Sunday, December 02, 2012

peppermint eucalyptus essential oils soy wax candles

I needed to use up the soy wax I had. They're actually pretty nice. The scent is great and they burn nicely. I'm surprised because I always said I'd never make candles...

I like to burn a candle in the kitchen when I'm cooking. I am partial to peppermint & eucalyptus essential oils. After making soap for years, I like a simple or one note scent for home fragrance. :)

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

candles - soy wax peppermint eucalyptus eo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner foods

turkey, it's striped

For some reason the turkey was striped this year, it was good

chestnuts remind me of my dad
chestnuts - these remind me of my Dad, he loved them

so do pomegranates


the deep dish pie for after dinner (pumpkin, too )

Cranberry streusel pie for Thanksgiving

Friday, November 09, 2012

Embroidered Flora & Fauna

I was finally able to track down a copy of this book for a more reasonable price. It's out of print and most shops & sellers are trying to get upwards of $150 for a used copy and anywhere from $450 to $900 for a new copy.

I couldn't be more thrilled with this book. It's absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

embroidery floss leftover from projects

This is a great way to use leftover floss. I'm only a beginner and I'm already having little bits of leftover floss from my (simple) embroidery projects.

One way to use up leftover thread… 
| – ✄ – - ✄ – the smallest forest – ✄ – - ✄ –

Saturday, October 27, 2012

stitch books - sketch books for stitchers

The size is ~ 6" x 10" and there are 16 linen pages. (counts both sides)

These are fun to stitch with or treat the linen as a canvas - gesso, dye, tint, fabric paint and so on.

available @ sandystc

front cover with linen panel and detached twine closure

vertical roll up

the frayed edge of linen

Friday, October 19, 2012

mini burlap & linen sketch/stitch book

It's only 3½" square. The cover is burlap ,the interior is linen. This set shows my experiments with this fabric sketchbook. It doesn't have to be used only for stitching.

bullion knot tree & pumpkins stitched on burlap
mini burlap & linen sketchbook cover with tree & pumpkins

wormy looking leaves :)
bullion knot pumpkins bullion knot leaves - close up

fabric paint directly on the linen

fabric paint directly on the linen
I have love/hate with fabric paint. I don't know if I even want to get used to it.

french knots on linen

french knots on linen
I love french knots. It's a bit tricky on something this small that isn't in a hoop, especially when doing the edges. Plus I'm a novice.

stamp directly on the linen

stamp directly on the linen
The ink pads are just cheap ones from joann.

TerraSkin paper pasted to linen

TerraSkin paper pasted to linen
Badly done, fast sketch on TerraSkin paper, the sketch kept rubbing and smearing so I decided to ruin it with ink.

french knot spider

french knot spider
black walnut ink tinted linen, white embroidery floss

quick ink sketch over gesso

quick ink sketch over gesso

tinted gesso on linen 'pages'

tinted gesso on linen 'pages'
Obviously this can't be stretched, but it's doable.

mini burlap & linen sketchbook

back cover

Saturday, October 06, 2012

mushroom / fungus in my yard

I don't know what this is, but I like it.

weird fungus / mushroom

If you look closely, you can see some fringe outlining the 'petal'.
weird fungus / mushroom

Monday, October 01, 2012

puffer fish embroidered on linen

I think puffer fish are the cutest. I think we'll be seeing more of them in the not too distant future.

puffer fish with bubbles

puffer fish with bubbles

Thursday, September 27, 2012

four pizzas looking like 1970s recipe cards

I thought I was having company for dinner and thought these pizzas would be a fun meal. But it ended up just being hubs and myself. So guess what we'll be eating for a while. :) Well, I'll be able to freeze the lot of it.

Thick crust and topped with a beefsteak tomato from our garden. I didn't peel it, just sliced it and added onion, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella and parmesan. Crust is made with 25% whole wheat flour.

St. Louis pizza, this is actually far from the true St Louis pizza. But the crust is the correct recipe, the without yeast and with almost 50% whole wheat flour. It's crunchy, thin and almost hard. Mine is topped with smoked paprika (I didn't have smoked provolone), tomato sauce and mozzarella.

This is a 'regular' crust with 25% whole wheat flour - it's not thin and not thick. It's topped with pancetta, cubanelles from my garden, a little crushed tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil, mozarella and parmesan.

