Thursday, January 30, 2014

Foodie Friday -- January 31


Welcome to Foodie Friday.
 If you're here for Foodie Friday, or a link to the Novel Baker's Homemade Winter,
look below to find the links.
 
My little diabetic Yorkie, Zap, is in the vet hospital with
kidney issues. The illness came on suddenly this week, and the prognosis isn't the best. I'm too upset to write much more, but I would appreciate it if you'd say a little prayer for Zap.
  
 
 
I wasn't able to participate today with the Novel Bakers,
but the girls have been busy whipping up extraordinary
dishes and beverages.
For delicious wintry recipes and cheer, visit the Novel Bakers:
 
Jain at a quiet life (look for a link in each post to the NB Homemade Winter Pinterest board)
 
 
 
If you are contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.
 
Pretty please do not pin images from the FF thumbnails. Visit the source blogs. Thanks. For a complete, UPDATED guide to this linky party, click HERE.

You are cordially invited to pin with us at Foodie Friday's Consuming Passions board on Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/mleewest/consuming-passions/
 
 
The Mystery Ingredient Club meets February 7th at Foodie Friday.
If you'd like to play along, the secret ingredient was revealed HERE.
 
Inlinkz

 
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur: The Novel Bakers

 
The Novel Bakers are in Ireland again, this time we're looking at Home Made Winter,
a charming cookbook by Yvette Van Boven. I love all things Irish and go all out for St. Patrick's Day, so it isn't surprising that one recipe stood out:
Homemade Irish cream liqueur.

 
 
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Yield: approximately 4 1/2 cups
 
3/4 cup heavy cream
1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups Irish whiskey * adjust to your preference
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
 
Place ingredients in a blender. Don't over mix--just blend everything.
Pour liqueur into clean bottles and cap. Will keep 2 months in the
fridge--if it lasts that long.
 

 There's so much mystique around liqueurs, I never dreamed of making it. But it was
a snap. The taste will put you over the moon.
 
We love Bailey's Irish cream over vanilla ice cream, but I wanted to try something different and served the liqueur over double brownie chocolate chip ice cream. It was ambrosial.
 
 
 
You can see the liqueur pooled around the ice cream.
Heavenly!

 
 
 

 
Monday's post, Smoked Pulled Pork, which was unbelievably delicious, can be seen HERE.

 
 

 
For delicious wintry recipes and cheer, visit the Novel Bakers:
 
Jain at a quiet life (look for a link to the NB Pinterest board)
 
 
 
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Homemade Winter with The Novel Bakers


Welcome to a presentation by The Novel Bakers:
Home Made Winter
by Yvette Van Boven.
 
This week, The Novel Bakers are focusing on winter food.
 
Home Made Winter is the quintessential winter cookbook, complete with drawings, photography,
and step-by-step instructions. The author, Yvette VanBoven, is all about food. In addition to writing and illustrating cookbooks, she owns a restaurant, operates a catering business, and is an amazing food stylist.
She introduces the recipes, then weaves memories of her Irish childhood with a  modern sensibility and a dash of humor.
.
Home Made Winter opens with lyrics from an Irish folk song:
 
I'm a rambler
I'm a gambler
I'm a long way from home
and if  you don't like me
Well, leave me alone.
I eat when I'm hungry
I drink when I'm dry
And the moonshine don't kill me
I'll live 'till I die.
 

 
If you live in a cold part of the world, winter cooking is probably on your mind. Plunging temperatures always make me think of hearty (and heart-warming) meals. As I leafed
through the book, I kept going back to one recipe: Pulled Pork.

Unfortunately, it meant cooking outdoors in a smoker.
 
Bandwidth, my youngest son, considers himself to be an honorary Novel Baker, so he volunteered to smoke a pork shoulder. He just happened to have a brand new smoker--and a remote controlled thermometer--Christmas presents from our foodie relatives.
 
Smoking is one of those all day events, and it requires babying. While you want the pork to acquire a bark (see below), you certainly don't want it to become too barky or worse, to dry out.
 
The remote device allowed Bandy to check the cooking temps without making hundreds of trips outside. A quick note: He says it's important to not "prick" the meat or the wonderful juices will leak, and your pork will turn into shoe leather.
 


 
 
This is what the author has to say about her recipe:
"This ridiculously delicious meal takes time, but no effort."
 
It takes 5 hours to smoke a 3 1/4 pound pork shoulder.
 
