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Food, Recipes

Rustic Cornmeal Loaf Cake 

I’ve always claimed that I’m not much of a baker. I still stand by this statement, but I admit I’ve been doing far more baking since I moved into this little cabin. I’m not sure if it’s all the hard work that we’re putting into building a homestead or if it’s stress baking from coronavirus. Either way, y’all benefit with some delicious recipes!

I’ve been making variations of this cornmeal loaf for a few weeks now just to have as a snack for my hard-working farming man. The great thing about this loaf is I’ve tried it was several types of fruit, so far my favorite has been the combination of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, but I’ve got the recipe shown below with rhubarb which makes for a unique and tart treat.

Rustic Cornmeal Loaf CakeIMG_4599

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk (regular or non-dairy)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups of fruit
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease pie pan (or baking pan) with butter
  3. Line fruit at the bottom of the baking dish
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix making sure to add fruit last after all other ingredients are mixed well
  5. Add to the baking dish
  6. Bake for one hour or until inserted knife comes out clean. Make sure to rotate halfway through.
  7. Remove, let cool… if you can, slice and enjoy!

 

 

Embroidery, Updates

Staying Sane & Stitching

Ok, ok… staying home is starting to get to me. I miss going out, I miss friends, I miss having a cup of coffee on a patio. Yes, I can see friends through Zoom and have a Cafe Au lait on my own porch, but after five months, it’s just not the same.

I have project after project to keep me occupied and flexing my creative muscles, but wow, what I’d give for a vacation. A beach sounds good right about now. (By all means, send me suggestions that are safe.) But alas, in Central Texas it’s slim pickin’s for beach options.

On the Upside

With all of the rain we’ve gotten the last week, I’ve had a little more time inside embroider which I find quite relaxing. I’ve brought out an old pattern from the archive. This is one of my favorites and my current garden has brought plenty of inspiration to start stitching this! “Eat your veggies” the age old mom saying at the majority of dinner tables, except ours! If you need an “eat your veggies” towel, you can purchase one in the shop.

custom, DIY, furniture

A Place to Hang Your Hat

My partner and I have consistently complained that we needed a better place to hang our new farm hats other than plopping them down on the kitchen island or the new bar cart every night after a long day of work. We couldn’t justify spending $40 on a hat rack that we weren’t in love with… ok, that I wasn’t in love with, especially when I know I  could make a better one.

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The solution seemed simple… Make one! Just last month, I refinished a lovely little bar cart for my home. I had some leftover wood from the new top that I had fitted and some remaining paint as well. I also collect knobs and hooks when I go to craft stores because I always think, “Oh! I like that! I’m sure I’ll find a project for that.” I never know when I’ll need them, so sure enough… these little wooden knobs were a good previous purchase.

My apologies, the pictures aren’t the best. Our little wood cabin is pretty dark and the wood walls don’t help. (Side note: Can I tell you how difficult it is to decorate a wood walled cabin when you have wooden furniture?! It’s a lot of wood.) I combat it with as much white as I can to brighten it up though.

I really enjoyed making this little hat rack, so if you’re in need of a quick little hat rack, I’d be more than happy to make you a custom one for cheaper and better made than the ones you’ll find at the store. Email me!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Dresser All Dressed Up

Have you ever had a project that you’ve had on your list for a little longer than you care to admit? Well, I’ve got a few of those in my shop. Things are a little slower these days as far as custom pieces so I’ve had some time to catch up. I acquired this dresser years ago and have moved it several times. I’m happy to say that she’s now received the makeover I’ve been meaning to give her!

Dresser Makeover

This dresser had some rot on the bottom but the rest of it was in incredibly sturdy condition.

  • Removed all drawers, doors, and hardware
  • Flipped several times to remove the bottom piece with rot
  • Trimmed the side pieces and rebuilt for support
  • Sanded down and filled all major blemishes
  • Painted with dark grey paint
  • Applied ebony stain to new feet and piece
  • Attached new hardware with leather accents.

This piece is for sale. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

Food, Recipes

Green Gazpacho with Envy

reka-biro-horvath-WRIQE3VHD-c-unsplashThe Texas heat has been creeping higher and higher. The humidity has been no joke either. Sometimes when I come in from working out in the gardens spreading mulch and weeding, I admit, sometimes it’s too hot to cook an extravagant meal over the stovetop. This gazpacho is delicious, refreshing, and easy!

I stumbled across green gazpacho at a local juice bar.  It was most refreshing on a hundred and three-degree day.  While it was like a glorified smoothie and slightly on the sweet side, I went home to try and replicate a slightly more savory version.  Perfect for a summer day!

Green GazpachoIMG_0038

  • 1 pound grapes (removed from stem)
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small Avocados, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of mint, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of basil, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Chardonnay
  • Salt pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Chill before serving
  3. Garnish with olive oil and cracked pepper
  4. Enjoy!

If you like a little more bite you can add jalapeño or a dash of cider vinegar, lemon, or lime.

*This recipe is grom laura lee’s kitchen. You can purchase a digital copy here.

