Monthly Archives: June 2011

Exciting things happening…New Logo!

First bit of exciting news in the life of Little Miss Redhead: A NEW LOGO!  I designed a new logo for the blog/company…What do you think?

Another bit of exciting news is that I will be selling my jewelry & crafts at the Isle La Motte, VT Farmers’ Market this summer…Dates and locations will be posted soon!  I’ll be selling a new line of metalwork jewelry and another (top secret) line coming out soon, too!  Hint: It’s not jewelry!  I’m VERY excited!

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Vermont Quilt Festival 2011…Photos

First, I apologize for not posting a Fun with Frosting/Fruit Friday last Friday… What I had intended to post unfortunately didn’t turn out as planned.  Note to self: Remember to buy all the ingredients before you start cooking/baking!

Anyhoo, this past Saturday I had great fun at the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I picked up some fun new fabric for some projects I’m working on and took in some gorgeous quilts.  Various quilts- old and new- hung all over both sides of the Expo Center and vendors spread themselves all along the sides.  The Vermont Quilt Festival is the largest in New England, so people came from all over!  Was a great experience & I’d highly recommend anyone with an interest or appreciation for quilting to go next year (it’s an annual festival).  Quilting truly is another form of art and creative expressionism.  Below are some photos I took while I was walking around the Festival (pardon the somewhat poor quality of photos- I only had my phone with me).  The photos are some quilts that I felt were noteworthy.  Enjoy!

Antique Quilts:

Made in 1957 by various participants from local Vermont historical societies.  Now hangs at the Kent Museum in Calais, VT.

Crazy quilt (my favorite kind of quilt) made in 1890 by Jennie Wright Putman of Middlesex, VT.

Another example of a crazy quilt- made by Philea A. Spear of Waitsfield, VT in 1909.

Close-up of Spear’s quilt.

Antique quilts- Left, unknown; Right, by Paulina Jones of Chelsea, VT in about 1875.

Modern Quilts:

“The Pride of Iowa Revisited” by Miki Peine (Saint Paul, MN)

“O Holy Night!” by The Women of the Grace Church (Madison, NJ)

“Spring Thaw” by Pamela Druhen (Northfield, VT)

“Never Again…Again” by Joan Dorsay (Ottowa, ON) & “Christmas at Kelmscott Manor” by Dawn S. Hayes (Upper Montclair, NJ)

“Madelaine- A Step Beyond Paper” by Cutting Edge Quilt Guild (Reedville, MA)
I thought this quilt was very creative- the clothes have Velcro behind them, so you can actually dress the doll! 

“Birds In The Garden” by Anna Bullard (Wells, ME)

“Queen of My Heart” by Holly Dominie (Readfield, ME)
This quilt was very creative and very touching- it is of her daughter, who’s hair has always fascinated her.  The fabrics used were mainly from Australia.  The card read, “The journey making this quilt was one of love, challenge and learning, just like our relationship!”  Something about the quilt & explanation really struck me. 

Cyndy Needham- CA

“Provincial Baskets” by Frances Abell Brand (West Dennis, MA)

“Cutwork Blue” by Alice Flynn, 1995 (South Yarmouth, MA)

By Karen Henderson

By Sonya Lee Barrington- CA

Vase made of fabric by Marilyn Gillis


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Filed under Crafting, Local VT spotlight, Things to do....locally in VT!

What to do this weekend in BTV…6/23-6/26

My picks for what to do this weekend in the Burlington, VT area…

Thursday, June 23
VYP Connect 6pm
Mix & mingle with the Vermont Young Professionals!  A great way to network & meet other young professionals!
Location: Miguel’s on Main, Burlington

Sunsets at Shelburne Museum 5-7:30pm
Some of the buildings stay open at the Shelburne Museum during the summer for lectures, performances & other fun activities.  Picnics encouraged.  Kick-off event of annual Thursday evening series.
Location: Shelburne Museum, Shelburne $10-$20

Friday, June 24
Vermont Quilt Festival June 24-26
Not just bedspreads- many of these quilts are real works of art! Look at beautifully crafted quilts (on display and for sale) or get your old family quilt appraised!  Classes & demonstrations, too!
Location: Expo Center, Essex Junction $10/$12

Stowe Wine & Food Classc: Opening Night Wine Tasting 5pm-7pm
Opening night of  weekend festivities (June 24-26)
Location: West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park, Stowe $75 

Saturday, June 25
Burlington Wine & Food Festival  11:30am-3:30pm/4:30pm-8:30pm
Sipping sessions, seminars & gourmet food.
Location: Burlington Waterfront Park, $50 advance/$60 day of

