April 2, 2011
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Usually, I would make banana bread out of leftover brown bananas but I came across this recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on Make and Takes. We made them and they are delicious. So I’ve been looking for other recipes that use bananas. My mom’s good old Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook has a nice recipe for Banana Chiffon Cake that I didn’t even have to modify to make dairy-free.
Banana Chiffon Cake DF MF
2.25 c flour
1.5 c sugar
3 tsp baking powder MF
1 tsp salt
.5 c canola oil
5 egg yolks, unbeaten
.33 c cold water
1 c ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla MF
1 c egg whites (7-8)
.5 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat 325F. Blend four, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Make a well and add oil, egg yolks, water, bananas, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very stiff. Pour egg yolk mixture over egg whites; cut and fold with flexible spatula until completely blended. Pour into ungreased 10-in tube pan. Bake 65-70 min. Invert to cool.
September 1, 2009
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The past few days have been yellow-themed but not the sweet buttery yellow of lemon curd and stoneware bowls. This yellow is more the weedy yellow of waning vegetation.
There are tiny yellow clover flowers hiding in the yard and strange dandelion variants littering the edges. There is even a large, bold weed that sprang up overnight near the black-eyed susans and is shyly hiding soft star flowers under its leaves. Two late coreopsis flowers are tangled in their own foliage. Two days ago, I saw a little, rare yellow bird flitting on the neighbor’s fence and watched it nervously circle from fence to post to fence across the street then back again.
Fiona found fistfuls of yellow flowers and decorated the bushes. I made a braid of chartreuse bishop’s goutweed to deck them with. The foliage in the side yard is growing speckled. The neighbors pool, unfiltered, waxes and wanes between clear and algal. The bleeding heart, struggling all summer, loses more chlorophyll. I will welcome the brown and red days to come.
May 16, 2009
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We are renovating our home and as we get closer to painting the walls and decorating, I have been working on some mood boards to help us pull each room together.
I have in mind an outdoor space for each room. The living room is the glade. We will have a floral rug and plants in the windows. I am hoping for a leather couch (for wear-and-tear) and a large map table type coffee table to store our collection of posters. The walls will be stone colored and the ceiling a lighter stone color.
The stone colored walls will continue into the dining room. This room will be like a fairy house found in a pine forest.
Our kitchen will be a light and bright meadow. There will be more plants in here. The cabinets and the backsplash tile will be white. The counters will be dark; we had considered wood but I think we’ll go with a dark stone instead. Instead of a table, we’ll have a workstation with stools.
The bedroom will be our secret cave. The walls will be dark stone and the trim even darker. The ceiling will be a soft muslin color and the rug and the linens will be exotic and colorful like a stash of treasure.
May 10, 2009
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I received an Aerogarden as an early Mother’s Day present and I’m surprisingly pleased with it. It’s a tiny hydroponic garden meant for your kitchen counter and it comes with a set of herb seeds. The seeds are wrapped up in special sponges and set into plastic plugs and the plugs fit into holes in the Aerogarden. A pump inside the basin directs water through the plugs. All you need to do is keep the basin filled with water and add a couple of nutrition tablets to the water every two weeks. Then, when the herbs have grown, harvest them once a week to keep them full and growing.
It’s been fun watching the seedlings sprout.
April 29, 2009
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There are a lot of amazing people on the web posting sewing ideas and craft ideas and it’s hard for me to keep track of them all. When I was looking for recipe software to help keep track of my cooking recipes, I realized that I could also use the recipe software as a database for keeping track of craft project ideas. I use Connoisseur for craft recipes and a separate program for food recipes. I like Connoisseur a lot and would have used it for food recipes except that the recipe import feature doesn’t work the way I need it to. However, it’s excellent for keeping track of all the projects I’m interested in.
Instead of cuisine types like “Italian” or “Mexican” I went in and changed those categories to include “Sewing” and “Painting”. Instead of course types like “Entree” and “Dessert”, I changed those categories to include “Clay” and “Mixed Media”. I can copy and paste the ingredients and instructions into the recipe software which lets me display the project onscreen or print it out. Or, if the project is involved and includes many steps, I save a PDF version of the file (using the “Print” window in OS X) then note the PDF name in the recipe so I can find it later. Above all, I always save source attribution so I know where I’ve found a project.
