Monday, December 21, 2015

Homemade Kahlua Finale!


All bottled and ready for giving

A few months ago I posted the recipe for my homemade kahlua. It had to ferment for about two months and I wasn't sure it would be ready for Christmas. After sampling, I have to tell you, it is not only ready but divine! It is a recipe my mother-in-law gave me in 1968. I don't know why it took me so long to make but I'm glad I finally gave it a go. If you would like the recipe, click here for the link.

Festive and Fun

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Friday, November 13, 2015



Pigs in the Blanket

When I spotted a huge cabbage Saturday at our Farmer's Market here is Roanoke, Virginia, I knew I had to have it to recreate my mother's recipe for “Pigs in the Blanket.” The cabbage came from Floyd, Virginia, where they are known for their immense vegetables, especially their cabbage.

There are many different names for this remarkable dish. It is called Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, by the Yugoslavians, Golabki by the Polish and many nationalities call it Stuffed Cabbage. I always heard it referred to as Pigs in the Blanket, which is a far cry from the southern version of hot dogs wrapped in a bun.

Can You Believe the Size of This Cabbage!

Recipes for this dish can be found in Germany and France and all around the Baltic. They vary in the amounts and types of meat used and some versions do not add saurkaraut. My mother never wrote her recipe down. I often watched her make it as a child and then started my own version when I took up housekeeping. I combine my mother’s recipe, which was given to her by Pauline Gulakowski, with my own particular twist.

Yum. It Tastes Very Similar to My Mother's "Pig in the Blanket"

Here is my recipe.

1- large head of green cabbage, cored and steamed in hot water till soft


¼ cup butter
1 T. sour cream
1 C. heavy cream
1 C. chopped yellow onions
1 t. garlic
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1-28 oz. can chopped tomatoes (or crushed) and juices
1 large can tomato soup
2 teaspoons paprika
1 LB sauerkraut


2 large yellow onions, chopped fine
2 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb gr beef
1 lb gr pork
2 cups cooked long grain white rice
2 eggs
1 t. gr pepper or more to taste
1 t. salt or more to taste
4 t. butter
A good shake of my Magic Garlic Sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place head of cabbage in a large pot and fill with water, bring to boil then remove from heat, separate the leaves and remove the hard leaves. Lay on work surface, with rib side down.

Make sauce:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, cream, sour cream , vinegar, tomatoes and tomato soup and paprika.

Fill each of the cabbage rolls with a handful of the filling. Wrap the cabbage around the filling and shape into a neat bundle. Do this with remaining cabbages.

Make filling:

Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands.

Place a layer of all the sauerkraut on the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer the sauce over, saving half for the top. Lay the cabbages into the dish and cover with remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 2 ½ hours or longer if needed.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cheesecake Filled Baked Apples

Cheesecake Filled Apples


I'm constantly experimenting with new recipes. Here is a delicious apple dessert recipe that you may want to try for your fall baking. I found it on Pinterest but cannot locate the address to give credit. What is fun about this dessert is that the serving bowl (the apple) is already included. I do recommend a plate to place it on though because of the gooey caramel topping.


6 apples
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 t cinnamon
caramel sauce

l. Chop the tops of the apples off and scoop out the insides. Discard the core and seeds.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar til smooth. Mix in vanilla, egg and cinnamon til smooth. Fill each of the apples 2/3 full with the cheesecake mixture.
3. Place filled apples on a baking sheet and make sure they are not touching. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until cheesecake filling is set. Transfer to a plate and pace in fridge til completely cooled.
4. Serve apples at room temp or chilled Top with caramel sauce and pecans.
The apples are rather firm. I may experiment next time by prebaking the apple shells until they soften a bit more. Also, I will add bits of the apple leftover from inside and add to the cheesecake filling mixture.

Serves 6.

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Friday, October 30, 2015



Full View of Goddess Necklace

I think we all have a sound..a note that resonates within our being. For some, it is a loud vibration but for others, it is a soft hum that interweaves with our consciousness as we go about our lives. That sound of the soul allows us to carry on, even though times are tough. It pulls us through our hardships and keeps us on an even keel. Listen. Listen carefully and celebrate your own sacred song.

