Monday, April 20, 2015

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Cookies or you deserve a little something on a beautiful Spring evening

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Cookies 

by Me and Herb
cookie photo the next morning, made later during the night when lighting was all crazy

makes 3 dozen truly super terrific cookies


  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven 350ยบ 
  2. Line your cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 cup unsalted butter over medium heat, this takes around 20 minutes be patient for the browned butter makes the cookie.  When butter is melted, continue to cook, stirring butter constantly until it becomes a light caramel color.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until combined, then add eggs, one at at time, extra yolk and vanilla.  Continue mixing until light in color, making for a thicker batter. 
  5. Add in baking soda, salt and flour.  Mix on low until combined, then mix in crushed pretzels and nut mixture, then semi-sweet chocolate chips with your wooden spoon.
  6. Using medium cookie scoop, 2 ounce, drop dough on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart, baking until just golden at the edges, about 8-10 minutes.  Centers might not seem done, but, remove the cookies and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes on baking sheet before moving to your wire racks to finish cooling.
Tip:  to quickly crush nuts, place in a heavy plastic bag and smash with your rolling pin :)

wonderful Grand Re-opening at Firestone Forge April 18th, 2015 that my family and I attended

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trying to be Spring here in the Pennsylvania Wilds Region

With another snow storm heading our way last evening, causing the wind to pick up, our little Shasta Compact decided she was ready for Spring throwing off her tarp.  Good thing we put it back on since today is bringing snow.. It is beautiful, but, freakin' eh, I need the warm weather to stick.

     Freakin Eh-  Exclamation. An emphatic interjection expressing the speaker's discontent, frustration, or surprise concerning some circumstance, thing, person, etc.  -taken from Urban Dictionary 

just yesterday early evening
 It was nice to go in to check on the porch furniture cushions, blankets, pillows and all the curtains stored during the Winter months finding all safe and sound though, truly.  After a great big sigh of relief back on went the gray tarp as seen below.
8:00 this morning
I just looked out the living room window, while typing away at this post, seeing a white out laying down a solid blanket of snow on our corner of the county.  Above you see squares of shingles waiting to be a new screen porch roof that will be the next home for my studio finnnnally free from a snow/ice pile.  Just a brief storm though, 66 degrees come Thursday :)  Wild weather!

filmstrip of our 1971 Shasta Compact through the last 4 years

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday and also her oldest daughter Ellimena Rai's.  They can go through life celebrating their birthdays together no matter where they end up in the world at any given time that connection is there.
Larissa, 2005, the year before she attended film school +Full Sail University  in Florida with our lovely Marta watching on.
Ellimena loving the pool  while visiting Gramma and Grampa Summer 2013
They are alike in many ways, including their appearance, mannerisms, passions and drive to learn something different each and every day on this earth.   From a very young age Larissa collected books along with starting a logging system to keep inventory of all her stacks contained in that small bedroom of hers. Elly's wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up!  How super is that!!  Larissa continues the learning process with her daughter at every turn with now being employed at the town's beautiful historical library it is even more magical.  Yes!  Her passion for books is now her much beloved career choice!

Happy birthday to Larissa and Ellimena Rai!  May your day be filled with glorious happenings.  xoxo


warm weather strip 1. Tameryn and Pretzel 2. porch lit up w/edison lights 3. Elly playing porch ponies at Grammas 4. fried green tomatoes 5. dock up East Branch Dam 6. Winnebago early summer camping and 7. Spring bouquet

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday

Today in the studio I have taken the bench shear to 18 gauge copper sheet metal to cut strips for bangles.  Love the Pepe bench shear with the time saved by not sawing or using a cumbersome set of hand shears to cut one after the other.  The edges are beautifully finished with only needing a good hammer polish to take off a slight burr.
1.forming in the press 2.texturing on the stump bench 3. formed bangles and strips ready to be formed 4. close-up of texture

Thea's birthday strip March 15th

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday

Well, yes, 'TIS not Wednesday , but I was really excited about the new techniques being used at SDAJ this new year and yesterday was a bear.  With the additions of some new equipment such as a hydraulic press, rolling mill and coping saw making this jeweler's life tons easier, the ideas and pieces are rolling off the bench like butter.
These photos were shot just before dark which always brings in a blue cast so hard to edit the way I want but, here they are in all their blueness.

Stump bench with new saw pierced tree pendants, press formed extra wide bangle and branch examples
Good quality tools, honest to Pete, make all the difference in the studio and on your body.  You will never regret paying a bit more for them, one of those things you should not scrimp on.  If you can't get the best tools, get the best you can afford at the time.
sawing station with Knew Concepts jeweler's coping saw and placement of flexshafts
Group Description
Every Wednesday or a Wednesday that you happen to remember post to your blog or other social networking venue that you frequent, a photo of what is on it for that day and link back to this group.
You might want to describe what you are making or not it is up to you :) Just call it 'What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday' and you are good to go.
This group will be a collection of those photos which we all need and love for I am hungry for all the eye candy I can gather up.
New found tip for the week
This day, while punching out 4 sizes of copper discs, I had a notebook on the bench with an eraser floating there also.  While punching nothing was moved off the bench top on this day, after the first punch hardly any marks were left on the sheet of copper.  Hoot, hoot it was a super day in the studio!
Usually I saw or cut strips off of the large metal sheets to not get indents when hammering, which is a b**** just to let you know, lol.  Sometimes being lazy pays off.  
I am sure all of us would love a bench shear or guillotine shear for this purpose, am I right. 

Not oxidized as of yet or even tumbled.  I am in LOVE! More about the designing in a future post.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Whirl Wind of a Christmas

Christmas, one of the most anticipated times of the year, was gone in an instant.  December itself, with each passing day, left us with that feeling of where did the week go?  Yes, yes.. Being adults, we don't pay attention to the details of our day to day lives, which contributes to this phenomenon, lol.
It was definitely a merry Christmas.
We went that little extra this year since our Daughter and her family were coming in.  She has not spent Christmas at home for 7 years and now along with her fab self has 2 beautiful daughters adding to the mix.  The addition of little people always adds that extra awesomeness!  
Alice and Elly 
This was Alice's first trip to Pennsylvania.

Alice Jane and her Mom

Prepping for Christmas with some cold smoked cheese and pepperoni

An open house was held for Christmas Eve.

Friends and family Christmas Eve

Princess Elly and Kallie Christmas Eve

Christmas morning stockings

Christmas night @ my Mom's opening gifts
Finishing kitchen trim/new bathroom and laundry doors, baking cookies and cooking supper together when they first arrived from Illinois

Celebrating at my Father's for his birthday.
Around the house.
new trim- wonderful gift from the husband

wall tree with decorations the daughters made through the years

a favorite paper cutter! 

doors and trim finished- yes

A sweet gift from my eldest, Larissa-  a camper bank under the pot holder kitchen tree, for saving money towards summer camping trips.

Christmas Eve- dh and I  :)

Another year under our belts!


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