Friday, February 26, 2010


Sanibel, 3/9/09.

24 hours and we'll be on our way!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter, 2/15/10.
My dear friend Danielle, who visited recently, brought her friend Tiffany, who brought along this homemade peanut butter. I was surprised at how delicious it is and how much better it is than store-bought. She had visited and worked at Nazareth Farm in West Virginia, and borrowed the recipe from them. Tiffany included her notes (below). I have to give this a try as soon as we're finished with the jar she brought. Love it!

Peanut Butter from Nazareth Farm

4 cups of roasted peanuts (I do some salted, some unsalted, it's your call)
3/4 cup of peanut oil
3 Tbsp. of honey

Blend in stages (some of the peanuts, some oil, and some honey...then repeat) in the food processor, so it will mix nicely. You could add some almonds, walnuts or whatever to mix up the taste. ...[maybe even] Agave nectar.

** For more recipes, check out the RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dreaming of Spring

Last night I dreamt of fighting a wolf with a pillow, but this morning I'm dreaming of spring and gardens and CSAs (we're trying a new one this year -- possibly the Four Friends CSA).

My friend Elizabeth and I have picked up greenhouse boxes to start seeds indoors (80 seedlings each!) and now I just need to start planning out the timeline of what to plant and when. Here's the list: Repeats: Green Zebra tomatoes (some from last year's seeds, others bought), and German Red Strawberries, Spinach (from saved seeds), peppers (hopefully more this year, starting earlier) and herbs (Cilantro, Basil, and Thyme).
New Things: Lemon Cucumbers (seeds already purchased) and lettuce--Royal Oakleaf (or something like that).

The rest is TBD. Dreaming like I am?
Check out last year's kick ass garden: link here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Non-valentine's day Card

A friend of mine recommended watching "How to Draw a Bunny" -- a movie about the artist Ray Johnson, who mailed much of his artwork. We Netflixed it, (I enjoyed it) and the next day the movie gave me the idea to make a collage card on an unused white envelope. Instead of writing a note inside a card, I wrote it on a paper tag and put it inside the envelope. Then I made another slightly larger envelope (out of a paper bag).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recipe Rursday: The original margarita, with friends.

Danielle & Tiffany, 2/13/10.
My dear friend Danielle came to visit last weekend. It was so nice to catch up with her and to meet her friend Tiffany. Pedicures and estrogen and fresh spring rolls. It would've been a Julia Roberts movie, if it weren't for the margaritas & karaoke. The ladies experimented with their own version (an actual improvement on the recipe below)...with blood oranges.

The Original Margarita (recipe by Alton Brown)
  • 2 ounces 100 percent agave silver/blanco tequila, divided
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 4 limes, divided
  • 1/2 small Hamlin or Valencia orange
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup ice cubes, about 3 to 4

Pour 1/2-ounce of the tequila into a small saucer. Spread the kosher salt in a separate small saucer. Dip the rim of a martini or other wide rimmed glass into the tequila. Lift out of the tequila and hold upside down for 10 seconds to allow for slight evaporation. Next, dip the glass into the salt to coat the rim. Set aside.

Halve 2 of the limes, cut a thin slice for garnish from 1, and set aside. Juice the halved limes into the bottom of a Boston-style cocktail shaker. Cut the remaining 2 limes and the orange into quarters and add them to the juice in the shaker. Add the agave nectar to and muddle for 2 minutes until the juices are release. Strain the juice mixture through a cocktail strainer into the top of the shaker and discard the solids.

Return the juice to the bottom of the shaker, add the remaining 1 1/2 ounces of tequila and any remaining on the saucer. Add the ice to the shaker, cover and shake for 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a cocktail strainer into the prepared glass, garnish with reserved lime slice, and serve immediately. --Alton Brown

** For more recipes, check out the RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

(gaudy) Love Lasts Forever Bowl

So my wise-ass friends gave me a heart-shaped, clear crystal bowl last time they came to visit....It was a free gift from Crate & Barrel they received for registering there, for their wedding. So when they came to visit after their wedding, they brought a "house-warming gift" that they thought I'd appreciate. And yes, the horrified look on my face rewarded their little prank. So..... a thank you for their little "present," I thought I'd "re-do" the heart-shaped glass bowl and send it back to them. I mean...why should they get to give away this lovely glassware? So, I shellacked (with Mod Podge) swatches of paper all over...blinged up the edges with glitter and flowers, planted their cute little faces on the bottom, and sent it off parcel post. If they're game, I hope they'll do a redesign and send it back a year from now. The thing weighs a ton. Enjoy my dear friends!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Rosie's Vegetarian Chili

We've spent 9 of the last 10 superbowls with our friends Craig & Rosie. I'm there for the party (and the food), not the football. Each year I'm wowed by a dish (like last year Jen's QuinoaDish). This year, Rosie made a batch of her famous chili without meat. I had no idea what I'd been missing all this time! I love this recipe and she graciously agreed to share (pics to come).
"I made this for my vegetarian/vegan peeps at my Super Bowl party. They seemed to like it enough to ask for the recipe. It's basically from Joy of Cooking, with some extras. Somehow, I made food taste good without any meat or dairy -- still not sure how I accomplished that!

