A craftsman's ramblings on making art, food, love and adventure

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Hot Iron at Roaring Dog

Click this link for some recent Roaring Dog Love…

Roaring Dog Smithy in the News!


Social Media for Aging Artists!

I turned 50 on June 10. I love the internet…go gaga for google…enjoy stalking Facebook…etc. Now I am trying to move our new art/craft venture Roaring Dog Studios into a fully functional social media organism…Yikes!  This is a sexy way of saying that this blog post is a test with some bling. Things should get more interesting from here. Here is a fun picture of Fiona the Roaring Dog and a big snapping turtle that wandered through our yard last week. Who doesn’t like a cute dog?6-12-13 015

Oh Mom…Kale Again???


So far the two most significant reoccurring subjects in my fledgling blog-life are dogs and kale. I mean…who doesn’t love the occasional dog post…but Kale…give me a break!

So…here’s the deal…we planted a couple of beds full of kale sometime in early summer. FYI…we checked our records and this super-Kale variety is Winterbor from Johnny’s Seeds. It is now almost the end of January and we are still picking perfectly lovely leaves from these plants!

Last week I picked a bag to bring to my Mom as evidence that… despite the multi-day deep freeze we are enjoying in upstate NY…fresh leafy greens can be something more than a fading memory of a summer long past. So Mom sends me an email a day later telling me about these Kale Chips she had made as her homage to the sun gods (I made that homage part up but I think my Mom will allow me the poetic…or blogetic license).

I have heard mention of these little devils in the past however… despite having controlling interest in several metric tons of Kale…I have never made them…until TONIGHT! Three words for you…EASY AS HELL! Just clean the Kale, cut out the largest part of the stem, toss with some decent olive oil, spread evenly in a single layer on a cookie sheet, season with salt and pepper and put it in a 290′ oven for about 1/2 hour. This action shot above is the whole scene unfolding in real time on one of our styling ‘Chef Boards’ in our Roaring Dog Studios test kitchen (which doubles as the kitchen in our house).

‘Really…that’s all there is to it. Crispy, tasty and I guess better for you than a half bag of Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips!

Sneak Peak…part 2

We have been busy over at Roaring Dog Studios…I mean not regular busy…I mean really busy. Today maybe a little less busy since we started the day at about 10 below and our wonderful 1896circa foundry building stays a little more closely connected to the outside temperature than sometimes we might wish…like now! Overall like I said…really busy.

Check out this beyond cool cutting board for the cook with style and chops…the removable grain-matched tray actually has rare-earth magnets embedded into the joint to keep the tray aligned with the board to smoothly and oh-so cooly slide your chopping stuff into ahead of a trip to the saute pan or soup pot.

You know you want one…you need one. Should be on our shopping site in the next few days. There are only 6 in existence as of today so keep close.

VB Carrot1-C VB Carrot1-A VB Carrot1-B VB Garlic 1-D VB Beet1-E VB Beet1-C VB Beet1-D

Meet the Roaring Dogs Part 2

Lori in a Sticky Situation

Meet Lori Holmes…designer…builder…logistics master mind and one hell of a chop stick maker! Lori has been with Roaring Dog and our sister shop CabFab for several years now. She had a brief hiatus away but as all smart roaring dogs do…they come home to where they are loved…and occasionally fed! Lori came to us originally from her management role with Pier 1 via a local college architecture/design program. The smile you see…not fake! This woman sprinkles good cheer around our shop like a cloud drops rain. Behind the smile is woman with talents in all areas of our businesses. She runs our hardwood sales business Lakeshore Hardwoods, she is currently setting up our shipping and receiving department for Roaring Dog and the rest of her days are filled with all manner of woodworking adventures.

She’ll probably be mad at me for telling you this but around the shop these days we call Lori ‘Curly Cherry’ in honor of her mane of curly red locks and one of our favorite hardwoods!


Erin is a veteran member of our design/build team at Roaring Dog Studio. She came to us as an intern during her junior year in Cazenovia College’s Interior Design program. 3 years later she is graduated and seems to have found a way to never leave. For this we are greatful! Erin excels in all […]

Sneak Peek!

I have been editing a boat-load of pictures today from yesterdays photo shoot. These photos are destined for our soon-to-be-launched retail site on Big Cartel. This shoot keyed on a group of one of a kind cutting/serving boards that we call Star Boards in the shop. It is our intention to offer these in a limited edition of 100 boards total. All boards are solid Cherry and Maple with varying hardwood inlaid stars made from Gumwood, Bubinga, Walnut, Maple and Birch.

All boards will be signed and numbered and are finished in a food safe and renewable oil finish. We would love some feedback. Wishing you all a productive and joyful week.

SB3-C SB4-F SB7-D SB8-B SB9-B SB13-D SB15-F

New Year’s Kale

Kale Dog 3
So…about 7 months ago we planted this Kale in our garden in Cato, NY. Big deal…right? Yesterday we swept off 2 feet of snow from these hardy plants and picked probably our 40th batch of greens…New Year’s Day in a freezing snow storm. While we grimaced, the dogs frolicked and the Kale laughed. There is still more…still laughing…refusing to succumb to the rigors of the winter solstice.

The freezer is full of blanched Kale, our bellies are full of cooked Kale, the geese on the pond are full of Kale scraps…don’t get me wrong…we love Kale. Now if we could only find some New Year’s tomatoes!

Sneak preview alert belowWe have a prototype of one of our foodie-friendly food prep boards in action in our kitchen at home. This tray has an inlaid beet we designed and a grain matched removable tray for delivering chopped goods from board to pan. The tray relocates itself with hidden rare earth magnets. Very cool!! 

Veggie Board with Kale 1

Veggie Board with Kale 2