Monday, January 31, 2011

watching ice melt

the snow piles in the front of our house are almost taller than I am and there is more on the way starting tomorrow evening... if the predictions are right...

the snow from the last round has been melting off the roof and refreezing so we have some pretty incredible icicles off the roof and some in a tree that hangs over the walkway to the back of our house.
I am, unfortunately, not feeling well today so I am happy to be inside watching the ice melt which is a longer process than watching the paint dry last week. And getting to look out at our giant piles of snow, wondering where I will be able to put more snow when it comes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

heart sketch

Working on more valentines I wanted to try my hand at sketching a heart. I did a search and found some images on the internet and did a sketch that I then scanned and stylized a little in photoshop and used on a new card that I put in my etsy shop.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

stuffed acorn squash

Tonights heat and serve dinner I made was stuffed acorn squash. * photo of squash before heated and served

  • acorn squash
  • couscous
  • quinoa
  • onion
  • green pepper
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • seasoning
  • grated parmesan
  • bread crumbs

split squash and put face down in water in the oven at 350 until soft
cook couscous and quinoa
saute in oil onion, pepper, garlic
mix together cooked ingredients (couscous, quinoa, onion, pepper, garlic) add chopped parsley, any seasoning you want - salt, pepper etc - added some parm
put stuffing in squash, add a little more parm on top and breadcrumbs
bake at 350 until warmed through

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

warm breakfast for cold days

So simple yet I often forget about it... oatmeal. I find that the portion size recommended is usually almost twice as big as it needs to be, so I made half a portion size and made it with half milk and half water. When it was almost done cooking I added a dash of maple syrup and some fresh strawberries that I cut up. Nice way to start the day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

patching, painting

We had patched up some places where there were holes in the walls and even primed the plaster but it still needed to be painted. Thankfully the last owners had left behind some of this green paint that was used in over half of the downstairs and follows up the stairs.

Also, although we'd refinished the treads on the stairs we had not repainted the risers, so that was on today's to do list too.

So, I got out the roller and painted the green... and then used a little edger that's one of my favorite painting tools and used that for the risers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gnome Necklaces

I found some cute little door lockets that I thought would be a prefect place for my gnome to live, and then he'd be right there, around your neck when you need someone to talk to... so I took his picture and put him in the locket and posted it on etsy along with some other necklaces. And I started working on some photo medallions too which should be up there soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

thinking ahead to holidays 2011

Since I think about photos of snow as being good for winter holiday cards I realized I should be out now taking pictures of snow. So, I got up early this morning and headed downtown to take some photos.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

glass photo tiles

I started to work on some glass tiles for magnets and necklaces.
First, I picked out photographs, then I cropped them to be square and resized them to the tile size, about .75", then used e600 glue, glued the photos to the tiles and trimmed them with an exacto knife.

After the dry I can add either a magnet on the back or a bail for them to be a necklace and I'll put them in my etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Apparently this winter there has already been more snow that we had last winter. So I'm enjoying some inside time, watching the snow and catching up on some reading which I haven't done in awhile...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

great escape necklace

Thinking about where I am in my life after having left my job I keep coming back to the image of a bird flying out of a cage, so I purchases some supplies on etsy to use to express that image in a necklace.

I started with the cage in the middle and attached two birds on either side flying away from the cage. I wanted to use this cord I'd purchased but discovered that the hole on the bird charms where I was connecting it was too small. I could have used a connection piece but really did not want to so I was going to have to make the hole on the bird larger. I remembered that I had some tools that used to be my grandfather's that he used to repair music boxes. I was excited to be able to enlarge the whole so I could attach the cord and to be able to use some of these tools I had inherited and feel that connection to my grandfather.

Next step will be putting it up on etsy and then I need to figure out some marketing...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Squash Noodle Lasagna

Today's challenge was using up some zucchini and butternut squash from the farm share.
zucchini, thinly sliced
butternut squash, thinly sliced
pasta sauce
fresh mozzarella
fresh ricotta
fresh parsley, chopped

I put some sauce in the bottom of a loaf pan, put a layer of zucchini, mixed ricotta with the rest of the sauce and put that, put a bit of mozzarella and parsley, then put a layer of butternut squash.... and baked it at 350 for almost an hour. I also cooked some pasta to eat it with.

Friday, January 14, 2011

valentines cards

Valentine's Day is a month away, so it seemed like a good day to start working on valentines...

I found some photographs that seemed appropriate and removed their backgrounds in Photoshop.
Then I used them for cards
For the rubber duck, inside I wrote "You're the one!" AND the oyster card says "eat oysters, love longer"
I also found a picture of salt and pepper shakers and inside wrote "some things are meant to be together"

I hope to get these up in my etsy shop and see if I get any bites...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

chicken cabbage rolls

We got a giant head of cabbage in our farm share and I've been trying to use it in different ways, so today I experimented with using it as a wrap for a hand roll.

