Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

finally in the xmas mood

I love wrapping gifts. I really really love it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

toffee recipe

This month I made 12 batches of toffee. It was a huge success at Renegade and I think it's only fair to share the recipe. 'Tis the season after all.

The recipe originally came from Paula Dean. I suggest reading through the instructions once or twice before making. It's not hard, but it requires some exactness and forethought.

In a medium heavy bottom pot melt together 3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (that's 28 tablespoons), 2 cups white sugar and 4 T cold water over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir until the butter has melted completely and the mixture begins to boil.

Allow the mixture to boil, without stirring (!!!) until it has turned a deep golden color (300 to 310 on a candy thermometer). For me this takes about 10 minutes. The second it reaches 310 turn off the heat.

Pour in 1 c roughly chopped (and toasted if you like) pecans, 2 t vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir it all together and pour into a well buttered sheet pan. (My small pan is 10"x15" and is the ideal size.)

Allow the toffee to cool until it has set slightly but is still warm (8 minutes seems to be right) then pour 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top. Using a rubber spatula slowly spread them out over the entire pan of toffee, it will take a few minutes for the chocolate to melt. Paula uses significantly more chocolate than I do so feel free to do so.

Now let the whole pan sit for a few hours. Do not place in the fridge to speed things up you'll just have to be patient here.

Use your hands to break the toffee into bite sized pieces. Store in an airtight container or it gets gooey quickly. Happy holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My version of Christmas decorations...I like to keep it un-traditional.

Monday, December 14, 2009

'tis the season

Antlers are the must have accessory this season.

nice package

We sold some of our goods at Rose and Radish last week as well as a cool craft fair/holiday party at a friend's house. It's been good to have a little practice before Renegade (this weekend!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

saturday night special

I'm buried deeply in preparations.

How would you like the recipe for English Toffee? Stay tuned- I've been photographing the process.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


A photograph of mine was used by the company Schmap as their choice for The Academy of Sciences. What a nice little boost for morale this week.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I am in the midst of craziness. Pardon the lack of posting please. Images coming soon...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

etsy finds

I like sending out mail and of course receiving it is nice too. Here are a few suggestions for you if you'll be mailing holiday cards.

Letterpress Peace Card by inkandiron $15 (set of 6)

Let it Snow Screenprinted Card by LaurieCoyleDesigns $10 (set of 8)

Martini Holiday Card by SilhouetteBlue $12 (set of 12)

Bold and Beautiful by ThePaperAddict $8 (set of 6)
Penguin Holiday Cards by JennSki $7 (set of 4)

Merry Christmas Trees by thebeautifulproject $3.75 ea

Have a Sweet Holiday by DutchDoor $16 (set of 6)

Good Tidings Letterpress by lizardpress $12 (set of 6)

a little press

I got an email this morning from someone who is interested in working with ciuccio. Turns out she saw this very lovely write-up.

ate too much

I hope you all had a nice long weekend. I enjoyed a nice visit from most of the family. And the food was amazing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

a walk at the beach

Not to brag, but the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.

Friday, November 20, 2009

fall crafts

The girls all seem to love craft projects as much as I do, so we've doing working on lots of them. It can be tricky to find things that 2 1/2 year olds can manage. Here are a few that came out nicely.

jams tags

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

buy it

My weekends have been full of canning, both for our own pantry and for Renegade. Here are a few of the goods you'll be able to buy.

Quince Jelly and Pear Butter.

planning ahead

I know it seems like a long way away (or does it?) but the holidays are pretty much here. The Heated and this humble abode ( sometimes also known as ciuccio) are putting together some fun things to sell at the Renegade Fair. Don't toffee and a dishtowel sound like a good match? Please come shop.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free towel!

The Heated is having a giveaway, designed especially for Thanksgiving. Leave a comment about someone you are grateful for, and they'll receive the towel. A great way to say "thanks!"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

mtv, here we come

You can now add music video "stylist" to the long list of strange things I've done in my life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

say cheese!

I take a lot of pictures of the kids. I have to because a) they grow and change rapidly and b) most of the pictures are terrible. Kids never sit still, and if they do, they are probably going to make some dumb face.

latest quilt

A close friend of mine purchased a ciuccio gift certificate for a friend of hers. This is the quilt I made using a print she had already chosen for the nursery.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


ciuccio was featured in a treasury today.


It's such a strange thing to desperately want, but look at this amazing new line of jars made by Ball. They are more expensive than the classic shape, but I am about to suck it up and order some.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I made it to the market after a few weeks. Things have changed! Citrus has made a debut and pears are gone for the most part. I bought some lovely mushrooms and a few fuyu persimmons for salad.

A new favorite snack. Radishes sliced thinly and doused with fresh lime juice, salt and chopped cilantro if you have it.

20 pounds of apples are turned into 13 pints of apple butter