Close-up of Pendant

I have sculpted one of my original stoneware clay faces for the center of this Goddess Necklace. She features an antique pendant, even missing one bead but I think it adds to the character. and plenty of turquoise and jangles to help remind you of your song. The base is 2 ½ “ wide by 3 1/2” high and the chain is approx 13 ½ “ from the top of the head to the neck.

You can dress her up or down. She is at home with blue jeans as well as a black evening dress. Hope you like her. She is priced at $85. To purchase, you can e-mail me and we can go from there. I take checks or Paypal.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015



B-dazle Headed for a Diagnostic Checkup

You may have already guessed what this picture is all about. My beloved B-Dazle is being towed away for a diagnostic check-up. You see, she has had a “break-down.” It probably was to be expected after having so many pictures taken of her through the years. She was also seen all over face book and newspapers..she was the talk of the town. Could make a gal a bit crazy.

Picture of Me and My Grandchildren Riding in Style

Seriously, b-dazle just quit completely one day when I was coming home from the market. Fortunately,she waited til I got off a busy highway and was close to home. After spending 6 years to decorate her and 23,000 beads, bangles and bows, I will soon have to make a decision as to whether to keep her running or not.

She Has Been My Market Car for Over 11 Years!

If my trusty mechanics diagnose the engine as being the problem,(and that is what most are speculating it is) it will cost about $3,000-$5,000 thousand dollars to have a rebuilt one replaced and then there is the possibiity that other major things coud go wrong or that the rebuilt engine gives up in a year or so. I could buy another car for that price that is much newer since she is now 25 years old. I'm not sure I feel like starting all over again with more beads though. Or, I could try to find another 1990 Nisson Access and just part it out. The problem with that is they stopped making the Nisson Access after 1990 which will make it pretty difficult to find a replacement. Lots of choices but none of them are very good. I will wait til I get the report and go from there. What would you do if you were me? Saying goodbye will be tough but I have had a wonderful time with her for the last 15 years so I guess I should count my blessings.

She Loved Her New Eyelashes

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Friday, October 16, 2015



Bottled Kuhlua

In 1968 my mother-in-law, Muriel – better known as Bana- gave me the recipe for a wonderful Kuhlua drink she had received from a member of one of the many 'clubs' she belonged to. Back then, a lot of women belonged to various clubs. Bana was definitely a club woman. She belonged to about 30! I can't even imagine what clubs they were but I do remember a cooking, bridge and Kiwanas club. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of many of the recipes she gathered from these meetings.

All Ready to Get Started

After all these years, I finally decided to try my hand at the Kuhlua recipe. I changed it only slightly after looking online for more modern versions. After the Kuhlua sets in a cool place (I'll put mine in the wine cellar) for about 1-2 months, I'll find some spiffy little bottles, place my label on and give for Christmas gifts. Thought I'd post now so you can get started on your own Kuhlua. I'll show a picture in a later post of how they turned out. Have fun!


l. Heat 2 Quarts water- 7 cups granulated sugar- ½ cup brown sugar and 2 ½ oz. of instant coffee. Heat until sugar dissolves (about 30 min) Cool thoroughly.

2. Add 2 oz. Pure vanilla and 190 proof grain alcohol. (I could only find 153 grain so I added 3 small airplane size bottles of Bacardi Rum to the pot.

Mix together and either bottle in small gift bottles or a large bottle. Let set in a cool place for about 1-2 months. Makes approximately 5 fifths.

To make a Black Russian, Bana says to add 2 parts vodka to 1 part kuhlua.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015




Full View

Stardust Woman

Ribbons of light were drifting on the wings of the wind.

Cosmic rhythms beating immercifully began to reveal to her the secrets of her heart.

She began to feel infinite love, wisdom and energy in the stars and universe.

She had finally connected to her higher self and she knew she was a radiant being..filled with light and love.

Cheryl Dolby

Close Up

Startdust Woman Altar is 4 1/2" wide x 3 1/2" deep x 11 1/2" high. She is an original that I hand sculpted with stoneware clay. I used tiles, beads, stars, mirror and added lots of love. Hope you like her. She is for sale for $110. If you are interested in purchasing her, please contact me by e-mail and we can go from there. I accept Paypal or a personal check. Thank you so much for viewing.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015



Amethyst Woman

Purple Amethyst is a semi-precious stone which was known as a “gem of fire” to ancient people. It is reported to carry energy and signifies passion and creativity. It is used to control evil thoughts and used as a powerful tool in enhancing psychic energy. I love using it when creating my burning bowls because of the power it brings to ceremonies.

