Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Food and Glove Love - This post is really long!

Since we have been spending less money on groceries, we have more money for fresh vegetables.  Tonight for dinner I made my classic salsa fresca.  Its extremely easy because of my Vidalia Chop Wizard.  Its actually pretty quality for an "As Seen on TV" product. I'd recommend getting one directly at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.  They're great for salsa and veggie soup.

The recipe is very easy:

3 medium tomatoes
1 small onion
3/4 bell pepper (mine was yellow)
3 cloves of garlic
bunch of fresh cilantro
crushed red chili pepper flakes 
can of corn
can of black beans (optional)

Directions: Cut it up.

God I'm so bored.  Yesterday I made dinner rolls: 

Here's a link to the recipe:  PW Dinner Rolls

They were good for my first attempt in making bread in a long time.  The recipe is a lot sweeter than I would have liked, but Zach likes them, so they will be eaten.

Drumroll please:

Finally the moment [Dean] has been waiting for:  The Toasty Mitts.  Based on THIS version of the pattern, I made a pair in a larger size to fit a man.  They are modeled here by the lovely Zachary.

Mods:  Cast on 40 sts. 
k2p2 for 3.5 inches.  
knit stockinette for 3 inches.
cast on 7 stitches for the thumb.
knit 1.5 more inches of stockinette
finish with 3.5 more inches of k2 p2 rib.

Very easy, but they took a lot longer than the women's version.  Adding 4 stitches really made a difference.  I don't plan on knitting any more of these for a while, though I do think they'll make good Christmas presents next year.

What's next for knitting?  I'm currently working on $5 in Paris.  It will probably be my last (large) project for a few months.  I'm getting ready to move, and additionally I'd like to get some reading in, mostly books about the Pacific Northwest in preparation for relocating.  I've never been there and I have no idea what to expect.  

I've been reading this book:

Northwest Basic Training:  Essential Skills for Visitors, Newcomers and Native Northwesterners
By Greg Eiden / Illus. Kurt Holloman
Sasquatch Books, Paperback, 2001

Its a little out of date, but its a quick read and is really full of information for someone who doesn't know what to expect out of their next life adventure.  Included inside are highly amusing tips like how to barter with hippies, how to order wacky coffee beverages and how to start a running for exercise.  Very fun.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Food we ate: Roasted Broccoli and Mushroom Couscous

Zach has been scouring the Food Network website for quick, healthy recipes (that he wants me to make, hah).  To make dinner just as I enjoyed it tonight, begin with this recipe:  Roasted Broccoli with Garlic.  For the record, I found I needed more oil and that 450 degrees was too hot.  400 did well, but my small apartment oven may not be very accurate.  If you're anything like me, you'll want to pop some extra whole garlic cloves onto the tray to roast alongside the broccoli.  The broccoli comes out crispy and browned, very tasty!

The couscous is a recipe I've been toying around with.  Many of the ingredients can be substituted, making this a very easy thing to make without much on hand.

Mushroom Couscous
3 Medium white button mushrooms, diced
1 Shallot, diced
garlic powder
pine nuts or almonds
1c water or vegetable broth
1c whole grain couscous
olive oil

An onion is a good substitution for the shallot.  Please feel free to use fresh garlic if you haven't run out.

Pour a bit of oil into the bottom of a medium saucepan.  Saute the mushrooms and shallot together until the shallot is clear.  Add the nuts near the end and stir constantly until they are toasted.  (Remember that nuts can burn quickly!)  Add the water or broth straight to the pan and bring to a boil.  This should be quick because the pan is already pretty hot.  When the water is boiling, turn off the stove (if you have an electric stove you may want to consider removing the pan from the burner) and add the couscous.  Cover the pan and wait for the couscous to absorb the water.

You're done!  Enjoy and share your experience with me.