Friday, January 27, 2012

Eat Your Vegetables!

After a flirtation with Vegetarianism (the only reason it didn't stick is because I HATE making double dinners for the carnivores in the family), I decided to really try experimenting with different vegetables. To this end, I have discovered a couple of great things.......

Yeah, I can hear you....."eeewwwwww parsnips!" And since about 85% of the recipes for parsnips involve cooking the things to death and then PUREEING them, I would tend to agree. But I found this little recipe just before Christmas, and the result was that my family has become parsnip partisans! Prepared this way, they are just a bit crunchy, and just a tiny bit sweet.They're pretty damn good in stew, too. Go ahead, try 'em. You know you wanna.

My other new fav is Roasted Yams
Yes, I said YAMS, and not sweet potatoes. Honestly, I don't like sweet potatoes (they're sickly yellow and bland), but, THAT's some good eatin.' As potato recipes go, it cooks up pretty quickly. The thing that takes the longest is cutting the potatoes. One note, the recipe is for only ONE yam. Increasing the recipe is easy, but it is NOT necessary to increase the amount of oil exponentially - unless you really like everything you eat swimming in oil.

I think I may try fennel, next. It looks so pretty!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hello, It's Been A Long Time

Yes, I have ignored my blog for nearly a year, but as a New Year's resolution (of sorts), I hope to make it a habit of blogging at least three times a week. Now if I can get myself to exercise three times a week, too, I would be GOLDEN.

So, on to the blogging......

One of my Rav/Tweet Friends (Poodlestar)asked me to give her my Swedish Meatball recipe,after I tweet-bragged that I was the Queen of the Swedish Meatball so I thought I would just post it here.

Please keep in mind, I am not Swedish, but I have been married for nearly 30 years....(CRAP! that long?) to a guy who is Swedish/Norwegian/Danish, so holidays with his folks usually means Lutefisk, which means I make Swedish Meatballs for the rest of the family that doesn't want to eat fish jello. Swedish Meatballs aren't particularly special or exotic, but they are damn good.

Swedish Meatballs
from The Everett Herald


1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk (whatever kind you use at your house)
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

Saute the onion in some butter (a tablespoon or so). In a bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the milk. Dump the sauted onion and the rest of the ingredients (except BUTTER) in the bowl with the bread and milk. Mix together with your hands until all the spices are distributed through the meat. Form into smallish meatballs (I use a cookie scoop) and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake the meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes. They will only be very lightly browned. (at this point, you can stop and freeze them or keep them in the fridge until you want to finish them.

The big finish:

In a large skillet, melt a generous amount of butter (the rest of the stick of butter that you didn't saute the onions in will be fine). Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook on medium heat until nicely browned all over. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and make a nice brown gravy from the bits of meat and pan drippings left in the pan. Take that gravy and dump over the meatballs and serve. If you are looking for a genuine Swedish experience, serve with boiled potatoes and a bit of lingonberry preserves.

Sorry there are no pictures of the finished product, but the meatballs never last long enough to be photographed.

And that's the Swedish Meatball recipe the more sane members of the family eat, when the inmates take over the asylum and demand Lutefisk. Fortunately, their insanity is rather short-lived and confined to holiday-time.

I have a couple other recipes I thought I'd post in future entries........Laters!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

We Interrupt Our Knitting Content For..........


My youngest son LOVES almond-poppy seed muffins, but I don't love the price of the Krusteaz muffin mixes he prefers. I knew I could make more, better muffins, from scratch and less expensively than the cost of a mix. So I warmed up my google-fu and searched for a muffin recipe. Reading down the ingredient list of the majority of recipes nearly gave me a heart attack. They ALL used so much OIL! I wanted Almond-Poppy Seed muffins, not OIL Muffins. This prompted me to figure out how to make a tasty muffin (that would be 13-year-old-boy approved), and not be swimming in oil. I suppose what I came up with is low-fat (sorta), but it wasn't what I was shooting for. I just wanted muffins my kid would eat. So here it is......


2 ½ cups plain non-fat yogurt
½ cup vegetable oil
6 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
3 tsp almond extract
2 cups milk (I used non-fat)
Measure and mix all together.

6 cups flour
4 ½ sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 TBSP Poppy Seeds.

Measure and mix together dry ingredients. Then add wet ingredients to dry and mix until all is combined (do not beat). Spoon into muffin cups ( I used a standard size ice cream scoop for regular-sized muffins). Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

This makes a HUGE number of muffins - 4 dozen standard size muffins (I have a freezer and I'm not afraid to use it!). But you can easily halve the recipe, or make Lemon-Poppy Seed muffins by substituting Lemon Flavoring for the Almond, and throwing in the zest of a lemon. Next up, experimenting with other flavor muffins (although the kid will eat ONLY Almond-Poppy Seed - I told you he was weird).

