Friday Favorites: Perfect stuffing, Local Holiday Shopping & Granny Chic

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and you were able to spend time with the ones you love… family, friends or new friends. I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that quite a few friends and loved ones are suffering great losses and illness this week…my heart goes out to them. Losing a family member or beloved pet is never easy, but the loss feels extra heavy around the holidays.

Most Requested Recipe


It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without one of my most often requested sides, Poblano Corn Custard. This recipe is from my days cooking with Lily & Co. here in Austin. It was one of our best sellers, and is always a crowd pleaser. I made notes in the recipe where I make a couple modifications. There are not many, as the recipe is close to perfection. You can buy the cookbook Lilly for Company: Austin Casual Menus for Palm & Plate locally at Anderson’s Coffee or on Amazon. I might also mention that Anderson’s is my favorite coffee in Austin. Family owned, wonderful staff, and amazing selection of coffees, teas, cups, teapots, preserves, candies… great place for gifts.

Dottie Angel

Yesterday morning I woke up around 8, Steve was already on his bike, in the woods. I was able to enjoy my morning coffee and knit away on a gift while listening to Woolful’s podcast Episode 42: Tif Fussell – Aunties, holistic healing, following fiber, and Dottie Angel. Tif Fussell is my spirit animal. I’ve always been so in love with her aesthetic and writing. I was sad when she decided to quit blogging a couple years ago, but have enjoyed following her work via Instagram. She spoke about living in a home with a soul and how that fueled her creativity. That absolutely resonated with me.

Hand-dyed yarn. I’m especially loving Fiber Obsession’s “Endear”, a Suri alpaca/merino blend that is like knitting with butter. Fiber Obsessions is a line of hand-dyed yarns by Susan Fricks, owner of Yarnorama in Paige, Texas. I’d show you the WIP, but it’s a gift for someone.

Sufjan Stevens | Carrie & Lowell. Love this. Listen here.

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. I do not get excited about shopping Black Friday. But I can get behind this. Of course Small Business Saturday is yet another corporate marketing device… but at least you’re helping out your locally owned business owners.

Some of my favorite local shops:

Austin
Anderson’s Coffee

Elgin
The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods
G&M Drygoods
Elgin Local Goods Market & Cafe
The Tattered Shutter
Ramona’s Rendezvous
The Lion’s Club Thrift

Paige
Yarnorama!

Taylor
The Nest Box
Cherry Tree Creative

It’s only been a couple days since we turned off the air conditioning and already I’m consumed with thoughts of apple desserts, printing christmas cards and planning for Thanksgiving.

I found this recipe for Apple Fritter Cake, think about that for a minute…apple. fritter.cake. I’m curious about this recipe, I mean everyone knows the best part of an apple fritter is the crunchy fried peaks and glaze filled valleys. I wonder if being baked rather than fried will make me sad. Only one way to find out, and lord knows I have more than a few potlucks in the near future.

Speaking of potlucks…I have quite a few pieces of Potluck Tableware available at The Owl thru the Holiday Season. For those of you not planning a visit to Elgin in the near future… I will have some available by this weekend when I update my Etsy shop. As always, special orders are welcome.

I’ve recently added a handful of recipes to this blog. They are mostly recipes for potlucks and special occasions that I felt paired nicely with my Potluck Tableware… everything from smoky pimento cheese to my absolute favorite cornbread dressing. I’ll be adding more recipes as the seasons go round and round.

I have plans for a pile of vintage (and not so vintage) tablecloths, but not until I am finished with printing holiday cards. I’ve been printing, folding and packaging and will be selling those shortly.

Best Laid Plans…

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I had big plans for this week. I really did. I took the week off with plans to package my Potluck stamped silverware for a local shop, read a book, tackle the behemoth that is the guest room, and squeeze in a little knitting. HA!

What really happened is by Sunday I was beginning to feel sick, and by Monday…down for the count. I’m talking about the kind of gross, snarfly sick that makes people at the HEB quickly take giant scissor steps away from me. Mostly this is to avoid getting sick, but probably because sometimes I blow snot bubbles out my nostrils when I cough.

That said, I’m thankful for a few things during this little bit of down time:

I’ve had time to plow through both seasons of Pulling. Thanks for the recommendation Libby. This show makes Sex and the City seem like Little House on the Prairie.

I cast on for this cardigan with the Madelinetosh DK in terrarium that has been sitting around far too long. I knit one a few years back and hated the way it fit me, so gave it to friend.

Ice cream for my sore throat, particularly the kind with vanilla and orange sherbet swirled together.

Soup. Canned, homemade, at a café. Don’t care. Today I plan to make this soup which has become a perennial favorite of mine. Be sure to sauteé carrots with a little curry, ginger and cumin. Yummy.

A snuggly ginger kitten and the almost autumn-like early morning and evening light.

Yet another fine excuse to leave the house a wreck.

So off to HEB to scare off strangers and friends alike.

Friday Favorites

Hat & Image by Maize Hutton

Hat & Image by Maize Hutton

Love the simplicity of the shape and natural yarn color of this hat. Such a quick, sweet gift for a new baby.

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Yellow Summer Squash and Corn Soup from loveandoliveoil.com

I’ve been craving a soup like this. I think I will substitute a roasted poblano for the jalapeño, I like the deeper flavor. And possibly add cream instead of sour cream…we’ll see.

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Double Chocolate Nutella Swirl Banana Bread from thecakehunter.co.uk

Been obsessed with this amazing recipe for a few days… must figure out conversions since it’s british baking blog.

Looks like another rainy weekend, the perfect excuse for the house to smell like banana bread… few things smell better.

