Friday, August 29, 2008

Make Haste

Basil-Blackberry Crumble

I love basil.
I love blackberries.
So when I saw a recipe for Basil-Blackberry Crumble on The Bitten Word, I had to try it.

The recipe actually comes from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Originally a book by Barbara Kingsolver, this recipe can now be found on-line.

The recipe calls for:
2-3 apples, chopped **
2 pints of blackberries
2Tbsp Balsmic vinegar +
1 large handful of basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the above ingredients in an oven-proof casserole dish, mix and set aside.

5 Tbsp flour
3 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
1 stick cold butter *+*

Cut butter into flour and sugar, then rub with your fingers to make a chunky, crumbly mixture. Sprinke it over the top of the fruit, bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

I used 2 Braeburn apples, mostly because that's what the store had in organic, and I thought I'd remembered they were good baked. I was right!! They baked to tender perfection, not too sweet and not too tart.

+ I forgot to add the vinegar. I may add it the next time I make this recipe and see how it tastes. But it was fabulous without it.

*+*I chose to use Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread, original whipped, instead of the butter. I was a little concerned as to how this would work, but I really wanted something lower in fat and cholesterol. It worked wonderfully. I used my hands to mix the topping and I got a lovely crumbly texture:)

Before Jack Frost has his way, and the fresh summer delights of basil and blackberries are but a memory, I will make this recipe again!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Silken Enchantment

Flowing, shimmering, sensuous. Brightly colored silk was the inspiration for this pair of earrings.

Flawless sparkling pink topaz, glowing pale green prehnite and bright blue apatite. This color combination sings with light. I couldn't help but feel happy as I worked on this piece.

Yards of fine silver and sterling silver wire were carefully twisted, looped and woven into the whimsical 'embroidery' pattern.

The techniques used to make these earrings are based on the work of Eni Oken and Magdalena Borejko and remind me very much of the embroidery work I've done with silk ribbon.

This is the beginning of a stuffed bear, started ages ago. The fabric has been pieced using the crazy quilt technique and then embellished with silk ribbon embroidery and beads.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Two Cents Worth

Leave a comment in this post telling me what you think about my blog.


As a thank you, everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing to win $$ credit toward a purchase in my Etsy shop.

1st place - $30 credit

2nd place - $25 credit

3rd place - $10 credit

Particularly constructive comments will earn you 2 entries into the drawing.

The names of the winners will be drawn at random on Tuesday, September 2nd

Thank you and Good Luck!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers

I finally finished the 'Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers' from Stitch N' Bitch Nation.

It was an easy pattern to follow but, as I mentioned before, it does have some errors. So be sure to check these out before you start knitting.

The cable pattern is simple. Managing a cable needle and 4 double pointed needles made me feel like I was all thumbs;)

If you are new to knitting cables I would recommend you look at the 'Cable and Bobble Headband' in the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits. This was my first cable project and I found it very newbie friendly.

Pretty In Pink

... Bright fuschia pink!!

I can sew, quite well. But why should I when Greenwillow Crafts has such gorgeous jewelry pouches.
Eight pockets of organized elegance, this pouch would be the perfect way to take my jewelry traveling.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Everybody Happy

My family would probably mutiny if I served only vegetarian/vegan fare. So I compromise and make vegetarian and vegan recipes alongside those with meat.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast Recipe
I still want the recipes to be healthy so I serve skinless chicken breast quite often. This recipe is quick and easy. I substituted dried basil for the parsley and added paprika.

I absolutely adore paprika. Its luscious smoky flavor and nice red color add an interesting dimension to many recipes. I prefer Hungarian paprika and buy it when I it's available.

Refresh - ing Cookbook

Refresh Cookbook
With the plan of eating healthier, I bought a new cookbook. Of course I will use any excuse to buy a new book. I love books.

Refresh is written by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston, partners in Toronto's Fresh Restaurant. The Quick Protein Salad caught my attention. Quick and a salad with protein - sounded just right!

Quick Protein Salad Recipe - Critique

It was definitely quick and easy to put together.
I used flame raisins from Whole Foods Market and really thought they complimented the flavor of the marinated tempeh. I also liked the flavor of the spinach and the crunch of the sunflower seeds.

I didn't like the flavor combination created by the other vegetables. I think some chopped apple and fresh basil leaves would be good substitutes. And I plan to use these the next time I make this salad.

Stir-frying the cucumber before adding it to the salad sounds like a tasty option as well. I never thought of stir-frying cucumber but saw the idea here. I think it is an intriguing idea.

Another Healthy Recipe
Want another idea?
Here is another recipe that I like very much that also uses tempeh.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

S'more Please

National S'mores Day
I was cruising the web about a month ago when I stumbled upon the fact that August 10th is National S'mores Day. I was surprised. I don't know why, since it seems that there is a holiday for almost everything.

Recovering quickly from my stunned state, I became quite delighted by this discovery. I haven't had a s'more in a while and now I had the perfect excuse. I would not let this holiday go by without a proper celebration.

I cruised the web a bit more on the topic of s'mores. It appears that I've been cluelessly munching away on s'mores for years. So before I took another unenlightened bite I read the history behind s'mores.

Not surprising to me at all, is the idea that s'mores were probably started by the girl scouts back in the 1920's. The name coming from the excited requests for 's'more' of the delightful treats.

S'mores Recipes
I also discovered that there is more than one way to stack a s'more. This site has all sorts of recipes for s'more similar treats, and so does this one. From the broiler to the freezer, there's an idea here to assure that you won't be caught s'more-less on August 10th. I even found a vegan version.

With so many tempting options it would be a shame to just pick one. So, I'm contemplating trying a few recipes over the next week leading up to the big day.

I'd be delighted to have some company in this venture. If you have a recipe to share or if you try one of the recipes listed in the links please let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

S'mores Day Sale

And what's a holiday without a sale.
From now through August 10th, I'm offering 25% off the items in my Etsy shop. Please mention the word S'mores in the notes to seller to receive the discount.

Provide me with a favorite S'mores recipe and I'll add free shipping.
Happy S'mores Day!!