Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Dinner Made Out Of Sin

Refrigerator pickles! You know how we got that 'pickle pack' from our CSA? Well, yesterday I was looking in the refrigerator and realizing that I'd better use all that up before we left for the long weekend and I remembered that you can make refrigerator pickles! And that sounded good to me as I didn't have the time nor experience to do all the hot water stuff...

I made it pretty much the same, except I used 1/4 t celery seed powder and 1/4 t dill in place of the celery seeds and I didn't use crushed red pepper, I used those yellow paprika peppers! I also topped it off a little with vinegar and water, I hope that's okay. We'll see in 4 days! Notice I improvised and used the pickle jars we had in the refrigerator already. We had 2 jars of Milwaukee's Best Kosher Baby Dill Pickles and I dumped those out and washed the jars and used them for my pickles. Hah! Take that Milwaukee's Best! (They had been in there forever, really. No, I don't feel guilty for dumping out perfectly good pickles. Really, I don't. Really.).

Next up, a supper made from sin*. No, wait, that's not what I meant. A supper made from a mistake I made when trying to make burgers for our camping trip. See, you're supposed to chop up the walnuts in your food processor, then the rice, and then mix in everything else. Well, I had this brain wave to mix it all in the food processor. "Mix it all in the food processor!" I said to myself. Warning; error. So it turned into ?a puree? and I stuck it in the refrigerator (why do I keep wanting to spell that with a d as in refridgerator?!? argh!) in disgust. Later I thought, I'll make them into patties and bake them for supper. And then I thought they were 40 points and so I thought I'd make 40. So I did. I was really in the zen zone, rolling and patting and placing and scooping and rolling...
They turned out good! But my husband kept thinking they were ginger cookies. Next time I will make them bigger. And they were only 30 points.

*that's the last of the Artisan Bread in Five. It gets soggier as you go. More moist and tastier. And that's a bunch of CSA beans that I had to use before we left this weekend. If you're interested. Did you know that when you boil up the purple beans they just turn yellow? True fact.

Oh! Oh! AND I got to use my new HP sauce, straight from Canada that a friend brought me! Woo! I think it really makes this recipe. Frankly, I'm going to add it to any burger recipe I make.

Walnut Burgers

1 C walnuts (20)
1 1/2 C cooked rice (6)
1/4 C vital wheat gluten (2)
2 T Bacos
2 T water
1 T olive oil (4)
1 T HP sauce
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t browning sauce

Process until smooth. Make into 10 patties. Bake at 350 degrees for 20m or until browned.
Conversely, you can LIGHTLY process the walnuts, remove to a bowl, then the rice, remove to the bowl, then stir in by hand the rest of the ingredients and make more appealing burgers. Unless you want everyone to think they're cookies.

And here is a shot of some granola bars. Yumm. The time before last that we went up to our land up by Ely, the friends that we went with brought these. Well, I don't know if exactly these, I didn't get the recipe, but I think it's pretty much the same. She said it had wheat germ in it. My 'mix ins' were 1/2 C chopped cashews, 1/2 C chocolate chips, 1 C craisins. I can't wait to try them!! I have to say, if you make these, use a mixer. That is all.

So I've been kind of nuts running around making stuff for the camping trip. On today's docket: make Morning Glory Muffins and bake them, bake the felafel, make pitas and bake them and roll out flax seed crackers and bake them. The baking of the flax seed crackers will hopefully be accomplished on the grill as well as the pitas- can you put a pizza stone on the grill? We'll see. Tomorrow; prep flatbread ingredients, prep red lentil curry, prep desserts.

So, Eragon is not holding my attention. When surfing for 'camping dessert' is more interesting than your book, you know you're in trouble.

No knitting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Yarn Smells of Mothballs

Well, well, well. Here is a supper for you. It is a sort of curry thing I winged. It was pretty okay, the spicing didn't go with the potato I didn't think, and the spicing itself was sort of ?bitter? somehow? Yah wow, I'm really selling you on this one, huh? But it was filling, hot and pretty good.

Spinach, Potato and Pea Curry

1 pkg frozen spinach
9 small potatoes
1 C frozen peas
1 T oil
1/2 onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T (heaping) garam masala
1 T brown sugar
1 T 'chicken' broth powder
1 t salt
2 T chickpea flour + 1/4 C water
2 C water

Nuke your spinach in a microwave safe dish for 5m, leave it in there to thaw.
Boil your potatoes until they are done, drain and let cool.
Fry up your onion and garlic, add garam masala, sugar, broth powder, salt and mix well.
Add water, mix well, add spinach, mix well.
Stir chickpea flour together with water and pour this in, mixing well.
Crank up heat and bring to boil.
Cut up your cooled potatoes and add them.
Add your peas, lower heat and simmer until thick.
Serve over rice.

