Sunday, November 30, 2008

Keepin Yer Hands Warm

Happy Sunday, ya'll!! I wanted to pop in and make a plug for my arm warmers. These have been the most successful and most fun to make item so far this season.

I started making these last year to go with some hats.
I might make a few more hats for this year. It just seems like people are more into buying the arm warmers. Maybe I need to try a different hat style? Comments please??

The first pair of the season were these:
They were made of a green hemp stretch jersey, and had appliques of vines with purple leaves. My friend Memory bought them. She said this picture was what sold her on them. I've come to realize more and more just how meaningful photographs are. In the Etsy community, you are entering a craft village, of sorts. You are catching a glimpse of each and every seller, browsing what they have to offer, and getting to know a little bit about them.

Bringing personality into a photograph is important to the buyer. Why the hell should I buy your item? What makes it any better than what I could buy down the road at a discount store?

One of the pairs I liked best were these Soulshine ones:
My customer commented, "Really pretty - a lovely sunshine design to keep me warm in winter!". I honestly believe my wording in the listing was what sold her on them. I had said, "Whenever there is no sunshine, there is always SOULSHINE. :) "

I've got 3 more pairs to add to my shop as soon as I can get them photographed. I had planned on doing that this morning, but it's raining like a mofo here. My friends Danielle and Heather are both getting a pair in trade for the upcoming holiday season.

Just clicky-click to the right and check 'em out in the shop!!!

Check back tomorrow for the new ones!!

I also have new HEAVY duty hemp shopping bags coming up. You're going to love these for your heavy loads!!! Pin It

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mulligatawny Soup and Baked Samosas

Okay. It's official. I'm officially over soups for right now. Well, for today anyways. They were good, though! Nothin' like sittin' on yer ass in the winter after a day of sewing with some comfort food and Law and Order reruns!

Mulligatawny Soup
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee, or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced/grated
  • 1 tsp garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 1 large or 2 small dried chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
Sautee onions and carrot over medium heat until softened. Add spices and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, lentils and water. Bring to a oil and cook for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Allow to cool slightly, and blend until you get the consistency you like. Place back on the burner, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the coconut milk and remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro.

Baked Samosas
Yes, I made the dough for these. And no, it's not that hard. People always seem to be so surprised (or think I'm just crazy) when I tell them I made the dough. This might be for a tart, empanada, ravioli, or whatever. It's not that hard to make, folks! And guess what? My food processor (the big, good one) broke, so I did it by hand. OMG! She made her own crust? Yeah. I did. You can too.

For the dough:
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil (or melted ghee)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
Mix the flours together and add the oil. Stir in enough water to make it all stick together and form into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

For the filling:
  • 1 Tbsp oil or ghee
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp garlic (2-4 cloves)
  • 1 tsp minced/grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked potatoes, mashed (I guess about 3-4 potatoes)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
Saute onion in oil over medium high heat until softened. Add garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute more. Stir in spices, mixing until all the vegetables have been coated in the spices. Allow the spices to cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the mashed potatoes and cilantro and season with salt. Mix well, and remove from heat. Stir in peas and set aside.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 8 equal portions. Roll out into a 6-7 inch circle. Cut circle in half. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling on one half of the semi-circle. Brush one of the edges in plain water. Fold over and seal well.

Place on greased baking sheet. Brush the top with beaten egg, cream, or soy milk. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, brush again with the aforementioned possibilities and bake another 5-7 minutes more, or until golden brown on edges and a bit on top.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

What are YOU doing today?

Well, for me, I'm headed to the gym here in a little bit. Oh god, do I hate it, but you know, ya gotta go move that ass, right??

Later I'll work on some arm warmers and a hat I cut out yesterday. I might add another color to the hat, so I can have a total of 3 colors that I will braid down the side of the earflaps.

I've never done a fern leaf before. I just did it free-style. Yeah!

The most dreaded part of today's activities will include washing out these batiks that have been sitting in dye overnight. I worked up about a dozen pieces yesterday, with a few more thrown in from the last batch I did. Those needed more waxing and a second (or third) dye job.
Yes, that is a drawer from my little plastic drawer unit. During times of dyeing, I am known to go around the house emptying plastic containers just so I can use the container. Getting the things back into said container after cleaning them out is a completely different story.

Reason I'm dreading it is because of the fucking chill in the air. We are STILL waiting for the Propane we paid for to get delivered. Might just have to call those suckers up and chew 'em out! After they get washed, the good part will come--the boiling. I mean, it's not much fun, but it will warm up the house, bring some humidity in, and then the beauty shall reveal itself!

Other items on the agenda:
  • shortening the sleeves on a jacket for my dad
  • make a pair of arm warmers from the fabric I dyed. (second try for a good purple color)
  • mop the floor to clean up the soda ash and dye I spilled last night
  • clean the FUCKING house
(not sure if I'll get to the last one ;)

I made African Peanut Soup for dinner last night. Making dinner was the last thing I wanted to do after standing up doing dyes for 2 hours. But it is a SUPER easy meal to prepare.

