Etsy

If you read our blog on a regular basis, you have probably noticed how varied our topics and interests are. A put it very nicely in the “About The Time Machine” section when she described our posts as a “mixed bag.”

Most of you probably follow our model and have mixed interests. Because of this, many of us will hit a roadblock in our lives where we are unsure of where to find certain items to satisfy our enthuasium. No longer do we need to hunt down tiny unknown stores (although that can certainly be fun), find private specialists, or looking in millions of places. Etsy, the online shopping place for crafts and vintage has literally everything!

Let’s face it – we all have quirks about us. Most of the time, these quirks are surpressed my generic mass-market products. For example, you get a new phone and need a case to protect it. At the store there are normally these options: colors, classic patterns, and clear. Most of us will settle for one of them without a second thought. However, how about a cover made out of a timeless vintage fabric? Or out of an old heater vent or even zebra skin? On Etsy, your true personality will come through.

Okay. So if it were up to me, the entire point of this post would be just to rant on and on about how wonderful I think Etsy is. However, listening to someone rant on and on about how much they love something can often get a little annoying. So rather than listening to me talk about it, go find out for yourself!! Here’s the link: http://www.etsy.com/. They truly have something for everyone!

-C

Pictures courtesy of:

http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/01/11/etsy-made-me-do-it/

http://blogs.wsj.com/dealjournalaustralia/2012/06/12/etsy-focuses-on-growth-down-under/

Salmon, Salmon, Salmon!

Grilled Salmon

So it’s summer and you want that great superfish, salmon, right? But you don’t just want to throw it in the oven and see what happens, or plop it on the grill. You want to emulate some great salmon that you had in a restaurant, or just find a way to reinvent salmon. I’m bringing you two great ways to have salmon, both easy summer recipes that are light and delicious.

Salmon with Basil-Lemon Marinade

Grilled Salmon

  • 4 pcs. salmon fillets or steaks (6 oz)
  • 1 large bunch basil, washed and stemmed
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon, approx. 2 tsp
  • Juice of the lemon, 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Place salmon, rinsed, in large casserole dish.
  2. Marinade: combine basil, garlic, oil, rind, juice, salt and pepper, in blender. Whirl until smooth paste. Spread basil mixture. Turn salmon over to coat well. Marinate 30 mins, turn after 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare outdoor grill (heat coals), gas grill to hot or heat oven broiler. Grill salmon, basting with marinate, for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until opaque in centre. Transfer to a plate and serve!

Asparagus Salmon Risotto
Salmon and Asparagus Risotto

  • 2 tblsp. olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, fine chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste (use little salt)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Saute over low heat for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the rice. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer the broth. Add 3/4 to 2 cups of the hot broth 1/2 cup at a time to the rice, stirring constantly after each addition and cooking until the broth is absorbed.
  3. Add the wine. Cook until absorbed, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the asparagus. Add the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition and cooking until the broth is absorbed.
  5. Stir in the salmon. Cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

I’d like to invite all of you followers to ask questions and suggest recipes about your favourite ingredients, too!

-A.

Asparagus Salmon Risotto

Photos Courtesy of:

Is Your Family Cookbook a Hellacious Dump?

Well, I’m here to rescue your poor imploding binder. Because of the nature of this post, I don’t have that many pictures that are perfectly related to organisation (unless you want me to upload 10 pictures of my lovely tabs), so I’ll provide you a sneak-peak to future recipes that are hidden in the binder as I go about explaining familial organisational tools. So, here we go: How to Make an Organised Family Cookbook out of your Mess.

Recipe

Step 1: Remove Everything. This is one of my family recipes (a custard) that has been removed, so delicately, from an old binder stuffed with napkin edges full of recipes. Some of them had huge stains, some were ripped in two, some had four duplicates. So when you’re taking apart what is probably, at this point, a binder falling apart or a notebook with 3 recipes on each page, be mindful that you might be handling the only recorded version of that cake or casserole. Put them in a pile, or several piles if they are already organised in some fashion, and clean out the entire old cookbook.
Banana Bread

Step 2: Purchase Replacements. Get yourself 2 2′ binders that feel sturdy and strong. Nothing that will fall apart in a month — a year — even four years. You don’t want to have to do this every blue moon. You want this to be the version you hand your grandchildren. Whether that means you have to reinforce it with steel. You want 2 because, you will probably need 2, despite what you think. If you don’t use it, you can use the other binder to store recipes you want to try, contacts, important documents, etc.

Also purchase a 100 pack of clear paper protectors. Invest in stronger ones that won’t tear at the creases and sides. Then, purchase either a stack of computer paper or coloured mounting paper (scrapbooking will do), because it will give your cookbook a much more elegant and personal feeling. Finally, get some double sided acid-free mounting tape from an office or crafts store. You can find it in the scrapbooking section.