Still reading Eragon, Erawhatever. Here's the beef; the bad guys are Shades? His taciturn, reticent, mysterious, convenient, older, wiser person that helps him has !really! no similarities to Strider. I actually heaved a sigh of relief when the author came up with an original thought?
Maybe I am just LOTR obsessed and can't see the forest for the trees. I will try and read this with fresh eyes. It has a dragon. That's cool. It's totally different. Even though it had a map in the front of the book.

No knitting. My yarn smells of mothballs.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Magical Item Protagonist Doesn't Know What To Do With?

Well, I thought I had a hit here, but alas, D. is not a big fan of either eggplant or tomato, so the combination of both, even if it was a paprikash, was just too much. I really liked it, and it would have been even better had I remembered the liquid smoke (dur). Doesn't it look gorgeous?
This recipe was from Susan at Fat Free Vegan- Eggplant Paprikash.

So, I must embarrassedly confess that I made a huge mistake and the part that kills me is that I kinda knew at the time, but I didn't listen to myself trying to warn myself. Does that ever happen to you? There I was, loading ingredients into the blender for the sauce and when I came to the tahini I thought to myself, "Wow, Susan, you're really going for the gusto, there! Oh well, I guess the other ingredients are pretty low fat/cal." and added the 1/2 C tahini. Then I'm blending away and scraping away and thinking to myself, gee, I should add some water or something to make this blend a little better, but no, I'll stick to the recipe. Maybe it's supposed to be this thick...
I decided to leave the sauce seperately to add as desired and I'm not sure when I realized that the recipe read 1/2 T instead of 1/2 C, but it was somewhere before actually serving it! But really, when I mixed it all up on my plate and ate it, it was WONDERFUL! In fact, it turned the paprikash into a sort of paprikashy-baba ghanoushy deal. And, as you'll see, I did redeem the rest of the sauce later...

Here is a shot of some pitas on the grill- it worked wonderfully! Note; do not try to grill the pita on the rack that's right over the flame. The best part? The house did not get all stinkin' hot! No bending over and into a 500 degree oven! The pitas were so easy to place on the racks! I am inspired to try* more grilled bread recipes.
*scroll down the the video section.
And, I made the tahini/tofu 'sour cream' from Susan's Paprikash into baba ghanoush! I took my 2 pingtung eggplant and sliced them longways into 3rds, then broiled those for 6-8m after oiling my baking sheet and the eggplant slices well with olive oil. Then I dumped the 'sour cream' into the food processor along with a large clove garlic, chopped, the eggplant scraped out of it's skin, some salt and onion granules and 1 t of cumin and some liquid smoke. It was good, but I think I'll skip the liquid smoke next time.

Well, I finished the Bean Trees, can't say I was a huge fan, although I wanted to be. The love story in this was weak and unbelieveable. There, I said it.

Started "Whiteout" which is fun/funny to read. I mean, it's pretty fluffy and the things he adds to the plot as means to the end are pretty patent. Can't think of a good example, but you'd be reading along and come across some item or incident and think, "I'll be seeing THAT again, won't I?". Like, bam, it was just planted there. Why was I not more gripped by a story about !flesh eating viruses! I don't know...

Started "Eragon", had high hopes but I'm getting some "Sword of Shannara" flashbacks... we'll see. Feisty, innocent (read; unknowing), male protagonist, check! Small village flanked by evil forest and encroaching baddies, check! Magical item protagonist doesn't know what to do with, check!

Worked some more on the baby lacey blanket. Tightened up some decreases by making them approprieately left leaning or right leaning decreases. Did not rip back the whole blanket to start over with the new change, aren't you proud?!? Must knit a few repeats of this to see if it gives the effect I want.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Plays Nice With Others

It's Pisto Manchego Pie! Oh, ho, ho, I amuse myself sometimes. For example, here's what I did with this one, I combined the most unholy of combinations, a fancy NYT recipe aaaaand, crescent roll dough! Bwah-ha-ha-haaaaaa!

No really, you know, we had all this yellow squash that needed to be used up, and somewhere I had seen some kind of savory pie using these squash, but then I wasn't up to making the dough from scratch (read; ran out of time) and there was this crescent roll dough in the fridge, and well, you know what happened next. No, wait, you don't. Then I was surfing around and saw this Mark Bittman video about Tomato Jam and found the recipe for the Pisto Manchego, which looked suprisingly easy and fit the bill for something to use the yellow squash (and tomatoes, which we also had a lot of!) that I could make pie-like. Voila! Really, my intentions were good, I knew there was some non-sweet pie dough somewhere in my files, I really was going to get it and make it... yah, well, you know how it goes.

