September 26, 2010

Sunday soup #2 -curried lentil

A lentil is considered a pulse, it is a busy annual plant of the legume family, they originated in India. With approximately 26% of their calories from protein, lentils and generally any pulses or legumes have high levels of protein, by weight, of  plant-based foods. They range in color from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black.
CURRIED LENTIL SOUP
 2/3 c chopped onion
2 tsp ginger root, minced
2/3 c tomatoes
juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic, minced
3 tsp curry
1 tsp cumin
1 c dry lentils
5 c stock
-saute ginger, onion, garlic
-add rest with broth
-cook 30-40 minutes until lentils are done


September 21, 2010

fake flowers

I have never been a fan of fake or silk flowers, I hate how plastic they look and how dust gets on them and doesn't move. It reminds of me going to a great granny's house and smelling moth balls. As I was browsing the craft store and was amazed how "real" some actually looked. So, I found a couple of ways to use them. I created one arrangement with real lavender for fall, mixed with a rock, pumpkin and a plant in the display. Also, created a few gift wrap ideas with flowers and leaves. I find mixing them with organic objects is a nice way to add to an idea. Here they are...
Filled the vase with lavender and put flowers in- displayed all else around.
Simple with silver paper.
 These two on cool copper wrapping paper.
Got this sweet box and filled with preserves as a harvest gift.

September 19, 2010

Sunday soup #1 -potato leek

With the harvest of fruits, herbs, and vegetables along with the weather cooling off, it is time for me to get back in the kitchen. One of my favorite foods to create with all this bounty are soups. The possibilities are endless, mine are all vegetarian, which can be altered to you meat eaters by adding meat broth or chunks to any of the recipes. I call this "soup season" and I like to serve as a meal with some kind of bread, like herb bread or cornbread.
 My first soup is potato-leek. Potatoes are the fourth largest food crop and although starchy, have a lot of nutrition in them, containing vitamin c, b6, potassium, and other trace minerals and vitamins. Leeks are part of the onion family, with the "stem" being the most edible part. They are very aromatic and flavorful. Here is my recipe:

POTATO LEEK SOUP
3 chopped leeks (stem area)
3 minced garlic cloves
-saute  leeks and garlic in olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 Tbsp dry dill
add: 6 cups potatoes, cubed (about 8 medium)
add about 3-4 c water
-boil for 15-20 minutes
-cook until potatoes are done
-puree
-garnish with fresh dill
 Here is a cool thing I got from my friend in celebration of soup!!

September 17, 2010

Apple Butter

HAPPY APPLE DUMPLING DAY!!!
Apple butter is simple to make, low fat, and tasty. A highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples, the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. There is no dairy in it, the "butter" refers to the texture of the spread.
APPLE BUTTER
12 apples (peeled, cored, chopped)
2 c sugar
4 Tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
-fill crock pot
cover, cook for 1 hour on high
-cook 12 hours on low, stir occasionally
-thick and dark gold
-fill about 6 small jars
-boil 5-20 minutes to seal

September 14, 2010

AUTUMN

Not quite official, but it is in the air. (September 22nd is official day). The cooler nights, the crisper air, the vivid sky, the wind, the harvest and a couple of leaves changing color are the signs. My favorite season, as it is the most pleasant to be outdoors, oven is turned back on, and the beginning of making foods, arts, and crafts for the numerous holidays coming up, along with the world series and beginnings of national football and basketball season. All good times for sure.
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns."--George Eliot
Hope you enjoy the photos, recipes and crafts to come this season. I also hope to inspire you to enjoy this wonderful season as thoroughly as I do, by making some stuff , going for a walk or reading some poetry. Happy Fall and Merry Autumn to you!!!!
"The winds gives me enough fallen leaves to make a fire"--Ryokan
 *****Look for Sunday soups throughout the fall season. They will begin soon. 

September 12, 2010

birthday cards

Remember birthdays! Birthdays are special days for many people, it is their day. Parents, children, spouses, siblings, grandparents, grand kids, cousins, friends, co-workers, aunts, uncles, best friends. Here are some ideas for personal cards. I used photos, stamps, markers, and some templates that I found in my piles of stuff.
 
"About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age."

September 11, 2010

September 6, 2010

doodles

Even if you are not an artist, sketching or doodling out thoughts is a great way to develop new ideas or come up with details for an existing one. Isn't it fun to take out all your markers, crayons, and pencils once in a while and just play?
I love birds!

"I would hardly call myself an artist in that sense; I doodle, I draw, I'm not a trained artist, I couldn't sit down and do an accurate portrait of anyone. "--Rene Auberjonois
 
We get visited by skunks frequently.

"But usually I begin things through a drawing, so a lot of things are worked out in the drawing. But even then, I still allow for and want to make changes. "--Roy Lichtenstein

September 4, 2010

suet

Suet, as bird feed, is the use of a fat mixed with oats, seeds, cornmeal or raisins to feed birds, especially in winter. Some birds that favor suet are:  woodpeckers, goldfinches, juncos, cardinals, thrushes, jays, chickadees, nuthatches, and wrens. Here's a recipe to use up old bread. 
*****This will make your birds very happy.*******
-Dry bread out for a few hours. 
-Attach a hanger of some kind if you would like to hang from a tree or leave without and put in your favorite suet feeder. (These feeders are the ones that are made of cage like material).
-Spread peanut butter on one side, then push your favorite seeds, nuts, oats, or raisins on it while wet.
-Repeat on the other side.
-Let dry for a little while, then hang out in tree or put in feeder. 
-This is also good to do with pine cones instead of bread. 
"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."--Maya Angelou
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September 3, 2010

Green Chile Jelly or Syrup

GREEN CHILE JELLY
1 bell pepper
12 green chile's
-cut and get out all seeds
-chop all in food processor
1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
-all into pan together, bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes
-strain and discard pulp
-put liquid and 1/2 c. water into pan
add: 4 1/2 c. sugar and pinch of salt
-bring to boil, boil for 1 minute
-add 1 pectin pouch, boil 1 more minute
-skim foam
-put into sterile jars with lids
-water bath 
-makes about 5 pints
*** to make syrup, omit the pectin***