Sunday, August 12, 2012

Potato Gnocchi and Fabric bins

I have always wanted to make gnocchi. I tried years ago, but failed miserably! You really need to have a potato ricer to get that fluffy texture. I got this recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I love this show, since they show you step by step and test every recipe until it's perfect. Here is the recipe and some pics of the process.

  • 2pounds russet potatoes
  • 1large egg , lightly beaten
  • 3/4cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) all-purpose flour , plus extra for the counter
  • 1teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1. FOR THE GNOCCHI: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Poke each potato 8 times with paring knife over entire surface. Microwave potatoes until slightly softened at ends, about 10 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through cooking. Transfer potatoes directly to oven rack and bake until skewer glides easily through flesh and potatoes yield to gentle pressure, 18 to 20 minutes.
  • 2. Holding each potato with potholder or kitchen towel, peel with paring knife. Process potatoes through ricer or food mill onto rimmed baking sheet. Gently spread potatoes into even layer and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • 3. Transfer 3 cups (16 ounces) warm potatoes to bowl. Using fork, gently stir in egg until just combined. Sprinkle flour and 1 teaspoon salt over potato mixture. Using fork, gently combine until no pockets of dry flour remain. Press mixture into rough ball, transfer to lightly floured counter, and gently knead until smooth but slightly sticky, about 1 minute, lightly dusting counter with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  • 4. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust liberally with flour. Cut dough into 8 pieces. Lightly dust counter with flour. Gently roll piece of dough into ½-inch-thick rope, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Cut rope into ¾-inch lengths. Holding fork with tines facing down in 1 hand, press each dough piece cut side down against tines with thumb of other hand to create indentation. Roll dough down tines to form ridges on sides. If dough sticks, dust thumb or fork with flour. Transfer formed gnocchi to sheets and repeat with
  •  6. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Using parchment paper as sling, gently lower gnocchi from 1 sheet into water and cook until firm and just cooked through, about 90 seconds (gnocchi should float to surface after about 1 minute). Using slotted spoon, transfer cooked gnocchi to skillet with sauce. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. Gently toss gnocchi with sauce and serve. remaining dough.
There was a step 5 for this recipe, but it was for the sauce. You can add any sauce to this. It is perfect with brown butter and sage, or pesto!

They were so light and fluffy, just like mini pillows :)

I am in love with these fabric baskets. I make these in oilcloth as well, but so far this set is my favorite. These would be great for a new baby's room as a diaper holder, or toy holder. They have endless uses.

Thanks for stopping by! Someday I will get a tutorial on here!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vintage Bazaar and Family Reunion

This weekend was full of activities for me! Saturday morning I headed up to Salisbury, MA for the Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm.  This event is held twice a year and is filled with antiques, handcrafted items, and unique vintage finds. I love coming here to look for fabrics and get inspired! Here are a few pics-

I just love the way the vendors set up their spaces! Each one just draws you in. The weather was very humid that day, so I didn't stay as long as I normally do. I look forward to September when the Vintage Bazaar returns!

Today was my family reunion. We try to do this every year and I look forward to seeing everyone. From before I was born, the reunion has been held at the same exact place each year. It is at Rye Harbor State Park in NH. The memories come flooding back each time I step foot there! There is the long jetty that I have only made it to the end once! The rocks get very scary the farther you go!

The view is amazing and the weather today was picture perfect! I look forward to next time :)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I love to upcycled when I can. I think it gives the finished product that extra something! I came across this vintage military duffle bag at a yard sale-

I removed the strap and cut this baby in half. With the top part I made a super roomy tote! I added in some wool herringbone lining and reattached the strap to the top. I love the finished product!

I love the "war wounds" on this bag and the hardware. Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone is having a great Father's Day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beacon Hill Garden Tour

For my birthday this year, a friend took me to the Beacon Hill Garden Tour. I have been wanting to go to this for a few years now, but the past couple years it has rained. For anyone not familiar with the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, it is a historic area. It is known for its federal style rowhouses, narrow gas lit streets, and brick sidewalks. It is also the most expensive and desired Boston neighborhood. The garden tour allows you to go into private gardens that can't be seen from the street. The exciting part for me is that in order to access the gardens, you need to go through the house! I love looking inside these old rowhouses. They are simply stunning! Here are a few pictures from my day. Space is limited in this area, so most of these gardens are tiny, but they are still peaceful and full of inspiration.