And while I was making this, I kept wanting to add !oregano! or !spices! and stuff, but I'm really glad I didn't. It was very good.

I also tried out this thing where you put your mesh strainer over a bowl and then slice open your tomatoes and shove out the seeds into the strainer and then when you've done that you mash the juice through the strainer and throw out the seeds. I felt so fancy. Then you use the juice in the recipe and you have no seeds. I guess this is nice, kinda makes the tomatoes work more saucy. The most best thing would be to blanch the tomatoes, peel them and then do this. But that seems super intensive.

Somehow, the squash and tomatoes sweetness and the rich crescent roll dough married perfectly. I'm serious.

Pisto Manchego Pie

1 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 yellow squash, sliced thin in the food processor
6 paste tomatoes, deseeded or 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 t salt
pinch sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Saute onion and garlic in oil.
Stir in squash and 1/4 t salt and mix until well coated.
Cover and when squash has started to soften, add tomatoes and sugar and turn up heat.
Stir while simmering 5 - 10m until tomatoes are cooking down.
Add tomato juice and 2 T water and simmer uncovered 30 - 35m, mashing with a potato masher. When it begins to stick, it's done.
Meanwhile, in a small pie plate (I used a Baker's Square one, they are quite small), lay out your triangles of crescent roll dough, wide side out along the edge, overlapping slightly and pressing together seams with your fingertips.
Bake the crust 10m.
Remove crust from oven and fill with filling, sprinkle with pepper and bake 5m.
1/4th of the pie = 6 points

CSA veg!

Aubergines! Purple fruit is incredibly cool. In my next post you will see what I did with them... well, at least the big'un.
Red potatoes! I never know what to do with potatoes. Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew!

Look at these!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited, after becoming enraptured of paprikash and so forth, I am really excited about these this year (I think we just ate them out of hand last year). What to do, what to do? They are paprika peppers! I sure hope we can get some of these red and then maybe I will try and dry them or something...Here is some lovely chard. Gotta use this before it gets all floppy.

Here is some parsley! I can make parsley pesto again! Or maybe I should try something else?
Here is our pickle pack, which is a good idea, but I have to go pick up some jars, that should be easy enough, right? I've never canned before, but I DO have a wire cooling rack and a giant pot. Some weekend in September? I think next week we'll get another one so maybe sometime that week I should be a-picklin'.
Here are some dragon beans. They are dragon lingerie (woo!) dragon tongue beans. No idea what to do with these, already I was stumped with the yellow and green ones... froze those. Maybe I should pickle these, huh? What do you think, on my pickling extravaganza weekend (or weekday) in September?
Fennel. I am the only one who will eat this. Too bad, suckas!
And of course we had so much more!! More tomatoes! Walla walla onions! Lettuce mix with tomatoes! Zucchini and summer squash! I love our CSA.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Madcap Adventure

The soup and bread (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Master Recipe) turned out great, but I forgot to serve salad, d'oh! We had a happy birthday celebration. D. got some tshirts, exciting, I know.
Ahhh, the cake was scrumptious. I just used the same recipe for the frosting, except I used cocoa instead of the strawberry jam.

We had balloons, a crown, the birthday song, cards, gifts and cake!! What a great day... now this weekend we'll have a visit from Grandma and Grandpa!

Got a few repeats on the knitting done, looks like my idea about only 3 repeats instead of 4 was a good one! Hooray! Now I should go and check my Walker Treasuries to see if I've just reinvented the wheel or something...

Still reading the Bean Trees, pretty good. A madcap adventure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nothing to see here

This is my favorite soup!! French Lentil Soup. And this time I made it with fresh tomatoes!
On the side there you see a few slices of Artisan Bread in Five, which I haven't made in a while and am really glad I did again! It's so great and easy for nice loaves to eat with supper! A super supper! Not sure I can top this tonight for D.'s birthday dinner- he requested Niskena with bread- got the bread covered, hope the soup turns out okay.

Finished "Where Angels Fear to Tread" and the end was a little fuddly. Goddess this, goddess that, confusion etc. etc. But it was an interesting read, if not a little breathy.

Started "The Bean Trees" by Kingsolver, very enjoyable.

Got a chance to work a few repeats of the lace blanket, am repeating the 4 row repeat three times instead of four to see if this helps with the puffy thermal aspect of the pattern- can't hurt.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If Necessary!

