Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slow Food in a Modern Kitchen

Hi everyone, Shawna here from Pinkkiss Pottery with another tasty idea from my kitchen to yours. I don’t know about your neck of the woods but here in the Northeast…baby, it’s cold outside! To me there is nothing more comforting on a cold snowy day than a steaming hot cup of homemade soup in a handmade mug and I have recently acquired a whole new appreciation for the power of soup.

So what’s so great about soup you ask?
1. It’s easy to make and makes your house smell delicious.
2. It freezes well and can taste even better after a day in the fridge.
3. It can be super healthy and easily vegetarian.
4. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
5. It’s a great excuse to bake bread to mop up all the broth!
6. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover food in your fridge.

After being buried in 30 inches of snow I found myself needing to make something cozy to curl up with that would last for a couple of days. A few months ago I bought a cookbook called Love Soup by Anna Thomas and was excited to finally crack it open and try some of the recipes. This book is chock full of delicious, healthy recipes that are sure to warm you all the way to your toes. During our super snowstorm I cooked up mushroom soup, potato leek soup, cabbage soup and a new favorite, garlic soup with poached egg.

After your soup is finished simmering serve it up in some beautiful handmade ceramic bowls, perfectly crafted for slurping!

I love this one by Keith Phillips, which can easily go into the oven or under the broiler to melt a layer of gooey cheese on a cup of French onion soup.

Here is a lovely set of nesting bowls by Jason Russell to serve a big bowl, a little bowl or a bowl that is just right!

A bowl by Kristen Kieffer would be perfect to serve an elegant cream soup or a light broth.

I just love the design of this soup mug by Vegan Dish, perfect for cuddling under a blanket and sipping a hearty vegan soup!

I’m sure that you will be able to stay nice and toasty with help from Love Soup and these talented Etsy potters, but just in case you are one of the lucky ones who live in a snow free zone, the book also boasts a section of delicious cold soups for the warmer weather.

See you next month! ~ Shawna of Pinkkiss Pottery

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Goats on the Roof

Yep, I said Goats of the Roof, and I meant it. If you ever happen to find yourself in Rabun County, Georgia, I highly recommend you stop by.

I have this little goat obsession, you see. So when we headed south to visit Tyler's family after the wedding, I was happier than a Georgia peach to hear about this gem.

Situated right on Highway 441 running through Northern Georgia you'll find this happy little place where goats spend their days meandering from roof top to roof top and basking in the warm southern sun.

There's a rattly old bicycle hooked up to a conveyer belt which allows goat fanatics (like me) to fill a cup with food and deliver it up to the eagerly waiting billies. They often came running at the sound of the squeaky wheels, but for those who missed it, the food cup rings a bell at the end of the line which brings the hungry herd.

Inside the goat-topped buildings you'll find fun things like homemade ice cream and fudge, stuffed raccoons with cracker jack boxes and the best sign in the entire world.

And outside, well, you'll just find goats on the roof.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In the Kitchen with Jessica Doyle

Today I have an awesome recipe for you from the amazingly talented Jessica Doyle. After a night of baking with her grandmother, they created these Low Fat Cranberry Bran Banana Muffins that are just too delicious to not share.

Click here for the recipe and step-by-step directions.

I also recommend you spend a little time browsing Jessica's art shop. Her unique creativity never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Me? In the Olympics?

Back in my figure skating days, I had a dream or two of Olympic gold, who didn't? But I knew deep down there wasn't really a chance in hell. Well, almost 20 years later, here's my chance to make a go of it! I never thought my name would be associated with anything even rhyming with Olympics, so I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the rikrak studio's Handmade Olympics!

My little blog here was chosen as a finalist in the favorite blog category and yep, here's where I ask once again for your vote! But not just because I want to win, or have more votes than everyone else, but because I want to see that you, my readers, appreciate what I'm doing here enough to take a minute and express that. To show that you support the handmade community and all the artists behind it busting their humps to do what they love and inspiring others to do the same. That this amazing community is more than just browsing, but about being involved and showing your support.

