Mother Angelica Live -- What is your Spirit of Christmas?

In this classic Mother Angelica discusses what the Christmas spirit should be about and answer questions of those who have trouble with Christmas. She admits she once HATED Christmas!


Pantone Color of the Year

The Pantone Color of the year for 2017 is... Greenery!!!!


Another Nature Inspired Color!!!
See http://www.pantone.com to learn more!













The items I most enjoy making are the ones based on real plants, especially ferns. A great way to add some Color of the year to your decor!







































The Pantone color of the year for 2016 is ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY. This combination of pale pink and light blue are meant when combined to bring a feeling of order and peace.
ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY












Read Pantone's Article on Color of the Year


One will often find these colors in nature, especially in the sea and sky. Many people find inspiration from the beauty of nature. I am also often inspired by these colors in nature when creating glass items. Some of my pieces combine these colors in one piece such as this mosaic cross you can find in my etsy shop. Other pieces include one of these colors.





"Far away on the horizon we could see the great mountains…The sight of these beauties made a deep impression on my thoughts; I felt as if I were already beginning to understand the greatness of God and the wonders of heaven. Words of St. Therese


Video of the Maine Shoreline 









Wine in Cheese in Fall 2!

We have been meaning to have another wine and cheese evening. So here is our latest wine and cheese article using the mustard and conserve we made this spring and summer from our garden!







Step 1 - Pick the Wine - Sometimes the easiest step sometimes it is the hardest step! This evening we chose a 2012 Merlot from a Vineyard in the Finger Lakes, New York. We also included a Pinot Noir Rose to compare and contrast for added fun!



Step 2 - Pick the Food / Cheese - We chose several items, some of which we made this year. We chose two cheeses, including a soft goat cheese (best paired with the merlot) we also included an asiago cheese we bought at DiBruno Bros. at the Italian market in Philadelphia. You have to go there and make sure to visit the St. Rita Shrine when you are there too! Along with that we are adding the mustard we made and the Rhubarb Conserve we made this spring.  See my article for when we made that here http://chelkay.blogspot.com/2015/06/rhubarb-citrus-conserve.html.  Finally a parmesan toast to combine with it all!







Step 3 - Pick the Tableware and Serving Plates and Dishes 

Finally the Presentation!!!!!

We used a brown rounded melted wine bottle to serve the parmesan toast, small glass dishes for the dipping sauces, and a larger fern plate for the cheeses! Checkout my online shop for similar handmade glass serving bottles, plates, and dishes. http://chelkay.etsy.com

See my melted wine bottle section here with links to other articles for different times of the year and last years wine and cheese in fall party!



Applesauce Canning Recipe

The last time I posted a cooking, canning, baking, entertaining post it was for how to make plum pierogi.  Today I am back with a basic way to use all your apples to make and can applesauce! I add no sugar. I just use some lemon juice and water to keep the apples white after cutting and while canned.




 Preparation - Get your hot water canning bath ready, clean canning jars, lids, rings.

Step 1 - Peel then slice your apples. Slice apples removing soft or discolored spots. Place in a stainless steel cooking pot with 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. The lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown!

Step 2 / 3- You will need a scale. Weigh your apples. When there are 5 pounds of sliced apples place on medium high heat.

Step 4 - Add one cup and one additional 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Step 5 - Bring to a simmering boil stirring frequently so apples do not burn. Once apples are soft remove from burner and mash with a potato masher for a chunky consistency.

Step 6 - Return to heat, bring to a boil, pack into clean warm pint size canning jars using a warm bath canning method.


A special thanks to Sylvia for her handmade scrubbies! They are made so well and the colors are fun! See her scrubbies here https://www.etsy.com/listing/207522300/nylon-netting-dish-scrubbies-4-dish













Saint John Paul II

Jesus words to Saint Faustina, canonized by St. John Paul II.: 
Do not be afraid of sufferings; I am with you (151).  The more you will come to love suffering, the purer your love for Me will be (279). 

St. Faustina:  
Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of communal life, for the misinterpretation of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans (343). 

Taken from http://www.thedivinemercy.org/stations/woc_faustina.php

Plum Pierogi

Like many of you gardeners and canners, its been a busy summer. Since I last wrote about zucchini, I have been busy with beans, peppers, and tomatoes. Now the plums are ripe and apples are right around the corner.

This article is about the basics of making Plum Pierogi!
Plum Pierogi Before Boiling







Freshly Picked Apples and Plums












Step 1 - Find a basic Pierogi dough recipe. I have one recipe link at my pinterest board here https://www.pinterest.com/chelkay7/polish-cooking/

Step 2- Once you have made and rolled the dough out thinly then cut 3" circles with a round cookie cutter.

Step 2
 Step 3 - Lift the dough with one hand and brush the edge with a beaten egg.
Step 3 
Step 4 - Cut plums in half, remove pit, and place 1/2 of plum face down on circle.
Step 4
 Step 5 - Fold Dough over the Plum and pinch closed.

Step 6 - Boil in salted water for 15 minutes. Then freeze or prepare to eat by frying until you're liking!



Spoon Rests - Useful when Canning and Cooking!