Oh, major housewife faux pas! I served corn with corn last night!!! How could this happen?!?
And, for the sake of this blog, I should have 1. made rice 2. make the sauce 3. skipped the corn in the rice and then served it so- bed of rice, sauce with tvp in it over the top. Perhaps more attractive, I don't know. BUT that would defeat the whole 'one pot meal' and 'easy' aspect of this meal. Anyway, it was good. And the sweet corn was scrumptious- this has been a banner year for corn.

1 can pinto beans, undrained (3)
2 C water
1/4 C + 2 T nutritional yeast
1/4 C pimentos
1 T ketchup
2 t Dijon mustard
2 t chicken flavor boullion
1 t onion powder
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt

1 C Minute Rice (12)
1/2 C TVP (2)
1 can corn, undrained (3)
1 T oil (4)
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

Blend all sauce ingredients together.
Saute onion and garlic, then add rice, corn and tvp.
Add sauce and bring to boil, covered, on med high heat.
Lower heat and simmer, covered, until rice and tvp are tender, approx 20m, stirring often.
Heat on low, uncovered, until thick.

Makes approx. 5 cups, 5 points per cup.

Still reading "Where Angels Fear To Tread" v. good.

Cast on 80 sts provisionally for lace baby blanket. In a shockingly loud color of pink. Finished my trial swatch, looked okay, did not block but probably should have- crossing fingers that I'll be able to make it work. If it puckers, then it puckers. I will call it a design feature, like, 'it's thermal!'. Must must must cast on and off loosely! Planning to take out provisional cast on if necessary and use Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind off if necessary. If necessary.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Aren't they beautiful? We enjoyed them Thursday night as we feasted on leftovers before we left for Grandma and Grandpa's. These were courtesy of our CSA! I truly love a beautiful bouquet of flowers and have rearranged them again, now that we are home.

We had lots of fun and E. got to try out her new bike with training wheels- she did very well.
We even got to go to some beautiful waterfalls. We went to Twelve Foot and Eight Foot Falls. Really quite astoundingly beautiful!
Here is some lovely purple basil that I whirred up with some olive oil right away and put into small containers to freeze for the winter. We shall feast on pesto come winter!
We also got some lovely red onions...
A bunch of tomatoes (which I plan to blanch, remove the skins, dice and freeze).
Next is a lonely green pepper that I took a picture of before I found his brethren... but my pictures of them turned out blurry...
Some yellow and green (aka zucchini) squash
Some potatoes......and supper last night- pesto! With some splendid spring greens salad and cucumber and green peppers. We also got garlic, cucumber and wax beans!

Read "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham. Thought it was good, really resonated with parts of it, liked the little connecting details between the different stories, makes me want to read Woolf. Have started "Where Angels Fear to Tread" by E.M. Forster and am enjoying it.

Tried to fix the wavyness of the edging on the blanket, but no go. So, slapping on a garter border, ho! Tried it with just one repeat and it seems fine, will have to block the s@!# out of it, though.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Undulating Waves

Lentil Casserole

This was a melding of Lachesis' Alfredo Stroganoff sauce (scroll down and down for recipe) and Honey Baked Lentils (of course, veganized with maple syrup in place of honey- yum!). I once had some leftover Baked Lentils and some leftover Alfredo sauce and I mixed them together and lo! it was good. So I thought I'd do it on purpose. Things were a bit hectic so it got left in the oven a little too long, so it was dry, and I'm not convinced that just making each component on it's own wouldn't be better, but you can't beat it for easy. And it was tasty. Much better than some bland rice and lentil dishes I've made.

1 C moong dal (or other lentil), rinsed (12)
1 C rice, rinsed (12)
1/4 C Earth Balance margarine, softened (12)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 C water
1/2 pkg soft silken tofu (2)
1/4 C soysauce
1/4 C maple syrup (4)
1 T cornstarch
1 T onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t white cooking wine
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t ginger paste or powder
pinch nutmeg

Blend everything except the rice, lentils, onion and garlic.
Saute the onion and garlic, rinse the lentils and add them to the pot, then add the blender mixture and mix well, then pour into your 5qt casserole/ 9x9" casserole (enough to hold 6 C).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 45m (or until rice is tender), stirring once.
7 points per cup.

No reading.

I did knit, though! I hacked away at my lace blanket pattern. Okay, reversing the pattern stopped the biasing and started the pattern undulating- yay! But now the sides are too wavy, so I'm going to try and add a half repeat of the pattern to the beginning of the row and subtract one from the end and vice versa on the next four rows (I'm reversing every four rows) and see if that takes care of it. If not, I'll just slap a garter stitch border on there and call it good. Can't wait to see if it works!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paprikash with Dumplings

Paprikash with Dumplings

This was heavily modified from this recipe. I left out the mushrooms and subbed in garbazo beans because of the resident mushroom hater, ditto on the sour cream but we love stuff with paprika enough to give it a try and was I glad I did! We eat Tofu Paprikash and this is another paprika dish that will feature heavily in our rotation. I have tried and failed in the past to make dumplings, but with a stern warning not to take the cover off for 10m I was lifted into the realm of accomplished dumpling makers! Hooray!

