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.  

_______________________________________________________________________________

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!


{Printable} Olaf Valentine's Day Treat Topper February 10, 2015 10:09 1 Comment

Frozen's Olaf Valentine's Day Printable – Some people are worth melting for!

Chicken Noodle Soup January 30, 2015 08:00

GoodFoodFriday

In my experience of being on this earth for some 30-odd-years (you know you are starting to get old when you are vague about your age), I have learned to keep things simple because simple works. But all too often things spiral into overwhelming tasks. When faced with complicated problems with kids, marriage, work, DIY projects, or just simply too much to do in a day, I've found it most helpful to take a step back and breakdown the problem, all the way to the roots, focusing on the key priorities of the project or decision. It's about establishing WHY you are taking on a certain task. Once you have defined the WHY, you can set your priorities and outline a critical path to success. The critical path keeps you on point, it defines what you need to focus on, and what you need to ignore.

Take cooking for instance: People tell me all the time, "I cannot cook." With a smile, I always tell them, "Yes, you can, you just need to know the roots of a few recipes and you can build anything from the root recipe."

Same thing with our kids who often say, "I can't do it." I tell them, "Yes, you can; I don't want to hear can't (though on certain things I will accept "I won't")." We then sit down and establish the WHY, breakdown the problem into parts, define obstacles and a method of of attack (sometimes the WHY isn't justifiable and the problem is abandon all together).

I do the same thing in my own life or when working with peers and the group encounters an overwhelming obstacle. It's a lot like chicken soup with complicated flavors. The chef who created the complicated recipe defined WHY he wanted to create the recipe then he had to go back to the simple recipe that he learned in culinary school, then built upon it from the knowledge and experiences he had gained in his career. The simplicity of the recipe lends itself to many variations. I hope you use it as a building block to create many hearty chicken soup recipes to share with your loved ones on a cold winter's day.

Chicken Soup | Lori Danelle Ingredients:

For the Stock:

  • 1 Whole Chicken, cut into 10 pieces, if you have a meat cleaver it is best to hack the chicken into smaller 2"-4" pieces, but not the breast leave them intact.
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped 1/4"
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 bay leaves
For the Soup:
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped 1/4"
  • 2 Large Carrots, chopped 1/4"
  • 1 Celery Stalk, chopped 1/4"
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 lb. pasta.
  1. Coat the bottom of a large dutch oven with vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat just until you see the first wisps of smoke, then add the chicken pieces, working in batches, skin side down until browned on both sides (don't over crowd, if you over crowd, the liquid won't evaporate and the chicken won't be brown, crispy, delicious chicken; it'll be overcooked on the inside, flabby on the outside, gross chicken).

  2. Once all the chicken is crispy and brown, add the onion reserved for the stock, and cook until just tender. Then return the chicken pieces to the pot, not the breasts though, cover and cook until the chicken pieces have released their juices, should take about 20 minutes. You'll need to cook at a lower temperature for the remaining steps being careful not to allow the pot to go over a low simmer, or you'll get cloudy stock.

  3. When the pieces have release their juices add the breast, back bone, water, salt, and bay leaves. Cook at a low simmer until the chicken breast are done through, they should register 160 - 165 degrees with a thermometer.

  4. Next, drain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids and backbone, setting the chicken aside. Allow the stock to sit for a few moments and skim off the fat that has risen to the top.

  5. While the stock it resting move on to the soup, add vegetable oil to a CLEAN pot, just enough to coat the bottom. Heat over medium high heat, just until you see the first puff of smoke, then add the thyme, onion, carrot, and celery and cook until the carrots are tender.

  6. Next, add the reserved stock bring to a low simmer. If you are going to serve the soup immediately this is when you would add your pasta, but if you plan on having left overs or freezing the soup you want to wait until you are just about to serve otherwise the pasta will become mush and thicken your beautiful soup. — While we are at it lets talk about noodles. As far as noodles go, I don't care for egg noodles, but if you like them you should use them they will work in the recipe. Personally I like a chewy noodle so I go with pasta like mezzi tubetti, champanelle, or a tiny bow tie. Whatever you use the key is to be sure it has tubes, ripples, and/or crevices that can catch tiny particles of ingredients.

  7. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the reserved chicken and shred that poultry. Then add it back to the soup, heat through and serve.

Some ideas to build on would be to add ginger, soy sauce, or lemon grass to the broth for a eastern flavor. Maybe add some mushrooms and wild rice for a woodsy soup. Let me know what you come up with! 


