Saturday, February 18, 2017

10,000 PAGE VIEWS - February 2017 - THANK YOU!

We wish to thank our associated vendors, sponsors, and those just browsing.  We hit our first milestone today.  We just scored our 10,000th page view.

We are always looking for new vendors.  We need your personally written Articles on Re-purposing and other Antique related subjects.  Photos of your finds.  Photos of your shop, photos of your booth, and photos of your unusual treasures.

Use our media for free advertising.  Send us clear photos and a short story or description to pique peoples interest.

We list you for free too.  All it costs you is the time to send us your info.  Get seen by people searching the internet for Antique Shops when they come into Las Vegas.  If you aren't advertising you stand little chance of being discovered by new people.

Email directly to:
info@toponautic.com

VINTAGE GLASS GARDEN FLOWERS

Winter is always too long no matter where you live.  February is certainly too early to plant flowers, or is it?  We have been looking through some of our vintage glass pieces to price, and put in the shop for sale.

We normally try to avoid selling anything with nicks or chips.  In fact some pieces are pulled off the shelf if they become chipped through customer handling.  We used to throw these away.

Applying some minor welding skills, and having the proper tools to drill glass, we turn trash pieces into beautiful additions to our garden.   Below is a 12 inch diameter glass flower.  They are beautiful and especially so when they catch the sunlight passing through them just right.

The stem is a piece of bent re-bar.  A 3/8 nut was welded on the end. 

The Stamen of the flower is 1/8 steel rod welded to a washer.  The rod was bent using a torch to heat the metal.  It was finished off with a coat of gold glitter paint.

The glass dish was drilled using a diamond bit in a drill press, with adequate cooling water, as well as lots of patience. 

A bolt threaded through everything and tightened into the welded nut completes the project. 

All that is left is "planting" it in the proper garden spot to catch the sunlight

Monday, January 9, 2017

ARTISAN BEER BREAD IN YOUR CAST IRON FINDS

Here is a great way to put your antique cast iron finds to good use.  Have you picked up a 8 inch Dutch Oven?  They are perfect for baking bread.
Mix the day before baking
Recipe and Images: Rick Beach

3 Cups    Flour
¼ Cup     Ground Flax Seed
1 ½ tsp   Salt
¼ tsp      Instant Yeast (bread machine yeast)
12 oz      Beer (Beer varieties change the flavor – Experiment)

·       * Add salt, yeast, and Ground Flax Seed to the Flour.
·        *Add beer to the dry ingredients.
·        *Stir together and completely mixed into a rough ball.
·        *Cover with plastic wrap 8-18 hours on the counter
·        *Sometime after 8 hrs, turn proofed dough out on floured board
·        *Pat dough flat.  Fold over on itself 4 or 5 times (no kneading required)
*Oil a bowl.  Place dough in oiled bowl.  Cover and reproof 1 2/3-3 hours to raise
·        *Preheat oven to 425°F and an empty Dutch Oven for 30 minutes.
·        *Dump the proofed dough into the hot Dutch Oven that has just been well greased.
·        *Bake in covered Dutch Oven 25-30 minutes with the lid on, 3 minutes longer with lid off.  
    Or bake with lid off for a hard crustier bread.
·         I use a 8 inch Dutch Oven with the lid off the entire time.   Mine is too low to use the lid.  If you have a deep 8 inch diameter perhaps the lid would work.

·        Shake it out and cool on rack.  For soft crust (As shown in photos) rub all surfaces with butter as soon as the loaf is shaken out of the cast iron.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

CAST IRON SKILLET PIZZA RECIPE

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza for Breakfast



This is another recipe for those that collect Cast Iron Cookware and are not afraid to put it to use.  These are little mini pizza"s done in #3 Cast Iron Skillets.   We normally make them for breakfast as a special treat.  Don't let that stop you from baking some and serving them at other meal times.  We make homemade dough the night before.  After the first rise we cover appropriate sized balls of dough with olive oil.  Place them in their own individual zip lock bags and store in the fridge over night....or for a couple days.  Take them out and let them warm up to room temperature (about an hour).  Then work the dough into a well greased #3 Cast Iron Skillet.

Use well seasoned, 6 inch, greased, and pre-warmed cast iron skillets.  A great way to use up leftovers. (Make a 6 inch pizza for each person)

Ingredients
Homemade Pizza or Bread Dough
Olive Oil
Pizza sauce
Any Preferred cooked Breakfast toppings (Left over Home fries, Hash browns, crumbled bacon, diced ham, etc)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 raw egg per mini pizza
Salt and Pepper to taste

Flatten dough into warm greased skillet.  Brush olive oil on top of the flattened out dough.  Add sauce and toppings.  Set aside in a warm place to raise for 15-30 minutes. Use Mozzarella to form a nest.  Slip the whole raw egg into the nest.  Salt and Pepper to preference.   (Makes a single 6 inch pizza for each person)

Preheat oven to 375°.  Once raised bake 12-20 minutes or until the egg becomes opaque on top.  If bottom appears to be browning  before the top is done, turn on broiler to finish off the top.  Just keep a close eye on them.

