All makin' food posts

Last little bit of 2009


Christmas was blissfully mellow here in the new home; no obligations, no worries, plenty of quality time with each other. It was chilly, as evidenced by these gorgeous spider webs, encrusted in ice, on our porch.

Icy morning Icy morning

I love the way the drops of water froze like little glass beads. You should have seen how they glistened in the sunlight. If you go to flickr, you can embiggen them and see more of the detail.

I tried my hand at sushi making, which turned out to be way easier than I expected.


That's my "hot and sour tuna" roll. Recipe, inasmuch as anyone would need one, can be had if you click the pic.

I manage to get all my deadline knitting done, thanks to some morale support from the pooches

Panda and Thea Snuggling

I mailed off both garments today and emailed the digital files as well. It feels so good to have those off the plate. Now, do I start something new or finish something already started? Yes, I know which is the RIGHT answer, that doesn't mean I'll do it.

As I was falling asleep I had inspiration of another kind resulting in this, my first venn diagram.


I'm sure this will improve your lives exponentially.

And, in a last bit of late breaking news, we have us some snow. SNOW!

More snow

It's not slated to last very long but the girls sure do love it while it's here.

Staying warm


Winter doesn't really get all that brutal where we live, which is fine by me. I don't miss the winters of New Hampshire. Nope, not even a little. Our proximity to Mt. Hood means that epic quantities of snow are never more than an hour away, come winter, should we care to find it. But, the past few weeks have been pretty darn chilly, at least by my standards. You know that's a great time for bread baking.

Because people have asked, this focaccia (revisited) now comes complete with recipe. Just click the gooey, warm cheese topping to get the recipe for yourself.

Focaccia Bread w/recipe
I believe the word I'm looking for is, "omnomnomnom"

Since last I posted around these parts, I completed my first physics class since junior high and managed to maintain my 4.0 (woohoo). Even though it was physics-light (and yes, we did actually cover the physics of light, amongst many other topics) it was, without a doubt, the hardest course I've taken in college. There was much hand wringing as I logged in to check my grade.

Look at all my largely useless transfer credits

It's sometimes a challenge to juggle work, school and knitting, but honestly, I just look out the window and I can't help but smile.

Foggy sunrise
I love this view.

And then there's (come on, you knew it was coming) the puppy contingent. They are really just far too cute for their own good.

Breakfast nook
Keeping me company while I work.

Lazy Sunday
Trying to sleep despite the camera in her face.

I guess that's about all from the house of hair, for now. Till next time, here's hoping your days are filled with carbs and puppies too.

Coast, Kool-Aid and Kale


I don't ever recall Thanksgiving being particularly stressful, as a kid, but really, what's there to be stressed about other than the inevitable battle for that first slice of turkey breast with the big piece of crispy skin.* I'm sure it was much harder for the adults with all the cooking, cleaning and kid/drunk in-law wrangling, but as a kid, it always just seemed like lots of good food and playing with the cousins. As adults, I think Leo and I have kept a lot of the same relaxed attitude. We don't tend to make a production of the holiday, thought we do like some good lumpy mashed potatoes and crispy bird skin on a plate. Since we have yet to really put our new kitchen through the paces, we did (and by we, I mean me) a whole chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, dressing and cranberry sauce and dug in at our leisure. I'm still working through the last of the starchiest bits.

And being the long weekend that Thanksgiving is, we had plenty of time to fit in a trip to the ocean on Saturday. It was brisk but dry and that's pretty much good enough for us. I don't think the dogs have ever been put out by a little cold weather.

Manzanita Oregon -- November 27, 2009 Mosaic
1. Leo got frenched by a puppy, 2. Thea takes a victory lap, 3. Birds, 4. Throw it again, 5. Lift off, 6. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 7. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 8. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 9. More birds, 10. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 11. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 12. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 13. Where'd it go?
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I also finished spinning about 200 yards of some angora, alpaca and soy silk I hand carded together. Using a bit of Kool-Aid, I dyed it in three successive dye baths to get a rich orange shade.