Mountain Girl Eggs January 23, 2015 09:44

GoodFoodFriday

We love to be outside; luckily we live in Tennessee where there is no lack of parks, rivers, lakes, trails, and other greenbelt areas to discover.

This past weekend the winter weather broke for us, and it just so happens the UPS Man dropped off a brand new 12x12 Cabela's XWT that was begging to be set up. Obviously, this meant backyard camping; used to be one of my favorite things to do.

Whenever we are about to spend a full day outdoors we load up on a stick to your ribs, full of protein and carbohydrate breakfast. One of the girls' favorites is mountain girl eggs or mountain man eggs if you have boys.

Who can blame them this dish is perfect; hardy, cheesy, and slightly spicy. It gives the kiddos the get up and go they need to hit the trail all day. Naturally, this past weekend when I said what do ya'll want for breakfast, the reply was, "MOUNTAIN GIRL EGGS!"

Mountain Mountain Girl Eggs | Lori Danelle

This dish is cooked in a dutch oven over the fire, but you can make it in a skillet on the stove top as well.
Mountain Mountain Girl Eggs | Lori Danelle
Instructions:
  • 1 lb. Red Potatoes Potatoes, chopped in to 1/4" pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb. of Spicy Sausage
  • 8 Eggs (scrambled)
  • 2 tbsp. of Milk
  • ½ Cup of Pepper Jack (you can use Monterey Jack if you don't like spicy food)
  • 1 Bunch of Green Onions, minced
  • 1 Jalapeño, deseeded and minced (optional)

When cooking over a fire, I make a side fire with the coals. My oven has feet that allow me to place it directly in the fire. I watch and listen closely and when it seems the oven is getting too hot I pull it from the fire placing it outside the fire ring (when cooking eggs or other things that cook quickly). 

When the oven cools a bit, back on the fire it goes. I cook on and off the coals, as needed, controlling the heat best I can. With practice you get the hang of in and out of the heat cooking in no time.

Mountain Mountain Girl Eggs | Lori Danelle

Cook the sausage first until browned and crumbled. Then remove the sausage from the oven placing it on a side plate leaving the grease in the oven.

Mountain Mountain Girl Eggs | Lori Danelle

Stir in potatoes and jalapeño, be sure they are coated well with grease. If not you may need to add a bit of oil (cast iron is thirsty and will absorb a lot of the grease and oil, as it should, this adds to its protective coating), season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until potatoes are tender and browned.

Meanwhile whisk together the eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove the oven from the fire for this step: add the eggs, cooking them until they just begin to set. Gently push eggs around pan letting any uncooked eggs run onto the bottom of the pan.

Stir in cheese and chives while continuing to cook the eggs until they have set, place the oven back on the fire only if needed.

Mountain Mountain Girl Eggs | Lori Danelle

What is your kids favorite breakfast before a big day on the trail? 


Country Chicken Stew January 16, 2015 08:50

GoodFoodFriday

When folks say stew, people usually think of a rich hearty beef stew with browned cuts of chuck roast floating in a dark broth. But, behold: you can utilize lean, rich chicken thighs for stew as well. Be sure to purchase bone-in, skin on chicken thighs for this recipe or use the pieces from the whole fryers you purchased and cut up.

Chicken Stew  |  Lori Danelle

Instructions:

  • 4 Bone-in, Skin On Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Large White Onion diced into 1/2" pieces 
  • 8 oz wild mushrooms 
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic 
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay 
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock 
  • 2 Bay Leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Thyme 
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces 
  • 1 1/2 lb. red potatoes peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces 
  • 6 oz frozen peas

Chicken Stew  |  Lori Danelle

Pre heat your oven to 300F.

While the oven is heating add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a dutch oven or heavy skillet.

Heat the oil over medium heat just until it is shimmering.

While the oil is heating in the pan pat the chicken thighs dry and liberally season with salt and pepper.  

Once the oil has heated add the chicken thighs skin side down until skin is crisp and well browned then turn and brown the other side, about 5 minutes each side. Once done browning place the chicken thighs on a plater and tent with aluminum foil to cool. When the chicken is cool remove the skin and cut the meat into 1/2" pieces.

Next, add the onion and the garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent then add the flour coating stirring to coat the onion. Add the wine and stock and bring to a simmer while scrapping the bottom to release brown bits (deglazing is a crucial step the brown bits are flavor bombs).

Once the bottom is deglazed add the thyme, bay leaf, chicken, and vegetables.

Return the pot to a simmer and place in the oven until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the peas a few minutes before serving, just until they are heated through. This soup can be refrigerated, and freezes well.

