Blue Hydrangea

June 30, 2014

blue hydrangea-flower

After heavy rain Sunday evening and light rain most of the night, it’s a beautiful but cloudy day today! The hydrangea are absolutely beautiful this year!

blue hydrangea-flowers

Do you grow hydrangea?

Have a great day!

 

 

 

Oval Cutting Board with Juice Groove

 

oval-rock-hard-maple-with-juice-groove

A couple weeks ago I was contact by email by about making a board. She was looking for a replacement oval cutting board insert for a sterling silver platter. She told me that she could find these platters on wedding gift website. The problem was if the board gets broken or you lose your board, you are out of luck, they do not offer a new replacement board.

oval-hardrock-maple-cutting-board-with-groove

She said the board was used for carving meat and it had a juice groove. It was oval, 14-1/4 inches long by 9 inches wide. The underside was beveled to fit into the silver platter. After several emails with pictures, she sent me her old board, she wanted to know if I could make 4 of them exactly like her old board. The next day her old board arrived.

oval-maple-board-with-juice-groove

Her old board was made from maple wood, the measurements were exactly what she had told me.

oval-cuttng-board-with-juice-groove

I first made a template to match her old board. Once I had the template completed, I then made her 4 new boards that were exactly like her old board, handmade from hard rock maple.

oval-cutting-board-with-juice-groove

I shipped the boards to her and she loves them and they all fit into her silver platter perfectly! 🙂 So if you have an old board that needs repair or you need a replace board exactly the same size or wood, etc. I would be glad to make it for you!

Every kitchen needs a good cutting board or serving board!

round-walnut-cutting-boards-with-handle

Handmade Cutting Boards and Serving Boards

Double handle serving board

 

 

 

 

Ooey Gooey

June 29, 2014

ooey gooey best-ever-caramel-pie

If you love Caramel Pie, this is the best ever, most delicious Carmel Pie ever! The recipe for this dessert is as easy to make as it is delicious! And today is your lucky day, this recipe only includes 5 ingredients but only two to make the pie, the others are garnishes and are optional!

ooey-gooey-slice-of-caramel-pie-whipped-cream-pecans-and-mini-chocolate-chips

Ooey Gooey Caramel Pie, that’s what O’Charley’s restaurant calls it and it is delicious. My recipe is the CopyCat recipe. I can remember when O’Charley’s first came to Greenville, SC back in the mid 1980’s. Their signature pie back then was this caramel pie and it still is today but it is not as good today as it was back then. They have changed the recipe and it is served nearly frozen. This copycat recipe is really delicious and ever so easy to make! 🙂

eagle-brand-milk-and-graham-cracker-crust

Most copycat recipes call for 2 cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk but I use three so that the pie shell is completely full. If you have never made this pie, you won’t believe step one. Remove the labels from the Eagle Brand Milk cans, DO NOT OPEN the cans. Step two is to get your large pot, add water nearly to the top, then add the cans to the water. Place the pot on the stove on high for boiling the water.

Ingredients:
1 – large graham cracker crust
3 – cans Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
1 – can of Reddi-wip
1/2 cup Pecans
1 – 6 oz bag of Toll House Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

eagle-brand-milk-cans-in-water

The Eagle Brand Milk cans need to boil for 3 hours.

eagle-brand-milk-cans-in-boiling-water

VERY IMPORTANT: During the boiling process, water will quickly evaporate from the pot, be sure to add water often during the process so that the cans are always covered. I had to add water about ever 25 minutes. Be sure that the cans are always covered with water, cans have been known to explode if the cans are not kept covered with water.

Now, go find something to do while your Eagle Brand Milk is turning into the most creamy, decadent and rich caramel sauce you have ever tasted!

caramel-in-can

After 3 hours, I remove the pot from the heat and let the water and cans cool. If you open the cans while hot you are asking for trouble. The caramel will ooze out as soon as you pop the top and will burn you, might even hit your ceiling, trust me on this one. 🙂

In about an hour, remove the tops of the cans, be very careful, the caramel will still be extremely hot and can burn you. Pour the caramel into the pie crust and smooth out carefully to not break the crust with a spoon or spatula.

spreading-caramel-in-pie-shell

hot-carmels-in-pie-shell

Place your pie into the refrigerator on a wire rack and let it chill for about two hours. DO not add the Reddi-wip until the pie is completely cold! We add the Reddi-wip to each slice as we cut the pie.

cutting-a-caramel-pie

Once the pie is completely cooled, cut a slice, top with Reddi-wip, then garnish with a few chopped pecans and mini chocolate chip morsels! Or you can eat it plain too.

caramel-pie-with-no-garnishes

slice-of-ooey-gooey-caramel-pie

I am now ready to eat, it’s so easy to make and very delicious!

slice-of-caramel-pie-with-Reddi-Whip

Add more whipped cream if you like. I hope you try this recipe, you will enjoy it a lot 🙂

 

Best ever, delicious Hot Fudge Cake

hot fudge cake and ice cream

Be sure to check out my dessert recipes!

