Monday, November 30, 2015

The Finish Line

I have blogged every day. This does not feel like the achievement I thought it was in 2006 when I first tried. In fact, this is what I said about the accomplishment:
I also managed to blog every day in November. And let me tell you I won't be doing that again. It's too hard to blog on weekends! (Actually, it's not like I'm going anywhere the next few weekends, if the soreness in my back and shoulders is any indication of what walking with crutches is like.) And people just don't read that often, if the comments are any indication. But I did it!
Since then, I've participated almost every year (not in 2013 because of the then-new job and one year when I tried and failed). You can see how good I am at predicting the future!

I have not stitched on Sadie's stocking since the last time I showed it to you. With Christmas mere weeks away, I'm going to have to decide whether to do a big push, or put the stockings off to next year. It's not like the kids will notice.

I wish I had more for you, but today was a day. I left my pocketbook at home and in it my house keys, wallet, phone, and breakfast. And then when I did make it to work, I found out I had been accidentally left off an email scheduling the interview committee I am on--we had someone coming in at 10:00. And there it was 9:25 and I still hadn't eaten. Fortunately, a colleague lent me a $20. The dude came home early to let Stella and me in (I usually get home about an hour before he does). I ended up on my feet. Just barely. I sense a theme...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Penultimate Pitfall

As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I let out an "ugh." The dude wanted to know why. And it's that I almost forgot to blog. "You can't stop now; go blog. But make it quick." In 2012, I failed to blog on the penultimate day of NaBloPoMo. And I didn't want to stumble that close to the finish line again.

Today, I worked on a jewelry piece (that I can't show) and made apple crisp (week's breakfast). And I finally put together the Christmas cards I started making in September. Remember when I optimistically thought they'd be done by October? I got about half of them put together before I ran out of the white embossed rectangles. For some reason, when I was doing the embossing, I thought it was okay not to finish those because I had the embossing folder at home. As it turns out, I do not. (Eye roll) I will see what I can find next time I hit the craft stores.

I also realized I need about 20 more cards. That made me feel way behind, but when I pause to think about it, I realize I am so far ahead. I have only 20 cards to make going into December. Think about how many cards I have been making on December 20 or even January 6th! I need to take in the big picture.

Anyway, today I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking for a new idea for a card. (I can't make more "Cozy Christmas" or "Glittery Snowmen" because I used my demonstrator's stamps, and we aren't meeting again until next year!) I was in a pinning frenzy. With luck, I'll be able to show you what I decided on soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Veggieducken or Squaleekam?

Let me apologize: this stitching blog has turned into a weird food blog. One of these days I'll sit and stitch again. It will be grand.

At any rate, that crazy banana squash (from Nov. 13) was joined by sweet potatoes and leeks from the farm share last week, and how could we not make this silly-fun recipe? Here are my notes:

  • The stuffing is yummy.
  • The sweet potatoes need way longer in the microwave--two minutes did nothing for them. I'd nuke them for about 5-8 minutes.
  • We cooked it for 1 hour and 20 minutes and it still wasn't really done. (We cut our pieces and put it back in for another half an hour.) (And we had to microwave the sweet potatoes to make them edible.)
  • I would also do a little precooking of the leeks. They were really tough; I'd probably wrap them in damp towel and microwave for 5 minutes.
It was tasty, and it used up a lot of our vegetables, so definitely a win.

I also made the kartofellpuffer (German potato pancakes) for lunch from the list I compiled on Thanksgiving. They were tasty, but there is definitely something wrong with my veggie pancake skills because inevitably I leave the crunchy bits in the pan. I have tried cast iron, nonstick, and--what's the opposite of nonstick? stick?--stick pans and every time I lose the crust. Maybe it's my spatula? They were good served with a little leftover turkey heated up in leftover gravy. 

The only leftovers that are still leftover are one turkey leg and some stuffing.{Checking sale circulars for waffle iron...}

Friday, November 27, 2015

Farm Share Friday: Lacinato Kale Hearts

This week's farm share was full of ordinary vegetables. Normal stuff like carrots and Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The cauliflower was even white! (Last week it was green and the week before it was orange.) The kale hearts was the best I could do. What's different about this kale, you can't see in the bouquet photo. But don't worry, I've over-photographed this veg.
See the bottoms? How it looks like the heart of other leafy greens? Kale hearts.

Here's a not so secret secret. We don't even like kale. I'll never forget at our old farm share, overhearing a woman in the barn talking about how much her kids loooooooved kale chips. So the dude and I thought, "we'll try that, even kids like it." We chopped kale and spread the kale on a baking sheet, we oiled the kale and salted the kale. And then we threw away kale chips.