Chicken Stew  |  Lori Danelle


Looking Forward to 2015 January 13, 2015 15:14

Now that 2014 is over and we have properly reflected on the year's passing, it is time to look forward to 2015 and set objectives for a successful year.

Last year we attended our first indie craft fairs and had a blast at all of them, getting to meet other makers and see their creations, as well as having the chance to meet some of you face-to-face.

LoriDanelle-at-TSP_01

This year we are looking forward to increasing our participation with the goal of attending one craft fair, as a vendor, per month. If you have a favorite indie craft fair near you please let us know!  We'd love to hear about them!              

You can look forward to many things from us this year. We hope to add a lot of value to the readership of this blog with free DIY tutorials, downloadables, and recipes from Good Food Friday.

As far as paper goods we will be adding many items to the stationery line and art prints, as well as recipe cards.

From the Lori Danelle Wood Shop we are excited to let you know we will be adding hardwood picture frames finished with natural oil to the store in standard  8x10, 11x14, and 16x20 sizes. 

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Additionally, from the Wood Shop look for recipe boxes to go along with the recipe cards that Lori will be designing, as well as butcher blocks.

2015 will be a busy year as we push forward offering you Home Goods Authentically Made in the USA. Keep up with our progress via this blog, Instagram (@LoriDanelle), Facebook, our newsletter.

Thanks for visiting, I hope you have a great 2015!  


Taking it slow. June 30, 2014 23:56

This past weekend I participated in my first show. And of course, I forgot to snap more than a couple of pictures. :)

The Strawberry Patch Summer Mart

TSP_LoriDanelle-booth

I am honestly so proud of how Mr. Maker & I did at the show. We try look back on situations like this and be constructively critical of ourselves so that we can do better next time — but I just don't know what we could have done better. I know we'll learn and grow over time, but as far as this weekend goes, I wouldn't change things.

However, we will have bags next time. If I sent you home without one this weekend, I'm sorry. We'll fix that. :) Obviously, prepping for & executing a show takes a lot of work, so on Sunday, we took things nice and slow & got in some great creek stomping time with the girls. I love that we live so near to this tucked away haven. It's really good for the soul.

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Please take note of how big this Mister is getting! 

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

Creek Stomping  |  Lori Danelle

What are you doing to enjoy these summer days and stay cool?


We got a dog. May 02, 2014 13:59 2 Comments

I have to be honest. I didn't want a dog. Remember?? I'm busy!! ;) I didn't want anything else to need something from me, because I really don't have much left over to give right now.

However, I have 2 girls. And they've been wanting a dog BADLY. And a husband, who has been wanting a dog a normal amount. So, Mr. Maker decided now was as good a time as any, and I finally caved. Meet Sven. And two incredibly happy girls. (. . .Nooo. . . we're not addicted to Frozen or anything. . .  )

 

Meet Sven  |  Lori Danelle

I think he's in danger of being over loved, if that's possible. Especially by Munchkin. As Mr. Maker said, Sven might be her Old Yeller. . . .Minus the rabies and sad ending.

 

Meet Sven  |  Lori Danelle

And I will admit, he's melting even my cold, frozen heart. ;)

{Printable} Valentine's Treat Bag Topper February 09, 2014 15:01

Last year we started the tradition of making our Valentines & it's a choice I fully enjoy! The girls get really excited dividing up the candy, filling the bags & putting them all together, and I think they take a lot of pride in giving their friends something they helped make. Plus, this way we can be sure we won't be the 5th girl to be handing out Frozen cards. :) Important? Not really. But we do like to encourage individuality over here! As much as I liked last year's card, I think the design we came up with this time is even better!

Valentine Treat Bag Printable  |  Lori Danelle

And on the back is lots of room for the girls to write out their friends' names. ( I love kindergarten writing!!) 

So, if you're still needing to get your Valentine's together, I've made a printable just for you! These toppers fit the Spritz favor bags that you can pick up at Target, but you will need to fold the bag over a couple of times. Enjoy!! Click on the image below to download:


{Good Food Friday} Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheese Cake December 06, 2013 06:21 2 Comments

A few months ago I found out I have I might have a gluten allergy my doctor told me to cut it out of my diet and see how it goes, and I've gotta say it's a big bummer.

It seems like wheat is hidden in everything — like just now I wanted to enjoy a pumpkin spiced Hersey's kiss. As I unwrapped the fall treat from it's smartly autumn colored wrapper a thought went through my mind, "I bet this has gluten in it," everything else I want to eat impulsively does. So off to the company website I go, and yep, it's got gluten. I sigh and place it back in the candy dish......bummer.