If you love to cook check out my handmade, Round Cutting Boards

handcrafted round-cutting-board maple walnut and cherry Michael's Woodcraft Greenville SC South Carolina buy cutting board

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Seedless Grapes

June 28, 2014

seedless-neptune-grapes

Our grape vines are loaded with grapes again this year. Everyone in our family enjoys eating grapes including our two year old grandsons. All the grapes I grow are seedling, so far I have Mars, Neptune and Red Flame. All of these are seedless table grapes. All of these grapes are very sweet, Mars is a slip skin grape.

neptune-grapes

While at the beach we had deer eat a good many of the grapes but I used Irish Spring soap recommended by Julie at Cookiecrumbstoliveby blog. Julie also has deer visiting her beautiful garden. Check out her post! Julie has a beautiful vegetable garden and has been working hard in her garden, too hard to have the deer take it from her!

neptune-grape-bunch

If you want to read about how I prepared the soil and planted my grapes, read my post from last year,  Growing Seedless Grapes.

Our youngest grandson is almost 12 months old and he loves grapes. We have to peel them right now because the skin is too tough for me him to eat right now.  He will eat a big handful in a minute!

Nothing better than hand picked fresh sweet seedless grapes! 🙂

Do you grow grapes? What types of grapes do you grow or enjoy eating?

 

 

 

Favorite Fragrance

June 27, 2014

oriental lilies dizzy

Oriental Lily Dizzy

These are my Oriental Lilies that I purchased in December last year. The oriental lilies have the most wonderful fragrance and it is one of my favorites! The fragrance is very sweet and if you plant oriental lilies you need to plant them near your deck or door way, bedroom windows so that you can savor their fragrance every possible moment!

oriental-lily-garden-bed

Garden View

In January 2014 when I received the lily bulbs I posted Growing Oriental Lily Bulbs. If you would like to learn more about the bulbs and growing these read my old post. Oriental lilies are easy to grow with big rewards when they bloom.

lily-muscadet-oriental

Oriental Lily Muscadet 

lily-dizzy-oriental

Oriental Lily Dizzy 

oriental-lily-dizzy

Oriental Lily Dizzy 

Stargazer-oriental-lily

Oriental Lily Stargazer

My wife really loves the colors of the Stargazer!

stargazer-oriental-lilies

Oriental Lily Stargazer

oriental-lilies-in-vase

Oriental lilies are great for flower arrangements. Debbie has made several flower arrangements and placed them throughout the house!

I hope everyone has a Great Weekend!!

 

 

Pond

June 26, 2014

beautiful-purple-and-yellow-water-lily-flower

I am thinking about installing a pond with a waterfall, so today I visited my local nursery. This nursery has several ponds full of water lilies, gold fish and koi.

pale-yellow-water-lily-flower

Today must have been the right time to visit because a good many of the water lilies were blooming.

light-purple-water-lily-flower

There were a lot of beautiful flowers so I wanted to share a few pictures.

yellow-lily-flower

Not sure if I will install a pond or not, trying to determine cost and if I will have time to take care of it and the fish. My other problem will be figuring out how to keep all of our wildlife out of the pond and from eating all the fish.

fushia-color-water-lily-flower

The flowers sure are beautiful! I hope you enjoyed these flowers are much as I did!

Do you have a pond? How much work is it to manage?

 

 

 

Special Gift

June 26, 2014

round-serving-boards-with-handle

Round Walnut Cutting Boards or Serving Boards with Handle

I have been really busy making cutting boards, serving boards, and custom woodwork for special wedding gifts. I have gotten a good many orders for wedding gifts. It seems that the round walnut cutting board in all three sizes is the most popular at the moment.

round cutting board with paddle handle

This year I was fortunate to buy a large amount of beautiful walnut 1 inch thick, random widths and lengths. This walnut is beautiful with colors ranging from light to dark and includes some black streaking.

round-walnut-cutting-boards-with-handle

Pictured is a 15 inch, 12 inch and 10 inch board

round-serving-board-with-handle-with-beautiful-salad

A good friend of mind gives everyone he knows getting married the same wedding gift. On the day of the wedding he buys a new cooler and fills it with water bottles, sodas, beer, wine, champagne and ice. Along with the cooler full of drinks he also gives one of my cutting boards. The bride and groom always love the cutting board and the cooler full of drinks, especially if they can take the cooler with them on their first night together!

Cutting boards are very popular with people looking for a special handcrafted gift. All of my work is handmade so they become an instant heirloom and will last forever.

With each order I always send along my Wood Conditioner and instructions on how to take care of the board. My Wood Conditioner is also handmade using food grade mineral oil and food grade beeswax packaged in tins and will help keep the board looking good.

cutting-board-wood-conditioner-wood-butter

Today I shipped these three boards directly to the bride and groom in Pittsburgh, PA for someone who ordered the boards as a wedding gift. Nice surprise, I wish I could be there when they open the package.

For more information, view more images, pricing or to order, click SHOP NOW

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Have a great day!

