Friday, May 29, 2009

Pumpkin Morel Ravioli

Mark found over two pounds of morels in the past few days, so I had more than enough to make the ravioli I had been dreaming about. I have also been dreaming about pumpkin ravioli, so after a lot of searching.. I came up with this recipe. I cannot tell you how delicious they are, I think they are one of the best raviolis I have ever had, the flavour is incredible. Fabulous in a huge way!!

Pumpkin Morel Ravioli

For this recipe, you can make your own pasta dough, as below, or you can use frozen ready-made wonton wrappers

2 cups canned pure pumpkin
3 tbsp light olive oil
12 oz. fresh morels
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups ricotta
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water

Pasta dough ( I used 1 1/2 times this recipe to use the filling):
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup water
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. olive oil

Sage butter:
1 small bunch sage leaves
175g/6oz unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper

You'll need two fluted pastry cutters, one 5cm/2in, the other 11.5cm/4½in, or similar sized cutters

Slice the morels in half lengthwise, then cut in pieces if the mushrooms are large. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the mushrooms and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Roughly chop the garlic and add it to the pan with the butter, cook until the morels are starting to fry and brown. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled morels, the pumpkin, the ricotta, Parmesan and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix thoroughly. Chill while you make the pasta dough.

Pasta Dough:
1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour and remaining ingredients. With mixer at low speed, beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl.
2. With wooden spoon, stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.
3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover dough and let rest 30 minutes.
( Can be made in a food processor as well)

Roll the dough out thinly on a clean, floured work surface with a rolling pin. Cut out large pieces of dough roughly 14cm/5½in square. ( You may also use a pasta machine to roll the dough.

Place the smaller of the two fluted pastry cutters in the centre of each pasta square. Place a tablespoon or so of the pumpkin filling inside the cutter and then remove. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg and water over the pasta square, around the filling. Lay another square on top, carefully working out any air that's inside with your fingers.

Use the larger cutter to cut out the ravioli. Repeat this process with the remaining pastry squares. You can store the ravioli in the fridge for a few hours on well-floured greaseproof paper.

Cook the ravioli in a large pan of simmering water, for 4-6 minutes, turning over once during the cooking time. Remove with a slotted spoon when cooked.

For the sage butter, heat a small frying pan (without oil) and, when hot, add the pumpkin seeds and toast until lightly browned.

Chop 5-6 sage leaves into thin strips, reserving some whole leaves to garnish. Add the butter to the pan with the pumpkin seeds, then add the sage and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow the butter to brown slightly, then take off the heat.

To serve, Place a single ravioli or several ravioli on a plate and top with a sage leaf or two. Shave over some parmesan and spoon over the sage butter. Serve.

Serves 10-12 as a starter, 4-6 as a main course (makes about 10-12 large ravioli)

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Morel Season!!

Yesterday morning when Mark was walking the dogs he found three morels! We both went out morel hunting late yesterday afternoon. We found enough for me to make a delicious fresh morel risotto for dinner last night. It was fabulous! Yum!
He found these morels this morning, and I sliced them and added them to the gravy of our pot roast for our dinner tonight. They added  wonderful flavour to the gravy! 
I am dreaming of finding enough of them, this week to make morel ravioli.. Mmmmm!

plate full of morels

close up

Friday, May 22, 2009

We Love It! Oh, Me Too!

In March I was approached by Style at Home magazine wondering if they could borrow one of my rugs to photograph for inclusion in their July issue. I had just sold the rug, but the new owner graciously agreed to loan them the rug for the photo shoot. I have been very excited these past couple of months waiting for the arrival of the magazine. I am still waiting, it should be here next week. 
It has been my pleasure to have been in contact with Brett Walther, the Associate Design Editor who produced this article. He was kind enough to send me this PDF file and gave me permission to post it here. Thank you Brett! A special thank you to Jenn Houlihan, assistant editor for choosing my rug!

We Love It!
I love it!

Thank you too, to Mr. Uli for changing the PDF file into a usable format for me!
I am excited and grateful for this opportunity. It will be fantastic exposure for my work.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Felted Wool Sweater Rug!

I spent the afternoon and evening yesterday weaving, as I do most days, trying to build up my inventory for when the July issue of Style At Home comes out. One of my rugs, just a photo is featured as the editors pick for the page We Love It!
This is a beautiful cheerfully bright rug! I do love the colours together, I love colour. I love working with colour.

handwoven felted wool sweater rug, with my fluevog shoes..

close up!
I spent the afternoon in the greenhouse planting flats of sunflowers and pole beans. I had been chilly in the house, it was a hot and steamy 38°C in there, it didn't take my long to warm up. Love it, that heat, the greenhouse, thinking about summer coming.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Whoohoo, we had a warm Wednesday!!

We had our first warm spring afternoon today, it got up to a balmy 16°C! Whoo!
Mark and I took the dogs to the river, the Aguasabon. We have spent many many hours here with the dogs over the past 12 years or so. It is a favourite place to go, and it feels like home to our dogs.

little waves splashing onto the pebbled shore

new life, birch buds

new growth on a balsam tree

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spiral Waves and Pale Pretties

I have not been making jewelry lately, I have been in weaving mode, building my shop inventory up. I broke that mode this morning to play with some of the gorgeous beads I bought from Gillian. They are so pretty!

spiral waves

pale felted wool sweater rug

Pretty little rug, makes me think of a child's room, or a bathroom... such solt and delicate colours.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Big, Black (and Grey) and Beautiful!