This is a typical day for someone with a Celiac Disease or Gluten-Intolerance and the Holiday's are definitely tormenting with the rolls, stuffing, cakes, cookies, pastries, and pies. Don't fret though, I have a cheese cake recipe that will make skipping Aunt Cara's Cinnamon Sugar Apple Pie with a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream not seem so bad.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Instructions:

  • 7 oz of Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookies
  • 1 cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 5 tbsp. Butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Orange Zest
  • 24 oz. Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
  • 4 Large Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

First preheat the oven to 350F while the oven is heating up place the walnuts on a cookie sheet once the temperature in the oven has risen place the walnuts into the oven for about 8-10 minutes then allow them to cool. After the nuts have cooled for a bit place 1/2 cup of them and the ginger snaps graham crackers 2 tbsp. brown sugar into a food processor or blender and process the mixture until its finely ground. With the motor running, add the melted butter and continue to blend until the mixture is well incorporated. With a bit of oil and a paper towel oil the bottom of a spring formed pan. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan, and then bake it for about 8 minutes.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the orange zest in a food processor or blender and process until combined.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

  Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy it should take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange sugar mixture, remaining granulated sugar, and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and beat again until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Next, add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add the salt and heavy cream and mix until just blended.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it.

Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water is halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the sides of the cake are slightly puffed and set and the center still jiggles, about 55 minutes.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Turn the heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon and allow the cake to cook in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove the cake to a baking rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours until chilled through.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Top with the warm apple topping, drizzle liberally with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts. Serve additional sauce on the side.

Apple Mixture:

  • 2 cups Apple Juice
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples (peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 3 Gala Apples (peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Calvados Brandy

Bring apple juice, sugar and vanilla to a boil in a large saute pan over high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in the butter until melted.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Next, add the apples and cook (I used the slicing blade of a box grater to cut the apples), stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft. Then, add the apple brandy and cook until reduced by 1/2. Transfer the apples to a plate and let them cool slightly.

Apple-Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt to Taste (I happen to like salty caramel)
  • 3 tbsp. Calvados Apple Brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Place sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a roaring boil, swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, should be amber.

Meanwhile, warm the heavy cream and in the pan. When the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and whisk until it is well blended and creamy.

Remove the blend from the heat and stir in the apple brandy, and vanilla extract, seasoning with salt to your liking. Keep warm. If you need to make the apples and caramel sauce ahead of time simply reheat them over medium heat in a sauce pan. I usually put the caramel in a glass container and reheat is in a pot of water.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know what you think and cue us in on your favorite gluten free desert.


{DIY} Star Christmas Tree Topper December 02, 2013 05:18

Last year, I found & pinned a tree topper offered by Land of Nod. This year, I decided I was ready to buy it, but of course, they no longer offer it. :(

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.20.14 PM

So I did the only thing I could: Made my own — with a couple of changes to suit our family's style.

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

It is a little hard to see in the photos, but I added a bright pink star under the white one &  hand-stitched the smaller stars and circle to the large main star with a decorative blanket stitch. I think it adds a bit of whimsy to a somewhat folksy design. And since I just can't help myself, I made up a pattern to share with you. You can download the pieces here. Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

Once you have the pieces of felt cut out, Stack the two stars & circles, securing with fusible tape or similar. Repeat with the second set.

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

Center the stacked stars & circle onto the large star, securing with fusible tape or similar. Stitch around edges of each small star & the circle with a sewing machine, or hand-stitch with a decorative blanket stitch. Repeat with the second set.

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

1. Place triangle piece on the front of the star and stitch 1/2 inch from the edge.

2. Clip curve. Repeat with the second set. 

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

Fold triangle to the back & iron to press in place. Repeat with the second set. 

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

  1. Place both stars together, front to front. Sew around the perimeter, 1/2 inch from the edge, dot to dot.
  2. Align the triangle pieces & sew together 1/4 inch from the edge, starting where you stopped on the star and       continuing all the way around, leaving the space between the dots open. 

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

  1. Turn the star right-side-out through the hole left in the triangle. Use the eraser end of the pencil, or other blunt object to help push out the star points.
  2. Stuff the star with fiberfill, pushing it into the star points, leaving room in the body portion to push the triangle into it.
  3. Hand-stitch the opening on the triangle closed using a ladder stitch. 
  4. Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

Push the triangle up into the center of the star, creating a cavity that you can slip over the top of the Christmas tree, securing your Star Tree Topper in place.

