Author Archives: WesternSpinster

A-line mod flannel dress – McCalls 2481

I’m always cold in the Bay Area, so instead of wishing the weather to be warmer by wearing lightweight cotton dresses, I have decided to be more practical and start making things in flannel and wool. This dress is a … Continue reading

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Favorite rice pilaf – Spanish rice

By popular demand, this is the highly seasoned rice pilaf recipe (AKA Spanish Rice) that I often bring to potlucks. This is the basic recipe, and there is endless potential for variation. The flavor varies a lot depending on which … Continue reading

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Green holiday dress, McCalls 6121 from 1961

For the holidays, I made a green and red dress.  I picked up this wonderful festive green fabric while in Ghana, West Africa, and it has served me well for several projects.  I started with a sloper from 1961, and … Continue reading

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Ginger carrot soup

This carrot soup is rich and flavorful enough to be a meal in itself, but it is still light, so it is great as a small side cup of soup to complement any meal. It also works as a thick, … Continue reading

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Pupusas – a delicate rice flour version

Pupusas are rice flour gorditas stuffed with all manner of tasty fillings. Yield: Makes 4 pupusas Preparation time: Not fast, but a fun family activity, especially for kids. 20 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking. Be sure to read all instructions … Continue reading

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Crazy log cabin quilt square (Beginner tutorial)

By Kelina Lobo The crazy log cabin design is a series of irregular squares inside other squares or rectangles, each with varying angles and sizes. It is fast, fun, very improvisational, and a great project for beginning quilters or sewers … Continue reading

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Two Victorian dresses – Past Patterns #702 and #801

A while back I made these two historically accurate reproductions of Victorian dresses. I used Saundra Ros Altman’s Past Patterns #702 and #801. Past Patterns’ tagline is “The Historical Pattern Company Dedicated to Accuracy” and it is true – Past Patterns … Continue reading

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Colombian arepas – Lobo style

These tasty cornmeal cakes can be found grilled, fried, or baked in several Latin American countries. The outside fries up crisp and golden and the cheesy middle stays soft and delicious and goopy moist. You can fry them in butter … Continue reading

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Two 1958 sheath dresses: Advance 8617

  Here are two sheath dresses I made from a vintage 1958 pattern, Advance 8617. The yellow “tropical dress” has kimono sleeves and the fitting is more relaxed in general, and I think it is better for it. The blue … Continue reading

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Cuban black bean soup/sauce (with optional cod steak) – slow cooker

Cuban black beans are a great alternative to Mexican or American black beans.  Prepared with cod, it is a satisfying and nutritious meal. 1 Lb. dry black beans 3 cups broth (I prefer Maggi “Tu Sabor Latino! Chicken Bouillon” or … Continue reading

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