Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hey everyone! Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend. I had four glorious days off to enjoy it with family and friends who were back in town.

Friday night was also the opening of Made in the 216's Holiday Shoppe, so Jim and I stopped in to check it out, then had a nice dinner at Greenhouse Tavern. There were a ton of awesomely unique items for sale so I'll have to go back when I'm ready to do some major Christmas shopping!

Thanksgiving plate with a side of our famous family cranberry sherbet, mmm

Thanksgiving outfit

Waking up with Jazz

Getting polished up for dinner and the Made in the 216 opening

Beautiful feather tree in the window at Room Service

Framed prints by Grey Cardigan

My holiday mini-prints...

...and tags

Cleveland neighborhood prints

Ohio prints by Northcoast Zeitgeist

Some bonkers cupcakes at Campbell's on W.25th

After all of that, I'm so not ready for the week to begin. Let's hope it goes fast! How was your Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recipe: Beer Mac 'n' Cheese

I love beer. I love cheese. Together? You had me at hello.

If you love cheddar beer soup like I do (try Great Lakes Brewing Co''s one of the things on their menu I love) then this will make you drool. And just in time for the season of comfort food, I bring you this tasty dish.

I found the recipe here and knew I had to try it, and use Great Lakes' famous Christmas Ale for maximum flavor and holiday warmth. YUM. Okay, on with the directions...

I N G R E D I E N T S :

2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces milk
8 ounces beer
8 ounces freshly grated cheddar cheese
4 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
10 large basil leaves, chopped for garnish

D I R E C T I O N S :
1) Preheat oven to 375°F
2) Boil water and cook pasta as normal, shaving 1-2 minutes off of cooking time since pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
3) While the pasta is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add butter. Once melted and sizzling, whisk in flour to create a roux and cook until bubbly and golden in color, about 2 minutes. Add milk and beer into saucepan whisking constantly, then add cheeses and stir until melted. Turn heat down to medium and continue to stir, cooking for 5-6 minutes while mixture thickens. It will most likely NOT thicken like regular mac and cheese because of the beer, but you want it to thicken a little bit. Stir in pepper, paprika and nutmeg.
4) Add pasta (once cooked and drained) to a casserole dish, then pour cheese over top, mixing gently to combine. Top with panko bread crumbs and an additional sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
5) Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then top with fresh basil if you'd like. I didn't have any on hand but it would have been a nice touch!
I loved the crispiness that the panko added on the top, but definitely felt that this could have used a little more cheese. The flavor was great but I definitely thought it could have been more ooey-gooey. Next time, I would probably have made a bit more of the cheese sauce by just increasing the cheese and milk amounts a tiny bit.
Pop on over to How Sweet It Is for more savory step-by-step pics. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Gift Tags

Feeling too lazy to make your own gift tags this year? Never fear. I've made my first set of gift tags this year and they'll be available at Made in the 216 as well as here in my shop. I love wrapping gifts and hope that these will add a nice final touch to your wrapping as well.

Hope your holiday shopping is coming along...I have started picking up gifts here and there and it's making me feel much less rushed.

Are any of you going to brave the crowds on Black Friday? Participating in the new "Midnight Madness"?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recipe: Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

Even though retailers everywhere are begging us to start thinking "Christmas Christmas Christmas!" I'm still holding onto fall. I mean, we're not quite to Thanksgiving yet, so let's enjoy it while we can.

That being said, pumpkin anything makes for a signature fall treat. And this pull-apart bread is as close to autumnal ooey-gooey heaven as you're going to get. This was by far one of the most delicious things I have EVER tasted, I kid you not.

It wasn't hard to make, but it definitely took time, and lots of it. Lots of time to pass while the dough rises, then gets kneaded, then rises again. So be patient when you make this, and know that it's all sooooo worth it.

So here we go: (recipe from Sunny Side Up in San Diego)

I N G R E D I E N T S :

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Buttered Rum Glaze:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp rum (can substitute vanilla if desired)

D I R E C T I O N S :

1) In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn. Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk (room temperature, not cold, that's important!), return to stove and heat through.

2) Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but still pretty warm. Then, add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy).

3) Add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

4) Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

5) When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20x12 inch rectangle.

6) Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter, and sprinkle with a mixture of the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and press mixture into dough. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips.

7) Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (I cut it into more squares for smaller pieces, as shown below).

8) Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes (more waiting...tick tock...) Preheat oven to 350 while you wait.

9) Once risen, bake bread for 35-40 minutes until dark golden brown on top. While bread is baking, you can prepare the buttered rum glaze: heat the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum and powdered sugar.

10) When the bread is done baking, allow it to cool for a few minutes, then pour glaze over top while still in the pan. I did it this way, but you could also flip the bread out of the pan, plate it, then drizzle the glaze, but I felt like by keeping it in the pan, it allowed the glaze to coat the bread more evenly and get into the nooks and crannies (yummmm!) I let it cool for 15 minutes while the glaze settled, then flipped it carefully onto a plate.

While still warm, pull apart these gooey pieces and enjoy. Pure pumpkin bliss.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Holiday Prints

I'm finally able to share some new holiday prints that I've been working on! These two little guys will make an appearance at Made in the 216, so stop by if you'd like to pick one up, or you can head to the shop if you're feeling lazy (who doesn't love online shopping?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe

I am so happy to be part of another wonderful Made in the 216 event! This year's Holiday Shoppe takes place inside Room Service and lasts for a whole month—so there's plenty of time to get in and snag your gifts for the season. I'll have some new mini-prints for sale as well as some gift tags to add the final touch to your wrapping. There are so many other talented vendors participating, you're sure to find something wonderful (and locally made!) for everyone on your list.

The event kicks off on Black Friday with a DJ and some good drinks, with an after-party to follow down the street at Market Garden Brewery. It's always a good time so I hope to see you there for the opening!

Friday, November 11, 2011

aerie Holiday Trunk Show

Last night, I was lucky enough to attend Aerie's first-ever trunk show to debut their new holiday collection! My lovely friend Carolyn is a designer at Aerie corporate and was able to invite myself and a friend to attend and shop the collection—on the house!* Not to mention all of their bras were on a special promo sale for 40% off. Too. Cool.


Matching undies

So many pretty holiday prints!


Fuzzy slippers

Snagged this pretty little thing

My loot

I have actually never been to an aerie store before and was really blown away by how much I loved everything. I probably tried on 20 bras in all different styles, colors, and shapes just to get a taste of everything. The quality was awesome, they fit great, I was really, really impressed. There were barely any that I didn't like (which made it really hard when I got up to the register) but I ended up with four very different bras that fit like a dream. I also picked up a super fuzzy reversible cable knit/fur snood that I want to wrap around my face and fall asleep in. Mercedes came with me and got some great stuff too. We had a great time, got into the holiday spirit, and I cannot say THANK YOU enough to Carolyn and Aerie for hooking us up. I will definitely be back for more!

*Aerie did not pay for this post. I just wanted to spread the love!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jonesco Beer: Frenchy

Remember my Frenchie illustration from a little while back? Oddly enough, I was recently contacted by Wes from Jonesco Beer about doing a label for his latest brew, a French-style Saison called "Frenchy."

He thought a bulldog with some quirky French accessories would make for a perfect label. Even more strange, I thought this was all because of my illustration, but he hadn't seen it. At all. So it was a weird coincidence that worked out, because we adapted my existing drawing to suit the label, and above is the finished piece. Just one of those serendipitous design moments, I guess! You can check out his full variety of beers and labels (he has designed most if not all of the other labels) here.