Sam’s 16th Annual Strawberry Festival 11am-4pm
Strawberry picking, pony rides, kids’ games, petting zoo, face painting & other yummy foods.
Location: Sam Mazza’s Farm Market, Colchester

Craft Hour 10am-11am

Seniors knit crafts for the home…how adorable!
Location: Champlain Senior Center, Burlington

Colchester Clean-Up 8am-8pm
Help those who were hit by the flooding on the shoreline…Organized by the Colchester-Milton Rotary Club.
Location: Colchester

Sunday, June 26
Cedar Circle Farmstead & Education Ctr Strawberry Festival 10am-4pm
Kids’ crafts, live music, wagon rides & organic strawberry picking!
Location: East Thetford

Also happening this weekend if you’re willing to travel…
Montreal International Jazz Festival!

Ongoing in June
Festival of Fine Arts Juried Show June 1-June 30th
Location: Art’s Alive Gallery in Burlington

Winooski Pop-Up Gallery District June 23-June 31st
Location: various locations around Winooski

In Fashion: High Syle 1690-2011 June 18-October 30
Numerous costumes & borrowed works from designers all over the world.  Also includes works by students from the Fashion Institute of Technology of NYC.
Location: Shelburne Museum, Shelburne $10-$20 

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Quick Meals…Cheesy asparagus, bacon & egg on toast

I didn’t really feel like making anything extravagant for dinner the other night, so I scrounged around in my fridge/freezer for ingredients…I had some leftover asparagus to use from my CSA, alfredo sauce from a calzone, bits and pieces of cheese left from appetizers from a BBQ, 1/2 a bagel & bread that was going to go stale soon & also some eggs that needed to be used.  So what did I end up making with this random assortment of ingredients? Cheesy asparagus, bacon & eggs on toast!  

This could technically be yummy for dinner, lunch or breakfast…

Ingredients (even tho I technically listed them above…) for 2:
Asparagus (at least 3 stalks for each slice of toast)
4 slices toast
4 pieces bacon (I used tofu, but you can use turkey bacon or pork bacon)
4 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

For the cheese sauce: an assortment of cheeses (i.e. cheddar, parmesan, feta & gouda), approx 2 tablespoons butter, approx 2 tablespoons flour & milk.  Optional: clove garlic, salt & pepper, herbs to taste.

Directions:

 See my Eggs Benedict post for how to make the cheese sauce…I added some crushed garlic, pepper, a pinch of salt, herbs & a little bit of leftover alfredo sauce to this cheese sauce, though!

Leave the cheese sauce on simmer (uncovered) on the back burner & cook the rest of the ingredients.

Steam the asparagus (takes a few minutes, depending on the size of the asparagus).

Cook the bacon in a pan.

Fry your eggs over easy (or any way you like) & add a little salt & pepper

Lastly, toast your toast…

And then you can really put the ingredients on in any order you want…

I put the asparagus on first.

Then the bacon.

Then the eggs on top.

Lastly, I added the cheese…

Unfortunately, the meal didn’t turn out quite as well for me as I hope it does for you…Turned out my toast was freezer burnt & I think that the eggs might have been just past their prime…Oh well, I’ll have to try it again some time w/fresher ingredients!  At least the cheese sauce turned out amazing!

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Filed under Recipes: Breakfast, Recipes: Main Dishes, Recipes: Quick Meals

Happy & Healthy…Buffets, salad bars & Sulphites

Bit of a personal story, but thought it might be helpful to my readers…

For a while I’ve been wondering if I might allergic to something in the salad bar at my small local grocery store, so I was keeping a food log of things I ate.  But an old college friend of mine recently reminded me that our dining hall back in college was rumored to put something in some buffet items that would sit out all day to keep them from going bad or causing food poisoning, so I then thought maybe the store was putting something into the food?  Buffets, especially at “all you can eat” restaurants, have always grossed me out, but my small local grocery store putting things in my food, too?  My favorite salad dressing and salad toppings?  Say it isn’t so!  After a little research, I discovered it’s actually possible that it might be something else entirely…

Here’s what I’ve found:

Cafeterias…Apparently many just use an antimicrobial wash additive that “reduce microorganisms on the surface of fruits and vegetables” (DiamondBakcOnline.com).  While I’m a little cautious about what the wash actually contains, what about the myth about laxatives in the food?  How else can the fact that nothing “stayed with you” after you left your dining hall in college?  Why would laxatives be put in your buffet food, anyway?  The rumor is that it would be to make sure that the food doesn’t stay in you long enough to absorb contamination or food poisoning.  Realistically, laxatives in cafeteria food is hard to prove & most college dining halls deny any laxative additives- especially since it would technically be illegal, I believe.  The blame on upset college cafeteria bellies is usually put on things like a change in eating habits, stress, an introduction of new spices to the diet (UPressOnline.com) or being hungover (let’s be honest…it was college…), but how can one explain this happening for working adults, too, who eat from the hot/cold bars at their local grocery store or cafeteria?  We’re all stressed out?  Hmm I guess that is possible in our day & age…But  I had to do some more research…


My (personal) possible solution: Sulphite (or Sulfite) Sensitivity

Back in 1986 the FDA banned the use of sulfites on veggies and fruits, which was typically put on them to prevent them from turning brown, BUT many salad dressings still contain sulfites, as well as dried fruits (i.e. raisins, dried apricots, etc).  Hmm so that may be the answer, folks… Sulphites!

