carbohydrates, 2.02g of fibers, and 3.92g of proteins.

- 1 cup of warm water (between 100 to 110 Degree Fahrenheit)
- 1 T of dry yeast
- 1 t sugar
- 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups of  whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup soy flour
- 1/4 cup gluten flour
- 1/4 cup flax seed meal
- 1/2 t salt
- Milk to brush the top of the bread
- 1 t flax seeds

1. Combine the following ingredients to the warm water: yeast, sugar, and vinegar. Stir and let it set for about 5 minutes.
2. In a bowl, stir in the flours and salt.
3. Pour the yeast/water combination to the flours and mix to get a stiff dough.
5. Sprinkle some whole wheat flour to your clean countertop and knead the dough for a good 5 minutes until you get a soft dough to the touch.
6. Place the dough in a oily bread pan and let it rise for 3 hours in a warm place or over night in the fridge. For tips about rising bread, check Laetitia's Rosemary Bread.
Ready to Go in the Oven!
7. Brush the top of the dough with some milk and sprinkle some flax seeds. I used almond milk.
8. Preheat the oven at 325 degree Fahrenheit and bake for 30 minutes or so.
9. Remove the bread from the pan and let is cool down on a cooling rack.

What do I think of the recipe?
The bread has a nice golden brown color all around, a light crunch at the first bite, and enjoy the crunchiness on each side of the bread.You will feel it on the same day as you bake the bread. The texture of the bread is condensed as expected because it is homemade. However the bread is light, soft and slightly moist. The bread has a strong earthy flavor.

Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Galette des Rois for the Epiphany - Tradition and Recipe

Galette des Rois - 2013
The "Galette des Rois" is a traditional cake made to celebrate the Epiphany and eaten the entire month of January. The galette is made out of a flaky crust with a sweet almond filling. Inside the galette is hidden a "fève" which is a little piece of ceramic. Along with the galette comes a crown for the person who will get the slice of the galette with the "fève". 

View on the filling
The galette des rois is serve in a specific way and here is how it is served in the North of France. The host cuts the galette for the guests and a child hidden underneath the table calls the name of one of the guests to assign the slice that the host is ready to give. The person who gets the "fève" will be given a crown and will be the called the king or the queen. This same person will now have to host a gathering with friends and or family to eat a galette des rois.


2 pie crusts (flaky crust)
100 g butter (room temperature)
100 g sugar
125 g almond meal/flour
1 spoon (soup) of Rum
2 eggs (1 whole and 1 yolk)
1 spoon (soup) of cold water

Parchment paper

The filling is ready!

     Step 1 - The Filling 

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add 1 egg and stir. Fold the almond flour and keep stirring until you have a homogeneous batter. Pour the rum and mix. Set a side.

     Step 2 -  Assembling the Galette

1. Unroll your first pie crust. On a cooking pan (wider than your dough), lay down a piece of parchment and place your unfolded pie crust.
Spreading the filling on the crust

2. Pour the filling in the middle of the dough, leaving 1 inch free all around the edge. If you wish to put a "fève", place is now closer to edge of the filling.

3. Brush around the edge with the egg yolk/water mixture (stir well the yolk and water). keep the mixture for later use.

4. Apply the second dough on top of the dough/filling. Make sure that both dough are on the top of each other and gently press around the edge.
The galette is ready to go in the oven!

5. Brush all over the pie with your yolk/water mixture.

6. With a sharp knife trace some lines across the pie to make diamond shapes or the design of your choice.

Close up at the rhombus design

7. Make a hole in each rhombus.

8. Bake at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the galette is golden brown.

9. Let it cool down before serving it lukewarm. It was be serve warm or cold as well.

Tip: If you do not have a "fève", you can use a whole almond as a substitute.

What do I think about this recipe?

It is a good recipe but it does not taste like the galette from home. Here are few remarks that I would take into consideration for next time:
- Get some good quality flaky pie crust or make the dough from scratch. I used the Pillsbury pie crust and was disappointing by the results. I did not get a full lightness, fluffiness and airiness that I was looking for. It was too flat.
- I left the edge of the galette flat with no design or folding of the edges (up or down). It looks a bit too flat too me. It definitively need more definition to provide some volume. I will fold the edges for next time.
- The texture of the filling was nice and smooth.
- The taste is there but it will need enhance by adding some almond flavor, more Rum, and or toasting the almond meal/flour. I will have to do a trial and error for next year.

See you next year for an update of this recipe.
 Enjoy, Laetitia