Monday, September 19, 2011

So, how'd the pot roast turn out?

The Precision Induction Cooktop puts a nice sear on meat. It was quick and easy.

Chuck roast seared in the Precision Invection Cooktop.
I used Montreal Steak Seasoning  for a light rub.

I'm afraid I had the temperature a little high for cooking though, so the roast was finished rather quickly. Like two hours faster than I had planned.  Keeping it warm made the meat tough. Oh well. Lessons learned.

The next day, I tried fried chicken according to the directions in the PIC cookbook. It turned out juicy and tender. The recipe was easy to follow and results were exactly what I'd hoped for. Which brings us to the cookbook and the Precision Cooking Club website. The website is a nice source for information and recipes.  At this time, both the book and the website are the same, but there's lots of room for new information on the website. Precision Cooktop owners get exclusive access (you'll need the serial number of the unit to sign up). It's a nice inclusion in the total package.

The PIC has a fan that runs whenever the cooktop is in use. It's not exactly the quietest fan, either. On the other hand, the unit does not radiate heat, so the kitchen is cooler.

The more I use the PIC, the more I like it. Still a very enthusiastic "Thumbs Up".

On the stitching front: I've come up with a new border pattern, Celtic Heart.

Celtic Heart Border
There are a lot of half stitches in this one, so it's best suited for even weave. Aida cloth is not recommended. I do plan to design a slightly larger version more suited to all fabrics in the near future.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A watched pot...

There's an old saying, "A watched pot never boils."

Well, the Precision Induction Cooktop busts that myth completely. The first thing I did with the cooktop was put about 2 cups of water into the pan to see how fast it boiled. There was steam in a matter of seconds and a full boil in barely a minute more. I put my metal tea kettle on the cooktop and had a full pot of boiling water in about 2 minutes. Cool. Very cool.

The first meal I prepared was fried rice. Stir-frying the meat and vegetables was a cinch, and since hubby and I were on different schedules that evening, I was able to keep the rice dish warm and tasty on the low setting.

Clean up is a breeze. Simply wipe with a damp cloth. While the cooktop does get warm, it's nowhere near the heat generated on the stove. I spilled, but nothing stuck.

There is one thing about the PIC, though; the cooktop is almost 2 1/2 inches above the counter. I'm tall, so it's no big thing for me, but shorter folks might find this inconvenient. Of course, you can take the pan off the cooktop to stir or add ingredients.

Tonight: pot roast.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Induction Cooking

Back when I had considerably more disposable income than I do now, I joined Cooking Club of America. The promise of great recipes and the opportunity for product testing are exactly what this gadget girl loves. Over the past few years, I've tested mostly food products and small kitchen items. Fun stuff, but I always seemed to miss out on the really cool items.

Well, I finally got my chance. Today I received a Precision Induction Cooktop (PIC, for short). It uses copper coils to create a magnetic field in order to heat food. 

The package includes the cooktop, a large pan, fondue forks, training DVD, Quick Start Guide, and cookbook. The pan needs to be magnetic in order to work, so they've even included a magnet to help you determine what cookware will work best on the cooktop.

I'm really excited to see what it can do.  I've never made candy at home, but with precision temperature control, I should be able to make fudge, taffy, and hard candies, right? And poaching fish. It should work great for poaching fish! 

I hope you'll follow me in the weeks ahead as I test the PIC. I'll put it through the paces and let you know what I think.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Faith, Hope, Love

If you've been following, you know that I was working on a blackwork picture frame. Well, I got it stitched, but simply could not bring myself to cut it into a frame. My crafting skills are iffy at best, and since it was to be a wedding gift, well, I just didn't want to take the chance.

So I chose three simple but profound words to fill the frame: Faith, Hope, Love. I completed it with the date of their wedding then sewed it all into a pillow for their bed.

Faith, Hope, Love

The wedding was beautiful, a lovely country wedding on the steps of the Jim Beckwourth Cabin and Museum. The reverend read from 1 Corinthians 13: ...Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Little did I know, but I had chosen the very words the bride and groom would hear when they proclaimed their vows. Much happiness, love, and laughter to my friends, Mike and Charla.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Snowflake Small

Looking for a little Christmas inspiration?  Maybe this will help. September Snowflake was originally the center portion of a larger piece I had been working for some time. I wasn't happy with the pattern from the beginning, but I went ahead and started to stitch it anyway. I got to this point (I work from the center) and realized that the pattern needed nothing more than this; everything else was just busy work that totally hid the crystalline shapes. So I tossed everything else out and focused on this sweet little pattern that will grace many a family tree this Christmas. 

September Snowflake

Add some seed beads or metallic floss and really make it sparkle!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I love

A huge "Thank You" to Connie, cross stitch blog editor at

She featured my "Blackwork Basics" post there yesterday, September 5th. 
I am honored to be recognized in this way and thrilled to know that my directions are helpful.

CraftGossip is an incredible site with some really great craft blogs. 

Click below and see for yourself!
Give yourself plenty of time. You may be there a while...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Celtic Knot Frame

I have completed the stitching. Now I just have to get brave enough to finish the frame...

Wish me luck!