For a while I was using it in a chocolate-kale smoothie from Superfood Smoothies. It was okay but maybe a little gritty, what I really needed was one of those high performance blenders. But alas, even after I got one of those high performance blenders I realized the chocolate-kale smoothie was gross. So now kale is confined to stewed preparations. Two of our favorites are Chicken, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup (Skinny Taste) and Coconut Curried Kale and Sweet Potato (Cookie and Kate).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours. (If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, that's okay. You can save this list for Christmas. And if you don't celebrate that, I think you should take up Thanksgiving.)

It's probably difficult for (most of) you to think further than your next turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce sandwich, but I thought it would be fun to compile a short list of recipes for leftovers.

Nacho Turkey Casserole if you are looking for something healthy to use up the leftovers, this is not that recipe. If you are looking for something to make you want to eat the leftovers, go with this.
Turkey Tetrazzini When I was growing up, Thanksgiving meant turkey tetrazzini. But back in the bad old days it was canned mushrooms and peas. I've never tried this particular version, but it looks familiar but with fresh mushrooms and frozen peas and panko. Sometimes our recipes need updating! Wait, this recipe has no mushrooms! WTF? Add mushrooms. Sauteed. 8 oz ought to do it. You can use sliced or run the knife over them. Either way. (I should probably find another recipe.)

Cranberry Sauce
I make this from scratch every year even though I am the only one who eats it. (One year I left everyone know I had made it and cranberry sauce consumption increased threefold.) So I end up with lots of leftovers.
Grilled Cheese I saw a recipe that suggested a grilled cheese of cranberry sauce and cheddar, but my favorite grilled cheese growing up was grilled cream cheese. I'm so trying that!
Cranberry Baked Brie Bites (from Lizzie*Kate daughter, Ali) I think this may be the recipe that pulls the dude over to the dark side. (Cranberry isn't really a flavor the British palate is used to, kind of like peanut butter. I know, right?)
Cranberry Pancakes sound pretty good too. Maybe I'll forget to put the cranberry sauce out all together...

Mashed Potatoes
German Potato Pancakes These aren't the usual latke-style pancakes but they look just as delicious!
Loaded Mashed Potato Bake Fancy. Fattening. Fun!
Mashed Potato Soup This will stick to your ribs. Unfortunately for much of the East Coast it might be a little warm for this yet...

Stuffing Waffles If I had a waffle iron, I'd be all over this!
Stuff something else Use your leftover stuffing to stuff a squash or a mushroom!

Thanksgiving Pizza Sounds scrumptious!
Phyllis Diller's Garbage Soup My mother was dedicated to this recipe when we were growing up! To a base of beef broth, you basically add everything that is in your refrigerator. I made Garbage Soup with Thanksgiving leftovers. I loved it. The dude thought I ruined the soup by adding the stuffing. {Shrug} My mom used to put pizza in the Garbage Soup, so you decide.

I hope you enjoy your leftovers in good health!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Come Back?

If you are inclined, you can download this one here.
You know how I enjoy the ironies of cross stitch--the old lady craft being undertaken by young people. The stories that show how the super-feminine craft is being used in ways not usually associated with femininity (porn, protest, feminist messaging). The highly educated woman taking up cross-stitch which was once the limit of a girl's education.

The candidate who famously decided not to "stay home and bake cookies" has a cross-stitch pattern available on her website. The Atlantic covered it recently. But instead of enjoying the ironies, they've decided that cross-stitch is making a comeback. Fine by me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Continued Thanksgiving Preparations

I'm afraid stitching has taken a back seat to Thanksgiving preparations. Today I made a cheese ball. If you were going to make one, if you used this recipe yours would be very similar to mine. (I can't give you our actual recipe because it is my aunt's closely guarded secret, which is actually all over the internet.) (And frankly, I use way more blue cheese than even she calls for!)

Then I cracked open a box of Jiffy mix to make corn muffins. This is step one for Triple Corn Stuffing, out of the Black Family Reunion Cookbook. This stuffing is delicious and decadent, and I only eat it once a year.

BTW, we finally ate the little pumpkin from Farm Share Friday. We had the hazelnut, pumpkin, and feta salad. It was amazing! The dressing totally made it. Be sure to try it. (The pumpkin skin was edible, which was a surprise.) Also, the dude has seen the veggieducken recipe and now he is all gung-ho. If we thought we could get away with it, we'd serve it for Thanksgiving dinner. As it is, it's probably a project for Saturday. Stay tuned!

Thank you for your comments. They keep me going as I near the end of NaBloPoMo. And I am sorry that I still owe a few of you replies. I'll get there!