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Friday, April 30, 2010

morels and kale chips

We've been blessed with many morel mushrooms popping up in the back yard this spring. My husband Andre cooked them fried in a little goat butter. We had them on some dark Irish soda bread. Yum. What a great spring treat!

Today I made Kale Chips using the recipe posted by my brilliant sister Megan . They are yummy yummy! I washed the kale, tore it into little chip sized pieces and put them on foil lined baking sheets. I sprinkled some olive oil on top (I think I used a little too much) and then added different seasonings on each tray. The ones I like best have sea salt and seasame seeds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

pickled onions- part 1

Andre and I love Ploughman sandwiches, a little dark soda bread, some quality butter, irish cheddar, lettuce and pickled onions. We first had it at an Irish resturant in Plymouth and then tried to recreate it at home. What we found was the onions at the store just aren't right. So I looked into making them and we've been hooked ever since. You can pickle just about anything this way. I've done beets, carrots, broccoli stalks, cucumbers. But onions are my favorite.

I start with a package of red pearl onions. This is really the hardest part. Peel and wash the onions and put them in a clean mason jar. My eyes water like crazy and my hands smell like onions for days no matter what I try but it's worth it.

Add to the jar warm water and enough sea salt to cover the bottom of the jar. Let this sit on your counter for about a week. The brine will soften the onions and make them less "oniony".

Stay tuned for part 2. xoxo

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Freedom skirt

I started working on my Freedom Skirt this week from Crafting Chaos. I've been wanting to make a skirt for quite some time. I made a Punk Knits skirt Blondie but that was when I was losing a lot of weight really fast and by the time I finished the skirt, it was way too big! And I never got motivated to try it again. So I looked for something a little saucy for summer and came up with this simple pattern. So far I just have the waist band done!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pickles Pants

I finished the short pants/capris for Isaiah. I was hoping to have some cute pictures to share of him in his new pants, but the michigan weather turned arctic again and my poor boy has a cold, so that will have to wait. In the mean time, I thought I'd share the pattern. I got the base of the pattern from this blog: Pickles. Using size 8 circular needles, cast on 78 stitches. Join in the round. Knit for 1 1/2 inches and then the next round make the holes for the cord. K 35, K2together, YO, K4, K2together, YO, K3. Then knit another 1/2 inch. Switch colors. At this point I stitched the top to the last row of the first color to make the drawstring top. I used a crochet hook to make the drawstring cord. Knit 10 rounds with the second color and then again with color 1 and again with color 2. The next group will be 10 rows total but after 4 rounds start making the legs. The original pattern said to make extra stitches in the back of the pants. I see the logic, but it just didn't work well for me. The next time I make these I will skip this step. To start the leg holes CO 5 stitches in the front of the pants and in the back. You'll knit on Double Pointed Needles from this point on. I let the stitches for the second leg sit on the circular needles while I worked on the first leg. Continue knitting to make 10 rounds. Switch colors and knit 10 rounds with color 2 and then finish with 10 rounds of color 1. Bind off loosely. Pick up the stitches on the circulars and transfer them to the double pointed needles and continue as the first leg. Sew up the crotch and tuck in all the loose threads. The butt area is nice a roomy and perfect for a cloth diapered bum.
He felt well enough later for a few pictures-

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

try knitting pants

waist band for Isaiah's little short pants done


My wonderful sister, Megan, gave me an early birthday present yesterday. I have wanted a spurtle for a few years now; since my obsession with eating oatmeal every morning started.
A spurtle is a scottish tool for stirring oatmeal to make it less lumpy and mushy.

It is such a lovely, beautifully made tool and I am just thrilled with it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

hippie cheese

I spent the majority of my 20's either Vegan or close to it. The thing that I always missed the most was cheese. So after some trial and error, I reworked this recipe from The Farm and came up with my recipe for "cheese".
Put 1/2 cup margarine(not butter) in a saucepan over medium heat and begin to melt. Add in 1/2 cup white flour (not wheat) and stir it constantly as the margarine finishes melting. Then add in 3 cups of water and stir! Stir! Stir! It will begin to thicken after a minute or two. Once it has become as thick as you like, take it off the heat and add in up to a tsp of salt and 1 cup of nutritional yeast.
We use this as a cheese dip, in casseroles, for macaroni and cheese, on pizza, in lasgana, for everything! The kids love it and most open minded adults do too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

cast on 112 sts

opening day!

Baseball is one of the few things that has not changed much in my life. The sounds of baseball are the sounds of summer. I don't follow the details and averages and all that jazz- I just watch, listen, enjoy and let the feel of summer wash over me.

Today is opening day and I'm watching my Tigers. I thought I'd make it an event with the kids so I made a batch of Cracker Jack. I got the bulk of the recipe from this blog: Mommy's Kitchen. I've tried to make caramel corn before and it was terrible. This is great. I'm eating it right now!

In a sturdy, tall saucepan mix 1/4 cup margarine, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3 Tbs corn syrup, 1/2 tsp salt. Once the margarine melts, let it boil over low heat for 3 minutes. Then add 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp vanilla and wisk it quickly and then pour over the popcorn and peanuts (have them prepared and on oiled cookie sheets).

Mix it up a bit and pop it in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then dump it out on some waxed paper and mix it up and break up any clumps. Once it cools, it's ready to eat!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns were the only real tradition I remember about my childhood Easter celebrations. Other details came and went, but hot cross buns were always there.
I went out to get some this weekend and could not find them anywhere! After a friend suggested I make some, I did look at reciepes but it was too late in the evening for a long, yeasty process and I knew I wouldn't have time in the morning for all that.
Plus, I tend to hide from yeast breads. I don't generally have much luck getting it to rise right. And that frustrates me to no end and just wasn't what I wanted Easter to be about.
So I went to bed just a bit sad and then had an idea. I knew there was a whole wheat pizza dough in the freezer. I wondered if I could transform that into buns. So I got up and took it out to thaw overnight.
In the morning I kneeded into the dough some sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I also kneeded in raisins and currents. I let it rest for a bit and then egg washed them and put them in the over.
I wasn't sure about icing either sice I didn't have powdered sugar. So I put some regular sugar in the food processor with some corn starch and whirled it around until fine. It worked pretty well. Then added vanilla and butter.

Here is how they looked. Honestly though, they just were not right. But it gave me ideas and I think I will try and get them perfected by next Easter. And maybe if I start now I can save up enough money to overnight them to all the family members who were missing them, and missing Grandma who started the tradition. Wouldn't that be a fun Easter surprise?

Here are my loves after the egg hunt at Bubba and Grandma's.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

kitchen sink stew

I tend to read old cookbooks like most people read novels- cover to cover. I was reading one recently from a church group in the early 1900s. They measured everything by the teacup. I thought that was just so simple and poetic. I thought of that while making this stew because I wasn't using exact measurements. It was just what I had on hand.

I had about 5-6 red potatoes getting soft and two huge carrots. So I started with that in water in the crock pot on high. I added some celery and a pound of firm tofu. You could use chicken too I bet. I also added a TB of corn startch mixed in a little water. I let this all cook for a few hours. Then I added a teacup of pearl barley and a teacup of lentils. And I sauted an onion with thyme, celery seed and oregano. I added the onion into the crock pot and also a good measure of salt. It cooked for another 4 hours and then it was dinner time! It was surprisingly good for something so simple!

Irish Brown Bread went with it- yum. Aiden calls it Mom Bread.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (milk + a tsp vinegar)
Mix the dry and then add the milk. Put it in a greased bread pan and bake at 425 for 40 minutes.