Thursday, October 7, 2010

For Pleats Sake!

It's been a while since we've posted.  We are getting ready for our first open house at the end of the month!  Let's just say that knowing that you have to have product to show and some inventory in case people actually want to buy your stuff is a bit of work.  We also want to be sure to have things people want!  I think we have a good handle on that, but if you have ideas for us, always feel free to pass them along.  As I've been working, I noticed that most of the stuff (bags and wristlet) I've been making is pleated.  I'm not sure what it is about pleats that attracts me so.   It just seems to add enough to the design of a bag or purse to make it more interesting and desirable.  Here are some pics to confirm my fascination with pleats.  I made all of these things this week.

New pleated wristlet.  I'm keeping one.  This time I'm serious!
 Pleated purse...
 There are two pleats in this bag.  Hey, that still counts.
 Made this one today.  Lotsa pleats.  No handles.  I'm working on it.
 This one isn't pleated nor did I make it this week.  It's more ruffled.  Had to include it.
Just because I've blogged about it, doesn't mean that it's out of my system.  I'll be pleating it up as long as I can.
Moving on from pleats to potatoes.  Gina gave me the recipe below for potato soup last week.
It was chilly last weekend and was perfect soup weather.  I decided to try it out.  Let me just say, OH MY YUM.  It's good.  You'll be nice and full.  And if you decide to make the honey rolls as well, you'll feel like you need to run a marathon with all of the carbs, but it will be worth it.
Photo courtesy of Annie's Eats

Baked Potato Soup

4-5 russet potatoes
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
6 cups 2% milk
2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup green onions, chopped
1/3-½ cup light sour cream
For topping:
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Bacon pieces
Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Prick the potatoes with the tines of a fork.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Scoop the insides of the potatoes into food processor, discarding the peels.  Pulse until the pieces are broken into small chunks.
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter.  Add ¼ cup of flour to the pot and whisk into the butter.  Cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and the rest of the flour.  Cook until thick and bubbling, about 6-8 minutes.  Mix in the potato chunks.  Whisk in the salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.  Remove from the heat, stir in the green onions and sour cream.
Serve immediately.  Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon as desired.

Tips from Gina:  Bake the potatoes then refrigerate them.  Scoop the potato out of the skins then just chop them up.  We like chunks, not potato puree'.
Don't skip on the onions or the toppings.
Tina's Tip:  The more bacon the better.  I mean, you need some protein on this, right?

Now here's the recipe for the mega-super-delicious honey buns.  That's what Nick calls Gina.  I don't get it.  Anyway.  If you have like ALL day to babysit bread dough, make this.  Making homemade rolls like this sure is a labor of love, but I think so worth it.  Just like my kids.  Except for today.  Just kidding.  Wow I'm on a roll.  Get it?  Roll?
Photo courtesy of Annie's Eats

Honey Yeast Rolls
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115˚ F)
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp. canola oil
1¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
Vegetable cooking spray
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. honey
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.  Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.  Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.  Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Tina's tip:  Use the leftover honey/butter that you spread on the top to butter the inside when you're ready to eat.  Oh, so, delicious.

There you have it folks.  Only Sweet Floweret can bring pleats and potatoes to you in one posting.
We're that good.

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