Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Crafty Bits

Been working on this off and on for a few days.. it is supposed to have a herringbone or chevron pattern up every other slice.. but I think I might just do it on the second slice in on both sides now that I've gotten this far.  I love the white denim fabric.. very satisfying, heavy and solid but not so bad the sewing machine went gronk or the hand sewing needle was too tough to get through it.  The black is hand-crocheted yarn that was then stitched into place with black thread.  I saw the idea on Dan Do, the Welsh decorating show.

 Esme's bamboo (drachsena, really) plant needs to have a splitting... I've got her permission now I just have to get some distilled water and some courage.

And my pretty little sewing bowl with all the pins and needles in it from working on the pillow.

Monday, February 25, 2019

bits Apple Banana Cornbread and Ginger Soy Lime Udon bowl

I made apple banana cornbread this morning with an apple and a banana that were both getting a little old...

core and cut up the apple into small bits, layer into a cornbread pan
peel and mash up the banana
mix a box of cornbread mix with 2 eggs and 1/3 cup milk
mix the mashed banana with the cornbread mixture and layer it over the apples in the pan
cook on 400 degrees .. I used a glass pan so it took about 25 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean

And then for dinner I made a ginger soy lime soup to go with my udon noodles

1 small piece of ginger, peeled and sliced fine
about a cup of chicken broth
a decent splash of soy sauce to color the chicken broth
a big squeeze of lime juice
about a teaspoon packed of brown sugar
some rice wine vinegar (a splash)
cook this to a boil while stirring
add seaweed, green onion and tofu flakes (assorted.. had them lying around)
add udon noodles and enough water to the sauce to cover them.. I added a fist sized clump of dried udon
boil again... simmer for a bit... add some black pepper to the entire mix
pour it into a bowl and/or pour up half into a quart jar and eat just a bit with the cornbread above

Saturday, February 23, 2019


Woke up at three this morning from a dream.. sitting in an open air type restaurant in a lawn chair drinking a lime soda with a straw (not really my thing).. looked like the Kentucky Lake Dam parking lot we visited at the Solstice, but with a fair type food truck there and a big tent.  I was sitting there looking at the sun and at my watch and it said 10:02... which I guessed was in the morning.. but I was supposed to be to work at 8 this morning.  So, I had no idea where I really was, how I got there, where this drink came from etc... had a hard time remembering even if I was supposed to be calling Lowes or Michaels on my phone, which looked 'odd' to say the least... especially since phones like that didn't exist when I was working at Michaels 15 years ago.  So, I had this profound thought that if I couldn't tell where I was, or when.. then the thought I might be two hours late for work was probably the least of my worries...

started trying to find a car etc.. all hell broke loose, mudslides and riots and eventually I was piloting a space ship that looked like a giant whale which I crashed because I couldn't get the tail to work right.

So, my brain is really trying to cheer me up this hard weekend...another day and then the double-shift tomorrow... and then two days off.  Taking my Attitude Analysis Dinosaur back to lunch with me again.. a smiling/growling plastic dinosaur to sit in front of me at lunch so I don't listen to quite so much British metal music...

Friday, February 15, 2019

Pasta Center

All of this pasta used to be in an upper cabinet which was hard for our chef-in-training to reach without climbing on cabinets.  Now, we have made a 'dry goods center' starting with three kinds of pasta.  And she can reach the colander, can opener and pans.  So, we are learning to make pasta sauce and pasta - to eventually be made all on her own.

Sauce Yum!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day wiith Octopus Vomit

Finished the Octopus Vomit blanket, which kind of doubles as a shawl.. depending on if you're reading on the bed and want to cover your knees or your shoulders.  It is warm.  The colors worked together as best as possible .. but the grey yarn (flea market find, two HUGE balls of it).. was really atrocious by itself.  So I went with the all out bright red (inspired by Esme's octopus toy, seen here) and threw in some other stash white and yellow bits to give it a logical pattern.