I wove this rug yesterday, took photos last night, but they turned out blue. I got up early this morning and retook them. The boots on the rug were my friend Dre's idea, so people will know the rugs just aren't for girls... ha, as I always use my own shoes. I borrowed these boots from Thomas. They work well, I like how the photos turned out!

handwoven felted wool sweater rug
black, grey & white
Nokia boots!

Moss Spores and Trailing Arbutus

Late yesterday afternoon I went out with Mark and the dogs for a walk. Mark told me the arbutus were blooming but wow, they are thick with blossoms. You have to wonder how so many little blossoms can grow in such a little space. The fragrance is so beautiful! We usually just see the white blossoms so this pretty pink variety was a treat! They are one of the first woodland flowers to bloom.

trailing arbutus

moss spores

These moss spores just fascinate me! When you get down on the ground, eye level with them they look like a mini forest of sorts, just beautiful!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blues, Greens and Stripes

I finished a rug this evening, I had been working on it for a few days. I must say it is one of my all time favourites! I love green and blue especially with muted earthy tones. I also love striped and patterned sweaters. I love love love the way they intermix and play together. Fascinating patterns and colour mixes. Funny how excited I get about colour! This rug is a beauty.

felted wool sweater rug

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maple Currant Oatmeal Cookies

I had not made these delicious cookies for a very long time. They are chewy delicious! Yum!

Maple Currant Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup quick rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3/4 cup currants
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Combine oats and sugar. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Beat egg until thick. Gradually beat in oil and maple syrup.
4. Combine the egg mixture with the oat mixture, blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the currants and nuts.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoons on a greased baking sheet. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Bright and Beautiful!

I just finished this gorgeous bright, fun, multicoloured rug! 
handwoven felted wool sweater rag rug

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Last week we were going to go smelting with some friends. Their daughter told them the best run was between 1 am and 3 am, it made us change our mind and not go. We were having an old moment, haha..
We went out last night, left here around 9 pm, got there to the Little Gravel River just before 10. It was really cold out, brrrr. They were not running well, and we didn't want to stay long. They got a few smelt every dip, and eventually we got as many as we wanted. They are not the smelt I remember from my childhood, they are like big minnows, actually some are the size of minnows. I cleaned them this morning, took three hours. I cooked half of them for dinner tonight. I shook them in seasoned flour, and pan friend them in olive oil, until they were golden brown. They are just as delicious as I remembered them to be. Yum!

Lake Superior smelts

Handwoven Felted Wool Sweater Rug

Yesterday I finished the second rug from my new bales of sweaters! It is always fun and a challenge at the same time,  to work with the colours I get in the bales.
This rug is a glorious combinations of blue, plum, purple, and rust!

handwoven felted wool sweater rug


Much to my surprise and delight my treasury graced the front page this morning!

front page

my treasury with alternatives

Friday, May 8, 2009

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Last night I made this chocolate bread pudding from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts cookbook. It is delicious!

Chocolate Bread Pudding

3 cups milk (I used skim milk)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate 
2 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 & 1/2)
4 large eggs
4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs 
(I used light rye bread, and made them in the food processor)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 2 - 3 quart round casserole dish.
In  a saucepan, heat the milk, chocolate, and butter until the chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream and eggs until evenly coloured. Add the melted chocolate and the bread crumbs and mix well.
Pour the pudding into the prepared baking dish and bake until puffed and set, about 1 hour. The centre may jiggle a little but a knife inserted in at the centre should come out almost clean. Serve warm or chilled!
Serves 6 to 8.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Forget Me Nots, Rhubarb and Garlic!

We actually are having a nice late afternoon. The fog finally rolled back out to the Lake where it is just hanging, may roll back in at a moments notice. I went out back to sit on the step, a friend stopped by on his way home from a bike ride. When he left I strolled about seeing what I could see, in my gardens. I was quite delighted to spy a couple of tiny forget me not blooms in my side flower bed, so pretty! The rhubarb is growing so well, we will be eating before long! Our garlic patch is quite amazing though, Mark planted one whole garden in a variety of different kinds of garlic last fall and it is all doing really well! We are big garlic lovers here in this house! What a wonderful afternoon! It is so nice to see the new life bursting forth, in the gardens!

forget me nots



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Bales of Sweaters and a Big Beautiful Rug!

Two weeks ago I emailed my recycled textile supplier, and told him I was ready for two more bales of sweaters. We drove to the next town over, deposited money into his bank account and we were in business, as simple as that. I still can't believe what a nice guy he is! A good business man! His workers bundle up 75 pounds bales, as that is the limit for shipping with Greyhound, and then he personally delivers them to Greyhound for me. Greyhound actually has a very good service, the bales were here in a few days.

Mark carefully cutting the metal strapping

we just love how much the bale expands with each strap cut off

new felted wool rug, using some of the new sweaters
17 sweaters felted, cut and wove into this huge and glorious rug!
I love it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Caesar Salad

I can't seem to get my head back home, I am off traveling in my mind. I am probably just a little tired. Too much happening in the last couple of weeks, out of my ordinary. It is still quite cold out, not warm spring weather yet. Yes the grass is slowly turning green, and the green shoots of my flowers are poking up in my flower beds. I am dreaming of summer... here is a salad recipe.

Caesar Salad

1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1 lb. bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces, fried crisp
4 oz. parmesan cheese
croutons, recipe follows
caesar dressing, recipe follows

Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. Place in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Add the croutons and bacon. Add dressing on your plate to taste.

6 slices of your favourite bread
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
herbs of your choice

Cut bread into bite sized pieces. Heat a frying pan, and add the olive oil, when hot, add the garlic. Cook a few minutes ad then add bread and herbs. Cook on low heat until the bread is crisp.
I have also used less oil, and baked the croutons in the oven, for a lighter version.

Caesar Dressing

6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.