I also added 1 T of sugar because the paprika paste I have is not quite what I'm after and it needed a little help. So if'n youse just use sweet Hungarian paprika powder, you'll be fine.


2 T oil (8)
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 T sugar (1)
2 T paprika paste (or 1 T paprika powder)
1 can garbanzo beans (6)


2 C flour (16)
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3 T Earth Balance (9)
1/4 C soymilk/water

For the paprikash, saute the onion, then garlic. Add paprika and sugar, mix well. Add garbanzos, undrained, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20m.

Meanwhile, get a big pot, I mean the biggest, of water to the boil. We used the big pot we use to boil up a whole dozen ears of corn. It's a pot my father claims he got when Johnson Wax stopped making their own paste for labels and got rid of the glue pots. So it's a glue pot, basically.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in Earth Balance until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in soymilk/water and keep adding a little water until you have a dough that holds together. Knead, then roll out to 2 finger width snake and divide into 12. Cover with flour, place on plate and slide into pot of boiling water. Cover and lower heat a bit (keep it boiling, you just don't want it to boil over) and boil for 10m without taking the lid off. Remove with slotted spoon and add to paprika mixture. Mix gently and serve.

yum! and very filling.
will try to do smaller dumplings next time (thumb width snake and divide into 24).

Scored big time at the thrift store yesterday! Anxiously awaiting the dryer to be done. Also got these massive muffin tins that look like they served someone really well. Plus two nice mixing bowls, from an old Hamilton Beach mixer, sans mixer. I had to get them because they said, Made in Racine, Wisconsin, and that's my hometown.

Stopped reading "The Medusa Frequency" by Russell Hoban. Okay, I kept thinking, this can't be the same author as "Bread and Jam for Frances", but it is. That is hilarious. One of my favorite children's authors writes science fiction! I'll have to look into Pilgermann or one of his others when I have a chance. Right now my head is just not in the right place for this. Good writing, though. I just need something a little more straightforward, that's all. Right now the main character is talking to a rotting head.

So I started "The Way of All Flesh" by Samuel Butler, which is pretty interesting.

No knitting. Oh wait, I did sit down and decide that the fabric is definately biasing. So I'm going to reverse the pattern every four rows to get it to wave. Hope that works.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm not biased, I just lean.

So I made this Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread and it is really good! I don't recall that that's actually where I stumbled across it, the picture on my saved Word document doesn't match...
I didn't have enough soymilk to make a full 1 1/2 C so I subbed in some apple juice because that's what we had. And I used apple cider vinegar. Next time I'm going to use flax seed meal instead of the corn meal. Now, THAT would make it better, in my opinion.
I was stumped as to what to serve it with, but I think it would be good with chili. Like, that kind of chili that has black beans as the base, and adobo chili and chocolate chips...
Roasted zucchini- covered in garlic salt and olive oil, roasted for an hour while the bread baked.
Some leftover soup doctored up with diced onion and garlic and some coriander seeds I didn't grind up enough in the blender so there were these odd bits of crunchiness...

Skipping reading that Sara-whatever guy's book, Saramago? "All the Names"- it didn't pass the 'I went away for the weekend and now am I interested enough to pick this back up?' test. Sorry, guy, I really wanted to like you, I did. Maybe when I don't have the attention span of a gnat (read; not a parent of 2 kids under age 4).

Started some book about a kraken- seems promising!

Got some knitting done too! Finally getting somewhere with this pattern. Sort of biases. Will put a border on it and see if that is okay. Not really biasing, just leans. Whatever.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Waving In and Out

No food pics today... camping food is uh-guh-lee! No, really, it's usually so crazy I'm just glad to get the food out there, much less photograph it!! But I did find some good recipes and for sure, one hit!

First off, an apology and an admittance of wrongdoing on my part! I did not include the 1 1/3 C brown sugar when I posted the Morning Glory Muffins post!!! I made it for this camping trip and was like, hmmm, that's wierd, where's the sugar? and then I tasted it and thought, well, I'll add 1/4 C molasses (which was good, but not enough, sadly). Och ach, so please, please forgive me if you tried this one, I am a bad blogger!!!! I did go back and edit that post to reflect reality.


