Monday, November 27, 2017

It's that time of the year!

Have you noticed that today, there seems to be very little family traditions? I hold dear to my family traditions, as they make the holidays so much more special.

One holiday tradition is making my famous fruit cake!

I like lots of candied fruits, dates and nuts in my cake. No raisins please!

Adding the liquids! Notice all the nuts and candied fruits? Yummy

After they are baked, comes the secret ingredient!

I understand that many do not like fruit cake. Honestly, I've tasted some pretty horrible ones myself. I am very particular about my fruit cake.

My recipe has been a hit with many for the past 20 years. Wow, that's how long I've been baking fruit cake? Impossible!  I'm not that old! ;o)

Catch you all later!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Soups and more soups!

Well, I've been on a cooking spree again! These days, I seem to be addicted to soups and whatnot! It could be due to the cold weather that suddenly fell upon us. No warning ... from gosh it's so nice and warm to Brrrrrrrrr .... I need my winter coat!

I recently bought a cookbook by Domenica Marchetti - The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy

... And decided to make The Crema Di Porcini. Let me tell you, it's a mushroom soup alright! There are five (5) types of mushrooms in there, Porcini, white button, baby bella, large portobello and shiitake mushrooms! What did I tell you? lol

The soup was delicious .... however not an everyday soup, but more for a special occasions. The recipe also called for a dry white wine and some cognac! I did omit the white wine, it didn't make sense to open a bottle just for myself .... wow, did I just type that?! lol

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Doing some hand stitching!

I think things are settling a bit for me .... I managed to pick up a needle and do a bit of hand embroidery. I love to stitch towels ... once the design is stitched, it's a done deal ... no further piecing needed.

I've been working on the pattern Chick Towels by Yesterday's Charm. Such a cute pattern!

Here is the second set of patterns, seven towels in all!

They are stitched on flour sack towels (28" x 28"). I much prefer this size of towel, they are perfect for drying my wine glasses! ;)

I took an inventory of the towels I have presently have. Not included are the numerous ones I have given as gifts!

On the right are the flour sack towels (28" x 28") and on the left the smaller towels (18" x 28"). Hum ... I think I have a good supply for now! lol Oh well, Christmas is coming!

I'm hoping to actually quilt this week. I FINALLY found the pattern I was looking for ... perhaps motivation to turn my sewing machine on!

Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cookware ...!

I started collecting and using cast-iron cookware. It is so different from your standard stainless steel pots and pans.

I've owned my Lagostina pots and pan set since 1985 ... and I do love them. I like their heavy bottom, allowing for even heat distribution.

Lately, I have started collecting acquiring some vintage cast-iron pans. My brother is the expert in that field and always seems to find me a lovely piece for my collection at a flea market. Some are quite old. I restore and season them and voila they are ready to go!

Since I cannot seem to find a cast-iron dutch oven that is complete (lots of pots with no lids) I did splurge and bought myself a cast-iron dutch oven to be used mainly for bread baking.

I love the flat cover. I'll be using it mainly as a cloche for artisan bread baking. Speaking of which, I did splurge and bought myself a bread proofer from King Arthur Flour shop. I love that place ... I could spend a day at their Vermont facility!

I haven't had a change to use either one of these new toys. I do hope to soon.

On the subject of cast-iron pots and pans, have you checked out Mary Jane Butters latest book Mary Jane's Cast Iron Kitchen

OMG! What a great book! Exactly how I like my cookbooks ... recipe, instructions, illustrations, a bit of story ... perfect. There is also a section on Cast-Iron Restoration and Maintenance! Another great addition to your cookbook collection!

Thanks for indulging me! Catch you later! Cheers!

Monday, October 23, 2017

More soups on a cold fall day!

I bought myself a cast iron enamel dutch oven from Lodge.

I took it out for a test run and made Lisa Oz's ... Lentils with Chia Seed Recipe. (Click on the name for the recipe).

Love my new dutch oven ... oh and the soup/stew is pretty good, especially with a freshly baked batch of buttermilk tea biscuit.

