Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gotta Get Some Apples !!!

Its apple picking time or just about in most places, so get out there and pick your own or buy them fresh at your local grocer. Nothing like a fresh crispy apple!

Also here a recipe for using those apples!

Oven Dried Apples: Serves 6
Dried apples are great for snacks and lunchboxes. You can also toss them into a spinach salad with nuts and grapes, serve with roasted pork or alongside a sandwich as you would chips.

As Always 
Keep It Clean!
Au Naturelle
2 apples {Fuji, Gala or Honeycrisp}
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon {optional}
To Make: Preheat oven to 225°F.
1.Slice apples as thinly as possible, about 1/8-inch or thinner (use a mandolin if you have one). 2.Arrange slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with cinnamon if using.
3. Bake 1 1/2 hours; flip slices and continue baking 1 1/2 hours longer or until completely dry and crisp {they will not crisp more upon cooling}. Timing will vary depending on the moisture content of the apples and the thickness of the slices.
4.Let cool. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shop Of The Week

Today I have picked a wonderful vintage shop for my shop of the week.
Its called The White Home, it is full of wonderful all white vintage finds.

White goes with everything. It adds a touch of lightness and brightness to any room full of color. Or if you`re looking for a clean neutral look to a room, just add all different shades of white.

And while I`m on my white kick. Today I`m featuring white thyme as my herb.
The thyme pictured above is
White Flowering Lemon Frost Thyme

Tiny White Flowering White Moss Thyme

Thymes are a blessing and a curse. A blessing because there are so many different kinds and a curse because there are so many different kinds. 
It is the Ground Cover Thymes that tend to confuse. Most folks want to use the Ground Cover Thymes to cover the ground. Not much of a surprise there. But, different folks have different amounts of ground to cover. It is important to know the difference between a ground cover thyme that is appropriate for a two inch space and one that is appropriate for a two foot space.  LargeThymes stuffed into a small space will disappoint with time. They will cover up stepping stones, spreading their stems onto paving that will not support growth, leaving behind a stub where the ground cover was suppose to be.
Just like all plants, Thyme spreads by growing from one set of leaves to the next. In between the leaves is a stem segment. This little fact is what determines how fast a thyme will grow and ultimately how wide the spread is. It takes more energy and time to produce a set of leaves than to project a stem segment.

Thyme is great in many recipes,
I have two featured today.
Here is a great simple one for an appetizer. Wonderful for parties and get-togethers.

Thyme Rolls On

8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
I Tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
I Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 Teaspoon finely minced garlic
Blend all ingredients thoroughly and roll into a 1" diameter log in wax paper. Refrigerate overnight. Slice into 1/4" wheels and serve on crackers.

Finally my favorite recipe. A great one for the cooler weather, really warms the soul.


Spring Onion Soup

3/4 Pound potatoes
1/2 Stick unsalted butter
3/4 Cup chopped spring onions (include 1/2 the green)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
l Sprig fresh thyme
2 1/2 Cups milk
1 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Peel and chop potatoes. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter, then toss potatoes and onion in the butter. Sweat, covered, over moderately low heat for 10 minutes. Add broth and thyme sprig and simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 15 minutes. Discard sprig and puree to a soup. Transfer to a saucepan, stir in milk and minced thyme leaves. Add salt and pepper, and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serves 6.

As the season gets busier, I will probably do my blog a little less, however I will try to post at least three times a week. I`m going to shoot for 


The holidays become a very busy season along with my Etsy shops, working outside of the home and family too. However I really enjoy blogging and will be sure to make it fit in my busy life.

As Always 
Keep It Clean

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Shop Of The Week A Day Late

The Bead Aerie

This is my chosen shop of the week for the simple reason that her handcrafted jewelry is beautiful and unique in style. I always find myself at her shop adding a favorite to my ever growing list. Please check out her shop you won`t be disapointed.

I just love everything in her shop and even though I am a jewelry maker myself, I appreciate beautiful handcrafted jewelry such as these pieces I`ve featured.

Moving on I`d like to say that even though I am a very private person the past week was quite unusually stressful to say the least. But I am a very strong person, perhaps even stronger then I myself ever realized. 
So to all of you out there who ever say you can`t do it or ever feel you are at your wits end. 
Be strong, tomorrow is another day
Life Goes On...

See you tomorrow with a new recipe and my herb of the week.
As Always
Keep It Clean

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Power All Last Week Due To Storm Irene

I am back!!!
I didn`t have electricity or running water for the entire week from the 28th of August until September 4th.
I have renewed my camping skills from my early years in Girl Scouts.
You really don`t realize though how dark it can get at night without electricity. By the end of the week the batteries were wearing low in the accumulated flashlights that we own. My son was getting very very bored. Basically you just run out of things to do. Candle light just doesn`t cut it after a while. You end up going to bed outrageously early, can`t sleep so you just lay there and think or listen to the sounds of nothingness through the open window. I cooked up everything I could on my grill outside, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, you name it. Then you try to salvage everything you can from your refrigerator. Luckily I didn`t loose much food, because thankfully I had relatives in the neighboring town that got their power back. I was traveling every day for a shower, along with my son. Because thankfully my mother got her power back in the town she lives.
I don`t understand what took so long to get our electricity back. The state is investigating the problem, but us ordinary people may never know.
Any way it was definitely an experience I will never forget. I will put it on the shelf with the rest of my life experiences that I would like to forget and put behind me.
Life goes on, I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful family to lean on during tough times, you really know who is in your corner when the going gets tough.
Well, all in all my life goes on. I continue to work on my shops. I have more ideas brewing then I`ll ever have time for. My son, Nick has started his last year of high school. I will be working with him to plan his future education. I am going to become busier then I know.
But I love every minute of it.
So in ending I say
"What Will Be Will Be"
Be sure and stop by my shops I will be listing more seasonal items on Au Naturelle,
and I also have beautiful new gemstones I will be working with at
Scorpion Moon Designs.
Until tomorrow
Keep It Clean!