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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Texas Caviar

4 cups cooked black-eyed peas, drained and cooled 
1 cup diced yellow onion 
1 cup diced red onion 
1 green or red bell pepper, diced 
(and add a few sliced jalapenos- to taste)
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning 
1/3 cup olive oil 
1/3 cup red wine vinegar 
1 teaspoon black pepper 

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. 
Chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours, stirring occasionally
Stir again before serving.

Recipe compliments of beachcomberscove.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - beachcomberscove

beachcomberscove is a retired hippie in Corpus Christi who loves having the time to be a creating artist. She's inspired by the ocean and sky. A little bit of both seem to end up in her work.

Browse her shop.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Supplement - On Location with Our Next Tuesday Tinker

beachcomberscove lives on the Gulf coast of Texas. She has a little beach where she finds wonderful things to put in her jewelry. She is also 'Mother" to several parrots and Beep, a Zebra Finch.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Sopa de Peña

I named this soup Sopa de Peña after the friend who gave me the recipe.

Take 4 large links of sausage (spicy is good) and slice into rounds. Saute them with sliced onion until light brown. Add a small can of sliced white potatoes, a can of diced green chilies, a small can of corn and about a quarter of a cup of your favorite salsa. Add a cup of water, bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Serve with a nice crusty bread. Should feed 4.

This can also be made with elbow macaroni instead of the potatoes. Just use more water because the pasta will absorb a lot. Keep your eye on it and if the liquid gets low, add more. It is a soup after all.

This is just a basic recipe. One can add and subtract meat and veggies to taste.

Recipe compliments of AuntMartha.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - chatnoirstudios

chatnoirstudios is a husband and wife team. He does paintings and cartoon pin-ups; she does's art dolls. She has been creating art since she had her first art show at the age of 5. Crayola never looked better on Grandma's dining room wallpaper. 

She's been making art dolls for several years now. Some are creations from mythology but there are also those who come straight from the Pet Shop of The Old Ones. For sale are hex cts, fluttercats, Spiders and Roaming Eyes.

Browse her shop.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT - On location with our next Tuesday Tinker

chatnoirstudios sent us these photos to share. The first photo was taken while they were helping a customer. The second was from a Halloween party and the third was just to prove that al least one of them could appear in a normal picture. You may notice however, there seems to be hint of mischief in her eye.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Basic Roasted Root Vegetables

We made something approximating this for dinner. It was yummy.

You need enough chopped root vegetables to fill a medium-sized mixing bowl, with a little room to stir.

1 head garlic
1/2 onion, chopped and sauteed
olive oil
a few splashes of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Select roots to roast. In this particular instance, the vegetable culprits turned out to be potatoes, part of a celeriac bulb, a rutabaga, carrots, and half a very large fennel (yes, I know fennel is a modified stem and not a root, but fennel and roots tend to very congenial with each other). Other yummy roots include a variety of beets, parsnips, turnips, sunchokes, and um, any number of other vegetables that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

Once you have chopped your selected root vegetables, mix with all other ingredients, pour into a large baking dish, and roast for 50 minutes at 375-400. Stir sometime around 30 minutes. 

Recipe compliments of tofunutloaf.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - stdesign

Esti is the sole proprietor of ST Design, a design studio she started in her Tel Aviv home in 2008.  She graduated from The School of Visual Arts with a BA in Advertising and Graphic Design. She's worked in online advertising in both NYC and Tel Aviv for about ten years. For the last few years she has lectured at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem.
In her studio Esti devotes her artistic energy to creating beautiful silk pillows.

Browse her shop.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jerise - Lecture and Workshop

Our member Jerise was out on Long Island On December 1, giving a lecture on the history of cut paper designs at the Long Island Chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America. Afterwards, she led a workshop so that the members could try out the technique for themselves.
Jerise with some of her cuts.

Demonstrating the technique.

Showing how to do corners.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT - On location with our next Tuesday Tinker

stdesign is sharing these photos that she took of her two dogs and a night scene of the Reading Power Plant in her city, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Minnie, a Pettit Basset Griggon Vendeen, is in the first photo with the Mediterranean in the background, and Looli, a Lhasa Apso with flowers in her hair, is in the second.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Santa's Little Helpers

There won't be any bailout for Santa this year, but when he needs a pick-me-up while delivering all those presents, this does the trick. Try leaving some out Christmas Eve and look forward to a nice morning!

