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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Dalek Project: Extermination Creations (Comming Soon)

Yet again I've taken on a massive endeavor and it's left my blog empty. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace you may have heard an occasional mention of The Dalek Project. The details of the project have been kept secret in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the project. It would really suck if I spent a lot of time and energy on it only to have it spoiled because I spilled the beans to the wrong person or just too soon.

If you're a fan of Doctor Who or a downright Wholligan you can follow the project on Twitter, Facebook, and through the site where the majority of posts will be made - Tumblr. The details of the project will be released within the next two weeks and posted on Tumblr.

And in non-Dalek Project related news there have been some semi-regular additions being made to my Etsy store. The most popular of which is these

LizzGlizz-inspired Piranha Plant stud earrings that are made to order.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pro-Portional Designs Is Offering a Discount Code

Pro-Portional Designs is going to be offering a discount code for a trial period beginning today and ending on December 31st, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

How can you get in on the savings from my store you ask?

With every new referral (meaning each sale must be a new person) that leads to a purchase you will receive 5% off of your next purchase from Pro-Portional Designs. Each coupon will be created specifically for you and is good for a one time use by you. Your coupon code is non-transferable and not to be shared.

To receive your coupon code just have your newly referred customer fill in your name, email address, and Etsy user ID in the notes section at time of purchase and I will e-mail you your discount code. But remember they have to buy in order for you to save.

But wait - there's more.

You can combine your unused discounts to get a one time use coupon code for up to 25% off of your next purchase.

Don't have any money?

Refer 10 friends to my Facebook Fanpage between today and November 12th, 2011 at 11:59 PM, with the instructions to "like" it and *e-mail me letting me know who referred them and you will receive a 5% off coupon. The discount received from referring people to the fan page is a one time offer and will not be one that can be combined like the promotion above.

I can be contacted for this promotion through Etsy contact or via

Coupons from these promos are good until February 15th, 2012 and do not apply to custom orders.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Jarring Reality About Canning

The end of summer has left us with the last few state and county fairs there will be until next year and with the cool, football season air settling in on us most mornings, it seems more and more people I know have been scrambling to can. Most of these people are new to canning. As much as I support embarking upon new foodie pursuits I think that canning is one that too many people may have the wrong idea about.

The process of canning involves a lot more than just placing the foods you wish to last you through the winter season in a jar. Proper canning involves important factors like the application of heat, vacuum sealing, sterilization, and pasteurization. Improper canning has historically led to fatal tragedies by those who meant well or assumed they had all of the facts that they did not.

The purpose of canning is to preserve food by packing it in a jar to be immersed into a waterbath or a pressure canner where it will then be heated for a certain amount of time to a certain temperature.

When canning it is important to remember that it is not only important for you to have quality ingredients if you want the end result to be a quality project but to insure the quality of your canning supplies particularly your jars. Inferior quality or second hand jars nearly assure that you will find yourself without a good vacuum seal.

Canning jars differ from random jars because they are not only designed to hold food but they are made of thicker glass to stand up to the heat from waterbath or pressure canning. Once you've procured jars appropriate for canning you would still do best to check them for flaws of any sort or all of your hard work will be for naught.

As I'm sure it has already occurred to you the application of heat to your canned goods cooks the contents. During the heating the air is pushed out of the jar, creating the necessary vacuum seal.

The ins and outs of canning are many but if you're truly interested in it there are many books and even blogs out there dedicated to the subject.

The most common mistake I've been seeing this season is the absence of added acid to canned tomato products. The basis of this mistake is the assumption that because tomatoes are a high acid fruit they're ready to can immediately following your doing whatever it is you wanted to them. A jar of tomatoes or salsa does not contain the needed amount of acidity to prevent the bacteria that causes botulism to grow in your jar.

If you're interested in canning please do a bit of reading first and be sure to use an already tested recipe rather than assuming you know best. You can always play with the recipe once you know what you're doing.

A rose by any other name is no longer a rose. Just because it's in a jar does not mean it has been properly canned.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's New on Pro-Portional Designs

I realize that the time between posts has become hang-my-head-in-shame far between but baby nom has been growing like a weed and with all the things I do at once. It can be hard. Forgive me readers.

In my last post I mentioned that I was once again suffering from wrist pain which left me unable to knit. Productivity keeps me from being too grouchy so I set out to begin a new "hobby" that I would be able to do to help keep my wrists from staging another revolt.

