Thursday, February 27, 2014

local restaurants- Route 62 Diner and cupcakes

crazy slippage on a Sunday morning
This Sunday's drive, like usual, consisted of which direction or rather which Wegmans to head to.  Jamestown, NY, State College, PA or Erie, PA are our choices when wanting to shop at a decent grocery store and if the location also has a Sam's Club for a few bulk pantry staples.
We almost turned around for heading north was a bit hairy with the snow and slippery roads.  DH also wanted to try out a diner we keep seeing on Route 62 between Warren and Jamestown.  For quite a few years we could never tell if it was open for business and then the last trip to Jamestown saw it was under new management and definitely open for business.

sweet little eating establishment along Route 62
We walked in about 9:30 sitting at a 2 person table, right under the OPEN sign where we were in the thick of it.  The table was actually in the kitchen, I loved it!.  They do have a second seating area off of where we were to the right.
it was a great mix of people from locals to travelers
super menu filled with scrambles and homemade additions
I decided on The Carjack with 3 scrambled eggs, mixed with ham, green peppers, onions and pepperjack cheese served with a side of home fries and toast.  Changed it up a bit with onions in the homefries and pancake instead of toast.  They had me at the pancake with it's cake like, not dry, texture and super moist/flavorful scrambled mix.  Herb got his usual 2 eggs, homefries, sausage and toast.  NO homemade sausage patties but, I am sure at some point perhaps, this family ran and owned establishment, will bring that to the table.  Same old, same old with his order, par for the course... never changing :)

to the point plating (nothing fancy) with nice portions along with a very good cup of coffee

fluffy eggs, is a good thing ; - )
The owner has a sweet smile awaiting every customer.
What you will find unique:  small town diner feel, kitchen placement in the dining area, egg scrambles, homemade baked goods, daily food specials & hot/cold drinks up on the board.

Janet Hansen opened the diner 7 months ago after much success at the Warren Farmer's Market with her and her daughter's baked goods and cupcake business, The Cupcake Girls.  The restaurant is open 6 days a week 6-am to 2-pm Tuesday-Sunday, off Mondays.  After talking to Janet for a bit, before we headed out, she talked a little about mixing it up since the menu is small with different dishes, on the specials board.  That day she also offered 3 different tea blends along with another scramble variation, good stuff.

The Cupcake Girls choosing to open up a diner... reminds me of something I heard on an episode of The Splendid Table podcast around Thanksgiving.

 Mo Rocca told Lynne Rossetto Kasper , "I'm actually sort of anti-cupcake. There is an aversion to intimacy that has led us down the cupcake path. Whatever happened to the days when everyone was sharing a cake? 

  *The diner totally celebrates this coming together vibe from the food to the atmosphere.  The Cupcake Girls moved away from the singular thought into a more social atmosphere at the Route 62 Diner, let's share cake!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I List- Vitamix on the counter!

Vitamix Creations TURBO 64 oz. 15-in-1 Blender w/32oz. Dry Container and 3 recipe books
I cannot count the times one of these crazy powerful blenders was in my brain while preparing different recipes.  Now that it is occupying a pretty big space on my counter even more uses come to mind.  A starter list of 10 reasons I could not go any longer without a Vitamix are below.  Bare with me, I am a just a little excited.

  1. fresh veggie/fruit smoothies
  2. green smoothies  with loads of kale and spinach 
  3. frozen libations like a frozen peach margarita with fresh goodness
  4. nut butters especially pistachio, yummmm
  5. Ginger beer type of concoctions sounds like the way this summer is going to swing, perhaps adding vodka here and there ;)
  6. make coconut butter with unsweetened shaved coconut
  7. make fresh coconut milk made from water and unsweetened shaved coconut
  8. make fresh nut milks using toasted sesame seeds and raw almonds
  9. grind coffee beans for pressing coffee with the French Press that is sitting around on the counter too 
  10. grind wheat berries for baking breads and such
green smoothie with spinach, 1 carrot, 1 oranges, apple, cucumber, honey, ice and hemp protein 
wild berry smoothie with yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries,  honey, organic milk and ice
Yes, I could not wait until the next shopping trip to pick up the sesame seeds, unsweetened coconut, agave, stevia, raw almonds, cacao powder and flaxseeds.  So to start checking off the LIST, ordering from Amazon today for delivery on Friday was the way a rolled this morning.  Amazon Prime is excellent that way, with groceries arriving at my door in 2 days or less sometimes.  

Stevia is an excellent way to reduce blood pressure, which is pretty spectacular, when it comes to my husband's issues these past couple years.  I also love that many wonderful for you vegetables, fruits, supplements, yogurt, etc. can be blended into a tasty drink for my family each and everyday without complaint.  Yes, they ask for them all day long with even my picky man enjoying a bright green frothy mix daily including a few drops of Stevia to sweeten the mix to help reduce blood pressure YAAAAY :) :)

cold tea infusion- here jasmine green tea and Celestial Seasonings 'peach' for the liquid in yesterday's green smoothie lunch
On Friday I will have a go at sesame milk for sesame, honey and banana smoothies.  What do you think?  Sounds good to me!!  
This summer a blended theme garden is going to be planted including parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, cucumbers, tomatoes and celery come to mind.  I can't wait until it is porch sitting weather...where the HEY is the warmth..crazy Pennsylvania weather!!!!!

