Maker of Things

Recipe: Peppernuts December 16, 2016 12:06

I've been posting pictures of them on Instagram & unless you know me personally or live in an area with Swiss/German Mennonite roots, you've probably been wondering: What in the world are peppernuts??? 

I hear that a lot. 

Peppernuts are a tiny cookie made with Christmas-y spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and anise oil.


{Good Food Friday} Butternut Quiche October 30, 2015 08:00

This time a year when the mornings are brisk it just doesn't see right to sit down to a cold breakfast. This recipe combines sweet butternut squash, smoked Gouda, a buttery crust, and farm fresh eggs to warm you up.

Here's what you'll need for the crust:

  1. A store bought one. It's the morning who wants to make a home made crust? If anyone complains take their quiche away. :)  

 

For the Filling

  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • course salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 butternut squash peeled,seeded, & finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh minced sage
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup freshly grated smoked Gouda (my grocer happens to have a great selection in the deli, check yours, often cheeses are less expensive at the deli counter than at the gourmet cheese bar, additionally fontina, and smoked provolone can be used in substitution)
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion with a generous pinch of salt and pepper until the onion begins to soften about 2-3 minutes.

Add squash and sage and cook until squash is softened about 5 minutes more, when you're done cooking add a pinch of sugar and remove from heat.

In a bowl whisk eggs and milk until throughly combined. Then add the squash mixture and cheese; stir to blend.

Pour the eggs into pre-baked pie crust, and bake for 45-50.

The center should be cooked but jiggly. 

 


Draw with Me! November Challenge October 29, 2015 05:30 3 Comments

This past October my friend Lesley at Recipe for Crazy challenged herself to sketch everyday for the entire month and invited those who wanted to join in to share on Instagram using a list of daily prompts that she created. (check out #sketchadaywithLRZ to see all the amazingness that was created in October!!!)

I LOVED the idea, was jealous I hadn't thought of doing it first, but because of my insane schedule, was only able to complete a few of the sketches. 

Well. I'm committed now. 

Lesley begged and pleaded and finally talked me into leading a November sketch-a-day.
I'm lying.
She didn't have to talk me into anything. . .  I agreed right away. I mean, how could I not??? 

So, now I'm really excited about it, but also really nervous. 30 days of sketching. Every. Day. 
I sketch a lot already, so I can do this, right? Think you want to join me?? 

If you'd like to join in – and I really hope you do – use this list for prompts on what to draw each day. Then snap a picture and post it on Instagram using the tag #sketchadaywithhomeagain. 

I'm really excited, a bit anxious, but hopeful that the crazy of October is behind me and we can just have a lot of fun with. One thing I know for sure: You are definitely going to get better at something you do every day, so I'm excited to see what we're all coming up with by November 30! 


{Good Food Friday} Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Crumble Topping October 16, 2015 08:00

The days are starting to get shorter and the weather is getting crisper. Putting us in the mood for hearty, savory foods. 

I ask, "Does it get any more savory than chicken pot pie?" 

My obstacle to making a great chicken pot pie has always been the pie crust. I just don't have any luck making homemade pie crust. However, being  Southerner I can make a variety of great biscuits.

Instructions:

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 lb. pieces, boneless, skinless chicken breast and thighs
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (chopped fine)
  • 5 carrots (chopped into 1/4" pieces)
  • 3 celery ribs (minced)
  • 10 oz of cremini mushrooms (trimmed & minced)
  • 1 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of frozen peas

For the Biscuit Topping

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 tbsp of chilled butter (cut into 1/4" pieces)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk + 2 tbsp more

First, heat your oven to 450F to cook the crumble biscuit topping. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and butter into a large bowl, stand mixer, or food processor. Mix the combination into a coarse meal then stir in the parmesan, and buttermilk until a dough forms.

Crumble the mixture in irregular shaped pieces and place them onto a baking sheet. Then cook the crumbles just until they start to smell like warm biscuits, shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.    

{Tip: Wet your hands with water when you handle to dough it will prevent the dough from sticking to them} 

While the crumbles are baking, in a dutch oven or heavy pot bring the chicken broth to a simmer and cook the chicken until done (170F), should take about 10 minutes.

Once the chicken is done transfer it to a large bowl, to cool, and strain the broth. Poaching the chicken in the broth will give you full bodied base for your gravy in the pie.

When the chicken has cooled to a point where you can handle it cut it into 1/4" cubes.

While the chicken cools, add 1 tbsp oil to the now empty dutch oven heating the oil until it is shimmering. Then add the onion, carrots, and celery cooking until soft, adding salt and pepper to taste.

