Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm dreaming of...

A white Christmas is ours this year. Winter has come in all its glory bringing ice, then snow, then wind and more ice, snow and wind. Good thing Santa saw fit to shower us with ice skates, sleds, poles and snowshoes this year!

Now that the holiday rush has passed and we can enjoy our time together more leisurely, I've begun to prepare for baby. I knit this striped stocking hat with the pom pom for baby and can't wait to see it on. Savannah wants one too so I've begun one for her as well. For newborns hats are supposed to fit over a grapefruit and I think mine is slightly larger so it will have to be saved for the fall or winter. I created my own pattern since I couldn't find a pattern for exactly what I wanted.
New hat on bunny.

Baby's new stocking hat.

The elven view.

Savannah spent her Christmas Eve playing in the ice-covered snow making snow people and then smashing them down and making an old-fashioned garland as an offering for the birds and squirrels on Christmas day. There are few reds as beautiful and varied as that of cranberries. They may not be as sparkly and uniform as pomegranate jewels, but what other fruit could match their range of reds and still be suitable for everyday wear?

Stringing together cranberries and popcorn for the woodland garland - our offering to the birds.

Christmas Day we snuggled in bed until 8am, then opened our stockings before breakfast. After breakfast it was time for presents! Savannah opened her presents from Santa first, then had to be encouraged to open her other gifts half an hour later. I guess you could say she's mesmerized by her furbies.

Savannah asked Santa for a very specific limited edition furby this year. Little did Santa's helper know that furbies are a collector's item that have not been produced by the elves since 1997. TGFE (Thank God For Ebay!).

Savannah on her sled with baby and big sister furby. These cute little things talk and sing to each other in Furbish. Savannah is teaching them English.

Savannah played with her pirate Jack-in-the-box from Dearest over and over again.

Savannah even got a present from baby Eastler!

Savannah models her homemade beanie. Look for these on etsy from the Portland Beanie Company.

Santy Claws even saw fit for the furbeast to have some fresh organic catnip toys made by this elf named MeowWow.

Kevin opens one of his gifts from Grandpa.

After presents we made a big Italian lunch (fresh marinara sauce, salad with apple cider vinegar dressing, chicken parmigiana with organic whole wheat spaghetti) to share with our neighbors. They brought nature photos over and we looked through some amazing pictures of coyotes, garden spoils and other wildlife that they'd captured on film over the years from their yard. Soon we'll have our own collection. Then we spent the afternoon snowshoeing and sledding and enjoying the great outdoors. Ahh, country life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A cowl for the cold

I like to hand make as many gifts as I can for the holidays. To me there's nothing that says I care about you like taking the time to make something with my own two hands. First there's the idea, which takes time, then selecting the fabric, yarn or ingredients, planning the time to make the gift and then making it and wrapping it - each step during which the recipient is thought of. Holiday packages from our house usually include homemade toffee, hot pepper jelly, candied almonds, and other handmade items for the little ones like aprons or craft sets and blankets. Most of the gifts I've made this year I have to keep mum about until Christmas day but with less time this year than in previous years, I also bought some homemade gifts on etsy - my favorite place to shop for inspiration and for homemade items that I can't make myself.

Yesterday a project I had to complete for work was stopped abruptly so I had the evening all to myself to finally make a Christmas present I've wanted for a long time - a cowl to keep my neck warm inside and out. Cowls are all the rage at the moment in the knitting community ever since big bulky knits started appearing all over the runway. Many of the cowls are either too bulky for my tastes or too lacy making them impractical for the weather here. So I decided to make my own pattern in a bulky weight yarn by Lion (Wool-Ease Thick and Quick). I learned a lot from making it and though I will wear this one, I'll make some changes to the next one I make before writing down my pattern. I think the height of 10 inches is too much for me and I should have stopped between 6 and 8 inches. Trouble is, I love cables so much it's hard for me to stop cabling! I also learned that by decreasing stitches by about 5-6 at the end and beginning is important to help it keep its shape, to prevent rolling and keep the cold out. Of course, Savannah wants one now and when I told her I'd be happy to make her a matching one, she said, "No! In pink please!"