Lastly, this is another 'regular' 25% whole wheat crust with tomato sauce, onion, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella and parmesan.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

how about a quote?

A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with. - Tennessee Williams

Friday, September 21, 2012

eggplant, aubergine

My hubs bought way too many eggplants last week. So I had to do something with them. I fried them and made a sort of eggplant lasagne. Sure it's heavy, but just don't eat too much. :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

handmade pasta with 1970s look recipe card photos

This isn't a step by step tutorial or recipe as such. If you're an experienced cook this will be enough. If not, you may want to check out a professional tutorial or cookbook.

6) homemade pasta with tomatoes, onions,  garlic.and cayenne peppers.

My recipe ended up being:
(all flour was King Arthur flour)

1½ cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
4 - 5 eggs (start out with four and add fifth if necessary)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
~¼ cup water as it was still too dry
*The recipe called for a bit of salt, but I leave it out. I add salt to the water that the pasta will be cooked in.

Yield is about 1½ pounds of pasta.

I was surprised at how dry this was with only 4 eggs. I've made this recipe many times, but apparently my flour was very, very dry. I could have added a 6th egg, but decided to use water instead.

Make a mound of the flour and make a well in the center. Add four eggs & olive oil to the center. Gradually mix flour into the eggs using your fingers or (if you must) a fork. If all of the eggs are incorporated into a firm dough and there is still ½-¾ cup or more flour left unmixed, add another egg. If after adding this it is still too dry, add a little (one tbsp at a time) water until you have a knead-able dough that doesn't stick to your fingers. It can be tacky, but should not be sticky.
Knead the dough on a cool surface for 10 minutes or until you have a nice neat ball of dough that doesn't come off on your hands or the kneading surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for one hour. This is important. There is quite a bit of gluten in this and you won't be able to roll it out if it doesn't rest.

1) roll out the dough - i did it by hand this time
1) Roll out the dough, add a little flour if necessary. If you look closely above, you can see the wood-grain showing through the dough from the cutting board. You need that thinness to make noodles. Otherwise they will be thick and more like dumplings. But of course, still good.

2) fold the dough a little from each side and cut
2) Sprinkle with cornmeal first. The cornmeal will keep the dough from sticking to itself and will slide off when you lift it. That way you aren't adding anything to your dough. Fold the dough a little from each side towards center and cut cross-wise with a sharp chef's knife. (for the length)

3) pasta drying
3) Drying is optional. You may dry your pasta if you'd like or you can cook it once it's cut. But if you have to wait even for 30 minutes to cook, it's best to hang it than have it sitting on top of itself getting sticky.

4) boiling
4) Boiling. In my family we add a little salt to the water, but that's your call. Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stirring gently with a long fork.
Start testing after 4 minutes. If your pasta hasn't dried. (if you started cooking it right after you made it), it will cook quickly.  If your pasta dried for a while, it will take a bit longer. But keep testing every minute once it's started to cook. Too soft pasta is not an option!

5) cooked and ready for sauce
5) Strain the pasta and place on serving plate (or bowl whatever is your style). As you can see here, this pasta is a little thick due to the fact that I rolled it out by hand. That's okay, simple is often best. (the truth is that i didn't feel like dragging out the pasta cutter this time) Don't take too long adding the sauce here, a hot pasta dish, should be hot.

6) homemade pasta with tomatoes, onions,  garlic.and cayenne peppers.
6) Sauce! Make this in a large skillet. (not cast iron) This is a simple sauce with one medium onion & 2-3 cloves garlic sauteed in olive oil (my preference first cold press, extra virgin) until the garlic is just starting to get a little toasty. Add a pint of chopped canned tomatoes with liquid and abut ⅓ cup chardonnay (or any white one or nothing if you prefer)> If you like a little spice, add red pepper flakes to taste (add gradually) or a fresh chopped cayenne pepper. Cook over low heat until enough liquid has evaporated to make a nice chunky sauce.

These tomatoes were from some local tomatoes that I canned. They were half roma and half pink. It was little more tart than I expected. It was not too tart, though. I just expected more sweetness from the pink tomatoes. The cayenne peppers made it just a little spicy.