While the meat smokes, Van Boven suggests that the cook
"Do Something Else . . . la di da."
 
We started with lots of wood chips, a homemade rub, and the pork.
Many hours later, the pork was ready, with the aforementioned deep, lovely "bark."
After cooking, be sure to let the meat rest. If you carve or shred too soon, the roast will
lose moisture.
 
The bark will take on deeper meaning when you finally "pull" the pork--I shredded it by using two forks. As you work, the dark bits will be mixed in with the meat. Heavenly.





 
Here's Van Boven's rub recipe:
"Mix 2 tablespoons of paprika, chile flakes, brown sugar, and a little less salt."
 
We didn't add sauce, but the smoked pork didn't need it. We piled it
onto thick buns. The book has a recipe for "Miraculous Rolls," along
with Sauerkraut Salad with Hazlenuts, Fried Parsnips,
and White Beans in Tomato Sauce.
 



This was a delightful start to Home Made Winter Week. I don't know
about Bandwidth, but I certainly enjoyed the pulled pork.
 
Note: The scheduled post didn't post today, and I didn't check the blog until
just now. I have been up all night with a sick Yorkie and on my way to the vet.
 
For more wintry food and cheer, be sure to visit the Novel Bakers:
Jain at a quiet life
 
*Who are The Novel Bakers? Jain, Mary, Pam, and me. Friends and bloggers
who love books and cooking. Our past projects have been collected in group Pinterest Boards. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for The Novel Bakers.
 
Resources:


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Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Novel Bakers Return Tomorrow

The baking girls will return tomorrow, with a look at winter cooking.
 
Hope you'll join us!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Foodie Friday -- January 24th

Welcome to Foodie Friday, where great food is always on the menu.
 
Let's get you out of the bitter cold air. You're just in time for cupcakes. Have a seat by the fireplace. Do you notice anything different at Rattlebridge? 
 
We've just finished the Mantle Make-over.
 
 (Note: My phone cam added colors to the marble surround. It's black/white Carrera.)
 
I hadn't planned to tinker with the fireplace, mainly because I love painted brick.
But one thing led to another, a Style Clash of the Sexes, which resulted in a sort of viral situation known as "The Creeping Project."
 
Anyway, here's a "before" picture:
 
At first, I had planned to install the mantel over the bricks. However, I wanted a taller mantel (see below). DH wanted a fussier one.
The style clash had begun.
 
My  GC removed the old mantel and propped the new one against the bricks.
 I thought about it a long while and decided to drywall above the mantel and on the brick sides of the existing FP. My GC made sure that it adhered to the local building code.
 
 
It's not a "biggie," as viral projects go, but I love how it turned out.
 
 
 
Mantel Makeover
 
Note: Before embarking on a DIY fireplace makeover, check the building codes in your region.
 
1. Sheetrock covered a portion of the bricks. There was a discussion about safety and building codes between Mike (my GC) and Jimmy (cabinet maker). The bricks that surround
the firebox were not covered, of course.
 
 
2. A mantel was made. (First, my husband met with the carpenter/cabinet maker and chose the mantel's "legs." He really did, which is another story.)
 
3. Fireworks in Nashville, TN installed carrera marble on the bricks that surround the firebox. Marble was also installed on the flat surface of the raised hearth. 
 
4. When DH wasn't around, I opted for simple wooden trim to cover the bottom portion
of the brick hearth. (The new marble sits on top of this.)
 
5. Finally, the mantel was painted BM Simply White (satin finish).
 
The masonry FP is set up for gas or wood logs. So that's another decision.
 
Decorating will come last.
 
Speaking of decorating a mantel . . . here's my FAQ on Mantelscaping:
 
Decorating a mantel can be a challenge. So I developed a helpful glossary to explain the various ins and outs of "mantel-scaping."

MANTEL PAUSE -- A mantel in a middle-aged house; the mantel can experience mood changes and hot flashes.

DOCUMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with books.

ADJUSTMANTEL--An adjustment to a mantelscape. It can be tiny--moving an accessory one eighth of an inch--or it can involve major tinkering.

ALIMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with food.

DETRI-MANTEL -- A mantelscape that is so horrid, so detrimental to your overall design scheme that you want to cry, brick up the fireplace, or move. DETRI-MANTEL can also be used as a condition to describe plasma TVs over a fireplace.
 
ENVIRONMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with "green" or recycled items.

