Archive for December, 2008

The TueReview: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

9781400054350 So, who is this Barefoot Contessa? I’ve heard her name often enough, but I’ve never caught her on tv or read one of her books until now. I picked a great one to start with, I’ll tell you that! And can I say from the outset that this woman looks like she can cook? She’s just got that look, like I’d love to go into her kitchen and sip wine and dish, ykwim? And the fact that her Back to Basics cookbook has recipes for drinks with and without alcohol helps a bit, LOL. And also, she serves cheese. Without apology. I think I could marry a woman like that.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book is how each chapter starts with a page of tips. One chapter tells how to arrange flowers, another how to use the tools in your kitchen to cook like a pro.

But lets get to the recipes! I have been wanting to try Cucumber Yogurt Sauce for a while, and there are a couple of recipes in here that remind me of that, only different. The Creamy Cucumber Salad promises to be good with fish or chicken and the Chilled Cucumber Soup with Shrimp looks like just the ticket for a hot day, or a holiday party.

Speaking of holiday dishes, she has a Stuffed Turkey Breast in here that looks scrumptious. You make the stuffing with figs, cranberries, onions, stuffing mix and sausage (among other things) and then put it in a butterflied turkey breast and roll the whole thing up like a jellyroll. THE END of dried out turkey!

And a Dinner Spanikopita made with phyllo. Oh my word. I do love Spanikopita! Is there anyone who doesn’t? I mean, spinach, cheese, buttery layers of air and flour, yumm!

Hahahaha, oh yes, I knew I would like her. Look here in the vegetable chapter: the woman has a recipe for Creamy Cheddar Grits. You know it, baby! Oooh, she adds scallions to hers! Please excuse me while I mop drool off my chin. I think I could make a meal off these grits and the Pan-Roasted Root Vegetables. Seriously. And maybe some of this French Apple Tart. *cough*

And listen, just when you think the book is over……….breakfast. Including Date Nut Spice Bread with Cream Cheese Spread. Yeah. I think I have to keep this one under my pillow for a while.

Wilderness Barbie takes a hike

That would be me. I know some of you are holding your guffawing sides, reckoning that I would never be more than 23 feet from electircal lighting, kitchen faucets and central heating and air, but you are wrong. I did actually take my plump little self into the woods, and I hiked 2.6 miles with the Cub Scouts. And I had such a good time that I volunteered to go back again with the church youth.

In knitting news, not much–you didn’t have any recommendations, and what with the woods and all, I haven’t had time. Plus, I am almost through with a book, so I want to see how it ends. And the tree is supposed to go up tonight, so I may not knit until sometime later this week.

In beading news, we did better at this weekend’s sale than at our previous sale. IOW, we haven’t given up yet. I was hiking instead of selling, but I am told that someone purchased one stitch marker. Apparently to decorate her cell phone. Yeah, I don’t unsterstand it either, but that’s ok. I don’t have to understand. No one bought any bookmarks, but I did sell a few necklaces in addition to the lone marker.

On a mostly unrelated note, I took my husband to get a cat scan yesterday, as you may already know, if you read my personal blog. I’ll find out if he’s sick or merely crazy on Monday. It’s kinda odd to hope his shunt is messed up, but I do. Mostly because the other alternatives are vastly less pleasant.

Online Craft Club #51

Short and sweet today, just like me!

Custom Sweater
IMG 0187 1 2

Stuntman in his Wallaby–doesn’t he look so excited?
IMG 0186 1

Now, I shown and told, so it’s your turn.

Take a picture of your current project, whatever that happens to be. Or maybe one you recently finished. Or the materials for the one you are about to start. Let’s say materials for a project in whatever state it happens to be in at the time you snap it. On Friday, post the picture and tell us about your project. What you did, or what you are going to do. How much you are enjoying it, or hating it. You know–show and tell.

Just copy & paste the code below the graphic and get crafty with me!

Be sure to come back and leave a comment so we know where to find you!

[tags]Online Craft Club[/tags]

Knitty stuff

I’m actually kinda stuck here! I don’t know what to knit! I have finished bother the sweaters I showed you in the last Craft Club post, hocks isn’t really a project I plan to “finish” so much as it is one that will just be eventually done, and I am not feeling the sock love. Especially for socks that won’t fit my foot. So? Any ideas what I should do with this?

I have 800 meters/874 yards. It was supposed to be a cardi for my SIL, but it’s been 4 or 5 years now and I still don’t have her measurements. I’m declaring it well-enough-seasoned to use. But for what? I’m not positive that is enough for a sweater for me… I’ll have to consult my yardage card. Of course, there is plenty for Batman a sweater, and the color is right, but I am kinda turned off of kid knitting for a bit, given the lack of care demonstrated toward my hand knits. Ahem.

Of course, Country would rather I give the yarn stash a little break, which might be cause to negotiate lower life insurance rates for it. (Ha, I slay me). She’d much rather I work on this:

And it December. I like for us to do a puzzle each December, so maybe I should concentrate on this:

Thoughts?

The TueReview: Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

9780307396440How can this woman that I love to hate keep coming out with such awesome books? It’s craziness I tell you, pure craziness! And also very, very delightful. I think most cook’s can learn a thing or three from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook. In fact, Country has asked me (!!) to assign her some lessons from this book for school. Yes, seriously.

And you know, she’s not kidding when she calls it cooking school. Each “chapterette” is listed like 1.2, 1.2, 1.3, like…well, like Country’s math book! And they are are called “How to…whatever”, and most of them include a recipe. But there is so much in this book that isn’t even in the table of contents! For instance, in the meat chapter is a section on the different cuts from different animals and

how to truss a chicken
how to cut up a chicken
how to tie up a roast
how to fillet a fish

and so on and so forth. Good handy stuff to know!

And look here, varieties of potatoes. I didn’t know what they were all called, and I’ve been cooking for…umm, a long time. And she finishes with a chapter on desserts! The back says this book is for beginners and experts and everyone in between, and after looking at it, I agree.

It’s definitely a full service cookbook, and Country will get her wish for school assignments from it. She can work right through it with me, and we’ll study the parts that aren’t in the table of contents, too. It’s taking it’s place on the school shelf for now, instead of the cook book shelf!

Thoughts on Maternity

You know, I was thinking. Not so very long ago, this blog was all about babies and milk and my love/hate relationship with the Medela Pump’nStyle. *Shivers of horror* And now, DaBaby is almost three, and we aren’t expecting. That just feels weird to me, because always before, I’ve been almost ready to pop with the next baby, or even already popped. In fact, I have given most of my baby stuff, including those trendy maternity clothes from 1993, away. Yeah, quit laughing! What, did you go out and buy new Ingrid and Isabel each time you had a baby? All eight times? ;)

I did keep a couple of things, though. I kept the Original Baby Basket that my husband slept in as a child. We slept five children in that basket, and it will go to Country. When we were expecting Drama, the baby basket was declared no longer safe for baby use, and so we got a new bassinet. She will get that bassinet, but both Drama and DaBaby were placed in the OBB for a photo. How could we not?

I also kept the blankets that I made for each one. Along with the quilts made by their great-grandmothers. I guess it’s ok to admit that I am already looking forward to eventually seeing those things used again, though I am not ready for any of my children to be parents quite yet. I’m old fashioned enough to want them to do things in a certain order: first the hoiorse, then the cart, not the other way around.

And I’ll bet they will all be relieved when reading this post that I don’t have any maternity clothes left to hand down. I’m sure Juicy Maternity is going to be much more their style than my old stuff, LOL!

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