We love to entertain and have friends over for dinner or brunch as often as possible. For many years, I've kept a journal where I record our guests' names, the date, and the menu I prepared (including cookbook references). Since I usually try new recipes whenever we entertain, I take time the next day to write down a few notes with regard to how everything turned out, or any helpful preparation or timing tips I may want to remember. It's also a good place to jot down a guest's favorite dish or dessert, food allergies, or fun memories from the evening. When planning a new dinner party, I can refer back to my journal to be certain I don't prepare the same dish our friends have already been served. Or, if entertaining on short notice, I can use my journal to quickly locate a menu I've already planned for someone else and then I'm good to go. I just made this new entertainment journal for myself, along with a few for my shop, using stamps based from French vintage chocolate molds.
Thank you to all of my dear customers who have been waiting so patiently for me to restock my magnets since my last show. I am setting aside some for my etsy shop and will be adding additional ones as soon as I get them photographed. Hope everyone has a great weekend. We're off tomorrow morning for a college tour in Delaware. Our daughter's first decision letter came this week. She was so excited to learn she was accepted into the Savannah College of Art and Design. It's not her first choice, as she would like to be closer to home (yea!), but she received an annual scholarship so she'll definitely be considering it. It's an exciting, as well as anxious time, as we await the decisions!
A bitterly cold day called for a special after school treat...warm scones and hot tea. This recipe is so quick and the scones are absolutely delicious - nothing like those cardboard type ones you buy at the store. Any shape biscuit cutter can be used. Today, I chose a scalloped heart. You can alter the recipe by adding your favorite additions such as, currants, dried cherries, walnuts, or cinnamon. I often bring a stack of these wrapped in a cellophane bag tied with pretty ribbon, along with a jar of jam, to give as a hostess gift. After a busy night of entertaining, your hostess can wake up to a delicious breakfast already prepared.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter. Pulse with on/off turns until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
With processor running, quickly poor in milk, processing until just combined. Add raisins. Pulse with a few on/off turns to mix, keeping raisins as whole as possible. (Dough will be very soft.)
On well floured surface, roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut scones with floured biscuit cutter. Arrange scones 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes, turn the baking sheet front to back and continue baking 6 minutes longer until scones are just firm to the touch but not brown.
Now that my family and friends have opened their handmade Christmas gifts, I can share what I've been up to. During my last visit to New York City, I stopped in at Purl Patchworkand purchased the owner's book, Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. I was inspired by a little needle book project and decided to make them for my family and friends for Christmas. I ordered wool felt on-line for the covers, in lots of great colors, and ivory wool flannel for the inside pages. I added a ribbon tie and a vintage rhinestone finding to each book and filled a few of the pages with pins, extra buttons and needles and thread. The labels I designed were printed on a sheet of printable-cotton fabric which I also picked up at Purl Patchwork.
My second handmade gift project this Christmas was a family cookbook. Over the past few months I gathered all of our family's favorite recipes and entered them in the computer. At the top of each recipe, I included a few sentences with any special thoughts or memories with regard to the particular recipe. I organized them into categories (the largest being the dessert category!) and included a dedication page to my mom and dad. After printing everything out and assembling the books, they were ready to ship to each member of the family, from the grown-ups to the nephews. I used my copy over the holidays and it was great having all of our traditional recipes in one place. Here's a copy of the cover. From left to right is my brother, me, my sister, my mom and dad and the baby in the family, my youngest sister. Everyone really enjoyed receiving a copy. My brother's twin boys (ages 14) have aleady used the pierogi recipe and another nephew wants to be sure his famous fudge recipe gets included in the next update.
I'm beginning the New Year in the right direction, quite literally. My sweet husband gave me a GPS navigation system for my car. This will come as a huge relief to my friends who receive my calls for help as to whether I should turn left, right, north or south. It's true, I have no sense of direction and hate reading maps. For those of you who may not be familiar with these systems, the user is able to select the voice that gives the turn by turn directions. I, of course, chose the male voice with the British accent. Henceforth, my new GPS system shall be referred to as "Mr. Darcy" from my favorite Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. I sense I'll be going on many new field trips in the coming year, always accompanied by my personal travel assistant, Mr. Darcy.
After a wonderful and relaxing vacation, I'm happy to report that I'm out of my pj's, dressed and looking forward to the upcoming new year. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've actually collected packages from both our UPS man and mailman wearing my pj's. I believe on one occasion I was wearing my comfy J. Crew flannel pj pants paired with a blouse and pearls! (I guess on that particular day I almost made it out of my pj's.) Anyway, I've been very busy ordering new paper, embellishments, and supplies and have wasted no time jumping back into my studio and using them to create some new items for my shop. I'll have so much more to share over the coming weeks. Here are a few of the items I listed in my shop today.
Mini journals. I love this one - perfect for that special Valentine!
I made these French inspired photo/memo/placecard holders for my holiday shows and they completely sold out. I have a new supply in the shop now and they can be ordered in multiple numbers for special occasions and weddings.
Bookmarks featuring filigree heart and buckle charms, ready to be placed in our new books we received over the holidays.
Wishing all of you a most joyous, healthy and hopeful New Year!