Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

Hot Cocoa Yummies!

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

DSC07609Success again in the cooking baking invention (well new to me) department of Chez Depre.

Hot Cocoa Yummies! are what these new cookies have been dubbed.

Really they are nothing over the top ingredient wise but they are super duper yummy according to my official cookie taster.  Note: I have had strong willpower and  have only eaten two cookies since BakingFest 2013 began on Monday.   (Did I mention there is a cruise in my future?).

You will find the recipe on my PDF page.

Here are some visuals to help you along.

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SawtoothSantaTRunnerImageMDEPRE

Also finally got around to photographing my Sawtooth Santa Christmas table runner.

I will go over to Craftsy later this week and make the visual changes there.   You can find this pattern via the link on the sidebar.

Super simple….and if your snowed in this weekend (as we might be) you might even get it done for the table on Tuesday!

Enjoy!,

MickeySignature

 

Baking up a storm

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

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Two years ago after some serious surgery I found myself unable to machine sew for about two months.   And while I was hangin on the couch working on the first Pieced Hexies I also felt a strange pull to the kitchen.

Now those who have known me for years know one of the great attractions to living in an urban environment for me is that there are many many MANY restaurants within in walking distance of my abode.  And they deliver.  No need to be friends with that room that the frig lives in.   Be friends with your feet and phone.  Problem solved. images

And thank goodness Paul loves to cook.  So we never starved.  (look I have burnt every breadstick I have ever tried to make in my life)

Truly I could burn boiling water.

But then I felt the call of the kitchen.   And miracles began to happen.  Edible food escaped.

And all of the sudden I was demanding asking for trips to Bed Bath and Beyond and new kitchen tools entered Chez Depre.

And then I started to bake.   Now my grandfather was a baker, owning his own bakery here on the southside of Chicago during the 40s/50s.   So I also say that these genes of mine have been infused.  I found my niche in the kitchen.

imagesFA0K1W57My recipes are super simple.  Yes I like the kitchen now but that doesn’t mean I want to be there 24/7.  I’m not a professional chef so your not going to get step my step instructions, calories (do we really want to know) etc.  A bit of “winging it” will be required.  And by all means…tweak them to your own taste buds.  Afterall that is how I made them up.

On the PDF page you will currently find the recipes for Ginger Crack, Chocolate Ginger Crack, and a newbie recipe: Salted Dark Chocolate Toffee Cookies.

I am spending today in the kitchen baking some more.  I am trying out a newly conceived recipe and if all goes well there will be a blog and new addition to the PDF page soon.

Bake On!

MickeySignaturevanilla sugar

p.s.  This is what Vanilla Sugar Packets look like.  This year I have bought a jar of Vanilla Sugar from Penzey Spices.  A packet weighs 1/3 of an oz.  I have a kitchen scale.  But I will probably wing it.  A little extra vanilla sugar is good for the soul.

 

 

Blueberries & Pumpkin…oh my!

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

I found this recipe, Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins, in early October while just dinking around on the computer.  I think I was looking for pumpkin bread and lo and behold this recipe DSC07429crossed my screen.  I immediately hit print.  It immediately was clipped to the frig door where it just hung for a few days…weeks.

But yesterday I finally pulled a cup of blueberries from the deep freezer.

There are ten pounds of Michigan blueberries in the freezer from the farmer’s market.  And cans of pumpkin on my baking shelf.  It’s time to make the muffins. DSC07432

The next batch I will do three things.  First…double it and then a bit more because a) Paul wants to bring them to work for his shift  b) it will use the entire can of pumpkin up  c) I would put more batter in each cup to make the muffins larger.   The first go around of any muffin recipe I usually under fill because I have gone the route of GIGANTICA muffins that merge together during baking.  Never a pretty sight.  But I see now that these could use a bit more in the cups.   If making the standard recipe (12 muffins) I would fill 8 muffin cups.

While the muffins were baking I decided to make a batch of cookies too.   I have had this mix on the baking shelf (yes I have a shelf entirely devoted to just my making spices/decorations/etcs.)   This fact alone is enough to make Paul and Emily eye roll….the baking bug has hit hard in the last two years.   DSC07433

Found this mix at Target.  On the clearance rack.  I always check the baking clearance section at Target.  Many times the cute cookie sprinkles can be found there.  They age out in decades for use but age out of retail shelf time as soon as the “holiday” is over.

