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Food, Recipes

Whipped Goat Cheese & Strawberry Balsamic Pastry

With Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day this weekend, I thought I’d pay another tribute to the Hallmark Holiday’s with a recipe in addition to last week’s blog! Nothing says Valentine’s Day like fresh strawberries. While I admit I’m in now way a baker*, I thought an easy and delicious treat was in order. This is great for brunch or dessert!

Whipped Goat Cheese & Strawberry Balsamic Pastry

  • 8 ounce goat cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 4 cups sliced strawberry
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2-4 Puff Pastry Shells

For ease of following this recipe, please know you’ll be making the strawberry balsamic topping first, then while baking the pastry shells you’ll create the whipped goat cheese.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place strawberries in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stirring regularly.
  3. Once bubbling, add honey and balsamic.
  4. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to cool container.
  6. Place strawberry mix in the fridge to cool while prepping other elements of the dish.
  7. Next place pastry shells on a nonstick pan and put in oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. (The package says 18 minutes, but that was too long with my oven.)
  8. While pastry shells are baking, in a bowl vigorously mix goat cheese, agave, and milk. Set aside.
  9. After removing pastry shells from the oven, allow to cool for a moment before plating.
  10. Remove the tops from the center of the shell and add goat cheese mixture.
  11. After top with two to three large spoonfuls of strawberry balsamic topping and serve!
  12. Enjoy!

Notes: You can use the honey and agave interchangeably or just use one for the entire dish. I, myself, prefer agave, but use whatever you have and it will still be delightful. For the whipped goat cheese, you can use any kind of milk. I’ve tested this with both almond and regular milk, neither will disappoint.

Disclaimer: I am not a baker. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, so please do not judge that I use pre-made pastry shells instead of making them from scratch! It won’t change that these are yummy and easy.

Embroidery, Updates

Galentine’s & Valentine’s

That time of year when celebration of friendship and love is about to fall upon us… I’ve been busy in preparation, or maybe just shoveling snow. It depends on the day, I suppose. Either way, I wanted to stitch up something special for the occasion. The standard “I love you” seemed a little textbook after the 2020 and rocky start to 2021 that we all experienced. I thought something a little more meaningful was in order.

“You Are Loved”

“You are loved.” I think with the inability to see close friends and family over the last year due to this pandemic has made being able to share love increasingly difficult. Perhaps, I just needed to meditate on the words themselves. Maybe you know someone that does too? No matter what you are experiencing this season, please know that you are loved.

This “You Are Loved” Hoop is now listed in the shop and available for purchase. Thank you for your continued support. I’m grateful for all the blog love and readership over the years.

Happy Galentine’s & Valentine’s Day!

Food, Recipes

Tamarind Beets with Lime Crème Fraîche

I’ve been wanting Southeast Asian flavors lately without the heaviness of a curry or saltiness of stir-fry. I cooked up this unique combo of earthy beets, tangy tamarind, spicy chiles, and the sweetness of crème fraîche. You can make this as an appetizer, snack, or on a bed of greens for a decadent salad.

Tamarind Beets with Lime Crème Fraîche

  • 5-6 small beets, boiled, peeled, and diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter or cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste or sauce
  • 1 hot pepper, diced (I used a Serrano)
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • Chili powder or cayenne (just a pinch)
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro and green onion for garnish, optional
  1. In a sauté pan, heat butter.
  2. When melted add ginger, spices, and hot pepper. 
  3. Once ingredients have blended and spices begin to smell aromatic and ginger caramelizes, add beets. 
  4. Add tamarind to beet mixture and coat thoroughly. 
  5. In small bowl, add crème fraîche, chili powder, lime zest, and juice. 
  6. Serve with cilantro and green onion garnish.
  7. Deep beets and enjoy!

Note: I highly recommend boiling the beets the day before, cooling over night for the easiest way to peel them. The skins will pop right off. Also, if you don’t like spicy food, hold back on the pepper. I thoroughly enjoy spicy food. I admit, the last time I tested this recipe the pepper was so hot, I had to add a touch of agave to the crème fraîche.

Embroidery, Food, Garden

New & In Season

Are you expecting a farm to table like post listing all the veggies that are in season during the month of January? Well, while this isn’t exactly what this post is, I’m certainly playing off of it though. As you know, I love vegetables. I love growing them, cooking with them, and most definitely, eating them!

As part of my goal for 2021, I wanted to have my embroidery reflect my love of produce and my embroidery skills. With that being said, here are the first of many new mini veggie hoops I will be introducing to the shop. First to be released are beets and broccoli!

And, yes… beets and broccoli are in season this month. I will be releasing new vegetable embroidery as the veggies are in season. Next on the list are radishes and kale. A little bit more about these is that they are three inch hoops, which are on the smaller than I typically do, but I wanted to allow for focus on the intricacy of stitching while keeping the cost down. Visit the shop and fill up your cart with beets, broccoli, and an “Eat Your Veggies” Towel.

Is there a fruit or veggie that you’d like to have an embroidery hoop of? Let me know and I’ll get stitching!

Food, Recipes

Healthy Start with a Fresh Recipe

I think every time a new year begins we reevaluate our habits, particularly when it comes to food. I, of course, am no different. If you’re looking for a quick and healthy addition to your salad repertoire here is a great and easy recipe for you to try.

Creamy Lemon Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch large bunch lacinato kale (chopped)
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 3 tablespoons Vegenaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Take time to massage, yes, massage, the kale with the dressing ingredients. 

