Saturday, May 21, 2016

Rhett

We have a weird cat.  He has a shoe fetish.  And a foot fetish. 

If you leave shoes out, or in this case slippers, he sticks his face in them.  And then falls asleep. 

 

We have a weird cat.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Whose Garden?

We recently went to the Hotel Roanoke for a meal.  It was the first one there that wasn't perfect.  On the other hand I didn't fix it or do the dishes, so that was pretty nice.

On the way in we saw a VERY small herb garden.  It looked like it was mostly for show.  How could a small garden with just the smallest of new plants be the Chef's Garden for a large hotel restaurant?  I assume the garden will get bigger and maybe then they can use some fresh herbs for there.

 

We wondered how the small garden along the walkway to the front door would stay nice, what with all the visitors.  And maybe some with dogs?  How would it be safe from that sort of thing?

 

Then we noticed that it was already being decimated by a large predatory animal.  One of the ones with very large teeth!

 

Kind of scary, really.  What if it stopped destroying the herbs and decided to charge us?  We backed carefully away and came out a different door.  That was a close one!

I'm pretty sure this garden will not be supplying any restaurants!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cream Hand Pies

I have been having a lot of fun playing around with Pepperidge Farm puff pastry.  I found this recipe on their site.  It looked delicious!  And it also looked like a recipe I could make for my B&B guests.

A hand pie is basically a small, self-contained pie that you can pick up and eat with your hands.

 

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cream Hand Pie

1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
flour for sprinkling
1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, thawed
4 oz. cream cheese, softened  Or half of the full size package
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 small clamshell of raspberries
3 Tablespoons raw or Turbinado sugar

 

Heat the oven to 400°.  I used a Silpat to prevent sticking.  You can also use parchment paper.  Use you choice on two baking sheets

 

Beat the egg and the water in a small bowl and set aside.

 

Stir the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl with the sugar until it is smooth.  Add the white chocolate chips and stir to combine.  If you have a helper, you should have them taste the chips.  Just in case they are POISON or something.  Most helpers are happy to do this.

 

Sprinkle the flour on your working surface.  Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet.  Roll the dough slightly bigger to about 12x12.  Use a round cutter and cut 12 circles of dough.  Repeat using the second sheet of puff pastry.  There are two in a package.

 

Brush the edges of half of the circles (12) with the egg wash.  Place a Tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center and top it with about 3 raspberries.  Place the other puff pastry circles on top of the raspberries and press around the edges.  I used a fork to crimp the edges.

 

Place the pies on the prepared baking sheets and brush the tops with the egg wash.  Sprinkle the raw sugar on top. 

 

Pierce the tops with a sharp knife.

 

Bake for 20 minutes or until the pies are turning golden brown.  Move the pies to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

 

Serve these delicious pastries to your visitors on the sunny screened porch.  Admire their crispy flaky crust and enjoy the raspberry and chocolate creaminess. 

 

Yum.
 

 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Back To Baskets

I finished the Christmas stockings I was working on and went back to making some baskets. 

 


 


I was recently inspired to make some with Patriotic fabric and I like the way they are turning out. 

 

I also found some silver colored sayings with clips.  I think I may make some so that they can be changed on the whim of the purchaser. 

 

So that is my most recent project. 

 

We have guests coming this weekend, so I have to get ready for them  I'm going to try a new recipe and that is always scary for me.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Two of our favorite flavors in all the world are lemon and blueberry.  So why not make some lemon blueberry bread?  No reason. 

 

Lemon Blueberry Bread

1/3 cup butter, melted (a little more than 6 Tablespoons)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons lemons juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

Glaze
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

 

This recipe needed three lemons for enough juice.  I took the zest of all three and placed it on a plate.  Then I squeezed the juice in a bowl.

 

I had enough juice for the bread and the glaze and decided to add the extra Tablespoon of zest to the glaze, cause there is no such thing as too lemony. 

Pre heat the oven to 350°.  Spray a loaf pan with Pam and set aside.

 

Mix the melted butter and the sugar and stir, trying to dissolve as much sugar as possible.  Add the lemon juice and the eggs and stir some more. 

 

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, milk and zest.  Stir until combined.  Fold in the nuts, if you are using them, and the blueberries.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. 

 

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Loosen the edges and then turn the pan over on the wire rack.  Place the loaf right side up and let cool for 15 more minutes while you prepare the glaze.

 

I had enough lemon juice left from the three lemons.  Add it to the melted butter and carefully mix in the powdered sugar.  Add the last Tablespoon of lemon zest , if you choose.

 

Place a sheet of waxed paper under the cooling rack to catch the drips.  Spoon the glaze over the warm loaf.  It should be sort of runny.  You will have enough to cover the top and run down the sides.  Lemony goodness for all!

 

Let the Lemon Blueberry Bread cool and the glaze firm up and then serve.   Just know that a giant scoop of ice cream would go great with this.  Not that you would do that, cause that would  be ridiculous! 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Two Stockings Finished

Last year I started work on a Christmas stocking for my son-in-law.  I waited until after the wedding in September, so I didn't have time to finish it before Christmas.  It looked about like this and I just propped it up under the mantle. 

 

I made stockings for my kids when they were little, and then when they started getting married, I had to make one for their spouses.

But this year I have a GRANDDAUGHTER.  So, of course, she gets a stocking, too.  She was born Christmas Eve, so I didn't have a stocking ready for her.  She was busy that day.

 

I waited until both were stitched to sew them together.  The kits include a felt backing.  That is all I used for the stockings for my kids, but when I started making them for the spouses, I started lining them.  I am no way a seamstress, so I just cut out around the felt backing with the lining folded over to have the satin on the inside of the stocking.  You want all the goodies to slide out easily, right?

 

After stitching around the outside of the stocking, I turned them right side out.  I folded the top into a cuff so there were no rough edges, the tacked the lining to the cuff.  Absolutely invisible perfect stitches.  You'll have to take my word for it.   

 

I braided the handle from the included yarn.  I always stitch the handle on tightly, as you never know how heavy the goodies Santa stuffs in there will be.

 

Ready for Christmas!

 

Now I can get back to making some baskets to sell at the next craft fair in Buchanan. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

What Is That?



I bought Lee a game camera so that we could see what animals are pooping  defecating leaving scat on our driveway.  It is a very long driveway, about 1/3 of a mile.  We have a lot of deer and that is what we have mostly been seeing.

We have had bear here twice that we know of.  Both times they were chased off by RJ, the wonder dog.  This is RJ in his "waiting for Lee to come home" pose. 

 

He doesn't look particularly brave, but a large bear on his hind legs just gets him mad.  RJ CHASING a bear gets me scared.  He came back from one encounter with some shallow scrapes, but it doesn't deter him and calling him back is pretty much useless.



The other day we got some different pictures.  It looks sort of dog like, so I am thinking coyote?  We can hear a large pack of them yipping from time to time.  We have seen a small grey fox, but just one each time.

When RJ encounters any new scat he smells it intensely, urinates and then runs around, barking
excitedly.  MY PROPERTY, he seems to be saying.  Sadly, this is not particularly effective.

Unless you consider the fun that RJ has proclaiming his dominance for all to hear.  It is big fun for RJ.

But what IS that?