Archive for January, 2010

So… remember that quiet book I was working on? I made another one. And it was WAY cuter than the first one. Seriously.

My Aunt Kelly commissioned me to make one for her ADORABLE little boy Truman. You truly don’t know an adorable baby until you’ve seen Truman. He’s beyond adorable. Oh heaven help me…

Anyway, I thought I’d post the finished product. It was animal-themed like my last quiet book with only a few small changes. I used pretty much all felt, which I think was a great choice. Everything is somehow connected to the book, so there’s no risk of choking on things or of losing small pieces (other than the fish, but you’ll see).

Another thing I want to say (because it makes me happy) is that the entire book was hand-stitched. I didn’t use a machine for any of it. I did all the stitches by hand and the embroidery as well.


Cover page:

Lion page:

Bear page

Octopus page:

Alligator page:

Butterfly page:

Fish page:

Frog page

What do you think? I LOVED IT!

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One of the best things of being married to Michael is that he is never–ever–at a loss for meal ideas. He’s also remarkably willing to talk about food with me. I read cookbooks like mad and he is always willing to talk about what looks or sounds good.

Because he’s so accomodating, I love making things I know he’s passionate about. General Tso’s chicken is one of those things. He’s literally been talking about it for 6 months. I’ve been reading and combining recipes for months, and I finally came up with a great one.

As most recipes are, this recipe is pretty adaptable–the sauce could be used on a vegetable stir-fry or over tofu if you’re going meatless, you can make it spicier, decrease the ginger, etc. Make it your own. That’s what cooking is all about anyway.

I loved the combination of flavors–sweet, tangy, gingery, slightly spicy…everything I love about Asian food!

General Tso’s Chicken
Printable Recipe

2lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
7-8Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
canola or olive oil
3 green onions, sliced
sesame seeds for garnish, optional

for sauce:
4 1/2Tbsp hoisin sauce
4 1/2Tbsp ketchup
5Tbsp rice vinegar
4Tbsp soy sauce
1Tbsp sesame oil
3/4c brown sugar
3/4c water
2 1/2Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2tsp red pepper flakes (depending on your heat preference)


In a shallow bowl, combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in cornstarch mixture and tap off excess. (You can also put the chicken and cornstarch mixture in a large plastic bag or container and shake to coat).

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken pieces in batches, using a small drizzle of olive or canola oil to cook each batch.

Make sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Return chicken to skillet and pour in sauce. Stirring occasionally, cook over medium heat until thickened, about 3-6 minutes. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

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