Ok, enough sappiness. If you love visiting my blog, I'd love to know.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crafting: Fabric Rosettes

I've been doing a lot of cooking and not as much Crafting here lately, but I'm back on track and have a fun little project for you that satisfies my love of both accessories and fabric. It's also perfect for making Valentine's Day gifts for your friends and family or just for yourself! Today's tutorial shows you how to make fabric rosettes which can be used on brooches, hair clips, necklaces, home decor projects and more.

What you'll need:
craft glue (I use E9000)
pin backs, hair clips, bobby pins etc
buttons, beads, misc embellishments (optional)

Start with a strip of fabric 1" by about 20" - 25". (I cut a 1" strip the height of my fabric, then cut it in half. Many fabrics are 44" so you end up with a 22" strip, but some do vary which is ok.) You'll need one strip of fabric per rosette.

Fold the strip in half and press with an iron.

Cut a piece of cardstock (or cardboard) 1/2" x 11" (or the height of your stock). Pin the folded fabric strip to the cardstock and begin wrapping it around on an angle, not too tight. Secure the other end with a pin and press with the iron.

Once completely cooled, slide the cardstock out, keeping the wrapping as is. Fix any spots as necessary and press again with the iron.

To form the rosette, roll the strip around a pencil starting at one end. Once rolled, slide the pencil out and begin to shape the rosette by spreading it out a bit and twisting the center with your fingers if needed. Secure the loose end on the back with a pin and lightly press again with the iron to flatten it a bit.

Depending on what you will be doing with your rosette, you can either stitch it together or you can glue it to a piece of felt (remove the pin before glueing). Ideally you'll want to use a piece of felt that is close in color to your fabric but I just used what I had on hand.

You can then glue or stitch a pinback, bobby pin or hair clip to your rosette or sew it onto a shirt, bag, etc!

While I love the look of the simple rosettes by themselves, you can also embellish the center with buttons or beads which can be glued or stitched into place.

You can create rosettes in different sizes by using a longer or shorter piece of fabric or wrapping them tighter or more loosely. You will also find the type of fabric you use will affect the size of the finished rosette. Above can see how different embellishments really change the look of the finished piece.

If using more than one rosette on a hair clip, brooch or necklace, glue them to a piece of felt and trim the excess felt once dry (shown a few photos up). You can then embellish and glue to a hair clip or add ribbon or chain for a necklace.

These would also be darling stitched right onto a tank top strap, across the top of a tshirt or onto one side of a cardigan. Oh, the possibilities!

A variety of materials, colors and textures creates a nice grouping and you can also add other elements, such as buttons or charms, to create a unique cluster or fill any gaps between rosettes with beads, pearls or scraps of trim and lace. Just have fun and experiment! And if you do, I'd love to hear about it. Happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In the Kitchen: Havarti Cheesecake Appetizer

I've been doing a lot of cooking and not as much Crafting lately, but I promise that will change soon! With Superbowl Sunday coming up, I just had to share this delicious appetizer that I'll be taking to the party we are attending. It's easy, it makes a ton and it's a crowd pleaser. You will find a link to a printable recipe card at the end of this post.

three 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 eggs
6 oz Havarti cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil), sliced
1 tbsp liquid from sun dried tomatoes
8 green onions, sliced
1 1/4 cup (about 28) crushed butter crackers (Ritz)
3 tbsp butter or margarine

To make the crust, mix crumbs and butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of a 10" spring form pan. Bake about 10 min at 375° until golden brown. Set aside and reduce oven heat to 325°.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add whipping cream, eggs and tomato liquid. Beat until creamy. Add havarti cheese, tomatoes and onion and stir until blended.

Spoon evenly over crust and bake 40-45 minutes or until center is set. Run knife around edges to loosen cheesecake. Cool completely at room temperature, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Serve with crackers and enjoy! By the way, when I said this makes a ton, I mean it! I made this for a party Christmas and had enough left for New Years plus more leftovers! But it stores well in the fridge and we ate it for over two weeks.

And find more easy and delicious recipes here.