11/30/11

Etsy Find: Oh. Just. Jess!




When Kara and I went on our last sanity-saving GMO (Girl's Morning Out! Holla!) to Art Star Craft Bazaar, I fell in love with one vendor who was selling beautiful chunky scowls, cowls, scoods, scarfs, infinity loops (you know there are 800 names for fancy neck warmers these days). I circled around and stopped by her booth about 15 times. I'm kicking myself for not buying one but I was being financially conservative because 1) the stupid city of Philadelphia towed our car because our bumper was in a very cleverly obscured handicapped parking space while we are at the TLA ($175 tow + a $301 ticket + a cab ride to the tow lot + extra money for the babysitter = less money for scarves) and 2) if I add to my bag/scarf collection (read obsession!) any more this season, my husband is likely to kick me out of the house.

After I returned home, I headed straight to the Art Star's website to stalk find the scarves which led me to the Oh. Just. Jess! Etsy site. Look at those pictures! If anyone knows me, they KNOW that is my style. Stripes and a pop of bold color. Very Marimekko-esque. Love it. I love everything she creates for her shop. I want it all. Just look at that necklace scarf. How clever is that? Very!

It's very vogue now to shop small and/or local. There is nothing smaller than artist on Etsy selling their own handmade goods. Low over head for them and all good for you. You get (or get to give!) unique objects all while supporting people who are doing what they love. So if you are looking for just the perfect anti-99% gift for your favorite fashionista this holiday season, head over to Oh. Just. Jess! and cozy up to her work!

And, oh yay! Jess has a great blog too: http://ohjustjess.blogspot.com.

I'll be highlighting more finds in the next couple of weeks to help you with your shopping for the holidays. Happy shopping!

11/29/11

Vote for Scissors & Spice in the Gardein Facebook Share Contest!

A photo out take. We seriously laughed so hard. Who knew lunch could be so funny!
Please visit Gardein's Facebook contest, Share the Goodness, and vote for me, Lynn! You could vote once a day if you are so inclined. Check out the contest entry photo on the page and give it a like. THANK YOU LOVELIES! Fun!

Vote here and vote often: CLICK ME! (Then click the "thumbs up" on that link to vote. You can vote once/day.)
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What we happily ate:

Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders Soft Tacos (vegan)


Ingredients
  • Corn torillas
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Vegan cheese
  • Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, cooked
  • Hot sauce

Directions

  • Heat tortillas and top with toppings and Gardein. Done! Easy and so good!

11/28/11

Restaurant Review | Kaya's Kitchen, Belmar, NJ (Guest Post!)

Welcome to Kaya's, mon! 
A whole mess of buffet on a Sunday morning.

Salad, salad, salad!


Iphone blurry buffet! Kara was super excited to be at Kaya's! ;)
My friend Kara took her hubs out to Kaya's Kitchen for his birthday (Happy birthday, JD!). Since I have always, always wanted to try out Kaya's, I asked her to do a guest post/review. Check out her blog, Moments of Being, after you read her review! And, BTW, If you'd ever like to do a guest restaurant review, please let me know and I'll post with a link to your site! 

I’ve been going to Kaya’s Kitchen long enough to remember when it wasn’t Kaya’s Kitchen (it used to be Veggie Works – different owners) and when it didn’t have it’s current rasta vibe. But through name and ambiance changes, one thing has remained – the food is good.

Kaya’s is homestyle, snuggle up comfort food. It’s the kind of place where you can order almost anything on the menu and not be disappointed. I’m the type that once I find one thing on a menu that I like I stick to the safety of that dish. But at Kaya’s I’ve always felt comfortable ordering something new – with little fear that I would end up with something I didn’t want. My orders have ranged from the Cajun tofu salad (light, but filling) to the South Street Philly cheese steak (seriously best veg cheese steak I’ve had outside of Gourmet to Go in Philly) to the enchiladas (I’m drooling just thinking about them!!). Any Kaya’s regular will tell you, though, that the absolute hands-down winner is on the app side of the menu. The “Kaya’s Combo” is like a “best of” collage of appetizers. Country fried nuggets, karma wings, tempeh wings, Mississippi ribs, potato salad, and dipping sauces – it’s a serious faux-meat wonderland. The menu says it’s a “sharing size” plate – but seriously, I’m not sharing! I have been known to order this app as my entrée!