Components of the roll:
chicken, marinated in soy sauce and ginger and then pan fried until cooked and cut up into small pieces
vermicelli noodles
red pepper, thinly sliced
scallions, thinly sliced
cabbage slaw dressed with rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime
a slice of lime
cabbage leaves

I put everything on a plate and then assembled as I ate, starting with the cabbage leaf as the wrapper and including all the other components but not so many that I couldn't roll the leaf to closed to eat.

I still have half a head of cabbage to eat...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

snow day

Take advantage of snow days! It's beautiful out and most people will stay in so you can have almost any place (any place that's actually open) pretty much to yourself. I gave up on looking stylish and pulled on my waterproof pants and boots and layers of shirts under my winter coat and headed out. I had a great time out and about by myself and meeting up with friends.

And also took advantage of the weather keeping people out of the city by spontaneously going to a Celtics game with some friends.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

holiday helping of thanks

I've been thinking about all the thank you cards I need to send after the holidays and after my frantic cookie making last Friday I had an idea...

Although nobody gave me sweet treats this year so I still have to work out some other thank you cards and put them up in my etsy shop.

Monday, January 10, 2011

spaghetti carbonara

I needed to make a quick dinner. I have been on this raw kale kick but decided to put a little something different on top of it.
So I made a version of Spaghetti Carbonara

  • pasta
  • pancetta - cut up small
  • garlic
  • butter
  • egg - beaten
  • parmesan - grated
  • salt and pepper
Start the water for the pasta and add pasta when water is ready
Put a little butter in a pan and saute with garlic, pancetta until pancetta cooks and gets a little crisp
when pasta is done, drain, add egg and mix so it coats pasta, the egg will cook from heat of the pasta, mix with sauteed items and it's ready to eat! Also delicious on a bed of chopped fresh kale.

Friday, January 7, 2011

mandel schnitte

I've heard stories of a family tradition of three generations getting together before Christmas every year to make these cookies. I've now made them a few times with my mom. I was anxious today waiting to hear some news and decided to channel that energy to baking which I did not do at all this holiday season. So I attempted to make mandel schnitte. I modified the recipe slightly based on the equipment I have and and what was available when I went to the local store.


6 eggs (* I only had 5 so made it with 5 eggs)

2 Tblsp vanilla (small bottle)

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 lbs. Grated mik chocolate (*I used high quality chocolate chips and used the food processor to grate them)

1 tsp allspice

1 1/2 lbs blanched whole almonds (*I could not find blanched or raw almonds to blanch myself so I used blanched slivered almonds)


Frosting – powdered sugar and heavy cream

Pre-heat oven to 500 then turn down to 325 for baking

Beat eggs slightly, add sugar, stir until well mixed, then add honey and vanilla, then blanched almonds (tossed thoroughly in some of the flour) then add the chocolate. Sift spices and baking powder with flour then add 1 1/2 cups flour to mixture, keep adding flour until you absolutely cannot stir in any more

Take a ball of dough about the size of a baseball and roll this into narrow strips on a well floured board and place carefully on cookie sheet. Turn oven down to 325 and bake for 15 minutes. When cool slide strips off cookie sheet onto waxed paper and when cool enough ice with a mixture of powdered sugar and heavy cream.

Allow to cool completely then cut diagonally into slices like biscotti place in cookie tins in layers with waxed paper between the layers

Thursday, January 6, 2011

clean it out

After the holidays and the dust begins to settle I always seem to realize that there is cleaning to be done! Not just running the vacuum but also looking at the boxes that haven't been opened in the last year or the clothes that stayed in the back of the closet that I never even contemplated wearing. So, as I enter the new year I have challenged myself today to make a fresh start, not just vacuum but also mop the floors - get rid of more dirt and get that fresh smell, and not just rearrange things but really look at them and make decisions about what clothes I'll wear and what dishes I've never used... it's hard to give away things that were thoughtfully given to me over the years but there is also no reason to hold on to them, especially when they may be useful or at least appreciated by somebody else so I'm starting the give away pile again!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


We get lots of potatoes in our winter farm share and I've been trying to think of more things to do with them... I remembered the great perogie lesson from Gram. Unfortunately I couldn't find the recipe I had from here so I looked for one online and the one that came the closest to what I remembered was here.

We also had a small butternut squash that needed to be eaten so I made two fillings. First I cooked the squash and the potatoes.

Then I started on the dough:
- mix 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt
- beat 2 eggs, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, add 1 cup of water
- mix dry and wet ingredients, knead until smooth
- cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes

While the dough was resting I made the fillings, I mixed all the ingredients in a food processor.

Potato Filling:
- cooked potatoes
- cottage cheese
- salt, pepper, parsley, dill

Butternut squash Filling:
- cooked squash
- fresh ricotta
- salt, cinnamon

Then it was time to puteverything together, roll outthe dough, cut circles which I then rolled out a little more, put a scoop of filling then fold over the dough and if it wasn't sealing shut, dipped my finger in water and ran over the edge of the dough to seal the dough packets.
Then I dropped the perogies in boiling water to cook and chopped up onions, sauteed them in butter then sauteed the perogie to get a crisp golden skin
and then... enjoy!