When the onion, carrots, and celery are done cooking transfer them to a container.  Then add the other tablespoon of oil to the pot heating over medium until it is shimmering. Add the mushrooms, cooking covered until they release their liquids.

The mushrooms should release their liquids after a few minutes once they have add the soy sauce and tomato paste. Cook uncovered until the liquid evaporates. A dark fond should develop on the bottom of the pot once this has happened transfer the mushrooms to another container.

Melt the butter in the empty pot over medium heat. Once melted add the flour and stir constantly for about a minute. Then slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Bring the liquid to a simmer, scrapping any fond from the bottom of the pot. Cook until a thick gravy forms.

Once you have your thick gravy remove pot from the heat add the lemon, parsley, chicken, and peas. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the filling into a 13" x 9" baking dish. Place the biscuit crumbles randomly on top of filling cooking until the crumbles are nicely browned, about 15 minutes.

{Tip: You may want to place the baking dish onto a foil lined baking sheet just incase the filling bubbles over.}  

Allow to cool for a bit and enjoy!


September Craft Fair Schedule September 08, 2015 09:59

September is going to be a busy month for us. We are booked every weekend at Craft Fairs come out and see us if we are in your area, see our schedule below.

If you can't make it we don't want you to miss out, so visit our online shop and enjoy some free shipping by using code SHIPONUS through September 27th.  

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September 11 – 12 | Effingham, IL
Hobnob Harvest Market
Booth 26 | SOUL Tent

September 18 – 20 | Greenville, NC
Indie Craft Parade
Booth 22

September 18 – 19 | Gallatin, TN
Sweet Tea & Shopping

September 25 – 26 | Quebeck, TN
Sweet Ila Mae's


Best Way to Cook Beans: Bake em' Don't Boil Them September 04, 2015 10:00

We have found that one of the best ways to eat healthy all week long is to investment cook. In the fall & winter, for us that means cooking a lot of stews & soups on the weekends, then freezing the dish in gallon bags for week night dinners.

Most of the soups & stews we cook are heavily bean based & I don't like to use canned beans, because they are usually high in sodium, may contain BPAs, and are quite a bit more expensive than dried beans. Not to mention, dried beans have a far superior texture and flavor to canned.

I've spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to get perfectly tender, non-blown out beans. 

First things first: In my opinion you need to buy high quality beans to get good results. I have found the regular supermarket store brands to be less than adequate. I suggest buying beans in the bulk section of either the health food area of your grocer or buying them from a specialty health food store. I think (this being a personal deduction) these departments & stores stock a higher grade of beans & have higher turnover of their inventory, so your aren't buying beans that are years old.

If you don't have a bulk section in your store or don't have access to a health food store, I would suggest buying a name brand such as Goya.  

Second to the quality of beans is how you cook them. Recently, I found an easy way that works like magic, that came from the good people over at Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen. 

You're going to need to prepare the beans the night before or the morning of by soaking them in salt water for at least 8 hours. For every pound of beans, dissolve 3 tbsp of salt in 4 quarts of water & soak. According to the Cook's illustrated Science Editor soaking the beans in salt water is more effective than plain water; the sodium and calcium in the salt weaken the bean's skin making it easier for the water to penetrate the flesh of the bean.

When you are done soaking the beans, drain & rinse them as the water is too salty to cook with. Additionally, the soaking water will contain complex carbohydrates in concentration levels that many people have trouble digesting. . . beans, beans, the magical fruit. . . 

While rinsing, pick through them making sure there aren't any pebbles and toss the broken and shriveled beans; they will cook at a different rate and mess up the texture of your dish.

(example of broken & shriveled beans)

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven & set the temperature to 275F.

Dissolve 1 tsp. of salt and 3 quarts of water in a heavy pot or dutch oven.
Once the beans are sorted place them in the newly salted water. 
Place the beans on the stove, cover and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, put them in the heated oven, cooking until tender. About 40-60 minutes.

By cooking the beans with low, steady heat in the oven, it allows the beans' flesh to absorb water at a similar rate as the skin, resulting in less blow-out, which in-turn reduces mushy, starchy bean syndrome. 

Super easy, always tender, and you'll never have to pick between undercooked or mushy beans again!


We've changed our name! August 26, 2015 05:00 1 Comment

When I set up my first site a little over 6 years ago, I wasn't too concerned about what I named it.
After all, I was creating a blog where family and close friends could keep up with photos of my then young daughters, and I could post my most recent DIY creations. 

It wasn't like I was naming a business. 

