I love taking bits and pieces from the past and creating something new to enjoy. A tiny piece of lace or an old picture is my inspiration. I think if these elements could talk, they would have such an interesting story to tell.
With that said, I had the opportunity to visit with a certain jolly old elf. He asked what I wanted for Christmas and I said I had everything that I need. He seemed to think that I didn't have a picture of me on his lap ... sooo ... now I have one!
Whether it is Christmastime or otherwise, sometimes you feel the need to let people know that they have been special in some way. Over the past few months, there have been several people that have made an unpleasant time much more tolerable. My hubby and I felt we wanted to let them know that we noticed and it made a difference.
The bottom line ... they cared and we wanted to reciprocate. For me, cooking equates with caring. So, last week I got busy and baked lots of fun, yummy stuff to give. I had fun!
I pulled out recipes for my favorite holiday treats and included a new one that I had been wanting to try.
The results are pictured below.
I think that packaging and presentation are as important as what is inside the package.
As they say, you eat with your eyes first.
There were snowflake pizzelles dusted with powdered sugar ...
chocolate dipped marshmallow pops and
coconut thumbprint cookies with cranberry curd centers ...
cranberry-orange nut bread, savory parmesan crackers and
sweet, salty pecans! I hope the recipients enjoyed sampling
everything as much as I enjoyed creating it.
The savory crackers and thumbprint cookies were recipes from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Both fabulous!!! The sweet and salty pecans are a holiday favorite. I have served them at the Holiday Treasures show for the past two years. They disappear in a matter of minutes. I thought I would share the receipe. If you have any questions about the recipe or any of the other items shown above - just email !
Sweet and Salty Nuts
Butter (about 2 tbsp. to grease baking pan).
1 pound pecan or walnut pieces (4 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt (about 1 tbsp. or 2 tsp. salt)
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/2 tsp.)
Coarse raw sugar
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Using about 2 tablespoons of butter, generously butter a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.
In a large bowl stir together the nuts, granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and pepper until well combined; spread in prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbly, stiring once or twice. Remove from oven. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar; toss to coat. Transfer mixture to a large piece of foil. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break apart to serve.
Store nuts in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in freezer container in freezer up to 3 months. Makes 20-24, 1/4-cup servings.
On the 18th there will be a pre-show party that includes wine by Duck Pond Vineyards, pulled pork sliders from Adam's Ribs and other appetizers to tempt you with. And as always the first picks on all the great merchandise ($7 entry fee).
Our Holiday Treasures Show was such fun this weekend. It was great to see old friends and get acquainted with new! Diane and I would like to thank you all for coming to her sweet, little barn in the Sublimity countryside. Your support means more than you know.
I know its too dark, but those waiting to come it were warmed by a inviting fire. It combined with the twinkley lights really got you in the holiday mood. Diane and her husband, Matt, really outdid themselves to make the setting special.
Here are a few pics of what was inside.
Diane has posted some fabulous pics. So be sure to check out her blog.
Each year I make a new type of snow man. This year, I decided I wasn't going to invest in expensive foam balls as my base. Instead I experimented with wads of newspaper. I think the result was even better than before!
This year's snow man reflects my love of old & recycled items: newspapers pulled from the recycle bin, an old rusty funnel "hat", a belt salvaged from on old pair of roller skates, neck scarf from an warm woolen blanket. He is perched on an old book of Christmas stories. He is just one big repurposed hunk of snow man!
He and a few of his best friends will be at the Holiday Treasures Show this weekend hosted my Diane (Molly Mo's) and me. Show details are on the left. Hope you can make it! M.
A Season of Change. It has been an unusual Fall - to say the least. I have had to learn to adjust and accept the way I usually go about things. Something I don't do easily. I'm not inflexible. I CAN accept the things that cause the change and go forward. However, it does require some serious reorganization of what is in my brain. So with that ... My husband has had some health issues that have required some changes. Nothing awful - just change on his part and, for me, adapting to how that affects me and this little business that I love. However, I love him more - so you take care of what is most important and realize that everything else is just not such a big deal. What is precious is apparent really fast.
Not to worry! He is much better! I, however, am adapting to a different plan for the next season of creations and shows. Again, it takes me a bit to wrap my tiny, little brain around this stuff -- but I AM doing it. If I hadn't said anything, no one would be the wiser, but I feel it. I am a planner and organizer. Changes of "The Plan" put me in a spin. The good part of this is that I am being forced to work smarter and more efficiently. No time for creative indulgences that can take precious time.
Since this post has been all about change - there has been a big change in my workroom. A change from black glitter to mica flake and silver sparkles - everywhere! There was a little "snow" storm in the workroom this weekend. Even a little bling - and - we all love bling!
Last year Elf Patty ordered the publication, Holiday with Matthew Mead. A beautiful collection of eye candy for the holidays. One picture in particular caught my eye - two blingy, blue trees created by Debbie Dusenberry of http://www.curioussofa.com/. This year I decided to had to make a few of these. What fun and I think they turned out lovely.
These cuties and many other creations will be waiting for you at ...
Keep checking back for more new things coming out of the workroom. The glitter is flying about and everything is a-sparkle! M.
It only makes sense that if it takes a week to set up for a show -- it takes a week to undo it. It indeed took a week. What have I learned from this experience? I have to find a different venue for my next Vintage Halloween Bootique. We knew after last year's event that we might be able to have it in our home one more year, but after that -- probably somewhere else. We were right. It has gotten too big, too much stuff to relocate and too much stuff to display! And ... above everything else ... too much disruption in our everyday lives. My husband is such a sweetie and just goes with the flow. He even admitted that it is time to "move the Bootique"! So the search is on for a new venue.
Here are some pictures of the Bootique just before we opened our doors on Friday evening. It was a smashing success and certainly made the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile!
So here you go ... PRESTO ....
A variety of small "bites",
what's a party without "spirits of the vine" and ...
lots of ghoulfriends???
Back to normal ... a-gain. If you are asking yourself, "Was it worth it?"
Yes, it was. I would like to thank everyone who attended. It was fun, crazy busy and rewarding to see the little "Bootique" image in my head come to life.
I would also like to thank all my wonderful friends that helped in one way or another: Ellen (my sis), Rosa, Sarah, Diane, Carly, Betty, and of course, Elf Patty. Without these women and my husband, it wouldn't have been possible. I owe you all BIG! I would also like to thank my nephew, Matt and great-nephew, Hayden for providing the muscle to move all the furniture. (Tip: you can get lots done by bribing with warm brownies!)
Coming up ... Holiday Treasures Show, November 11th & 12th. Mark your Calendar! M.