Sewing

Pattern Review: Simplicity 8878- A Boatneck Chambray Blouse

I have been putting this pattern on hold until I could find the perfect fabric. The only thing is that I promised myself that I would use all the fabric I already have before buying new fabric. Mostly because I am running out of space in my magic basket (also known as the “time out” basket, where I put all my new fabric as well as my sewing makes that didn’t turn out right and need a time out). In my magic basket, I had 2 yards of chambray fabric in dusty rose. I bought it in 2016 and have been holding onto it since. What a fabric hoarder. I finally found it’s perfect match, Simplicity 8878.

Why hello, you look comfy…

Simplicity 8878 is a pattern for a simple shift dress. It can also be used to make a blouse. There are 2 types of sleeves, long or short. There are 2 necklines offered, boatneck or with a tie. The dress comes with pockets. Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets? You will need interfacing for the neckline if you chose to sew view C or D. Fabrics that are recommended for this pattern are challis, chambray, crepe, and shirtings. Cotton, silk or linen types can also be used.

I chose view D, which is a long sleeve, boatneck blouse. I chose a dusty rose chambray fabric. It only required 1 3/8 yards of fabric for a size medium blouse. If I wanted to make the dress (view C), it would only require 1 3/4 yards of fabric. I like that you will need less than 2 yards!

What I like the most about this blouse is the neckline finishing. The neckline is finished with a bias strip which is folded in half lengthwise. It is stitched around the neckline and then folded inside and topstitched. It looks very neat and clean. It was a new technique for me and I think it would have been easy to do except for the fact that my dog literally ate one of the neckline pattern pieces. I had to re-construct a new pattern piece and I’m not sure that I did a good job with that reconstruction. My first try was not a success but was also fixable. I had to re-do it and it turned out well. I also like the sleeves. There is no facing for the sleeves, but they looked cuff if folded.

The instructions were very easy to follow. It was an easy and quick sewing project. I think that this pattern is great for an advanced beginner.

It’s a very comfortable blouse. I wore it with jeans and sneakers recently. This shift dress and blouse is perfect for the summer months. Since I live in California, it’s also perfect for the Fall.

Happy Fall sewing!

Baking

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Got a lot of ripe bananas and tired of making banana bread? Got leftover pumpkin puree and want to make something other than pumpkin bars? Those were my dilemmas, so I decided to make pumpkin banana muffins. Just in time for Thanksgiving. Hence the name, Thanksgiving Pumpkin Banana Muffins.

I took my go-to banana muffin recipe and I adapted it to make these delicious pumpkin banana muffins. I thought about mixing in either crushed macadamias or dried cranberries or dried blueberries (I chose those mix ins because it’s what I currently have in my pantry) or adding streusel on top for another layer of sweetness and added crunch, but decided to keep it simple and stick to just pumpkin and banana.

I adapted my go-to banana muffin recipe by adding one 14.5 can of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Banana Muffins

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • one 14.5 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, mash the ripe bananas. Add the pumpkin puree and mix. Add egg, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together which is the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until moistened. Fill the mixture into baking cups in a muffin pan until 3/4 to almost full. Bake at 375° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I like to fill the baking cups until almost full so I had to bake the muffins a little longer at 25 minutes. I took the muffins out at 22 minutes to test with a toothpick and since it was still not ready, I put it in for another 3 minutes and it was perfect!

Happy Thanksgiving, pumpkin and banana!

The muffins tasted great. A little bit of pumpkin flavor and a little bit of banana flavor. Also because of the bananas, pumpkin puree and oil, the muffins came out moist, not dry at all. Try a little bit of butter or jam on top. Don’t forget your cup of coffee or tea.

These muffins are perfect for Thanksgiving morning. Or in our case, the week before Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving baking!

Baking

Food for the Gods, A Filipino Heavenly Treat

I remember the first time I saw this treat. It was at my aunt and uncle’s bakery. They were wrapped in red and green cellophane. I was told it’s because these treats are usually given out during Christmas time in the Philippines. My aunt gave me and my daughter, who was about 3 years old at the time, a piece to try. I remember how delicious it was.

Food for the Gods contains dates and walnuts. It is rich and decadent. It has the consistency of a brownie with a little bit of a crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside. It is buttery goodness and you can taste the butter in every bite. I’m not sure why it’s called Food for the Gods, but I’m assuming it has to do with the amount of dates and walnuts in it.

It’s very easy to make. It’s usually made during Christmas or closer to the holiday season to hand out as treats. I was given the recipe by my friend, Grace. She makes it every year and we all look forward to it. She recently made a batch. It tasted like heaven… maybe that’s why it’s called Food for the Gods 🙂

It’s almost time for the holidays, so now more than ever is the best time to share this recipe.

Food for the Gods Recipe:

2 eggs

1.125 cups of sugar

1 cup melted butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dates

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2 rectangular pan. Set aside. In a bowl, beat eggs lightly. Add sugar, butter, walnuts and dates. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and fold into batter. Spread on prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 F in a water bath. Remove from water bath and continue to bake for 10 more minutes on rack. Cut into bars while warm.

Happy Baking!