Friday, February 29, 2008

ZiZi Designs to be Featured Artists at Gallery 141 in April!

A borrowed blog entry from the ZiZi Designs Jewelry blog... This is exciting news for ZiZi Designs!

During the month of April, we will be the featured artists at Gallery 141, a hip and exciting gallery in downtown Lancaster, on Gallery Row (on Water Street). This is a great picture, which I borrowed from their blog, because it speaks of the energy and creativity that the artists at Gallery 141 bring to the artist' community in Lancaster.

This will include:

  • First Friday (April 4th)

  • Art Walk 2008 (April 18th-20th) Lancaster Art Walk
  • A Trunk Show (to be scheduled)

  • And our jewelry on display and for sale at the Gallery all month long!

Check out Gallery 141's Blog!

We are busy working on new designs and building up our stock. The workshop is chock-full of great supplies and positive energy.

Check out some of the latest pieces at our Etsy site:

We are thrilled and honored to be heading into this phase of our endeavors! Thanks in advance to Alana and the rest of the folks at Gallery 141 for including us!

Also, MANY thanks to those who have made purchases on Etsy. We've sold 7 items so far! Very cool!!! Please continue to spread the word about ZiZi Designs and our mission.

Wedding Album Slide Show

This slide show provides a much more thorough look at the wedding. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show! We're so thankful for such wonderful pictures. Check out our photographer's website: Brooks Willet Photography

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Yogurt Making!!!

I love yogurt! I can't tell you how much I love yogurt... especially Greek style, or super thick, whole milk yogurt that you need to skim the cream off the top. Delicious! I don't drink milk at all, so yogurt and cheese are my calcium staples (and some occasional ice cream, as any good Norwegian gal living in Lancaster County would agree and subscribe to as a necessary part of any healthy diet!). Anyways, I eat so much yogurt, that I really thought I should be making my own. We buy organic yogurt, and try to buy it locally, but how much more organic AND local could it get if I'm making it in my own kitchen. Of course the problem is that I don't have a cow or a goat in my back yard, so I actually have to purchase milk, but at least we're trying! I'm not sure what people would say about a cow in city limits...
Tim and I researched several web sites last night so we'd know how to best prepare our first batch of yogurt. My parents had a yogurt maker (Big Batch) that they got probably in the early 70's but haven't used for YEARS, so they gave it to us. Yippee!
We learned that it's best (and I think so far we agree, even if it's just our first batch) to use Stonyfield's Organic Whole Milk yogurt as a starter and whole milk to get the batch going. The Big Batch makes 2 quarts of yogurt at a time, which I probably go through in about a week. So, I poured a half gallon of whole milk into a large pot, and brought to a boil, and took it off the heat when it hit 185 degrees. The longer part of the process is letting it cool down, which took some patience, but we eventually got it to 110 degrees, when we knew we could add the other ingredients. Some sources we read said that you could immerse your pot in the sink with cold water to speed up the process, but then sometimes it goes too fast, so you really have to watch. We just continued to stir until we got it to the right temp, then added 1/2 cup of yogurt and 1/3 powdered milk, which we read would help it to be thicker. We transferred it to the Big Batch when it was all mixed together, and plugged it in to let it incubate over night. We are fans of tangy and tart yogurt, so we let it incubate about 11 hours. You can do it for shorter periods of time if you like a milder flavor. And that was it! This AM, I transferred my 2 quarts of yogurt to glass containers to put in the fridge. I happened to sneak a taste by licking my fingers at the end, and it seemed great! The consistency and the flavor seemed right on, which makes me oh! so happy!!!

In summary, it was super easy and all we used were the following ingredients:
  • One-half gallon of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of powdered milk
Hooray for yogurt and hooray for the Big Batch Yogurt Maker that still works some 30+ years later. Thanks, mom! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fondue Fun-ness - Good Times!

Last night was the annual fondue party at our home. It was the first official Johnsen Martin fondue party, since the marriage has occurred. We had a blast! It was our first big-ish party at our new home, and we worked like mules to get ready for the par-tay, and it all paid off! We even have a functional toilet on the first floor, which was my only request for my birthday... and my wonderful husband appeased me! I am sooo psyched! It's amazing what brings such joy to different individuals - some might say chocolate and roses, but I say "ahhh...listen to that flush!"

We had about 40 people here, which was fantastic! Our new home provides adequate space to entertain large numbers of people. And just wait til we re-do our kitchen/dining room area. What an amazing space to prepare and serve food we shall have. Actually, it's one of the reasons we chose this home - to be able to host friends and family and be a blessing to those who enter our casa. But back to the fondue! Yummilicious! We had a great assortment of foods (if I do say so myself)including cheese, veggie, chicken, pizza (gracias Heidi S.) and chocolate fondue, plus Ethiopian food, sushi (thanks Doug & Kelly), falafel, veggie meatballs, sweet potatoes, rice, African greens, salsa, guacamole, ravioli, cheese and crackers, artichoke dip, salad (go Heidi K.) pita and hummus and more! Delightful!

And then there was dessert! Unbelieveable... See the photos for the amazing spread! My dear friend Stephanie used her Kitchen Aid Mixer (a Christmas gift) for the first time to make her first-ever-from-scratch cake - and it was incredible! Chocolate cake - moister than moist - with raspberry cream filling between the layers, chocolate icing and rasberry and chocolate spikes for decor! Wowsers!!! What a cake! We also had great chocolate fondue, and we got good use of our friend Cristy's fondue pot, which she donated to the cause when she left for Africa, thinking she wouldn't do too much fondue-ing in Malawi, and we had cookies and fruit from our other friends. To die for! I think the secret to the phenomenal cake may have been the strongly brewed coffee that Steph told me she put in... because coffee is the nectar of the gods, or at least the best beverage out there! Yum, yum, yum!

We wouldn't have been able to pull this thing off and still be standing if it hadn't been for all of our friends helping out. A special super dooper thanks to Jennifer Gwen and Seth James who shopped, chopped, served, took coats, played host and hostess, and helped clean up. They were such a blessing (and I'm not sure they knew what they were getting themselves into when they signed up for the shin-dig!). We are incredibly thankful for their presence and participation!
We've added a few photos to share of all the food, friends and fun we had. We're glad to have shared a great time with all who were here and look forward to next year - hoping those who couldn't make it this year will be able to join us next time!
To dipping foods (and other things)! Cheers! :)

Lost & Found

We've now been married for 6 months and 4 days, and we're still hanging onto a few things that were left at the wedding and managed to make their way into our home. In an effort to minimize clutter AND to return lost items to their owners, we're posting some pictures of the items that are hanging around our house.
  • Several serving utensils - any that are not claimed will be taken to James Street Mennonite Church's kitchen - but maybe that's where they came from in the first place?!? There's also a pair of large scissors that are missing their owner in a terrible way!
  • A glass serving platter... has a hint of gold trim around the edges.
  • A silver chafing dish insert (where's the rest of the chafing dish... who knows? but I'm sure someone's going to be upset when they try to use their chafing dish without the actual dish!).
  • Also, my mom has lost a table cloth that was in the appetizer area around the pool - it's pink and burgundy colored... and she's sad to have it missing.
Any claims on these things, please let us know! We'd be very happy to return the items to their rightful owners :).
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