Posts Tagged ‘food’

A few of my favorite things

July 15, 2010

I haven’t been blogging much lately but I assure you I have been busy crafting. I’m not going to apologize again for not turning it all into paragraphs and pictures straight away but I can promise there is plenty to be shared. In the mean time I am unapologetically enjoying that I have work to do, sun to bask in, and new crafting adventures to indulge.

While I do all this, I thought I’d share some work by Ken Baily. Someday he will line my kitchen walls with two of my favorite things…dogs and food.

I love my westies ๐Ÿ™‚

St. Patrick’s Day Party

March 22, 2010

St. Pat's Day party

The St. Patrick’s Day Party was on saturday and everything went off great! As usual, we have heaps of left over food but everyone really enjoyed themselves. The crowd was suprisingly shy about the games but once people got goin it was a lot of fun. For St. Patrick’s Day party ideas check out these posts…

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Ideas

Shamrock Candy Pots

How-To Party Puffs

St. Patrick’s Day Menu Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day Beer Mug Flowers

DIY Party Lights

How-To Paper Garland

How-To Rainbow Cupcakes

St. Pat’s Menu Ideas

March 11, 2010

Lets talk food!

This week I’ve been sharing my party preparations for our upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Party. While it’s a little too early for me to be cooking up treats to photograph for you, I can at least share recipes, links and ideas so you have time to get cooking before the holiday arrives.

First I’d like to mention my Baked Potato Bar! I’m so excited about it because it’s not just a treat its a very social way of eating. Everyone gets to make a custom snack, and it couldn’t be easier on the chef! It’ll be as easy as popping foil wrapped potatoes in the oven before guests arrive and setting out bowls of everyone’s favorite baked potato toppings. You can even get creative with some fancy toppings. Here are a few I plan to leave out when the day arrives…

  • cheddar and broccoli
  • chili
  • melted cheddar
  • sour cream-chives
  • greek yogurt and olives
  • sauted garlic mushrooms
  • baccon
  • some fresh chopped herbs
  • flavored EVOO and Balsamic

If you’ve got more ideas for the potato bar please share!

Second big menu item will be our Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza. You’ve gotta have the dish on this holiday but it’s not exactly party food. This pizza is a fun twist on the dish that is much more party friendly. Get the recipe here!

In addition to my rainbow cupcakes that I’ve already posted on, I found these celtic knot cookies from Sprinkle Bakes. They look yummy and she says they’re quite easy! Its also something I’ll be able to make ahead of time.

I’ll be putting out some green goodies. Watercress Soup is apparently quite Irish…or so I have been told! I’ll be serving this watercress soup recipe served in shot glasses. Some other ideas might be green deviled eggs either with pesto or food coloring. Irish cheddar is delicious so some Irish Cheddar Fondu could be a big party hit. Cut up breads with a clover cookie cutter to add some charm. Party favorites like Spinach and Artichoke dip could be a green party food, or even guacamole (although not particularly irish).

One favorite of mine every St. Patrick’s Day is my mom’s Irish Soda Bread. She makes it with raisns and craisns and it’s so delicous warm with a cup of tea. She’ll be making some for the party…and I hope some extra for the week or so after!

Keep your eyes peeled for more party decoration ideas coming up, as well as drink ideas!

How To (Rainbow Cupcakes)

March 9, 2010

I’ve been seeing this fun recipe around for rainbow cupcakes and I thought they would be perfect for the St.Patrick’s Day party I am planning for my parent’s neighborhood. Tonight was the test run…and I am so glad I gave it a test run! It’s a bit time consuming but the end results are so pretty it makes it well worth the effort.

Rainbow Cupcakes

It really is as easy as mixing up your favorite boxed cake mix. I prefer a chocolate cake but you obviously can’t get pretty colors out of that. The Pillsbury deluxe moist cake was delicious in classic white.

Evenly divide your batter into six cups. Mix up your ROYGBIV’s (or in this case skip the indigo)It takes VERY LITTLE batter from each color. It’s important that you fit all of your colors into the cup and still have 1/3 rd of the free at the top. I didn’t manage to fit it all in with enough space left and they flowed out all over (in beautiful rainbow cupcake waterfalls) and made a mess. This is why I did a test run!

Start with either red or purple in the bottom of the very well greased and floured cup cake papers. I started mine with red because for some reason I wanted purple on top…It doesnt really matter. Incase you don’t know rainbow order…Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet.

To spread each color thinly to the edge, wet your finger with water and push the batter around to the edges.