Variation.  Mix BBQ sauce 50/50 with pizza sauce.  Then use shredded or small chunks of cooked chicken,  chopped fresh basil leaves, Mozzarella cheese, egg, salt & pepper.  Options are endless.





















Friday, December 23, 2016

USING YOUR VINTAGE CAST IRON - PIZZA WARM UP



I find leftover pizza is sometimes better than fresh baked.  As with many tomato and herb based foods.  Aging seems to increase the flavor.  Especially if it is homemade.

How many of you enjoy cold left over pizza for breakfast?  I certainly do.  How about the re-heated version?

My favorite technique for re-heating leftovers is to use a cast iron skillet.  You can't be in a hurry.  If you are in a big rush just throw it in the microwave.  If you really want something better than just baked, try using cast iron.

I put my cast iron on a burner set at its lowest setting.  I always use gas stoves.  If you cook with electric you may have to experiment.  As soon as the Cast Iron is warm to the touch (a minute or two) I wipe it with a very thin layer of Crisco vegetable shortening.  I place the pizza on the Cast Iron and cover it with a lid or tent of aluminum foil.

I kept the heat as low as possible and allow the pizza to warm slowly until the top cheese is warm and melted.  Serve at this point.  You will be rewarded with a delightfully crispy bottom crust, and aged sauce that has brought out even more flavor.


My favorite for pizza re-heating is my square vintage BSR (Birmingham Stove & Range) Breakfast Griddle.




Monday, December 19, 2016

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

"Tis the Season.  Make up boxes of cookies, candies, chocolate dipped pretzels, etc.  Have these on hand the week before Christmas to spread a little joy and love with your friends, family, and neighbors.



Here are a couple very common recipes to start out with.

Our favorite is right off the bag of Nestle's ® Chocolate Chip Bag


Nestle’s® Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen
2 ¼ Cups          Flour
1 tsp                Baking Soda
1 tsp                Salt
1 Cup               Butter softened
¾ Cup              Sugar – White Granulated
¾ Cup              Brown Sugar Packed
1 tsp                Vanilla
2                      Eggs
2 Cups             Nestle's ® Chocolate Chips
1 Cup               Nuts Chopped (Optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine Flour, Baking Soda, and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Then add eggs one at a time beating well after adding each egg.

Gradually beat the Flour mixture into the creamy butter mixture.

Stir/Fold in the Chocolate Chips and Nuts.

Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely.    
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Cookie Press Christmas Cookies
Decorate with Icing and Sprinkles

Plain/Vanilla Spritz Cookie Press Cookies
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 375°F. In large mixer bowl combine sugar, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, 2 to 3 minutes. Place dough in cookie press. Form desired shapes 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Chocolate Spritz Cookie Press Cookies
Makes about 60
1-1/4 cups butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 large eggs
3 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars, and vanilla, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Shape dough into a log and place in your cookie press. Press cookies out onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Layered Vanilla and chocolate Cookies

Used press with wide saw toothed die and lay out a long strip.
On top layer a long strip of white/vanilla

Variation use crushed candy, (Crushed candy canes work good) between the layers.
Cut the strips in bite sizes and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes.

Decorate with white or colored icing and sprinkles.


To make pinwheels
Roll a Layer of the Vanilla dough out on wax paper.  On a second piece of wax paper roll out a thin lay of the Chocolate dough.  Flip the chocolate layer over on top of the white.  Press dough together slightly.  Peel off the top layer of wax paper.  Roll the double layer of white and chocolate into a log removing the bottom wax paper.  Cover the dough log with wax paper.  Then cover in foil and chill in the fridge for about an hour.  Then remove foil and wax paper, and slice disks off the log about 1/4 inch thick.  Arrange on cookie sheet and bake as directed above.

        
**********************


Chocolate Dipping Sauce 
for Pretzels, Ritz Crackers, Oreo Cookies, etc

For every 8 oz of  Chips (Chocolate, White, etc) add 2 Tbsp. of Crisco Shortening
In the microwave or double boiler heat and stir until silky smooth

Dip your items in the melted chocolate and lay out on wax paper.  You can speed this up by using chilled cookie sheets. 
Dipping a second time after the first dip has cooled will make a thicker layer of chocolate.  Either way, before chocolate has hardened you can drizzles with sprinkles or colored sugar.