I tried this peach crumble again, this time with 2 T brown sugar added and 1/4 C chocolate chips, both definitely good additions. I really like that this can become, suddenly, Breakfast! if you were too lazy to make it have been dessert the night before. Or vise versa... I think the next time we go camping (just a few weeks!) I'll use a can of apple pie filling with cinnamon and the oats and chocolate chips... drool. Sorry Shmooed Food, I know this is, like, the antithesis of what you were going for...

Okay, so the hit of the trip as far as food wise was a red lentil curry I devised all on my own. Eating vegan is very conducive to camping, actually, so a lot of what we eat is similar, with one caveat, however- we eat pretty healthy at home (well, I guess you can be the judge of that), but when we're camping it's no holds barred calorie wise. For example, I was not shy with the brown sugar and the whole can of full fat coconut milk in this one. Plus oil. Whoah. Be forewarned.

Red Lentil Curry

2 C red lentils
1/4 C TVP
1/4 C dried apricots/golden raisins
1/4 C chopped roasted salted cashews
2 T brown sugar
2 T curry powder
1 t salt
1 can coconut milk
2 T olive oil (optional)
small onion (optional)
small carrot (optional)
garlic clove (optional)

Put all the dry ingredients into a Ziploc bag. At camp, if you brought any fresh veggies, saute them in the oil, then dump in the red lentil bag and mix well, then add the can of coconut milk and another can's worth of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir and cover alternately, adding water as necessary.

I also made Veganomicon's black bean burgers with a Vegenaise based cilantro mayo which were good and traveled well...
Made Kalamata Olive Tapenade, White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip and hummus for eating for lunch with carrots and pitas and my flax meal crackers (btw I oopsed and added 1/2 C olive oil instead of 1/3 C and so I upped the flour by a cup and got more crackers, plus I used tin foil instead of the pizza stone- still good, but not as good as the original way)...

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

1 C pitted kalamata olives
1/4 C chopped walnuts
1/4 C drained capers
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t Dijon mustard
black pepper to taste
1/4 C fresh parsley (optional) or 2 t dried parsley or
2 t thyme (optional)

Process all ingredients. Serve at room temperature with crackers, pitas or on toasted bread.
can leave out walnuts
can double recipe and use a can of regular black olives (or sub 1 C with black olives in place of kalamata).

Oh, and I tried parsley pesto, it was good. Pesto is great for camping with especially if you use angel hair pasta because it cooks up quick. I just used my standard recipe but with parsley in place of basil.

Ideas I did not try;
making sweet dumplings for dessert in coconut milk and making ice cream in a bag.

A chipmunk ate our chocolate! We heard loons! We saw an eagle! We swam to 'the rock' (well, D. and E. did, my husband and 3 year old)(well, he swam, she was along for the ride). We got a picnic table! It was all very fun.

I read "Farewell Summer" by Ray Bradbury and I have to say, I was so nervous about reading this and I was so pleased by it when I did! I loved it! I am a huge Bradbury fan, he was one of the first I found on my own when I started reading as a young kid and I just devoured all of what he wrote and then reread and reread it over the years, I mean, I REALLY like Ray Bradbury, so I was a little nervous to read a new book, but it was great and perfect and a fast read and fun and so forth. Even a little philosophical.

Did barely a few rows of knitting on the way home in the van and just enough to realize that the fabric is NOT biasing, it's just how it waves in and out along the sides so I should end the row by repeating the first repeat. No complicated alternating of stitches every other row necessary. I WILL conquer this pattern!

Gotta go do some laundry...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Are They Always Like This?

Well, here's what we had for supper last night. It's pretty weird, but it was really good. In order to not have pasta again, I put pesto over rice. The tofu was the other half I had frozen and then thawed. I cubed it up and let it marinate in the romaine pesto. In fact, this time when I made the romaine pesto, I skipped the nutritional yeast and it was fine! I just threw all the romaine we had into the big bowl of the food processor, a few cloves of garlic, chopped, 1/4 C walnuts and then blended. Then I scraped down the sides and added 1 T of olive oil. Mmmm. I don't know why I'm so taken with this romaine pesto, but I guess it's just the child in me, "Teehee, I made pesto from lettuce!".

I've been running around like crazy getting ready for this camping trip, yesterday I made a big batch of hummus, some olive tapenade, and some bean dip. Then I mixed up my flax crackers and made some pitas, and I made the batter for the Morning Glory muffins. This time with dried apricot. Last night around 10pm found me in the kitchen, bent over the hot, hot (425?) stove makin' crackers. This time was much more efficient- I tried using tin foil instead of baking them one at a time on the baking stone (can you imagine, opening and closing the oven 12 times?!?) and so this time only had to do three batches. It worked just fine, but you've really got to poke those holes in them with the fork or the steam builds up.