Fast forward a few months, I had fully fallen down the rabbit hole of blogging, discovered paper cutting, and starting creating my own cut paper fingerprint art work and wanted to open an Etsy shop to sell them through. It made sense to name my Etsy shop the same as my blog, and all of a sudden, I had a business named Lori Danelle. 

Over the next few years, I continued creating and my husband, Nate, kept challenging me to think bigger. Somewhere along the way he saw what I was doing as something a whole lot bigger than just a hobby. He envisioned it as a full-fledged business and helped me to see it too. Together, we started dreaming a much bigger dream, and instead of it being his dream or my dream – it became our dream.

Nate took over all the behind-the-scenes business management, set up systems that allowed us to work more efficiently, and basically, made sense of all the things that I had been muddling though.  

After attending a entrepreneur conference together, I left finally having the guts to try something new that I had always loved, but was positive I would be lousy at. I signed up for an online class that taught hand lettering – completely fell in love, and discovered something else – I wasn't horrible at it!

We started taking my cut paper designs and art prints to Indie Craft shows. Nate realized that we needed frames to go with my art and started crafting them himself. He also saw that my work was ideal for greeting cards and challenged me to come up with a stationery line. 

As our business grew and we planned for future products, we each began to feel that a business named after one person no longer fit the collaborative team we have become. 

 

For us, Home Again Creative represents a shift in focus. 

In a world that is increasingly over-connected and glorifies busy-for-the-sake-of-busy, there's a draw to simply slow down. 

For us, building a slower and more connected life begins in our home with the daily choices we make. 

Our hope for Home Again Creative is to bring you products that are thoughtfully made – from function & design, to the impact it’s production has on people and the planet through labor and materials.

Simultaneously, we want to use our blog as a resource for those who want to learn to build or make something for themselves by breaking down the creative process with DIY tutorials. We think that knowing how to make something for yourself is not only extremely rewarding, but serves to educate us on how the products we purchase are made, causing us to better appreciate & be able to identify good craftsmanship.

Thank you so much for supporting Lori Danelle. I never could have guessed how far we'd come when I first started my blog, and I'm so excited to see where Home Again Creative takes us!


Deck the Dorm!! August 10, 2015 08:52

The worst thing about dorm rooms and college apartments is that, well. . . they look like dorm rooms and college apartments. 

The good news is art prints with washi tape frames are a great way to personalize space!!

 
Since washi tape is both easy to apply & can be removed without leaving marks, use it to tape up your favorite prints and photos to transform temporary housing into a home away from home. 

Use code SAVE30 at checkout to save 30% on all your favorite Lori Danelle prints & greeting cards – and get decorating!!

SAVE30 code expires Sunday at midnight, 8/16/2015


Pomodoro Sauce Recipe August 07, 2015 07:00

It’s that time of year when gardeners all over America are over-run with tomatoes. Some gardeners are generous and give them to family, friends, and co-workers.

However, we are a different type of gardener.
We are selfish gardeners. 
We horde & eat them every way we can: caprese salads, BLTs,  and wilted kale, tomato, egg, & pesto sandwiches for breakfast – the menu items are endless.

Once in a while, even we find we have more tomatoes than we can reasonable eat in a week.
So what's a tomato hoarder to do? Share? Of course not!
We make sauce so we can eat them later!

I want to share our family’s favorite fresh sauce. Serve it hot with your favorite type of pasta, or cold with some fresh milk mozzarella and small clam shells.

This sauce freezes well. We typically will use 20 lb. of tomatoes at a time – so multiply the below recipe as needed and put it into quart freezer bags to enjoy in the dead of winter.

Don’t forget to include the kids! Our girls love seeing seeds they helped plant grow into a garden of tomatoes, picking them and then getting to cook with and eat them – and really helps them learn, understand, and appreciate where our food comes from, even when we purchase it from the grocery store. 

Knowledge is power, my friend!

Ingredients

    • 4 Tbsp. Butter
    • 2 Carrots (minced)
    • 1 Stalk of Celery (minced)
    • 1 Medium Yellow Onion (minced)
    • 2 lb. Roma Tomatoes (peeled and crushed)
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • 1 tsp. Pepper
    • 1 tsp. Fresh Oregano (minced), or 1/2 tsp. dried
    • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves (minced)
    • 3 Large Garlic cloves (minced)
Instructions

The first thing you need to do is peel your tomatoes. Put a pot on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, core and then slice a shallow "X" on the bottom of the tomato, just penetrating the skin.

When the water is boiling, working in batches, drop the tomatoes in for 30-45 seconds, pull them out and immediately plop them into an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Once cool, the tomatoes should peel and crush very easily.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the vegetables, cooking them until they are softened. Next, add the peeled tomatoes, spices, and herbs, simmering covered for about an hour. Season to taste, and BOOM. You're done. 

