Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hope's Salsa Recipe

I promised to post this recipe after getting several requests for it at our Christmas party. Thanks to a reminder from my cousin I am finally following through. This is Frank's mom, Hope's salsa recipe. I would wrestle my sister in laws for the salsa that Hope makes for us, it is that delicious. The bonus is, this recipe couldn't be easier, and can be adapted to your tastes. First I am going to post the original recipe as Hope makes it.

Hope's Salsa
(1) 28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
(3+) Serrano peppers



Hope uses about two handfuls of serrano peppers, and her chile (salsa) is HOT. You can see chunks of peppers throughout her version. I love it, but you may want to start with fewer, you can always add more!

*Dump the can of tomatoes in your blender.

*Salt to taste. I don't measure, but would guess maybe starting with 1/2 teaspoon.

*I use about one half a bunch of cilantro. I just take the bunch, chop off the top half and throw it in the blender.

*Boil the Serranos and add a few at a time until the salsa is as hot as you like. I would say start with 3 or 4 and add from there.

Blend until everything is chopped, and voila, you are done. Gah-lee, wasn't that easy?!

Optional adjustments:
In the version that I made for the party I used Crushed, Fire Roasted Tomatoes in place of Whole Peeled Tomatoes. The fire roasting adds a great flavor, and the crushed tomatoes makes a smoother and thicker salsa. Whole tomatoes, as in the original recipe make a chunkier, more liquidy salsa. Try all versions (whole plain, whole fire roasted, crushed plain, crushed fire roasted) and see what you like best. You really can't go wrong as they are all delicious!

The version at the party also had Jalapenos instead of Serranos. That was only because I had Jalapenos from my garden on hand. I think I used four, and it was a very mild salsa. Serranos are hotter than Jalapenos, so keep that in mind. Don't forget to boil your peppers until the color changes and they become soft. The only other prep I do is to cut off the stem.

This is Hope with a pillow that mom and I made her for Christmas one year. You have this woman to thank for this wonderfully delicious recipe.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Though I waited until the last minute I just had to do a little bit of Christmas decorating. I picked out some of my favorite ornaments and hung them from our dining room light. My mom gave me the Dream Pet Rudolph, which is from her childhood. He really makes me smile! Someday we will be able to decorate a large tree with our ornament collection. I inherited a wonderful selection of vintage glass ornaments form my Granny.

This is the least prepared I have ever been on Christmas! Yesterday I realized that I only had one more day to prepare and lots to do. I have to run a few errands, wrap all the gifts and bake my tarts (Toffee Almond and Mexican Chocolate) before heading to Frank's mom's house this afternoon.

We did get to chill with great friends last night. My oldest friend Gretchen and her husband are visiting from Maryland and came down to Fort Worth to see us. That is always a special treat as we only see them about once a year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Karlie's hat

I made my niece Karlie a hat for Christmas. I had some sizing issues, but it turned out super cute. My brother said he wants on in his size too! Here are all the details about the hat.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm back....For Now

It did snow in Austin on Friday, but only light flurries that were melting upon impact, at least where we were. Houston actually got some accumulation, believe it or not! Set up wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined, and actually went pretty quickly. My show was on the grounds of Laguna Gloria, which is gorgeous. I was set up under a live oak tree with the lake behind me, and we were quite chilly all weekend. I was really impressed with the shoppers who came out in the thirty something degree weather Saturday morning to see us. Sunday it rained a bit and that scared off the crowds, unfortunately. So it goes with outdoor art shows.

Here I am bundled up and sporting one of my new fiber pendants.

My booth and the view out of the back

fiber earrings, hand embroidered silk and Japanese fabrics

some of my newest fiber pieces

this piece is the one that the most people are drawn to

mom bundled up in the booth

Lucy didn't want to get out of bed this morning, and she wasn't the only one. I slept in, trying to recover from the weekend and my cough that won't go away.
I will be back in Austin this coming weekend at the Cherrywood Art Fair. I better get back to work...
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Really Quick

Embroidered Silk Teardrop Earrings

This is the other pair of earrings that are on their way to the Fancy show. I said three pairs earlier, but messed the third up and didn't have time for a fix. I am supposed to be baking for tomorrow and am off to do that right now. I'm making this.
Bookmark and Share

The finished product and more progress shots

This pair of earrings along with two others is on its' way to Fancy in Seattle for their December Earring show. They each have two sets of coordinated buttons. The earrings spin so you lots of different looks from one pair. I am really happy with this design.

I haven't been feeling so hot lately, battling allergies or some such annoyance. While my motivation to sit at my work bench has been low, I have really been enjoying embroidering fabric for my buttons! If you couldn't already tell I love color and playing with color combinations. Embroidery is something I have always enjoyed, both the process and end product. However I hadn't done any embroidery projects in a while. I am so glad I have started again because the outcome is really exciting and motivating for me! Luckily for me my Granny had tons of embroidery floss that she passed on to my mom. Mom has warned me not to buy any because there is plenty at her house. It is hard to resist buying more though, so I know how Granny felt!
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Making buttons

Yesterday was all about making my fabric covered buttons. I am having so much fun with these! The fabric came from my extremely generous mom and are mostly Japanese fabrics that she has gotten at quilt show in Houston over the years. One of these years I am going to have to go down with her because she always comes home with lots of neat stuff. I made all of these buttons and am now planning to do some with embroidery as well. You can see a few examples with stitches here, but I want to do a bunch more. These will become earrings, rings and pendants and I will have them at my shows in Austin.

These buttons are for some earrings that I am sending off to a show this week.

Testing out a new design. These have bezels on both sides and spin around. There are two sets of buttons going in them.

Some of those buttons were my Granny's, as well as some of the embroidery floss, which I severely need to organize.

Japanese fabrics

The finished buttons

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Friend Gretchen

I have never talked about my friend Gretchen here. Gretchen is my oldest friend, not in age, but in years of being friends. Next summer will mark the twentieth anniversary of the start of our life long friendship! Gretchen is one of the most talented and most motivated women I know. I have been lucky to share many of my most memorable moments in life with this woman, as well as many years of plain old fun and friendship.

After attending middle school together for three years I invited Gretchen over to my house to make purses. We bonded over art, and still share that common bond to this day.

I am so proud of my friend Gretchen for what she is achieving in her career. Not only is she a wonderful artist, working in printmaking and paper making, but she also involved in teaching art to her community and the world.
I am lucky to own quite a few pieces of Gretchen's artwork. I apologize for the poor quality of photos, they really aren't doing these pieces justice. Please visit Gretchen's website to see her new work.

Happy Birthday G!