Sundays are vegan buffet day at Kaya’s. This past Sunday my husband and I went on our very first alone date in almost 18 months (we have an 18 month old… that says it all!) to celebrate his birthday. We had never been there on a buffet Sunday, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. For the price (around $16) it was a pretty decent spread: salads with choice of three dressings, four different components for an entrée, and then basically everything you would need to put the combo app together, plus vegan mac ‘n cheese. I felt seriously sick from over-eating when I was done.

I have only two tiny complaints – and I promise they are small. One thing that bothered me was that there wasn’t any filler starch. The “main” dishes were spicy gluten/tofu kabobs, a jambalaya of sorts, pierogies, and a braised kale. I felt like I really needed some rice, or mashed potatoes, or something. My other complaint is that I felt like there wasn’t any cohesion in these dishes. Like none of them went together. I tried to braised kale (which had a very asian-y flare) with the kabobs, and, well, they just didn’t go together. But don’t get me wrong, as separate items they were delicious. But like I said, I just didn’t see how they went together.

With that said, I would always recommend Kaya’s Kitchen – especially to veg peeps who are dining with non-veg peeps. There are so many dishes to impress even the most hard core carnivore. So if you’re ever on the Jersey Shore (the real Jersey Shore, not the Snookified version!), head on down to Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar.

Kayas Kitchen‎
817 Belmar Plaza
Belmar, New Jersey 07719
(732) 280-1141

Anyone Want to Be My Intern...


...or at least a nanny to my kids so I can get this shop show on the road? It's an Etsy mess up in this piece. I promise you, I have not forgotten about you and will be back sorta like normal soon!

Oh, and PS: Stay tuned for my shop's launch and Scissors and Spice's one-year-anniversary! Are you excited? I am!

Drop a line (i.e. leave me up comment all up in here) and tell me what you've been making or crafting lately. Any good thrift store finds in your parts? Link it all up to your blog too. Entertain me!

11/26/11

Who Has the Best Tomato Pie in Wilmington, DE?

Yahoo for saving old signage!

Black Lab's tomato pie
Yummy bread case. Hot and spicey tomato pice.

Happy Serpe's baker. Dirty camera lens.
Serpe's has the cutest fleet of hand painted trucks!
Bonus points for cute bakery boxes!

Serpe's tomato pie!
Tomato pie? Never heard of it--just like water ice--until I moved to the Philly area from Massachusetts. Tomato pie may look like square pizza without cheese, but it is something completely different. Unlike pizza, the dough is more like thick and mushy (like white bread) than pizza dough and the sauce is more pasty and oily than pizza sauce. It's never served warm like pizza either. Mr. Scissors and I used to get tomato pie from a little, now defunct, bakery called M&Ms on Philadelphia Pike in Wilmington, DE every Saturday after venturing through the flea market. It was, according to him, authentic tomato pie.

It's been a been a few years since we've had it, so a few weekends ago, on the way to the flea market, we decided to do a little taste to see what two Wilmington-area bakeries had the best tomato pie.

Our first stop was a bread bakery we frequent for their awesome foccacia named Black Lab. If you don't make it to the bakery in the morning, they are often sold out of slices of their crunchy foccacia slices in the afternoon; that is how good they are. Since they were sold out when we arrived, I picked up a slice of their tomato pie to share with the hubs. It has a a nicely favored sauce that we both enjoyed, but we both agreed it was bit too chewy/crunchy to be true Philly-style tomato pie, but still super tasty none-the-less. The sauce is a bit spicey and a bit chunkier than is traditional.

Headed down the road, we took a detour to Serpe's Bakery, an Italian bakery/institution in this area. I often see their quaint hand-lettered delivery trucks driving around, so being the lettering-geek-by-association I am for sign painting, I was ever so happy to finally be able to photograph one before they eventually update them with vinyl cut letters (Serpe's if you read this, please don't ever do that!). Their bakery has that old-school-Philly-Italian-bakery charm and my children were very intrigued by all the colorful cookies in the case. Poor things, they couldn't even have the free confections offered to them, but we could grab a slice of tomato pie for sampling. Now, Serpe's pie is way more traditional. Totally white flour, no chew, no crust base with oily/tomato paste topping. Theirs, however, has it's own distinction: a certain smokey flavor that we guessed was possibly roasted garlic. My daughter happily ate a full piece, and she barely ever eats a full piece of anything.

Overall, for tomato pie, everyone seemed to enjoy Serpe's the best, though we all like Black Lab's as well. Their crust is more focaccia-like and that's our favorite from them anyway, so everyone wins!

