Posts by Michele Newell

Sewing Machine Stitches

Michele says: I had intended for this post to teach you how to actually sew using your sewing machine, but when my fingers hit the keyboard I was struck with a huge realization. In writing these posts about machine sewing, I had glossed over one of the most important features of your machine: the stitches.…

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Hollandaise Sauce

Michele says: Though I don’t mention it often, I suffer from several chronic illnesses. They limit my life choices, and have caused my career goals to slide from surgeon to virologist to chef. Ultimately, my disabilities chose my career for me; I ended up becoming a foodie housewife. I was incredibly depressed and upset at…

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Homemade Challah

Heather says: see the end for a note   Michele says: Now that September is nigh, relief from the insanity of summer is in sight.  Kids go back to school, vacations cease, and life gets back to normal until the seemingly just around the corner winter holiday season.  Assuming you’re not Jewish, that is.  And…

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French Onion Soup

Michele says: I’m not a fan of summer; it’s hot, sticky, and—for someone as pale as I—sunburny.  I spend most of the summer indoors, hoping for a cloudy day.  For reasons probably related to my aversion to summer, I long ago decided that August is, in fact, autumn.  And what does autumn mean?  Soup, of…

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How To Make Mayonnaise

Michele says: If you’ve ever made your own creamy salad dressings from scratch, you may have been shocked by the inclusion of up to a cup of store-bought, chemical filled mayonnaise.  Since when does a “from scratch” recipe call for “sauce from a jar”?  Moreover, can a salad dressing, potato salad, or tuna sandwich qualify…

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Hand Sewing Essentials: What’s That Thing Called?

Michele says: Have you ever tried to Google something, only to quickly realize that you don’t know which words to enter in the search box?  Now, how many of you have taken it a step further and went ahead and searched for, say, “strawberry thing attached to a pincushion”?  No judgment.  I and many others,…

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Choosing Your First Sewing Machine

Michele says: Now that our hand sewing skills are more or less on the same page, it’s time for you to make a very important choice.  You can be content with hand sewing and call it a day, or you can take the plunge into the world of sewing machines.  For the many who have…

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How to Reattach a Button

Michele says: Now that we’ve completed our first sewing project, it’s almost time to move on to the next big step in sewing: the sewing machine.  Before we do, though, we’re going to get back to the most basic of basics and learn how to reattach a button in under five minutes.  But what do…

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Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

Michele says: If you had to summarize summer in three words, which words would you choose?  Swimming, picnics, and ice cream?  Vacations, thunderstorms, and fireflies?  Bikinis, bonfires, and s’mores?  How about red, white, and blue? To me, summer never fails to feel like one big patriotic party, and the colors of the season seem to…

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Michele says: I’m sure most of you would agree with me if I said that nothing is tastier than an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer’s day.  It’s cold, it’s creamy, and it conjures up memories of childhood summers spent chasing down the ice cream man.  Despite its deliciousness, however, I’m often wishing for…

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How to Sew an Apron By Hand

Michele says: Over the past few months here at Home Ec 101, we’ve learned an awful lot about the basics of sewing.  We know the straight stitch and the Frankenseam, we know how to hem trousers two different ways, how to repair holey jeans, and we even learned how to darn socks, but for those…

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Popovers in a Muffin Tin

Michele says: Have you ever had a popover?  If you haven’t, you’re missing out on one of my all-time favorite sides for a Sunday roast.  Crispy and crunchy outside with an airy inside, popovers are the perfect utensil for transporting gravy from plate to mouth.  Like Yorkshire puddings without the pan drippings, popovers are simple…

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How to Hem Jeans Using the Original Hem

Michele says: I have come to the realization that sharing my willingness to toss old socks has made me out to be exactly what I’m not: wasteful.  I’ve darned a slew of sweaters and I’ve frozen enough manager’s special groceries to feed the Army and the Navy.  I’ve never, ever missed an opportunity to haggle…

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Basic Scone Recipe

Michele says: During my freshman year of college, I was required to live in a dorm.  It was the most miserable experience of my life, not because I had a terrible roommate, but because I couldn’t cook or bake without having to use the communal kitchen (which meant I had to share with whomever walked…

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