Thursday, September 27, 2012

Easy recipe for Oatmeal

You are probably thinking, who needs a recipe for Oatmeal.
Majority of the people I talk about oatmeal, don't care for it and just think of it as a goupy soupy paste.
I was one of those people too and thanks to my friend (aka White Mom), Ginger Steele, I have been making Oatmeal the right way and having it every morning for more than 2 years now. And to top it off it has been great for my cholestrol too.
Following is the recipe. First step is to toss the recipe behind the box and follow these instructions precisely.
Equal parts water and Old fashioned Quaker Oats (I use half cup each)
  • In a small sauce pan, boil the water by itself with the lid on
  • Let it boil till it is really BOILING
  • Then dump the 1/2 cup oatmeal in it and put lid back on
  • The oatmeal will now rise to the top of the pan
  • Uncover for a second and put lid on again for the second time let it rise to the top again
  • Now remove from heat and leave it covered for 3 minutes
  • Perfect oatmeal with great texture and none of that soupy mess.
My favorite toppings are crasins, walnuts with agave.

What is your favorite breakfast??? Post in the comments below

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Custom Dinner set

I have done a few dinner sets and the main reason I avoid making dinner plates is because they take up so much room in my kiln. I have a small 7 cub foot kiln and I can't fit two of these square dinner plates on a single shelf.
My wife had to wait for 5 years to get her dinner set!
I did get a request early this year from a customer purchasing a new home. It was for a dinner set with additional pieces and since there was no strict time contraints I took it on. The pictures you see above are the dinner plates. All different colors and patterns. Along with this there are bowls, tumblers and small dishes too. It was a lot of fun creating this colorful place setting. I would love to be dined with such an array of colors.
In addition to this there were oil bottles for the kitchen, soap pumps and soap dishes for the bathroom. I want to visit that home now. :)

For the main dinner serving pieces, I chose to match those and make them distinct from the place settings. The platter, casserole and salt pepper shakers compliment the rest of the set very well.
Now I am just waiting for a dinner invitation. :)

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mugs, Tumblers and Cup Marathon

Working in production can sure teach you a lot fo things. I have been making mugs, cups and tumblers with buttons for 5 years now and never did I have a problem with the buttons.
Recently I was running really low on them and decided to go for a marathon of making mugs and cups. These are entirely handbuilt from slabs of clay and wrapped around to emmulate the look of fabric. To add to the effect I add buttons.
With this marathon, I made 80+ mugs/tumblers/cups. It was a fun guessing game on Facebook when everyone jumped in guessing the number of buttons I had to put on these cups. I had to make 308 buttons total!!
Since this was a lot of buttons, I changed my method slightly. Instead of making 10 buttons at a time and sticking them, I made 20 buttons at a time. This did speed up my process but everything comes at a price.
Everything came out fine in the bisque firing and great in the glaze firing too. And then it was like watching a horror movie unfold in front of me. While sitting on the shelf after 3-4 hours of getting out of the kiln, I started hearing pops and pings. Curious to see what it was, I noticed a button from a cup just pop out! This has never happened so I was in complete disbelief.
I did loose quite a few and I am now working on figuring out how to fix them and sell them as seconds. So look out for an online seconds sale coming up soon, where these will be sold at 50% off. I will make them look pretty again, so they will still be good.
And while I am still stratching my head wondering what went wrong, I get an email which brings back a smile to my face. One of my repeat customers, Robyn, has been purchasing my mugs over the last few years. She sends me a picture of all my mugs and bowls she has purchased sitting pretty in her kitchen. She is using them everyday and loving them.Just made my day seeing a dedicated shelf for my work!
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Turshi: Middle eastern Pickle

If you haven't had "Turshi" yet, you are really missing on something. It is essentially pickled carrots, cucmber and other vegetables, but a little high on the vinegar.
It is great to have with Middle Eastern food, like kabas, hummus etc. In fact for me it is hard to enjoy those foods without turshi.
And making it is super simple, super easy and cheap.
Your choice of vegetables chopped up. I prefer, pickle cucumbers, cauliflower and carrots.
Few cloves of garlic
Crushed red pepper flakes.
4 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp pickling salt
Divide the vegetables in jars.
Boil the water. Turn off heat and add the salt and vinegar. Dissolve.
Pour the hot liquid in jars and leave jars open to cool.
Then place lids and refrigerate.
You are done! That is it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Organic Beet Salad

I was at a pottery show and a friend, Carol Bell, got me some amazing pluots and green eggplant. They were the sweetest pluots I have had and the egg plant was delicious grilled as well.
This got me curious about her source and she mentioned Tiny's Organic which is a CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) program. Sounded interesting and she got me a FREE box as a promotion they were having.
We got our first box which had pluots, donut peaches, golden beets, lemon cucmbers (I thought these were tiny melons first), heirloom tomatoes and some wonderful recipes too.
The pluots and donut peaches were heavenly and really sweet. So they didn't last long.
Then came the cucumbers, tomatoes and golden beets. I searched and read a bunch of recipes, so mine landed up being a mix.

Before I get to the recipe, let me talk a little about Beets. I have had raw beets before and was not a big fan, and had also tried them boiled and they were ok.
This time I roasted the golden beets along with some red beets that I had at home. Just scrub them clean (no need to peel) and toss them with olive oil and some rock salt. Then put them in a foil lined pan and cover with foil as well. Into a 375 oven for 30-40 minutes till tender. When cool the skin just falls off.
The amazing magic was the way way the golden beets got stained with the red beats, having this beautiful color transition from dark red to yellow. As you know I am a man of color with my pottery, so got really excited looking at the color. :)
To make the dressing, I saved the juices/oil from the roasting the beets. Added some olive oil and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper. Whisk and you are done.

For the salad
heirloom tomato
beets (of course)
Toss it all with the dressing and top with goat cheese and pine nuts.
It was a delicious salad. The cucumbers were crisp and the heirloom tomatoes were sweet. Fresh burst of flavor and now we are signing up for our weekly deliveries. Thank you Carol for introducing us to Tiny's Organic.


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