Thursday, March 10, 2011

CEiMB: Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

Today's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash, hosted by Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table.

I had to make just a few subs to make this dish vegetarian. I used a meat substitue that I haven't used before, from a company in NY that I order all sorts of un-meat stuff from. I wasn't crazy about it, which is a drag because I LOVED this stew. And I used veggie broth instead of beef, and forgot to add the sliced almonds, but other than that I made the recipe as written. Oh, and I didn't bother with the parsley. And I didn't have pepper flakes so I added a bit of cayenne. So, um, I guess not quite exactly as written. I will most definitely try it again with a different meat substitute that we like more -- I can see this one becoming a regular winter meal.

I did not take a picture because I made this in a frenzy after work last night and we were a little late getting dinner on the table, so it just got dished out (to Josh and me) and gobbled in a flash. Delma has gotten very good about trying new things, and actually asked me to give her some of this to try. She liked it, but not enough to ask for more than a taste. But still, good girl!

This was a great pick, thanks Kayte! Please visit Kayte's blog for the recipe.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I heart scones

Back in December I saw Beth's post on Proper British Scones and printed out the recipe. The Hattonettes aren't into overly sweet breakfasts, and have tried scones before and liked them (though the slightly sweeter ones you get in coffee shops here in the US), so I really wanted to try these. Last weekend I finally did, and I am hooked. We all loved them. They really aren't sweet at all, and are delicious by themselves or with butter or with a little fancy jam. There's nothing we've tried on them that has not been delicious.

This morning I used a small heart cookie cutter to make some little cuties (the one in the pic has some Bonne Mama blueberry preserves in the middle, nom nom nom). We also have yet to try a shape that isn't completely delicious. Next time we will try flowers or stars, and I suspect that they, too, will be awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

CEiMB: Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

Today's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce, hosted by Jessica of Learning to Love Vegetables.

This was so insanely simple and so yummy. I loved it. Definitely one of my favorite Ellie recipes. It makes a lot of sauce, and I knew the kids wouldn't try it, so I only mixed 2 servings of pasta with the sauce for our dinner last night and put the rest of the sauce in the freezer. I hope it will freeze well. Thanks for a really great pick, Jessica!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Gifts

A good friend and his wifey had their first wee babe a few months ago, and so I had to bust out some baby gifts. My old stand-by is burp cloths. My favorite way to do these is to buy those nice thick flannel cloth diapers, and just sew fabric to size, flip it inside out and topstitch all around. I always have some on-hand so I can sew some up in a pinch if I need a baby gift. Not complicated, but very cute. It's nice to feel somewhat fancy when someone is vomiting on you in public.

And I made a patchwork baby blanket, with minky on the back. Oh, minky is the worst to work with! Cripes, it's awful, but is is so lovely and cuddly-cozy, so, what are you gonna do?

I used a charm pack of Amy Butler stuff, and stamped on some linen squares. I picked an exerpt from favorite poem from one of our Mother Goose books. I think it's maybe called I Had a Little Nut Tree:

I skipped over water
I danced over sea
And all the birds in the air
Couldn't catch me

These blankets are great. They're cuddly for the babes, and they can be used for a play mat, and then kids can use them for baby dolls... I'm hoping wee Sylvia will love and use it for many years.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CEIMB: Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

Hey CEiMP-ers -- forgive me PLEASE for this late posting. This has pretty much been one of the worst weeks of my life. I was incredibly ill and have barely been able to move for days. Total nightmare. But the antibiotics are kicking in and I almost feel human again.

So! This past week was my turn to host over at Craving Ellie in my Belly. My pick was the Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars, on p. 40 of So Easy (recipe at end of post).

I did not love these. I see that a lot of people really did, so maybe I should try them again. They were a little too soft for me, I'd try baking them a little longer next time, and maybe try a different kind of preserves. I feel badly picking a recipe and then not digging it, but oh well, they can't all be keepers.

I'm looking forward to reading through everyone else's posts (when I can look at the computer for more than 2 minutes without feeling like puking! Bon apetit!).

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten to mix
1 egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Cooking spray
1/4 cup "fruit only" apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out

clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by1 1/2 inches each.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Home Project

I read Bonnie's post tonight: The Home Project. Go check it out, it's a great idea. It's easy to let time in a marriage just by so quickly, to take it for granted in these days of life with wee ones and all the craziness they bring. She plans to chronicle her marriage through photos, weekly, and I am thinking of playing along.

This is part of the mayhem on our bathroom counter right now as Josh packs for tomorrow's business trip that will keep him away from home for 5 days. HGe travels regularly, but the trips aren't usually this long. And on top of the general stress that comes along with him being away, Delma is sick, I am sick, and we are expecting a huge snow storm. Oy.

But, the glasses... After Josh and I got married, we went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. When we were flying out, I looked over at him at one point and he had fallen asleep reading, with his glasses on. I took his glasses off of his face and carefully stashed them. And then I was struck with that one small act. That this man and I would be doing big things and also these smallest things for each other for the rest of our lives. That there's someone to take my glasses off of me when I fall asleep reading. For people who have grown up feeling attended to and cared for, this may be nothing. To me, it is everything.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

CEIMB: Mushroom Barley Soup

Today's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is Mushroom Barley Soup, hosted by Jennifer of The Rookie Baker.

The recipe as written is actually Beef Mushroom Barley Soup, but since we're veg I left out the beef. If I were going to make this again I'd replace the beef with a meat alternative or with beans, but this time around I just left it out altogether. It was good, it was hearty and satisfying. It was also super-easy to throw together. But it wasn't particularly exciting, probably because it was missing so much flavor that the beef would have provided.

I didn't take any pitures, because I made it so late the other night that it wasn't ready in time for dinner. So I just packed it up for lunches, and soup in a take-out container on my office desk does not make for an appealing photo.

Check out Jennifer's blog for the recipe.