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Etsy shop SALE

As a THANK YOU  to all of my readers , facebook fans, and twitter followers, I am offering 15% off of any item in my etsy shop TODAY- Feb 22, 2013. Here are a few examples of what you will find. Happy Shopping! And thanks for your support!

etsycollage

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skate planter

 

We find all kinds of things buried in our yard and laying around the woods on our property. I guess it comes with owning a house that is almost a century old.  But I’m not complaining. I love the excitement of finding old items and figuring our ways to display them around the house and yard. This spring I found an old skate . It’s pretty small, so it probably belonged to a child. For some reason , I instantly found myself forming an attachment to it and thought ” This will make a very interesting planter.” I mean, what else would one do with an old found skate?? I planted some ice plant in it, because they grow well on walls and are very drought tolerant. I think it’s quite lovely.

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A pot!

Oh, how I adore a good bargain! I stumbled upon these little beautiful planter pots yesterday at the Dollar Tree(where everything is $1)  while out shopping with my mom. We were both really excited. They go with the decor of both of our homes perfectly. (and there where only 6 left on the shelf , so we each bought 3)  They are made by Better Homes and Gardens and similar pots were selling for about $7 in other stores.

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cheese boards… he’s at it again.

Once again, my husband has impressed me with his abilities. To go along with the decor of the candle holders, he is also making these GORGEOUS cheese/ cutting boards. It all started when one of our land lords decided to ” prune”  a black walnut in the yard of the rental house( although, I’d say he did a little more than prune the poor tree). We noticed how truly amazing this wood was with the beautiful contrast of dark on light  and hated to see it go to waste, so we gathered what we could and let it “season” .Then we waited. When the wood was ready, he cut them , sanded them and treated them with 100% beeswax and mineral oil.  Now, he’s addicted to making them. And I am happy to admit that I am addicted to using them. Once again a job well done!

for more info, pricing,  or to order one, please contact us at  ohhellohandmade@gmail.com

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Local Wood Candle holders

My husband is super talented. He actually amazes me with all of the things he can do. I think he spoils me with it too. It  is very rare that we have to have someone else fix anything because he can fix almost everything! Also, he has a great sense of style which is apparent in the candle holders he has been making from our local black walnut trees. The wood is so beautiful and he coats in with mineral oil to bring out all the lovely natural details. You can snatch one of these up by contacting me through email …… ohhellohandmade@gmail.com . We will be posting more lovliness on our oh! hello….handmade facebook page. Don’t forget to like us, please!!!

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A few things I keep in mind (in my kitchen)

1. Corn Masa is the tastiest way to thicken homemade chili.

2..  Sea Salt is way better than table salt,  for health and for taste.

3.   Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt is an amazing substitute for sour cream

4.   use Fresh Herbs instead of dried herbs whenever possible

5.  Poaching an egg is easier than you think

.

6.  “When in doubt, throw it out.”
8. You can secretly add more vegetables to soups, burgers, meatloaf, etc.. by putting them in the food processor until they are very fine. Blend them in well, and no one will even know how healthy the food is.

7.    Shredding cheese from a block tastes better than using pre-shredded cheese. Especially when melting it.(I think                 this is probably because it holds the moisture better)

9.  Bisquick really makes a yummy biscuit and can be a great shortcut for many recipes

10.  Store bought pie crust really isn’t any worse for you than homemade and it can cut out a lot of time in preparation.

11. Eggs are good for you. It’s ok to eat them

12.When making garlic butter, cut butter amount in half by mixing with equal parts olive oil. Healthier and tasty!

 

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free backgrounds, how kind

 

free seamless backgrounds for your websites or craft uses!!!

you can even personalize the color schemes right on site!

I found this great site with lots and lots of free and easy to use seamless backgrounds for your websites, or crafts. You can even change the color scheme right onsite before you download it… and there is some  added humor that pops up here and there….. http://www.patterncooler.com

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Blueberry Pie with Rosemary

If you’re looking for a little twist on the ordinary for your holiday gatherings, or just an easy weeknight desert, this is sure to be a winner!

Blueberry & Rosemary Pie Recipe

Filling ingredients:

  • 6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, defrost and drain first)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon  or orange zest
  • 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (3/4 cup if using frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar  (* if you like your pie on the sweeter side, use 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
crust:
  • 2 frozen roll out pie crusts ( and kudos to you if you want to make your own!)

Egg wash ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

what to do:

1  Unroll 1 pie crust into pie pan and press into edges.  (Be careful, they can tear easily)

Gently mix  all ingredients, except butter and crust  (this includes : blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon or orange zest, salt ,rosemary,  vanilla and lemon juice )in a large bowl. Transfer them to the  crust in the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Cut a small (nickel size) hole in the center of the pie crust (so steam can escape while cooking). Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.

3  Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash.

4  Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash.. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.

fantastic with vanilla ice cream!!!

Makes 8 servings.

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viney wreaths oh my!

my favorite so far. a circle of honeysuckle and grape vines

My husband and I bought our house 2 years ago and it included about an acre of slightly unruly woods in the back part of the yard. At first I was overwhelmed by all the vines and thorns and weeds.. etc… After opening my eyes I have noticed that not everything was out of control, or at least not everything that was out of control is a bad thing. Take for example all of the lovely wild grape and honeysuckle vines. I have been collecting them over the past couple of evenings and have turned my gatherings into lovely wreaths of all unruliness and sizes. It is pretty easy, but does take a little patience and some room to move around. The only direction there is , is to wind the vines in a circle around each other. play. have fun.

And now, I CAN NOT WAIT to begin decorating them! Stay tuned , I will be posting photos.

Let the fun begin!!!!

 

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Oven Dried Tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

This year I got a beautiful bounty of tomatoes with out much gardening effort. Most of my plants came up on their own from the seeds of the “no good” fruit that I left on the ground last summer. I don’t like to see good food go to waste, so I have been canning, freezing and now oven drying tomatoes for the last 6 weeks. This oven drying preservation, is my personal favorite, considering the ease of the process and the wonderful richness and sweetness it brings out in flavor. Here’s how (and believe me, it is EASY!)

What you will need:

tomatoes ( i used small ones from my sweet 100’s , which are my absolute favorites to grow.)

baking sheet

an oven

parchment paper or silicone baking mat

sea salt

What you will do:

turn oven on to LOWEST heat setting, whether this is 100 or 200, you want to dry them out SLOWLY over a long period of time

place parchment paper or silicone mat on baking sheet

slice tomatoes in half

lay tomato halves, skin side down, on your paper or mat, making sure they are not touching each other

sprinkle with sea salt                  

place in oven and bake for 6-8 hours, or really depending on how long it takes. And I am not going to lie to you, IT DOES TAKE A LONG TIME. So be patient.

Check every hour or so to MAKE SURE THEY DON”T BURN, but are completely dry.

You can store them in the fridge for about a month, or in the freezer for about 6 months.

That’s it. You’re done. I’m addicted and want to eat them on everything now, so I’m off to make some more……..

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