Close-Up of Amethyst

For those of you who have just tuned into my blog, my burning bowls are used in a ceremony that I first heard about at Unity church. On New Year's Eve, the members write on paper anything they would like to have leave their lives. Examples would be to quit smoking, drinking, get the idea. The folded paper is then placed into the bowl and burned along with the problem. It's a belief system of course. I decided long ago to create personal burning bowls. Who knows, if you believe strongly in something, miracles can happen.

Close-Up of Face

Amethyst Woman, which is the second in my Amethyst series, is approximately 5” wide x 5” deep x 13” high. I used beautiful crystal and amethyst on her crown. She is an original made from stoneware clay and fired in my kiln to a high temperature allowing the stained glass basin to form a hard surface used for burning. When you are not having a ceremony. She can be used to burn a candle or incense.

Back View

If you are interested in purchasing her, please just e-mail me and we can go from there. I take Paypal or personal checks. Thank you so much for viewing.

Stained Glass Basin

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Thursday, September 24, 2015



Finished Soup. Irrestible.

As the summer wanes and autumn peeks it's head around the corner, a lot of us seem to be in the mood for soups. I think you will find this rich celery and cheese based soup will hit the spot. It is not difficult except for the chopping, which is never my favorite thing to do. One spoonful and you will be glad you made the effort!

Sofritto, Which Consists of Celery, Onion and Carrot. You Will Notice I Used Goggles and I Did Not Chop Evenly Because I Hate to Chop! Also, Take Note of My Magic Garlic Sprinkles.


2 T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4 large stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped
2 large carrot, finely chopped
4 C. chicken broth
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 C heavy cream
6 oz. Stilton Cheese, crumbled
nutmeg, salt and pepper
Garlic Queen's magic sprinkles(if you have any but optional) (sprinkle to taste when finished.)
This might make 6 servings and I usually double recipe.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015



Garlic Queen at Roanoke City Market

My reign as garlic queen is over for the year. Last year I practiced how to produce beautiful, tasty garlic and did pretty well but this year, I actually had a large enough harvest that allowed me to sell my braids and other specialty items. The big hit was my Magic Garlic Sprinkles. I sold out for three weekends in a row at our farmers market. I found out that it is not easy being a farmer. Weather is unpredictble and there is no way to rush a harvest. One thing I am working on now is to improve my soil organically by adding eggshells, bone meal, manure and compost. Next year I am planning a lot of surprises and hope to have the best harvest yet. I'll be growing quite a bit of French garlic, which has surprisingly large bulbs and is very potent! Please double click on images for a much better picture.

Hardneck Garlic Braid

Regular Softneck Garlic Braid

My Two Different Jars of Magic Garlic Sprinkles Which Will Be Available Again Next Summer

Close-up of Garlic Sprinkles

Side View of Keeper

I created my “Keeper of the Sacred” and placed her in my garlic booth. For my duration as Garlic Queen, she became the Keeper of the Sacred Garlic but she really is a large Burning Bowl. I love the idea of writing down on paper all the problems I want to leave my life, placing in the bowl and then setting them on fire. Poof! They are gone. "Keeper" is 7" wide by 9" deep x 15" high. I used glazed and distressed stoneware clay. A small candle can be placed in the raku holder above for when you are not holding a burning bowl ceremony. I am offering her at $185 in honor of my first garlic harvest and sale. (Normally a piece this size would run about $300.) Even though I used my kiln fired stoneware clay, she is lighter than she looks and can easily be shipped. If you are interested, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I take personal checks or Paypal.


Close-up of Keeper.

Back View

Close-up of Bowl

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015



Chocolat Pots De Creme

Sometimes I am looking for a recipe that is simple, elegant and refined. I found this wonderful chocolate dessert on Pinterest a few months ago. It is hard to believe that it only takes a few minutes to make and it is all done in the blender!

Pots De Creme means pots of custard and is a classic French dessert. Here is the recipe. Hope your guests think you have slaved hours in the kitchen and you'd be a fool to tell them otherwise! Just kidding. I know you will want to share this recipe. Oh, by the way, I did change it around a bit. I used 4 oz of the semisweet and 4 oz of the bittersweet chocolate chips. Nice blend. The recipe originally called for 8 oz of either one.