Unless you like a smoother sauce. . . 

At this point you will have a very yummy, but chunky sauce. If you'd like to make it smoother, work in batches and fill your blender about half way up. Blend on low speed so you don't incorporate air into the sauce until it reaches your preferred consistency. 

Once you've blended all your sauce. . . BOOM! You're done. All the way. 


Summer Vegtable Soup July 10, 2015 08:00

If you are like us you are starting to run out of counter space due to all the produce your garden it producing, and if you don't have a garden I am sure your friends and coworkers are forcing their produce on you.

I'd like to share one of the things we do with our summer crop. We make a ton of this soup it's light and fresh for summer eating and it freezes well in gallon freezer bags for the winter.

Take this tip, I promise you'll be happy come January.

Instructions:

  • 2 Quarts Vegetable or Chicken Stock (we like Better than Bouillon Organic)
  • 1 Medium Zucchini (about 8 oz) chopped about 1/4"
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped fine about 1/8"
  • 2 tbsp fresh Parsley minced
  • 6 medium Red Potatoes chopped about 1/4"
  • Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic
  • Pesto

Bring the stock to a low simmer, then add the the chopped ingredients simmer until the potatoes are tender to the fork.

Add the parsley and season to taste with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. 

Serve with a dollop of pesto, about a tablespoon, the pesto is critical it will make to soup explode with the freshness of summer.


Candied Orange Peel S'mores!! May 19, 2015 07:09 1 Comment

GoodFoodFriday

It's camping season and that means S'MORES!

Candied Orange Peel S'mores  |  Lori Danelle

Candied Orange Peel S'mores  |  Lori Danelle

I'm the type of cook that likes to add some kick or zing to everything. While the s'more is close to perfect; I couldn't help eat one and ponder, "maybe some mint, anise, vanilla.....," then one day it hit me: "some zest!"

 You'll want to make these the morning of.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 Peel of an Orange
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup water 
  • Some more sugar
  • Graham Crackers
  • Premium, Ghirardelli, chocolate chips (that's what I like, read on to see why)
  • Marshmallow
  • Some roasting sticks

How You Do It: First thing you'll do is peel the orange, I have a little tool from Tupperware that works great. If you don't have one don't sweat it, use a paring knife or peeler to cut the orange peel into 1/4-1/2" slices, careful not to get the pith.

 

Next, throw the orange peel slices into a small pot, and cover with water. Then blanch em' for about 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the pot, and set them on a paper towel. Next, bring the cup of water to a boil, once boiling add the cup of sugar stirring until dissolved. Then add the the peel slices to the pot, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-17 minutes. Remove slices from the pot, and discard the syrup. Place the orange peel on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle some sugar on; sprinkle a lot of sugar. Gently, but aggressively shake the tray back and forth to insure sugar covers the peel well. Then let em' sit until time to use.

 

When the time comes make your s'more, you don't need me to tell you how. I do want to make one suggestion though; instead of chocolate squares use chocolate chips, inserting them into the marshmallow after roasting. I have found the marshmallow will adhere to the graham cracker, and not slide all over the place when you bit into it. When you go to build your s'more simply place 1 or 2 of the peel slices on the bottom, and enjoy.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Additional Notes: Enjoy this s'more fireside with a shot or two of Frangelico.

New Things!! March 04, 2015 05:47

I have been busy. Like REALLY busy. If you have been to our shop page  you might have noticed a new-ish category: Greeting Cards. When we first added it this past summer it had 4 cards in it. Well, actually 1 card in 4 different colors, but saying I had 4 cards makes me feel more accomplished. However, I didn't really feel satisfied with 1 card in 4 colors, so I've been working really hard on developing new cards over the last few months. It's been pretty amazing working random little half-ideas sketched in corners of notebooks into fully realized and printed greeting cards, and has taken much longer than I expected! BUT. . . my first batch is READY!!!! We have more in the shop, but here are some of my newest & favorites:

I'm Sweet on You Greeting Card  |  Lori Danelle Wish for Something Crazy Greeting Card  |  Lori Danelle You are my Sunshine  |  Lori Danelle Thanks for Being Lovely Greeting Card  |  Lori Danelle Let's Eat Cake Greeting Card  |  Lori Danelle Congrats Greeting Card  |  Lori Danelle

If you're interested in seeing some progress photos, be sure to follow my Instagram feed (@LoriDanelle) as well. I really hope you enjoy them as much as I loved making them!