Bath 1: 1 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool Aid dyeing

Bath 2: 2 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

Bath 3: 1 tropical punch packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

I love the color and it smells so sweet. I find dyeing really stressful, because you can't really undo it if you blow it, but this time seem to work out great.

To finish off the long weekend, I made a big batch of lemon garlic crispy kale.

Crispy Kale Chips Crispy Kale Chips

Click either image for the recipe, inasmuch as it is one.

I hope all of you had a lovely weekend too.

*Most of my teen and college years, I did thanksgiving at friends houses and I watched in horror, one year as my friend's mother whipped her mashed potatoes (no lumps!) and removed the skin from the turkey after cooking. I've never fully recovered from the memory.

House poor but well fed


Owning a house is expensive, especially when you start with no furniture. So we've been keeping ourselves on a tight budget, rarely eating out, and being extra conscientious about how we spend our grocery money. It's turned out to be easier than we would have thought, because our home is near quite a bit of farm land and where there are farms, there are farm stands.

Every Sunday, we pack into the car, find another little road to travel and pick up fresh tomatoes, zucchini, corn, garlic, onions, carrots, apples, eggs and anything else that looks fresh and delicious. During our drives we've even found vineyards and an alpaca farm. All of this and we live just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. We even found a u-pick farm with everything from cantaloupes to brussels sprouts. What a life.

As we adapt to less take-out and more stay-in, I'm trying to flex my rudimentary cooking skills and take full advantage of our stocked veggie drawer.

Things I like to cook and eat
1. Fried Zucchini, 2. Sweet corn is sweet, 3. Blueberry crisp, 4. Slow grilled tomatoes - after, 5. Braised Chicken, 6. Braised Short Ribs with Tomatoes
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Click the individual picture names for the recipes.

I'll be sad when the farm stands close down for the winter, and we have to go back to getting our produce at the grocery store, but in the mean time, we're having a great time finding new farms and coming up with filling and healthy meals to prepare.



I'm not so much the domestic type, especially in the kitchen, I have a few decent dishes I can pull out in a pinch but mostly I classify my cooking style is "faux-made," whereby I spruce up ready-made dishes. But hey, I can do things to ramen that would rock your world.

Still, there are a few things that are easy enough that even I can make them from scratch (I get a pass on broth and canned tomatoes, right?) and stews are top on that list. I love stew, with its big chunks of yummy goodness and lots of veggies and some sort of starch. (I have a love for carbs that knows no bounds.)

Lately, I've been exploring lentils. I don't much care for beans but I wanted to get more legumes into my life, so, lentils it is. A little reading online and what I discovered (no attempt has been made to determine the veracity of these claims) about lentils is:

  • Don't cook your lentils with salt, they get tough
  • Standard lentils are better for soups than the various color ones because they stay firmer
  • The "best" lentils for soups are the French Green
  • Hard water can make lentils tough
  • You don't have to soak the lentils ahead of time but it's often recommended anyway.
  • Otherwise, you really can't mess them up

So, with that in mind, I created this fairly simple concoction.

Not Quite Vegetarian -- but could be -- Veggie Lentil Soup

I'll make note of how you could make this vegan, were you so inclined.

Ingredients 1 Ingredients 2
a whole lotta stuff

Makes oodles, halve or quarter if you don't plan to freeze some of it.


  • 1 c. - dry standard lentils
  • 1 c. - dry french green lentils
  • 1 - sweet onion
  • 1 - head of garlic
  • 2Tbs - fresh thyme
  • 3lbs - fingerling potatoes (I really like taters, adjust to your taste)
  • 1.5lb - carrots
  • 3 c. - mushrooms
  • 3 oz - pancetta (1 package, give or take) leave out for vegetarian
  • olive oil
  • 2 cans - diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart - chicken broth replace with vegetable broth for vegetarian
  • 2Tbs - tomato sauce (or to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Garnish goodness. Use some or all.

  • olive oil
  • fresh cilantro or parsley
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh grated parmesan omit for vegan

Share this page

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the makin' food category.

tour de fleece 09 is the previous category.

weaving is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

August 2016

  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Find Me Here

  • rss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • flickr
  • goodreads
  • google
  • linkedin
  • pinterest
  • ravelry
  • youtube

Featured Patterns