Recipes / Garden / Fun with Glass

This page consists of copies of all the blog articles I have done over the last few years. You will find recipes, gardening tips, some of my fused glass items we make for sale, and links to outside resources for all these things!

Also, I organized all by season so you and us can access it more easily from year to year!


Last updated 1/30/17


Quick Easy Tasty Zucchini Lasagne 

We looked for ways to use up all the zucchini which is now in full swing in the garden. One way we enjoy using it is by making zucchini lasagne! We make a very quick version with smaller amounts of cheese and meat for both healthy and tasty eating!

Step 1 Cut the zucchini length wise and layer in the bottom of a greased baking dish

Enjoy some wine while prepping! Rose d'cabernet

fresh herbs in background to put on top

spread sauce on zucchini (make your own or use sauce from can/jar)

Add meat (We used italian sausage fried separately with onions and garlic, drained on paper, add a little for some flavor)

Add cheese (part skim mozzarella, again just some for flavor)}

Alternate layers of zucchini, sauce, cheese, and meat to your liking

Garden Notes
I have a blog article showing most of my garden tips and recipes! 
Link to Garden Notes

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!


Zucchini Soup 2 - I used Squash instead

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

Click on the image to go to online shop

Entertaining Tips
It does not cost much or take much time to entertain with food and a beverage.  Below are a few videos I found of some simple quick ways to do just that for all seasons.  Check out the beer and burgers part for summer in the second video!!!

Also, at the bottom are a few other articles on entertaining. Enjoy!

Wine and Barbecue  ~

Top of Wedding Cake Tradition ~ 

Homemade Brew and Burgers ~

Making Sushi

I found this great video that shows how to make tempura sushi! Nice to see even if others make it for you.

I make handmade sushi sets!! see them 


Homemade Brew, Burgers, Hops, and Glass!

Homemade Raspberry Wheat Beer(from last brew) and Homegrown Cascade Hops

Today we are going to enjoy the nice outdoor heat and grill some burgers while we make some beer!  The highlight was using homegrown cascade hops I grew last year to make American Wheat Beer.
Homegrown Cascade Hops

Step 1 Add the Malt to Boiling Water to make the Wort!

Adding the Malt
Step 2 Start to Grill Hamburger Sliders while you boil the wort!!!

Melted Wine Bottle and Handmade Slider Serving Tray

Step 3 Eat!

See my Melted Wine Bottles for sale Here at Etsy and Here at my Blog. Special Thanks to My Aunt for supplying the homemade ketchup!

Step 4 Add the cascade hops and boil.

Step 5 Add other hops, poor cool wort into fermenting bucket, pitch yeast and wait for the Beer to Brew!

In the future.... A bottling Party!!!!


Click on the image to go to online shop

Dessert and Wine

The best of things together! Dessert and Wine! Oh and family and friends too!

1. Pick the Desserts!  It is ok to include more than 1 right!? ha ha

I chose to include a wonderful early summer treat of strawberries!
Strawberries and whipped cream are served in individual sliced angel food cakes along with whole strawberries and a delicious milk chocolate spread for dipping. What goes better than whipped cream, chocolate and fresh seasonal berries?!

2. Add Win!  Most desserts go well with late harvest type wines which are sweeter than average sweet wines.  I chose to go with a late harvest chardonnay dessert wine.  See here for how to use wine with desserts


Convo me on Etsy to order your own serving plates 

Wine and Barbecue!

This is a great way to combine barbecued chicken, wine, and fused glass serving dishes.  Mid spring  is a great time to spend more time outdoors than in. The sun is warm, the grass is green, the hummingbirds are feasting on flowers and nectar, and it is time to sit outside and fire up the grill to enjoy it all! Don't forget to drink some chilled wine and beer.

1. First, pick the food.  For something a bit different yet classic for the grill, a chicken kabob was chosen.  On the kabob was chicken, sweet onion, and tomatoes glazed with a Caribbean jerk sauce! Doesn't that sound great! We are not done!

2 Next the all important wine or beer. Today a semi-dry Riesling was chosen.  This white wine does fabulously well on its own while watching the grill. It also mixes wonderfully with chicken, vegetables, and a spicy and tangy jerk sauce. It allows you to enjoy both the sweet and spicy favors.

A great article on pairing wine and  chicken Pairing Chicken with Wine | Gayot

Finally, entertaining is a great time to use special serving ware,  wonderfully enjoyed with friends, family, food , and wine.

Wish you were here!



Wine and Cheese in Winter

Its December, Its Colder, and its time to hibernate.  Even if you enjoy the outdoors, its great to escape indoors near a fire, picture window, Christmas tree, or stereo. Add to this some wine and cheese and take the time to relax and rejuvenate.

The wine - We enjoy the sweeter and fruitier port wines.  We chose a tawny port which is based on a fruity cab franc wine and raisin brandy is added to it.  The higher alcohol content,  combined with the fruity flavor and sweetness gives it a richer and fuller taste.

