Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Alton!!!

I'm hooked on the Food Network.  I think it's pretty obvious on this blog that I love food, and it's pretty common for Jared and I to put on the Food Network in the evening while working or relaxing.  So I was more than a little star struck when I had the opportunity to see Food Network star Alton Brown (Thanks mom!).

Alton spoke at the historic Tennessee Theater at the beginning of the 2012 International Biscuit Festival.  If you think listening to a Food Network star talk (not cook, not eat, just talk) for an evening sounds boring, think again.  Mr. Brown was witty, funny, entertaining, and the perfect amount of Southern.  I was thoroughly entertained and left wanting to divert my career into food writing (at least partially so that I could really be left on a first name version with Alton rather than just feeling like I know him).

The view from the first row of the balcony was fantastic, so I'm afraid that these video clips (taken on my phone) don't do it justice, but I wanted to share a few minutes from the night.

Video Clip #1 (of Alton Brown in Knoxville, TN at the Biscuit Festival)

video

Video Clip #2 (of Alton Brown in Knoxville, TN at the Biscuit Festival)
video

Click here to find out more about my evening with Alton Brown or Click here to visit Alton's official website.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fantastic Facebook Photography Contest

Sorry...I just fizzled out on the alliteration for the title.  This is why I'm not good at writing picture books.  My lame post title aside, this really is a great contest.


It's hosted by the company PhotoBarn.  They specialize in touching up your pictures and then printing them on wood boards and blocks.  I've been working there for about six months now, and it's a cool product so I thought I'd share this chance to win one for free!

Working at PhotoBarn is one of the reasons I disappeared from the blogosphere for awhile (as in the better part of a year).  We moved!  Moving from England to the US was a huge job and has been a big transition, and it has brought about a lot of work changes.  I simply haven't had time to post lately.  However, I miss it and promise not to disappear for so long again.

In the meantime, you're all lovely and good luck winning a PhotoBoard!

Friday, 4 November 2011

What to do with Pumpkin

I hope everybody had a good pumpkin day!

Here are a few highlights from our Halloween:


It was our kitten Ben's first Halloween. He wasn't quite sure what to make of our Jack-O-Lanterns.  It was also Preston's first Halloween.  He ate pumpkin puree (he loved it, but I don't think he's tried a food he hasn't liked yet), tried eating pumpkins whole, and slept right through trick or treating.
I think he was watching for trick-or-treaters.

Remember how obsessed with Diggers my daughter Anya is?  She drew the little red picture of a Digger on it (she did no-knife decorating first) and then I carved the Digger according to her instructions.  Anya dressed up as a pumpkin because the only thing she loves more than diggers is the color orange.

This is one of the Harry Potter pumpkins my husband carved.  Carving pumpkins is so much easier when we swipe his wood carving tools.  Seriously, it would be worth getting some just for Halloween.  I had big plans for a Gruffalo inspired jack-o-lantern, but ran out of time.  Maybe next year.
 

This was Miriam's Hello Kitty jack-o-lantern.  She drew on it first and then I carved it for her.  I'm sorry that we didn't photograph this one straight away because you can't see any of the details in this photo, but it did have a cute face and everything.  I particularly like the three tiny mice that she added to the side.

After having a fabulous Halloween, we were overflowing with pumpkin.  We've had pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie (both sweet and savoury), pumpkin in curry and chili and stew, and--the most popular pumpkin invention--pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Best pumpkin idea ever (except maybe jack-o-lanterns, but it's a close one to call).

For my recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, click here.  These are seriously addictive and my whole family LOVES them.  Plus you can feel a bit better about making cookies because they're vegetabley.  (Just ignore all the butter and sugar and remember that the pumpkin is healthy.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
They didn't last long.


Next up: Bonfire night.  Don't you just love autumn holidays?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Halloween Trick or Treat Etsy Sale!

Happy Halloween everybody!!!

We have a household full of pumpkins (which we've been slowly eating, so expect pumpkin recipes soon), multiple costume choices, and are just generally excited about Halloween.

I hope that y'all have a fantastic Halloween with lots of fun and good food and pumpkins.  To celebrate Halloween, I'm giving you a special Halloween treat.  You can use the code HAPPYHALLOWEEN2011 at our Etsy Shop to get 20% off of any order!


The newest item in the Hidden Domestic Etsy Shop.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Another Etsy Addition

A little preview of another mobile I made.  I think this one is my favourite so far because there's so much detailing on it.  To see the rest of it on Etsy, click here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My newest Etsy addition: Heart Mobile


I've gone a bit crazy for mobiles lately, and not just because I have a baby.  They make great household decorations (seriously) and I really enjoy making them.  This hand-sewn heart is at the center of a mobile I just added to Etsy (more coming soon).  You can see it (or order it) on Etsy here: http://etsy.me/veox3G
So there's my craftiness for the day.
We had a great day (including taking the kids swimming) so I hope you're all having a lovely autumn's day as well.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My Take on French Toast

Brunch will never be the same again.

I love Chopped, but it seems like lately all the chefs can make is French Toast.  The past several episodes that we've seen have had a dessert round where one of the chefs makes French Toast.  (Usually the other chef makes a Neapolitan.)  So to all chefs who consider going on Chopped, this is for you.

French Toast is not a dessert.  It is a breakfast or brunch food.  In fact, it's a rather delicious way to start the day.

So here's my take on French Toast.

1. Beat together eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and powdered sugar with a whisk. 

The better your ingredients are, the better your French Toast will be.  For luxurious French Toast, use fresh, free-range, organic, local eggs (room temperature).  Use organic and/or filtered milk (I've used vanilla soy milk before).  You can really splurge with real vanilla that you scrape from the pods, or just make sure to get vanilla extract and not vanilla flavouring. 

Using powdered (confectioner's) sugar means that you won't have any graininess from the sugar and can get a great melt-in-your-mouth consistency on the inside of your French Toast.  Just sieve in a little to the batter.

2. Soak your bread in the wet mixture. 

Slightly stale breads often work well in French Toast because they can suck up the moisture.  I used a apple, walnut, and rye loaf that we had bought at the market from a local artisan baker.

3.  Cook in a frying pan on medium heat.  If you want extra yumminess, cook with some butter in the pan.

4.  Serve with butter and syrup.  We served by stacking two slices with cream cheese in the middle and topping with vanilla cream, strawberries and dark chocolate shavings.

5. Share and enjoy.  We made it and then all piled back into bed for breakfast.  Delicious, even if the kids got syrup on our bed ;)