Mar 13, 2014

Northern and just Northerly...

Some newish prints available in my Etsy shop. From Northern Ireland and North Donegal...

 Fields of Gold, Co. Down, N. Ireland

 House on the Hill, Co. Down

 Little Flowers in Castlerock, Co. Antrim

 Cushendun Harbor View, Co. Antrim

 Derelict in Donegal, Inishowen Pub Photo

 Kinnagoe Bay, Inishowen, Co. Donegal
 Inishowen Cottage, Co. Donegal

Jan 24, 2013

My little Irish holiday video...

I made a little slideshow with some of my photos from my trip to Ireland last summer, hope you enjoy watching :) *the last several pix are from Slane and Drogheda...I forgot to add that on there!*


Some new handmade jewels in my Etsy shop...

Nov 10, 2012

Oct 24, 2012

Croque Madame ala Ruby

 I made this casserole last night that's kind of a cross between a Croque Madame and a Hot Brown, with some spinach and green peppers thrown in. It turned out really good, even though I accidentally made my bechamel sauce with vanilla almond milk instead of cream! It actually wasn't bad and gave the dish a slightly sweet french toast sort of flavor. You can change this dish up lots of ways with different breads, sauces, cheeses, veg etc... 

 So mine went a little somethin' like this:
 spread [half of the] bechamel sauce in the bottom, then top with toasted bread. I used multigrain but vienna, greek, white or any other toasted bread would be fantastic. Top that with cheese. I used white NY cheddar, but you can use gruyere, gouda, swiss etc.

Top the cheese with cooked bacon (ham or turkey can be used). As you can see I made half of the dish with some sauteed green pepper, tomato slices and fresh spinach leaves (so good!). This is a great way to make a meatless dish too, just load it up with veggies. Put the rest of your bechamel on top, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and paprika. Pop in the oven at 350 f  for about 30 minutes or until it starts bubbling. 

A few minutes before it's ready to come out, fry up some over easy eggs and plop them right on top of the croque when you're serving it up. I went a bit Irish on mine and made some beans and sauteed mushrooms on the side. Delicious even at dinner time, I'm definitely going to make one of these babies next time we have a party and I wake up with a house full of peeps!

Oct 8, 2012

Classic Spritz Cookies...

My husband got the idea to make these by himself last night since he says I never have any good sweets in the house. I helped him a little (I just couldn't stay out of the kitchen once I heard things clanging and clacking), they turned out really good. You can see how I added some pink food coloring to a few of them, they would've been perfect but the batter was a bit dry. We ended up adding a bit of half & half to the dough at the end and they turned out perfect (see the not-so-dry edges of the cute blue flower). 

 I'm so glad he decided to make these, because now he gave me the idea to make some "ruby clovers" to give out at my craft show next weekend :)

Aug 28, 2012

Things that happened in August...

Started a custom nature/irish/japanese jewelry box order 
(was just getting started when I took this pic) ...

Papa Joe's half price pizza on Mondays :) 

My bottle of Inishowen Irish Whiskey was a hit during a little session in our house last week, was inhaled in a matter of minutes actually. This summer was the first time I've gone to Ireland without going to my friend Tina's house in Burt (Co. Donegal), so I was pretty excited when I saw this whiskey in the duty free shop at Dublin airport that's named after the old castle ruin near her house. I didn't even know this stuff existed (neither did she!), it was pretty tasty actually. We still have a bottle of Poitin to work on, I assume it won't go as fast as the whiskey did...but I suppose it depends on the night :)

finished sewing up a handful of purses made with my vintage fabrics...
slowly making a little dent in my stash!

This experimental dinner looks a little creepy, but it turned out quite good actually. It's bacon wrapped red sweet peppers stuffed with cream cheese, salsa verde, garlic, finely diced jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Bake at 425 til the bacon is cooked through and it gets all bubbly. It would've looked nicer, but the filling oozed out and my husband scooped it up and piled it right on top of everything! To avoid having that happen to you, leave the ends of the peppers in tact and just scoop out the seeds so you can fill them (like a little boat). You can modify the filling so many ways, let me know if you try something different :)

my very first tomato plants, still waiting for them to turn red...wondering if it will ever actually happen!

Banana bread that I made just last night. It was good... I think I mixed the ingredients too much though, was a bit dense. See recipe below (and again, let me know if you have a great recipe that you use! I saw one with pudding, bet that's tasty)...

I made this costumey neck piece about 5 or 6 years ago and for some reason stuffed it away with my huge collection of "things to be contemplated/modified/finished etc". I like it, but I guess I never loved it. Still haven't listed it in my shop as of yet...

 a lovely bouquet from my husband...remnants from a gardening mishap in a friends yard :)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter or margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in the bananas, eggs, and walnuts until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and stir just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep in the moisture. Ideally, refrigerate the loaves for 2 hours or more before serving.