Korean Hotdogs (aka Corndogs) Review


What exactly is a Korean hotdog? It is similiar to a corndog but without cornmeal. The batter is made with yeast and flour instead. After the batter is applied, it is rolled in panko crumbs and deep fried. Toppings vary but the Korean way appears to be a coating of sugar.

I found the recipe for the Korean hotdogs and decided to give it a try. I liked how the batter turned out. It was sticky yet managable and easy to roll around the hotdog. I actually rolled the batter with a tiny rolling pin, being careful not to press down too hard as the dough was supposed to be sticky and I did not want to add flour to it. After surrounding the dogs in the batter, I rolled them in the panko which adhered easily. Some recipes for regular corn dogs have left me with such a mess. The batter usually gets all over and is hard to keep on the dogs. This was not the case here. I was enjoying the process. Making the Korean hotdogs was easy and did not take long except for the hour rise time for the batter.

As for the taste of the Korean hotdog? I liked them. They are not as sweet as corndogs. (unless rolled in sugar) They crisped up very nicely when fried. I dipped mine in ketsup and mustard as I would a regular corndog.

Give it a try! I found the recipe at: https://www.chopsticksandflour.com/korean-hotdog-corndog/

As always, Bon Appetite!

Still Skateboarding at My Age!


It was brought to my attention that I needed to do a follow-up post on my original post: https://wordpress.com/post/anotherdaywithjulie.home.blog/3456 ‘Learning to Skateboard at My Age? Why Not!’. I see that my original post was May 27, 2020, almost a year ago. Well lo and behold, yes, I am still at it.

So, from my starting point, almost a year ago, I have come a long way. Starting with driveway guidance by holding my son’s arm to being able to stand on the board myself seemed a big accomplishment back then. I thought myself a real wiz when I could go down the driveway and make a turn to come back. I even learned kick turns. Then I was on the actual road, heading down to the culdesac and back. My son and I even took an outing down a few streets where I learned how to slow down on hills and stop the board without letting it fly into the bushes.

My biggest feat of all so far and my goal really, was accomplished a couple of days ago on Mother’s Day. My son drove us down to the beach and we rode our boards around the bay. Beautiful day for it – nice breeze, gorgeous blue skies, sailboats on the bay, lots to take in. But safety first, not only did I embrace my wrist pads and helmet, I also donned a face mask. I may be brave enough to skateboard at my age, but I’m not brave enough to go maskless.

Now, a couple of days later, the old bones are saying perhaps I went a little too far. I thought I was in good shape, after all I do yoga every morning, but skateboarding does use a lot of muscles, especially if you’re not going downhill. So, my new goal will be to get on the board a little more often and a little further each time. Got to build up my endurance if I hope to be in the Olympics some day.

Skateboarding at my age, proving you’re never to old to try something new. As always, Enjoy the Ride!

Turning Tools for Sewing


I highly recommend the Quick Turn turning tools by Dritz. If I had only known about these lovely gadgets years ago, I would have saved myself endless frustration and tantrums. So how do they work and why do I like them so much?

First off, the Quick Turn turning tools are used to turn tubes of material from wrong side to right side of fabric. Often a pattern will instruct one to cut a narrow strip of fabric, fold it in half lengthwise, stitch, and turn. Yah right! My reaction is always, “how am I supposed to turn this narrow little thing?” Well it usually can be done with a few tantrums and curse words, but this is now a thing of the past.

Once the tubes are sewn, one slides a tube (kinda like a very stiff straw) into the fabric tube. Then, the metal rod or wooden rod is used to gently push the material inside the tube. When it gets a little bit under way, one just gives it a pull and voila, it comes out the other end right side out. All this just takes seconds to do. That is why I love these gadgets. They even come in different sizes so even the teeny tiniest of tubes can be turned. (We’re talking 1/4″ here!- see photo)

So, if the project on hand calls for turning tubes of fabric, I highly recommend investing in some turning tools before getting started. They will save time and frustration. Turning tools are an inexpensive and useful addition to any sewing box.

As always, Happy Sewing!

My Take on…The Black Velvet Coat

Book Reviews

Jill G. Hall’s debut novel, The Black Velvet Coat, was hard to put down. The story is placed in modern day San Francisco and San Francisco of the 60’s. Hall merged the stories of two women, each who wore the same black velvet coat, but in different decades.

The first woman to wear the coat was Sylvia. An orphaned heiress who finds herself engaged to trouble. Will she go through with the wedding? The executor of her estate does not seem to think she should.

Fifty years later, Anne, a starving artist, comes across the black velvet coat in a second hand shop. When she puts it on, her life will never be the same again. She is obsessed with the coat and its original owner.

