Many of the potters open their studios and galleries year round to visitors, but each year on the Saturday and Sunday before Thanksgiving the potters join at one location, The Seagrove Pottery Festival. The Festival offers potters a chance to showcase their work and visitors a chance to purchase from the vast and diverse talent that Seagrove has to offer.
I went this past weekend to begin Christmas shopping and provided my fair share of support to the local Seagrove economy.
Here is what I found:
And if you have a 30% off Give and Get Coupon, this weekend would be a great time to purchase.
Having this recipe at Thanksgiving Dinner is the tradition. Pink Salad is a congealed fruit salad recipe, that is just as good for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving as it is for the actual meal. Did I mention the final result is Pepto-Bismol pink:)
And though these types of recipes (congealed salads) usually remind me of my southern roots, this one came from my Italian grandmother.
8 oz of Whipping Cream
2 20 oz cans of Crushed Pineapple
2 8 oz blocks of Cream Cheese at room temperature
2 jars of Maraschino Cherries chopped
1 cup of Sugar
2 packages of Knox Unflavored Gelatin
Heat pineapple and sugar in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved. Keep warm. Mix cream cheese and cherries together in mixer and set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin packages with 2 tablespoons of hot water and 2 tablespoons of the hot pineapple/sugar mixture. Mix well then add gelatin to pineapple/sugar mixture. Remove pineapple/sugar/gelatin from heat then add it to the cherries and cream cheese. Mix with mixer then add whipping cream. Pour into serving dish and congeal in refrigerator.
Christmas Lights from our house.Chrismas lights are pretty, but think how much extra energy is used for the lights around the month of December.
From today until November 15 Home Depot is offering $3 off the purchase of any energy efficient LED holiday lights. They use 80% less energy. Just bring in your old incandescent light strings to trade for the $3 off coupon. Another bonus, the old lights will be recycled.
1-Chop then freeze. Most of my soup (and some non-soup) recipes call for a veggie base of carrots, celery, onion or garlic (or all of the above). I keep onion and garlic on hand and don't mind a little dicing to start, but because we don't really snack on celery or carrots. I buy a fresh bag of each, roughly chop them up when I have an few extra minutes, the freeze the veggies. When you need one or both for soups the work is done.
2-Have the right tools, a hand held chopper and a hand blender are a must for soups. The chopper helps with cutting veggies (for soup or anything else, I must use mine 3 times per week). For pureed soups, the hand blender eliminates the process of cooling, batch blending and reheating soups. Everything stays in the pot and your soup can stay warm while blending it down, just watch for splatter.
3-Double the recipe and then be ready to freeze it. Once you have eaten dinner parcel leftovers into plastic or glass containers and freeze. I have had good luck with most (even cream based) soups in the freezer. After a few recipes and freezing left overs you will have a freezer stocked for future lunches and dinners for the winter, so canned soup no more.
While we are talking soup I will share a the best tomato bisque recipe I have found (we had it last night).
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced bacon (about 1/2 ounce)
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped
3 parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool**.
When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately.
**If you use a hand blender, just remove the herb bundle and blend in the pot. I don't mind a little texture so I don't even strain the soup. Just add the cream, salt and pepper and serve.
Until then I will use this post to congratulate two of my closest friends on the births of their baby boys this week.
Click on the links to see the full post or to visit the highlighted blog.
#5-Hostess with the Mostess gives another reason to host a colorful party. Invite friends and family over to learn and celebrate the gender of a new baby with a reveal party. This would be a neat way to thank close friends and family for all of their support (past and future) around a new baby. You must click through to see how they made the reveal.
I had this post planned for awhile but decided to finish up when I read that Lavender and Lillies is doing a "going green" week on her blog. Check her out all week for more helpful hints.
I was searching for a good cleaning agent for chrome. Before I could put together the bar cart (check of this post and this one for pics) it needed a good scrubbing. Small rust spots and grime wouldn't come off even with a harsh chemical cleaner. The cart was in my grandmother's house for years, then 2 college apartments, then stored under a bed, so it was quite a bit of work to make the chrome shine again.Several websites suggested a paste of baking soda and water matched with elbow grease. I was amazed at the shine. It worked so well, I felt a little like I was in an infomercial for the next fad cleaner. It's now on my "clean green" list for shiny things (think bathroom fixtures). It also works wonders on pots and pans.
The result, I am fairly uninspired about what to post. I'm sure I'll be back soon. Until then, consider the idea of open/glassed shelves in the kitchen, I am. The glass doors seem more my style, but I am not sure I want to shell out the cash for special order cabinet doors that I can't return if I get cold feet.
Images from Suzanne Kasler Interiors