Here is a list of foods/drinks that MAY contain Sulphites: Sulphites Table and WebMD examples

Common reactions/symptoms to having a Sulphite Sensitivity (per Sulphite.ca): Gastrointestinal, hives, headaches, swelling, trouble breathing, rapid heart beat.

If my story & findings sound like it may be the answer to your tummy troubles, too, I’d suggest you talk to your doctor to see if Sulphites are the culprit!  Everyone is different, though.

Regardless if you might have a Sulphite Sensitivity or not, here are some facts about salad bars & buffets…

While salad bars may be convenient & have many healthy options, they might not actually be the best or healthiest option.  Per an article in the New York Times back inAugust of 1999, salad bars are essentially a breeding ground for contamination and bacteria.  Food is often left out for too long, not kept at proper temperatures and/or expired.

Per another article I read (on Tesh.com), salad bars are actually worse than hot buffets!  Heat kills many viruses, but salad bars are typically cold, thus transmitting viruses and bacteria.

Hot or cold, think about it- do you know where the person in front of you who just touched those salad tongs last had their hands?  Did they just scratch their nose?  Do they have a cold?  Are they breathing all over everything as they’re reaching for that scooper on the other side of the bar?  Hmmm maybe I really should consider bringing my lunch from home more often…better for my wallet & wellness!

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Local Spotlight: My Little Cupcake

In lieu of my usual Fun with Frosting Friday post, I’m showcasing a sweet (literally) local company here in Vermont- My Little Cupcake!  I’m a Facebook fan of theirs, so I get their daily posts of what’s being delivered to the various shops & markets around town.  It’s a relatively new company, but I’ve had a couple of their various cupcake flavors & each was delicious.  Their little (almost, but best to savour slowly) bite-sized cupcakes are highly recommended & available all over the Burlington, VT area (their shop is in Essex, VT).  The cupcakes are good, but their frosting concoctions are without a doubt the best part!

From their website & Facebook page, here are just a few of their fun frosted offerings:

Lemon cupcake stuffed with lemon pudding and torched meringue buttercream

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream walnuts, mini marshmallows and a chocolate ganache drizzle.

Strawberry Blonde-Vanilla cupcake with strawberry buttercream.
I bought a box (comes with 4) of these for myself for my birthday last year…I love strawberry buttercream!

Coffee cupcake and vanilla buttercream with (homemade!) mini glazed donut.
How creative!  How cute! 

S’Mores Cupcake-chocolate cupcake with marshmallow buttercream w/crushed graham cracker and topped w/a piece of Hershey’s Bar.

Dirt Cupcake

Fruity Pebbles Cupcake

And of course, since we live in Vermont…Maple Bacon Cupcake

Note: They also have vegan and gluten-free cupcakes!
http://mylittlecupcakevt.com/ 

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Quick meals…great picnic foods

Warmer weather means it’s time for a picnic!  Here are some ideas for what to pack in your basket and head off to the beach, meadow, woods, park….

PB&J
Sometimes you just gotta be a kid again and have an old favorite! 

BEET SALAD 
Grate, add pistachios and/or dress with a little lemon, olive oil & parsley.  For added flavor, crumble some goat cheese or bleu cheese.

HUMMUS, TABOULI & PITA
Slice up some pita bread & enjoy dipping it in a tub of hummus w/a little tabouli!  I grew up on this snack, so I can attest to just how good it is…

COLD PEANUT NOODLES 
Recipe 

PASTA SALAD
Cook pasta al dente, add some pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes, peas, (optional: cooked chunks of chicken) & olive oil.

BAGUETTE & ASSORTED CHEESES
Get a fresh loaf of bread from your local bakery & an assortment of artisan cheeses.  Throw some grapes and/or olives in your basket, too…and a bottle of wine…
BAD IDEAS:-Ice cream…um duh…
-Fried chicken…hello sogginess!
-If it’s going to sit in a hot basket for a while, then anything with mayo is a bad idea!
-Chocolate…sorry chocahaulics it’ll just melt on a hot day!

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