Today I bake the muffins (why did I make such a big batch?) and I need to get our suppers figured out and prepped. Gonna make the black bean burgers from Veganomicon. Gotta pick up some more muffin tins and some hamburger buns.

No reading, well, very minimal. Enough to realize that Saramago doesn't use quotation marks to show who's talking and his paragraphs are insanely long. Is it like this for all his books? Three of his other books are on the 1,001 books to read before you die list...

No knitting (ha!).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This post brought to you by the letter C

I have been lax in posting these pics of our latest CSA bounty! We got a lot, I haven't pictured the veg we have gotten before, just the new stuff, but we also got squash and my long awaited for zucchini (lost that pic, too lazy to repost, you can use your imagination), some cherry tomatoes that got eaten on the way home (just like candy!), more onions (hooray!) and lettuce (more romaine pesto here we come!). Here we have some new potatoes, which I made into a potato salad (no recipe as it was kind of weird).
And the first tomato, which E. and I and the baby shared for lunch one day!

Then the green beans which were so sweet and good, I froze a bunch and we'll be so happy to eat these come winter.
And finally, parsley and dill. I did use the parsley for supper last night and will hope to use up the rest this weekend.
Oh, and can't forget the cukes, I put one in the potato salad in lieu of celery, and then just ate the others straight up, skin and all 'cause I'm crazy like that.
Here is our meal last night. I had hoped to make some sort of pocket with that mixture, but then I forgot we were out of flour. So I made chickpea pizza and had it with that! Hooray! D. liked the chickpea flour pizza, and I was glad, because I like them too! They have lots of protein in them.
There is a can of lentils (cheater!) and some paprika and some frozen and then thawed tofu crumbled in and some sauteed onion and garlic and chopped up parsley and some other herbs from our herb garden courtesy of Ironwood Farm and some veg broth powder. Kind of a mish mash, but it served the purpose and was good.

Enjoying "All the Names", I asked my husband last night, is Portugal near Italy? Because I think this author reminds me of Italo Calvino. He's lighthearted and funny.

No knitting, won't be any, we're going up to our land Thursday so I am in the midst of preparing for the trip, getting stuff organized and planning the menu- today I hope to actually get to preparing some of said food. After a trip to the park for the kids, of course. And watering a friend's plants who are on vacation. Hopefully I'll have some good camping recipes for you come Monday. This trip will be brought to you by coconut milk.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Few Meals A Few Books and a little knitting

Here we have some basic comfort food, Golden Cheaze Sauce with fried onion, a packet of Boca crumbles all simmered together with 5 C of pasta. And our yellow beans that were so sweet and good, I just served them plain. Blanched them (froze the rest) and then nuked them the rest of the way before supper (like, 3m). I used kidney beans in the sauce, with only 1/4 C nutritional yeast and 1 t yellow prepared mustard.

Golden Cheaze Sauce ala me

1 can kidney beans, undrained (4)
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/4 C pimento pieces (half of a small jar)
1 t lemon juice (I just used the bottled kind)
1 t onion powder
1 t yellow mustard
1/2 t salt

Blend until smooth.

And this was another supper from this weekend, and we found a winner!! Grandma's Cornbread Made Vegan. Soooo super good. I forgot the ener-g egg replacer (which I find ridiculous anyway) and it was totally fine. Next to it you see refried beans and a seitan taco thingy- I took my ribz I made and sliced them thin in the food processor and added taco seasonings and sauteed onion. Kinda wierd.

Grandma's Cornbread Made Vegan

1 C cornmeal (4)
1 C flour (8)
1 C soymilk (2) (I used silk vanilla, this was fine)
1/2 C sugar (8)
1/3 C canola oil (18)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 T oil (for oiling skillet) (4)

44 points total, divided into 8ths, 5 points a slice

Preheat oven 375 degrees, placing cast iron skillet oiled with 1 T canola oil on center rack.
In large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Pour in soymilk and oil and mix until just combined.
Carefully remove skillet with potholders from oven and pour in batter. Tilt so batter is evenly spread. Bake 25m or until it tests done.

Seriously, if you have a cast iron skillet, go make this now. Surely you will find an accompaniment to go with it.

Well, I have been on a reading rampage.
Read "Cell" by Stephen King- I found this forum topic on amazon about post-apocalypse book recommendations and I think someone recommended this. Anyway, I liked it. I wanted to get "The Stand" but the library didn't have it. Surely my father-in-law owns it.
I found King's stance on guns and SUV's to be interestingly paired with his protaganists prayers. I think I can see King's popularity- he writes clearly (unlike the next book I read) and he appeals to our better natures. Anyway, Cell is about zombies so !WIN!. A totally fun read. Plus if you look at the cover it's like, there's blood cells, plus the zombies who SPOILER work as a cell in a larger organism and a cell phone!! It's like a pun on the cover!! Hee hee!