EXPERIMANTEL -- The act of adding and subtracting various accessories. This can also describe the use of unusual or outlandish objects on a mantel.

FRAGIMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with breakable knicknacks.

FUNDAMANTEL -- the "411 Basics" of mantelscaping, which include visual balance and an uneven number of accessories.

FRAGMANTEL - A mantel that's decorated on one end.

INSTRUMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with musical instruments.

INSURMANTEL-ABLE -- A mantel that cannot--and will not--be decorated.

MANTEL ABUSE -- Rearranging accessories on a mantel more than 500 times a day.

MANTEL BREAKDOWN -- a condition that arises after many hours of rearranging accessories (see MANTEL ABUSE)to no avail. Nothing looks right. Shopping trips end in failure. Extreme frustration results. The mantel is stripped bare.
 
MANTEL CONCEPT-- See MANTEL IMAGERY.

MANTEL ILLNESS -- Occurs when mantelscapes are not touched for years. The accumulation of dust results in a condition that can cause sneezing and hives. It can be reversed by tearing down the old mantelscape and replacing it with a new one. By using MANTEL-IMAGERY, one can save time and money before going shopping.

MANTEL IMAGERY -- Imagining how your mantel will look with objects that are not sold in stores. These accessories might not exist--but if they did, your mantel would be perfect.

MICROMANTEL-ING -- When ADJUSTMANTELING is taken to an extreme. It can also refer to a mantel that features minature accessories.

MON-U-MANTEL -- A mantel that is so hard-to-decorate, it turns into a monumental task. Also, this can refer to an over-sized mantel.

NON-JUDGMANTEL -- The wisest approach for family members when the decorator of the mantel (spouse, friend, mother) asks for opinions on the latest mantelscape. (Similar to a situation involving Itty Bitty Lies--this occurs when you ask your spouse if an outfit makes you look fat.)

ORNAMANTEL-- A highly decorated mantel.

PREDICT-A-MANTEL -- A Predictable way to decorate a mantel. Associated with an extreme case of NOAH'S ARK SYNDROME.

REGIMANTEL -- The process of putting the mantel into order. Organizing a mantel. Also, the type of decor preferred by Generals.

RUDIMANTEL-- This word has two mantel-meanings. It can refer to basic mantelscaping. It can also refer to an incompletely decorated mantel.

UN-ORNAMANTEL -- a Zen mantel.

SENTIMANTEL -- a type of mantel decor that appeals to the heart, if not always the "eye."

TEMPERMANTLE -- A moody mantle, prone to outbursts.

Contributed by Carol Edwards:
MICKEY MANTEL -- A type of mantelscaping that is associated with a Disney obsession and features Mickey Mouse whatnots. It can also refer to a baseball themed mantel.

Contributed by Susan/Between Naps on the Porch:
GOVERNMANTELING - Furnishing a mantel with priceless artifacts, causing the IRS to freeze your bank account, conduct an audit, and/or visit your house in person.
 
Do you have a type of mantlescaping to add to the list?
 
After all of that decorating, are you ready to eat?
 
 
 
 
If you are contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only. Pretty please do not pin images from the FF thumbnails. Visit the source blogs. Thanks. For a complete, UPDATED guide to this linky party, click HERE.

You are cordially invited to pin with us at Foodie Friday's Consuming Passions board on Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/mleewest/consuming-passions/
 
The Novel Bakers will return Monday, January 27th, with a look at cold weather cooking: Homemade Winter.
The Mystery Ingredient Club meets February 7th at Foodie Friday.
If you'd like to play along, the secret ingredient was revealed HERE.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Renovation Diary: Mantel Makeover

 Just a quick update on the mantel.
I hadn't planned to tinker with it, mainly because I love painted brick.
But one thing led to another, a sort of viral situation known as "The Creeping Project."
Anyway, here's a "before" picture:
 
At first, I had planned to install the mantel over the bricks. The mantel was propped against the masonry. I thought about it a long while and decided to drywall above the fireplace and on the sides.
 
It's not a "biggie," as viral projects go, but I love how it turned out.
 
 
 
Mantel Makeover
 
1. Sheetrock covered the bricks. There was a big discussion about codes
between Mike (my GC) and Jimmy (cabinet maker). The bricks that surround
the firebox were not covered, of course.
 