Cotton Candy Cookies.   $1.00.   Two bags went into the cart.

side bar: I just noticed the “only at target” on the front of the mix.  hard to see in the pic but it’s there. Hmmm….it does seem that Target and Betty Crocker have had some unusual mixes of late.  Last year someone mentioned on facebook that they found egg nog cookie mix at Target.  I am going to head over to Target this week to look for that one.

So I mixed up the cookies.  Kinda fun. They have sprinkles of cotton candy dots throughout.  Think mini chips.   Smells like cotton candy.   Baked them off.  Yep they taste like cotton candy.

Sorry no pic.  I forgot to take one.   They are all in the cookie jar now.  Well minus a few.  Apparently even though he teased that he will need a gallon of milk to wash down each one…well someone ib this abode likes them.

DSC07439And the muffins rock!  Give them a whirl.  Blueberry and pumpkin are quite yummy together.

Off to sew,

MickeySignature

 

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p.s. I highly suggest picking up a container of these sugar granules and sprinkle generously on your unbaked muffins.  Really gives your baked goods a splash of sparkle and flavor.

and best thing is JoAnn’s carries Wilton products and you can use your 40% coupon!

 

Ring Around The Hexies BED SIZE Part 5

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Sept27RATHpicHalfway done!

Well actually much more than that.  I just need to applique five more rosettes to backgrounds and sew together the remaining two wall hangings, join them to this half and viola the bed size version of Ring Around The Hexies pattern will be done!

Since this quilt top, no unfortunately it will not be quilted in time, will be traveling to Market and Festival I plan on putting a 2-3″ plain border on it of the burnt red paisley print that you see in the outside setting triangles.  This will keep those outer edges stabilized.   Then when it is back in my hands over winter I will remove it for quilting.

The debate is whether I will be quilting this myself or sending off to someone to do.  Time will tell with my chiropractor visits.   There is much discussion about rearranging the studio and making some changes to may be accommodate a stand up long arm.  But I am thinking this is just a dream for my current studio and it’s size and I will remain quilting on my APQS George machine.

Next blog post I will tell you exactly where you will be able to see this full quilt (top) at Festival.  I hope you will check it out.

Sept 27 Pic 2Along with a whole lot of sewing yesterday there was some homemade applesauce making.  My father-in-law’s apple tree has been bountiful again this year and several Depre abodes are simmering versions of apple sauce, chutney and spices slices to be canned this weekend.

Sept 27 Pic 1I wish there was a way to attach scents to posts….because it is unbelievable.

 

Speaking of scents I was trilled yesterday to learn that Yankee Candle had unretired truly my all time favorite candle.  Autumn Lodge.  This candle fills the house with the aroma of a wood burning fireplace.  And since my home is sans this wonderful feature. ..well this is the next best thing.

Two large jars are on their way.  Yankee Candle is having a wonderful Buy 1 get 1 Free sale….get over to their website to order or print out the coupon if you are lucky to have a brick storefront in your neck of the woods.

Sept 27 Pic 3And I have begun to decorate the house for Autumn.  Not Halloween, Not Thanksgiving, Not Columbus Day.  AUTUMN.

My very favorite season of all.

Enjoy!

MickeySignature

 

 

 

The best breakfast ever!

Friday, August 16th, 2013

I am back from my visit to Quilt Villa (Bonnie Hunter’s Mountain Cabin) and I cannot explain how much I miss it already.

Plans are in the works for a future visit.

It was perfect.   We just sat and sewed, talked, laughed and sang!  Ideas percolated, quilts were finished, quilts were born.

On the way to Quilt Villa we stopped and did all out grocery shopping for our 4 days of quilty bliss.  We shopped “gluten free” as Bonnie has been doing so for months now.  I had decided several weeks ago that this was going to be my jumping off to “gluten free” too.

After almost 20 months since my surgery and exercising my brains out maybe this would prove to be the vehicle to jump start my metabolism.  And besides with everything I have heard and read it is a healthy move to make.

We got to the cabin and I realized I forgot to toss an avocado into the shopping cart.  I wanted to make Bonnie what I consider to be the best breakfast ever.  And it’s Gluten Free!

