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Monday, January 6, 2014

Veggie Soup ( -14 degrees and 12 inches of snow)

 We woke up to -14 degree weather here and this beautiful phenomenon called a 'sundog'. I was calling it a 'snow-bow'. ( If you go to the Weather Channel's Facebook page photos there are amazing photos of this from all over the midwest. You can also check out ' Sundog' on Wikipedia for more info!
 View of snow drifts from our bedroom window.
  I am really trying not to eat meat , especially red meat but the Farmer asked for a big pot of 'veggie soup'. Yes I could have made it w chicken or turkey but he doesn't ask for much and I will try to replicate his mommy's version the best I can. This roast is so big I cut the 'leftovers' in two and am saving in the freezer for two other meals. One will be roast w potatoes and carrots for another day.
  Could do this in the crock pot I wanted to do it 'old school', browned in olive oil w onion, parsley and carrots smells heavenly....a little seasoning, garlic salt, salt and pepper ..( I also snuck in a small clove of garlic, garlic and onions help our bodies fight viruses)....Just remembered I do have celery will add some.
 3 cans of beef broth and 1 can of water.. now to simmer.. later I will add a bag of frozen veggies and one diced up gold potato... for now to simmer until tender..( I would add some tomatoes but not sure the Farmers mom would?)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Easy-Peasy Humus and homemade Tahini.. ( easy and very economical! )

  From the previous post I had on 1/2 tin of leftover garbanzo beans to make easy-peasy humus with.
   I was thinking yesterday that I have bought jars of pre-made Tahini in the grocery that is costly and usually goes bad before I can used it all.. what a waste of money and food, so I 'googled' Home made Tahini and came up w the link below:

But I'm getting ahead of myself I actually started my humus first and to give it more flavor toasted a small clove of garlic ( opt.) , w the 1/2 tin of humus ( if your going to the trouble and like humus as much as I do add another tin (can) 1/2 won't go far..I threw in a handful of sesame seeds and pinch of salt and browned them in about 1Tbsp. of olive oil and then threw them all into the blender. Then  slowly added about 1/2 cup of water or more as needed. If you aren't counting calories or fat add olive oil instead of water or a little of both.. A really good humus has Tahini added so goes another easy-peasy recipe below..
Tahini 1 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of olive oil and a pinch of salt!! That's all!  I did add a little water you could add more olive oil as needed.

 Like I said I have bought Tahini which is just toasted sesame butter in the store before. I can't remember  how much I paid for this big bag of sesame seeds but it was VERY cheap! The above link says to pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet w parchment, ( I think it would work almost as well w/o but the parchment paper does make it much easier to remove them. Watch closely they may brown quicker.
 The recipe says to roast for 6 minutes X2 stirring in between, mine roasted to a lovely golden brown in 8 minutes! I then added the sesame seeds to my clean and dry blender and blended on 'puree'. After a few pulses I drizzled the 1/4 cup of olive oil, stopping the blender and scrapping the sides occasionally, and added a pinch of salt ( not too much!!) The lovely aroma of the freshly toasted sesame seeds was warrant enough to make your own!!  After I scraped the Tahini into a container. I put my humus back into the blender and scrapped the left over tahini into it.. ( backwards yes..) I added a wee bit more water..
 Of course you can add any flavors to your humus that you'd like, curry, roasted red peppers, anything u'd like just as you'd find in the store..
 This Tahini was so inexpensive to make if I don't use it and end up throwing it away it won't be a 'sin' but I can't imagine not using it as fresh and lovely as it taste.

Learning to embrace Wintery January days.. Quick yummy minestrone soup, ( w what's on hand when you can't make it to the grocery.)

 Totally unrelated to this blog on Wintery days and homemade quickie soup, a photo of 'my' hawk who lives down the road, one of my simple pleasures in life.
 Cinnamon our dog, looking out at the snow and pouting because she can not be out helping the farmers down the road load corn from bags in the field to take to the ethanol plant..

