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Canning, DIY, Fermenting, Food, Uncategorized

The Gift of Sauerkraut

I don’t know if I took a moment to brag at all, but I must have been a good girl for 2019 because I got some pretty awesome gifts. One of which was a fermentation pot.  While some of you may crinkle your nose at the thought of anything fermented… you’ll find me over here doing a little dance dreaming of all the fermented goodies I’m about to hunker down and make.

Since it had been about six years since I had made sauerkraut I started off with a basic, I mean basic, sauerkraut recipe for my first batch. Cabbage and salt.  Let me tell you, while simple, this batch was a-bubble-ing during the fermentation process! Whoo! Think of all those probiotics!

I’ve already started my second batch, which will be appropriately named “The Zesty German.” The Zesty German contains cabbage, caraway seeds, red chili flakes, and garlic… lots and lots of garlic.  In fact, my kitchen smells of sweet fermenting garlic and I can’t help but giggle with giddiness every time I open that particular cabinet.

I’m already planning my next batch that will contain purple cabbage and beets! Stay tuned for recipes in the next sauerkraut blog!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Raising the Bar

Raising the bar… or at least, trying to.  It’s been a little bit of a nutty week over here and I feel like I can’t quite seem to bounce back from last week.  Why am I so flustered? Well, my truck got broken into, laptop stolen and much more. As someone that lives out of her laptop between blogs, marketing, social media, editing pictures, etc. it’s been a little bit of a whirlwind with changing passwords, locking screens, and calling all sorts of agencies from banks to the IRS and everything in between.

With all the craziness, I’ve been trying to focus on the things that matter.  A laptop and window can be replaced. While the majority of my pictures and documents were online or backed up, some of the most recent work wasn’t. Therefore, I’ve just been focusing on creating new things to share. Some of the images that I can’t get back are the high resolution pictures of this new bar I refinished.  I think the iPhone pictures will work for now though.

This little bar cart was a curbside find by it’s current owner.  It was in need of some serious structural work, before receiving a light sand and a coat of paint. After the repairs were made, the first coat of paint was applied only to discover Home Depot mixed me the wrong color! Now, knowing that there is no return policy on paint, I decided to improvise and mix what paints I had in the shop instead.  I ended up with a cool charcoal grey coated with an ebony stain.  A much better fit rather than the vibrant navy that had been first applied.  The hardware was upgraded and she was ready to return home!

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DIY, Food, Recipes

Roasted Red Carrots & Onions

Ok, so my last post was “I’m not doing any resolutions this year” but that doesn’t mean I’m not eating healthy over here! I thought it was time to share a delightful, healthy, and easy recipe for you to try this New Year. I will keep my intro short as I am coming to find, reading a thesis in order to get to a recipe is…. Annoying! 

Roasted Red Carrots & Onions

  • 1 bunch JBG red carrots, cut lengthwise 
  • 1 red onion, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (I use avocado oil, but olive oil works)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (2 to roast, 1 after)
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons JBG parsley, minced
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven at 425ºF
  2. Toss carrots, onions, oil, and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a baking sheet
  3. Place in the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes or until onions began to caramelize, mark sure to toss halfway through 
  4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  5. Garnish with parsley and pomegranate seeds
  6. Enjoy!

Note: I highly recommend using a high-quality balsamic vinegar.  It makes all the difference in the world as far as flavor. 

If you want to try more delicious recipes, go ahead and check out my cookbook

Book of the Month, Story, Updates

Goals vs. Resolutions

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result involving intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking realistic action.

New Year, new goals, and, of course, new resolutions. Have any of you already given up? Usually, by this point, my resolutions have been cast to the wind. This year, I’m trying something new… no resolutions. I’m not going to try and eat better or lose weight or save money, basically, tell myself I’m going to all these things and then be upset six months later that I haven’t done it. So, I will tell you the changes I’ve already made in what I’m doing and plans my goals by the end of the month. 

Change 1

I sit at a desk for the majority of my week, whether it’s for my own business or someone else’s. I’ve already begun making a more concerted effort to hit 10K steps a day. I know it’s what you’re supposed to be doing, but I haven’t. In the first five days of 2020, I lost three pounds without trying. 