Start by cooking a cup of rice in the rice cooker. Meanwhile, saute up a teaspoon or two (or four!) of chopped garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Chopped onions can be added, too. Add one can of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more, or less to taste) and 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. When the rice is done, add about 1/2 cup of cooked rice to the soup. Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a rice on top, garnishing with chopped peanuts and/or green onion. I didn't have either, so here it is. Sorry for the blurry pic--no tripod for this quick shot.

Leave me a comment telling me what crafty things you'll be doing today. Pin It

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cooking with Idiots

I'm a big fan of cooking and food shows. Food Network has got the best cooking shows, obviously. I occasionally catch cooking shows on other channels. The ones on PBS are usually pretty good, even with the budget camera skills and whatnot. America's Test Kitchen can be interesting, but I think the hosts are a bunch of dorks.

One of the worst cooking shows I've seen yet is Healthy Decadence. I mean, I'm all about cooking shows that show food that actually looks good and is healthy. But this girl might just be the biggest idiot in cooking show history.

Readers, she's even worse than Sandra Lee. She tries to be all cute and scrunch her nose up. One of the dumbest things I heard her say was that [in one of her recipes] you could chop everything in the food processor except for the onion. The onion will turn sour if you put it in the food processor.


Where the hell did that come from?

I want to know what's in your frig

Here's what's in mine:

Okay, so ya might be wondering what is in there. Starting at the top shelf, we have some regular filtered tap water. One lonely cider. Milk. Dr. Pepper (hubby loves it). Under the foil in the casserole dish was some leftover spinach lasagna. The pot has some risotto that I made and turned into Risotto Cakes the next day:

To the right of the lasagna, we have some sauces. Notice the sauces in the door, too, which has to be shut with purpose nowadays, with the obesity of it.

To the right of the risotto (in the Ziplock container) is fresh greens from my dear friend and former neighbor, Shannon. Below that we have eggs and olives from the bar at Martins grocery (great drunk snack).

Veggies: Arugula, cucumber, mushrooms, onion, carrots, potato, and other stuff I don't remember right now.

Now the Freezer:

We've got biscuits, nuts, tomatoes, ice cream and sorbet. The Morningstar Farms products are some of the more popular prepared veggie foods in my freezer. Mostly because that's basically all our Food Lion carries. I've got frozen chicken breast for the hubby (wrapped in foil and inside bag), a piece of salmon, waffle potato fries, leftover chili (*I think*), some kind of appetizer cranberry thingy, bagels and a Tofurkey Feast (O god, I cannot WAIT for that!). Also a bottle of Yager that has seriously been untouched for YEARS.

I realize I have a LOT of shit in my freezer. I guess I'm always like that. I love grocery shopping, what can I say. And speaking of which, we are headed that way today. . . Yeah! Pin It

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blog n Drool

Nothing but pics today.

Mushroom Risotto, roasted broccoli & cauliflower, and baked Tofu

Spinach Lasagna

Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese

Whole Wheat French Toast with Bananas

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Artist Painter Bob, how bout ya hit this cheek instead. . .

Browsing the Alchemy public listings on Etsy this morning, I'm reminded just how cheap this country is becoming.

I guess I've gotten used to people asking me for deals at certain shows I vend at.

It's sad that people have to ask for a discount on items to a person they have never met. It's even more sad that the items I offer people are all completely handmade by me.

What is the saddest yet, is when the people that make these handmade items actually want deals themselves. I admit, I'm a bargain hunter, too. But when you are asking someone to make something ESPECIALLY for you, how can you ask for a low price???

There are a couple of listings for lip balms for just fifty cents a piece. I was tempted to pass along the offer to a couple herbal-making friends of mine until I saw the price. Fifty cents a piece? Seriously? I can't imagine the containers costing much less than that. Plus the supplies and the time involved. . . Why would someone want to actually lose out just so they can hook their fellow artisan up?

I don't think so. Pin It

Friday, November 14, 2008

Girl got skilllzzz. . .

I figured out how to do banners!!!

Did you go to the blog page to see it? I mean, ya can't see it in your blog reader, so click away to the title of this blog and check 'er out!

The first one was just okay:
I mean, I like the fat fairy, but there are many people out there who "just wouldn't get it".

I made one for my friend Danielle, too! If she figures it out today you can go by her blog and see it, too!

A new Etsy banner was just made, too!

Photoshop is pretty freaking cool. You don't even have to read the instructions! Just google what yer tryin' to do and you'll find REALLY helpful pages for it.

I also decided to add the word kitchen to the name of this blog. Cuz obviously ya'll haven't been hearing too much about stitchin' these days!!