DIY, Food, Homesteading

Coming Right Up: Sprouts

IMG_3236Before I moved out to the country, my ability to grow my own food was fairly limited. I had potted herbs galore, but past that, veggies weren’t really an option. One food I learned to grow at home was alfalfa sprouts. In fact, now that we’re starting our little farm, we have these on hand all the time!  It only takes a matter of days, it’s simple and incredibly delicious. All you need is a mason jar, sprout seeds, and a piece of cloth, fine mesh, or one of the fancy lids that I used. (I got my lid at Natural Gardener in Austin, TX).

A couple notes before getting started: I highly recommend you purchase USDA Certified Organic Seeds. A lot of seeds are treated with chemicals and you do not want to ingest them. Also, if you’re a sprout fanatic, maybe get two jars going and stagger them so you have fresh sprouts every couple of days.

IMG_3234Sprouting Sprouts

    1. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of seeds into the jar
    2. Fill the jar with water until the seeds are suspended and covered an inch or two
    3. Let them soak 8-10 hours
    4. Drain/strain the water out of the jar
    5. Rinse the seeds and give them a swirl then drain again
    6. Leave the jar tilted upside down so that the water can drain out the jar (Leave a paper towel underneath or, what I do, is leave it on my dish mat to drain)
    7. Rinse and drain twice a day (AM and PM) for roughly 3 days or until sprouts are full-grown
    8. When the sprouts are ready, remove from container and rinse thoroughly to remove seed hulls
    9. Store in a closed container in the fridge for several days.

These are great in salads, sandwiches, and tacos! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Let me know how it goes… or in this case, grows!

 

 

Embroidery, Updates

Bluebonnets in Texas Towel

I feel like it’s been a minute since I last posted about what has been going on in the embroidery department. Needless to say, despite starting up a farm, canning, and refinishing furniture, I’m still stitching away. I’m upping the inventory in the Texas Towel Collection.

Texas Towel Collection

I’ve been slowly adding to the Texas Towel Collection. A couple of years ago, I designed these Bluebonnet in Texas towels and tested them out at the La Vallita Starving Artist Show. They flew out of my booth! I was completely sold out on the first day of the two-day event.

I’m looking forward to having the listed in the shop soon. You know, after I do a complete revamp that I’ve started this past weekend. If you cannot wait until the shop is up and running again, go ahead and contact me. I can get one shipped out to you!

Canning, DIY, Recipes

Turn Up The Heat

IMG_4267My favorite jelly that my grandmother used to make was jalapeno jelly. She would dollop it on top of cream cheese and crackers. To this day, I remember it being her go-to appetizer for family gatherings and our little afternoon treat on hot summer days. I think it was then that my love of the sweet and spicy combo began. I thought I’d share with you the recipe that she used to use. Admittedly, I may have wanted to share it with you just so I could whip up some crackers with cream cheese. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Jalapeno Jelly

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 14 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet of liquid pectin
  • 3-4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  1. Coarse chop bell peppers and 14 jalapenos in a blender, pulse smooth
  2. Pour in a saucepan with the vinegar and bring to a boil for 20 minutes
  3.  Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or fine sieve
  4. Return pepper juice back to the saucepan and combine with salt and sugar
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and stir in pectin
  6. Then add minced jalapenos and ladle the mixture into jars.

 

 

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Step Into Some Turquoise

Years ago, someone gifted me with this little table. I’ve been holding onto it because I just couldn’t find the right idea that matched its personality. I thought I wanted to do multi-colored striping on the top section. Admittedly, I wasn’t in love with that, but with a little patience, the right one finally came along.

Step End Table Makeover

This little guy was structurally sound but just needed some cosmetic repairs.

  • Remove all peeling wood and sand down
  • Fill various holes and cracks
  • Glue some of the laminate
  • Redefine crevices with Dremel tool
  • Paint teal, gold, and black
  • Coat with a polyurethane

This piece is for sale. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

Before & After, DIY, Homesteading, Updates

July Homestead Update

Can you believe we’re already through the first week of July?! With all the craziness in the world, it seems the days are flying by. To be honest, we are certainly keeping ourselves busy here at the Homestead. I wanted to give a quick update as many of you have expressed interest!

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Gardens

Our first bed is finally bearing fruit and veggies. We’ve enjoyed bell peppers, serranos, yellow tomatoes, and sweet potato greens. The rescue tomatoes we saved from Lowe’s are finally established and are now growing. We’ve built a third bed and have planted kale, cucumbers, acorn squash, radishes, and red onion. Our hanging garden is making huge progress, the sprouts are inching higher!

ChickensIMG_4298

Our five girls have been introduced to their lay boxes and we are hoping for farm fresh eggs next month! Earlier this week, we placed an order from a local hatchery for ten more baby chicks. We spent days researching and picked ten that are unique, beautiful, and will give us eggs just as diverse as their feathers. Stay tuned for cream-colored eggs, blue, green, and even red!

Aquaponics

Last week, we stumbled across a 250-gallon water tank which we will be setting up for an aquaponics system. We are looking forward to having fresh fish and healthy greens.

IMG_4300Worm Farm

One of the key ingredients to a functioning farm is healthy dirt. We’ve been trucking in dirt and compost to build our beds, but after a while it won’t be sustainable. Our compost bins are collecting kitchen scraps, chicken droppings, and mixed with worms, we’ll be making our own dirt in no time… ok, six months or so.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support and excitement during this process. All I can say right now in regards to all of this is, “Dreams really do come true.”