Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 04, 2013

Easy Dark Chocolate Pudding From Scratch

This is my favorite pudding to make. It's very rich and almost mousse like in texture. Plus it's fairly quick and easy, so it makes a great dessert when you have unexpected guests.

*Use good quality chocolate and thank me later! 

Easy Dark Chocolate Pudding
original recipe at Epicurious

Serves 4

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (I like 70%)
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 large egg yolk

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch salt, in a medium saucepan. Chop the chocolate (it's super easy to do in a food processor) and add to sugar mixture. Whisk together the milk and egg yolk (make sure not to add the icky, rubbery white thing that likes to stick to the yolk) and gradually stir it into chocolate mixture. Bring mixture just to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, and bring it to a boil. Continue mixing for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in a small splash of vanilla (1/4-1/2 teaspoon).
Spoon the pudding into small ramekins (teacups also work, in a pinch). Eat it warm or chill puddings in the refrigerator. In a pinch, you can pop them in the freezer, surfaces covered with plastic wrap, until cooled, about 30 minutes.

For a yummy variation, add a pinch of cinnamon to the dry ingredients!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Ornaments and Giveaway Winner!

New in the shop this week: Snowflake Christmas Ornaments!

My sister makes fantastic paper snowflakes, so I asked her to collaborate with me on this project. She mailed me a big envelope full of snowflakes that I used to create these ornaments.

Also, my Mug Giveaway has ended and Connie has been randomly selected as the winner! Congratulations, Connie!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dried Tomatoes

Because we were moving, I decided not to try to grow anything this past summer. It was kind of a sad decision for me to make, but it didn't make sense to put a lot of time into a garden that we would leave just before harvest. So I was happily surprised when a volunteer tomato plant popped up in the garden at our new house.

This little plant has been awesome! On Sunday, I picked over 2 pounds of grape tomatoes and today I picked another pound.

I'm not a huge fan of raw tomatoes, though my husband can eat them by the handful. So I decided to dry them. It concentrates the flavors and you can use them like sun dried tomatoes. I like to chop them up and sprinkle them on macaroni and cheese.

I used the dehydrator this time, but you can also make them in the oven.

It's so stupid easy that you don't even need a recipe. Just wash your tomatoes, cut them (little ones like grape and cherry can just be cut in half), and then space them with some room in between on the racks of a dehydrator, set it for vegetables (about 135 degrees Fahrenheit) and wait until they're dried out and leathery. This batch took about 18 hours. Store them in a freezer bag in the freezer, and you'll have them through the winter, if you can avoid eating them all at once!

ps. Don't forget to enter my mug giveaway! It's ending in 5 days!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I'm having a giveaway! The winner will receive this mug from my Antlers Collection. This one features a Tibetan Antelope and it can hold about 11 ounces of your favorite beverage.  I threw it on a potter's wheel, stenciled the lace design, and hand carved the antelope. It is food safe, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe. 

* This is my first giveaway, so please be patient with any little hiccups along the way.  :o)

How To Enter:

1. Head over to my etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/JessiVanGundy and take a look around.

2. Come back here and leave a comment telling me which piece is your favorite.

3. Enter the raffle in the widget below.

(Please make sure that the name you comment under is the same as the name you use to enter the giveaway!)

The Fine Print:

1. No purchase necessary.

2. Open to people with US mailing addresses only.

3. Winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

4. One entry per person.

5. Winner will receive an electronic gift certificate redeemable only on my etsy shop ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/JessiVanGundy ). The winner may not redeem the gift certificate for cash. However, it may be used for anything in my shop of equal or lesser value to the original prize.

6. Any personal information (email addresses, mailing addresses, etc.) will be kept private.

7. This blog is not responsible for any technical problems that might inhibit you from entering the giveaway, such as lost entries, etc.

8. The giveaway will close on Wednesday, October 2nd at 12:00am EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Clay is a slow medium. It allows you to do things on it's own fickle time frame that changes based on the weather, where and how long ago the clay was dug from the earth, and a myriad of other factors. Rush the drying time and it may crack in protest.

Pottery is a process heavy endeavor and each step has it's own unique timing. And the process is one of the things that drew me to ceramics in the first place. I work best with deadlines and schedules and ceramic work comes with them built in. If I want something to ship out for a friend's birthday in a month, I know that I have to start it now to make room from drying time plus two firings. And I also know that I need to make a spare in case something goes wrong with the first.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What I've Been Up To Since May

I went to California to visit family.

Santa Barbara Mission
We bought our first house. It's in a wonderful neighborhood and much closer to Matt's work. It has a wonderful screened porch and a sunroom that I turned into a studio. The rest of the house is a little cookie-cutter right now, but I think over time we'll give it some character.

Door to my studio!

I've been putting together an etsy shop! Opening very soon!

New technique I've been working on.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fresh Batch of Yarn Bowls

These are made with a speckled white stoneware.

Doily Bowl: approx 5.5" wide x 3" tall

Olive Green Bowl: approx. 6" wide x 3" tall

Turquoise Bowl #1 : approx 5.5" wide x 3" tall

Turquoise Bowl #2 : approx 6" wide x 3" tall

Friday, May 03, 2013

Backyard Animal Mugs

I just got these back last night! The photos aren't great but I was so excited to share them that I couldn't wait. :o)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Photo Journal ::: April

Alby, the orange tiger, is visiting from LA. He'll be making appearances in my photos until September.

Caleb really wants Alby for his own.

Handspun yarn.

My current favorite bowl.

White Four Cheese Pizza with Basil and Garlic. This was amazing.

Playing with stencils.

Salmon poached in sake.

We spent an afternoon exploring this amazing old graveyard. The statues and monuments were gorgeous. 

Fava beans on the grill.

Apple Blossoms and Dogwood Flowers

Alby in the garden.

Rainbow carrots about to go in the oven.

New mittens for me!