I like my tea biscuits to have a crisp bottom, so my cast iron pan is perfect for that. The recipe for the buttermilk tea biscuit comes from the book The Animal Farm buttermilk cookbook by Diane St. Clair.

I love that book. I never get tired of reading about her farm life in Vermont. The recipes are pretty good too! A nice addition to your cookbook library.

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you later! Cheers!

Autumn has arrived in Up State New York!

I'm a four season gal! I just love the change of seasons ... to me, it's always a new beginning ... Fall is one of my favourite seasons .... Mother Nature never disappoints.

With fall comes the joys of enjoying warm soups! I love a bowl of soup on a chilly autumn day!

As I mentioned on a prior post, I've been taking/watching cooking classes on the Craftsy platform. This soup is called Cauliflower and Leek Potage with Nut Brown Butter.

The recipe is from the class Building Flavorful Soups with Peter Berley. Great class by the way! I learned lots including how to make nut brown butter. It does add a wonderful flavour to your soups!

The by-product of soup making ....

Not as many discarded vegetables. That's because I have learned in this class that I can freeze the leek leaves to be used in a future stock. I didn't know you could use the ends of the leeks to flavour stocks.

This bag is in the freezer waiting for me to make stock! How clever!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in Cyberspace! Catch you later! Cheers!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Soup kitchen duty!

I had the opportunity to volunteer at a soup kitchen in Plattsburgh. I will admit, I had always wanted to volunteer but just didn't know how to go about doing it.

The opportunity finally came ... it actually fell on my lap! lol  Here is the picture of our crew.

I'm the one with the fuchsia shirt! The lady on my left, Simone, is the organizer of the group. It was also her first time coordinating and would you believe that the County food inspector stopped by? We passed with flying colours! We cook/serve the third Wednesday of the month.

Here is another group shot! Still working on that fruit salad!

All of these folks had soup kitchen experience! I was trained by the best! Justin, (the red strip apron) actually worked in a soup kitchen in Philadelphia. Quite the different clientele from our small Plattsburgh community.

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cooking ... a creative outlet!

As most of you know, I must have some form of creative outlet otherwise I go batty! Lately it has not been quilting. I've been puttsing around in the kitchen, cooking up a soup storm!

As of late, I've been taking/watching cooking classes on the Craftsy platform. I'm learning lots of new techniques.

The other day, I made a roasted butternut squash and fennel soup ... and it was yummy!

Doesn't it look delicious?

The recipe is from the class Authentic Italian Soups by Dominica Marchetti. Great class by the way!

I just love soups ... especially during this time of the year. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

A by-product of cooking ... Artistic compost!

I almost didn't want to bring it to the compost bin. It looked so Zen!

What other creative outlets do you enjoy besides quilting?

Thank you for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace! Catch you all later!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I haven't taken a stitch ...!

It is so unlike me to not be creating with needle, thread and fabric. In all honesty, I have been preoccupied with life in general. Lots of decisions to make and new directions to plan out.

One thing I have learned, there is a lot more to closing a business than just attempting to sell your inventory and move out! Lots of odds and end to button up. The experience I am acquiring in invaluable.

On another note, I now have quite the stash! lol

Oh, there is just a bit more in another room, but in all honesty, these are my favourites! Ok, all the fabrics at Fibre were my favourite! lol

I never really quite grasped the notion that I had a lot of inventory, all beautiful inventory, until I decided to close!  Most of it is gone and I am thankful for the customers that helped me liquidate. 

Although I would have liked to have been left with nothing, I can live with some of the left over inventory, just not all of it! 

For those of you who use Etsy and/or eBay, which one would you recommend? Which platform is more successful for you. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your comments, they are must appreciated! Cheers!

Friday, September 29, 2017

It's a done deal!

Wow, it is truly official ... Fibre is closed!

It looks so empty!

What a difference fixtures, samples and fabric makes! I see the Fibre touch gone, but the space still holds lots of potential for a new tenant!

As I stood there, it suddenly occurred to me, this is it! 

Thank you to all that were part of the Fibre Junction chapter. It has been quite the adventure. An adventure I enjoyed tremendously and wouldn't trade for anything.

It is now time to begin writing my new life chapter. See you soon!
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