 Thankful for tins of food in the cabinet to make up a quick batch of minestrone soup w whats on hand in the cabinet.. Glad I won't have to go out in the below zero weather to go to the grocery. The foul weather is making me become creative w what is on hand..
   Yummy Quick Minestrone Soup.. when I have the choice , I love using fresh ingredients, like freshly grated romano cheese, fresh parsley etc. but it's great to have shelf safe products on hand, especially when you live in the country and the nearest store is 30 minutes away!
  1 Tbsp of Olive oil, 1 Clove of garlic, 1/2 onion chopped and sautéed, pinch of salt,
 1/2 tin of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed ( I like to brown mine w above for more flavor, the other 1/2 will become humus for tomorrows lunch)
1/2 tin of kidney beans drained and rinsed ( the other 1/2 of these will make help make a small batch of chili for the farmers lunch tomorrow)
1/2 tin of peas
2 Cups of water in a microwave glass container w two chicken bouillon cubes ( heat 2 minutes Be Careful!)
1 cup of jarred spaghetti sauce..
1 grated carrot, ( grating helps cook faster)
add all above and heat gently and sprinkle of basil , parsley if available I had none today
when simmering add a handful of pasta and add more water as necessary ( I added at least another cup)
simmer until pasta is cooked.
salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of Parm. cheese or whatever is on hand when served.. Quick, warm satisfying..
                                                    my lunch , it really is good!
                                        Decided to go ahead and make the farmers quick chili
I had a 1/2 pound thawed ground beef, browned in iron skillet w a Tbsp of butter ( this farmer working out in below zero weather could use the fat)
Seasoned w chili powder and a smidge of cumin and salt.
I would have added onions but this farmer is a picky eater.
my other 1/2 can of red kidney beans.
1 cup of water w one beef bullion cube.
 I used 1/2 jar of Red Gold mild salsa since I am low on tomatoes and seasoning and I added a small amount of pasta since the farmer likes it that wasy. I will simmer it until pasta is cooked and add a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese and serve w crackers. 
The Farmers lunch.....

Friday, November 15, 2013

What would Thanksgiving be w/o lasagna? .

    This summer while visiting our daughter Anna in PHX for the birth of her new son Siegfried Patrick I discovered the 'cooking channel'.
  It was 118 degrees outside, ( OUCH!!) so while whiling the hours away ogling over a new bundle of JOY, we often had the cooking channel on in the background.
  I was delighted to come home and find it was on my direct TV I just hadn't tuned in before..One of my first favorite shows was Extra Virgin( w Debbie Mazar and her gorgeous Tuscan husband Gabriele.
  But lately I  got stuck on another great Italian cooking show: David Rocco I just happened to tune in the other day ( via my DVR) and David was making several authentic Italian sauces included the classic bolognese!! Excellent since my mothers family is Italian and I am in charge of bringing the lasagna for our family's Thanksgiving this weekend!! Here's the link to David's recipe:

So here's what you start w. Take ur time, clear ur calendar and concentrate on all that is good....Fresh rosemary, fresh basil...

  Yes my Patrick was right I can't follow a recipe completely.. is it me or did David forget the fresh flat leaf parsley I was sure he used on the show. Anyway I think any great Italian sauce has to have
Fresh ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY ( not any other kind), it has a lovely little licorcey taste.
  O.K. MUST be a typo where is the GARLIC!!!  and I added just a hint of fennel seed. Sorry,( No I'm not), it just seemed right!

So this is a Soffritto : ( don't know why these links aren't connecting you straight through, sorry). So you see in the official Soffritto recipe they use FLAT LEAF PARSLEY!
So here is is starting to simmer .. good stuff takes time. I am cooking the meat separately at first, So I can make a vegetarian lasagna ( yes this will be the sauce for my lasagna) , vegetarian dish for my niece Katy. AND I will make a batch of pasta and DAIRY free sauce for my very allergic 22 month old granddaughter Natalia Nilean. 
I will add the meat after the sauce cooks and I take Katy's out for her veggie lasagna. It is a bit of brain teaser not to mix anything : written note on the table " NO MEAT for Katy: No Dairy for Nattie!!

  Well it may be awhile until I add the final product..


                                        Remember Count Your Blessings NOT Your Grumbles!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy, Happy Friday ( homemade chalk painting and sewing)

Got all the Super Hero capes made for G's b-day tomorrow. Photos to come after the party tomorrow. I am attempting to put Friday aside for painting and such.