What is in your blender? 
Find me on Instagram and please share your creations @hammeredandbent

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What is on your jeweler's bench Wednesday, well on mine is a commission for author and activist John Schlimm!!

On today’s bench is a commission piece for author and activist John Schlimm. The 1-inch cuff will bear the words “embrace compassion,” which is a personal mantra for John and the title of the popular and inspiring speech he delivers across the country, including his recent keynote address on Capitol Hill.

John is the international award-winning author of such books as Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World, And How You Can, Too!, The Cheesy Vegan, Grilling Vegan Style, The Tipsy Vegan, and his forthcoming cookbook, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour. Also a Harvard-trained educator and artist, John collaborated closely with me to create the simple and poignant design for this special cuff, which will also include several “prana birds” that I have used in my other pieces and which are also particular favorites of John’s.

typeset of mantra, initials, symbol and maker's mark/brand
Taking the time to set up a typeset is truly a necessary step when metalprinting.  This step saves time and keeps you on task while stamping.

this is the side against the wrist where embrace is stamped out  in the center with a typewriter font 
Tools used will include assorted stamps, sharpie, ruler, brass hammer, bench block, chasing   hammer, bracelet bending pliers, steel bristle brush and polishing cloth.

just finished forming the cuff and just before polishing

Specifics of piece:

-1" wide, 6" long to be sized in studio when finished
-small typewriter font
-top 'compassion' center
-against wrist 'embrace' center
-no blackening with any printing or stamping
-7 small birds near opening right edge organically placed topside
-John's initials JES II  in uppercase typewriter font near the opening underside against wrist
-artist SDAJ mark and PA Wild's brand underside
-satin finish

Created from 1100 pure 14 gauge aluminum (food grade, hypoallergenic, tarnish free) so, the wearer never has to worry about a reaction to the piece.  1100 aluminum has a lower chance of skin reaction than sterling silver!
an organic gathering of 'prana birds', John so loves, as well as part of his mantra 'embrace' printed inside center of cuff

you see here, top center, the partial mantra 'compassion'  with also the view-able then SDAJ mark as well as the PA Wilds branding left and right inside of cuff with John's initials
~For more information about John's books and appearances, and to follow him on social media, please visit

Monday, February 10, 2014

Simple recipes- Crunchy Granola

A great filling breakfast to enjoy before heading out for the day is a bowl of homemade granola.  You can make it as healthy as you want or not depending on what you are after.  I tend to stay in the middle with using as many organic ingredients as I can, by cutting back a 1/2 cup on the brown sugar, adding unsweetened dried fruits and coconut.  My oldest daughter will use warmed up juice instead of dissolved brown sugar in the water for the sweet and liquid needed for even a healthier choice.
organic ingredients were purchased this time out, from Wegman's in Jamestown, NY
The recipe is so easy and well worth the effort to have a super ingredient addition for muffins and breads in place of nuts, etc.  

nicely browned, left now to cool before adding dried fruits.
I used the convection feature to get a really crunchy granola.  It starts to brown really fast at the end, so once you smell the toasting action taking place, pull the pan to get it started to cool on the counter.
the perfect warm bowl of granola and milk with a drizzle of honey on these cold Winter mornings
The jar will not last long.   I did not have shredded coconut this time around and miss that extra taste/texture/sweetness it added to the bowl.  Something to look forward to for the next time making a batch ; - ).

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

collections- vintage and antique carbon steel knives

We all collect something, some more than others.  Here is a crazy looking carbon steel knife collection that was started when we first were married back in 1986 with the Old Hickory set in the middle of the pic. What can I say, I LOVE TOOLS!!!
the Old Hickory set is missing the paring and tomato knife (in the camper until Spring) with the rest from my Grandparents collection after they passed 
The history of the Ontario Knife Company is HERE evidently it is shrouded in mystery.  Everyone loves a good mystery :)  I do use them often keeping them sharp, handles oiled when needed and at the ready for the next big meal adventure. Carbon steel does react when slicing through anything acidic for it reacts with the metal  and also imparts a taste onto food like when dicing or slicing onions and tomatoes. Stainless remedies this if it is an issue for you.
I also joined a facebook group for Vintage Carbon Steel knives HERE posting this photo.

The bottom knife is really interesting to me, being called a Cimeter sporting a 12" blade.   Cimeter knives are remarkable for butchering large pieces of meat. It also works great for slicing meats, roasts, roast turkey, ham, and fish into thin and even slices. The number one choice of offshore fishermen.

I use a typical 3 stage electric knife sharpener, a sharpening steel in between and sharpening oil stone for the smaller knives/pocket knives.

in the studio
I finally ordered a bird's beak paring knife for that perfect peeling action on anything round.  German steel is very nice..I am quite impressed.  A beautiful Japanese knife is next, not sure which company...

What is your favorite knife?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Prussian Blue in the living room

Ever since the Altoona shopping trip and walking into Ashley Furniture's a couple weeks back I keep thinking about that steel grey sectional with side chaise.  Here below is a mock up of textures, colors and overall structure of what I am going for created on Polyvore.  Grey is a favorite go to for me as well as the traditional/mcm/craftsman mix I so love.  Local artisan design components will be the go to for the decor, using my existing collections and to be acquired new pieces from the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail.

living room Prussian blue choice


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