Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"When wonder tastes like this, who am I to argue." ~ Anthony Bourdain, Raw Craft - Episode 13

And now for a Raw Craft Episode with an appeal for everyone! Anthony Bourdain introduces famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the Cronut. I love how Raw Craft honors and recognizes how "craft" takes many forms. 

Remember that if you receive my blog via email, and a video does not come through, please go to my blog site:  My Retiring Life. Also remember that all episodes of Raw Craft can be found n YouTube.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Noch ein Bier, bitte!" ~ Another beer please!

As I settle down to write, there are the first light flurries of season in the air. With day light savings time, and now this, I guess that winter is underway. 

I am busy making bread, beginning new knitting projects, and working in my studio - what a delight! As the events of the world and our country swirl around me, I am finding peace where and when I can.

Not too long ago, we had another BITE gathering at Ellen's. Our theme was Oktoberfest, and as always, the food was delicious!

We began with Clare's "Easy Oktoberfest Crescent Wrapped Bratwurst Bites with Sauerkraut Dipping Sauce" (all recipes at the end of blog). Honestly, Clare's appetizer could have been right out of a cover-shoot. Absolutely perfect! And absolutely delicious!

We paired our appetizer and dinner with a selection German beer and wine. I chose one of the beers, I don't remember which, but it was so good.

On to dinner and a table festively set for the occasion!

For our side-dish, Chris made a German potato salad reminiscent of her childhood. She admitted that she didn't care for the salad from her memory, but she tweaked the recipe a bit and used a sweet balsamic vinegar, and a lot more bacon (yay!).  I admit to never having been much of a German potato salad fan, but I loved this!

For our main dish, Ellen prepared Wienerschnitzel, though she used pork rather than veal. It was wonderful, and oh so tender!

Lastly, I prepared our desserts. Due to some scheduling concerns, I opted to do something that could be prepared a day or two ahead. Thus, cookies. Up first were German Cinnamon Cookies for Holidays and Christmas. What a new experience! All measurements for the recipe were in grams. I am a fan of the Great British Baking Show, and I marvel at their weighing of ingredients rather than using our measuring cups and spoons. Short of trying to find the scale that I use for soaping, I made equivalents as best I could. Also, the recipe called for a"a knife tip" of baking powder, which is exactly what I did. The directions said that if the batter was too sticky to roll out (mine was way too sticky), to add extra flour and sugar. I did this as well - several times - before I got a roll-able consistency. And, since I was adding more of that, I figured that I'd better add a bit more baking powder - so another knife tip went in. How these were going to turn out was a big question mark - but they were great!

The second cookie that I chose was Mandelhornchen  (Chocolate-dipped almond marzipan horns). How I do love marzipan. These were a bit of work, but worth it.  I included hot chocolate for dunking!

A wonderful meal with wonderful company. Next up - Poland!

All Recipes from October's BITE

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"The Big Studio Reveal!"

Finally! The studio reveal! I know that this has been a long time coming and that you have seen pictures along the way, but she is finally ready to share!

I said that I was going to have a ribbon cutting party, and I did. About 30 friends and family joined me as I cut the ribbon, and opened my studio doors. The day was cold and drizzling, but it definitely could have been worse. Thank you so much for following me along to this day, and thank you to my wonderful husband for making it happen.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"What a thing friendship is. World without end." ~ Mark Twain


How lucky to have wonderful friends! Our birthday group, which gathers monthly to celebrate, hasn't been quite the same since one member moved to Washington State last year, and another moved far enough away to make it impractical for her to travel to our gatherings. 

Well, earlier in the week, all of us were together again for the first time in a year. It was delightful as we laughed and ate and laughed some more. I was also happy to know that I can in fact seat 13 people in our downsized new home.

Those friends with whom you have history. Those friends who will be there for you through thick and thin. I love and cherish them so.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cape Cod 2017!

Tomorrow, we head back home after slightly more than a week on the Cape. It has been a mixed bag of weather, but wonderfully relaxing just the same. We had good food, good sleep (badly needed), and just enough hiking to let my fit bit know that I am still alive!

Hikes along marsh areas, and oceanside treated us to seals, the spray of whales in the distance, various vegetation, and wonderful sights and sounds.

We speculate that this could be an eagle, but we have no idea.

We saw two of these fungus-like growths within close proximity of each other, but absolutely no others in about a 4 mile hike.

Till next year!