Enter a friend from high school bearing the good news that Jo-Ann Fabrics had a sale of Fimo clay. Two years ago I looked into making polymer clay items but did not have the funds (not that I really do now), the sale was almost all I needed to finally get started in the exciting world of polymer clay (remember having money is also a major factor in the legal procurement of supplies).

After pulling some purse strings I made it happen and began making more affordable items for the shop, some of which are currently up for sale right now.

On a separate note I will be beginning a new project on January 1, 2012, the details of which are currently a secret. However there is a Facebook and Tumblr page already set up for you to go, "like", and hypothesize about until its release.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coming Soon . . . .

For the last week I've had to force myself to no longer knit for fear of doing what could be permanent damage to my wrists. Because I currently have a cut tie to the Viking sewing machine I was sew diligently using last year this leaves me with a need for another gratifying craft that will fill the knitting void as well as still provide me with items for the store.

I have been hard at work for the last two days and have turned out a ton of new items. What they are I'm not ready to tell you yet but I feel you will most likely be pleased. When will they be out? I'm working on building a decent sized stock for you to peruse so they could be released anywhere within the next month to the next three months depending on the ultimate size of my stock and when my wrists heal enough for me to begin knitting again.

*Important note: The item shown will not be for sale. It's the item that lead to my wrist pain. This item is mean to be MINE ALL MINE!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Elbow Grease, Boil, Repeat

You know that saying, "You can't live with them, you can't live without them"? As much as I love the boy, during the years we were dating and did not cohabitate, my apartments were much neater than my house tends to be these days.

I do what I can to keep the place respectable but DH is a whirlwind of mess. I swear his clothes seem to fly off of his body in every direction while spewing crumbs so that he may find his way back to them without tripping over whatever else is in the floor.

Husbands, in general are just a messy breed and little to nothing can be done about it.

2004, South Philadelphia. It's winter, I'm new here, and I could really use something comforting to make me feel at home, even if it's just for an hour or two. The house I'm currently living in seems to be devoid of frying pans. The purchase of an "emergency pan" was necessary.

Any excuse to visit Fante's on 9th street in the heart of the Italian market is a good one. It was there that I purchased the 10" frying pan that somewhere along the last six years has become "the boys pan."

Tired of his aggressive use of metal implements in my non-stick Tupperware pans (Yes, Tupperware makes pans. And they're awesome.) I informed him that this was now "his" pan and he was in charge of it's care.

This is what the pan looks like now (after vigorous scrubbing).

The problem is, he's been occasionally using some of my other pans. For example my copper core fry pan from Williams-Sonoma.

Today during a Felix Unger meets Shirley Feeney style fit of cleaning I broke out the pans and attacked them with baking soda and elbow grease. The results were minuscule.

I then boiled a mixture of water and baking soda in the pans for around 30 minutes. The results for my William-Sonoma pan were noticeable but not yet impeccable

and the results on "the boys pan" were a small dent.

In a fit of desperation at the suggestion of the internet I tried some Easy-Off. After the process of:
baking soda / elbow grease
boiling / baking soda
baking soda / elbow grease

The pan (in my opinion) is still in need of divine intervention.

I'm gonna need more elbow grease. It's a good thing I have an economy sized bag of baking soda . . .

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pro-Portional Designs Has A New Little Sister

As I briefly mentioned on the Pro-Portional Designs Facebook fan page, I've begun a new sister site called Small Fries. If you follow the hypertext link you can read the first post and see what it's all about. I am also in the process of setting up the coordinating Facebook fan page. Because Small Fries is still an Om Nom Nom Studios project it's Facebook will be linked to the Om Nom Nom Studios Twitter feed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper & Red Cabbage Salad Recipe

Last night for dinner I (yet again) made a roasted red pepper & red cabbage salad. It's fairly quick and easy and brings back some fond memories of a friend I had years ago who first made it for me.

When I sent a picture of the salad to a family member last night she told me she thought that would go over well in her household and asked me how to make it. This morning when posting a great friend of mine from high school seemed to feel the same way.

I began to post the recipe on Facebook and then realized it was long enough that I may as well blog it.

On to the recipe!