It fits over my head easily, even though mine is the largest in the house. At the top you can see where I learned to decrease a few stitches to help the cowl keep its shape. Next time I'll do the same at both ends.

A terrible picture I took of myself wearing the cowl. Next time, I'll make a somewhat shorter one but it's nice to have the option of pulling this one up from beneath my jacket collar when I'm outside braving the Northwest wind. It also folds over like a turtle neck.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Old-fashioned apple fritters

I recently bought a series of small pamphlet-sized cookbooks, each with a subject on the fruits of your gardening labor. The recipes are old-fashioned grandma, county fair, farmhouse-style recipes on topics such as squash and zucchini, apples, tomatoes, herbs, etc. They have proved to be brilliant! This morning we tried apple fritters (a breakfast recipe for this time of year when the crispy apples for eating turn a bit softer) and they were delicious. They tasted a lot like the fried dough you can buy at county fairs except much fresher like a warm doughnut out of the frying pan and into your hand. We would definitely make these again! Since I modified the recipe from the original, I'll post it here.

Old-fashioned apple fritters

  • 1c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (heaped or rounded)
  • 3 Tb sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl.

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-3 Tb plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c apple, diced
Mix together wet ingredients then blend with dry ingredients. Add diced apple.
Drop about a 1/4 c into hot frying pan with 1/4 inch of vegetable or canola oil and fry on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and nutmeg and serve plain or with maple syrup and butter drizzled on top.

Notes: You could substitute for the water and yogurt 1/3 c of milk if you prefer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reduce your fabric stash for a good cause (and maybe win a contest)

Every quilter I know has a fabric stash that includes much coveted fabric as well as fabric that makes you wonder, what was I thinking when I bought that? Anyway, now's your chance to do some good and reduce the sinfully large size of your stash (making room for new fabric, of course) AND enter yourself in a charms contest for 36 random 5 inch charms. The link to the contest, called Charms for Charity Contest, is posted below.

Charms for Charity Contest

The neatest thing of all is that the fabric will be donated from quilters all around the world to make quilts for charity. Definitely something I'd like to be a part of!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Spice Cookies

Today was our day to go to the library to get Christmas books but we agreed Savannah wasn't yet well-enough so we traded in today's Christmas calendar activity for baking cookies, which was not a hard sell! Here's our recipe for Christmas Spice Cookies - kind of a hybrid between spice cookies/ginger snaps and sugar cookies. It's a great one for using up all the colored holiday sugars in your baking cabinet that seem to last for years otherwise.

Christmas Spice Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheets with butter or line with baking paper.

  • 1c unsalted butter
  • 1c packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg (plus an egg yolk)
  • 1 Tb vegetable oil

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and blend.

  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour (scant)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse Kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp if you use any other kind of salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • course granulated sugar with or without coloring

Sift together all of the dry ingredients reserving the course granulated sugar for rolling the dough in.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until incorporated then roll into small balls to dip or roll in the coarse granulated sugar before arranging on the baking sheet. These balls will "melt" like little snow balls in the warm oven to flatten so give them plenty of room on the baking sheets. Bake for 9-13 minutes depending on size of balls. 11 minutes usually does the trick for us.

Notes: The cookies should come out crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. For a spicier cookie, increase the cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon to 1 tsp each. You could also omit the coarse sugar and bake them plain or drizzle a homemade icing on top. Enjoy them before Santa does!

Here's one happy little Santa's helper, even if she is not yet at 100% today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Easy microwave cleaning

Sara's secrets:

In recipes it's rare that you use an entire lemon - both the zest and the juice or even the whole lemon. Save these lemon leftovers (squeezed or hard, dried lemons work too) to clean the microwave with. I place any leftover lemon pieces in a microwaveable bowl filled halfway with water and microwave for 1-2 minutes until the microwave is filled with condensation. Then I wipe it down with a paper towel and all the grease and things that go "pop" in the microwave come right off. I never have to scrub the microwave anymore.

