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Archive for the tag “homemade”

Hand-Woven Table Runner

Hand-Woven Table Runner by Frederick, South Dakota-based Annikki Marttila, a.k.a. Finnish Weaver on Etsy.  It’s on sale for $38.

I love table runners because they look nice during mealtime and non-mealtime alike.  They can be complemented by placemats, but that’s optional.  I love the colors in this runner; bright but neutral.

My aunt Peggy also lives in South Dakota, near the border with Wyoming, and is a talented weaver.  She gave me a beautiful grey rug on one condition: that I would use it.  She didn’t want me to keep it on a shelf to “preserve” it.  Its tag reads: “By Peggy and Her Sheep.”

Bagels Homemade: Sesame, onion and salt

I consider most Saturday mornings productive if I get up, perk some coffee and read a few sections of the New York Times all before noon.  Compared to many weekends during college, this is, after all, an improvement.

This morning, I forever raised the bar for Saturday Morning Productivity.  I made homemade bagels.  Yeast, water, sugar, salt, flour, kneading, resting, rising, shaping, boiling, and baking.  They’re perfect and delicious.

I followed this recipe by Aimee of Under the High Chair and, gasp, I followed the recipe exactly.  Double gasp, this included using white flour.  I did keep the raw cane sugar for the sugar.  And I did allow myself one creative flourish for a topping: dehydrated onions mixed with salt.  (Poppy seeds and salt on the rest.)

Here’s the biggest shock, though.  How does Aimee, a mother of two wee ones, manage to make homemade bagels?  And how find time did she videotape herself shaping the dough for the helpful video tutorials?  And how does she clean everything?

‘Cause I just glanced in my kitchen, and it looks like a flour mill and a poppy seed factory exploded simultaneously.

Good thing some productivity can be postponed until the late afternoon.

Croutons Homemade by Mari

As a kid I ate only croutons from a salad.  Now I love salad and eat everything in them but the croutons since they usually taste old and bland.

Leave it up to my friend Mari to bring over homemade croutons that leave me loving them again.  Crispy with olive oil and garlicky, they’re lovely on her velvety chestnut soup or any salad.

Mari’s Croutons

5-6 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Lay one bread slice flat, cut 1/2″ strips lengthwise, then 1/2″ strips crosswise (resulting in small cubes).  Repeat with remaining slices.  You should have about 3 cups of bread cubes. Put them into a large bowl.

2. In small bowl, whisk garlic into olive oil.  Pour over bread in large bowl, tossing quickly to evenly distribute among cubes.  Don’t get too much oil onto any cube or it will turn out soggy.

3. Spread onto baking sheet and bake, turning frequently, for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.

In Mari’s words, “Crunchy Fun!”

Etsy Apron: Red, white and classy all over

I love the website Etsy to discover unique, handmade goods from individuals all over the world.

Spoons Apron- red is the handiwork of Cape Town, South Africa artist skinnylaminx.

I love the teapot as an added photo element. She seems like a woman who would be comforting to talk to.

Recipe: Parmesan Garlic Flax Crackers

There are two types of people: those who make their own crackers and those who do not.

Based on purely anecdotal evidence, I am the only person in the former category, aside from the creator of this recipe. It is the recipe I have been asked for more than any other. It is a recipe that it is delicious and healthy. It is even gluten free. And Atkins-friendly. And makes you popular. It may save the world. So let’s get to it:

Parmesan Flax Crackers

Adapted from Laura Dolson

1 cup ground flax seed (either golden or brown, which determines cracker color)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water (truthfully, I never measure; I just add water until a paste forms)

1. Heat oven to 400 F.

2. Mix all ingredients together.

3. Spoon onto sheet pan which is covered with a silicone mat or greased parchment paper. Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Even out the mixture to about 1/8 inch (I use my hands, but a rolling pin or wine bottle would work too. The important thing is not to let it be too thin around the edges or that part will overcook before the center firms up.)
4. Take off top parchment paper and, using a butter knife, cut where you want the cracker edges to be. You can make long skinny sticks, big triangles, little squares- whatever.

5. Bake until the center is no longer soft, about 15-18 minutes (or for me, sometimes it’s longer). If it starts to get more than a little brown around the edges, remove from oven. Let cool completely – it will continue to crisp up. Sometimes I will remove the individual crackers that are done and continue baking the rest for a few more minutes.

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