Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Family Food and Gifts

Christmas has gone and we're nearly into the new year. I hope all of you had the wonderful Christmas that we had with our daughter and family.  It amazes me that we receive gifts that are so 'us'.  It's hard for me to pick just the right gift without an explicit description.  Ex:  Item on granddaughter's Christmas, silver, not gold.  Question: Big jewelry, dainty jewelry, statement jewelry?  So I gave up on jewelry and bought her a gift certificate.  I wrote on my Christmas list that I like jewelry...any type of metal.  Also would like to have a leather bracelet.  So I received a gorgeous unique gold tone bracelet with leather cords laced through the chain.  I love it!!  The leather and beads on it are green and I received two other green bracelets.  They can even all be worn together, and I had no green bracelets in my jewelry drawer. How perfect it that?!! 

Because the trip to Seattle is getting to be too hard on DH (dear hubby) we had dinner here with joint effort on preparing the meal.  Our granddaughter brought an apple caramel pie, DH baked a sour cream pecan pie and made a smoked salmon pate with his 'secret recipe' smoked salmon.   I made a cranberry relish from a recipe I got recently from a friend.  Our daughter brought a ham, scalloped potatoes, and after she arrived she cooked a wonderful vegetable dish from The Chew.  (Recipe below).  What a great day!  We're so fortunate to have loving family within driving distance. 


Squash and Sausage Sauté


¼ lb. sausage
½ tsp. chili flakes
4 c. butternut squash (peeled and diced)
4 c. Brussels sprouts
½ c. chicken stock
4 oz. goat cheese
3 T. olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
When the pan is hot add a drizzle of olive oil,
followed by the sausage and chili flakes.  Cook,
breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon
until the sausage is nicely browned and mostly
cooked through (about 5 minutes). Add the squash.
Season with salt and pepper and cook until they start
to get some color (5 – 8 minutes).  Add Brussels sprouts. 
Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes. 
Add the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan
to deglaze. Dollop the top of the casserole with goat cheese
and drizzle with honey to serve. 

Cover the skillet to help the goat cheese melt and to keep the
dish warm.  Don’t stir the vegetables until they are crisp and
caramelized.  Peel the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts so
they don’t come apart 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Brass and Glass

I've been creating glass flowers using found glass, china, ceramic for years. A few weeks ago I was going through my stash and saw some brass items that looked interesting.  Hmmmm, I thought...flower.  I combined the two brass items with an amber glass candle holder that had an open bottom.  Hubby screwed the brass pieces and the spoon on the back (for slipping into a copper pipe) together and I glued the candle holder in the center.  I love it!!!  I'm going to be searching for more brass pieces. 

I love making flowers for the garden and have branched out into creating them for inside use.  I call them 'wall flowers'  I say 'inside' because I use old jewelry for the centers and I'm not sure how well they would hold up outside.  I could probably seal the jewelry  with a weather proof sealer.  Maybe I should give the seller a choice of inside or outside.  If they want outside I would seal the flower centers and put the spoon on the back for placing in the pipe or a hanger for hanging on an inside wall.

I only have three 'wall flowers' listed on etsy so far.  I'm wondering how much interest there will be for them.  I got the idea from a friend who said she would be more apt to hang one on an inside wall.  Of course even the outside ones can be hung on a wall or fence using a bracket on the wall to slip the spoon handle through.  I put a metal hangar on the back of the 'wall flowers'.

I've also been making home decor items from found objects....candle holders, serving plates, candy dishes, sculptures, etc.  For awhile I had two shops, one for outdoor art and one for home decor.  I decided it was too time consuming to keep up two shops, so I'm fazing out the home decor shop and putting all the items into RecycleRoom.

Check it out.  I've been busy creating and listing.