Make the microwaved lemon solution do double duty by dumping it down the disposal with some ice cubes to freshen up your sink.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cranberry sauce three ways

My Three Favorite Cranberry Sauce Recipes

Note: All of these recipes begin with washing the cranberries and picking over them to sort.

Traditional Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 c sugar
  • peel and juice from 1 orange
  • 1/2 c water (more if needed)
In a medium sauce pan add all the ingredients and stir over medium heat. When the cranberries begin to burst open, lower the heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered. This recipe should be somewhat sweet and somewhat tart but you can adjust the sugar to your tastes. You can also add more water if you need to.

Notes: I call this traditional cranberry sauce because it has the tangy tart flavor that cranberry lovers appreciate. For those who aren't the biggest fans or who prefer the glop from a can, try the next recipe.

Sweet Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 c of red seedless grapes
  • 1/2 c of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
In a medium sauce pan add the first four ingredients. Stir over medium heat until the cranberries begin to burst and the grapes start to soften. Then turn heat to low to simmer for about 20 minutes, longer if the grapes are still whole. Remove from heat and stir in salt.

Notes: Sometimes I use my immersion blender for a few pulses to make this smoother if the grapes don't fall apart. People who aren't big fans of homemade cranberry sauce often love this recipe, especially if you use the immersion blender to pulse it a few times for a smoother consistency.

Raw Cranberry Relish

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 2 apples peeled and sliced
  • 1 whole washed, seedless orange
  • 1-2 c sugar

Put the first three ingredients through a grinder, peels and all. Add 1-2 c sugar (I prefer on the lighter side but to your taste) and stir it in for a few minutes so that the sugar dissolves. This can also sit out for 30 minutes while the rest of the sugar dissolves.

Notes: This is one of my favorite cranberry recipes because of the ease of making it and the full fresh flavors. By not cooking the cranberries (or any of the other ingredients) you get the maximum benefit from the antioxidants that are packed in the berries.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On the needles

Savannah has become a slaver-driver about having me finish her new blanket. I sat next to her in the car the other day so I could knit. I waited for the car and my hands to warm up before beginning while Savannah kept saying, "Mom, you should be knitting!" She thinks that she needs to hide from ghosts under it. Unfortunately, I bought all the yarn that was left in FJORD's "Rosewood" at our quaint yarn shop downtown and will be needing more by the end of the week. I'm barely a quarter of the way through her new throw.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Little Monsters

One of Savannah's nicknames before and after she was born was Tummy Monster. It was a nickname well-deserved. Now I have a new tummy monster, and again the nickname is well-deserved. I feel like I'm carrying a gremlin at the moment, not sugar and spice or snips and tails.

Savannah loves monsters, really LOVES them. When I was her age I was petrified of monsters under my bed and was certain that they would bite my achilles until it sprang up to my kneecap like a roller shade, if I got out of bed. Savannah would probably be thrilled to discover a monster under her bed. So while she was sleeping I created her own little monster, named Violet. Violet is hand-sewn from felt scraps, which is unusual because unless I really, really have to, I don't sew with a needle and thread. Violet has a little pocket on her tummy so she can double as a tooth pillow should the tooth fairy visit us anytime in the next year or so.

Violet the monster, who enjoys sleeping under Savannah's bed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crayon crafts and baby blankies

Today we went through the house and tossed out or organized what we could to prepare for our move. Savannah's craft drawers got a big cleaning today but I wasn't sure what to do with her enormous shoebox box of crayons. Savannah was a compulsive peeler of crayon labels from ages two through, well, now, so most of her crayons had been peeled. We sorted them into color piles and baked them in the oven to make new crayons. This will be perfect for an upcoming unit we are doing on nature and textures where she'll be collecting things she likes from outside and making rubbings. Savannah was very interested in watching the crayons melt in the oven into "crayon muffins." Got some broken crayon pieces of your own? Here's the recipe:
  • sort broken and peeled crayons into piles of your liking (they can be totally mixed if you want or in theme colors such as primary, patriotic, etc)
  • preheat oven to 350
  • fill a muffin tin with your crayons
  • turn off the oven and place the crayons inside, keep the light on so you can watch - they go pretty quickly
  • remove the melted crayons and let cool overnight or place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool
Sorting the crayons. I like to do it this way because I think it gives more depth to children's drawings. Most people just mix them haphazardly.

