Friday, November 28, 2008

I got this beautiful "waist chain" from my talented friend Lisa - i just LOOOOVe bartering with her for "pretties". She made several, and I picked this one (they're all gorgeous - it was really hard to pick one), so she has several still available on her barter blog. Sorry to frighten y'all with pictures of my nekked belly. I figure this will inspire me to keep up my yoga. if i have a pretty waist chain, I want a pretty waist on which to show it off!!

So, I finished a hat last night. It was supposed to be this uber-manly watchman's seacap thingie. Well, I don't think it looks all that manly. Asparagus (my cat) looks skeptical as well, don't you think? I think I will keep this one for me (you can never have too many knitted hats, IMHO), and try again, and knit it taller/longer, to make a fold-up brim. Would that look more manly, do you think? It IS a great pattern, though, well-written and easy to follow.

Now. Yoga time!
and THIS post is entitled - something I actually DID make for Thanksgiving.

True to my tradition, I didn't actually follow a recipe, but just made it up using what I had. This is the "Sweet potato" dish I took to Thanksgiving yesterday. It got great reviews.

Boozed Sweet Potatoes

1 REALLY big sweet potato (mine was about 4 lbs. really.)
1 small acorn squash
1 small butternut squash

Cut potato into several largish chunks; halve squashes and remove seeds. Cover with foil, add a bit of water, and bake all until they are done. Maybe 1 hour at 400? Let cool.

Spoon the soft, baked squash out of shells, and into a large mixing bowl. Remove skin from sweet potato chunks and put it in the bowl too. Add 2 farm-fresh eggs , 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup cream, a couple tablespoons of butter, freshly grated nutmeg, some cinnamon, and a bit of salt. Beat until smooth. Add 1/2 cup (yes, really) Templeton Rye Whiskey (or your favorite whiskey or bourbon); mix thoroughly.

Pour mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix together 3 tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup flour, 2 tbsp. honey, and a small handful of your favorite nuts (optional). I was excited to find some local hickory nuts at the last farmer's market, so I used those. Spoon or crumble the topping mix on top of the sweet potato mix, and bake until hot and bubbly. Delicious.

Everything in this dish, except for the salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, was sourced locally. I think that rocks.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This post is entitled: Thanksgiving Recipes I Should Have Made This Year But Didn't.

(I will hopefully refer back to this next year and actually make them!)

Vegetarian Champagne Portobello Gravy

1/2 lb. butter
1 lb. baby portobellos, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red onions, halved then thinly sliced
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (maybe 1/2 teaspoon dry?)
1 teaspoon fresh savory leaves (1/2 teaspoon dry)
1 cup whipping cream
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups dry champagne (or you can use broth)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in butter until mushrooms release their liquid. There will be more butter than you need, but you're going to make a roux. Turn down heat to medium. Add flour and herbs, and stir to make a roux, adding more butter to moisten if needed. Cook the roux for a minute or so, it doesn't need to take on color, just lose the raw taste. Slowly, add the broth, stirring while you add. If you're scared of lumps, add the liquids off the heat, and add the liquids in small amounts, stirring till smooth with each addition. Add champagne, it'll fuzzle up a bit, that's okay. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent lumps (I use a ball whisk), until thickened. Pour into bowl or gravy boat and garnish with fresh parsley.

My nephews have been known to drink this from the gravy boats. Ugh.

Note: You can adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding more or less liquid.

Lumps: Surrounding the flour particles with fat helps prevent lumps; that's why a roux works so well. However, if you let the flour cook to the bottom of the pan, you'll get lumps. Stir frequently, cook over low heat, and add liquid gradually while whisking, and you'll be fine.


Baked Cranberries

1 lb bag cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp Orange flavored liquor (opt)
2 packages frozen raspberries thawed

Spread rinsed and drained cranberries in glass 9X13 baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 cups sugar (I use less and it still is sweet enough)
Bake in 350 oven until the mixture is bubbly, about 40 minutes.. stirring about every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in 2 packages of frozen raspberries and liquor. Refrigerate. Makes about 2 3/4 cup of relish...


Boozed Sweet Potatoes
6-8 sweet potatoes, baked until tender (not boiled, they retain more flavor)
butter or margarine
brown sugar
bourbon or brandy
Orange juice

Peel the potatoes and slice them into about 1" slices. Lay in a buttered casserole dish, set aside.

Melt about 1 stick of butter, and mix in some honey and brown sugar, then season to tase with the spices. This should be fairly thick and very sweet. Add about 1/4 volume of the mixture in bourbon, and 1/4 of the volume of the mixture in orange juice. Pour over the potato slices, lifting each one up so that the juice can get underneath. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the potato slices every 15 minutes or so. You can top with marshmallows if you want, add them about halfway through baking. You

all recipes shamelessly pilfered from The Dish Forum (a soapmaking board). Soapers are GREAT cooks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dayum. This writer pretty much just summed up how I feel about Life, The Unverse, and Everything.

amazing stuff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Working through some of my xmas list here. This is luscious "Black Kat" worsted weight yarn I was lucky enough to win from the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm blog - one skein of it knit into a perfect scarf for Ric! So I have enough left to make a matching hat, hooray. Oh, I used a new pattern too, which I love - Yarn Harlot's one row handspun scarf. It's reversible, easy to remember, and makes a beautifully simple scarf. perfect.
And this is my felted Lucy Bag, for my mom. Made with my handspun, handdyed yarn, from a friend's icelandic sheep. I cannot count to 120, apparently, so I made the bag way wider than the pattern called for. I'll do this pattern again, with the correct amount of stitches; meanwhile, I hope my mom likes the extra-wide version!!

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