Thursday, April 20, 2017

Instant Pot: Pork tenderloin with apples and sweet potatoes

 As you can probably tell from my blog, I usually post about sewing, and craft projects.  I do however like to cook, and have fallen in love with my Instant Pot (Pressure cooker).  This is the first time I've really written up a recipe, so please be kind.  I'm sure there are other ways to do this, and I might drop the cooking time to 8 mins next time.  But the meat was not overcooked, and still very juicy.  I had looked up a few different recipes for the pork, and found a couple that sounded good so I kind of merged the recipes.  One was for a slow cooker, the other was oven roasted so I adapted the cooking method to the Instant Pot.  I was really impressed with the flavor so I decided to write down what I did while it was still fresh in my memory.  Then I decided I should share it with others.  So here it is, I hope you like it.  I'm sure you could lots of other root veggies, or a splash of brandy to de-glaze. 

Instant Pot: Pork tenderloin with apples and sweet potatoes

1 pork tenderloin
1 med onion
1-4 cloves of garlic depending on taste
2-4 apples depending on size
1-2 sweet potatoes sliced ½” thick
½ cup apple juice (or stock)
Handful of dried cranberries, (frozen would be great too)

Cut pork into large pieces to fit into pot *.  Put Instant Pot on saute and heat up some olive oil.  Then season the pork with all purpose seasoning (or your fav mix), and sear in the bottom of the pan.  Meanwhile chop onions, garlic, apples, and sweet potato.

Take the meat out of the pan and add the onions, stir and cook for a few minutes, toss in the garlic till fragrant.  Add a splash of the apple juice to deglaze the pan and scrape up any brown bits.  

Now add everything back into the pot, season to your taste, and add the rest of the apple juice.  Put the lid on and set to ‘Chicken 10 mins’.  Then NPR

After about 10 mins I took the lid off and checked my meat, it was perfect, I ladled it all into a serving dish, leaving the liquid.  Put the pot back on saute, and and mix 1 Tbs cornstarch with a bit of water, and add to pot.  Stir till you get the desired consistency for your pan sauce.  Serve on the side, or pour over the meat.  

*I had a very large tenderloin I cut into 4 4” sections, any smaller and you’ll have to reduce cooking time.  If you have a small tenderloin you can sear whole, then just leave it.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, or other electronic pressure cooker, then you can easily do this in the slowcooker (leave pieces whole), or bake in the oven.  I’d check your meat at the 20 mark, to keep an eye on it, you don’t want to overcook your pork.  

I also did brown rice in my instant pot to serve with this.  1 cup broth to 1 cup rinsed rice, and a dab of butter and salt.  Set to manual for 22 mins.  (this was my first time trying it, and it turned out perfect).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Aurora Belle Dress & Peplum -- Pattern Testing.

You have to check out this brand new release from PollyWoggles Patterns !!!! This is a must have pattern.  It's super fast, and so adorable, it's on sale through Friday so go get it now!!!!


The first dress one I tested was the 6/8 mashup with the maxi skirt.  She LOVES IT!!!   I used the size 6 width with the 8 length (don't worry she shows you how to blend the sizes).  The instructions are very thorough and easy to follow.  She also has great customer service and is happy to answer any questions, as are the rest of her fans in her FB group. PollyWoggles Sewing Circle

I'm not super thrilled with the fabric for the skirt, but it's all I had on hand, and since it's the first test I didn't want to use my good stuff on it.  In retrospect I wish I had, it turned out great!!!  I think I'll jazz it up a bit with something.  Perhaps some appliques.  The length is perfect. 

This pattern comes with a ton of different options.  The back  can be done with shirring or elastic casings.

Never done any shirring before? No worries she includes a link to some very detailed instructions.  The first time I ever did shirring was on another one of her patterns, I followed her directions and figured it out.  It really adds a nice touch.

The casings work well too if you're not up to it.  
Some of the other testers went this route, and they're adorable as well.


 I loved this pattern so much I had to make a second one, and used my amazing 'If I Were a Mermaid' by Alexandar Henry.    This one I made the Peplum top.  Like I said it has a lot of choices.  There is the Peplum top, then you can add another knee length skirt underneath it.  There is also a 3 tier option, or the many choices!!!

Just keep an eye on fabric requirements.  For a size 8 maxi I needed 3 yards.  So since I only had 1 of the Mermaids, I did the peplum version.

 Since this was my second time the pattern went super fast.  It took me 1 hour 15 mins hour to cut, sew and add the bias tape hem.  I'm sure the next ones will be even faster.  When I do the multilayered one I think I'll do a rolled hem on my serger.

So hop on over to her website and grab your copy today, while it's on sale.  PollyWoggles Patterns--Aurora Bell   

Still not convinced???  Here's a few more of the lovely tester dresses!!!!
See more photo's The Umbrella Bin

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Well I'm ready for Spring with my new 'Ethel Tote Bag' by Swoon Patterns


I can't believe it has taken me this long to make a Swoon Pattern.  I've admired her bags for so long now, but always seem to end up with another pattern I just had to make.  As soon as I saw this fabric I wanted to make an Ethel Tote bag with it.  I felt the fabric and the pattern were both a bit retro, and I love how it turned out.  This is going to be a fun bag for spring. 

No bag is complete without a little bling.  This lovely tag is from Emmaline Bags, add on a few coordinating beads and you're ready to go. 

 I made a few changes to this pattern, I added a flap on the top to keep all my stuff from spilling out.   I decided to leave the front pocket full size, so left off the center seam, and added a magnetic snap.  I did however add the seam to the inside slip pocket.   I also added a zipper pocket as well.  I like to have a safe spot for a few items.  I also used the pocket to turn my bag, it was my first time using this technique, and I loved it.  It was a bit tricky working it through, but so nice to not have to finish off the lining.   

To save some money I went ahead and used some shelf liner from the dollar store.
  I got a roll of some nice sturdy vinyl.

It was very easy to cut, and I applied it with a glue stick.  I used it as a I would sew-in foam. 
I used a quick press from the right side of the fabric and it all held in place beautifully. 

It worked really well, gives the bag enough structure and stability.

 It did make the seams a big thick.  This wasn't too much of a problem until it came to top stitching.  Next time I would trim back at least half of it inside of the seam allowance, and just leave a few pieces here and there to catch to make sure it stays in place.  I would eliminate the foam from the seams where it overlaps other seams or where the straps were placed.  Hopefully it holds up well, I'll let you know if I have any issues with it.  But I can't beat that price, sorry flex foam! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flora Supply Case

I finally got around to blogging this.  This is the Flora Supply Case pattern, by Clover & Violet.  I looked all over for the ideal pattern, I wanted to make something to hold diabetic supplies for my dear friend who had just been diagnosed with Diabetes.  I searched online and found that Tishia of  #tkinggae on Instgram had made one, and it was adorable.  I messaged her to find out what size, and she was very helpful.  To see her's click this link to her Instagram picture 

I found this amazing fabric from Meerkat Shewshwe's booth at the Creative Festival 2016.  I had never worked with this kind of fabric before, but the colors and textures were so unique I knew I had to give it a try.  This fabric is really hard to photograph, I can't quite capture the colors, and vibrancy. 

It was a fairly simple sew,  the hardest part was adding the zipper and bias tape around it, but just go slowly, perhaps start with a basting stitch????  It's not perfect but I was happy with how it turned out.

These were a few FQ's I got in the Hot Ice line, they're so pretty.