Broccoli and pea pesto hummus

Look. When Triscuit (your favorite cracker maker in the world) and Martha Stewart (your favorite felon in the world) asks you for a recipe, you just write the damn thing. See, a week or so ago, I got an email from Martha Stewart. She wanted me (and, well, everyone on her mailing list) to create recipes with specific ingredients to pair with Triscuit crackers. Of course I had to do it. The first secret ingredient was mixed berries. PASS! Here’s a fun fact about me, I hate cooked fruit. The thought of cherry pie makes me cringe. So, when I saw peas involved in the Trisuit Summer Snack off, I was all in. I posted the photo to Instagram, and Triscuit actually asked for the recipe, oo, here you go, Triscuit, this is for you.

1 cup frozen peas (plus a few for garnish)

1 cup frozen broccoli

A couple stems of fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic

Salt

A generous dash of Parmesan cheese

Olive oil (just a few tablespoons)

1 can of chick peas

Toss everything in a food processor until creamy, top crackers and add garnish. Easy peasy.

I used the leftovers to make vegetarian wraps with spinach and tomatoes later in the day.

If you’re interested in the Triscuit Summer Snackoff contest, you can find more information here.

Broccoli and pea pesto hummus on Triscuit cracker.

I miss Breaking Bad. It’s been more than a week, and I am still thinking about it. There has rarely been a show that I will actually watch live (instead, I prefer sleeping and DVRing.) I’m happy it ended when it did. I want to remember it as awesome as it was, instead of having it completely disappoint me like Dexter. A lumberjack? Really?

Anyway, I re-watched season 1, episode 1, and damn, the dialog is so great. When I heard Jesse defending his Meth recipe to Mr. White, I knew I needed this quote for my kitchen. “Cooking is art. And the shit I cook is the bomb so don’t be telling me.” I searched all over the web, and on Etsy, but the damn quote didn’t exist on anything so I had to make it happen. I had this fabric made because I am planning a line of toss pillows (get it, tossing plates? how ironic.)  Anyway, I used one of my fabric plates to try my hand at embroidery. Look. I am a plate breaker, not an embroiderer, so please forgive my stitch, but I am pretty proud of the outcome.

So proud (and mildly addicted) that I instantly had to make another one. This time with a favorite Julia Child quote “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” The woman was brilliant and full of so many great quotes, I’m sure there will be more. And, seriously, how cute is the damn carrot?

Just wanted to check in and show you some things I’ve been working on. Will be adding new ornaments to the shop soon. Also, just updated my holiday craft show schedule for this year. Will be making an appearance in Pittsburgh for Handmade Arcade and Baltimore for Holiday Heap. Hope to see you there! Will have lots of new work.

If you have a custom order to get to me, I’d love to start it as soon as possible.

Why China Knuckles?

Why China Knuckles? Why the hell not.

China Knuckles were first created as a joke. I thought the irony of a weapon made of china would give people a laugh. Little did I know that my sense of humor would be shared by so many. The first batch sold so quickly, that I decided to get actual brass knuckles cast in porcelain, decorated with pretty floral motifs. Thanks to the work of The Maryland China Company, my little joke is now a reality.

I get one of two reactions to the China Knuckles. Either “OMG! That is awesome!” or “I don’t get it.” Let me assure you that there is really nothing to get. They are not some sort of political statement about feminism or violence against women, as some have inferred.  China Knuckles are just meant as an ironic art piece that also functions as conversation starting jewelry. They are obviously not mean for fighting. We have enough common sense to know this much, right? I hope. Of course, when worn, they do sort of act as a warning device, letting people know that the wearer perhaps shouldn’t be messed with.

I do want to make sure the China Knuckles do some good. I was recently really touched when a woman bought a pair for a friend who was fighting cancer, as a symbolic weapon of her fight. She wore them to chemotherapy. Because of them, I want every pair to help in the fight against cancer by donating 10% of all retail sales will go to The Cancer Research Institute.

The new cast China Knuckles are now available in their own shop and in my Etsy shop. (They also can be made into a bad ass necklace.)

