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Friday, June 1, 2018

Summer is here!

The first calendar day of summer is here! Welcome June!

We were so busy lately that we almost did not noticed that the spring came and went. But with our AZ 3-digit temperature numbers we realized it's time to brace ourselves :) I see lots of dry heat in our near future !

While working on our traditional winter assortment, I crochet some new handbags and totes in bright summer colors. They will work for a trips to a beach, music festivals and of course, our crochet totes are great for some light shopping. 

The newest creation is this small handbag made in a shape of pineapple. It is roomy enough to hold your essentials like cell phone, keys, wallet, small beach cover up or sun glasses.


Please stop by our shop ( socksandmittens.etsy.com ) to see our summer assortment.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Intricate Irish knots jewelry for St. Patricks Day

Are you ready to celebrate St. Patricks Day? Are you getting ready to party or simply have some green beer with corn beef and cabbage?
I love St. Patricks decor and decorate a part of our house with faux shamrock leaves (good luck symbols) and green hats. I also love to wear St. Patrick's related accessories or some Irish jewelry to celebrate. 

I like to wear jewelry because it is easy to show your Irish spirit and the jewelry is pretty. 

For those who love vintage jewelry and intricate Irish knots, I'd like to present a small collection of Irish jewelry you can purchase in my online shop (agardencottage.etsy.com). These vintage necklaces are lovely and can be worn all year round. They are true finds, see for yourself! (click on photo to go to the listings)




Friday, March 9, 2018

Lemon Curd Bars recipe

I found this recipe on Allrecipies.com. I was looking for ways to use the enormous amount of lemon curd I made this year and this recipe was exactly what I needed. The bars are delicious, easy to make and you can wrap and freeze them for future use.
I made small changes in their recipe so please see below. If you want to use the original recipe, please simply go here

Here is what you need to make Lemon Curd Bars:

1 cup butter, softened*
1 cup butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
 20 oz lemon curd (purchased or you can make it yourself, the recipe is here)
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How to make Lemon Curd Bars:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Pat 3/4 of mixture into bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

2. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Spread curd over baked layer. Add coconut and walnuts to remaining crumb mixture (step 1); stir to mix. Sprinkle over curd.

3. Bake additional 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Cut into squares.
So this recipe is definitely a keeper for me.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mixed citrus marmalade recipe

Since we have 3 citrus trees in our garden, I am trying to find some good ways to preserve it. Last year my favorite was preserved  lemon Meyer (lemons with salt), this year is new quick mixed citrus marmalade and lemon Meyer curd bars. I will be happy to share all of them.

Let's start with mixed citrus marmalade.

You will need:

1 lbs of lemon Meyer
1 lbs orange
3 cups sugar (or add some more if you feel that the mix is not sweet enough for you. I'd say, to taste :) )
2 tablespoon pineapple rum (I used Captain Morgan Pineapple rum)
water (to boil the peel)

Wash your citrus with warm water and wipe it dry. Peel them, then remove the inner white lining with a flexible knife. Discard the lining. Use the electric chopper to chop the peel to a small pieces.
Place the chopped peel into a small pot, cover it with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook on a medium heat for about 1 hour. Strain and discard the liquid.

While peel is cooking, prepare you citrus. Cut fruits in small pieces on a plate, remove the seeds, leftover of white linings and membranes, transfer it to a wide stainless steel pot. Add sugar, mix it and let it stay at the room temperature until the peel is done.

Prepare your canning jars. I am washing mine with warm water and dish soap, then cleaning jars with baking soda, rinsing it well and drying it on a clean kitchen towel. Then I am placing jars without the lids to a baking tray, placing it in the oven and heating it to 200'F to sterilize. They sits there for about 10 minutes or a little longer, so the cooked marmalade will go to a warm sterile jars.Meanwhile, I will place the lids to a glass bowl and add some boiling water on top to cover them. I will let them stay there for about 5 minutes, then transfer them with a kitchen tongues to a clean paper towel. The lids and jars have to be dry so wipe the excess water with a clean paper towel.

Add strained peel to the pot with citrus, mix it well with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook on low for about an hour. Add pineapple rum, stir into mixture and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Pour the marmalade into prepared jars and top with lids and rims. Close them tight and turn them over to cool on a clean kitchen towel.

Store in refrigerator.
Try it, it's delicious.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Happy World Hyacinth Day!

Today is World Hyacinth Day.
When this highly fragrant flower blooms it mean spring is near. The hyacinth symbolizes sport or play in Victorian language of flowers. The blue one signifies sincerity.
I got one last winter and it is beautiful. I am going to plant it in the garden and hope it will bloom next year again!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A beautiful day up north

We had a wonderful time up north last Friday. It's March so we wanted to see some snow before it's gone. After we left a busy city traffic, the road was beautiful and picturesque with all the idyllic mountain's scenes.

We stop at the Beeline cafe in Payson for a quick bite and coffee, grabbed a bare root black cherry tree at the local store to plant at home and went to a snowy forest.    

It's beautiful in a snowy setting. The pine trees are huge and you feel yourself so small next to it.

We saw some coyote tracks and later we noticed 5 deer right next to where we were.
A beautiful day! Now we are getting ready for a spring!

Cute mini leprechaun top hat to make (free crochet pattern) or buy

What a cute little leprechaun top hat! I found it for sale in Natalia's shop on Etsy (LaCigogne) but she also shares a free crochet pattern on her blog! It seems like a quick project to make so I am definitely going to try to make one for our coming St. Patrick's gathering.
If you are interested in making one, here is the link to a free mini leprechaun top hat crochet pattern. If you'd like to purchase one, please visit Natalia's shop
Happy St. Patrick's Day!