Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Enchanted Vessel

This piece will become available October 9, 2012 at 3 PM EST at
This incredible and truly one-of-a-kind pot came to life with the combined effort of all three of our talented potters. The base and lid of this piece are both wheel thrown by master potter Chris Woods and it is an impressive 24 inches tall and 14 inches wide at its widest point. On the base of the pot Chris added a cobblestone effect on the bottom neck and at the top border. He also added this cobblestone pattern on the lid that serves as a platform for our witch trio. It was important that this creation should have special handles that befit the unique theme of the piece. It was decided that a gnarled tree creeping up from the bottom of the base and repeated on the lid was a very appropriate addition. The handles were put in place by Chris with special care and expertise due to this pots substantial size and weight. The trees are misshapen and knotty with intricate carved bark detail.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flaky Butter Cream Cookie with Filling

These cookies are incredible - so light and flaky - it is more like eating pastry. We make these for almost every holiday. Chocolate is normally my favorite but these are irresistible.

Store them in the fridge due to the cream cheese in the filling.

For the cookie -

1 cup margarine – NOT Butter – will not make the same flaky layers
2 cups flour
1/2 cup half and half
Sugar for tops of cookies
Food coloring (if using)

Mix margarine and flour with fingers until crumbly. Gradually add half and half. If using food coloring to tint the dough add it now. Mix until well incorporated and the dough can be lifted out easily with hands. Place in refridgerator until slightly cooled - 1/2 hour. Flour the counter well and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters (Simple shapes work best with this dough) cut out your shapes. Dredge both sides of cookie through sugar. Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes (until edges are slightly brown – slightly). Cool on a wire rack.

For the Filling -
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
Food coloring (if using)

Combine all filling ingredients. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Once cookies are cooled completely, spread filling on the flat side of one cookie and top with another. Decorate icing with candy sprinkles or colored sugars. Makes approximately 15 creme filled cookies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big Chewy Soft Pretzel Recipe


1 (.25 ounce) package or 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups warm water
4 cups flour (bread flour or all purpose)

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Melted butter
Coarse salt and or Cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1 ½ cups of warm water. Add the flour to the mixture and mix until smooth and elastic. This can be kneaded by hand on a floured surface, about 8 minutes. Or, the easiest method, using your mixer with the dough hook attachment – about 8 minutes as well. The mixture will be smooth and stick slightly to the bottom of the bowl. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. If using the dough immediately, cover, and let rise for one hour. If you plan to make the pretzels later store the dough in the refrigerator – covered well. I have kept it in the refrigerator up to one day. When using refrigerated dough take it out at least 1 ½ hours prior.

Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in a large shallow pan.

After the dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces for large pretzels (I normally cut the dough into 24 pieces for smaller pretzels). Roll each piece into a rope, a little thicker than a pencil – some flour is needed on the rolling surface. Twist into a pretzel shape, and then dip into the baking soda solution. Place on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper or prepared with non stick cooking spray. Note – if making salted pretzels sprinkle them with salt at this time. Let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. If you have made salted pretzels brush the tops with melted butter. If you have chosen to make the awesome and delicious cinnamon pretzels dip the entire pretzel in the melted butter – top and bottom. Then, toss the buttered pretzel in a bowl of cinnamon sugar. Let cool on a wire rack.

Note – when forming the pretzels it helps to keep the dough balls covered with a towel – it will keep them from drying out. If the dough does start to dry out before you have formed the pretzels – lightly moisten your hands with water.

Friday, February 3, 2012

1860s Cottage Kitchen

The design/ drawing details of the kitchen in these photos are featured in Primitive Place & Country Journal Magazine Spring 2012 Issue.

The kitchen in this small 1860s cottage was similar to a lot of kitchens we have designed and built in the past. The kitchen area was broken up with several doors and windows so a conventional “Fitted Kitchen” would not fit the space.

I designed the kitchen cabinets in varying styles, woods, and finishes so each had their own personality. We call this kitchen style our “Collected Kitchen.”