Happy Valentine's Day.  I gave Esme a little beanie baby red raccoon.. which she liked.  I have to go for my eye appointment soon - really need new glasses.  And I was going to make some carrot coconut ginger soup later today.  It's my only day off this week and I seem to have filled it UP... little goals sketched out on paper that I'd like to work on today.

And just a bit of a complaint / rant... about Pinterest.  I like Pinterest.  I love scanning through the pictures of things that are similar to each other in topics I am interested in.  And, I don't mind ads scattered in there if they have to.  BUT.. I hate moving ads.. and a lot of them want to move.  And I'm not on Pinterest to watch videos - I'm there for static pictures, so it is HIGHLY distracting.  It makes me want to scroll past anything that LOOKS like it might move - and definitely NOT pay attention to what is in the ad.  Just wanted to get that off my chest.  Pinterest advertisers - stop putting moving ads in our photo streams.  They are distracting in an AVOID LOOKING at that square way... which I believe, is the opposite of the advertisers intention.

Got my glasses appointment done, ordered the most impact-resistant frames and lens that would work for me.  They feel a lot like my current glasses - but with a titanium frame and a polycarbonate lens they ended up costing three times as much as the last pair...   Why do I need impact-resistant?  I downstock large boxes on lifts at the store and sometimes those boxes are not well-centered and come tipping towards me.  I've bent my glasses numerous times on smaller boxes like faucets and bath fans - but also one major time bracing for impact against a vanity cabinet.  The side of my frames got really bent up that day.  And then it didn't help that one time I sat on the glasses on the bed either - but that was after I had them rebent into shape the first time.  So it was nice to have 'bendy' glasses that could survive that.. but I was looking for a frame that maybe wouldn't be hurt by such things in the first place.

Picked up the canisters we ordered so we can make a 'dry goods center' for Esme to get pasta noodles without having to climb onto the cabinets, and to store a few things I've been using lately, like lentils and bulgur wheat.  They are washed and drying out on the countertop - probably should dry them overnight at least...or at least up until we go to bed tonight.  And I have the ingredients for the carrot soup and some yarn to try to make something I saw in the Welsh home decorating show.  We've run around town, did co-op, and grocery and more... glad to be home and done for the day :)

Soup.. maybe cornbread, and make a dishtowel maybe that I've had the fabric laying out for a week and haven't cut or sewn it yet... finish drying and folding the laundry and then organize so that the canisters are easy to use.  It's been a very full Thursday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Celery Coriander Dumpling soup

I like this 'look in my cupboard and decide what goes together' thing I've been doing lately... its much nicer than a 'diet' and although I'm ending up eating a lot of high-fiber foods, I think there were vitamins I was missing.  I've been feeling really good the past few days energy-wise.  At work, I get up and go and do a bunch of things all at once like I did years ago, putting up sinks, vanities, up and down the ladder putting up faucets in the right places, getting down product in the rough section (pvc parts and faucet lines and wax rings etc)... things that the past year or so have really felt more and more taxxing and I tend to do them in little bits instead of hour long jags.  I don't think it has just been the cold weather - but a bit warmer does help.  If only the rain would calm down a bit.

Anyway.  Thinking more, too.  Doing the Welsh and the Japanese - the Japanese is percolating more, and watching the Welsh television shows with more and more understanding.  Crocheting the blanket - almost done... pic when done.  Thinking about setting up a new weaving frame again to reproduce some pillows I saw in a 'Dan Do' episode.

Celery and Coriander chicken broth dumpling soup

ingredients :

black pepper
garlic powder
cayenne pepper powder
celery seed
curry powder (Hot Madras)

1 whole egg
Purple Hull Peas (canned)
Greens (spinach, turnip greens, mustard, kale etc)
Frozen or fresh red peppers and onions

1 pot with no cover, 1 small mixing dish, tablespoon

process and notes

-- at the broth point I was looking and looking for a can of sweet green peas to do this idea up with - but I didn't have any.  So, after finding a can of Purple Hull Peas, I added the cayenne pepper and coriander to cater to that flavor instead - and it all ended up really good.  If I hadn't done the purple hull peas I don't think I would have went so spicy... maybe basil or oregano?