Friday Favorites

decamillis2-1 copy Somehow this morning I was tumbling down this book arts rabbit hole while drinking my morning coffee. I’m in love with these miniature copper oil paintings embedded in covers. Artist is Joseph DeCamillis.

panzanella-bread-salad-vertical-600-2-600x821

Recently I’ve found myself obsessed with this salad, though I most often use big store-bought croutons since they are easy to have on hand and I don’t normally have a baguette around for long. Are you really supposed to save some for later? Also, the crunchiness of  the croutons means that by lunchtime, they will still have some toothiness to them, even though they’ve been tossed in dressing hours earlier. This has become a favorite lunch, most definitely a happy desk lunch. This salad is the perfect companion to a hunk of leftover grilled chicken or salmon. No need to heat the protein, it’s perfect cold.

35252736.Oct18004 I love this photo of my mom and sister Kelly circa 1968. Love her fishbone earrings. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, step, foster, in spirit, or otherwise. Motherhood isn’t for everyone, and while some struggle at it, others are stellar. So let’s hear it for mothers of every stripe.

Looking forward to a rainy weekend so I can try out a new recipe or two, stamp some silverware pieces, and find a new knitting project to start. I’ve been stuck on the new project front for about two weeks. More on that later.

Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese

Lately I’ve been stamp stamp stamping away on vintage silverware, knitting this poncho, making shepherds pie (you betcha), redesigning my husband’s website artisanconcrete.com and trying to steal away some time to light a fire on our new brick patio. I’m striving to finish my poncho for our trip to Maryland & DC next weekend… only like 8 9,  okay 10 more inches to go. I predict a lot of Gilmore Girls (don’t judge me) or A Chef’s Life knitting time this weekend. If you’re not watching this PBS show….you should. Love.

fire

blankie

I said I would “NEVER” again knit something for money again. I had a moment of weakness late this summer and said “YES” to knitting this baby blanket for a coworker to give as a shower gift. I always say “NEVER”, but rarely mean it. Please don’t ask.

dolce

About the silverware, does it make me a C-R-A-Z-Y person that I love stamping just one letter at a time with a hammer on a spoon? Be honest. I love this like I loved learning to set type on a letterpress. It’s hands on print production on a shiny loud scale. And don’t think for a minute that I don’t see the irony in the fact that I am writing this having just finished creating the Ipad version of the magazine.

The title of this post is lifted from the words stamped on sets of cheese spreaders… all with bad cheese puns.

“Let it Brie”, “Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese”, and “Gouda Vibrations” I know, it’s painful, right?

And for you Eddie Izzard fans (I’m looking at you @JDewps)… keep your eyes peeled for “Cake or Death?” cake servers to hit The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store or G&M Drygoods soon. Oh, and look for holiday cards too.

Tonight I’m taking the early commuter home for Sip, Shop & Stroll. This event will happen the second Thursday each month. In-store specials and live music. Downtown Elgin from 5-8. Future dates 12/11, 1/8. Elgin Local Goods just posted that they will have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! If you haven’t visited downtown Elgin lately… you really should. It’s truly becoming the heart of the city that it once was.

Last Weekend

Last weekend looked like this…

Chair

hands down, my favorite place to knit

Bud

and my favorite little buddy to knit with

Soup

i made this

Compost

and this

Sox

and finished these

Here's hoping for more of the same this weekend. My husband is sick today, and I'm feeling a bit iffy too, so perhaps just the knitting part would do.

I'm almost done with this great beret pattern from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas and though I've cast on for Topiary in a lovely blue green wool, I think I mayswing by Hill Country Weavers right now to pick up an oatmealy Berroco Vintage so that the stitches will be more pronounced. Yep, that' sexactly what I'm gonna do. I'm not normally a big fan of a wool/acrylic blend, but this yarn is really great.

off to the yarn store! 

Feather

We bought a Thanksgiving CSA from our friends Tim & Charlotte, they have a small farm in town. I swung by Tuesday night (butchering day) to pick up my basket which, in addition to the heritage breed turkey, contained fresh eggs, pecans, tatsoi, bok choi, lettuce, pumpkin butter, grape jelly, onion prickly pear sauce, rosemary, thyme and sage for roasting the bird…and also this feather.

Steve and I don't live near either of our families so we have a long established tradition of hosting Thanksgiving (and Christmas too). We usually have anywhere from 12-25 people. And there is usually at least one person I've never met before at our table. This year the gathering was smaller but still an eclectic bunch… a punk rocker, a lawyer (the punck rocker's wife), an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, a plumber, an insurance agent (the lawyer's aunt visiting from Connecticut), two farmers, and a 7th grader. And us. Everyone brought lovely food and beautiful pies. apple. sweet potato, pear, pecan.

Bird

Heritage turkeys have really long legs which present a challenge when roasting, but I just extended the roasting pan with some foil to catch the drippings from the drumsticks. I usually like to free up my oven by using a countertop roasting oven, but there was no way this bird was going to fit in it nicely.

Bouquet

I am not a fan of stuffing the turkey so I simply fill the cavity with aromatics such as celery, onions, rosemary, sage, thyme and fruit, this year it was an apple. 

Dressing

My go to recipe for dressing Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing with Apples from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I realize as I stroke this is that I am totally dating myself with this cookbook reference. I was learning to love to cook when this cookbook was published in 1982. This book was key in my learning to cook with new to me ingredients and i loved the charming Moosewoodesque illustrations… which also dates me.

Dogs

I had a constant parade of dogs following me yesterday. Notice how they act all non-chalant when I turn around… "what, we're not following you."

Center

I felt the feather deserved a place at the table. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

peachy goodness

Peaches

My neighbor offered these up this morning as a trade for some of our plums. Deal! So now I will be making both plummy and peachy things during my staycation. Speaking of which, I have now compiled a list of things I'd like to do next week, but may just opt for numbers 8 & 12.

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