Change 2

This one I didn’t even mean to happen, but it has.  I’ve started reading more. That’s right, halfway through January and I’ve already completed two books. I feel engaged, my brain is working, and more importantly, I feel inspired. 

Change 3

Reinvesting in my dreams. Sounds strange, right? As someone that sells jams, embroidered towels and refinished furniture, you’d think I’d be pretty invested with these time-intensive labors of love. Well, I am certainly invested. But, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and with 2019, I did exactly that. 

Since the start of 2020, I have been actively, and I mean very actively, taking the time to make sure that everything that I do outside of my work for other people is specifically geared towards made by laura lee and its, and my, future. From consciously asking myself, “Does this get me closer to my goal?” Or “Is this worth the time and energy of investing in?”  Let me tell you, the last couple of weeks have been very different. 

Now, while I’m not rolling in the dough just yet, I believe the small monthly goals I have set for my business over the next 12-months will get me there. My goals are quantitative and insanely, type-A specific. I’ve learned that this type of specificity is crucial in accomplishing goals. With that, I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you this next year. 

Let’s go get ‘em!

custom, furniture

Home Decor & the New Year

Happy New Year! 

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and rang in the New Year surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones.  I, myself, had a very quiet holiday and spent it with friends and their family. It was filled with cooking, of course, and a little bit more lazy time than I typically allow myself.  2020 is here though and chomping at the bit so it’s back to “work”.  

Besides cooking up a storm and experimenting with new recipes, I’ve been getting a little more time in my shop these past few weeks. While the cooler weather doesn’t necessarily agree with my fingers, some of the pieces that I’ve been completing have got me, let’s say, starry-eyed. 

Request for a Galaxy Desk

One of my favorite things about doing custom work is the challenge. It gets my brain going in a different way. When this client approached me about a desk, I was over the moon. She set her parameters: purple and if you can make it galaxy-themed that would be great.  Admittedly, a galaxy themed desk wasn’t something I had done before but with a little inventiveness, I think this Facebook Marketplace find that was scuffed up, drab brown, and some minor structural damage is now sturdy, smooth, and a touch over the top.  A desk this glam needed a chair to match so I grabbed one from my overstock of chairs and threw some paint and velvet on it… BIG BANG! 

 

Midnight Blue Chair

As I previously mentioned, I have an overstock of chairs in the shop.  It’s one of those items that people gift to me to refinish and flip. This particular chair I decided to refinish and give back to the owner this holiday season. Knowing their favorite color was blue made it pretty easy.  These chairs are American-made and hard to come by. Oddly enough, it’s the second one to come through my shop.  While this one had some chew marks on the legs from a puppy, I chose to sand it down and keep the blemishes as I thought it added character and it’s something for the owner to chuckle at. After, I painted it a deep blue, applied a walnut stain to the exposed wood, and finished it with wax. 

If you’re in the Austin area and have a piece of furniture in need of some TLC, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help.

Brand, Canning, DIY, Mixed Media, Recipes, Updates

Pickles & Press

What a whirlwind of a week it’s been… Well, I guess almost two since my last post! I’ve since been an embroidery machine as made by laura lee was featured in the Austin 360 (by the Austin American Statesman) Holiday Foodie Gift Guide! This is the biggest bit of press that my little handmade business and blog has received yet.

In between embroidering Texas Towels, I took breaks by baking banana bread and pecan pie as well as whipping a quick batch of refrigerator pickles. I love having pickles around as a cool, crips snack or a great addition to a cheese plate or sandwich.  Here’s a quick and easy recipe for you!  Oh yea, these are a little zingy!