Tips on Growing and Using Zucchini and Squash


Below is a 'how to' on what to do with  zucchini from garden to the bowl.


2015 Zucchini Bed

Zucchini Bud's up close - Still going strong after 2 harvests!

Zucchini and Squash 2nd harvest 2015


This year the weather has been good and we have kept the bugs away. Some ways to keep the 'squash bugs away' are to use crushed egg shells and diatomaceous earth around the plants. It has been working and we have plenty of zucchini! So much zucchini we needed to start to save some but how? Canning zucchini can be messy and just not the best way to enjoy it. Grilling it is fabulous but unless you grill every hour you will end up with wasted veggies.

So we decided to make soup! Making zucchini soup is relatively quick and easy.
Step 1 - Cut Onion and Garlic
Onions are not ready for harvest yet but we were able to use some of our early italian garlic and polish garlic.


Step 2 - in melted butter start to sauté the onion and garlic

While the onion and garlic is sautéing start cutting the zucchini!


Step 3 - Cut Zucchini


Step 4 - Add the zucchini
 After the onions and garlic have sautéed then add your zucchini until near the top of your soup pot. Then cook for a few minutes.

Step 5 - Add vegetable broth until about an inch below the level of the zucchini, bring to boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.

On the right is what it will look like after Step 5 and you remove from the soup pot.
Step 6 - Using a blender, liquify batches until done.






To spice it up use thyme, or you can use salt and pepper but we only added thyme.

Once complete you can eat this soup hot or cold! What we like about this is we also took batches and placed in freezer bags and placed in the freezer to eat into and through the winter.

And don't forget to share some with your neighbors!

Bottle Spoon Rests - Useful when cooking







Squash




Zucchini Soup 2 - I used Squash instead

" Feeding Your Faith- Bishop Gainer ConnectsGardening, Cooking to Sabbath". 

Our Lady

Our Lady of Mount Carmel novena is approaching. We are looking forward to the start of it on July 8th. I have put the first prayer here http://chelkay.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-lady-of-mount-carmel.html which also links to the novena at ewtn.com

We give thanks and praise to Our Lord and Mother. In words of a local Sister...

"She, ever so faithful to Her Beloved Son, stood at the foot of the Cross through unimaginable sufferings like unto death. Let us turn to her in full confidence then, confiding to Her Maternal Heart all our trials and sufferings. Our Lady will heal and comfort us, restoring to us the joy which comes forth from living in union with her Divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, helping Him to carry His Cross."


Rhubarb Citrus Conserve

As the Rhubarb continues to grow and provide more for us to harvest. we keep making more with it!  So far we have made Rhubarb Spritzers and Rhubarb Cake. Today, I made Rhubarb Citrus Conserve in honor of my Father for Father's Day. He loved to can what he grew.

It consists of Rhubarb, Lemon, Oranges, Nutmeg, Walnuts, and Craisins (dried cranberries). After making the conserve I then canned it using the boiling water bath method. Thanks Ball!

here is a link to their Blueberry Citrus Conserve Recipe since blueberries are coming soon!
here is a link to how to do water bath canning.




New Suncatchers

I made some newly designed sun catchers over the past couple weeks and just unveiled them recently in my etsy shop. Check out the dragonfly! Next I am planning on making more colors and eventually a butterfly! 



New Design

I just created a brand new design! I took my standard ring dish/tea bag holder and added an optional red edging. I created the first one out of my kiln! This edging and background color can be done in various colors and added to various types of items!




Tomatoes In, Oregano Out

Yesterday, was a good day in my area to plant the first half of my tomato plants.  We started the plants in mid April this year inside and hardened them off over the last couple weeks. We tend to try to wait sometimes even to the end of May to plant because of frosts that can strike up until June. We planted 4 varieties: Roma (for canning), Brandywine (an heirloom for eating by itself or on sandwiches!) , Yellow pear (for snacking and salads), Cherry Tomatoes (for snacking and salads).

What to add. I like to add some crushed egg shells and a scoop of manure to each hole (for fertilizer), mix, and then place the tomato plants. Check out this link about Egg Shells http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/eggshells-in-the-garden.htm
Tomato Plants

After finishing the tomato planting, I noticed there were many oregano plants. Too Many!  A nice article about using oregano. http://theepicentre.com/all-about-oregano/ I cut them and now they are hanging to dry. As always the Lord is Good.
Drying Oregano

Kitchen - Entertaining - Home Decor - Gifts

Look at my unique handmade glass items using the menu above for:



You may also find tidbits, links, and ideas for entertaining, cooking, gardening, religious, and other topics.





or Enjoy my blog articles below 

Happy Blogging,
Michele

Rhubarb Picking!

Rhubarb Growing
It may look a little scary growing from the ground but the picture to the right is ripe Rhubarb for the picking. It is easy to grow and ready to harvest every spring like asparagus. See my asparagus article here.  To harvest just twist and snap off the ripe rhubarb at the ground. I picked two long stems for now to include in a rhubarb crumb pie!  Below are pictures of the Rhubarb just after harvest.

I then cut the leaves off and cut the stalk like celery and included in the rhubarb cake mix.

Rhubarb Stalk after Harvest