 
2. A mantel was made. (First, my husband met with the carpenter/cabinet maker and chose the "legs" of the mantel.)
 
3. Carrera marble was installed inside the firebox area, where the bricks are, and on the flat surface (on the top) of the raised hearth.  Fireworks in Nashville, TN installed the marble.
 
4. Trim covered the bottom of the raised hearth.
 
5. A coat of paint: BM Simply White (satin finish).
 
The FP is set up for gas or wood logs. So that's another decision to make.
Decorating will come last.
 
Speaking of decorating a mantel . . . here's my FAQ on Mantelscaping:
 
Decorating a mantel can be a challenge. So I developed a helpful glossary to explain the various ins and outs of "mantel-scaping."

MANTEL PAUSE -- A mantel in a middle-aged house; the mantel can experience mood changes and hot flashes.

DOCUMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with books.

ADJUSTMANTEL--An adjustment to a mantelscape. It can be tiny--moving an accessory one eighth of an inch--or it can involve major tinkering.

ALIMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with food.

DETRI-MANTEL -- A mantelscape that is so horrid, so detrimental to your overall design scheme that you want to cry, brick up the fireplace, or move.
DETRI-MANTEL can also be used as a condition to describe plasma TVs over a fireplace.


ENVIRONMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with "green" or recycled items.

EXPERIMANTEL -- The act of adding and subtracting various accessories. This can also describe the use of unusual or outlandish objects on a mantel.

FRAGIMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with breakable knicknacks.

FUNDAMANTEL -- the "411 Basics" of mantelscaping, which include visual balance and an uneven number of accessories.

FRAGMANTEL - A mantel that's decorated on one end.

INSTRUMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with musical instruments.

INSURMANTEL-ABLE -- A mantel that cannot--and will not--be decorated.

MANTEL ABUSE -- Rearranging accessories on a mantel more than 500 times a day.

MANTEL BREAKDOWN -- a condition that arises after many hours of rearranging accessories (see MANTEL ABUSE)to no avail. Nothing looks right. Shopping trips end in failure. Extreme frustration results. The mantel is stripped bare.


MANTEL CONCEPT-- See MANTEL IMAGERY.

MANTEL ILLNESS -- Occurs when mantelscapes are not touched for years. The accumulation of dust results in a condition that can cause sneezing and hives. It can be reversed by tearing down the old mantelscape and replacing it with a new one. By using MANTEL-IMAGERY, one can save time and money before going shopping.

MANTEL IMAGERY -- Imagining how your mantel will look with objects that are not sold in stores. These accessories might not exist--but if they did, your mantel would be perfect.

MICROMANTEL-ING -- When ADJUSTMANTELING is taken to an extreme. It can also refer to a mantel that features minature accessories.

MON-U-MANTEL -- A mantel that is so hard-to-decorate, it turns into a monumental task. Also, this can refer to an over-sized mantel.

NON-JUDGMANTEL -- The wisest approach for family members when the decorator of the mantel (spouse, friend, mother) asks for opinions on the latest mantelscape. (Similar to a situation involving Itty Bitty Lies--this occurs when you ask your spouse if an outfit makes you look fat.)

ORNAMANTEL-- A highly decorated mantel.

PREDICT-A-MANTEL -- A Predictable way to decorate a mantel. Associated with an extreme case of NOAH'S ARK SYNDROME.

REGIMANTEL -- The process of putting the mantel into order. Organizing a mantel. Also, the type of decor preferred by Generals.

RUDIMANTEL-- This word has two mantel-meanings. It can refer to basic mantelscaping. It can also refer to an incompletely decorated mantel.

UN-ORNAMANTEL -- a Zen mantel.

SENTIMANTEL -- a type of mantel decor that appeals to the heart, if not always the "eye."

TEMPERMANTLE -- A moody mantle, prone to outbursts.

Contributed by Carol Edwards:
MICKEY MANTEL -- A type of mantelscaping that is associated with a Disney obsession and features Mickey Mouse whatnots. It can also refer to a baseball themed mantel.

Contributed by Susan/Between Naps on the Porch:
GOVERNMANTELING - Furnishing a mantel with priceless artifacts, causing the IRS to freeze your bank account, conduct an audit, and/or visit your house in person.

Example of DETRI-MANTEL, DOCUMANTEL, and MANTEL BREAKDOWN.
 
 
See you tomorrow night at Foodie Friday. Stay warm!
 
 
Note: Before embarking on a DIY fireplace makeover, check the building codes in your region.

 
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