Thursday, March 18, 2010


Chloe went away for a few days and created this wonderful ad to show not just our knobs but also all the architectural salvage that we have in the shop!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This morning I could heard a bird singing with gusto from the back of the house. It's vibrant song reminded me of the bird songs I hear in summer back home, repetitive and cheerfully lilting.
Maybe warmer weather really is on the way?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

english muffins

So at the Farmer's Market every Sunday there are a few bread stalls, and at one in particular they sell ginormous english muffins. I still don't understand how they get them to stand 3 or 4 inches tall! But on Sunday Ste and I made some wonderfully fluffy, delicious english muffins.

Exhibit A:

They haven't lasted long and they definitely taste the best toasted. And, best of all, they taste like english muffins!

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup melted shortening
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1. Warm the milk in a saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and rest of flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl and let rise.

3. Punch down, roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter. Sprinkle wax paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.

4. Heat greased griddle. Cook muffins on griddle about 8 minutes on each side on medium heat. Keep baked muffins in warm oven until all have been cooked. Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

animals in the park

There is a small animal petting corner in our local park.
We've been by there a few times to see the animals in this cold winter. The last time we went by they looked very ready for springtime weather. Lots of mud and not too much grass.

an inquisitive guinea pig

he's got the right idea

one of the baby goats peeking out of their shelter

there's two babies- one looks like there parents, all tan, brown and black, but the other has lots of fun white spots all over it!

the goats didn't like to walk on the mud (can you blame them?) so they stuck to the flagstone paths in their fenced area. there was a branch they would go to and spend a long time scraping off their hooves. what clean goats!

the daddy, or mommy, goat. we can't tell the difference yet!

I've told all our friends about the goats and once the weather gets better I'm planning a park picnic and goat visit for them :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

bunny of the week 38

Steiff Bunny, $65 for this 5" reproduction of a 1964 classic. Still made in Germany.

Via CJ Via Williams Sonoma

Sunday, March 7, 2010

weekend home style: drafting

SJ finished my Christmas drafting table a few weekends ago!

Note the adjustable angle and height AND hinged plexiglass top!

I'm going to be sure to take it on a sketching spin this week.

The perfect handmade drafting table :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

what's for breakfast?

I like these photos. Photographer Oliver Schwarzwald photographed typical breakfasts from around the world. Can you match the country to the breakfast?

(answers: USA, Sweden, Russia, France, GB)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Homemade tortillas are so much better than store-bought tortillas.
They require a lot of muscle to roll out those small balls into tortilla shapes, but they're worth the efforts.

Texas Flour Tortillas

Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.

Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.
Makes eight tortillas.

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