1/2c brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon 
2 level tbsp sour cream
1tbsp Kahlua or rum
1c coarsely chopped pecans

1/2c butter, softened
1c brown sugar, packed
1 egg 
1tsp vanilla
2c flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt

1/4c confectioner's sugar
1 1/2tsp water

Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Save some Kahlua for the chef.

Preheat oven to 375f. In medium mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together. Beat in egg and vanilla until fluffy. In a small mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture one half at a time, mixing until smooth.

Roll dough into roughly 2 dozen balls and place on cookie sheets. Make a wide shallow depression in each ball. Heap a small spoonful of topping on each cookie. Bake about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove cookies from baking sheets to wire cooling racks. When completely cooled, mix confectioners sugar and water together and drizzle lightly over cookies.

Recipe compliments of zephi.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - ClayCenter

ClayCenter moved to the United States from Holland, where she had her own ceramic studio. Besides showing her work at galleries and shows, she also taught both adult and children's ceramic classes. In her new home in Wisconsin, she discovered polymer clay and using the skills she learned from ceramics, she makes  wonderful creations.

Browse ClayCenter's Shop.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Simply Beachy Ceviche

The best and easiest Ceviche recipe I've ever tasted. It's quick, easy and and disappears quickly. The habanero peppers make it spicy without giving it the distinctive flavor of jalapenos and it's great without hot peppers too. You can adjust any of the seasonings to suit your taste. 

2 lbs tilapia fillets or other firm white fish fillets, cubed
(can also use shrimp or scallops, its all good:)
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped

8-12 limes, freshly squeezed and strained to remove pulp,enough to 
cover fish

1 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed

1. Combine all ingredients except red onion and mix well.
2. Place red onion on top and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 
at least 2-3 hours before serving.
3. Before serving, mix well and serve with lettuce, corn, avocado 
or other cold salad vegetables on the side.
(Use a juicer that squeezes the juice out of the limes, not one that will 
tear the membrane of the lime sections since this will make the lime 
juice bitter.)

Serves 6.

This recipe compliments of beachcomberscove.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - mackhillfarm

mackhillfarm is a farm located in southwest New Hampshire. They  specialize in Icelandic sheep but they also have honeybee hives, Tamworth pigs, Icelandic chickens, Percheron horses, and Icelandic sheepdogs. They also sell roving and seasonal foods in their shop. Frank and Lisa also have a blog that where they report the doings of the animals and day to day life on a small farm.

On the Etsy Front Page

ClayCenter, our polymer clay artist was in a Treasury that made it to the Front Page. Below is a screen shot of the Treasury and a link to her store so you can see her other wonderful creations.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Cornmeal Raspberry Cookies

Makes 40

The Cookie:

1 cup Butter, softened 
1 cup Sugar 
1 Egg
11⁄4 cup Flour 
1 cup Cornmeal
 1 tsp. Baking Powder
 1 tsp. Salt 
Raspberry Filling 
Confectioners' Sugar

1. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric beater. Beat in egg, flour, cornmeal, baking powder and
2. Transfer dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. With floured hands, shape each half into a block 
        7 inched long 11⁄2 inches wide and 11⁄2 inches high. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours 
         until well chilled.
3. Cut dough into 1/8 inch slices and arrange one inch apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with
        non-stick spray. The cookies will spread a bit. Bake in 350° oven for 8 minutes or until edges are 
        beginning to turn gold. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool.
4. Sandwich two cookies together with raspberry filling and sift confectioner's sugar over the tops.

Raspberry Filling:
2 cups Raspberry Jam 
2 tbs. Cornstarch

1. Place jam and cornstarch in a small pan. Cook, stirring, until the cornstarch is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Set aside to cool before using.

Enjoy this recipe compliments of Whimsy Fish

Check her holiday sweets book in her shop for other great cookie recipes: CD or PDF 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - dragon06

dragon06 lives in Burlington, NJ. where she makes candles, soaps, shampoos, lotions, and lip balm. She makes excellent products and does her best to make them as natural as possible. 

She also has a blog where she talks more about herself and her products and, from time to time, announces sales in her shop. Scroll down to the Members Sites and Blogs Section for a direct link to it. 