  Reupholstering this chair seat was a breeze, love this material I found. Staple , staple and it's like new!

                            Will also make a matching pilow for our bed. The chair will go at my great grandmother's desk in our bedroom.
             I am pretty sure I did not pay more that $1.00 for this chair. Gave it a good wipe down and a very light sanding.
 My husband had this brown John Deere hat which I took to Lowe's and had match the color to paint a horizontal stripe around his office but it turned out horrible. I took a clean cottage cheese container put in approx. 2-3 Tbsps of Plaster of Paris and some warm water ( 1-2 Tbsp.) stirred well. After stirring both paints well, one J.D. Brown and the other a cream, both latex I added approx. 1 cup of the J.D. to the pop and stirred well and then added approx. the same of the cream probably less and stirred well again.  I made a tiny test patch on the newspaper ( high tech!).

                          test colors on the newspaper....
 Voila!! Can not believe how well this covered and I LOVE the color! Perfect, similar to Annie Sloan French Linen. Such a nice finish and stuck well!!  After it dried which it did quickly I very lightly distressed and gave it a coat of Johnson's Wax. One of these days I will splurge for Annie Sloan's wax because I love the sheen it gives. Right now I'm just learning.

   Finished product!!  What is really fun abut this is having a vision and watching it come to reality!!
                                           Matching  pillow for our bed...
                            Bonus project: I picked this vanity chair up on the roadside years ago, spray painted it. A friend owed me a favor and cut me a new plywood circle to replace the rotted seat. Padding, fabric and the handy-dandy staple gun!! :) Good day... The vanity chair will be up for sale. Any suggestions on what I should ask for it.. it would be darling at a vanity or in a little girls room.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Capes and more..

The trouble w buying a lot of fresh foods is they have to be prepared right away and sometimes you have other things that need doing.  I have a fridge full of fresh food, a whole chicken, fresh green beans, eggplant and tomatoes from the garden that need to be made into sauce. I tackled the green beans today but I have very important Super Hero Capes to make for a very important B-day party this w/e. So the rest may have to wait.

 My hubby usually snaps the beans but he is back to work getting ready for fall harvest. When I am forced to do things I really do not enjoy I time it in my head. " It will only take me 15-20 minutes). Another annoyance is my husband likes his green beans cooked all day, the longer the better. I like mine like most veggies crisp. Since I'm snapping I decided to cook half my way and the other 1/2 I will cook his way ( tomorrow), gotta get working on those capes!
   I had hot water left over for the almost last of his sweet corn I made him for lunch so after removing the corn I just threw in my green beans and put the timer on for 5 min. ( they weren't quite down enough even for me so later on I will cook them a little longer.

          My lunch leftover pork form a dear friends pig roast this summer. It is delic and I still had some in the freezer, just removed it and heated it up for hubby's lunch.. he had sweet corn and tomates and watermelon. I had above green beans and fresh tomatoes.
        Now on w those capes! Anna I am really posting these for you so you can see the capes the kids will wear this w/e at Gideon's 5th B-day party.. can't wait to get a pic of al the kids in there's

                    This is Gio's. He has requested 'Sin Cara'. I am hoping his mom will pick up the matching mask.. more on this later.
                         This is Nattie's It will sport a large N on the back. I need to go to town tomorrow and get letters for the back of each Super Hero Cape for the kids Initials!
                   A little difficult to tell but Gios w have arm bands and a big shiny G on the back!
              It made me tear up a little as I was using thread and supplies from my Great Grandmother Anna's sewing kit to make capes for MY grandchildren! :')
                This is Rosie's! She asked for 'polk-a dots'! But I also found this awesome nesting doll fabric so hers like Lily's will be reversible!! So Rosie!!<3

    Lily asked for Owls! But I found this lovely angel material which was too beautiful to pass up so hers in angels and owls!

                Ashton, the girls decide should be Balls, all kinds since that is what Ash loves most so here it is!!!  It will 'sport' a large 'A' on the back.
     Well tomorrow I tackle Kennedy and Tyler's as ordered..... :') I love making each one as awesome as each Super Hero that inspired them!! <3 Love, Love,Love!!