Black Lab Breads
812 N. Union Street
Wilmington, DE 19805
302-658-1307

Serpe & Sons Bakery
1411 Kirkwood Highway
Elsmere, DE 19805
302-994-1868

11/23/11

Stocking, stocking, stocking...

Don't worry pigeons, at least you are not turkeys!
Between my normal life, making Thanksgiving preps, diverting the chaos created by my spirited 2-year-old son and preparing for some future promotional events, I am slowly but surely stocking my Etsy shop. So stalk the blog, my Twitter page and my Facebook page to be the first to know when I launch. In the meantime, I'm liftng the curtain ever so slightly to give you a detailed first peek at one of my favorite items in the store with a very M. Sasek "This is..." feel. Stay tuned!

11/22/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Holiday Baking Tip

I don't know about you, but I am baking 7 days a week in December. To make clean up easier, I put my recycling to work! Take all those annoying grocery store circulars and layer them over your kitchen counter. They will graciously catch all the stray flour and cocoa powder while keeping your workspace clean. When you are done, just crumple the newspapers up and toss into recycling. Aren't you so clever and eco!

11/21/11

Photo Essay: This Past Weekend



I'm not going to be around much this week because I really have to spend my online time stocking my Etsy shop (stay tuned for my launch!). So, to keep you company while I am futzing around with my awesome vintage stock, I am posting a ton o' photos for you to enjoy!

1) Mr. Scissors shoveling in some vegan coleslaw at Blackbrid Pizzeria.
2) Reuniting with an dear-old-friend-super-drummer, Mike Poorman, at the TLA Hod Rod Circuit show.
3) Love!
4) Art Star Craft Bazaar with Kara.
5) Seriously best vegan cupcake I have ever had by Sweetbox Cupcakes.
6 and 7) Awesome Philly storefront signs.
8) Los Caballitos, E Passyunk, Phila. Best salsa verde ever.
9) So cozy and warm at Grindcore House with best coconut milk mocha ever

11/20/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Pull Apart Monkey Pizza Bread

Here's another idea for using the "King Arthur No Knead Crusty White Bread" dough, that I have so fondly been mentioning lately, using the same method I used for the "Baked Kalamata Olive Poppers." Instead stuffing the balls of dough and baking them individually, I was inspired by a monkey bread-like baking technique and baked the balls together in a a small baking dish to create a pull apart pizza! Y

You can either use olives and Daiya cheese or just Daiya alone. Once all the pieces of dough have been stuffed, place the individual balls in an oiled dish. They should be touching, but not super crowded. Let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes and then serve with a side of pizza sauce for dipping. My kids loved theirs and thought they were so fun to eat!

11/19/11

Y'all Like Scissors & Spice on Facebook, Ya Hear?

Scissors & Spice logo sketch by the devilishly handsome Ken Barber.
Though I typically despise the redundancy of social media, I have found it necessary to set up a Facebook page for Scissors & Spice to support my soon-to-be-launched Etsy shop. Do please be a dear and like S&S  on FaceSpace (as Mr. Scissors calls it).

Scissors & Spice on Facebook (Mom, that is called a hyperlink, click on that to head over to Facebook!)

And what's that you say? You're also on Twitter? Yes, I do have a Twitter page as well!

Scissor and Spice on Twitter (Mom, that is also a hyperlink. It's like web magic!)

11/18/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Vegan Sticky Buns

Sticky bun, fresh out of the oven.
Before moving into the lower Northeast, I hadn't even heard of sticky buns before seeing them in a farmer's market in Delaware. Makes sense, because according to Wikipedia, they are of German descent. "Sticky buns appear to have a Germanic origin and were originally known as "Schnecken". Wherever 18th-century German settlers (such as the Pennsylvania Dutch) went, sticky buns have remained long after many other cultural traits have." I grew up with cultural delights like malasada and buche de noel, but nothing German like schnecken. My husband, on the other hand, did, so I attempted to make these for him. He and my son loved them. I thought they were too, well, sticky.

The sugar goo coating the bottom of the pan and the uncooked rolls waiting to rise.
I used a portion of the King Arthur no-knead bread mixture that I had previously made and followed a recipe from allrecipes.com for the filling and coating while making the appropriate vegan substitutions. It was rather easy, but I did melt the Earth Balance instead of softening it, making it too oily to spread the cinnamon mixture that gets rolled with the dough. It all worked out in the end though.

Sticky buns are basically cinnamon rolls that are baked in a pan that you coat with a gooey mixture of nuts, sugar and (vegan) butter. When the rolls are done, the tray of rolls is turned over to reveal  their sticky coating.
The rolls, cooked, prior to being flipped over.