Okay, and then I read "The Pesthouse", again another post-apocalyptic book (why do I have such a hard time writing that word?!) and it really reminded my of "Ethan Frome". Love story, man-child dude, them against the world... anyway, I found the writing style hard to get into. When the reviews praise the author as 'original' and so forth, you know you're in trouble, am I right? I totally understand the desire to write a post-apocalypse book in a new way, so kudos for that, but he never really gets into what happened or why, which are, like, big questions. We want to see our excesses villlified so we can cathartically purge them from our systems and slough off some of our guilt!! That's why we read post-apocolyptic books, folks!! At least there's SPOILER a happy ending, so there's that. If it would have been otherwise I'd be really trashing this book.

Next up "All the Names".

Tried a new way of working the old classic baby blanket/afghan knitting pattern 'Feather and Fan' and it biased. Duh. Will try to remedy that and then see if it looks cool enough to work it with the resulting extra rows.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Symphony of Flavor

Last night's supper was like a taste explosion in my mouth! After a spate of meh suppers, this was an exciting change! Let me explain...

I saw this post over at What the hell does a pinkhaired girl eat, and then I googled it and found this post at Smitten Kitchen and was even more intrigued, and after realizing that I did indeed have romaine lettuce, I decided to go for it!

Originally I was going to make pizza, and try out a new pizza dough, but then I ran out of time. I was peeling my beets (naughty!) for Susan's Beet Chocolate Cake and decided to chop up the bigger ones and roast them, and then I threw in a few carrots and the last two fennel bulbs and some onion and a whole head of garlic to roast. Sprinkled them with oil and a leeetle bit of balsamic and threw those in the oven for 30m at 350 degrees. So it was to be pizza with pesto sauce and roasted veg, which sounds great, doesn't it? But pasta with pesto and roasted veg was great!

And we tried that new Barilla omega three juju magic pasta and it didn't taste too weird, so that's good! Weight watcher me was pleased to note that it's only 2 points a cup instead of 4.
And those beets! Wow!! So sweet and good! The puree for the cake was so tasty! I don't think I've ever had a beet that tasted so good.

And when I was making the pesto, I only had to use 1/2 t salt and 1 T of olive oil. So it's kind of light, but really tasty, and the sweetness of the roasted veg and the garlicky spicyness of the pesto really married well.

Romaine Pesto

1 1/2 C romaine lettuce, packed
1/4 C walnuts (5)
1 clove garlic
1/2 t salt
1 T olive oil (4)
2 T nutritional yeast

Blend everything except oil in food processor, scrape sides and drizzle in oil while running processor.
And this cake! It is a light cake that you can eat everyday! But it's not the 'light' that leaves you like, 'Ah, I just ate a light cake.' Very moist and satisfying. I have to admit, I did not use any fancy-dancy cocoa, just Nestle's, but that worked well. The only change I made was to use 1 T of oil in it and not the 2 T of water she calls for to add to the beet puree. I think I used more than the 1/4 C water in the blender to get the beets to puree, anyway. I used 4-5 (can't remember) small beets and that gave me roughly 1 C of puree. Oh, and I didn't use whole wheat flour 'cause I was out. Heck, I should just give you the recipe...

4-5 small beets
1/4 C water
1 C sweetened applesauce
1 T oil (4)
1 t vanilla
1 t apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 C all purpose flour (12)
1/2 C cocoa (2)
1 C sugar (16)
1 T cornstarch
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon

36 points total divided by 18 = 2 points per slice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13" pan.
Peel, chop and boil your beets until tender.
Puree beets with 1/4 C water, pour into 2 C measure and fill to 2 C mark with applesauce. Whisk together the rest of the wet ingredients.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in another bowl and then pour the puree mixture in and mix until just combined.
Bake at 325 for 40m or until it tests done.

Sorry about the rant yesterday about the book. I'm still reading it, because, truth be told, all I have left from the library is a non-fiction book that I should be reading, but don' wanna. Probably someday you'll even see me read the next one (I'm betting there is one) if our library has it. Or maybe I'm wrong! Looks like this is the last one! Now I have to eat crow.

Fiddled a little with the baby blanket pattern, got to the point where I figured out something else to try and set it down, will try and pick it up today. Maybe not stripes every other row, but then that means a wealth of ends to weave in...