I enjoyed The Black Velvet Coat. There were nights when I stayed up a little longer than I should have to see what would happen next. I can not wait to get started reading Hall’s other books in the trilogy, The Silver Shoes and The Green Lace Corset, also written around a piece of clothing connecting women.

As always, Happy Reading!

Making Single Fold Bias Tape


I decided to make Simplicity’s pattern 4177, a simple Boho style blouse. The neckline called for 1/2″ single fold bias tape. Since I wanted to have my bias tape match my fabric, I set off to make my own bias tape. Good thing I had extra fabric.

To make bias tape, the fabric needs to be cut on the bias, a 45 degree angle from the selvage edge. This gives the fabric more stretch and can form to curves easier. By folding over the cut edge of the fabric to the selvage edge and then cutting along the fold line, the bias cut is made. From there, all cuts can be made parrallel to the bias cut in long strips. My bias was cut into one inch strips. Strips can be sewn together to reach the desired length.

fold side down to selvage edge- cut along angle

Once the strips are cut out, they are folded in half and pressed. For single fold bias tape, the sides are then brought in to meet the center fold and pressed. The tape is then pressed flat to erase the first center fold pressing.

A bit more work than picking up a package of the pre-made stuff but ever so worth it. For prints, such as I was using, a plain color would have looked “home made” and even though my top is home made I do not need to advertise the fact. If the pattern calls for bias tape that will show, be sure to purchase a bit more material to account for it if wishing to do it yourself.

As always, Happy Sewing!

Underlining a Garment


What is underlining and why bother with it? Underlining is refered to as pieces of lining fabric that are cut to the exact dimensions of the pattern pieces and sewn together as one piece. These underlining pieces are placed on the wrong side or back of the material pieces and are stitiched in place to form one piece. The pattern is then sewed as normal and the garment is fully lined.

I disovered underlining recently when wanting to line a dress I was working on. The fabric for the dress was on the thinner side and I would either need to line the dress or wear a slip. I decided to line the dress. However, lining involves making a seperate lining of the dress pattern and attaching it to the inside of the dress. This is like making two dresses. This seemed a lot of work and frankly, a bit intimidating to tell the truth. That is when I ran across the term underlining. Easy! This was for me!

So with underlining, as I stated earlier, one cuts out the pattern in the chosen material and then cuts out the pattern in a lining fabric. The lining fabric is sewn to the wrong side of the material pieces using long running stitches just outside the seam allowance so they will not be seen when the garment is sewn together. This can be done on the machine or by hand. I read that one gets a flatter, smoother outcome doing this process by hand, as bubbles can sometimes form when feeding two fabrics into the machine at the same time. Doing this by hand, one works flat on a table. This keeps the bubbles out. I have tried this both ways. I can say that it does work better by hand. “By hand!” one might whine. “That will take forever!” Oh contrar. The hand method actually does go by quite fast and does indeed give smoother results. If the piece is a garment, I would highly recommend doing this process by hand. I made bags, and sewed the underlining by machine and they were not as flat, but for these bags it did not matter.

So, if wanting a lined, professional looking garment, without the hassle of sewing and attaching a separate lining, why not give underlining a try. As always, Happy Sewing!

Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock Recipe Review


I picked-up a copy of the May/June 2021 issue of Victoria Magazine – Special French Issue the other day. This issue being devoted to all things French, including the recipes, I was sure to be in for a treat. Oh yummy!

I saw the photo for the Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock and my mouth was watering. While this recipe is suggested as a breakfast item (and I would agree), I decided to make it for a dessert last night. It worked quite well in that department as well. The pairings of the apricots (which I substituted for the nectarines), raspberries, and almond was quite delicious.

The Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock is made up of fruit on top of an almond-paste creme spread over raspberry preserves on a slice of brioche. This is baked in the oven, cooled, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The only substitutes I made to this recipe where (as stated above) using canned apricots instead of nectarines (not in season), frozen raspberries instead of fresh, almonds instead of pistachios, and instead of the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract. The recipe itself is very easy to make and takes very little time to put together an impressive looking pastry.

The other recipes from the ‘French Breadbasket’ article also look delicious and will soon be put to the test in my kitchen. These recipes include: Chaussons Aux Pommes, Ginger-Cardamom Kouign-Amann, and Escargot Au Chocolat. This issue of Victoria also has recipes for Macarons. Included are: Blackberry-Thyme, Earl Grey, White Chocolate-Mint, Strawberries and Cream, and Raspberry Lemonade. Looks like I will not be coming out of the kitchen for a while.