Given the choice, I would make cinnamon rolls hands down. I found the sticky coating to be distracting and too sweet. The bread was perfect for the rolls though! Perfect evidence at how adaptable the King Arthur recipe is!

11/17/11

Last Night on the Mass Pike

Mama took a solo trip last weekend to see my family in the Bay State. Wow, you go Daddy! Thank you for taking care of the kids. Xs and Os!

1) A big bunch of Portagees on a couch. Me (on the left, the baby of the group) with my lovely siblings. Love you all!
2) Blogging does not go on vacation nor does breakfast.
3) My sister knows how to group! Great ideas for decorating on a budget. Simple tin pails to collect kitchen tools and varied collection of thrift mirrors painted all the same color and hung in the same locale. She has her whole back hallway lined with a collection of different mirrors all painted white.
4) All the vegan bloggers do it, now here's my turn. The ubiquitous cat photo.
5) Thrifting is one the best parts of traveling! I heart church bazaars.
6) Grace Episcopal Church, New Bedford, MA. Beautiful and historic.
7) Vintage Massachusetts (pronounced massachoozits) tray and map.
8) The newest addition to the family, Rocky. What a cute beggar!
9) My sister, who hosted me, made us all a fab lunch before I jetted off. She was my first introduction to a life outside the mainstream, city life, and eating whole foods and is always super accommodating to my veggie needs. Yum! Raw collard and cabbage salad with miso/tahini/olive oil/soy/Bragg's dressing served with rice, beans and sweet potatoes.

Bonus points to the first person who can tell me where the title of this post comes from without Googling!

11/16/11

Philadelphia Just Got a Whole Lot Cooler!

1) Too busy to make a vegan Thanksgiving dinner or swimming against a turkey stream all by yourself? If you are in the Philly area, Miss Rachel's Pantry's got your back! Place your individual or family-sized orders by this Sunday, November 20 for delivery on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. (Gee, Miss Rachel's going to be really busy on Monday!) Head on over to her site to place your order.

2) My favorite hip craft show is this weekend! The Art Star Craft Bazaar will be in full Friday through Sunday! Stop by the 23rd Street Armory at 22 S. 23rd Street in Philadelphia to get a jump start on your holiday shopping. For more information, visit Art Star's website. See you there!

3) And last, but not least, Philadelphia's own Vedge (a veggie centric restaurant by the owners of the former Horizons) has opened! I am absolutely excited and can't wait for the stars to align so Mr. Scissors and I can happily dine in their new beautiful dining room! Scissors and Spice review to follow.

11/15/11

Scissors Craft: How to Print Your Own Fabric Tutorial

Every fall, I am always very inspired to gather leaves and press them; then I forget what I did with my collection and never end up using them to create anything. This year, I promised myself to actually use all those leaves.

Inspired by my ideas (here and here) to make leaf-centric table centerpieces, I thought it would also be nice to also make leaf-inspired napkins. Instead of creating a stencil, I chose to use a beautifully shaped ginko leaf to print over (known as a resist) in my test run. If you would like to make custom napkins, it would be best to use a an actual stencil instead of a resist and only print a small area so your guests have some napkin absorbency left.

This is a great idea for printing yards of custom fabric or to make unique home made T-shirts, totes, tablecloths, place mats, curtains, etc. Anything fabric related and any design will work! Have fun with it!

How to Print Your Own Fabric Tutorial
Level of difficulty: Easy
Step One:
Gather your materials: washed fabric, fabric stencil spray (I used "gold glimmer" by Simply Spray), removable masking tape, your object (called a resist) or your stencil, cardboard, paper towels

Step Two:
Secure your piece of fabric to the cardboard using masking tape around the edges.

Step Three:
If you are using actual objects to as a resist, secure them using rolled pieces of masking tape. Arrange objects in a visually appealing pattern and stick to fabric. If using a stencil, you can use an adhesive spray on the back or secure the edges of the stencil with masking tape. The spray isn't super powerful, so it won't blow the edges up like a can of spray paint.

Step Four:
Use the fabric stencil spray to gently coat the fabric according to package directions. Do not flood it with to much dye or your stencil will bleed. If you accidentally use too much spray, gently blot with paper towels before you remove your objects/stencil.

Step Five:
Carefully remove the resist or stencil.

Step Six:
Hang your fabric to dry for at least an hour. You can wash the fabric after 72 hours. There's no need to heat set! So easy, right?