Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quinoa for Christmas or New Year's Eve


If you haven't tried quinoa, the two upcoming holidays are a great time to try to rather different ways to serve it. Another benefit is that it is gluten free.

I cook ours quite simply. I buy a small box at grocery, dump the contents into a stockpot along with stock (chicken is my favorite but any stock works). 1 can + 1 of water. Bring the stock to a full rolling boil, stir and cook at boil for about 3 min. turn off the heat, and put on a lid. I usually get busy doing other things and forget it. lol
Once the pot has cooled down, empty the quinoa into a covered refrigerator container . It stays good for about 7 days without things added to it. Once you add veggies and greek yogurt, I don't keep it longer than 1 day. But for the two of us that isn't a problem. Of course, I'm only using a part of the quinoa.

With so many sweets around right now, upping your protein intake helps you stay feeling full longer. Too many sweets equal a blood sugar roller coaster that can leave you feeling shakey, and trigger excess snacking.

Quinoa Salad and Quinoa with Herring in Sour Cream and Onion are two recipes I shared earlier. Click on the link for salad and you'll find both recipes (rather more like guidelines). Happy healthy eating ~ this time of year it is even more important~

Monday, November 15, 2010

A wonderful Giveaway on Old Farmhouse Gathering's Blog

If you win the Warm Winter Hugs Giveaway going on now on Old Farmhouse Gathering's Blog until November 15th, it will be like getting Christmas in a box. I'm a member of this group, but because of being in too many groups, have been rather a deadbeat with consideration to them. Too many wonderful things in life, too much time on computer, but now that Etsy has opened a group area I can check in more frequently! 

Anyway, if you celebrate Christmas you really should go over and sign up by making a comment.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What fun this is! Grandmas and Moms who love to decorate cookies!

Our daughter refers to me as the Swedish Chef, mostly because my cooking messes are a given. Plus there is nothing like cooking together over the years, to go from mom on the pedestal to mom, the Swedish chef!

I added the above to today's post, because the Swedish Chef rather than Julia Child has always been my kitchen hero. This one is short, and well to the point, but if you enjoy him too, click on the title to take you to You Tube for more of his delightful creating.

My first, but definitely not my last creation!

We're starting to get ready for our annual "Baking Day" on the first Saturday in December. This started after our daughter was about 5 and we lived in TX. DH had the Scout Fair on that day, so he was gone all day, and would come home worn out, but pretty quickly revived after smelling the wonderful creations of the day. His favorites are Spritz cookies, and this recipe for Lemon Cheese Spritz Cookies is one I plan to try this year.

But the fun(and work!) of the day is in making cutout cookies to decorate. You might do sugar or gingerbread, and probably have a favorite family recipe. But especially for those of you out there who have older kids, comfortable with using a mouse, the site below is free, offers a great tool for practicing designing Christmas fun, and best of all calorie and mess free! Lots of colors of frosting to chose from, one button icing of the whole cookie, sprinkles, candy... well you really can have some fun. On the first page there is a link to the official rules, if the sweepstake is the most important part for you, and someone is going to win $1000. (Just saying...)  But I've already created a couple while writing this post, just cause they are so much fun. Went in to count the available shapes and got carried away and sent one to our dd. :) Just couldn't resist, and you can personalize them with a message and email them to someone you love. If you have a son or daughter in one of the armed services, this could be a great beginning to a wonderful Christmas surprise of getting cookies in the mail...

URL below is the entry point to the cookie creator    Have you some free fun!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two tertiary tones ~ TA DA!

I've been away from my dyepot for awhile, and even though these were both dyed in October, it was to use for various projects, so no pictures to share. These two don't really have names that are necessarily Texas sounding although I can assure you that we have dragonflies and fiddle-heads in plenty around Houston. You may think of Texas as more like a desert than lush, and some parts of it definitely look like they could be part of the background in a cowboy shoot em up.

Around these parts, we have a semi tropical climate, so summer is our main season. Even spring and fall are quite often hot and humid. This is the first weekend all fall, we've been able to turn off the air conditioner and let the doors stand open. It is pure heaven! 0 :) When we first moved to Texas we heard that it has two seasons, Summer and February. :) But other parts of the country have hot weather too, it was while we still lived in Missouri that I heard someone remark, "I believe someone left the door open, between here and Hell."

I was trying to come up with shades for the Luna Moth in the Wizard rug, which has a lot of Yellow Green tones in it. So the first attempt looked like this.

These shades are really nice, and remind me a lot of the lush mosses that grow on the moss rock beside our pool. But they didn't stand out much from the background.

April showed me the combination I needed to dye for a great tone, but since I hadn't finished my color wheel yet, ignored the advice(I'm hard to lead) and went with the blue green my TX palette dyes produce. Since I prefer mottled strips, I seldom stir, so in this case the forward edge of the darkest strip appears out of order.

These are the wools I worked into the finished Wizard pillow for the Luna Moth. Not actually the color of a Luna Moth, but they worked for the pillow. I'm going to offer my formulas for dyeing eventually, but still have a few more shades of the color wheel to complete. My blue violet and red violets will be next, and I'm actually beginning to wonder what they will look like. For awhile, with the heat, my health problems, and changes going on, I'd kind of lost interest. Add in to that the cost of white wool, and it just didn't call me quite as much. But one good thing about down times, is that you know your mood will eventually go back up to where it normally centers.