April 22, 2009
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When he was living alone, my father bought himself 2 or 3 cookbooks. One of these was the Home Cooking Sampler: Family Favorites from A to Z by Peggy K. Glass. It is filled with midwest staples like beef stroganoff, macaroni and cheese, pot roast and strawberry shortcake, all arranged alphabetically by recipe name. Last night I made the Shepherd’s Pie; it’s one of the places that the book automatically flips open to. The author says she “should call this Cowboy’s Pie since I usually use ground beef instead of lamb.”
2 lb ground beef
.5 c onion, finely chopped
28-oz can tomatoes in puree
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
.25 tsp paprika
1 tsp orange zest, grated
pepper, freshly ground
.5 c parsley, finely chopped
.33 c dry bread crumbs
5 c mashed potatoes
1 c Colby or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
In a large saute pan, saute the beef and onions until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are soft. Drain off any accumulated fat
Stir in the tomatoes, breaking them up. Stir in the salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, orange zest, and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, until the juices are thickened and most of teh liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Sitr in the parsley and bread crumbs and season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the hot mixture in a 9 x 13-in or a 10 x 12-in shallow baking dish.
Transfer the mashed potatoes to a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe puffy rosettes or a crisscross pattern over the meat. [Or pretend you have a life and plop them on and spread them around with a fork. -j13] Sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake until the cheese has melted and the potatoes begin to color, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
I omitted the orange zest though I can see that it would have added a bright note. I wonder if a few tablespoons of orange juice would brighten it up? I also added some sliced button mushrooms and peas to the meat mixture when I added the bread crumbs.
It was a very satisfying meal.
April 16, 2009
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On Easter Sunday I was going to dye eggs with the bee but she was preoccupied with eating candy. She did help for a minute, adding the turmeric. I have wanted to try natural dyes for a few years now. Just Braise’ post on how to dye eggs came in very handy. I dyed some eggs using turmeric and some using blueberries. I think her inclusion of a recipe for each dye was what I needed. Once I get the hang of something I’m pretty comfortable experimenting but it seems I need someone to draw up the baseline in specific detail first.
Next year, I think we’ll try boiling the eggs first then dyeing them overnight in the refrigerator. That way it might be more interactive for the bee.
Everybody helped eat them.
April 12, 2009
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Before my mom returned home, I was able to finish up showyourworkings’ Japanese knot bag. I am happy with how it came out though I need to clarify how to sew the sides where the two seams come together. I have almost finished a second bag, too. I used a light-weight interfacing for the body fabric and a heavy-weight interfacing for the circular bottom piece. Pulling it right-side-out through the handle wasn’t hard but it took persistence. I’m not sure how you would pull through a thicker interfacing on the bottom; cardboard would get pretty bent up.
April 9, 2009
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I am late to the party on this recipe but I’m glad I gave it a try. I make bread in the bread machine pretty often and I always bake it in the oven. I even use the bread machine to make pizza dough on Fridays and cinnamon rolls on special occasions. But coordinating the timing of the process has never been my strong suite and it doesn’t always work out for me.
I had heard about no-knead bread and the Artisan Bread cookbook from several people but especially from Nancy. Finally, when Justyna linked to the Mother Earth News article explaining how to do it, that was just concrete enough for me to do something about my curiosity.
It is easy to have fresh bread whenever you want it with only five minutes a day of active effort. Just mix the dough and let it sit for two hours. No kneading needed! Then shape and bake a loaf, and refrigerate the rest to use over the next couple weeks. Yes, weeks! The Master Recipe… makes enough dough for many loaves. When you want fresh-baked crusty bread, take some dough, shape it into a loaf, let it rise for about 20 minutes, then bake.
I made the dough in the early evening: it was sticky and smelled like yeast. I was a bit worried about the size of the pot I was using but it worked fine and it fit in the refrigerator when the dough was ready to be put away. The next day, I made a loaf of bread around lunchtime. It was worth fussing with the pizza stone, the wooden peel and the tray of water in the oven. The bread was a little dense and it had a nice crust.
The recipe has neither dairy nor corn (I used wheat germ in place of the cornmeal on the wooden peel) and doesn’t take much preparation to use. I am looking forward to trying it as a pizza dough, for cinnamon rolls, and even as a flat bread.