I love this idea for a plant stand!
These Hydrangeas were HUGE

Most of these homes have these great window boxes

This was my favorite garden..very tranquil

I hope you enjoy a glimpse into these private areas! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oilcloth Project

I had to pick up a book I had on hold at the library, and while I was there, I took a peek at the sewing books. I am glad I did! I found this great book by Kelly McCants called Sewing with Oilcloth. I have a bunch of this stuff for making my tote bags. This book has some great ideas for new projects! I have been wanting to make storage bins for the longest time. I was originally going to make them from fabric, but now I am loving the oilcloth! These would be great to hold fruits and veggies! If something happened to spoil, you can just wipe them clean! I have only the 1 so far, but plan on making more of these!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Easter Bunny

I felt a little experimental today and came up with this cute little Easter Bunny! She will have fun hanging out with my owls :) I had this cute seersucker left over from a project I did. I added the fleece accents, button eyes, and of course the cotton tail! She would be so cute sitting on your desk or on a shelf somewhere with her little legs dangling off.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fleece Pet Beds

Just a quick post to show off a couple of pet beds I made. My cats are spoiled rotten, but these would be great for a smaller dog as well :) They are so easy to make and my cats love them. I added 1 to my Etsy store so far..The polka dot one apparently has been spoken for!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thyroid Cancerversary!!

On February 23, 2002, I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. That date is significant for me in a couple of ways. Not only is it the day I was diagnosed, but it is also my late brothers' birthday. My brother, Joe, was 16 when he passed away in 1986. I was 11. Back in 2002,  I took this as a bad sign, but 10 years later and cancer free, Feb 23rd is once again a good day!

I can't believe 10 years have passed! I was 25 years old and scared out of my mind. It all started with a lump on the back of my neck. It had been there for YEARS and nobody thought anything of it. Finally, I got a Dr who took notice and sent me for tests. I am glad he did! Since, it went undiagnosed for so long, it wasn't a simple surgery. Most cases of thyroid cancer require the removal of just the thyroid. I had 2 surgeries, lucky me. First was a marathon 13 hours of thyroid removal and a  right radical neck dissection. Sounds gross, but basically they had to get in there and get all the lymph nodes. Second surgery was for the other half of my neck.  In total, they removed 50+ lymph nodes with more than half testing positive for cancer. YIKES....I was left with a scar from ear to ear, and also lost my right vocal cord. That same year, I went through my first round of radioactive iodine. See, the "good" thing about thyroid cancer (in most cases)  is there is no chemo! It is a 3 day process (for me at least) Day 1, you go in for a tracer dose..Day 2, you go in for scans..the tracer dose from the day before should light up any areas affected. Day 3, is the big dose. They determine how much based on the scans from Day 2. I had no side effects at all from this. The only thing I had to do was stay away from people for a week or so, and not get too close to children. No big deal for me at all..The low iodine diet before hand was a killer though! In total I have had 2 treatments of radioactive iodine. For those familiar with amounts, I have had a total 409 millicuries. It is a pretty large amount. My initial scans also showed spots in my lungs, which are now clear! I go every 6 months for blood tests and have routine scans, xrays, etc.

How has my life changed from this??? Cancer is not a death sentence..I know I had a "good" cancer, and it is highly treatable, but it is still cancer, and that is scary enough. I still have a hard time with my scar. People tell me to get over it, and be proud of it..well I am a girl, and I am super self conscious! I own many turtlenecks and scarves. It is my security blanket, and I am sticking with it. I still get nervous every 6 months going to the Dr. You never know when or if it will creep back up on you. Back then, I never thought I would be here in 10 years..that is how little I knew about thyroid cancer! So YAY for me! 10 Years!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Ok here first giveaway..simple rules..and my hope is that I can increase my followers!! Winner will receive either 1 (one) of my Ipad covers OR 1 (one) of my laminated cotton zippered pouch sets.

Winner will have choice of which Ipad cover or which set. All can be seen at My Etsy store.

To Enter: 
Please leave a comment for each, so they will count.

Mandatory Entry-You must follow my blog :)
1 Entry-Like my Etsy shop
1 Entry-Like my Facebook page
1 Entry-Post this giveway on your blog and include the link to it in your entry!

Please leave me a way to contact you in your entry (email) Winner will be drawn by

Giveaway ends Saturday Jan 28th at 5PM EST. Winner will be announced here soon after and contacted. Winner will have 24 hours to send me their choice and mailing info :) USA only please. Thanks and good luck to all!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Giveaway time to make up for my long time away!

WOW, I have been gone for almost 2 months. Very bad! Lots of excuses here, holidays, sicknesses, family illness, etc etc...but I am back! I hope to make more regular posts here! This will be my first giveaway, BUT there is a catch :)..not a bad one, but I would love to hit 50 followers first! THEN, the winner will get to choose 1 of my great Ipad covers or 1 of my laminated cotton pouch sets! Here are a few to get people to spread the word!

So, I believe I am at 23 followers now, 27 to go! Then I will post the rules..easy peasy! If I can't get to 50 soon, then I will cry a little, but still go ahead with the giveaway :)