LYS: Brooklyn General Store

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brooklyn, general, store, florriemarie, floma, knitting, local, yarn, store, lys, wilma, jean, chicken, smith, canteen, caroll, street, caroll, gardens, brownstone, knit, quilting, shopping

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My good friend is currently obsessed with the new TV show Outlander. She’s also been taken with some of the heroine’s knitwear so she asked me if I would help her design and make the capelet that is featured in the show. She needed to purchase some wool for the project and I thought it would be a good excuse to visit one of the local yarn shops that I had never visited before. Being a Queens girl I don’t get to Brooklyn very often, but I had heard that Brooklyn General Store was a wonderful yarn/sewing shop and I had been meaning to visit it for a while.

I took the F train to the Caroll Street stop.  It lets out onto Smith Street, which is a busy street filled with shops and restaurants. Lunch was in order. We settled on eating at Wilma Jean, one of those chef-y Brooklyn places that specializes in fried chicken. The food was pretty great. Juicy fresh chicken, tater tots (!!) and a gorgeous, deep red, vinegary house made ketchup. The cornbread was pretty good, but it was a bit dry and lacked a little flavor, though the salted molasses butter helped. I had a root beer. I haven’t drunk a root beer in ages. It was a good thing.

After our late lunch we strolled west, down the tree lined streets filled with brownstones.  I do love a brownstone. Even though it’s brimming with tight trousered hipsters, artisan cheese and baby carriages, Brooklyn is also full of charming neighborhoods. I have to give it that.

Brooklyn General is a really cute shop, living up to its too-cool-for-school Brooklyn reputation. Sadly that reputation extends to the staff there. I’ve worked in retail for over a decade, so my standards of customer service are rather high, admittedly. The women did greet us, but it was a bit chilly and perfunctory. At one point while browsing we were asked if we needed assistance, so that was encouraging. When we were ready to pay for our purchases, we stood at the counter for a minute or so while the chatting women behind it ate potato chips and finished their conversation before acknowledge our presence. Not exactly the way to treat paying customers. So while the shop has charm, and a decent selection of fabrics and wool, it’s certainly not worth the trip to Brooklyn, at least for me. I did get two delicious skeins of Madeline Tosh DK there. I can’t wait to start knitting that up!

On my way to the train home, I stopped in at Smith Canteen for an espresso. Such a cute coffee shop. I’m a complete ninny though, and left my bag of wool there. I didn’t even notice it was gone until I got home, and at first, I thought it had become a sacrifice to ye F train gods. I was about to resign myself to disappointment when I remembered the coffee shop and me setting it up on the shelf above where I sat and sipped my coffee. I tried calling the shop, but wasn’t able to get through to anyone, so I emailed them. They replied pretty quickly and said they had found my wool. I made the trek back the next day and retrieved it. Thank you Smith Canteen!

Pineapple Lime Ice Lollies

pineapple, lime, pop, popsicle, ice, lolly, lollies, tequila, cocktailFor a last grasp of summer we decided to indulge in a little adult, warm weather treat. Bright lime and sweet, tart pineapple highlight the mellow, agave of the tequila. Try to only eat one. We dare you.

Makes approximately 18 mini pops

You will need:

1oz plastic shot glasses – or other popsicle molds

1 ripe pineapple – juiced (easiest done in a juicer)

Will make roughly 3 cups of juice

Reserve 1 cup of the pulp (remove any hard bits or eyes)

2 limes – zested and juiced

1/2 cup tequila (optional)

pineapple, lime, pop, popsicle, ice, lolly, lollies, tequila, cocktails

Mix everything together in a shallow freezer proof dish. For a family friendly treat, omit alcohol.

To avoid rock hard pops and to give them a nice flakey texture slightly pre-freeze before you fill your pop molds. This will also help your stick remain upright during the freeze.

In the shallow dish, freeze for 10-15 minutes, gently flake with a fork, replace in freezer. Repeat once more. Spoon into molds, and insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least a couple of hours or overnight.

Naan Pizza

naan pizza

A couple of weeks ago Florrie came down to the big city for a visit and we put together this scrumptious pizza for our dinner. We wandered around the market looking for delectable things to turn into a pizza, and we came up with this-

Per 1 individual pizza:

1 piece of Naan Bread

3 tbsp marinara sauce (I prefer Francesco Rinaldi)

1/4 cup Yellow Pepper – sliced

5 or 6 thin slices Red Onion

2 tbsp Tomato & Basil Chevre  (goat’s cheese) – cubed

1/2 Thin & Trim Chicken Sausage Spicy Italian flavor – sliced

Handful of Arugula

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the bread on a baking sheet.

Spoon sauce on top and spread evenly.

Sprinkle pepper, cheese, and sausage on top. Reserve arugula till after pizza is baked.

Bake the pizza until the Naan has started to brown on the edges a bit, and everything is warmed through. Approx. 15 minutes.  But keep an eye on it, at such a high temperature it could burn quickly. Thin & Trim brand sausage is fully cooked so you don’t need to worry about it cooking through.

Remove pizza from oven, sprinkle with a healthy handful of arugula, cut the pie and eat!

-Marie

naan

 

No more knitting!

Yes, you read the title correctly. I have given up knitting. These hands will hold needles and yarn no more, well not until April. It was a combination of Marie sending me a link showing a paper piece quilt and eyeing up a bundle of fabulous fat quarters. My head was swimming with new knit designs, but I couldn’t focus on any one in particular. I decided to take a break and dive head first into sewing.
This is my dining table, as you can see there’s no eating done here at the moment.