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

Get some help and put the star on your tree & enjoy!!!!

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

Star Tree Topper  |  Lori Danelle

I'm loving the way our family room looks this Christmas. I even added my new Christmas canvases to our walls. They were the PERFECT finishing touch.

photo-1

In other news, to help you with your Christmas shopping & decorating, I'm offering 20% off EVERYTHING in my shop when you use the code TAKE20! Yes, that includes cut paper & canvases!!! What are you waiting for? Get shopping!  :)


First Sketches October 11, 2013 04:29

I thought I'd share a little behind the scenes look of my newest piece today! You may wonder how my art pieces come about, I know I am always curious at the process of the artists & designers whose work I enjoy, so I figured it was time to pull out some sketches. Often, as a trained graphic designer, my illustrations don't come incredibly naturally to me. I don't allow myself a lot of freedom & expect the same precision that I require of myself in my design work. Often, I'll hear or think of a phrase that really catches my attention and I will just ponder on that phrase for a (really) long time without ever putting anything down on paper. Because, during that time, something like this usually happens. :)

 

"Because - and this is the extraordinary thing about creativity – if you just keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious self." — John Cleese 

But sometimes, I'll read a phrase and instantly know essentially what it will look like. When I first read the blog post shared by Lisa Leonard, after making sure it was OK with her, I immediately copied the words into my sketchbook & drew this.

LoriDanelle_First-Sketches_01

Quickly followed by this.

First Sketches of Hand-in-Hand  | Lori Danelle

I think it's fun to look at these very first sketches & see how little changes between the initial idea & the final. I worked on it for about a year, and still, in essentials, it stayed the same. :)

Hand-in-Hand Paper Cutting  |  Lori Danelle

And, since I was sharing sketches, I thought I'd show you the original sketch from my You are My Sunshine paper cutting. On that one, the above John Cleese quote holds more true! I knew I wanted to do a piece with the lyrics from the song I sang to my girls every morning, but I just couldn't get it right for the longest time. Then one day, I saw an illustration that included a ladder — honestly, in no way similar other than the ladder, —  but when I saw it, everything clicked and this is what I immediately put to paper, along with the finished piece. :)

LoriDanelle_First-Sketches_03

That one didn't stray too far either, did it?   :) xoxo Lori Danelle


It's Done!!! Hand-in-Hand Paper Cutting October 03, 2013 00:15 7 Comments

I don't think I've ever been this excited to share a new paper cutting with you!!! Course, I don't think I've actively worked on one for so long either.

Please take "actively" to mean as I much as I could squeeze in here & there as a busy Mom with a full-time 9-5 job, Cut Paper fingerprint orders to fulfill at night, soccer games to go to, etc. . .  You understand, right? ;)

It all started about a year ago when I read this post by my friend & jewelry designer, Lisa Leonard. Immediately after reading it, I texted her & asked if I could turn her words into a paper cutting. Thankfully, she said yes, and thus I get to share this with you.

Hand-in-Hand Paper Cutting  |  Lori Danelle

And, as a little extra, I made a time lapse video of the cutting process! As you watch, I have two things to mention: Yes, that's a bathtub behind me, & look for the animal entourage. :) 

I hope you love this piece as much as I do. I've spent a lot of time in my sketch book getting things just right before heading to a big piece of paper, my scanner & computer. The final piece is about 23" x 28", took me a little over 22 hours to cut & I have no idea how many X-acto knife blades!

After the first few I started wishing that I had kept track! Each second in the video is equal to about 10 minutes of work. You can find a 16" x 20" laser cut version of this illustration in my shop.

Lori-Danelle_HiH_02_WEB

Hand-in-Hand Paper Cutting  |  Lori Danelle

Lori-Danelle_HiH_08_WEB

AND!!! As much as I love this paper cut piece, I decided to take it even further by sharing with you 2 full-color, illustrated variations of it as well!

Hand-in-Hand Wrapped Canvas  |  Lori Danelle

I have the illustration in my shop as both a print and as a WRAPPED CANVAS!!!!

Can I just tell you, the canvases look AH-MAZING! I was so, so happy when they arrived. Even the corners on these things are folded oh-so perfectly. I'm kind of a perfectionist about such things. Who would have guessed, right!? ------------------ I really hope you all love this design as much as I do.

Lisa, THANK YOU for being so open in sharing her heart on your blog — AND for making such incredible jewelry (!!!). My girls might be under the impression that she is my personal jewelry designer. . . No idea where they got that from . . .  ;) If you haven't seen her designs yet, prepare to be impressed!

xoxo Lori Danelle