Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Flow Tank

I started a new knitting project a couple of weeks ago, the Flow tank top by Norah Gaughan, using Seduce yarn in the shade called Adirondak Chair. I don't knit often, and I'm slow to boot, so it takes forever for me to finish a project. I've finished about three inches on this one when, last night, I came to the sad conclusion that the size is all wrong. I remeasured everything this morning, and it's true; if I just keep going along, I'm going to end up with a tank top that is huge.

So I'm going to have to rip it out, change needle sizes and start over. It's frustrating, especially since I did do a swatch, but there's no point in putting a lot of effort into a knitted project knowing that it won't turn out right. Besides, I'm really not that far along; if I actually sat down and knit every night I'd make it up fairly quickly.

So, here it is before I rip it back (I really do need to stop taking pictures of everything from above).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cashew Brittle

A recent issue of Martha Stewart's Living had a recipe for cashew bars. Looked easy enough, so I tried them. Turns out they are really good, and easy to make, so I've made them often (but not often enough, some would say). I made one big change: I don't use a loaf pan, and I'm not lining anything with plastic wrap. (The plastic wrap just sounds wrong, so the first time I made it I used wax paper. Bad idea; it stuck and I couldn't get it all off.) The loaf pan made bars that were very thick and nearly impossible to cut. So now, I butter a dinner plate and spread the brittle on the plate. The brittle pops off (usually, have to be sure to butter the plate well) and is thin so is easily broken into bite sized bits. The recipe is small though, and I really should double it.

I've used almonds successfully, but cashews are preferred here. And sometimes (if I remember, and I didn't remember today) I'll toss in some flax seeds, too.

The best part, though, is that I get to fry oatmeal, just the way Lisa Douglas cooks her oatmeal on Green Acres!

Cashew bars cooling on plate.

Cashew bars broken into pieces.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Comfort food

We had meatloaf tonight. It's a good Sunday dish, as there will be enough for dinner tomorrow as well.

With the meatloaf I made a batch of black eyed peas and collard greens. Both recipes are from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. The collards recipe was a generic greens recipe (I think), and I've modified it to use olive oil (not butter). I also try to make it spicy, and although collards need lots of salt, I do try to go easy with the salt.

Southern Style Black Eyed Peas.

Collard greens.

Anyway, both dishes were very good (I love collards) and there's plenty of each for tomorrow's dinner (and maybe lunch, too).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whoopie Pies!

The New York Times ran an article on whoopie pies (here) with a recipe here. So I was inspired to make a batch, following the NYT recipe.

They turned out great, but they are not for the faint of heart. Not difficult to make, but the butter cream did take awhile (it's no small feat incorporating two sticks of butter into some sugar and egg whites. Thank goodness for electric mixers.) They are very rich (it's those two sticks of butter), I could only eat 1/2 of a pie, and that was pushing it (the kids couldn't finish their halves, which is saying something). I won't be making these very often.

The NYT article mentioned pumpkin spice flavored whoopie pies. Now, that's a recipe I'd like to get my hands on....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Failed Carmel Sauce

I made carmel sauce a couple of days ago, following the recipe in Julia Child's The Way to Cook. I've done this before and ended up with a gloriously rich, deep brown, sweet carmel sauce. But something went very wrong with this batch. The syrup never turned a carmel color, and after I added the cream it did not get thick. So I ended up with a thin, runny, dirty cream-colored sauce. Tastes fine, but I'm going to have to ditch this batch and try again (the vanilla ice cream calls, you know).

No photo. Too sad.

It's March, Time to Plant the Peas

I planted peas on Saturday (St. Patrick's Day is the traditional day for planting peas, but I figured a couple days early won't hurt anything).

It's not pretty now, but if all goes well, I'll have peas in 65 days.