 

Beer Macaroni and Cheese

1 box pasta (I am partial to bow ties)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces milk (I used 4ozmilk and 4oz chicken stock)
8 ounces beer (I’ve used Magic Hat #9 and Yuengling)
8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (or be lazy and use a bag, whatever)
½ cup Parmesan

pinch of black pepper and salt

Scallion and or chopped parsley (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare water for pasta and boil according to directions, cutting 1-2 minutes off of cooking time since pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add butter. Once melted and sizzling, whisk in flour to create a roux and cook until bubbly and golden in color, about 2 minutes. Add milk and beer into saucepan whisking constantly, then add  cheeses and stir until melted. Turn heat down to medium and continue to stir, cooking for 5-6 minutes while mixture thickens.  Add chopped scallions to sauce.

Add cooked and drained pasta to a casserole dish and pour cheese over top, mixing gently to combine. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. (I do not believe in bread crumbs) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Inhale. With beer.

Etsyversary Sale!

My last post here was in January. I have no excuse. Actually, I have a couple, but I will spare you.

August 30th is my 6 year Etsyversary! I can not believe it has been that long. Started it on a whim, not knowing how many great opportunities it would provide, I am grateful to all of my loyal customers. To celebrate, I’ve created a coupon code that will be active from now until the end of August. Enter code “ETSYVERSARY” in the coupon code box at checkout in my Etsy shop for 20% off your order. I will be adding new work throughout the month.

Also, it is not too early to send me your holiday custom orders. Would love to tackle a few before the November rush. Send in your custom order in August and I will also take 20% off of those orders. (order form available here.)

 

Taco Soup

Taco soup may be my new favorite thing, so I had to share. It is super easy and there are so many ways that you can alter it. It is also pretty healthy, considering that I got the original recipe from a Weight Watchers recipe. Here is what I did…

  • 1 lb. ground turkey or lean beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 package of mushrooms
  • 1 (1 oz.) package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning
  • 1-2 cans of your favorite beans (I used black)
  • 1  can whole kernel corns
  • 1 (8 oz) can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 jar of good salsa
  • 1 box of chicken or beef stock

Plus, of course, Cheese, sour cream, chips and cilantro for topping

Simply brown the meat and onion and add the seasoning packets. Then, add the broth and all other ingredients and simmer until you are ready for dinner. I let mine cook for about an hour and it was perfect. I imagine that making this in the crock pot would be awesome, however, I have sworn off the crock pot. (I hate smelling food all day, then having to eat it.)

Top with all of your favorite toppers and enjoy! Let me know how you make it. Oh, I bet it’d be great with corn bread too. Next time…

Last Minute Gift Idea – Cheesecake in a Jar

All of the plates for this holiday season have been broken. Phew. Thanks to all of my awesome customers, I really appreciate you supporting my small business. It has really been such a pleasure. If I could, I would make you all a cheesecake jar, but instead, I will share the recipe, which I found in Martha Stewart Living magazine. I taste tested last night, and let me tell you, Martha knows of what she speaks. This thing tastes like it was from a restaurant! I have modified it a bit, to fit my jars.

You will need:

5-6 12oz mason jars

2 – 8oz packages of room temperature cream cheese (I used the 1/3 less fat kind and it was great!)

1 cup sugar

6 large eggs (room temp)

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt

your favorite preserves or jam

1 cup ground graham crackers

3 tablespoons butter.

1. Preheat the over to 325. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat for 3 minutes more. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time. Raise speed to medium and add sour cream, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Beat for 3 minutes.

2. Divide batter into 5-6 jars. Transfer them to a deep baking dish and fill the dish with boiling water to about 1/2 way up the sides of the jars. Cover with foil with cut slits to vent. Bake until set, about 45 minutes or so. Keep checking.

3. To make the graham cracker topping, stir the cracker crumbs and butter together and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Spoon into the jars. Finish by topping with your favorite preserves, I used raspberry.

They can be refrigerated for 4 days or frozen for future cheesecake emergencies.

It may be to late to send broken plates for Christmas, but I would argue that cheesecake is an even better idea. Happy Holidays!