Pop them in the oven and bake for the instructed time on the box. Let them cool well before you remove the papers.

I wouldn’t use the cillicone cups again for these as I think there would be more advantage in being able to tear the paper instead of the cupcake when needed. I also might skip the orange just to cut back on the number of layers I need to fit in. It didn’t show up as beautifully as the rest of the colors anyway.

Rainbow Cupcakes

I topped them off with a “cloud” of piped cream cheese frosting because it is the only kind worth eating, and a gold coin for the gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s not a chocolate coin but that’s all I had. A chocolate coin would obviously make people happier.

Rainbow Cupcakes

I just love how bright those colors are! I’m glad I went for a test run on these because the next run will be heaps better for the party.

Check back again this week to see more festive DIY ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day party! I’ll be working on decorations tomorrow.

Birthday Treats

February 11, 2010

Today is my birthday but we combined my celebration with Superbowl festivities on Sunday. Everyone made it a delicious day.

The whole family was treated to BBQ ribs, fried pickles and onion rings, Clams Casino, taco dip, buffalo chicken crustini, egg rolls, shrimp and loads of snacks. On top of that my mom made a trifle with six layers of fresh fruit, vanilla pudding, pound cake and whipped cream.

Thanks everyone for making my 25th special!

Sybarit Board Game!

December 8, 2009

After complaining about how behind I’ve felt on everything…I did very little yesterday. I blame my mom, she brought home a board game called Sybarit.

New word for me! Sybarit apparently means someone who is all for the finer things in life. The game has 2400 trivia questions that refer to food, drink, dining, and etiquette.

Players draw from a special deck of cards that have similar face and number cards to regular playing cards but the suits correspond to Food, etiquette, Drink and a Question Mark which has random and interesting facts. Pulling one of these cards tells you what category your question comes to, and the number or face on the card corresponds to points.
I watch a LOT of food network and my mom and I are pretty well versed in random bits of information, but this game was tough! The questions were difficult but also yielded some really interesting facts. I recommend it even though it was hard. It’s a good adult party game to serve up with your cocktails and in the end despite all of my negative points…I won! ๐Ÿ™‚
Which thistle can be eaten and enjoyed with butter?

You Ought to Give me Wedding Rings

November 30, 2009

you ought to give me wedding rings

My beautiful best friend Teale Kelly married the wonderful Greg Fox on the 27th this week. I couldn’t be happier for them both! There wedding was beautiful and I was so glad to be able to be in Rochester for it. I loved that the wedding was a perfect representation of themselves. They did everything very non-traditional and pulled off an easy, comfortable, casual wedding that still had plenty of glam.

you ought to give me wedding rings

She wore a beautiful and simple off-white gown that matched her mother’s train perfectly. It was great that she was able to tie in a piece of her mother’s wedding with her beautifully apliqued train. She wore feather’s in her hair and thrift store find earrings (perfect!) as well as the big statement piece…designer red Louboutin shoes! Our good friend Sue from Surface Hair salon in the South Wedge in Rochester, NY did her hair ๐Ÿ™‚ Greg wore a three-piece suit with a pocket watch (swanky!) and a red tie to match her shoes. Sue did Greg’s hair too. They looked so great!

you ought to give me wedding rings

The wedding and reception was held at Artisan Works, an art gallery and Co-Op In Rochester. It was a really funky, unique place to hold a wedding and provided something to do for the guests that don’t dance. It was so much fun to tool around the place with the happy couple to take photos. Just outside those doors is the bar where canapes and drinks were served while the room was transformed from ceremony to reception.

you ought to give me wedding rings

Teale and Greg had one of their first dates and Phillips European, a restaurant in Rochester, where they went for dessert. They decided to go with Phillip European’s beautiful desserts instead of a wedding cake which I thought was a more sentimental…and delicious…idea. They displayed so beautifully and really beat out the wedding cake idea for me!

you ought to give me wedding rings

The Reception went until 10 and a second after-party was hosted at local restaurant and cocktail bar Good Luck. Teale changed out of her wedding gown into this beautiful party dress that was made by her good friend Kate. Kate is a seamstress and Etsy seller that makes beautiful fashion creations. This dress was made out of a vintage sequined skirt that she shortened into a dress. The extra fabric was sewn on as cap sleeves and it was all synched off at the waist with a gold ribbon. It was so beautiful with her red shoes! Beautiful work Kate!

Kate did some work on her own dress too! She’s great with re-working vintage clothes.