Avocado Egg Boat.

A few months ago I saw the recipe on Facebook and Paul and I were just about to start making lunch and we had the fixin’s in the house so we made them.

OMGosh!  It is the best breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack ever!

Pretty much a staple recipe now at Chez Depre.

 

Two eggs, an avocado, some cheese and some spices.  Can’t get much simpler than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed.

Balance the slices on ramekins in a baking tray.

 

 

 

 

Crack and pour an egg into the pit of each avocado.  Now depending on the seed size you might want to make this hole a bit larger by removing some of the avocado meat.

Snack while cooking I say.

 

 

 

Add seasoning.

For us it a combo of Cajun Seasoning and Paprika.

Top with cheese or cheeses.

Pop into oven at 425.

You can actually click on the recipe name above for a print out of original recipe.

Viola!

Texting Paul now as he is stopping at the grocers on the way home today for steaks for dinner.  I am going to have him pick up some avocados.  Pauli is coming down tomorrow to visit and stay the night.  I’m gonna make these for breakfast on Sunday.

And I promise Bonnie I will make these at Quilt Villa next time.  I won’t forget the avocado!

Enjoy the day,

MickeySignature

A little birdie at the market

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

 

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                                                  Teaser pic….read on.

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Whew, we just returned from the local farmers market.

The bounty was good this week.  Lots of veggies and 10lbs of blueberries to freeze.

 

 

But just incase anyone is thinking I have gone totally domestic (for years my tale was “I can burn boiling water) I have the following ditty to share.

Last night while reading an article yet again someone mentioned making Kale Chips.  I thought I need to explore this and made a mental note to myself to seek out and buy some kale at today’s market.

Well Paul was off putting the blueberries (and a watermelon and cantaloupe) in the car I wandered into our fav stand for veggies.  DSC06833

I picked up some green onions, mushrooms, cucumber, and this.

 

Oops…not kale…leeks.

 

 

Oh yeah I wanted to make Leek Soup (never had it before in my life) I told Paul.  He looked at me and laughed knowing full well I goofed.

Tomorrow I will seek out kale at the grocer.  DSC06837

DSC06839And no need to buy raspberries or tomatoes when the “farms” of Chez Depre and Chez In-Laws are giving this type of bounty.

 

 

 

Now onto another giveway for Christmas in July.

IJ967_FriendsofaFeather_IndygoJunction_SewingPatternThis pattern is by indygo junction and I am a big fan.   I just love these little birds.  I envision a flock of them flying around the house during the winter months when bird sightings are far and few between.  I think once my book manuscript is done I might make it a bird a week habit for a bit to get a good flock going by January. IJ967_01-FriendsofaFeather_IndygoJunction_SewingPattern

 

 

I hope you will join me!

 

 

 

DSC06835So leave a comment telling me your favorite bird and I will draw a winner for the pattern and fabric on Friday at 6am CST! 

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature

I’m a tea drinker!

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

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No I haven’t given up my coffee habit.  The Keurig still churns out a few cups a day here.

But over the last few years I have begun to drink more and more tea.

I blame Paul.

 

 

logo94And this awesome and quaint loose tea shop in Glen Falls, NY. 

SensilbilitiesTeaIt is called SensibiliTeas.   And if you click on the name you will go right to the website.  My friend Donna runs the shop (and she quilts!  she is awesome too).

They just moved into a new location and Donna has posted these pics on the Tea Shop’s facebook page.  If you ask me it screams sit down let me poor you a cup and let’s chat.  Someday I promise myself I well see it in person.

Now this piece of info might shake Donna to the core…but well…we make a lot of the loose tea as cold iced tea throughout the year.   Some of the teas she actually gives instructions to do so but we are brave and run rampant in our exploration and play with her wonderful blends.

SensilbilitiesTea2shhhhh…..We have even been known to really go crazy and toss a little bit of blackberry tea into the remaining raspberry tea for our own blend.

Anyway if you are tea drinker and even if your not in the Glen Falls, NY area check out the website.  It is so full of special blends you won’t know where to start. I have so help for you about that in a bit.

I have also found the “Other Cool Uses for Teas” page (click on the About Tea tab) really interesting.

Oh and Paul and I recommend the following:

Caribbean Cooler (excellent iced!)