 

 

 

Crazy Crab

June 25, 2014

crazy-crab-seafood-hilton-head-sc-sign

While vacationing in Hilton Head Beach, South Carolina we always enjoy eating seafood several times while we are there. Crazy Crab has the best fried seafood on the island. They also have boiled, broiled seafood, crab, king crab legs and lots more, including a children’s menu.

They have several locations but the location on Hwy. 278 is larger and the wait is not as long as the smaller location that is at the Sea Pines Marina.

hush-puppies-crazy-crab-seadfood

When they first come to your table they will bring you a basket of hush puppies and boy they are really delicious! 🙂 I promise, they will be the best hush puppies you have eaten and because they are so good you just can’t stop eating them. I think between the three of us we ate three baskets!

fried-shrimp-platter-crazy-crab-hilton-head-south-carolina

Shrimp Platter

All of the seafood is fresh, just hours off the boat. We had eaten so much boiled shrimp and oysters on the half shell with cold beer the last two days prior so we wanted fried seafood that night!

hush-puppies-crazy-crab-seadfood-hilton-head-sc

This was our third basket of hush puppies!

fried-scallops-platter-crazy-crab-hilton-head-sc

Fried Scallops Platter

fried-flounder-platter-crazy-crab-hilton-head-sc

Fried Flounder Platter

crazy crab logo

If you like seafood and you are in the Hilton Head area I would suggest giving Crazy Crab a try. Good food, good prices, free hush puppies, indoor and outdoor bar and during the evening they have someone playing and singing to entertain everyone. For the children, there is an outdoor play ground! Outdoor seating is available over looking the marsh lands.

Recent post: Shrimp Boats at Crazy Crab

 

Misty Morning on the Mountain

 

June 24, 2014

wood-sorrel

Wood Sorrel

It’s nearly noon but what the heck, Good morning y’all!

Our day started off gloomy with mist and fog. We had rain with thunder and lightening last night for about two hours so the mountain is very wet this morning.

dead-tree

Dead hemlock tree with hemlock varnish shelf mushrooms

I believe these are hemlock varnish shelf mushrooms on this old dead hemlock tree. If these are not hemlock varnish shelf mushrooms, please let me know what kind they are.  Do you also see the dark color newt?

Enjoy your day, laugh a lot and smile!

 

 

 

Homemade Churned Oreo Ice Cream

June 23, 2014

Ice-Cream-churn-Oreo-ice-cream

Nothing says summertime like getting the ice cream churn going with your favorite ice cream! Whether you’re cranking it by hand or letting the motor do all the work.

My family loves homemade, churned ice cream so we make it all the time. Our base recipe is vanilla and we go from there. You can then add Oreo Cookies, Butterfingers, Heath Bars, chocolate, mint or fruit, strawberries, peaches, cooked apples, blueberries, etc. We love adding the Oreo cookies for Cookies and Cream ice cream! It’s delicious, you just can’t go wrong with Oreo’s.

churning-Oreo-ice-cream

Pictured above is what the mix will look like before churning.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
2 – 14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed Milk
1 – quart half-and-half
1 – tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or two vanilla beans)
Add your favorite cookies, fruit, etc. 20+ cookies or three cups of fruit.
Yield is 2 1/2 quarts, about enough for one serving each for 6
For your churn you will also need:
Large bag of ice
Rock salt

The first few times I used Oreo cookies I added 20 cookies but my children said there wasn’t enough cookies so I now add a little more than a half a bag, family size bag I might add! I tried the mini-Oreo cookies but that did not seem to do as well as breaking the large cookies.

I put my churn can, paddle and lid in the freezer for a few hours to get good and cold. Then remove the churn can, leaving the paddle and lid in the freezer. In the can I combine all ingredients, except cookies, fruit, etc. this will be added later. Mix ingredients well. I then put the can with the mixture into the fridge overnight so that everything is very cold before I start the churn.

ice-cream-churn

Churning is easy with an electric motor churn. I remember the days as a child when we did not have an electric ice cream maker and we took turns hand cranking the churn.

making-Oreo-Ice-cream

Mix is starting to thicken.

My churn takes about 10 to 12 minutes before the vanilla ice cream starts to get thick. Once this happens it is time to add your favorite cookies, candy or fruit! Add broken Oreo Cookies! ( or Butterfingers or Heath bars, etc. )

homemade-Oreo-ice-cream

Add broken Oreo cookies! 

My electric mix will slow down and will stop when the ice cream is done.

churning-homemade-Oreo-ice-cream

Oreo Ice Cream!!! Yum!!

I remove the can, wipe down, remove the paddle and move it directly to the freezer.

Homemade-churned-Oreo-Ice-Cream

Ice cream is really hard after being in the freezer for 2 hours, now it is time to eat!! Yea!! It’ so delicious.

best-ever-Oreo-Ice-Cream

We use plastic cups to make clean up easier! It’s time for seconds 🙂

What is your favorite ice cream? Do you churn ice cream?

Enjoy!!

Check out my handcrafted Ice Cream Scoop! These make nice gifts. If you would like me to custom make an ice cream scoop for you please let me know. I can also make the handle longer to help get to the bottom of your ice cream churn.

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Hot Fudge Cake

hot fudge cake and ice cream