What you will need:

1 head of red cabbage
at least 1 red pepper (it's up to you how many you will want)
Olive Oil
1 container of honey (agave is also acceptable but beware it will be very runny on this)
1 bottle of red wine vinegar (if you don't have red wine vinegar I've made this using Caesar dressing & honey and not been unhappy)
1 cookie sheet (if you don't have one a meatloaf or bread pan should be fine)

Prepping the red cabbage:

It's up to you if you choose to prep your cabbage first, last, or while you work on the red peppers.

Take your red cabbage.
Pull off the outer leaves that look yucky from the store.
Take your chefs knife and begin slicing it however thin or thick you like.
Once you have as much as you want.
Cut the sliced pieces the other direction as well so the slices are more manageable for you to eat.
I probably do that around 4 or 5 times depending on the original size of the cabbage.
Rinse the cabbage in the sink.

To roast your red pepper:

If using only one red pepper like I did last night, I just rub it down with some olive oil, when using multiples I drizzle the olive oil over all of them insuring that enough of the skins are coated with oil.
Once you've coated your red pepper(s) place it/them on a cookie sheet (last night I used a small bread pan and all was still just fine) in the oven at 350 and wait for the skin to pucker.
Once the skin has puckered. (At this point your pepper should no longer be remotely "solid" - it should be squishy. You can usually be pretty sure when your pepper is squishy when you look in and see it's sunken in a bit.)
Remove the pepper from the oven.
Turn off the oven (bc I forgot to last night) and let the pepper cool a little bit.
It doesn't need to get cold just manageable enough for you to hold in your hand.
Take your pepper over to the sink and the first thing I do is pull out the stem. WATCH OUT FOR HOT OIL!!!! It tends to pour right out at this point and I've gotten a hand of hot oil a couple of times.
Gently peel away the skin of the pepper. If you're too rough you can take chunks of pepper with it. This can also happen if the skin is not puckered enough all over the body of the pepper.
Once you've skinned the pepper. Lay it out on a cutting board and slice as thin or thick as you like lengthwise.

Preparing the salad:

Place your red cabbage in a bowl or on a plate.
Arrange your red pepper on top (peppers can be hot or cold - that's your call).
Drizzle with however much red wine vinegar you like.
Drizzle with honey.

Et voila! Salad noms!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Weekend Report

I mentioned the other day there's been a change in schedule around my house that I am now adjusting to. Which really, is almost cruel, because in another two months, this new schedule (I'm sure) will be shot into the stars while I adjust to baby nom.

My weekends are now no longer on the actual weekend. They are Monday evening to Thursday evening. I plan to do my best to adjust and keep bringing you foods news, pics, and nonsense at as regular an interval as possible (the bulk of which is most easily viewed on the Facebook fan page) and not totally forsake you during "the weekend."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sick Day

We're having a sick day here at Chez Nom. Some of you may have read that last night the boy came home looking and feeling a lot like death. Today he is feeling very slightly better but is definitely still not up to his regularly scheduled state of function.

He's taken great care in making sure not to possibly get me sick just in case whatever he has in contagious.

Perfect has been a bit sick as well as of late, something seems to have given her a bit of tummy trouble.

As for myself, last night I took on a little more I could handle with the cold walk back to my car that was nowhere near last nights basketball game at the Schottenstein Center. My night was spent unable to roll over and a couple of charlie horses that lead to me screaming for a few minutes. So my messy kitchen is just going to have to wait.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Gifts

Obviously with my recent trip home* I did not spend the Christmas holiday with my family here in Ohio. Upon our arrival back into the state there was a bit of Christmas waiting here for us (as well as our dog who was more than thrilled we were finally back).

A few years ago the boys grandma offered to make me a quilt and in making it wanted to know what sort of things I liked so that she could try to incorporate them into it. I believe my response was "food, books, and wine."

After a lot of effort finding the appropriate scraps of material to make this quilt a reality I finally have it and it was of course worth the wait.

Recently I made a brief post via the Facebook fan page with the promise of more/better photos.

Not to worry everyone. Grandma got Perfect a Christmas present too. And she LOVES it.

*In the hyperlink video I am seen wearing the shawl I gave to my mother as a Christmas gift. This is her in her gift. To let her keep a modicum of privacy I've blurred her face, don't worry, my mother's face doesn't look like that in person. It's a perfectly lovely face, no blurs about it.