Sorting the broken bits into a muffin tin.

Savannah can't take her eyes off the "crayon muffins."

Some of the finished products. We ended up making 2 dozen!

I also finished making some gifts for my new nephew. He's getting a very boy themed blanky and burp cloths with fire trucks and cars. I was hoping to find fire engine fleece but no luck, so no matchy, matchy. Every baby needs something colorful, soft, machine washable, and thick enough to keep them warm in cold cars or to avoid painful head bonkings on hard surface floors. Here's my tutorial for this baby blanket.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

We are pumpkin fanatics in our house so I have a collection of pumpkin recipes that we rotate as soon as the first leaf turns yellow so we never get sick of our pumpkin goodies.

This is our favorite recipe for pumpkin bread and I often make extra loaves for neighbors in the autumn. It will fill your house with that perfect pumpkin baked good smell. (I have to confess to actually stepping outside just to step back in with a fresh nose so I can inhale the wonders of my autumn kitchen.)


Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Position oven racks in the lower third of oven, then preheat to 350.

Whisk together these dry ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

In a glass measuring cup combine and set aside:

  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl (all your ingredients will eventually end up here) or kitchen stand mixer beat until creamy:

  • 6 TB of softened unsalted butter (NOTE: don't use margarine and reduce salt above if you don't have unsalted butter for baking)

Then add in gradually:

  • 1 c white sugar plus 1/3 c brown sugar

Add in one at a time:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c pumpkin (NOTE: I usually add an additional 2-4 Tb of pumpkin)

Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the liquid mixture beating until just blended (I sometimes do this part by hand or on low speed on my stand mixer).

Spread into pan and bake for about 1 hour (sometimes it needs a few more minutes for the center to firm, but don't overbake.)

Optional variations:

  • 1/2 c pecans or 1/2 walnuts (fold in at the end)
  • 1/3 c dates diced or raisins (fold in at end)
  • 1/3 c shredded coconut, carrots, or zucchini (fold in at end)

This moist bread is great plain, with butter melted on top, with cream cheese, or for breakfast with an egg. If you're hankering for something extra sweet, you can mix in a small bowl some room temperature cream cheese with powdered sugar to make a frosting as well. I also sometimes wrap up a slice and HIDE it in the fridge (as only moms can do) because if I don't, I'll never get a second slice of this bread. Kevin and Savannah make it disappear like a rabbit in a hat.

With the additional pumpkin in the can, we usually make a pumpkin smoothie with pumpkin, ice, milk or milk substitute, 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 1/4-1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spices. It is a delicious treat and a great way to use your leftovers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cozy car quilt

Today Savannah read to me A Picture for Harold's Room while I finished her cozy car quilt. She picked out the fabrics for the front and the fleece for the back as well. My quilting turned out not as well as it could have since my machine won't lower the feed dogs - they kept popping back up so I had to fight the fabric the whole time, but in the end it turned out fine and it fits her perfectly for the car. If our offer is accepted on the contemporary house, I'll have to start making modern and Japanese-style quilts - kind of exciting!

Savannah's new car quilt - we use them all fall and winter so she can stay warm while the car takes its time to warm up... Wish I had one too!

Stippling turned out remarkably well, considering I had to fight the feed dogs the whole time I was quilting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Potato Leek Soup Recipe

We've had a lot of rain in Colorado so it's perfect soup weather. Here's my favorite Potato Leek Soup recipe (and I promise to post my Middle Eastern Split Lentil Soup recipe for my Mom soon!):

In a heavy bottom soup pan, add 3Tb of olive oil plus 1Tb of unsalted butter. Heat to medium low and add slices from 3-4 (very well washed) leeks. Saute for 6 minutes then add 2 large diced and washed Yukon Gold potatoes with skin on for another 3-4 minutes.