I highly recommend the recipe for Raspberry-Nectarine Bostock from Victoria Magazine. I am quite sure I will be making this recipe again. As always, Happy Baking!

Storing Potatoes in Warm Climates


It is said that one should not store potatoes in the refrigerator. Oh no! Hadn’t heard that before. Why on earth not?

According to GoodHousekeeping.com:

“According to the New Scientist, we shouldn’t be storing raw potatoes in the fridge because it can lead to the formation of acrylamide during cooking.

At low temperatures, an enzyme breaks down the sugar sucrose into glucose and fructose, which can form acrylamide during cooking.

Acrylamide has hit the headlines thanks to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), which has launched a warning of the possible cancer risk associated with this chemical.”

Well, after reading such articles as that, I looked into the best ways to store potatoes. The best place to store potatoes is in a cool, dry place such as a cellar or basement. This, however, poses a problem for me. I live in California. This is not the midwest. No one has cellars or basements in California. Now what?

I started to leave the spuds out on the counter. Of course this is a big no-no. Potatoes do not like light and we have plenty of that in California. If left on the counter, they will start to sprout and turn slightly green inside.

So, I read where putting the spuds in a basket or well ventillated bag in a pantry would do. Ok, so I had found room in the pantry, put them in a brown bag, poked holes in it for ventillation, and closed the top. Again, this did not work. The spuds did not last long. I think I suffocated them…

The next method, I am proud to say, is working like a charm and so simple to do. I take a small brown paper lunch bag and roll down the sides, then I gently place the potatoes inside the bag. Keeping the bag open at top, I then place it inside my pantry. Voila! The potatoes seem to be happy enough and have plenty of airflow and are kept in the dark as to what is going on in the light of day. They have not sprouted and seem to be doing well. Of course, it is only spring here in California and the really hot days of summer are not upon us yet. We shall see how they like the pantry in a few months time but for now all is well.

Another thought I had….the grocery stores seem to like to store the single potatoes in the refrigerated shelves that then spray water on them every so many minutes. This is probably (in my oppinion) a bad thing. Only the 3 or 5 pound bags are stored dry and out of refrigeration. Although a few stores do carry singles stored witout refrigeration, most do not. So it is probably important to purchase potatoes that are stored properly before getting to one’s house.

As always, Happy Harvesting!

Making a Wish


Our birthday celebrations have changed a bit since Covid-19. It used to be the norm to poke candles into the birthday cake and let the birthday person blow all over the cake. Now, thinking about it, that is a bit gross.

The whole birthday cake now has the birthday persons germs all over every single piece of it. Unless one is willing to wipe off the top layer of frosting (WHAT!), they are now taking in those germs. Of course, over the years, most people do not get sick from this endevor. Perhaps that is because most people are not sick on their birthday or maybe it is just luck.

Regardless of our past ways, my family is taking on a new way of wish making. We admire the cake and then cut it into pieces, putting a candle or candles onto the birthday persons slice. The birthday person then can blow to their hearts content all over their own slice while the other pieces are safe from the breeze. Not that we are worried about anything in our own household, but one never knows, and it does seem to be a more sanitary way of doing things.

So, if after things are back to a somewhat normal way of life, and I am invited to a birthday party where the guest of honor blows all over the whole cake, I think I will politely pass. If I’m really feeling the urge for a piece, I can always go home and make a cupcake after the party. I’m not wiping the frosting off.

As always, Stay Safe!

Planting Peanuts


It was a beautiful So Cal spring weekend so my husband and I payed a visit to the nursery. We soon had our hands full of plants. Tomatoes, beans, peppers, and what was this…peanuts!

Yes, the nursery had peanuts. Having never grown peanuts before, I wanted to give this a go. So, peanuts in hand, we set about to get some seeds. I went inside while my husband got a cart, our hands becoming quite full. We picked-up some carrot and zucchini seeds and decided this would be enough to get started.

At home, we planted the garden. My husband had already prepared most of the raised beds for planting. We added some more seeds that we had on hand at home, lettuce and cilantro. This was a good start to the garden. There is plenty of space left in the beds, however, we still have plenty of time to plant. Spring has only begun after all.

I did some research on the peanut plants. Our pack had three. Apparently, the plant will grow yellow flowers which will turn back down and poke into the soil. The peanuts will grow from these flowers. So, it is recommended to keep the soil loose so the flowers will be able to penetrate the soil. Well, I am hoping for at least half a dozen peanuts so that we can all try one. If anyone has had success (or failure for that matter) with peanuts, I would love any advice.

I will keep posting peanut updates as they come in.

As always, Happy Gardening!