4 oz. Semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
¼ t. ground cardamom
pinch salt
5 oz hot coffee


l. Combine chocolate hips, eggs, vanilla, and ground cardamom in the blender on medium speed til fully combined.
2. While blender is running, remove the funnel cap from top and pour hot coffee into the mixture slowly. The coffee must be very hot.
3. Mix for 1 minute till smooth
4. Divide into 4 small cups
Chill in fridge til set-about 4 hours. I served mine with a dob of whipped cream.

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Monday, June 22, 2015



Sekhmet Goddess Altar


I named my Goddess Ceremonial Altar after Sekhmet. She was known in Egypt as Lioness, protector of the pharaoahs, Solar deity, daughter of Ra and fierce hunter. Her name means 'the one who is powerful.

Last week I sculpted my Sekhmet Altar and since then I seem to see images of her as well as other ancient Egyptians everywhere. While at the flea market a few days ago, I found an Egyptian bust and I just had to have it. I will display my Goddess Ceremonial Necklaces on it and use for any future Egyptian sculptures. The two together strike a powerful image


Sekhmet is 6"wide by 5" deep and 14"high. Her face, as is the entire piece is an original. I handsculpted her from stoneware clay and mosaiced with gold smalti and used several unusual mysterious pieces to adorn. If you are interested in purchasing her, she is $89. You can e-mail me and we can go from there. I will ship anywhere.

Thanks so much for viewing.


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Monday, June 8, 2015



Peggy Potts

Lots going on this summer at Woodloft. (my home) I tackled several of my back of the burner projects including refurbishing this Peggy Pots sculpture. Years ago I created her from lots of pots, a gourd for the head, old shoes and garden tools. She has a brand new look this year.


Next, I renewed my “Lily” pond mannequin. I had found an old mannequin at our local flea market, Happys. I get a smile on my face when I think of this place. There are vendors from the many mountains in our area and lots of treasures. I added moss and silk sunflowers this year. She seems to acquire a new personality each year.

7 circuit Labyrinth

Above is picture of my labyrinth. It is a 7 circuit labyrinth. My friend, Mark Williams, brought me a beautiful crystal rock for the center, which he found in the area where he lives in Floyd, Virginia. Apparently there are a lot of crystals hidden in among the rocks in that area.

Crystal Rock in Center

Sign in Book for Labyrinth

Beans and more beans. Since I'm using most of my land for my garlic project, I have had to plant my beans and tomatoes in containers. I have a mirror hanging in the labyrinth area so I decided to place some of the pots in front. This way, it will look like I have twice as many or more. I'm hoping the beans will travel up along the branches I've placed in front and climb over the mirror. It's a fun experiment. I'll try to remember to show pictures of how it looks later this summer.

Pole Beans Climbing to Mirror

Finally. After many years of hoping, wishing and dreaming, I decided to move forward on having an authentic Italian brick and stone pizza oven built. Lewis Conner has been a rock wall mason all his life and his work is phenomenal. Looks like another few days and it will be finished!!! I hope I can wait the long month before using while the oven cures. I'm gathering lots of pizza and bread recipes to use and hoping to be up and running by the 4th celebration we have here each year.

Lewis Hard at Work

Almost Finished

Look, the Chimney Has Been Placed!

Last but not garlic farm. I started it 2 years ago, experimenting really. This year, I cannot believe how wonderful a crop I have. Of course, I won't know how it really turns out until I dig up those golden nuggets. How I love garlic! I'm planning on braiding them and making all sorts of luscious dishes from them. I will probably be setting up on the market in July, if they are ready..but of course, you can't rush mother nature. I'll be selling my stoneware clay garlic keepers, garlic confit, garlic salts and sprinkles, garlic cheese round and pesto. There will be more items as well.

Small Area of Garlic Farm

I love the way this garlic keeper turned out. The glaze is a rich greenish shade almost a teal color. I used a crystal on the top next to hand sculpted bas-relief face. She is 4"w by 4" deep and almost 5" high. I have priced her at $32. She would make a lovely gift or a gift for yourself. If you'd like to purchase this one of a kind piece, please e-mail me and we can go from there.

Garlic Keeper


More excitement to come..lots more going on!


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