Kale can be tough, which is why I like it.  It doesn’t get soggy like spring mix or baby spinach.  Massaging the kale softens it a bit yet you still get that fabulous crunch.  If you like sardines, you can definitely add them for a little saltiness.  Grilled chicken is great with this too!  Obviously, if the thought of vegan mayonnaise makes you weary, go ahead and use the real stuff! 

custom, Embroidery, Updates

Happy New Year (SALE) ALL Month Long

Well, in all honesty, I had this blog post written a couple of days ago but got completely distracted by the news. That being said, Happy New Year! I know it’s been a minute since my last post, but let me tell you! I have been stitching away since Black Friday. Thank you to everyone that put in custom orders and helped a humble little maker like me make it through the holiday season. I’ve been able to spend the first few days of 2021 resting and planning for this year, no matter what it brings!

I thought I’d start this year off a little differently… with a sale! I am doing yet another special on custom embroidery orders since the Black Friday Sale was such a hit! So, any custom embroidery order deposit that is made in the month of January will receive 10% off of their final purchase.

Here are some examples of past work. Let’s get creative whether you want a wall piece, apron, towel, handmade pillow, or something else… I’m ready to design and create.

How It Works

  1. Start thinking about your custom order whether it’s a towel, wall art, pillow, etc. 
  2. If you have questions, email me
  3. Make a deposit on your custom order here.
  4. Wait for me to contact you to begin the process of designing your custom order. 
  5. I will stitch, stitch, stitch!
  6. Upon the completion of your special creation, I will send you an invoice for the final product and you’ll receive 10% off of the final order. 

I’m looking forward to stitching up your custom embroidery soon!

custom, Embroidery, Updates

Black Friday Special All Week Long!

Here we are…Thanksgiving week! I’ve got my to-do list of cooking tasks ready to go and I cannot wait for the feasting, relaxing, and pecan pie. I’ve been making a point to reflect on all of the things I’m thankful for this year, despite the nuttiness of 2020.

I’m incredibly grateful for all of you that continue to read my blog, like my social media posts, and continue to support my small business. To show my gratitude, I’m hosting a Black Friday Special that is running all week long. All those that place a custom embroidery order this week will receive 15% off of their final purchase.

I’ve never hosted a special like this! It’s exciting! Check out some examples of custom work I’ve done in the past and read on for more details!

How It Works

  1. Start thinking about your custom order whether it’s a towel, wall art, pillow, etc. 
  2. If you have questions, email me
  3. Make a deposit on your custom order here.
  4. Wait for me to contact you to begin the process of designing your custom order. 
  5. I will stitch, stitch, stitch!
  6. Upon the completion of your special creation, I will send you an invoice for the final product and you’ll receive 15% off of the final order. 

I’m looking forward to stitching up your custom embroidery soon!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Holidays: Seats for Six

I had a few other pieces to refinish but I thought I would get a jump on refinishing these chairs before Thanksgiving. You know, on the off chance they found a home around somebody’s table for the holiday. I acquired these chairs years ago from someone who had bought them with the sole purpose of refinishing them, but she never got around to them. So, after sitting in my shop waiting for a little TLC, they finally got it!

These chairs were structurally in great condition other than a few of the seats needed the wood replaced. All of the fabric and cushions were completely replaced. One crossbar stretching is missing from one of the chairs but the chair was structurally sound. I thought leaving it the way it was would give the set more character.

Dining Room Chairs Makeover 

  • Removed seats and sanded all wood
  • All stables, cushions, and fabric removed
  • The base of wooden seats replaced where needed
  • Chairs received k walnut stain and wax finish
  • All seats received new cushions and soft turquoise fabric.

More on these chairs…

Out of the six chairs, two of them have arms leaving the remaining four as a standard chair. Total height: 36” Seat height: 19” Width: 18” Depth: 15”

These are for sale at a modest $250. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

Updates

A Sigh of Relief

I had originally written this blog post while the election results were being tallied with a simple, perhaps lame title of, “How are you holding up?” It was really all I could think of given the suspense of the fluctuating numbers and time at a standstill. I know I had been more than just a little bit of a wreck for a week and I can only assume that y’all were too. The results have been decided and no matter what team you were rooting for, we now know and that’s what matters.

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog for the last couple of months. While part of me feels guilt and the need to profusely apologize, giving you reason after reason why I haven’t been blogging twice a week. The fact of the matter is, I’m pretty sure you understand. 2020 is crazy and we all have to stay sane. For the first time in months, I finally feel like I have room to breathe a little, even if it is a sigh of relief.

With working a job from home, refinishing furniture nonstop, starting a homestead, raising chickens, cooking, cleaning, laundry, actually sleeping, voting, etc. sometimes something has to give. I’m still here… I’m still being creative and more. In fact, as part of my completing unfinished projects plan at the beginning of the summer, I’ve been tackling a studio of ragged furniture that I’ve had in my shop for years. (More on that later.)

I’ve also been updating the online shop slowly but surely for the holiday season. Please, keep an eye on the blog for refinished furniture coming out at a steal of a price. I’ll be working on some new healthy recipes because let’s face it, I’m sure we’ve all been stress eating a little more, or is it just me?

All this to say, I’m back to blogging at a reasonable rate… and if I miss a week, I’ll see you the next week. I’m saying all of this so that I remember not to beat myself up for not being Super Woman during a pandemic and the election season. I hope you’re well, healthy, coping the best you can, and staying sane. If there is something you want to see on the blog, please, please, please… reach out and say hello! I’d love to hear from you.

XOXO

Laura Lee

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!