Gouda Chesese
The cheese - Though tawny ports go great with desserts like german chocolate cake it can also be paired with cheeses.  We chose a mild Gouda and added a sweet mustard with honey to it. The sweet mustard paired nicely with the sweetness in the port. The mustard added to the taste of this port.

We used our melted wine bottles, a small glass dish, and brandy glasses to serve the cheese, crackers, mustard, and the port.

Click on the image to go to online shop

Wedding Traditions - Top of Layer Cake

Ever hear of the Top of Layer Cake Tradition?
It is when you save the top of the layer of your wedding cake and eat it on your one year anniversary. I have made this several times for weddings and other special occasions.
I made this plate to celebrate our wedding day and enjoy cake too!!! Click here to order one and personalize a plate for your wedding day.

Go here to learn about a few more wedding cake traditions ---------------

Personalize this  Plate for yourself!


Easter Baking!

I made some paska bread and lamb cake for Easter Sunday. This is a Polish and Ukranian tradition of our grandparents. Bake them on Friday, have them blessed on Saturday, and then eat them on Easter morning breakfast along with hard boiled eggs, ham, kielbasi, and horseradish!

Before Baking

Baked and ready to be blessed and eaten.

Khristos Voskres! Voistinu Voskres! Christ is risen! Indeed He has risen! 

Easter breakfast.

Tomatoes In, Oregano Out

The end of may, was a good day in my area to plant the first half of my tomato plants.  We started the plants in mid April inside and hardened them off over the last couple weeks in mid May. 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
Tomato Plants

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

Colorful Small Dishes - Handmade and Unique

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.


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


Click on the image to go to online shop

Entertain with Wine and Cheese in Spring
Here is a quick way to entertain in the spring!  It includes food, wine, and two people or more.  Wine and cheese is often thought of as a formal highbrow way to entertain. However, let me share with you an elegant yet informal way to celebrate spring with friends and family.

Step 1 - Pick the Wine

Step 2 - Pick the Food

Step 3 - Pick the Tableware and Serving Plates and Dishes 

In this party of early spring I chose a dry red wine (Pinot noir) . Then I chose cheese with strong flavor to match with dry red wines.  The cheeses in this get together were blue cheese and smoked Gouda! What great tastes! For spring, take fresh asparagus, wrap with a slice of prosciutto and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  Finally the Presentation!!!!!

I used a flat melted wine bottle cheese board to serve the cheese. I used a rounded melted wine bottle to serve the crackers. Finally, I placed the asparagus on an olive green 'sushi' style plate with a green leaf motif.

Do not forget the people!  You can entertain and party with 2 people or as many as you wish.

Go to my shop to see my current melted wine bottles 


Wine and 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  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.

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!

Similar Platter used Above - Each is Unique and Handmade!

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

Spoon Rests - Useful when Canning and Cooking!

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

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!


Wine and Cheese in Fall

Here is a quick way to entertain in the fall!  It includes food, wine, and two people or more.  Wine and cheese is often thought of as a formal fancy way to entertain. However, let me share with you an elegant yet informal way to celebrate fall with friends and family.

Step 1 - Pick the Wine

Step 2 - Pick the Food

Step 3 - Pick the Tableware and Serving Plates and Dishes 

In this party of early fall I chose a sweet spiced white wine . Then I chose applewood smoke cheddar cheese for the flavors of fall.  What rich tastes! The fish pictured in the middle serving plate above is smoked salmon. Finally the Presentation!!!!!

I used two rounded melted wine bottles brown and cobalt blue to serve the cheese and crackers.  Finally, I placed the salmon on an olive green 'sushi' style plate with a green leaf motif. Do not forget the people!  You can entertain and party with 2 people or as many as you wish.

Another article about wine and cheese THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: Pairing Wine and Cheese - Entertainment -

Example Melted Wine Bottle Spoon Rests,  Handmade and For Sale

Click on the image to go to online shop


Lobster Bisque

4 cups 1% milk
1 cup light cream
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped cooked lobster meat (hint steam live lobster in shell with sea water for great taste!)
Paprika to taste
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Cream sherry

Over low heat sauté chopped cooked lobster meat in melted butter and paprika for 10 minutes

In meantime, heat milk and cream in microwave till warm and bubbles form around rim
Add heated milk to lobster and season to taste with pepper, salt and cream sherry. I used
approximately 1/2 cup of sherry. Stir often.

Tastes better on day 2!

Wine and Sushi

Spring Roll with a Spicy Seafood Ro
Here is a pretty way to enjoy a romantic evening together. Pair some wine with sushi and serve them on these unique and pretty handmade glass sushi dishes.

We bought some tempura to go. We used a dark purple sushi set to serve the sushi with a dry Riesling.

Here we used my sushi set to serve spring roll and spicy seafood roll. We paired it with a Pinot Gris from Inniskillin.

I have handmade sushi sets for sale here

Go here to find some ways to pair, depending on the wine or the sushi!