Sunday, January 30, 2011

Time for an Update

I've decided to update my goals a bit when it comes to this bliggity blog.  I'll post a shop update only once a week at most, so that those of you who are really here for the food won't get too overwhelmed by it. And once or twice a week I will go back to my standard recipe sharing, hopefully drool inspiring food posts, so that those of you who visit from Etsy won't get to confused by all of the sugar and garlic that shows up here. Why not just create a separate blog, you may ask? Dude. Come on. I can hardly handle one blog. I can hardly handle getting dressed. I wore pajamas until 2:00 this afternoon. Then I changed into sweats. Just keepin' it real.

Since I've got all of that in writing, I'll try my hardest to stick to it. And now for a shop update! I have listed a bunch of new items in the shop since I opened, and am working on several new things about which I am hugely excited. My friend Shannon has asked me to design her wedding invitations, so I finally get to do another set! The design will then be available for custom order. Until then, here's a taste of the newest listings I've created:

Recycled Chalkboard Flat Note Cards - available in red or white, with more colors coming!

DIY Color Me Pencil and Pop Valentines - available in several styles

Aqua Geometric Floral Flat Notes - available in singles or sets

Remember that if you order anything from the shop by February 8th I will send you a Valentine of your choice for free! Just add the code SNICKER when you check out. 

And you still have time to enter my Grand Opening Giveaway here!

I've created a Facebook page for the shop, and as always appreciate your "likes." As lame as that sounds. You can also follow me on Twitter. Both places are linked in my left sidebar and will be good spots to find more giveaways and discount codes, as well as daily updates of new listings and treasuries. I even created a newsletter, but I can't figure out the link to give you to sign up for it. I'm kinda tech challenged. Duh.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bringing Sweet Back

  • I haven't done any baking since the holidays. I put myself on a baking ban after I failed my silly little glucose scan at 30 weeks and then had to sit through a three hour long visit to the blood center. It involved fasting. And chugging "fruit punch" from the bottle. And needles. Many needles. I don't do needles.

I do however, do cookies. As soon as I found out that I passed the blood screen from hell and don't have gestational diabetes (Woo!), I picked up my food magazines. Maybe it's weird to celebrate passing a glucose test by baking sugar filled cookies rolled in more sugar, but that just made perfect sense to me. The January issue of Bon Appetit includes an adorable little feature on a Rocky Mountain Ski party, full of snow boots and skiers smiling and feasting on delights like these:

Oh hells yes. I don't do skiing. I don't do vacations in the snow. But as I said, I do do cookies. These were perfection on yet another snowy day in the dirty Jerz. Thankfully, it didn't snow quite enough for an early dismissal, so no kids got in the way of my baking these. Crispy on the edges, soft in the center, with little chewy surprise bits from the crystalized ginger... So amazing dunked in a mug of hot tea!

Triple Ginger Cookies
Bon Appetit Magazine, January 2011 

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening 
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • Raw sugar (for rolling)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. 

    Whisk first 5 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon salt* in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and shortening in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, and fresh ginger. Stir in crystallized ginger, then dry ingredients.

  • Fill small shallow bowl with raw sugar. Using moist hands, shape 1 teaspoonful dough into ball; roll in raw sugar. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies until golden and dry-looking, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets.

    *Note: in the magazine, this recipe calls for no salt, thus, I didn't use any. The online version of the recipe includes it in the preparation steps, but not in the list of ingredients. Typo? Change of plans? Idon't know, but add it or don't, these will still be incredible!

    *P.S. Don't forget to enter my Valentine's Giveaway by Feb.1st! 

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Big News and a Giveaway!

Remember  that back burner project I mentioned last week? The one that I've been sitting on for years? Well, I'm finally ready to make it happen, and I'm so excited to spill the beans! I'm finally opening an etsy shop!

When E and I were planning our wedding, I bought a Gocco (a tiny Japanese printing press) to print our invitations and fell instantly in love. It became a bit of an obsession, really. Since then it's been almost four years, and I've made invitations for friends and family members, as well as tons of other projects. I received lots of great feedback, and people were always asking me, "When are you going to start selling these?" Right now! Maybe it's crazy to open an etsy shop when you are expecting a baby in a couple of months, but I know if I don't do it now, I won't ever do it. I resolved to stop procrastinating and start making things happen. It's been a lot of work and a lot of trial and error, but I am determined to do this right.

In that spirit, I'd love for you all to take a look at the shop! You can also visit my Facebook Page and become a fan! Here are a few of the things I've posted so far, with many more to come (hopefully a new item each day).