Step 3: Rethink Your Categories. If you didn’t have categories before, or if you’re using old categories from a premade cookbook, it’s time to take charge and divvy up your recipes. Personalise. For example, I broke up breads into “breakfast” and “savoury” because my family actually  has several dozen in each section. I’ll provide you with the categories I settled with:

  • Sauces and Appetizers
  • Savoury Breads
  • Soups, Salads, Pizzas, Sandwiches, etc.
  • Beverages
  • Breads and Breakfast Items
  • Casseroles
  • Meats and Poultry
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Holiday
  • Desserts
  • Miscellaneous

Pan Seared Salmon
Step 4: Mount and Sort. I hope you bought enough double sided tape, because now it’s time to sit down with an army of family members and just go through those recipes. Put them into the categories you came up with, toss out the ones you haven’t done in 20 years (and don’t plan on doing) that have little memory value, and, if you have the man power, assign a person or two to start mounting. Double side the papers, putting recipes on both sides. Make sure that the recipes on both sides belong in the same category, and do this for as many hours as you can stand. It will go faster and faster. Mount a recipe or two on each side, slide it into a page protector, and stack them up again.

Sauteed ApplesStep 5: Snap Them In and Enjoy! It’s time to take pictures of those lovely new recipe binders sitting on your pretty shelf. This means no more sifting through for lost recipes, no more using the same ones in the front, finding those great family recipes that make you laugh (Sock-It-To-Em Cake, anyone?) and finally getting them all sorted, set, and protected. The paper protectors will make sure that no more spatters ruin your grandmother’s handwriting, and the binder will let you snap them out and carry them around the kitchen as you stir and whisk up family tradition.

But wait! There’s more! Another bonus is that it is now easy for your children or pesky relatives to come and make copies. Send them to the nearest copy machine and they can unsnap and press page-by-page the recipes that they want. Now you don’t have to worry about sitting down and typing them up another copy of the illegible scrawl your German great-aunt-in-law wrote on the back of your tax returns when she visited you twelve years ago. Instead, now it’s easy and breezy.

Hopefully you’ll get inspired to clear your cluttery kitchen and start with your cookbook too!

-A.
Photos Courtesty Of:

Mmm, Southern Cooking! ‘A’ Guest Blogs for UK Cake Site

Pound Cake
That’s right! I’ve entered a weekly contract for guest blogging for a UK cake blog called “How to Make a Cake.” Get the recipe for this Southern-style traditional pound cake here:

http://howtomakeacake.org.uk/mamie-kinlaws-pound-cake/

Happy cake-ing! Look out for weekly posts notifying you when cake recipes have been put up on the UK cake blog, since I’ll be providing recipes for them for two or three months!

-A.

Photo Courtesy Of:

What Do Single Girls Do Over the Weekend? Why, Articulate Chickens, of Course!

Since Easter is fast approaching, what better time to talk about chickens?!?! I thought I would share with you my latest adventure (in regards to chicken)…

A few weeks ago, I decided to set out on the quest of articulating the skeleton on an animal. I came to the conclusion that a chicken would be my best option. It would be easy to find one, they couldn’t have that many bones, and it would be small enough that I could easily assemble it. All three of these assumptions were wrong, but out of it I got my darling chicken, Fitzwilliam.

FIRST STEP: Let’s talk about the splendid experience of finding a chicken. I assumed that when chickens arrive at the supermarket, they are all intact. The butcher gets rid of the neck and legs and freshly puts them on display. This is not so. Apparently chickens do NOT arrive with these parts.

My first stop was ACME. Now, they do not have the best butchery department, but hey, they must have CHICKENS for god’s sake. Here’s how my conversation with the butcher went:

Butcher: “Hi there! How can I help you?”

ME: “I’m looking for a chicken. Would you happen to have one?”

Butcher: “Why, yes! They’re right over there”

ME: “No, I’m sorry. I meant, do you have any chickens with, you know…the head and feet still                                   attached?”

Butcher: “HAHAHAHAH!!! What, are you doing some type of satanic sacrifice? No, we don’t                                       carry them here. You’ll have to look around for one of them…”

And he was quite right. I was going to have to look around. I decided then that I was going to call places before running around like a chicken without a head (hehehe). I called so many butchers, grocery stores, and markets, but to no avail. I either got laughed at or hung up on. I guess that my request wasn’t the norm…FINALLY on a whim I decided that I would go out to the Asian Market as a final desperate chance.

I walked up to the butcher here and had basically the same conversation as previously depicted, but instead of the butcher laughing at me, he just walked away and went into the back. I didn’t know what to do so I just waited for about a minute. Then he finally came out with Fitzwilliam. My Chicken.

I glowed as I walked up to the cash-register.  Finally, It would be easy sailing from here. WRONG.

SECOND STEP: Getting the bones. I knew that I was going to have to boil the chicken because I didn’t have a colony of flesh eating bugs on hand. So, I got to experience the wonderful smell of over-boiled chicken!

THIRD STEP: Clean the bones. It was relatively late at night when I started to separate the meat from the bones and remove the cartilage. Little did I know that it would take a few hours for this process alone.

FOURTH STEP: Bleach the bones. As I finished cleaning each bone, I placed it into a bath of hydrogen peroxide. Once all of them were in, I added bleach. Apparently, when you mix hydrogen peroxide and bleach, you get a white foam…

FIFTH STEP: Clean them again…because anything left on the bones will now come off easier. Then rinse.

SIXTH STEP:  Articulate. Much easier said than done. No matter how many pictures you look at, nothing seems to fit together. In the end, I took artistic liberties and created Fitzwiliam.

He may not have ribs or feet, or even be atomically correct, but I adore him. His journey was one of adventure: from the back room of an Asian Food Market to my office shelf. Maybe one day I will be able to make him a proper sibling, but until then, he’s perfect. <3

-C