Add 5 cups of water and 3-4 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (be sure your bouillon is free of MSG (monosodium glutamate) - I prefer to use Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base)

Cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup half and half, 1/4 cup Parmesan and freshly ground pepper (and maybe extra salt)to taste.

I also usually add a pinch of herbs de Provence and sometimes flat leaf parsley.

I like to serve the soup with open-faced tomato and avocado sandwiches with a shake of Herbamare and pinch of powdered garlic on top and a side green salad.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Supereasy and soft fleece baby blanket tutorial

One of the things I've made for Savannah that has gotten the most use over the years is a double-sided fleece blanket (okay she has at least four of them). When she was little, it protected her from hard surfaces for tummy play and protected my carpets from baby drool. Later they were used in the car to keep her warm before the car warmed up. Then they were used to soften the wagon ride, to snuggle in the jogger on cold days, for tea parties, to tuck her dolls in, and larger sizes are used outside (or inside) for picnics and for forts. So to us, they are indispensable (not to mention machine-washable, soft, and durable).

1. Cut two same-size pieces of fleece (we usually coordinate one solid with one color) in the size you prefer, or about 30" x 36".

2. Place them right sides together (or wrong sides out).

3. Using your favorite seam length from 3/8" to 5/8", sew around the perimeter of the blanket leaving a 5-6" opening in the middle of one end. If any of your seams are uneven or larger than 1/2", simply trim away the excess fabric. If perfection is your thing, you can pin and use a walking foot rather than a regular foot.

4. Using the opening, pull the right sides out being sure to pinch the corners so they turn sharply. You can also shape these after the blanket is turned right side out.

5. Once you're satisfied, topstitch around the perimeter (I usually topstitch in contrasting colors and about 1.5"-2" inside the seam).

Here I am topstitching with my walking foot and I have a line drawn on my machine so I can sew a relatively even seam. I used a water-soluble fabric marker for the line - it washes off the machine very easily and if any rubs on the fabric, it comes right off in water.

6. Next sew up the opening by hand using matching or invisible thread. Voila, a super-soft fleece baby blanket.

This one is for my friend Melissa whose baby's sex is a surprise. I thought the bright colors and navy backing were neutral enough for any kiddo plus, babies love the contrasting stripes, even before their eyes can see colors. I might make one just like this for myself as well.

This one is for a high school friend in NY who is having a baby boy with a sailboat themed room. Something about these blue stripes said French Navy to me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More socks and lessons learned

I made Savannah a second pair of the North Country socks and they turned out just as well. Savannah picked out the yarn herself, called beachball blue. As much as I love the sock pattern, I'm not keen on the yarn we picked out. The cotton stretches out after use, so I'm trying out a new yarn for a pair for myself called Heart & Sole with Aloe, Self-striping Knit Socks. So two-thumbs up on the pattern, and no recommendations on the yarn.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My first pair of socks!

When I flip through a new knitting book, sweaters inspire me, camisoles inspire me, baby blankets inspire me, not socks. So, I always thought knitters were crazy when they said knitting socks was addictive and fun. I would think to myself, "Uh, huh, socks, are the last thing I would ever want to knit." Well, procrastination being such a great motivator, I've just made my first pair of socks! (I'm procrastinating from finishing my shrug that I've been picking up and putting down all summer long.)

First I'm proud that I was able to knit them at all, considering that when I began, I had no idea how to turn a heel or what a gusset was. Secondly, I'm proud that they actually fit Savannah's feet! It was fun to have her try them on before I completed the toe to see if they would fit her or not. Next time I think I'll close the toes just a little earlier though! Mostly, I'm proud of myself for finishing a pair of something! If there's anyone out there who could make just one sock and stop there, it's me, although in our house any poor sock missing its mate is instantly turned into a sock puppet.

Here's the free pattern I used that was so easy to follow. I had to remind myself how to SKP and do the Kitchener stitch but I found a video from the knit witch on you tube that showed me how to do these things. I made them from Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton, a yarn I don't typically knit with. It's machine washable, which is great, but not so easy to work with and less forgiving than blends.

Here they are on my little cutie this morning!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Girls End-of-Summer Skirt

Savannah models her new skirt in front of the fireplace.

