Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Times at the Strange Folk Fest!

Hooray for festivals! I had a blast at Strange Folk this past weekend. This was an indie crafter's place to be. I love these types of festivals because the environment is so welcoming and open. Everyone is sooo nice, energetic, and happy. It was a pleasure participating and meeting all sorts of new people. My mom and I drove 4-5 hours-ish (Who's really counting, anyways.) to be a part of this fine event. We were blessed with mostly awesome weather except for that hour or so of monsoon. Other than that and a little wind, it was fantastic. People were even shopping in the rain! Those troupers!
Above was our cookie spread (and me in an igloo made out of milk jugs.) We started off with 17 varieties and ended with NONE! WE SOLD OUT! Every last cookie was eaten up, and it was such a great feeling! The festival was a two day event, and on the second day, people were telling us that we were tweeted about! Yay, happy customers! We left the festival 2 and a half hours early, with high spirits and a lighter load.

We met some awesome people there, and I spend half of my earnings supporting my fellow crafters. (Glad to do it!) It was hard not to buy more. AND trading is always fun. I love vendors who are willing to trade or do a partial trade. Cookies in exchange for things I can't make = good times. I got a really cool handbag from Pretty Fun, a couple of adorable pins from Bunnies & Bows, and soap in the shape of a man's torso by Scissor Scouts. Found some beautiful stationary at Serendipity. Those girls were so sweet! They gave me a T-shirt! I traded for some of TwIsTeD's earrings. And I had to buy a scarf from Jill's Weavings, or I knew I'd be kicking myself later. I walked past the booth 3 times before I claimed the one I'd been eying. Mom snagged some earrings from Strung Out & Wired.

I had the best booth neighbors ever. Paige from Lenox Knits couldn't have been nicer. We bought and traded throughout the day! The Sparrow Fist was my other neighbor. I left with one of her pretty headbands, but not before trying on all of them first.
An honorable mention goes out to Michelle from Pasties by Michelle. All I can say is: how brave, how awesome. Can't wait to sign up for Strange Folk next year!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Buckwheat Pancakes!

Pancakes! Pancakes! Glorious Pancakes! I almost never make them, but I do love them. I woke up unusually late this morning, so I figured I'd delay the day longer by fixing pancakes. And buckwheat pancakes at that! I found recipe on and adapted it to my liking.
I love to make pancakes to suit individual tastes. I made mine with pecans and my friend's with blueberries. I just sprinkle the toppings on top of the pancakes just after pouring the batter on the griddle. Works like a charm.
My pecan buckwheat pancakes with Agave nectar replacing the "maple" syrup. Milk is close by.
Ryan's blueberry pancakes. So simple, healthy, and delicious! Make some for you and your buddies today!

Buckwheat Pancakes
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter
A handful of toppings: berries, nuts, etc.

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter.
2. In another bowl, mix together white flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg-mixture. Stir until the two mixtures are just incorporated.
3. Heat a griddle or large frying pan to medium-hot, and place 1 tablespoon of butter, margarine or oil into it. Let the butter melt before spooning the batter into the frying pan, form 4 inch pancakes out of the batter. Sprinkle desired toppings on top of pancakes. Once bubbles form on the top of the pancakes, flip them over, and cook them on the other side for about 3 minutes. Continue with this process until all of the batter has been made into pancakes.

Satisfies the appetites of 3 moderate eaters or 2 big eaters.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meet the New Kids

Class, I'd like to introduce you to our new students. Please make them feel welcome.
The Emo: a new addition to our Vegan Friendly collection. This yet-to-be-named cocoa cookie is packed with oats, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and dark chocolate chips. No animals were harmed in the making of this cookie.

The Prep: Our Pumpkin Spice cookie. In fashion for the fall season. A little spice, oh so nice!

The Nerd: our perfected Peanut Butter Jammies. Peanut butter shortbread and grape preserves. Live long and prosper.

The Valedictorian: Sea Salt Chocolate Chunkers. All I have to say is, "You're welcome."

The Jock: Colts Special Edition Cookies - "The Blue and Whites". I'm not a huge football fan, but I am a fan of these. Oh, they have blueberries, white chocolate, and macadamia nuts. MACADAMIA NUTS! How can a nut taste so good?!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dad's Birthday Present - Chocolate Stout Cake