Browse her shop.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Shocking Pink Bean Dip

This one is not for the faint of heart!

2 cans white or navy beans
4-6 anchovies (I use the ones packed in oil in the little jars.)
2-6 cloves garlic
1 medium roasted beet, peeled
1/4 cup yogurt
about 4 tbsp olive oil (or oil from the anchovies)

Blend 'till smooth.

Serve with carrots, celery and fresh green beans, 
or corn chips and crackers, 
or try it as a yummy sandwich spread!  

From ClockworkCrow

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - whimsyfish

whimsyfish lives in Stratham, NH, USA. A little artistry and a little whimsy goes into everything she makes, be it jewelry, knits or whatever takes her fancy. Pictured is one of her mini sweater Christmas tree ornaments.
Browse her shop.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Tabouli


1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch parsley
handful of fresh mint
1 cucumber
1 large tomato, or 2 medium ones
juice of 1 lemon
more olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toast bulgur in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. It'll start to become fragrant after a couple of minutes, so go ahead and add the water. Cover the pan with a lid, turn off the heat under it, and let steam for 20 minutes.

While the bulgur is contemplating it's future as a tasty foodstuff, chop remaining ingredients. When bulgur has absorbed all the water, add garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to it. Cover and let sit for a few minutes, until it has cooled off a bit. Add parsley, mint, and cucumber, and then put in the fridge to let it cool until you're ready to eat it.

Upon removing the tabouli from the fridge, add tomatoes and adjust seasonings. Eat.

From tofunutloaf.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - Bebopgirl1969Jewelry

Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to the Highlands of Scotland when I got married. Now I live in Forres, made famous by MacBeth, and I also live about 40 miles from the infamous Loch Ness Monster. 

My jewelry designs are inspired by lots of stuff--nature, mythology, history/historical clothing (I have a BA in History), anime, basically whatever catches my fancy on any given day. Even just seeing a gorgeous bead can get my mind racing...a feeling I'm sure lots of us can relate to. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Multi-grain Blueberry Pancakes

You won't know how wonderful it can be to get away from standard flour until you have tried something like these pancakes. Adding a generous portion of blueberries makes them great for those picky eaters who refuse fresh fruit. (Recipe doubles easily)

1/3c white rice flour
1/3c oat flour
1/3c flour
1tbsp sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1tbsp oil or melted butter
1 large eggs
1 scant cup buttermilk
1c fresh or frozen blueberries (drained) *wild blueberries are best

Combine all dry ingredients in a small to med mixing bowl. Add liquids next. Either beat the eggs before adding or open directly into bowl and break up slightly before adding buttermilk. Mix until flour is moistened. There will be lumps. Fold in blueberries. Allow the batter to develop for 5-10 min.

While the batter rests, heat a griddle to 350f or a large frying pan to med heat. Coat lightly with cooking spray. When prepared, scoop 1/4c of batter at a time and pour onto griddle. Flip when edges are beginning to set (when you touch the spatula to the pancake as if to lift the pancake, no batter sticks to the spatula.)

Top the pancakes as you like and enjoy! Makes 10-12 pancakes, about 4 servings.

From FabrigamiQueen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Veggie Sandwich

For this recipe you need to gather a favorite vegetable or two. It is a bit unusual but excellent. By itself it makes a great lunch; combined with a good soup it makes a big meal.

Good bread
A crisp vegetable or two
Goat cheese
Mustard or pesto or BBQ sauce (or whatever)

For each sandwich use two slices of good bread, toasted. Slice or mash 1/2 avocado; layer or spread onto one piece of toast. Slice your favorite crisp vegetable and layer that on top of the avocado. Add goat cheese and then the sauce of your choice. Add second slice of toast and enjoy.

From tofunutloaf

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - tofunutloaf

Tofu Nutloaf lives in the Republic of Urbana and specializes in creating robots with unusual views of the universe and reality. She also makes block prints and cards featuring  Cephalopoda such as squid and octopi.

The following quote is from her profile on her Etsy store. "Tofu Nutloaf comes up with the best, most interesting theories in the known universe. Whether they ultimately turn out to be a reflection of reality is of no concern."

