Friday, January 15, 2010

15/365: backyard

i started doing a 365-photo-a-day thing on flickr after reading this & thismy buddy alexis is doing it too. i won't post my all my photos here, but i thought this one was a lil' pretty.

i forget that my backyard is a nice place.

15/365: backyard
Originally uploaded by pandaparables

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mister Wister the Time Twister

i was looking at a japanese website where i saw these cute things -> which prompted me to look up "petit ours brun" -> at which point i learned it was a french cartoon. so then i ->searched for other french cartoons on youtube and found the following video (i just wanted to explain how i ended up here. i love how easy it is to end up random places on the internet.)  anyway, this cartoon just exemplifies everything i love about the art of mid-century cartoons.

if you're a fan, be sure to check out Cartoon Modern Blog. I got the book for christmas - yippee!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the Stubborn Cowboy

please spend the next 6 minutes of your life watching this short cartoon from 1967 - "the stubborn cowboy".  it will make you smile, and if it doesn't, i don't know if we can be friends anymore. it's funny to imagine a time when it was perfectly acceptable to show a cartoon figure rolling his own cigarettes.

here's another one called "my daddy the astronaut".

Monday, January 11, 2010

vegetarian matzo ball soup

since the number of jewish vegetarian readers i have is approximately ≤ 0, i don't really know why i am posting this link. but - i made this vegetarian matzo ball soup over the weekend.  this is my first time attempting mazto ball soup (normally the task falls to my catholic dad - go figure - i don't think my jewish mom ever made it).  anyway, it turned out ok - it's hard to judge because i am used to the way my dad's tastes, and this is my first time ever eating a tofu-based matzo ball.  i actually like matzo balls when they're a little hard, and these were a little too fluffy/soft.  but there may have been a critical error on my part (mine didn't do the float/drop thing when i lifted the lid, but after reading the comments on the recipe site, i should've lowered the temperature after putting the lid on the pot).  the broth was fantastic.  and i also made yeast rolls, but they were gross.  too yeasty and no flavor. but it's fun to see dough rise and i'd love to attempt other breads in the future.
my balls, pre-boiling

  • if you're wondering, "what is matzo ball soup?" - click here.
  • other traditional jewish food info here

Saturday, January 9, 2010

yum sandwich

I put these halves together for a little sandwich:
earthgrains thin buns + leftover kale pesto sauce sauce + sliced peppadews + smoked havarti + cherry tomatoes + sprouts + avocado = yum sandwich.

(first i put the pesto, peppadews and cheese on the bread & placed in the toaster oven for a few minutes, so it was a little melty and warm. then i topped with the other stuff).

Friday, January 8, 2010

coffee cozy

i attended a craft night this week and we made reusable coffee sleeves. i was a little nervous because i have no sewing skills whatsoever, but i gave it a shot and here's the end result:
the buttons are there for decoration only (and to hide my bad stitching!) 

directions are on the craft nashy blog. if "sloppy fingers haas" (self-imposed nickname) can make this, you can too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup, from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable stock, storebought or homemade *(see below)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 (15 oz) can small white beans, rinsed well and drained
2 cups diced green beans
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
A few dashes cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or ½ teaspoon dried
4 cups frozen corn

1.     Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until tender and golden, about 10 minutes.
2.     Mix in the tomatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the corn. Return the soup to a boil, lower to a lively simmer, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the corn and heat through, about 2 minutes.

Homemade Stock – Makes 7 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
½ bunch parsley with stems, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
10 cups water
Dash nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1.     Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and scallions, and sauté 10 minutes, stirring often.
2.     Mix in all the remaining ingredients and bring the stock to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain the stock through a large strainer or a colander set over a large bowl. With the back of a large spoon, press out as much liquid as possible from the vegetables. Discard the vegetables. Let the stock cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the stock up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

My Notes:
  • Making the homemade stock seemed like the logical (and tasty) thing to do, and since I had 2 weeks off of work, I had no excuse not to.
  • I simmererd the soup for more like 3-4 hours.  It was good the day of, but even better the following days.
  • I used 1 12-oz bag of frozen corn rather than 4 cups - seemed like plenty.
  • I think the quality of canned tomatoes is important in soups like this, and i am a fan of the Muir Glen Organic brand.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

wrap-up of holiday foodstuffs

i did lots of cooking/baking/treat-making over the holidays - here's a sampling of the recipes - all of this stuff has gotten the seal of approval by me, the mister, and/or members of my family!

the savory:

Pasta With Kale Pesto i was going to make store bought butternut squash ravioli & i was gonna whip up a little sauce w/ sage, brown butter and balsamic vinegar, but the ravioli had all this weird pink stuff on it (?) and i wasn't sure if it was some wacky mold or something, so i had to scrap that plan. but it was raining & cold, and i did not want to go to the store. i did a search for "butternut squash" and "kale" and found this. remarkably we had all the ingredients on hand. it was awesome. i recommend some sort of whole wheat pasta.  i plan on tricking my pesto-loving nephew and my picky-eater sister with this to see if they can tell that it's not "real" pesto.

Sun Dried Tomato Spread (adapted from Jeanne Lemlin's "Vegetarian Classics" cookbook) made for christmas eve snackin'

Roasted Root Vegetables  made for christmas dinner. first had this at a canadian thanksgiving celebration back in october & got pretty obsessed with them. parsnips rule!

the sweet:

Butterscotch Corn Flake Candy made for christmas eve snackin'. really simple - really good. i like the trader joe's corn flakes because the flakes are smaller than kellogg's.

Lemon Cheesecake with Shortbread Cookie Crust made for a dinner party at our house. i was also responsible for the vegetarian chili, but that was just a bunch of random stuff thrown together in a giant pot (like all good chilis should be).

Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie made for christmas day dessert. this is my go-to apple pie recipe for thanksgiving too. everyone seems to love it.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars made for alexis and dave's housewarming/christmas party. a co-worker made these and i freaked the heck out after eating them (in a good way). they were a little mushy when i made them & i imagine they didn't have enough time to firm up before i cut them and brought them to the party.

"grandma's friend julie's rugelach" made for carolyn & david's party, dylan & louisa's party, and the grimeys 10 yr anniversary day.  i needed to bring a little jewish/Hanukkah-ness to these holiday gatherings.

the mister got the kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment for christmas, so i aided in the creation of vanilla strawberry ice cream. real vanilla bean KILLS vanilla extract.  he also got a german fermenting crock, so we should have some rad sauerkraut in 4-6 weeks.  i will also transcribe a really great soup recipe from one of my books - but that will have to wait for another day.
until then - stay warm!