Archive | April, 2011

Maps to Baskets from Sierra Magazine

27 Apr

I adore old maps. I hate to see them made obsolete by GPS, but here’s a great way to reuse your old maps and turn them into cool little baskets: Repurpose – May/June 2011 – Sierra Magazine – Sierra Club.

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Spicy Carrot Soup

26 Apr

This fabulous spicy carrot soup is very similar to my pumpkin soup. I started by caramelizing a yellow onion (more time will make it sweeter, less time more savory). Then I scrubbed one pound of carrots and chopped them into rough 2-inch pieces. I steamed these until very soft.

I threw the carrots, a small amount of leftover cooking water, a can of coconut milk, lots of garam marsala and cumin, smaller amounts of ancho chili, smoked paprika, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and salt. Puree until smooth, luscious, and thick. To finish, I stirred in the onions. Of course, there are many directions to take this. Any Indian or Thai spices/curry mixes would be great. Another variation would be sage and rosemary with Gorgonzola or goat cheese crumbled on top. I paired this dish with one of Mom’s homemade stouts. Enjoy!

Spicy Carrot Soup with Mom's Stout

weeds are in the eye of the beholder

25 Apr

I have never met a weed. One person’s dandelion nightmare is my beautiful sign of spring. How can buttercups be bad? Not only are pesticides and herbicides the bane of everyone on the planet (whether they realize it or not), but they are entirely unnecessary. First, proper organic gardening techniques will control for unwanted and insects. Second, take a minute to look around, and you will find many “weeds” that grow naturally are beautiful!

These flowers grow out of a three-leaf clover variety mixed in with our grass in the front yard. For the last several weeks, these beautiful flowers have graced a big swath of our front yard.

purple clover flowers

purple clover close-up

white tree flowers

white tree flowers in window

These white flowers grow on a tree in our front yard. I have no idea what any of these varieties may be, but who cares? Below, these thin, fringy daisy-like flowers are from our backyard.

fringy daisiesI also don’t have many vases, so I use alternatives. I still like to use glass, because it is heavier and therefore less likely to get knocked over. Glass is also usually the most beautiful. So I use pint glasses and jam jars…whatever I have on hand.

Enjoy!

Documentary filming yarnbombing

24 Apr

http://www.traceyknits.com/2011/04/yarn-goes-gangsta.html
This link takes you to the proposal and plea for funds to film a documentary on yarnbombing. It contains some really cool images of projects around the world and brief interviews with yarnbomber artists.

Crochet Yarnbombing

22 Apr

This fabulous Doilies in Razor Wire project is an interesting take on yarnbombing and a very powerful statement.

Thanks to the ever-fabulous Improvised Life facebook page for this link.

Cool widget for Knitting Knerds

19 Apr

Show the world how many yards, meters, cubits, or acres you have knitted or crocheted with this website widget:http://knitmeter.com/ 

Never Fail Lasagna

17 Apr

A friend recently asked me for advice on making lasagna. I told her as long as you use good ingredients, lasagna is easy.
For a basic lasagna, I suggest layering the ricotta cheese mixture with sliced portabella mushrooms and marinara sauce. Spinach is a nice addition and allows you to skip the salad.
My ricotta mixture is 2lbs. ricotta, one egg, and approximately 8 oz. of grated mozzarella. Stir together with plenty of fresh ground black pepper and freshly chopped parsley. Dried oregano can substitute for parsley. Never use dried parsley. It tastes like green paper.
I almost never put meat in lasagna, probably because my Mom never did. When I do use meat, I prefer sausage to boring ground beef. Other ways to vary the dish include special cheeses, olives, veggies, herbs, pestos, and sauces. Squash, sage, and bechamel (white) sauce is a popular variation. I did something similar with my Fall Pumpkin Lasagna. I want to try gorgonzola, roasted red peppers, olives, and greens layered with traditional ricotta.
A final note for the lazy: I love the no-bake noodles. Just be sure to have plenty of liquid in the dish.

Ghetto Nutella

16 Apr

I love nutella, a chocolate-hazelnut spread. European children eat nutella like American children eat peanut butter. I had a craving for it one night this week, but didn’t feel like running to the grocery store. So I threw some chocolate chips in a small bowl with a dollop of peanut butter and microwaved for 45 seconds. After a quick mix, I spread the mixture on graham crackers. Delicious! This spread would be even better with better quality chocolate and other nut spread (almond butter, cashew butter….).

Enjoy!

Wine Club

15 Apr

Every week, I look forward to the Savannah Foodie column in the Connect Savannah, our local free weekly paper. This week, SF had a particlularly good suggestion on forming a wine club with friends.

Knitting and/as art

13 Apr

Knitters recreate great works of art.

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