20140320-181523.jpg
I hoping to knock a out all of my ideas by the end of the month, and then buckle down to knitting. Stay posted for some updates.
Florrie

Candy Cane Centre Piece

Last year, in the sales after Christmas, I was lucky enough to get my little mitts on some ornament trees for a great price. They were whisked straight into storage and forgotten about until last week. I used one to hang my 12 days of Christmas ornaments and place it on the mantle, The other I turned into a this;

Candy Cane centre piece

To tidy up the ends of the candy canes I taped up any loose wrappers, and then used bakers twine to attach the candy canes to the ornament tree. It was a little tedious, but ask Marie and she’ll tell you how much I love tiny tedious tasks. As I worked my way down, some of the canes needed to be trimmed. In all, I believe I used around 8 dozen candy canes.

F.

A Casual Thanksgiving: Turkey Wings and Trimmings.

Casual Thanksgiving

I’m not a huge fan of turkey, but as I was browsing in the supermarket (yes browsing, I enjoy grocery stores) my eyes came across turkey wings. I saw the possibility of making a fun twist on Thanksgiving dinner.

So, what’s on the menu? Roasted turkey wings, vegetable slaw, sweet tattie wedges with cranberry ketchup and a cocktail, that Cobra Commander named The Pilgrim.

Everything is really quick to whip up and would be great to have the day after Turkey day.

Cranberry Ketchup

Makes about 22oz

12oz Fresh cranberries

1 Small white onion

1 Garlic clove

1 1/2 Light brown sugar

3/4 Tsp mustard powder

1/4 Tsp salt

1/4 Tsp pepper

1/8 Tsp ancho chili powder

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar

3/4 Cup water

You’ll also need enough canning jars to hold 22-24oz.

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, onion, garlic and water. Stirring constantly, bring to the boil over high heat. Once merrily bubbling and boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the cranberries are soft.

Take off the heat and use an immersion blender or regular blender to blitz until smooth. You might need to add a dash more water, to get a smooth texture.

Return the sauce to the pan and add in the sugar and spice and vinegar. Bring to the boil again over high heat. Once boiling simmer for 30 minutes stirring frequently.

Cranberry ketchup

While the ketchup is simmering prepare your jars, by soaking them in some hot water. I do this in the canning pot. It kills two birds with one stone, the jars are simmering and the water is on its way to boiling. Just dont’ let the water get to the boil.

Spoon the ketchup into the jars, It’ll be hot so take care. Leave about 1/2 inch clear at the top of each jar. Gently knock the jars on the counter to remover any air bubbles. You may need to add more ketchup. Wipe the rims and add the lids or bands, remember not to over tighten if using bands.

Put the jars in to boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Casual Thanksgiving

Vegetable Pecan Cranberry Slaw

This yields a lot, but it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. I also find that I enjoy it more if it’s made a day ahead of when it’s needed.

Vegetable slaw with cranberries and pecans

1 Small red onion

1 Broccoli crown

1/2 cauliflower head

1 1/2 cups of grated carrots

1 1/2 cups Sliced brussels sprouts

3/4 Cup pecan chips

1 5oz bag of dried cranberries

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp Dijon country mustard

1/4 Cup Apple cider vinegar

1/4 plus 2 Tbsp Cup Apple cider

Finely chop the onion, place this in a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and 2tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Set this aside and prepare the other vegetables.

Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small pieces and put in a large mixing bowl. Add to this the grated carrot, Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, pecan chips and onion. Mix this thoroughly.

In a jug beat together the Greek yogurt, mustard, apple cider vinegar and apple cider. Pour this over the vegetables and toss.

Put this into an air tight container and into the fridge. I like to give it a good shake in the container every so often.

Taste test before serving and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Turkey Wings and Sweet Potato Wedges

Turkey wings

1 Turkey wings

1 Tbsp Unsalted butter

2 Tbsp dried Oregano

1 Tbsp fennel seeds

1 Tsp paprika

Pepper

Salt

1 Tbsp Olive oil

2 Tbsp honey

2 Small sweet potatoes

Pre heat the oven to 350°F.

Mix 1 Tbsp of oregano, the fennel and paprika together with the butter and rub over the wings. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.Place them in an oven proof dish and covered with foil, put in the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour turn the oven up to 420°F.

While the oven is heating peel the sweet potatoes, cut in half and cut each half into thirds. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle over the oil, season with the rest of the oregano, salt and pepper. Place on the upper rack of the oven.

Baste the turkey wings with half of the honey and the pan juices. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, Turn the turkey wings and baste with the rest of the honey and some more pan juices. Rotate the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes on it. Set timer for an additional 15 minutes.

Casual Thanksgiving

Remove from the oven and plate up.

The Pilgrim

All through the summer I have been making frozen cocktails. It’s a trend that has carried on into late Autumn. I make a batch and freeze.

1 1/2 Cups of Moscato

3/4 Cup of Wild Turkey honey bourbon

1/4 Raspberry or cranberry vodka

1/4 Apple liqueur

3/4 Cup Apple cider

1/4 Cup Sparkling blueberry pomegranate juice

Combine all the ingredients in a jug and distribute into freezer safe containers. Or you can keep the cocktail in a pitcher in the fridge.

If they are frozen, remove from the freeze 5 minutes before serving, I love it when they turn to slush, I use a spoon straw to ingest these.

Happy Thanksgiving.

F.