I think I made Dad a beer-infused cake last year, but it wasn't as fantastic as this one. Holy crap, this cake. It contains three of Dad's favorite vices: chocolate, beer, and coffee. A somewhat unusual combination, especially when some pumpkin spice is tossed in. (That one's mine. You get that tip for free. You're welcome.)
The yolks get tossed in after the beer. Three quarters of a cup of beer! Two thirds a cup of coffee! What intense flavors! The stout I used was Old Rasputin. It was purely a packaging impulse buy. I know absolutely nothing about beer, never touch the stuff. I do love the label on this bottle, so it came home with me.
Whipping up egg whites is always an adventure for me - a guessing game. Am I whipping to the correct "peak"? This recipe called for the whites to be beaten to stiff peaks, but not whipped too dry. (I didn't know that you could whip them dry. I'll have to do it sometime to see - on purpose. I would never over whip eggs. Pfft!)
And now to fold the eggs into the batter. This requires patience. Don't get too antsy or you will crush the precious whites that you spent the time to fluff up.
The beauties just out of the oven. Cool off time begins.
This ugly mess turned into the absolutely delectable icing. Ingredients: chocolate, heavy cream, a pinch or two of instant coffee. Heat. Stir. Chill. Done. Easy.
First layer down. Notice the slips of wax paper below the cake. A trick I picked up from my Food Network watching days. No other channel existed. It's pretty much the same now, too.
Second layer down, mounded with icing. Be generous so that the icing flows and clings to the sides. My icing turned out a bit lumpy because I was impatient. I was supposed to heat the cream in a sauce pan then pour the hot cream over the chocolate, but I just dumped the two in a microwave safe bowl and went with it. Not the best visual results.
Finished lumpily-iced cake.
Ahhh. Look at it. It doesn't look as good as Bon Appetit's photo, but I'm not a food stylist. I'm a food maker and eater. To the left of this fancy cake is some fancy gelato. An exotic gelato found on another wonderful blog: The Traveler's Lunchbox - Strawberry Balsamic Gelato. If you ever think about making your own frozen confection, make this. You will NOT be disappointed. The recipe gives you the option of using 2 or 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Use three. Trust me on this. Three. The next time I make it, I think I will toss in some fresh basil. Interesting, intriguing. We shall see!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jagerdoodle Blog Remix for CakeSpy!

Jagerdoodles! (Pronounced Yay-ger-doodles.)
I had a cookie brain-child recently. I christened it the Jagerdoodle.
"What the devil is a Jagerdoodle?!" I hear you say.
Well dear, when a Snickerdoodle and a shot of Jagermeister fall in love..........umm, uh, I'll tell you when you're older.
Let me introduce you to my giant bottle of Jagermeister. When I told my mom that I made a Jager-y cookie, she asked me twice if I REALLY put Jager in the cookies. The answer was yes both times. Hence the name, ma. (Don't hate me for teasing you. Remember, you love me very much.)

Here the doodles are all dressed up in sugar and anise.
"Anise?!" Yes, anise. It enhances the Jageriness. Brace yourselves...bold flavor straight ahead. No cry babies allowed!

These spicy morsels can trick the eye, but definitely not the nose. You can smell that licorice-y goodness a mile away. It was torture for cookie-taster, Karli. She's no fan of black licorice. What Jagermeister blasphemy!

Here are some hints to making your own Drunken Snickerdoodles or Jagerdoodles.
The anatomy of a Jagerdoodle: your favorite Snickerdoodle dough, Jagermeister in place of the vanilla extract, anise in place of cinnamon. Eat them heartily with a tall glass of Jager...I mean milk...with a chaser of Jager...or...never mind. Experiment with your favorite liquors and make an assortment of Drunken Snickerdoodles! Sounds like a party to me. Prost!

Sarah Richcreek and Karli Kujawa are the co-owners of The Hot Cookie. The two bake tiny, all-natural artisan cookies by hand for the good of humanity in Indianapolis, Indiana. Find their cookies at

Monday, September 21, 2009

Indy's Irish Fest

Today my brother and I went to the Irish Fest at Military Park, downtown Indy. It was a very Irishy day - cloudy, drizzly, chilly - appropriate for this event. We got in for "free" by donating some canned goods for a local food bank. Aaron, humorously, bought cans of potatoes - a very Irish touch. We came especially to experience a typical Irish breakfast. As I had guessed, it was a very meaty meal.
A carnivore's delight: bangers (sausage), scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, shepherd's pie, and black and white "pudding". I'm pretty sure that the "pudding" is in the center of the plate under the ham. It tasted good, but I'm glad I didn't know the ingredients. It's probably all organs.... Ahhh, here's a recipe for black and white pudding. The ingredients are listed. Not sure if I'll ever eat it again.
Here's Brother feasting on his plate of meat. I was surprised that there wasn't a bread product with the traditional breakfast/brunch. Another breakfast item offered was sauteed tomatoes. Neither of us got a helping of those though. Bleck. Tasty pulpy orange juice helped wash down all of that salty fare.
What's more delicious that haggis? Canned haggis! My sarcasm couldn't be any thicker.
We found a shirt for Karli. I thought she would appreciate it.
Other than food, the Irish Fest had a few bands playing, many booths full of kitschy things to buy, and a very friendly woman spinning wool. She filled us in on the process of yarn making - from sheep's back to sweater. It was quite interesting. There was also a booth for ancestral information. We found out our Mom's side of the family's origins (Scottish), our family motto ("Love proved.") and our family's crest. Very cool. You can research your own family's origin on this fun website: House of Names. Enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

