Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favorite Middle Eastern Dishes

Every now and then, I get a craving for Middle Eastern food. That's where Cedars Deli comes in. Cedars Deli sells each item A la carte, and then I put everything together when I get home.

The dish above features their flat, unleavened bread topped with hummus, tabbouleh, and baked kibbeh. I like the kibbeh warm, so I microwave a small piece for a few seconds and then crumble it on top of the hummus and tabbouleh. Then I wrap everything up like a burrito, and eat it like that. Love all those flavors mixed together!

The tabbouleh is delicious by itself. Look at all that parsley.

The hummus is great for dipping with the flat bread.

The kibbeh comes in small squares. Love the pine nuts inside each piece of kibbeh!

The unleavened flat bread is easy to eat. Just tear a piece off.

If you're looking for delicious, homemade Middle Eastern food, be sure to visit Cedars Deli at 322 Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The phone number is (570) 829-0666. The deli also carries delicious desserts, but I had to pass on the baklava today after eating too many Christmas cookies.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snowman Wonderland

~All bundled up~

~A distinguished snowman~

~Christmas greenery~

~Bunny Snowman~

~Up for a peek~

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

As we gather with family and friends on this Christmas day 2009, we count our blessings for all that God has given to us. We truly are blessed.
~The famous Byers' Choice carolers~

~A fanciful place setting from Christmas Eve dinner~

~Mom's classic ceramic Christmas tree~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last-Minute Running Around

In all of this last-minute prep work for Christmas Eve dinner, I had time to "collect" some Christmas cookies, drop off some Christmas gifts, and receive some Christmas gifts. This beautiful tree belongs to my friend Georgie. She's a fabulous artist, great friend, and she always designs the most unique Christmas cards. Are there presents under this tree?

My friend Becky is a talented jeweler and designer. She designed this wonderful Christmas ornament. Becky now sells her jewelry and ornaments in the new Art Seen Gallery on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. Be sure to check out the gallery for some last-minute Christmas presents.

I couldn't leave Mom's house without some Italian cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter cookies. Love, love, love the Italian cookies. This year, Mom made them with a lemon flavor instead of anise. That's OK because my friend Lynn of Lynn's Craft World swung by my afternoon art class with a little surprise.

Lynn knows how much I love her anise-flavored Italian cookies. So, she was kind enough to give me my own bag. Lynn, you're the best!

Lynn also gave me a bag of ginger Biscotti from Nonni's. They're great with tea or hot chocolate.

John's cousin Joanie gave us this wonderful napkin holder. Made in Bermuda, the wooden napkin holder looks like my cat Julius. I love it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cupcake Wishes Do Come True

In the last sentence of yesterday's blog post, I wished for a cupcake. Well, God answered my prayers. John came home this afternoon with a box of goodies from the Owen Street Bakery in Swoyersville. It's uncanny how there's a cherry on top of this cupcake as well as the one in my logo. Hmmm. Be careful what you wish for!
The Owen Street Bakery makes the BEST apricot kolachy. A traditional Polish pastry, each kolachy is loaded with apricot filling and covered in sugar. Yum!

A stickler for spelling, I searched the Internet for the correct spelling of kolachy, and I came up with kolacz, kolachki, kolacky, kolachy, kolace, kolachi, kolache, and kolachke. Spell it how you want to; these treats are addicting.

Here's a closeup of these awesome treats. If you're looking for delicious pastries, be sure to give the Owen Street Bakery a try. They're located at 90 Owen Street in Swoyersville, PA. They can be reached at (570) 287-3940.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Logo Design for Georgie's Bake Shoppe

This is the logo I designed for Georgie's Bake Shoppe for my Web-design project. I painted the cupcake on an old piece of wood, and then I scanned it into my computer and added the text. I wish I had a cupcake now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Babushka Betty's Homemade Pierogies

After teaching my jewelry class this morning at Arts YOUniverse, I ventured into the kitchen to find Marie of Babushka Betty's selling her famous, homemade pierogies. Here's a plate of pierogies smothered in butter and onions that Marie was getting ready to serve . There's nothing like the taste of pierogies smothered in butter and onions.

Two weeks ago, I discovered Marie selling pierogies at Arts YOUniverse, and I was thrilled to find her because Marie and her family used to make the pierogies for St. Joe's bazaar in Hudson every year. I purchased two dozen of the potato and cheese and two dozen of the farmers cheese for my Christmas Eve dinner. I couldn't trust myself with the pierogies in my freezer, so I put them in Mom's freezer until Christmas Eve.

Marie's recipe is to die for (just like Mom's recipe), and Marie does not skimp on the filling! If you're looking for homemade pierogies, give Marie a call at (570) 824-4794.

Also, check with Arts YOUniverse because Marie will be selling pierogies there on selected Saturdays and Wednesdays.

PS - Marie makes her farmers cheese pierogies with a touch of salt (not sugar). I never understood that sugar thing with farmers cheese. Where did that come from?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Berwick Lights

John and I had the opportunity to take in the 63rd Annual Christmas Boulevard hosted by the Berwick Jaycees.
As you drive down Market Street in Berwick, Pennsylvania, you'll see many scenes that celebrate the Christmas season. They did a wonderful job with the manger.