Chicken broth, about 1 cup?
garlic powder
black pepper
paprika (I use the opposite 'handle' end of a spoon to measure this, and used two 'ends')
celery salt

bring to a boil, then even the temp out to hold hot

in a separate bowl, mix the dumplings like this:

     I put some water in half of the flour until it was the right texture, then added the rest of the flour and folded in the egg.  I ended up putting a bit more flour in to make the texture right again - so do it to feel.  Add black pepper and curry powder (dash) to the dough, which should be the consistency of a drop biscuit recipe

form tablespoon amounts and drop them into the broth, stirring only slightly.. we want to cook the dumplings and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan, but not break them up.

Add a handful of frozen peppers and onions
Add three to five tablespoons of purple hull peas
I threw in the last two tablespoons of turnip greens I had left over and needed using

Add more black pepper, a good dose of cayenne pepper and some coriander

The dumplings should be cooked through and pour up the soup into a jar or bowl
This tastes a lot like my Chinese Spice Cabbage - same type of spices - and I can't wait for dinner tonight at work to eat the rest of it :)  The dumplings are melty bread that is so very comforting and the vegetables give it a good healthy mix of flavors and textures.

This is only enough for one.. because it is an experiment recipe.  But, it could easily be stretched out to make a full meal!  If I was making a much larger batch I think I would use more broth and let the (fresh instead of frozen) vegetables mix and simmer out into the broth for a while before adding the dumplings as the last step, a few minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Fried banana pudding and Cannellini bean soup

I've had my eye on a new cooking magazine at work and bought a copy last night.  I've already experimented with things 'like' the recipes that are in it, stolen from glances etc.

The other night I made a version of the chickpea soup that turned out wonderful.

/////////////////////////---- dinner ---

Cannellini Bean Soup
Use a pot deep enough for soup.
Cut up one onion and sauté it in butter until it begins to get soft.
Turn down the heat and puree one can of cannellini beans (drained).
Spoon that sticky mixture into the onions and stir, cooking it a little but not burning it.
Pour in one and a half bean cans worth of chicken broth, and stir well.
Add oregano, paprika, salt and pepper
Add either a small handful of baby spinach or a few tablespoons of canned greens.
I added a few tablespoons of mashed potato powder to thicken it up.
The paprika should settle out in a few minutes.

This soup was great with rye bread for dipping into it.  The potato flakes gave it a 'potato soup' feel but with healthier ingredients (instead of cream and potatoes).. the turnip greens really gave it a good flavor addition to counterbalance.  I have a certain Catahoula dog (definitely not a vegetarian) who enjoyed this immensely with me.

/////////////////// ----- and breakfast ---

This next one was supposed to be fried bananas caramelized and then put into a batter and fried... well.. I got away from myself a bit and moved too fast - but it still turned out delicious.  I'll probably even do it again.  Although, I'll try to move slower next time and see if it turns out 'proper'.

Fried Banana Slices or more likely.. a 'Pudding'
One banana cut up into thin slices.
maple syrup
a bit of butter
1 egg
a little milk
a little flour
a dash of salt
a dash of cinnamon
(maybe I should have added baking powder, but it didn't say to)

Heat up the butter in the pan
Dip the bananas in the maple syrup and fry in the butter until they begin to caramelize.
Mix up the batter, (egg, milk, flour, salt, cinnamon)
Remove the bananas onto another plate, dip each into the batter and return to the butter frying up each piece.

What I did wrong : I ended up just putting all the caramelized bananas into the batter at once - where they stuck together and began to cook the batter.. and well.. I just poured the whole thing back in the pan and cooked it as pudding.  I put it as a topping on some oatmeal I had made on the side, and it was amazing.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Octopus Vomit continued

The crocheted 'octopus vomit' yarn is coming along.. Esme now says it looks like octopus vomit with autumn leaves...