Monday, March 26, 2012

Portland Iron Chef Apron: Put A Bird On It

We recently were invited, through the Pacific Northwest Artisans Team on Etsy, to participate in a silent auction in Portland, OR. The auction will be held at the 11th Annual Portland's Original Iron Chef event, benefiting Children's Relief Nursery. We were drawn to this event initially because, being from Oregon, we like to give back to our home state. But also, how perfect an opportunity to give an apron up for auction at a cooking event!

All of the fabric used on this apron is up-cycled, with the exception of the heat resistant batting used in the potholders. We wanted to keep the design simple and size-friendly, but we still wanted to add a touch of personality. For this we were inspired by a skit from the show Portlandia, where a couple take over an entire shop in Portland putting birds on everything. We finished off the theme by making the potholders egg shaped.

The event is Friday April, 20th and we can't wait to hopefully see some pictures of the event and maybe even hear from the winner of our apron. Did you see that apron before? I didn't. Now it has a bird on it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mandy's Bytes: Dulce de Platanos

Today's recipe post stems from our new project on YouTube, You Can't Handle the Fruit! in which we try various fruits and veggies that may be intimidating because of their appearance or just fear of the unknown. After our first video featuring dragon fruit, we got a request for plantains. Since plantains need to be cooked we decided to use this recipe for Dulce de Platanos from Epicurious.

Dulce de Platanos
(Sweet Plantains in Buttered Rum and Coconut Sauce)
2 very ripe (brown to black) plantains
1/2 stick of butter
2 Tbsp dark rum
1/2 unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
First cut the ends off the plantain and peel them, then slice into diagonal slices, unfortunately for our dish the plantains we found were no where near as ripe as they should have been.

Start by melting the butter in a large skillet, the recipe says to warm the butter until the "foam subsides." We weren't really sure what that meant at first but, sure enough, the butter got foamy. And then it subsided. The butter was also just starting to brown, this is when you want to add the slices of plantain.
The slices need to cook in the butter on each side for about 3 minutes. Make sure not to crowd them too much in the pan, we used a nice big 12" skillet. After 3 minutes flip them over to cook on the other side. One they are done cooking use a slotted spoon or spatula to scoop them out onto a plate.

Save the butter, you'll be using that next. Add the sugar to the pan with what's left of the butter and stir until it caramelizes, this will take at least 5 minutes. While this is in progress, combine the coconut milk and rum in a small saucepan and heat until warm. You'll be able to smell the alcohol cooking off.
Once the sugar is fully caramelized, remove the skillet from the heat. Pour in the coconut milk mixture and whisk continuously, the caramel with bubble and produce a lot of steam, so don't let it take you by surprise. Return the pan to low heat and keep whisking until the caramel has dissolved in the coconut mixture.
After the caramel has dissolved again, return the plantain slices to the skillet and cook, without stirring for another 5 minutes until they are warm all the way through and become tender. (Since our plantains weren't ripe, so they never really got tender, which was very disappointing.) In the saucepan not heat up the heavy cream until warm.

Once the plantain slices are tender, drizzle the warm cream over the skillet and shake to mix the cream into the caramel sauce. Then let it all cool, and serve over vanilla ice cream.

You can see our You Can't Handle the Fruit! video review of plantains on our YouTube Channel.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Fling Fabric Preview

It's been a while since we showed off any of the awesome fabrics in our stash (which is waay to big at the moment), so while were were picking out things we want to use for spring time we took some pictures to share.
We just found these floral vintage linens at the Goodwill in Monroe the other day and fell in love with them. We happened to have the perfect green in stock, also up-cycled from linens.
We've been holding onto this adorable bunny print until it got closer to Easter time.
Of course we couldn't do spring without a bunch of beautiful floral prints, this one has a gorgeous deep red that matched a maroon linen we had left over from a custom order.
This is a piece of vintage fabric that was a gift from a friend. I love these vintage floral prints that are so delicate and the combination of yellow, black and blue is very unique.
Lastly this find was so awesome, also from our trip to the Goodwill in Monroe, we bought an entire queen sized vintage white sheet just for this floral edging. Fabric hunting is easily half the fun of running our shop, it's so hard not to keep it all for our own devices. Keep an eye out for these to show up in the shop!
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