Kate has made dresses for Teale and I before. The first time I met Kate she had made a faux wedding dress for Teale to wear and destroy as I took photos. We took her creation to Stoney Brook Park and wrecked it under water falls in the name of art. Kate was a good sport for creating it, Teale was a good sport for wearing it in cold cold water. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll be hearing more about Kate around here soon!

Hot Flash

I made my own dress for the wedding too, unfortunately since I took the photos…I dont have any of the dress! I’ll make sure I find some soon to share with you. Its made entirely of recycled neckties in black, white and gray.

Congrats to the happy couple again, and now that this busy holiday weekend/moving is through, I hope to get head first back into the shop and the blog. Remember to take advantage of Cyber Monday free shipping at my Etsy store!

How To (Felt Strawberry Short Cake)

November 29, 2009

I’ve been hard at work sewing together my niece’s christmas present…a felt tea party!

Earlier I gave you a tutorial on how to make felt strawberry slices, and as promised, here is the strawberry shortcake to put them on!

For this project you will need pink felt, tan felt, white felt, pink thread, tan thread, and white thread.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)

First step is to make the top and bottom of the cake. I took a cereal bowl that was the size I wanted my finished cake to be and traced it on the felt. The pink will be the top of the cake, the tan will be the bottom. To make perfect quarters for the slices of your cake, fold the circle in half and cut along the fold. Take the half circle, fold it in half again and cut along the fold. You should end up with 4 pink quartersย  and four tan quarters like this.

The size of the next pieces will depend on the size of the circle you’ve cut. For the outer edge of the cake you will cut a rectangle out of the pink. Determine how tall you want your cake. Mine was 3 inches tall, therefore my pink rectangle was 3 inches tall. The length of your rectangle is determined by how long the curved edge of your cake quarters.

Pink rectangle = 3 inches tall x lenght of curve

The next piece you will cut are the insides of the cake slices. They will be cut from tan felt and have the same height of your cake. The length of the tan rectangle is determined by measuring the straight side of the cake quarter.

Tan rectangle = 3 inches tall x length of straight side of cake quarter.

You will need 2 tan rectangles per wedge, and one pink. Total…8 tan pieces and 4 pink pieces.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake) Next you will cut a looooooooong wavy strip of pink felt. This will be your layer of cream in the cake. Put two tan pieces together end to end, lay the pink strip over the top, and cut it to fit the length of each piece.ย  You should end up with 8 pieces of wavy pink filling, one for each tan rectangle. Stitch them to the center of the tan pieces with pink floss.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)Start to stitch it all together! I started by putting the filling pieces beside the pink topping and sewing along the straight sides of the topping wedge with pink floss. From there I stitched the pink rectangle to the pink curve of the wedge.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)

Continue on with the pink floss to stitch the pink rectangle to the sides of the tan rectangles.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)

Switch to tan thread sew the point of the cake together. Stitch the tan wedge into the bottom of the cake making sure to leave a space to stuff the cake.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)Stuff your cake making sure that you don’t over stuff it! You want your slices to fit together on the straight edges. Stitch it up and shape it nicely.

Next we’re going to make frosting. I went nuts with this but you can make as little or as much as you like.ย  You’ll start by making a paper template of a pointed leaf shape about an inch long.

This next step can be done by hand stitching one by one, or you can cheat like me! Trace out this pattern on white felt so that the points of the shape touch but don’t over lap. Fold the felt over so that you will have two layers of this shape.

How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

On the sewing machine, sew down the center of your row of frosting.. IMPORTANT.. back stitch over every spot where the shapes touch end to end. This way, you can cut out the shapes and the stitching won’t unravel.How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

Cut out each shape!

How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

The two layer piece should unfold into an “X” shape. By sewing these pieces overlapping at the edge of your cake you create frosting!

How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

With the size of my cake and my one inch pieces of frosting, it took 5 pieces to line one edge of each slice. I frosted the top and bottom edges of each slice, as well as a small circle of frosting in the center of the top of the cake. Frost it up!

If you’ve made the strawberries as well, arrange them and stitch them into your cake. Decorate it however you like. Try red velvet! Dark chocolate! What ever your felt tooth desires ๐Ÿ™‚

UPDATE: For the finished cake and related items please follow the link to this post!

How To (Felt Strawberry Halves)

November 24, 2009

I’ve been hard at work sewing together my niece’s felt tea party. I’ve used some wonderful patterns from UmeCraft on Etsy, but I won’t share her secrets! Sorry!

I’ve promised to keep you posted on the progress of the tea party and I’m currently in the middle of crafting a strawberry shortcake. This tutorial will give you an idea of how to put together the strawberry slices for the cake (tutorial to come for cake!)

