Thursday, February 25, 2010

Purim brings more Hamantaschen!

I love this time of the year! It's just as the weather is changing (getting warmer...yey!) and everyone emerges from their hibernation and starts playing in the parks again. This also brings about Easter and Purim. 
Purim is my second favorite holiday (next to Hanukkah of course) because the kids dress up in characters from ancient times, people can be as loud as they want in temple, and I get to make hamantaschen (a triangular shaped, fruit-filled, cookie), which I make by the dozen and send my husband off to work with him. 
Here is my favorite recipe with some amazing filling suggestions. Enjoy!

Hamantaschen recipe from
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons packed finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2/3 cup filling such as Date Orange Filling , Apple Raisin Filling , prune lekvar, poppy-seed filling, or apricot or cherry jam

  • Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
    In another bowl with an electric mixer beat shortening, sugar, and egg at medium speed until light and fluffy. 
    Add zest and juice and beat until incorporated. 
    Add flour mixture, stirring, until a smooth dough is formed. 
    Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. 
    Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
    Preheat oven to 375° F.
    Halve dough. 
    On a lightly floured surface roll out half of dough (keeping other half wrapped and chilled) 1/4 inch thick. 
    With a 3-inch cutter cut out as many rounds as possible. 
    Transfer rounds with a metal spatula to a large baking sheet, arranging about 1/2 inch apart. Reroll scraps and cut out more rounds. 
    Put 1 teaspoon filling in center of each round and fold up edges to form triangular cookies resembling a tricornered hat, pinching corners together and leaving filling exposed. (Pinch dough tightly enough so seams are no longer visible and sides are taut enough to prevent cookies from leaking filling as they bake.)
    Bake hamantaschen in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until pale golden. 
    Cool hamantaschen on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely. 
    Make more hamantaschen with remaining dough and filling in same manner. 
    Hamantaschen keep in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days.

    Apple Raisin Filling from
    1/2 cup unsweetened apple butter
    1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    stir together filling ingredients until combined well

    Chocolate Filling:
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup milk or whipping cream or coffee
    1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

    mix all ingredients together in a bowl

    I also like putting poppy seed filling in my hamantaschen... you can find the canned stuff in the kosher food section of your local grocery store. Yummm...
    Let me know how they turn out :) I would love to see some great examples of your work!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Summer studs (earrings that is...)

    So I decided to try the making stud earrings using the rock chips in the summer collection and gold wire... Here's what I came up with:
    Introducing the Watermelon stud earrings (yumm)
    Check out more pictures at:

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Check out the new earring design

    So, after much trial and error, (so glad that I practiced on silver plated wire!!) I have come up with a really cool design for stud earrings.
    These earrings are made out of pure sterling silver throughout (the entire earring is just two pieces of wire). I have made these ones with black freshwater pearls, but they can really be made with anything that's round... or maybe rock chips (another experiment). 
    I'm so glad that I can finally wear earrings around Soren! I'm sure that other mommies will feel the same way.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Please welcome

    Happy Saturday everyone!
    It is with great pleasure that I am announcing the launch of my jewelry party website I would love some feedback from all of my readers as it is still in the "baby" faze! The pictures will improve as I start doing more parties :) For the months of March and April I am offering a discounted rate for all parties as a thank you to all of my supporters. Let me know if you are interested... it's going to be a blast!

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Amazing who we meet all the way across the country

    I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Anna of Almost Precious. Anna makes the most amazing beads and findings! When I had a question about her bubble beads she got back to me right away and with complete honesty. I felt very safe ordering from her even though she is halfway across the country (which can be a gamble for sure!). The beads arrived safe and sound and were exactly what I had expected to get. Please check out her blog and the amazing article that she wrote about the Lemon Drop earrings that I have listed in my shop. 
    Hope everyone is looking to a very happy and prosperous weekend!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Check out the interview from jacaranda designs and new earrings for summer

    Happy Wednesday everyone!
    I was so honored when I found out that Jane at Jacaranda Designs wanted to interview me :) Please check out the interview at the following link:
    Jane has such amazing jewelry that can be found at
    I would love to hear what you all think about the new collections, too.
    Lemon Drop earrings with beads by Almost Precious on sale now in my Etsy shop

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Bring on the new designs!!

    So I realized after a few minutes of playing belly-tickle with Soren (now 6 1/2 months old) that wearing my Lilac earrings wasn't such a good idea... he decided that he wanted to play with the earrings while I was still wearing them (ouch!). Luckily, the ear wire that I have on these earrings came unhinged and didn't do any permanent damage (phew!). 
    I got the hint... I need to design stud earrings if I want to wear my designs around him. So I'm onto a new design. I'm going to work with the summer colors (peach, watermelon, raspberry, lemon). Stay tuned for some amazing studs!!

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Spring is just around the corner!!

    I know that it may not seem like Spring is coming soon (especially for those in the mid Atlantic region!!), but we only have another six weeks of winter left (yipeee!). In celebration of the impending good weather, I have started to develop new designs that go really well with Spring's light-as-air and deconstructed clothing that was seen all over the runways.  

    I decided to focus on violet and fusion coral this season. Check out what I've come up with so far...
    Iris collection
    More to come. Stay tuned....