As  a thank you for all of the support you guys have given me over the last four years, I'm hosting a special Grand Opening Giveaway for my followers! I'm giving away a set of Gocco printed gift tags, plus a single Valentine card of your choice. Just leave me a comment letting me know you're a follower! Don't forget to leave me your email so that I can contact you.  I'll choose a winner via on Febrary 1st.

As a little added bonus : If you make a purchase by February 8th, I will toss in a Valentine Card of your choice for free. Just type in the code SNICKER when you check out!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Mornings

... are all about lazy hanging around the house in the winter. I love to hang on the couch with coffee and cozy food for breakfast. I do not love the work that can go into my favorite foods though. Sometimes I'm too lazy to make pancakes. I'm always too lazy to make sticky buns. There will be no kneading of dough or chopping of nuts on Sunday mornings. There can still be crazy good indulgent breakfast food though, with a tad bit of foresight. I threw this casserole dish into the fridge last night, already salivating over the idea of curling up on the couch with a hunk of it. I pulled it out of the fridge while I made coffee, ate a banana to calm to kicking belly beast while it baked, and was in heaven by 8:30 AM. Yeah, there's no Sunday sleeping in anymore since the bean wakes up at 6:30 and he's still in utero. E and I are in for it.

Pear and Gouda Baked French Toast

1 small loaf of French of Italian bread, preferably a few days old, cubed
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. vanilla soy milk
1 c. low fat milk
2 Tbls. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 ripe pears, cubed
1 c. shredded Gouda, divided
2 Tbls butter, cubed and syrup for serving

Toss bread and pear cubes to combine and spread evenly in a buttered 9x9 inch baking dish. Whisk eggs, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon and 1/2 c. Gouda. Pour over bread and cover with foil. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Remove dish from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dot with butter and bake covered for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Discard foil, sprinkle with remaining shredded Gouda and return to the oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven to rest for a few minutes before serving drizzled with warm maple syrup.

Print the recipe

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knock knock... Is this thing on?

Long time no see. After a lovely, long holiday break, I decided it was time for a blog break, y'all. I did a lot of re-evaluating over my vacation and realized that the amount of time I spend reading blogs, writing blog posts, editing, and obsessing is just ridiculous. Ri-dic-u-lous. I needed a dose of reality. Our baby bean is due at the end of March, baby classes began last week, we have a nursery to finish, and many plans to make. I also realized that a soon to be revealed project that has been sitting on the back burner for literally years needed to come to fruition now. So I've been deleting my Google Reader posts. Checking them all as read. Not commenting on other blogs. Not starring recipes to make later. And now I'm almost all caught up with real life. Phew. I'm still cooking though, (a girl's gotta eat!) and I did get a meat grinder, sausage stuffer, and immersion blender for my birthday (E knows me too well). Food will appear here, maybe once a week, maybe not, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself. I'm not going to worry about deadlines for contests or blog hops, and I'm only posting things that are slam dunks.

Like this salmon. Fricking delicious. And I thought I hated salmon!

Eli's Asian Salmon - Two Ways

2 lbs. wild caught salmon filet
1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbls. fish sauce
1 Tbls. sesame oil 
2 Tbls. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbls. minced garlic
1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

Line a baking sheet with foil and lay salmon on top. Whisk all ingredients exept for salmon and bread crumbs until combined. Pour about 1/4 cup of the soy marinade over the salmon. Top with bread crumbs. Spoon another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the marinade over the bread crumbs until they are all saturated. Spoon any fallen topping back onto the fish. Set aside for 15 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade for tomorrow's recipe.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bake marinated salmon for 18 - 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve hot and reserve half for tomorrow's recipe.

Print this recipe

Asian Salmon Cakes with Soy Mayo

1 lb. reserved Asian Salmon
Reserved soy marinade
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbls. mayonnaise, divided
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. grated carrot
1/4 c. finely diced green pepper
olive oil

Flake cooked salmon with a fork and set aside in a large mixing bowl. In a skillet, heat a Tbls. of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add peppers and carrot and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add to salmon in mixing bowl. Add egg, 2 Tbls. of reserved marinade, panko, and 1/4 c. mayo and toss to combine. Form into four equally sized patties and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Whisk remaining mayo with another Tbls. of soy marinade and reserve for serving.

Heat 2-3 Tbls. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once oil shimmers, reduce heat to medium and add salmon cakes. Cook  about 3-4 minutes per side, until browned and warmed through. Serve with greens and Soy Mayo.

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