Welcome to my collection of 1:12 scale miniature food made with love (and polymer clay) - for dollhouses or admirers of all-things-mini.

In life, it's the small things around you that matter the most. Embrace, enjoy, and savor every second with all your might.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vegetable Soup made with Homemade Stock

The thing I'm learning about sculpting miniature foods is, it helps to be a cook and a baker (in real life). Knowing how the foods look when raw, cooked, and in the process of preparation, helps in mixing the colors and achieving the right gloss and matte finish for each food item. The details are extremely important, right down to the corn cob with some of its kernels sliced off. I've baked more hams than I care to count and I'm familiar with that just-out-of-the-oven appearance - like how the juices run when you place the well-baked ham on a platter. And the cloves I randomly place in the outer layer of the ham - my little secret here was to use poppy seeds for a similar effect. The cabbage - I tried to make it look "wet" - like it was freshly washed. In the end, I think I got the look I was trying for - a preparation area complete with a dutch oven and overflowing soup bowl filled with the most delicious, made-from-scratch homestyle vegetable soup brimming with the freshest ingredients from the garden. The recipe was inspired by my brother-in-law, so I'm tipping my hat to him on this one. It's one hearty soup for a chilly late winter's day. Enjoy!

Making tomato canes is looong, tedious work. It takes practice. I have about a zillion "slices" after all our hard work, so it's all good.

My tomato slices aren't perfect, but on my third official try with complex canes, they're getting better. Woo hoo!

Every good vegetable soup starts with a low simmering stock. I gently simmer a ham bone in water and herbs for three days on the stovetop to capture the deep, rich flavor. Yes, TWIS (that's what I said) - three.whole.days. Homemade stock makes all the difference in the world.

Can't forget the carrots - picked from the garden this very morning. Canned tomatoes are a must. Every summer my kitchen is filled with the rockin aroma of tomatoes being blanched (so they peel easier) in boiling hot water, and the sink is littered with tomato seeds. Pesky little buggers they are. 
Fresh washed cabbage and corn. Can't forget the leeks,  a milder type of onion. I'm kind of stuck on leeks right now, the flavor is mmm...mmm....good. Plus, I'm getting pretty good with the Skinner shading tecnique to create them in clay. Peeling potatoes, ugh, a necessary evil for good soup.

Soup's on! Grab a spoon!

 There is a secret ingredient in this soup that my BIL swears by....it makes the broth a little richer and cuts some of the acidic bite of the tomatoes. Can you guess what that ingredient might be? (It's not pictured very clearly here in the Dutch oven, so you'll have to wing a guess on this one). Good luck!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Springtime Breakfast Tray

Every year, I can't wait for spring. My warm weather radar kicks into gear around the first of January (snow is always a major bummer - it hijacks my dreams of sunny days and butterflies and yanks me back to the reality of the calendar). So here I've tried to replicate a springtime inspired breakfast, with fresh strawberries and Red River grapefruit on the side. I'm still on the learning curve, trying to work on making "tea" look like..well...tea. And refining my colors to match the hues of baked croissants with melting butter on top, and fried bacon (I think mine needs a little more fat, don't you?) that just came out of the frying pan. And maybe next time, I'll go easy on the pepper on the eggs. The beauty of miniatures, is truly in the tiny details. I'm working on it.

A rather large breakfast after near starvation during winter hibernation. 
Here's what I started with - raw, unbaked clay, some white Fimo and translucent eggs whites, Fimo orange yolk (free-range, organic eggs -these babies are fresh from the chicken), and bacon - a little chocolate, a little caramel, and some translucent and white Fimo. Meh...it's still a work in progress. 
And here's how it looks - baked, with some glossy glaze. Still trying to perfect that warm skillet grease "effect."  

Coin comparison - yes, it's that teeny. I made the board from craft store wood, painted it white, and then painted on details of spring flowers. 

Fresh flowers are a nice touch, eh? I tried to make these look like the brilliantly flamboyant "Parrot" tulips I've seen in the Brecht's spring bulb catalog. Wish I could capture a close up of the petal edges, they did turn out really cool.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vanilla and Chocolate Layer Cake with Caramel Frosting

Here we have another busy kitchen scene - everything's here - eggs...flour...butter....sugar....and milk. Check. And a dash of fresh orange juice for the frosting! Mmmm...

Let's add a few vanilla cupcakes to the party.....with lots of sprinkles of course.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fondue Party

Break out the chocolate.....

It's nutritious as long as you have lots of fruit to go with it...am I right?

Baking bread

Irresistable homemade breads - white bread, rye, and earthy pumpernickel. Nom!

Making Polish Pierogies

Ready to roll. Flour...eggs....check! All here.

Prep the potatoes and slice the cheddar cheese - this is the "meat" of the pierogi filling.

Keep rolling, it's lots of work, but the taste is worth it!

Pull up a plate, and enjoy with a side of corn on the cob and an icy cold dill pickle spear.

Some additional views - prep areas and table

Happy Valentine's Day!

Everything is made from polymer clay - the heart shaped box, the roses, the "lace" trim and the candies. 

Chocolate cake with strawberries

Fresh organic strawberry preserves - fresh is best!

Gooey good chocolate frosting and fresh summer berries - perfect topping for chocolate cake!

Giving micro-cakes a whirl

Cutting the lemons for a sweet and tart strawberry glazed lemon cake.

The prep area is ready. Time to frost!

Pull up a chair and enjoy!