How To (felt strawberry halves)

For this you’ll need some red, pink and green felt. I used a cream color embroidery thread for the seeds, green on the leaves, and red thread to pull it all together.

How To (Felt Strawberry Halves)

Your basic shape is a heart! Make sure the bottom is rounded and not a point, and that the lobes at the top are nice and wide and rounded. To start off, stitch in your “seeds” scattered around the surface of the heart.

How To (felt strawberry halves

First, ignore my nail polish. Sewing is harsh on nails…and I’ve never been diligent that way. Fold the heart in half with your seeds on the inside. Start whip stitching within the dip in the top of the heart. You’re going to sew along the humps at the top of the heart from the folded side to about where my white knot is. I like to start further away from the seem at the side with the fold, and as i sew outward start placing my stitches closer to the edge. When you turn your strawberry back out again, it will make the curve at the top of your berry rounder and smoother.

How To (felt strawberry halves)

Tie off your knot and turn your berry inside out. There should be a nice curve at the top! Place the berry down on the pink felt like you see here. I just cut around them but if you prefer, use a fabric pen to draw the outline of the berry onto the pink felt.

How To (felt strawberry halves)

This pink piece will be sewn to the open side of your strawberry. Cut an elongated red heart to stitch into the center of the pink piece. I hate tieing knots so I try to do all of this in one swoop! Before finishing off the stitches, stuff the strawberry and seal it up.

If you like (it depends on how you attach the berries to your cake) you can and a green star shape to the top of the berry with green thread. Free-style cut them and they’ll look more organic!

I will post soon how to make the felt cake to go with these berries…but they’re beautiful all on their own!

BBQ Pie!

November 5, 2009

BBQ Pie! 2

Last week I cooked up a shepherd’s pie for dinner and while it was delish I wondered what else you could put in a baking dish that would be equally delicious… After a week of thinking what I might include I came up with a pulled pork bbq pie! There are no measurements here, its all made up so just play along!

What you’ll need:

  • can of sweet corn
  • pork shoulder
  • corn bread mix
  • honey
  • can of 3 bean mix
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • cinnamon
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 brown onion
  • bbq sauce
  • brown sugar
  • salt
  • olive oil

That’s in no particular order…

First things first, throw your pork shoulder into the slow cooker with half of your onion chopped and let it cook on high for 4-6 hours. After 4-6 hours it should be falling apart. Pull all the meat out of the cooker onto a cutting board and start to shred the meat with two forks pulling it apart into strings.

Leave it out on the cutting board while you rinse all the meat cook-off goo out of the crock pot. If you’re like me, you chop your onion small and it’s all mixed up in the bits that cook off the meat so I chuck them and add new onion to the cleaned crock pot. Throw the pulled meat back in along with the drained can of beans, about half of your drained corn, chopped jalapeno (seeds in if you like it hot!) and a bbq sauce of your choice. I make my own but any will do. you can find some great bbq sauce recipes here. The basic vinegar sauce is yum! Just don’t add so much sauce that it gets soupy. I also suggest you don’t pick one that is too sweet…lean towards spicy.

Allow all of these ingredients to cook for another 3 or 4 hours. This is when I start my sweet potatoes…

BBQ Pie! 4

Peel your big sweet potato and cube it into big chunks. Throw them in a bag with some olive oil, paprika and cinnamon. Shake it all up and spread it out on a cookie sheet. Each piece should have enough cinnamon and paprika to lightly coat it. Once they’re all spread out on the cookie sheet sprinkle it with salt and brown sugar.

Bake it in the oven like you would frozen french fries. Flip them over once one side looks brown and bake them the same on the other side…you want them kind of crispy so they hold up in the pie.

Once the sweet potato fries are done and the meat has cooked in the sauce for about 3 hours, start layering (and i like to use a slotted spoon to scoop the meat) meat mixture on the bottom…pile on the sweet potato fries in the middle…and then another layer of the meat on top.

BBQ Pie! 3

The last layer will be your corn bread! Make the batter by the directions on the box and add the other half can of your drained sweet corn. Cover the meat with a layer of the batter. I also like to drizzle the top with honey.

Everything inside is cooked so you just need to watch for you cornbread to cook. The potato should be crispy on the outside so it’ll hold up in the bbq too.

Scoop it out just like shepherd’s pie! I suggest a side of coleslaw and maybe some extra corn bread too.

BBQ Pie! 1

Let me know if you tried the recipe and how you like it!