Monday, June 28, 2010

fingers are cramping

I spent a ton of time over the weekend looking for fabric for several potential customers. It's been fun despite the carpal tunnel I think I now have. All of that searching inspired some serious purchasing  and with Renegade Craft Fair just around the corner I needed to stock up anyhow. Take a look at some of what's on its way to my house.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

busy + honey party

It's a crazy tie making factory around these parts lately. I'm loving it. I did manage to take a little time off from sewing to attend a fun honey themed party. I made crackers and brought blue cheese and honey to drizzle on top. I also made honeydew granita with honey and orange blossom muscat (recipe to follow I swear.) Not surprisingly it was a dessert heavy potluck, which was fine by me. There's so much great fruit coming into season here and guests really took advantage.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

lunch on the deck

My idea of the perfect lunch always involves good bread and cheese and if your lucky, a proper tomato. A glass of wine doesn't hurt, but when you have to be productive all afternoon like I did, ginger beer will do. I was rather gluttonous with the opened-faced sandwiches today because we have a lot of cheese left over from my birthday dinner. On the far left you see fromage d'affinois (that's a triple cream people) with cucumber, on the top is classic american style, mayo, dijon, gouda, tomato and cuke. The lower one is pesto with aged cheddar and tomato. Pick a favorite? I don't think I could.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I got a surprise visit from my godson and his momma for my birthday. Damn that kid is cute!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It's such a lovely time of year for wedding flowers. I helped out yesterday in the 102 degree weather. We had to keep the arrangements in the shade until the absolute last minute, but thankfully we were sitting under apple trees in gorgeous Guerneville. It was really one of the lovelier weddings I've seen in a long time. The perfect garden party with a touch of The Great Gatsby. I would have loved to be a guest at this wedding, drinking lemonade and playing croquet. Dancing under strings of lights in an orchard on a warm summer night.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

a rainbow of sorts

She quietly colored for a least a half hour the other morning. Basically she tried out each color and then laid it carefully in a line. Totally the kind of coloring/organizing I did as a kid.

there's a reason it's a classic

Have you ever eaten clafouti? It's delectable and ridiculously easy. You pretty much mix up this crepe-like batter, pour it over fruit and bake it. The classic recipe calls for cherries, but because they have such a short season, Ina recommends pear. I've made it her way a few times and she's right, pear is wonderful. But since we are smack in the middle of cherry season, I decided to give them a go. Oh, they are perfection. The batter is rich, like custard so little bursts of cherry cut it nicely.

Cherry Clafouti, from Ina Garten, ever so slightly adapted
3 eggs
6 T flour
1 1/2 c heavy cream
2 t vanilla extract
1 t lemon zest
1/4 t salt
2 T kirsch
1/2 lb cherries, pitted and sliced in half

Pre-heat the oven to 375

Butter a 10" round dish and sprinkle with sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy
On slow speed, add the flour, cream, vanilla, lemon, salt and kirsch. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Place the cherries into the bottom of the pan, and pour the batter over them. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

summer reading

I haven't been able to get into a novel for months. It's some weird slump I'm in. But there are lots of other kinds of books to read, and right now I'm in the mood for some serious foodie eye candy.

I want this book:
Food Styling by Delores Custer

Sunday, June 6, 2010

about those pickles

I told you I'd pass this recipe on ages ago. Asparagus season is practically over now too, so I'm sorry. Really I am.
I modified the recipe a bit mostly in that I found I needed tons more of the liquid than it called for. We started eating them a week after canning and they were fantastic. A few weeks later they are still splendid.
4 lbs. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut to fit in your jars with a 3/4" headspace (halved worked for mine)
4 T finely chopped red bell pepper
2 T finely chopped green bell pepper
2 T finely chopped jalapeno or other hot pepper
3 T chopped garlic
10 cups white vinegar
5 1/3 c water
5 1/3 c sugar (your liquid will discolor slightly if you use non-white cane sugar like I did)
4 t canning salt (kosher salt is acceptable)
2 T dill seeds
2 T mustard seeds

Place asparagus in a dish and cover with ice water and refrigerate for an hour. Meanwhile prepare 6-7 pint jars.

In a small bowl, combine all the peppers and the garlic. Place 2 T of the pepper mixture and 1 tsp each dill and mustard seeds into each jar.

In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add the drained asparagus and return to a boil. Cook only until asparagus is heated through (under 2 minutes).

Pack asparagus into hot jars and ladle the hot liquid into each jar leaving 1/2" headspace. Make sure to remove any air bubbles. Clean rim if needed and close the jars.
Place jars in a canner or very large pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars without tipping and allow to cool.

Saturday, June 5, 2010



a rather pink party

The twins turned 3 today. In honor of one of their favorite books, we had a Pinkalicious themed party. Have you read it? It's a cute story about a little girl who eats so many pink cupcakes that she turns pink and is pleased as punch about it. She cries because she is so beautiful, but mom has other ideas and rushes her off to the doctor who prescribes her with pinkatitis. She is only to eat greens foods for the next week (yuck). She sneaks another cupcake late that night and turns red. "Oh no! Not red!" The only thing to do now is eat all those green foods so she can turns back to normal. It's a story most three year-old girls will love.