Let me know what ya'll think. . . Pin It

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Curried Lentil Soup with Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs chopped garlic, or 2-3 cloves
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp curry paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup lentils (your choice)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbs vegetarian broth base (see previous soup post)
4 C filtered tap water
Notes: You can use the curry powder or paste of your choice. This is the one I used:
and a little bit of this:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by cutting an acorn squash in half. Remove the seeds and rinse them under a colander, loosening the seeds from the squishy stuff. Place in a pan, and toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes, watching carefully to avoid over-browning. Meanwhile, rub the inside of the cleaned out acorn squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a greased baking sheet and place in oven. Continue to cook until soft--about 30-45 minutes, turning once or twice.

While the squash is roasting, preheat a large soup pot to medium heat. Heat remaining 2 Tbs olive oil and add onion. Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add chopped garlic, curry paste, and curry powder. Saute until fragrant, blending the curry paste in with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, broth paste and water. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes or so, until the lentils are tender. By this time, your squash should be done and sitting on the stove, cooling down.

Did you remember to get the seeds out?

Scoop the squash out of it's shell and add to the soup. You can blend this until smooth, or keep it chunky. I reserved about a cup and a half and then ground the rest up with my immersion blender.

Serve the soup with the toasted acorn squash seeds on top. We had ours with some Farmhouse bread I baked up in the bread machine.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eatin' da Rapini

I really love Broccoli Rabe. It's also called Rapini. Oh, god, do I love this stuff. It is a slightly bitter green that has little broccolis in it.
Isn't it beautiful?

First I blanched it in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. That helps to remove some of the bitterness. You can skip this if ya like it more bitter.

Then cut it into big chunks after it cooled. I sauteed some garlic with wild mushrooms, hot pepper flakes and some Gimme Lean sausage.

Add the broccoli rabe, and season with salt and pepper.

I threw a bit of cheddar cheese on top of my bowl, cuz I'm a cheddar whore like that. Eat, and freak out about how good it is.

You won't be sorry.

Another way you can do this is to cook up pasta and mix it all together. Mozzarella cheese is good melted on this, too. Pin It

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Girl in Town

Oh yeah, and she's feelin' good! Remember that song from that show Alice? (I just had to google that)

Yes, I seriously am blogging at 2 in the freaking morning. You know you are a foodie when you blog about a restaurant and you still have lots of pictures of more food to resize and blog about later.

We got this new restaurant in town, called the Earth Dog Cafe. As soon as we saw the sign for it, I knew it had to be good. It also had a sign in the window that said "Hippies use Back Door" haha. . .

The menu is a bit limited, but what they do have kicks serious ass. They are (I think trying) to have BBQ for their main "thing", but really, what the best part about this restaurant, is the fact that they serve breakfast all day long. That has to be the best idea EVER. It's cheap, everyone loves it, and it's fairly easy to NOT screw up. Usually we end up paying about $15 plus a tip before we leave there.

Here's the daily special board. I love that.

I decided to try their veggie burger, and boy was I pleased.

Oh god, I want that NOW!!!!
Just had to add that the pickle was one of the sorriest ones I've seen. It was shriveled up and looked so lame that I didn't even try it.

Hubby got a classic breakfast. Their hash browns are probably one of the best things they have going. The flavor is just incredible. Full of fresh potatoes, spices, and onions that even the hubby will scarf down.
I know, eww, bacon. But whatevs. . . I don't eat the shit, he does.

Here's a little sneak peek of some arm warmers that I worked on this morning. These will go up either on Etsy or my Website within the next day or two.

I cleaned my sewing area after that picture. I was all, "oh, I'll just do it Fly Lady style, and just do a quick pick-up in 15 minutes". Ha! 15 minutes later, and I was still sorting thru one of my bins of "sewing tools" that was filled with fabric scraps, cones of thread, and a bunch of other crap. She's looking WAY better now, and it's a heck of a lot easier finding my stuff. My sewing "room", however, is a completely different story. Maybe I'll blog about that some other day. . . Pin It

Friday, November 7, 2008

FREE SAMPLES of eco-friendly fabric!

Happy Friday ya'll!

In honor of a happy freaking Friday, I am offering almost FREE SAMPLES of my eco-friendly fabrics on my Etsy page!

Etsy doesn't really allow ya to give things away for free, so I have it at $.20. You just pay the shipping!

You'll get a little taste of my hand-dyed fabrics!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Beans Up Ya Neck

Last week hubby and I went grocery shopping and picked up some Mexican food for dinner. As we walked outside, I couldn't help but imagine a (potentially) horrific event ahead of me. Here's the scenario: I'm carrying the stacked take-out containers tied simply with a twist of the hand inside a plastic shopping bag. I lose my footing as I'm stepping down onto the sidewalk to continue to our car. My ankle twists and I fall directly on top of the carry-out food. The beans squish out of the take-out containers and go up my shirt and then up my neck. It might feel hot and cool at the same time, with the sour cream chilling the lower portion of my cheek, and giving my dread locks white tips.

This is all just a nightmare IN MY HEAD, and not actually in my life.

We got into the car and went home to enjoy our dinner. I ate mine right out of the box. A seafood burrito.

Does anyone else have these imaginary scenes of falling down? Pin It
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