Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Weekly Arrangement - week 2

A simple (and budget friendly) arrangement. And the beginning of my succulent collection. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this cute little guy will survive my not so consistant waterings and not one, not two, but three curious cats.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rustic pear pie

I'm a baker. And I have baked some pretty amazing things. But this tops them all. The flavor explosions of lemon, pear, and almond will make you... well explode. Oh and the crust, that amazing sweet flaky crust, with sugar crystals, to. die. for. Good thing pears are plentiful at the grocer right now cause you are going to want to make this right away. I promise. And you should probably invite some friends over because otherwise you will eat this whole thing yourself.

Rustic Pear Pie (10 servings)

• 1&1/3 Cups flour
• 3 Tbls sugar
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 7 Tbls cold butter, cubed
• 3 to 4 Tbls cold water (or cold milk, or in my case cold butter milk)

• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1&1/2 tsp grated lemon peal
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 4 medium ripe pears, pealed and sliced
• 1 Tbsp butter

• 1 egg white
• 1 tsp water
• 1 Tbls coarse sugar

Glaze (optional)
• 1/4 cup powder sugar
• 1&1/2 tsp milk
• 1/4 tsp vanilla
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted.

• In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt: cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out to a 14 in circle. Transfer pastry to a 14in or 12in pizza pan.
• Set oven at 375 degrees
• In a large bowl, combine the sugar, almonds, flour, lemon peal and cinnamon. Add pears; toss to coat. Spoon over the pastry to within 2 in. of edges; dot with butter. Fold edges of pastry in.
• For topping, beat egg white and water. Brush over pastry and sprinkle course sugar over top.
• Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown
• For glaze, combine the powder sugar, milk and vanilla. Pour over warm pie. Sprinkle with almonds. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator (if you don't eat it all first).

(this recipe is from Taste of Home and I slightly modified it)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple pasta from scratch

10 Simple and easy steps. Also time consuming.

1. Pile 3 cups flour and 3 tsp salt into a big heap.
2. Make a well in the center and crack 3 eggs in it.
3. With a fork slowly mix the flour into the egg. **Do not let the sides cave in or your egg will run everywhere!!!
4. Once the egg is incorporated sprinkle about 3 Tbls cold water into the mixture. Just enough so that all the flour is incorporated.
5.Knead the dough until is is smooth and shiny (about 5 minutes in a kitchen-aid mixer and about 20 minutes if you're doing it by hand).
6. Roll out the dough until it is at desired thickness. This takes a long time so be prepared.
7. Cut pasta with a knife or pasta cutter.
8. Allow the pasta to dry on clean towels for at least 20 minutes.
9. Bowl pasta with a little olive oil until desired texture.
10. ENJOY!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A weekly arrangement

I'm thrilled to be doing the flowers for two of my dear friend's weddings this year. Also incredibly nervous, not something I want to mess up. So starting this week I'll be practicing a weekly arrangement. I apologize for the lower quality image this week, that will improve along with the arrangements.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just like great great grandma did

I feel good about the handmade, homespun movement. It's invigorating to put elbow greese into the things that I usually get through convenience. Dinner club often takes several elbows, working together to satisfy one of our most basic needs. Food is easy. We can get whatever we desire with a simple trip to the grocery store or local restaurant. But what if we had to work for it, the way our great great grandparents did? What if we only had the most basic ingredients and our own two hands to prepare it? Would/did food taste better? I'm sure that we would at least appreciate it more. was the menu:

• Homemade pasta and tomato sauce (recipe for pasta coming soon)
• Tasha's Vegetarian meatballs
• Skillet roasted vegetables
• Evie's roasted beets
• Garden salad
• Kristen's garlic bread
• Rustic Pear Pie (recipe coming soon)
• Tasha's almost vegan strawberry cheesecake
• Christen's peach cobler
• Brenda's mexican hot chocolate

Friday, January 21, 2011

The goodness of butter

This past week I took a yogurt and butter making class (a.k.a. Columbus hippie gathering) with Snowville's owner Warren Taylor. Whoa was it awesome! He taught us yogurt making with Kefir (not sure yet if my body agrees with this stuff) and butter making which is shockingly simple.

• The whipping cream just needs about 5-10 minutes in a mixer (medium speed) until it turns to curds.
• Scoop up balls of the good stuff and gently squeeze out the liquid over a colander and bowl (the liquid is buttermilk so don't disregard it!)
• I went through the squeezing process twice because the more liquid you remove he longer it will keep.

• Then store the butter and buttermilk in the fridge until your ready to use.

The best part of making your own butter is that you can experiment with flavoring it. You could infuse it with herbs, garlic, honey, whatever strikes you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The perfect ending to a bad week

This was a crappy week. I won't get into the gritty details cause I'm not really into pity parties. But it sucked. And the best way to end one of those weeks is with a haircut. Like a deep breath and a fresh start.

Snuggly cats help too.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I heart winter

I keep expecting to hate the snow. I accepted my love for it last winter as simply a honey moon period from being back in Ohio. Even after slipping and falling hard on my tush and even after an extra long commute home and even after the endless snow removal, I still don't feel annoyed. Maybe I have come to peace with it's flaws in exchange for it's beauty.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A game of cat & squirrel

The squirrels always start it, running ferociously up and down the tree and thumping onto the roof. Then the balls of fur that clutter my office leap without warning onto my desk (this is great for productivity) and begin to chirp (yes chirp) at the tree. This does not phase the squirrels as they always win at this game.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Andy Cook & Wander Loons

I just can't stop listening to this. (you can listen here)

Of course I am slightly biased since our friend Eric (the owner of The Tone Shoppe) recorded them. But this is seriously good, like really really good.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Handmade gifts exposed 2

and a few more...
an african violet pin cushion for Grandma

a painting for Mark's Grandma

a rose pillow and...

and a succulent pillow for Sara

Monday, January 3, 2011

Handmade gifts exposed

A few of my handmade gifts...

a gardening apron for my grandma.

a gardening apron for Ali.

embroidered corgi napkins for the corgi owners

and these silly photo's of the corgi's as Victorian babies.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Waffles... round 3

My usual "best ever" search did not work for an authentic belgian waffle and so I had to sift through an endless sea of google results to find a good one. They turned out good even though I had to forgo the pearl sugar this time. Once I have the crunchy crystals I'm sure these waffles will become my new staple. I'm going to tweak the recipe a bit before I share it. And of course my dear old recipe will not be forgotten and will be saved for the mornings when waffles need to happen fast and there is no time to wait for the yeast to do it's magic.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years!!

I hope that everyone had a fabulous New Years. I watched a ball of "glitter and doom" drop from the back of a friends house while everyone cheered with noise makers and sparklers.