Recipe: Butternut Squash Hash

I’m just going to throw up the bare bones outline. For a more detailed recipe, you’ll have to buy the book when it comes out. One day.

1. take 2 butternut squash, peel, and then medium dice them.

2. take 1 sweet potato or yam and peel and dice, also medium.

Roast them together at 350 in a preheated oven for about 1/2 hour or until they start to brown on the edges. This is a light roast.

3. Buy Alan Benton’s hams and dice them also medium dice. I use about 1/4 – 1/2 of a pound. Take the ham and saute it in a T of EVO. Then put in Kahlua and apple jack. About 1/4 – 1/3 cup combined. Flambe it. When the flames go out, set aside. Sometimes, I also use his bacon. It’s fantastic. If you add his bacon use about 1/4 – 1/2 a pound. Play with it.

4. Sweat 1/2 diced, small, onion in some butter, and then add about 6-8 oz of mushrooms, sliced thin. You can add more if you like.

5. Combine the roasted veggies with the mushrooms and onion and heat lightly. Add the ham, drained, and then top with toasted sunflower seeds. I used about 1/2 a cup. Season with white pepper. No need for salt the ham has it.

For vegetarians, leave out the ham and add cranberries instead and season with the white pepper and some sea salt. I like to use smoke sea salt.

I gotta go cook. Enjoy.

I was rereading the blog

You know, I still do Life by Chocolate, the cheese cake, the various ice creams, the Big Moose, sabayon, elephant ears, etc. I’ve just added more individual pastries and chocolates. So. Tonight, for example, I’ll be doing my orange cinnamon ice cream with the 25 year old balsamic vinegar. Yummer. I didn’t do any of the individual pastries this week, just the cheese cake, the warm chocolate foam, the quad of hand made confections, the ice cream and the cheese and chocolate spring rolls.

Sigh. So many desserts, so few dinners! 😉

As seen in the Washington Post

Yup. We are going to be in the Washington Post. They were interested in our great art and quilt art library. We’ve been in USA Today and Country Magazine just to name a few publications. Just another day in the life, if you know what I mean.


I’ve been selling my chocolates. Yes, those lovely chocolates that you see on the blog. So, just like my granola, $10/lbs, people can now buy my chocolates and nougats.

What? The granola is for sale? Yes. I’ve been selling it on request. People love it. Mostly people buy 5 lbs boxes of it. But I do sell it by the pound plus shipping. I just sold a box of my cherry cordials, hand dipped, and a mixed box of chocolates and nougats. Yummer.

How do you like that?

Sssh! It’s a secret. 😉

What’s next? Mail order pastries? You betcha! Can you say FedEx? Good. I new you could. 🙂

Speaking of signing up for classes

Just to let everyone know, our painter’s email has gone out and we are getting a slew of sign-ups. We have a few classes that are full and a few more that are approaching it. Some of the classes only have day student slots left. So, don’t wait.

Oh, and there has been a lot of painters signing up for quilting classes. So, quilters, I wouldn’t wait either.

We hope to see you all at our workshops. Enjoy.

— Later —

Did I say slew? Try hordes! By the way, if you aren’t on our email list, we send out about once a quarter but only send out our brochure once a year, go to or and sign up.

Signing up for the email newsletter gives you a jump. We send that out before we send out the print brochure. Of course, coming to a workshop gives you a big jump on the next season because we have our presentation night of all the workshops.

A Haunting Melody

Oh, the fabric of it all…

Well, for all of you that wanted the food pictures on Fiber Mania, here are some more and some nice class shots, too. Go read her interesting blog.

OK. I’m stealing a couple of Melody’s shots.

Here I am making the Hot Chocolate Foam, voted one of the best desserts of this class. Don’t worry, I did serve the cheese cake, too!


John, serving the first one.

Oh, the lucky people eating it…

And here they are, even luckier, to have gotten in to this wunnerful class. Did I say lucky? No, they signed up and in advance and everything. Don’t just dream about eating this food, come to a workshop and eat it! Nuff said. Here are some class shots.

I just get all misty even thinking about what a wunnerful class this is and so does the Greenville Arms.

That’s our back 40 right next to the cottages. Don’t you wish you were taking a quilt class here?

Melody Johnson’s in the house

Well, you’re missing a great workshop. Plenty of people on this waiting list. Everyone loves Melody.

And if you haven’t signed up this year at all, you’re going to be missing warm chocolate foam as well and artisan chocolates.

Kenn Backhaus: Photo Op in Winter

The weather was great and everyone had a fun time. Here’s Kenn, the intrepid winter painter, demoing. Notice that people are dressed warmly but not bundled to the nth. Boy, did you miss an opportunity of a lifetime. Too bad. Maybe we’ll have another plein air winter workshop in 2010. Can’t guarantee that the weather will be this good though.

And don’t forget the food. They had many delicacies and lots of spirit as well as spirits or at least wine and beer.

Did I mention the oysters?

Both raw and baked with a pepper sauce! Yum! The winter painters, especially the plein air painters, get the treats. Well, actually, everyone gets treats. You missed this fantastic class. Everyone had more fun and more excitement and learned more… more… more… and ate more!

Such as COOKIES!

And what do you have to do for those treats, shovel snow! 😉 Well, only if you wanted to!

Here’s John, a painter, having fun shoveling. Kim shoveled, I shoveled, Kenn shoveled and John shoveled. Did we have fun. The last day, it snowed 1 1/2 feet of snow. Breath taking! Everyone painted inside, the only day where they painted inside.

The Hidden Parlor Cafe?

Well, should we open a cafe? And then, what would the name be? The Living Room? The Parlor? The Hidden Room? What?

Here are some photos of some of the pastries and confections that I made. I’m still working on them so we wont be opening any cafe this year. But, lucky you, if you come to a workshop, you get to eat them.

I’ve been making molded chocolate, nougats, Torrone, caramels dipped in dark chocolate, nougats dipped in white chocolate, cinnamon stacks, and for the pastries, dacquoises, tarts, eggs in snow (oeuf a la neige), eclairs and mouses.

Susan Ogilvie: Painting the Fun Photo Op

The story begins with our humble artist. No, not the magnificent Susan O. but rather with the humble Chef, turned at times to an even humbler pastry chef.

Preparing something classic and yet of melting goodness, a dacquoise. (Somebody took a pastry course. I wonder who it is?) Notice the amaretto caviar or is that amaretti caviar? A little molecular gastronomy anyone? That may be next year’s theme.

And presenting it to Susan O’s delight.

And a fun time was eaten by all.

And now we see the Pozole. The second to last class to get Pozole. It’s now retired for the year. Good by Mr. Pozole. Hello, Mr. Stracoto. I’m reprising this fantastic dish for this year’s theme of comfort food.

And now the rest of Susan’s class:

This was a wonderful winter class and they had a wunnerful time.

Paul George Photo Op: finally we have pictures

This was a fun group. They had a blast. Here are some sample pictures. Oh, and as you can see, we finally got some snow.

First the Maestro teaching.

And now, everyone having a great time!

And again, the Maestro teaching. We had a great time in this class, as you can see.

Finally, Winter arrived after this workshop. It waited till late in the season. What fun we had in the snow.