Rosie's Vegetarian Chili:

2 tbs. (or more of extra virgin) olive oil
1 c. chopped peeled carrots (I eyeballed it)
1 c. chopped red bell peppers (used a whole pepper)
1 c. chopped green bell peppers (used a whole pepper)
1 c. chopped onions (used whole med. size red onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced (think I used 3-4)

Sautee above ingredients until everything's softened & sweated out, about 15 min.
Then add:

1-2 fresh green chili peppers, seeded & chopped, or
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (I fried up a mix of hot peppers & eyeballed it)
1 tbs. ground ancho chili pepper
1 tbs. ground cumin (actually forgot that one!)

[I also added several dashes of hot sauce & several heaping tbs. of green recaito (cilantro food base). Then I tossed in a few tbs. of sugar, 'cause I thought it got too hot!]

Cook for a few minutes until mixed, then add:

1 28 oz. can tomatoes, with juice (I used crushed)
1 16 oz. can red kidney beans rinsed & drained (I used the bigger can, 29 oz, with juice)
1 16 oz. can white cannellini beans rinsed & drained (I used 29 oz. can, with juice)
1 16 oz. can black beans rinsed & drained (I used 29 oz. can, with juice)
1 cup tomato juice (I skipped that b/c juice from beans was enough)
Salt & pepper to taste

Then simmer (stove-top or crockpot) for hours & hours & eat when you're hungry. It's even better the second day."

** For more recipes, check out the RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Card

Throughout my crafty space I have kitchy little labels and cards that have landed in my possession, from various sources. IndieFixx sent me a bunch of creatively designed business cards and tiny sample prints from some of the many artists they support. Others have come in promotional bags from Craftland in Providence. I've held on to most of those little bits & have started using them to make cards.

This card I made out of white vellum and simply attached a promo print/card made by Kiss the Frog (now called 7 Keys Design). Her whimsical prints/designs can be found here. I added a little texture by sewing into the paper. Envelope (below): Handmade envelopes are easy peasy to make, once you get the hang of it (and a get a really good glue stick - like this one). I almost always use brown paper grocery bags. Some day soon I'll layout a tutorial, but there's no one-way or right-way to make them.And I just got word that Danielle and her friend are coming to town this weekend! I haven't seen her since last Feb...and I'm so glad she's coming!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not just the Knit Stitch

Cate's brick-pattern blanket, 2/3/10.

Two friends came over after work last week for a wine & knitting night. Cate (master knitter), helped Chan start up his new fine-yarn hoodie and helped me start up knitting project #2. I'm still doing a straight-forward knit, though this time I'm pearling the end of each row. And I'm so glad it's moving along quicker than Chris' scarf (which took 6 months). Lesson learned from the first project - don't use tiny tiny needles if you want to finish a project. Size 10 1/2 work great!

Cate's work is so pretty and interesting...I had to share what she's working on right now. Lovely lovely.
Cate's brick-pattern blanket, 2/3/10.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Curry Something & False Starts

Never got around to posting these properly. Crappy photos and missing recipes...

Curry Something 1/28/10.

We still haven't made our own full-blown curry from scratch. Our friend Saida's curry is so good, I can barely feign interest in trying to make our own. This was pretty good though...white fish and yellow curry with vegetables.
French Onion Soup, 1/1/2010.

Sooooo good, especially on a cold or snowy day. Note: Can take much of the day to cook. I'm working on making ours a touch less sweet. Recipe here.

Fish (I forget the kind) whole with Puerto Rican-style
Rice & Beans with Pumpkin, 12/22/09.

Our friends Ben & Saida brought over the locally caught RI fish (that she and her father caught), which was sooooo good. And despite my apprehension, with a little instruction on how to take the fish apart and eat it, this was a true cut above the fish we bring home from the store. Get the recipe? Yes, I know.
Cheese Ravioli in Pumpkin Sage Sauce, 11/30/09.

This was good, nothing to scream about. Ingredients: dry white wine, chopped shallots, cream cheese, 1/3 C milk, sage (fresh or ground, but less if ground), cheese ravioli, chopped green onion.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


My parents arrived in Florida last weekend. Dad said it should be 80 some time this week.
Today I woke up to this.