Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This, that and the other…

Lots of updates for you, so I'm going to keep it short and sweet and assorted. First up, I'm over on the Blue House blog today with a new Eye Candy theme: The Circus! Head on over to have a look at some of the great images I found related to the circus.

Next up: This weekend is the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale. I'll be a vendor there in booth #43 (just about the same spot I was in last year). This is one of my favorite shows of the year and as a special treat, I will be releasing my new — hot-of-the-presses — illustrated 2012 calendar.

And last but not least, I am so pleased to be part of the new Poppytalk Handmade "Mixed Tape" market. This is a stellar virtual craft fair and I am at lucky table number 99. There is an amazing collection of artists in this market, so please do go poke around on the site.

That's it for now, lovely readers — have a great day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kerrytown BoookFest

This past Sunday, I participated in the Kerrytown BookFest for the first time. I was so excited to be there because this was one of the first events I went to when I first moved to Ann Arbor. It helped me fall in love with this town very quickly. With speakers, workshops, book signings, artists and events, there is so much to take at. My favorite part is always the displays of book and letterpress artists. I also got to visit with some of my favorite crafty ladies: Chicalookate, Dang Argyle and Fartsy Arts (yes, they have real names, but why not throw around a little business lingo?!)

I was so crazy happy—and honored—to receive the award for best booth given to the exhibitor who has "the most attractive and engaging presentation," as judged by Lynn Yates, the Exhibitor Coordinator and noted artist, designer and teacher Susan Skarsgard. What?! Yowza! A good day, through and through. Thank you all so much! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pork Banh Mi: The best sandwich I know

Happy Monday, everyone! I have so many things to tell you, I wasn't sure where to start. And then I realized that I owe you a recipe, big time. So I am starting there. Banh mi are one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. If you're not familiar, it is a Vietnamese sandwich with many variations but the basics are some kind of meat filling—often a pate of some sort—pickled vegetables, chiles, cilantro all gathered up on a baguette. The banh mi recipe here is with incredibly flavorful pork meatballs and a spicy Sriracha-based mayo spread. The original recipe called for sliced, fresh jalapenos, too, but with the mayo, I didn't think it needed any more spice — feel free to add to yours though! I used cucumbers in the pickled veggies because that's what we had, but I definitely plan on trying it with the daikon, too.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi
Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2010

Spicy Chili Mayo:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)*

Pickled vegetables:
2 cups carrots, julienned
2 cups daikon or cucumber, julienned
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)*
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
4 10-inch-long individual baguettes or four 10-inch-long pieces French-bread baguette (cut from 2 baguettes)
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs

Stir all ingredients for the spicy mayo in a small bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill.

Toss the ingredients for the pickled vegetables in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for one hour, tossing occasionally.

Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using moistened hands and a scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of meatballs. Sauté until brown and cooked through, turning meatballs often and lowering heat if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. Transfer meatballs to another rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange cilantro in bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on baguette tops.

This was the boy's reaction to this tasty sandwich. Need I say more?!