Tofu is also fond of strange vegetables and is apt to mention them at random intervals on facebook.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

The making of ...: Freethinkers Team on Etsy

The making of ...: Freethinkers Team on Etsy: "Freethinkers is a team of open-minded, free-thinking, non-judgemental individuals on Etsy. Actually, it's a great team to be in, with friendly, talented and helpful members and I'm very glad I found them. In this post I would like to share with you some of their beautiful creations."

Thank you for your blog post Dwyr.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Apple Dump Cake

This is easy and yummy.

2 cans apple pie filling
2 sticks butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tspcinnamon
1 white or yellow cake mix (dry)
Pecans for topping

Combine pie filling, sugar and cinnamon.
Pour into a 9" X 13° Baking dish.
Top with dry cake mix.
Sprinkle with additional sugar if desired.
Pour melted butter all over top to evenly distribute.
Sprinkle on pecans.
Bake at 400° For about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
You can tell When it is done.
Top will be golden brown and the dish will be bubbly all over.

Substitute cherry pie filling for apples.
Eliminate the cinnamon and add a can of well drained, crushed pineapple.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - melfitz

Today's featured Freethinker is melfitz, a gal who lives in Michigan. She loves fashion and the garments she makes are a reflection of her own enthusiasm and appreciation for personal style. Her favorite matterials are wool and natural fiber blends.

For more information click here to go to melfitz's shop.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Recipe Corner - Beachcomber Seafood Chowder

This isn’t a real recipe because a friend from Maine just told me how to do it while we were in the pool in water aerobics. Couldn’t exactly write it down, but its easy & tasty.

Dice one medium red potato. Place in saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Here you can add salt, pepper, onion, garlic, bacon bits, thyme, whatever you like. 

Before potatoes are done lay a fish filet (or 2) on top and continue to simmer. After a few minutes you can add crab meat, shrimp, scallops, clams, any other seafood you like or have on hand. 

When the seafood is about done, I stir in 1 can of evaporated milk (with 1/2 can water) and 1 can of cream-style corn. You can add you own “heat” to taste. I add some creole seasoning, red & green tabasco, and some finely cut jalapenos A teaspoon of sugar or splenda is a nice touch, also. 

Simmer the whole thing a little longer just to blend all the flavors together. Its great with oyster crackers & a little more Tabasco.

From Beachcomberscove.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Tinker - ArabesqueArtsByDarcy

Darcy started cutting paper with both scissors and an art knife many years ago. Then she moved to Taiwan where she taught English, learned Chinese and was exposed to many fine examples of the Chinese art of  paper cutting.

After moving  back to the United States in 1989,  she settled in Illinois working as a librarian.  While there, about four years ago, Darcy started to play with polymer clay and opened her Etsy Shop. About a year ago she also started to do off loom beading.

Click here to see more of Darcy's work.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


i wrote a letter to ann - texstyletextures -  because ... well here's a copy and the letter she wrote back. yes, i know we are living in the same house but she does go to work and i do nap quite a bit during the day.

'lo tex,
i was looking at all the photos you have on flickr with gretchen in them and i didn't see one of me. its 'cause i'm not a doggie isn't it.. i've tried to be a good kitty so could you take at least one of me. maybe you could even send it to aunt martha so she could put it on the team blog. maybe you might even tell her how much help i've been in the sewing room and how i helped you in the garden.... well, maybe that last is pushing it, but if you didn't want to write a lot you could give her a list of some of the things we've done together and she'd write it up. don't tell her i told you this but if you don't tell her something she might just make something up and there's no telling how that will turn out. just saying....
your friend, 

Dear Davy

So sorry you didn't find any pics of you and Gretchen. Don't know what happened to them. But you and I know that Gretchen liked you just fine. Rmember the time I came home from work and found her tasting you? That was fun, wasn't it?

Thanks so much for keeping me company in the sewing room. I think you enjoyed riding on the thread spools. And I know the Indian Princess was happy to have company too.

Remember the day I found you climbing the vines on the ceresus cactus. You had a great adventure in the jungle didn't you. I did get a little bothered by the Tarzan yells though.

How about the day when I came home and found you playing dress up in my shoe closet? Just a little embarrassing.

Anyway I am glad you came to stay with me and I am sure that you and Pinky will have great fun in Texas. Enjoy the flight.


and now i'm off to texas. bye bye mississippi. i sure had a lot of fun.