Is this a gopher or a woodchuck?

I'm not sure what these cats are doing in the trees. Although, they kind of look like Julius, and he likes climbing trees.

A representative from Young's Funny Farm was on hand with several wild burros. Gotta love these beautiful animals. They're so adorable. Please visit Young's Funny Farm for more information. They provide a home to abandoned and rescued animals, and their animals are used as therapy animals.

I always loved the Heat Miser's hair. He's such a hot head. Check out that message.

When in Berwick, a visit to May's Family Restaurant is a must. May's Restaurant has the BEST chili (next to Mom's, of course). Their chili is loaded with chunks of beef, beans, and tomatoes, and the chili has just a touch of sugar to taste. John and I always take a quart of chili to go.

When my best friends Stacy and Bill were with me on the skating circuit, we always stopped by May's before our big night of roller skating at Skate Town in Bloomsburg. Ahhh...the good old days. It was even better when Jen joined us too.

If you're looking for a great, home-style meal at a good price, May's is your place. The turkey and stuffing dinner (with three sides) was a whopping $7.90. When I learned macaroni and cheese was one of the sides tonight, I ordered two along with the chili. You also get rolls, corn bread, and cranberry sauce with your meal. The leftovers are even better.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meatball and Scamutz

When I found out John was on his way to Hazleton today, I asked him to pick up a ball of scamutz from The Cheese Store on 15th Street. If you love cheese, give scamutz a try. A bit like mozzarella, but at the same time not according to the expert I spoke to, it makes a great topping for any favorite food item.

Scamutz is easy to cut. When you take a slice and start to pull it apart, it's very stringy.

Meatball and scamutz - to die for!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Four Seasons of Beading Now Available

~image used with permission by DRG Publishing~Four Seasons of Beading

As a writer and designer for jewelry and crafting projects, the most satisfying part of the process is seeing my creations in print. It takes a long time until a book or magazine hits the bookshelves, but that's what makes the entire process worthwhile.

When I opened the door this morning, the new book titled Four Seasons of Beading by Barb Switzer was sitting on my doorstep. Once again, Barb did a wonderful job on this project. The photographs in this book are spectacular.

Wow! What an honor it is to be in the same book as Barb Switzer, Molly Schaller, Margot Potter, Candie Cooper, Fernando Dasilva, and all the other great designers!

~image used with permission by DRG Publishing~

This necklace is called Sea Treasure. The focal pendant is by bead artist Joan Miller. I purchased the pendant at last year's Philadelphia Bead Show. I knew the pendant would work well with the cathedral glass beads by Blue Moon Beads that I purchased from A.C. Moore as well as the chunks of turquoise and amethyst chips purchased from Fusion Beads.

No stringing project would be complete without the pewter beads called "pewties" by Talisman Associates. The seashell beads were purchased from Sweet Creek Inc.

~image used with permission by DRG Publishing~

Since I have the pleasure of teaching art and jewelry making at our local A.C. Moore store in Wilkes-Barre, I always get to see all the latest products. I love that aspect of teaching at this fabulous craft store! When I spied the new resin beads by Plaid Enterprises, I went nuts!

I also purchased the green pearls by Blue Moon Beads from A.C. Moore. Again, the pewter beads are from Talisman Associates, the Swarovski crystals are from Fusion Beads, and the head pins and jump rings are from Fire Mountain Gems.

If you like these resin charms, fellow jewelry designer Candie Cooper has a fabulous changeable pendant project on page 122 using long, resin charms by Plaid Enterprises.

As a metalsmith, I had the chance to take a class with a pioneer in resin for jewelry making in the early 90s with Susan Sloan. Believe me. This is a long process, and if you like quick and easy jewelry making like Margot Potter does, it's worth purchasing these resin beauties by Plaid Enterprises.

If you're looking for some fabulous jewelry projects, ask for this new book at your local craft or bookstore, or visit to pick up a copy today.

Now on to my next project.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Grand Opening Prize on Merry Whatever

I'd like to invite you all to the grand opening of the new Merry Whatever blog. My friend Sandra started the blog as a way for several of her artist friends to sell their holiday-inspired wares. As artists, we'll be celebrating all the holidays throughout the year. So, you may just find some of my patriotic artwork posted soon as I'm a big fan of red, white, and blue.

To spread the word about the blog, Sandra of Babycakes Doodles & Designs is offering this lovely, one-of-a-kind set of three hand-painted paper mache boxes. All you have to do is join the
Merry Whatever blog, and make a comment on the blog to be entered to win the boxes.

The drawing will be held on December 25.

Hope you'll become a fan of Merry Whatever!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Candy Land Christmas

As I feverishly work on my Web-design project, I had to take a break to get some photos of the community pavilion. This picture reminds me of Candy Land. The Christmas lights look like gumdrops, and the snow looks like marshmallow. Here's to the first snowfall in Northeast PA.

The lights cast a magnificent glow on the snow-covered bushes.

You know Christmas is near when you start to see all the wonderful lights.


I love all the interesting shapes that the lights and snow create.

~A magnificent sight~