Mango Green

White Pear

Birthday Wishes (I love this hot when I need some cheer)

and the Chez Depre all time favorite : APRICOT ALLURE  (both hot and cold…all year round…all the time!)

teacupsfoundationpiecedTea and Quilting….a match made in heaven!

 

Enjoy your day!

MickeySignature

German Chocolate GingerCrack Cookies

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Spent some time in the kitchen yesterday fiddlin’ with my GingerCrack Cookie Recipe.

For those new to the blog, GingerCrack is the name of a semi homemade cookie recipe I made up a few years back.  Paul and Emily (and guests at Christmas break) could not get enough of the little cookies and dubbed them GingerCrack.

Here is the original recipe:

GingerCrack Cookies

1 package of Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix

½ teaspoon of Ginger

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

1 packet of Vanilla Sugar

½ teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon of Nutmeg

Sprinkle cookies with Cinnamon Sugar before baking follow the baking temp and time on the cookie mix package.  Tweak to your liking.

 

I have been pushing around a half box of German Chocolate Cake Mix for a few weeks now in the kitchen.  We have taken to just backing 2-4 cupcakes here and there when the oven is on for something else so half boxes of cake mix are not uncommon.

I wanted that cake mix gone.

So I grabbed a bag of my beloved Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix and started to play.

German Chocolate GingerCrack Cookies

1 package of Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix

1 cup of Betty Crocker German Chocolate Cake Mix

3 tablespoons of water

1 egg

1 tablespoon Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 packet of Vanilla Sugar

 

I made small spoon size balls of cookie mix for bite size cookies. 375 degrees for 10 mins.

As you can see I left out the Ginger, Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon (but added Cinnamon Sugar to the mix) as I wanted more of a Chocolate Cookie with a ginger twinkle.   I might put the Pumpkin Pie spice back in on the next batch to give it a bit more punch.

This is half the cookies the package made…the other half are waiting for guests….coffee’s on.

 

MickeySignature

For the LOVE of Molly

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Blackhawk Molly

 

How can you not want to bake dog biscuits for this cute mug!

So I did.

The recipe is from the Oct 2011 Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine.

 

Pup’kin Biscuits (makes about 3 dozen….or enough for awhile in Mollyland)

2 eggs

1/2 cup of canned pumpkin

2 tbsp. dry milk powder

2 1/2 cup flour  (white or wheat)

Preheat oven at 350.

Stir all together.  You can roll out and cut with a cookie cutter or do as I did an roll into 1 inch balls and gently flatten into disks.

Bake for 20 mins and then turn over and bake for another 20.

 

 

I didn’t take a pic of mine because honestly them don’t look spectacular.  I am going to go the cookie cutter route next time to make them more fun.  But fun for who?  Molly or I?  Because she just seems to gobble them in no time flat.  Obviously she likes them.  Might have to film the Molly dance of joy that happens when I reach for the “treat container”.

 

I think I will use this “formula” as my starter recipe and play around with some ingredients.  I am thinking carrots or squash next.  

Molly most definitely loves her veggies.

I have one spoiled dog.

Salted Chocolate Cookies…I am amazed.

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

It seems I have a bit of a knack in the baking arena at Chez Depre.

 

 

This weeks cookie experiment started with a package of Chocolate Crème Brulee mix that did not come to be over the holidays.  Found this mix at Bed Bath & Beyond. 

My thoughts were I bet I can make a cookie out of this.   Of course one of my very fav ingredients for cookies, Vanilla Sugar, came along for the ride.

 

 

Here are the ingredients:

mix together:

Crème Brulee mix

caramelizing sugar pack (in box)

1 cup of flour

6 tablespoons of room temp butter

1 package of vanilla sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup of sliced almonds smashed into small bits

 

Mix well.  Dough will have a bit of a wet consistency, kind of like fudge.   Roll into 1 inch balls. 

 

 

…..and the secret ingredient that threw them over the edge according to Paul…….

 

gently touch cookie ball into some course salt.  just a bit.  trust me this is so yummy.

 

 

 

 

 

You should get about 2.5 dozen cookies.  Note the salt is just a bit on one edge. 

DO NOT roll in salt!

 

 

 

 

12 mins in a 350 oven and viola!

 

Cookies are a deep chocolate in taste with that salt making them well….yummy!