Quick Zingy Fridge Pickles

  • 2 32-ounce mason jars
  • 3 cups of cider vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cucumbers, washed & sliced
  • 6-10 small sweet peppers, washes, quartered, and seeds removed (you can use bell peppers instead)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Version 2

  1. Clean and prep cucumbers, peppers, onions, and garlic
  2. Stuff clean mason jars with cucumbers, peppers, and onions
  3. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, garlic, salt, sugar, and spices then bring to a boil
  4. When vinegar mixture has come to a rolling boil, place mason jars in the sink and pour the mixture into mason jars
  5. Place lids on the jars and wipe down outside of any spills
  6. While cooling, place jars on a towel on the counter (towel acts as a buffer so the hot glass does not cool too quickly and shatter). Leave jars out until room temperature
  7. Place jars in the fridge.  Pickles will be ready in a day or two
  8. Enjoy!

 

Uncategorized

Cyber Monday = Cookbook Sale

cyber mondayThank you to everyone that shopped this weekend in honor of Small Business Saturday! I’m delighted that I’ve got my first few online orders and even some custom orders for the holiday!

That being said, I wanted to join the cool kid and let you know I’m offering a 50% off sale for a download of my digital cookbook – laura lee’s kitchen. If you’ve been interested, now is the time! As my mom would say…”Five dollars, no hollers!”

 

Brand, custom, Embroidery, Food, Updates

I’m Full & Ready for Tomorrow

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll tell you what… Mine was one for the books. My jeans currently don’t fit, my cheeks hurt from laughing, and I couldn’t be more proud of the feast that I prepared. If you didn’t see what was on the menu, you can check out the list from a week ago, here.  I even tried my hand at my first cherry pie ever.  It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was definitely delicious.

Of course, I’ve already begun nibbling on leftovers with a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce taco. There have already been mumblings of requests for more pecan pie to be made, which I will gladly oblige after writing this post.

Now that the food coma is starting to wear off, I’m getting excited about my online shop being live.  Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and I’m feeling pretty official now that I have a humble little online store.  So, if you have been wanting to support local shops, artists, makers, and businesses, now is the time! Take a peek and get your orders in.  There is a page for embroidery, gift sets, and the cookbook.

Story, Updates

The Shop Is Open

IMG_2745Good morning, beautiful people! Despite being kept up later than expected, I was awake before the 5:15 am alarm came ringing.  I’m one cup of coffee in and I am just waiting for the sun to come up so I can get my day going!  I’m eagerly awaiting to load up my truck with bags of food to drive to a quaint little house in the woods in Canyon Lake, Texas. A little house where you cannot see any signs of a neighbor and the only thing that will give us away is the cloud of smoke billowing from the smoker that is about to make our beautifully smoked turkey tomorrow.

Embroidery-4That being said, there is still some work to be done in between baking pies and buttermilk rolls today.  In fact, last night I feverishly updated my online shop with embroidered goods and gift sets!  The furniture shopping page is still in the works as I figure out shipping, which may take some time! But I’m delighted with the first steps.  It hasn’t been easy getting all these things aligned and it’s taken much longer than anticipated.  I’ve been holding off getting the online shop up and going because I wanted to wait until it was absolutely perfect, but a year has passed and I’m still waiting.  Therefore, it was time to bite the bullet and get the shop launched.

So please, if you have a moment, take a look, perhaps get some ideas for your holiday shopping.  Also, remember to get any custom orders in by December 1 and you will receive 10% off!  You can get your ideas to me by contacting me here.

I’m so thankful for your continued support. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Gift of Giving Guide-4

 

 

 

Food, Updates

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is almost here.  I admit it completely snuck up on me this year and on top of that I have signed myself up to cook a feast in someone else’s kitchen.  I love the holidays.  I love cooking for people.  So cue up the holiday music and let’s get ready.

The Menu

After careful consideration of everyone’s requests and dietary needs, I have curated a menu that I, myself, am looking forward to eating.

Turkey Day Menu

While I won’t be smoking the turkey, I will be feverishly prepping everything else in the days to come, like whipping up this coconut milk brown sugar ice cream this week.  I’ll even be dusting off my Grandmothers pecan pie recipe that she fine tuned and has been using since 1966. You can bet that everything will be made from fresh ingredients, homemade from scratch.  No canned yams or cream of mushroom here.

That being said, I’m so thankful to be spending the holiday with people I love and that love and have welcomed me into their family.  May you all have a wonderful time prepping for the Turkey Day Festivities!