Sunday, June 26, 2011

27 inch iMac Computer Cozy

The HubLub wanted something to protect our new computer from dust and was using a rag as a temporary solution until he could find something.  I jokingly offered to make a Cozy (you know, those cheesey things you see at Grandma's house covering the toaster, blender, kleenex box, etc.), but he said yes!  I thought more about it and figured I could use some leftover scraps and quickly sew something up.  It was a bit trickier than I expected once I realized that the base that attaches to the back of the monitor meant that the top and bottom would be different dimensions.  I ran out of the cool fabric I had, but just sewed some coordinating fabric to make up the difference, and since it's on the back, you don't notice it.

What you'll need:

Fabric of your choice at least 58 inches long and 20 inches wide
Coordinating thread
An hour or two

If your fabric is directional, keep that in mind when you're choosing your top (I didn't and it was too late to turn back).  Fold the fabric in half, right sides together with the fold on the left and the raw edges on the right.  At the top right edge mark with a pen or pin 27.75 inches from the left folded edge.  At the bottom right edge mark 28.75 inches from the left folded edge.  Take a straight edge to cut a line from the top measurement to the bottom measurement.  Pin 1/4 inch around the top and right side parallel to the edge.  Dry fit the cozy on the computer, keeping the fabric inside out so the pins DO NOT come in contact with the computer.  Adjust fit as needed.  Sew 1/4 inch seam around top and side.  Trim the top corners to reduce bulk when turned right side out.  Press seams out.  Pin and press bottom under 1/2 inch.  Sew 1/4 inch seam around bottom.  Turn inside out and slip over computer.  Sit back and enjoy.

Keep an eye out for my Cozy 2.0.  I've got some great ideas to improve the cozy from the LubHub and they may make their way to my etsy shop.  Of course, I'll post it here first.

Please comment below if you have any questions or if you've made the cozy and how it turned out!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crunch 'N' Cream Chocolate Torte

The HubLub's favorite cake I make is the Crunch 'N' Cream Chocolate Torte, and I get rave reviews every time I make it for a group.  In fact I just took it to a dinner party a few weekends ago and was asked for the recipe.

It looks sinfully rich, but actually it's very light because the frosting is just whipped cream (I'm talking perception here, I have no idea what the calorie count is).  It's a great dessert to share after a heavy meal.  Best of all it uses a cake mix, so it's pretty easy to pull together.  This recipe originally comes from one of the Duncan Hines recipe books about all the different things you can make with a cake mix (thank you to Mother-in-Law Lub for the gift!) and I've adapted it here.  While you might be tempted to use any brand cake mix, I personally have not come across a better cake mix than Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe line - you won't be disappointed.

Crunch 'N' Cream Chocolate Torte

1 package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil's Food cake mix
4 Skor or Heath bars, crushed
Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling (recipe follows)

Cut two circles of parchment paper to fit the bottom of two 9 inch round cake pans.  Grease or spray pan, lay parchment on bottom, sprinkle a bit of cake mix (instead of flour - to avoid that white look) to coat the sides of the cake pan.  Prepare and bake cake according to package directions to make two 9 inch round cake layers.  Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove layers and cool completely.  Cut any humps on the top to create a level surface.  Cut each layer horizontally in half to make 4 layers.

Prepare Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling.  Fold in 3/4 of crushed candy bars.

Place a small dollop of frosting on the center of your serving plate to help anchor the cake to the plate.  Place 1 halved bottom cake layer (right side up) on a serving plate.  Spread with 1/4 - 1/2 inch filling.  Repeat layering with remaining cake layers and filling (top cake layer right side up, top cake layer upside down, bottom cake layer upside down).  Spread remaining frosting around outside.  (Don't worry if you run out of frosting for the outside edges after you frost the top - the original recipe doesn't call for frosting the edges to show off all those layers you worked so hard for :)  Sprinkle remaining crushed chocolate bars on top. Chill until serving.

Serves 12 (cut cake in quarters, than each quarter in 3 pieces)

Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa, sifted (measure first, sift after)

In a small mixer bowl, combine cream, sugar, and cocoa.  Chill 15 minutes.  Beat mixture to stiff peaks.  Fold in crushed chocolate bars.

Please let me know if you try this recipe, or have any questions about it, by posting below.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Good Reminder

I came across a great article on one of my favorite websites,  It's always a good reminder to pause and gain some perspective about the rudeness and annoyances that we come across on a daily basis.  I definitely need to work on having more patience and giving others the benefit of the doubt.  Especially for fellow BART riders who listen to their music so loud I can hear the lyrics loud and clear :)  I'm really working on that one . . .

And, because who really wants to read a post without a picture, here's a cute one from another of my favorite blogs,  Such cuteness!