5 relaxed mornings and 5 breakfasts

My favorite time of the day is somewhere between 9am and noon. This is my quiet, step into the day, time. The atmosphere is serene, the morning light is perfect, I don't have to talk to anyone because everyone is either asleep or at work. I don't get to enjoy this time every day, so I savor the mornings when I do. I try to be inventive with my breakfasts. I love variety and hot tea. Those are must haves. This breakfast consisted of raisin bread toast swirled with mascarpone cheese and lingonberry preserves, baby plums, and a side of Greek yogurt and pumpkin butter.
An unusual breakfast for me. Under all of that milk, banana, and pecan is honey and white rice left over from the previous evening's Chinese take-out. A homage to rice pudding.
A craving for bagles led me to buy what looked and tasted like a bagle loaf. I got it from a wonderful Indianapolis-based deli, Shipiro's. This 'everything' loaf was terrific. I slathered one half with mascarpone and the other with quark drizzled with honey.
Yes, I will eat a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. This one had brie and peaches.
Last but not least, this morning's offerings. Raisin bread toast, mascarpone (It's good stuff, you might note,) pumpkin butter, and pecans. Plain yogurt with blueberry jam in a bowl serves as a plate.
I know that breakfast is seemingly mundane, but I highly suggest, at least once in a while, to make a morning of it. Take your time and fix what sounds good to you. If the weather is nice, sit out side and enjoy every bite in the fresh air. Don't start clearing the table after the last bite is in your mouth. Linger and relax.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Art and Such

Slight subject change! I've been inspired by a couple of new-to-me artists, and I'd like to share them with you.

I found one while attending the First Friday Art Walk in Indy. A curious guy by the name of Kipp Normand has an amazing studio at the Harrison Center. (Kipp, you need a website.)

This is one of his assemblages. This is what he does. I wish I had gotten a picture of his studio. It is cluttered, some might say, but I think it's just packed with potential. It's like stepping into an I Spy book. His studio is long and narrow with an extremely tall ceiling. The only window is a stained glass window. One long wall is covered by heavy red curtains probably salvaged from a theater. One small wall was covered with old paintings depicting Christ - probably salvaged from many a church. Along the walls and littering the floor were scads and scads of wooden things, a cabinet filled with unusual objects: a glass jar displaying a preserved hand, dental molds, antique toys, etc. I didn't get enough time to look, and I didn't want to be rude. A random note: Also at the Harrison Center - bike polo. A sport I never knew existed. Please note that there are only two players with helmets and hand guards. Too much coordination is involved here. Too much.

Another random note: Indy Fringe 2009 - a theater and stage festival. I attended this short play, Another Classic of Western Literature. All was seemingly normal in this play, seemingly everyday in a real-life sense. But then a stem cell research baby, appropriately named, F*** You scampered onto the stage. Hilarious, unexpected, and off-putting in a good way. Too funny.

Back to the point! The second inspiring artist I found on I usually find lots of cool stuff on Etsy, but this artist sucked me in. The illustrations are serene and quirky. I thoroughly enjoyed YouAreConstance's shop.

Possibly more art related blogs to come after two fantastic festivals arrive: The Indieana Handicraft Exchange and the Strange Folk Festival.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fig, Feta, and Prosciutto Pizza

Hands down this is the most unusual pizza I've ever eaten or made. As strange as it was, the flavor was fantastic! This was also my first time eating a fresh fig. I had to search all over the north side of Indy to get them. I almost gave up on having a fig-topped pizza, but my search ended after the fourth grocery store. My adventurous aunt and uncle shared the pizza with me.
It definitely looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Green fruit and ham....sounds about right.
I didn't know how to make it look pretty, so pretty weird is how it turned out. This recipe is less cooking and more assembling. Get a ball of pizza dough, some figs, prosciutto, feta, and balsamic vinegar. So simple, so quick, so awesome!

I found the recipe in the August issue of Bon Appetit. Bon Appetit's pizza called for Gorgonzola cheese, but I swapped that for feta. I prefer my cheese with less mold, thankyouverymuch. Their recipe also suggested to top the pizza with arugula, lightly tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I just skipped that part, but I'm sure it would be delicious.

Get the recipe here and make some fancy pizza soon!