I made Savannah a new skirt today, inspired by watching Sewing with Nancy (one of the PBS shows I love to record and skip through for ideas). It's made by cutting out strips that measure 2" on the waist end and 3" (or more) on the hem, then sewing them together. She was thrilled with it and so was I until she went to help her dad do oil changes on the cars and returned with a huge oil spot on the much for that skirt.

More modeling, with typical four-year-old attitude.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Olympic Doll Quilts

I finished the three doll-size quilts for Savannah's Olympic dolls and they are cute! It's hard to pick a favorite but I think I like YingYing's the best - she's the Tibetan Yak doll. It's fun to experiment with colors and patterns I would never use otherwise. Doll-size is sometimes just right for trying something new!

Here they are all tucked in together with their matching quilts.




Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Day for Crafting

Savannah woke up today with the idea of making a bracelet for her cousin Abby, probably because she rediscovered the bracelet Abby made for her in New York. Savannah wanted to cut out a butterfly and put it on a pipecleaner for a bracelet. We make bracelets like this sometimes at home and sometimes at the Butterfly Pavilion's storytime, BUT I tried to convince her that we should try some other materials since the paper might rip in the mail and the metal in the pipe cleaners sometimes poke. So, one trip to the craft store later we'd returned with all sorts of beads she'd picked out to make bracelets for everyone! She had lots of fun stringing them on in different patterns. I'm not usually interested in jewelry-making, or in jewelry that much, but I even made one for myself and for $1 in beads, it turned out pretty well.

Savannah's bracelets, one in yellow with sparkly beads and another in purples.

Her bracelets to her cousins, all wrapped up in origami paper.

While Savannah was busy stringing together her bracelets, I decided to make a zafu pillow for myself. It's a meditation pillow so while you're sitting and breathing, your butt doesn't get too sore (and of course, it aligns the spine and helps open the chest for better breathing). I found a great tutorial for it online but I decided to add one extra feature, a handle. I've been waiting to find a project for my Amy Butler lotus fabric (yellow lotus pond) and this seemed the perfect use for it. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out but I wish I had stuffed it slightly less. I'm used to the zafus that you sort of squish into and mine's a little more firm. Maybe I'll have to break it in, which is really the point afterall. I didn't have barley or buckwheat hulls to fill it with and rather than taking the time to order the proper filling, I made do with a combination of shredded bamboo that I had leftover from another project and the polybeads that are used to fill bean bags. Those polybeads were a nightmare to clean up and as Savannah said, "Well, Mom, I guess you learned your lesson about that!"

My first zafu pillow.

The handle I added for function.

Isn't it a beauty?

Favorite Summer Salad Recipe

My favorite summer salad is so easy to make, especially after a trip to the Farmer's Market.

Pile a plate full of your favorite lettuces, add some diced cilantro and tomatoes. Slice the corn off a fresh ear and add that to your plate (raw corn counts as a vegetable while cooked corn counts as a starch). Add your favorite warm beans to the top (I usually make pinto beans but black beans are actually better for you with their higher fiber content). I like to serve mine with crumbled chips on top or with a vegetarian tamale. Delicious and filling!
Variations: sliced purple onions, diced green onions, diced Anaheim peppers, sliced avocado, cheese or sour cream, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and squeeze of lime on top.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Humus recipe

Savannah wanted a snack today and the choices I gave her, carrots or cherries, didn't appeal to her today. "I know Mom, how about we make humus to eat with our carrots?" So we did.
We like to eat our humus with carrots, pita bread or chips and when we have them, fresh cucumbers that are thickly julienned.

Savannah tested and approved! Someone LOVES her hummus. I like to use it on open-faced sandwiches in place of mayo.

Humus recipe:

1. drain water into cup from 1 can of chick peas
2. add to food processor:
- chick peas
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1Tb of lemon juice
- 1Tb of tahini
- 1Tb of olive oil
- bunch of freshly chopped cilantro
- pinches of salt, cumin, coriander, fresh black pepper

3. Pulse until combined adding additional saved water from humus and salt until desired consistency and taste are reached.