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Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday and Cyber week savings at agardencottage and socksandmittens shops on Etsy

It's that time of the year and I am having Black Friday/ Cyber week sales at both of my shops.

If you thought of getting some warm knits or crochet items this holiday season please hurry, the stock is limited. We will be glad to see you at socksandmittens.

For vintage goods and baking supplies please stop by agardencottage on Etsy

Now through December 3, 2019.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful to all our customers who supports our small business.

A toast to all of you for a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful time with your families this Thursday!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Harvest cooking: layered apple cake

My friend gave me lots of apple (thank you, Carol!) so I baked a layered apple cake. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe so here it is.

Layered apple cake

Dry ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup farina cereal or semolina
1 cup sugar
1 table spoon baking powder
1/2 tea spoon cinnamon
a dash of salt

7 tart medium apples or 13-14 small ones / about 6 cups when shredded. If your apples are sweet you may want to reduce the amount of sugar.
1/4 tea spoon nutmeg

1 stick cold butter (has to be refrigerated until needed)

rectangular baking pan
cooking spray
wax paper or parchment paper

How to make an apple layered cake:
1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, divide the mix into 3 parts.

2. Prepare your apples: remove core, seeds and peel. Shred them with vegetable shredder, mix with a nutmeg and divide to 2 parts.
3. Preheat your oven to 350"F degree. Prepare your baking pan: spray it a cooking spray, line with a sheet of either wax or parchment paper and spray the paper.
4. Arrange the layers in your baking pan: spread 1st part of dry ingredients, then add apples on top. Repeat one more time, then add the remaining dry ingredients as a last layer. We got 3 dry ingredients layers and 2 apple ones.
4. Take your butter out of refrigerator, quickly shred it on the same vegetable shredder and arrange on top of last layer.

5. Bake at 350'F for about 45 minutes until the cake will turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool it down, slice and serve. It will pair well with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


Sunday, June 30, 2019

What can fit in our unlined crochet tote bag

I had a very reasonable question this morning regarding things which could fit in our unlined crochet tote bag: a beach towel, water bottle, wallet and a book at the same time and will still keep the bag cute.

So I did a little test for a customer and decided to share it with you. Here is the original listing of lightly filled bag (turquoise, 100% cotton yarn, no lining):

The photos below are of the same crochet bag filled with the 4 items that have a combined weight of 3lbs 6oz:

What's inside:
1. a thin beach towel 53" by 27",
2. a standard water bottle 16.9 fl oz/ 500ml,
3. a paperback book about 8"x5"1", 285 pages
4. a large wallet.

There is still room for some more.

The crochet tote pictured above is about 23 1/2" tall from the top of the handle to the bottom of the bag and the tote's body is about 13" tall and 13" wide (when it lays flat). 


This and other totes can be found at www.socksandmittens.etsy.com.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Roasted red pepper pasta

I first heard about this recipe while I was walking on a treadmill at our gym while watching an episode of Pioneer Women (oh, the irony of diet and exercise!). It seemed very easy to make so when I got home I pulled out the ingredients and made it for dinner. It was delicious. So, definitely a keeper for me. Try it and you will like it, too.

 You can find a recipe here

I made my version similar except I used a different brand roasted peppers, a different type of noodles, lighter cream (half and half), thai basil and water instead of chicken broth to make it lighter. Delicious and quick!
Pappardelle egg pasta

 Tassos Fire Roasted Florinas Peppers 
Thai basil

Friday, May 24, 2019

How to make a chocolate covered strawberries

Summer is almost here and so is sun, fun and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. My friend Tania* thinks there is nothing better then start your day with a light desert :) she loves strawberries and always makes small batches of this almost guilt-free desert when berries are in season.

Chocolate cover strawberries are quick to make, delicious and look fabulous. All you need to make it is some fresh strawberries with stems, white and milk chocolate and of course, some cooking inspiration.  

As with all berries, this is quickly perishable desert so prepare it on the day of serving.

Here is how to make it:

1. Rinse your berries and dry them thoroughly on a paper towel.
2. Use chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate. Melt your white and milk chocolate separate, in a double boiler, stirring until it is melted completely. If you'd like, add about 1/2 to 1 tea spoon of neutral tasting cooking oil to make chocolate more flexible. Do not cover your chocolate to avoid a liquid condensation and dripping into your pan.

3. Remove the chocolates from the heat. Hold your prepared berries by the stem and dip them in either white or milk chocolate. Place on prepared baking sheet lined with a parchment or wax paper. Use the contrast color chocolate and a fork or culinary bag to drizzle over your berries.
4. Place strawberries in a refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour until the chocolate is set. Your fabulous chocolate covered strawberries are ready to serve!
*Tania is one of the owners of the cozy guest house by the Black Sea. If you'd like to have a summer vacation right next to the one of the best Crimean beaches, Belyaus, please  contact her through her Instagram (@belayus_homesweethome) She will be happy to hear from you!