Friday, January 07, 2011

2010 - The Year of Socks

Apparently, for me, 2010 has been the year of socks......In no particular order......

A total of SEVENTEEN pairs of socks by my count on Ravelry (couldn't find all of the pics in my file). And I am proud to say that the majority of these socks were knitted for Afghans for Afghans. Although I am ashamed to say that I had promised my husband 6 new pairs of socks in 2010. He got ONE (well, I got a second pair of socks halfway done for him. Halfway). So I have to work harder on my hubby's sock supply. He loves his handknitted socks and I have to keep his tootsies warm.

I DO have a knitting goal for 2011. I want to knit a piece for entry into the Puyallup Fair. That's the big deal state fair in my neck o' the woods. I do have a piece in mind. Well, a couple of pieces, that require that I learn a new technique - Entrelac. Proud to say that learning Entrelac was pretty easy. I am now the master of entrelac, and to prove it, I knit THIS:

Noro Kureyon from the Beardsley stash. Next up, Motley from I have assembled a HUGE random collection of Noro Kureyon for this little gem.

And now for recent FO's. Not much in the way of Christmas gifts. I wasn't in the mood to kill myself with a Christmas deadline this year, but I did do gifts for the girls in the office. A shawl for Galina:
Gloves for Kayley And a hat because I thought the pattern was interesting and I had yarn.

Well there is a big ball of Kureyon calling my name................

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Binge Knitting

I'm beginning to suspect that 2010 is the year of charity knitting for me. This is not a problem, BTW, except for the 6 pairs of socks I promised to knit for my DH this year. I've gotten ONE pair done.

But I just sent a small box of goodies off to Afghans for Afghans the other day:

I love that I have been doing some serious stash reduction with these projects. I found and used yarn that I had all but forgotten about. The blue stuff and the watermelon striped stuff, for example. They both made beautiful, colorful, and warm socks.

I've been thinking about and discussing charity knitting with friends online and in person, and I have come to the conclusion that charity knitting (especially for an organization like A4A) is a meditation on peace. Each stitch is a wish/prayer for peace. I like that idea. I like it a lot.

I, of course, already have other charity knitting in process. I'll keep on knitting goodies for Afghans for Afghans until they tell me to stop. My wish is that this charity knitting would be completely unnecessary in the very near future, but the realist in me knows better. I will keep knitting and praying for peace for as long as it takes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boom, Boom, Boom.....Muffins

Kiddo #3 loves muffins for breakfast, but I don't like buying mixes when I can homebake easily (and get a MUCH better result).

So last night I did a couple batches of Muffins for my Boys (the ones I gave birth to, AND the one I married).

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

And Banana Nut Muffins

Gonna have to make more of those Banana muffins - I only had enough bananas to make one batch. They have a touch of strong coffee in them and it seems to do a trick.

Now I need to find a pumpkin strusel muffin recipe that DOESN'T have cream cheese in the middle (what's up with that).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charity Knitting holds a special place in the special place in my heart where my love of knitting dwells. I’ve always believed that knitting is a way of expressing love. I don’t knit for just anybody for any reason (although it is well known I need only the tiniest reason to knit something for someone). I knit socks for my husband to show how much I love him. I knit for my sons to surround them with warmth when I can’t be there with them. I knit for new babies to share the joy of their tiny lives with their parents. And, I knit socks for my Sister-in-law’s Mother just to make her happy (and keep her feet warm). But none of this is charity knitting. This is knitting to share my love with those that I love and care about.

But when I pick up my needles to knit socks or mittens or a blanket for Afghans for Afghans, it IS an expression of love, but not for individuals or for little babies. Charity Knitting expresses my love for my fellow humans, for those men, women and children for whom a warm pair of socks, or a blanket means their difficult life in a war torn country will be just a little more comfortable. Granted, pair of socks, or mittens, or a hat isn’t going to bring world peace, but the small comfort they bring may make someone start to believe that there may be hope for the future when there is a knitter far-far away who wanted to share a little bit of the love she shares with her family with someone they will never know.
A warm pair of socks may remind a tired Afghan woman that there is kindness in the world. A blanket may keep her son or daughter warm when they sleep. It may just bring them one day closer to a country at peace.

As I knit, I think about the woman or child who will wear what I’m knitting. How the work of my hands will make their lives just a little easier. With each stitch, I think about peace, justice and kindness, willing a little bit of kindness into each one.