Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Raw Cranberry Relish - Final Version

After the original recipe (click here, has more pictures), I have finally perfected a chop-and-dump version of raw cranberry relish. I have been making this quite often, and the natives get restless when I take it all to work, as I did today.  Who knew vitamins A and C (and Calcium and Potassium) would be in such demand?

Into a large bowl, dump 1/4 Cup brown sugar and three or four dashes of sea salt.

Rinse and drain one bag of cranberries, dump into a large food processor, and chop them until they are as fine as you want.  Dump the chopped cranberries into the large bowl.

Wash and rinse three oranges, then remove most of the outer skin with a potato peeler.  Cut off the ends of each orange and discard.  Cut the oranges in half.  Discard any seeds and place oranges in the food processor.  Chop until the oranges become liquefied, turning the processor off and on a couple times.  Dump the orange slurry into the big bowl.

Stir the contents of the big bowl until mixed thoroughly.  Place relish in sealable containers and store in the refrigerator.  I put most of it in a large yogurt container, and the rest in a smaller container.

Here is what it looks like when done:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Avocado Green Smoothie

I made a new green smoothie today.  This was my first successful attempt at a non-sweet green smoothie.  My usual green smoothie tastes like apple pie with apples, spinach, coconut milk, ginger, and cinnamon.

No traditional fruits were used to sweeten today's green smoothie.  The ingredients are:

  • 1 haas avocado
  • three-inch piece of cucumber, peeled
  • handful of spinach
  • 3/4 can of coconut milk
  • five dashes of salt
  • one dash of lime juice
The taste is not exciting, but simply tastes like the list of ingredients.  The coconut milk and avocado make it very creamy.  I like it because sometimes un-exciting is good!

This batch filled a salsa jar and refrigerated so I can eat it tomorrow.  I put the rest in a coffee cup for my evening snack:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How Slow (-ly) can I Sew?

Last weekend I showed you this:
... and in a whole week, all I've done is this:

I am going to lengthen this, the top section, by five inches.  The waistline, shown at the left, is more than five inches from the end of the fabric, which is off the picture to the left.  The bottom edge of the top piece is where I cut the pattern, but I also cut towards the edges of the fabric so that I can angle the side seams correctly.  I hope to take a picture when I do that so you can see what I mean.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Getting a Round Tuit

I'm getting a Round Tuit, and will share it with you.

First, I will show you the current sewing project which has been waiting for me to get that Round Tuit for about a week now.

I have decided to recreate an old skirt in a better fabric.  See the discussion here.

Shown on the cutting table is the New Look 6343 skirt pattern, pressed with a dry iron and ready to go.  Behind it on the right is the folded ponte roma knit in navy which I will use for this pattern.

And now for that Round Tuit I promised you:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Cranberry Relish!

After making raw cranberry-orange relish (click here to see) for Thanksgiving dinner, and again over the weekend, I had to have more.  I found the last bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer, and I thawed them.  Then I made a variation of the relish.

This time I used one bag of cranberries, one orange, one cored apple, and a generous spoonful of whipped honey.  Here's is a close-up picture, and how well one batch fits into my favorite yogurt container.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Picadillo - Again!

Picadillo is a latin variation on hash or chili.  Click here for the wiki explanation.  I have written about Picadillo before (click here), but I was a vegetarian at the time.  Here is my most recent version of Picadillo, almost as easy as a dump cake.

Since we've gone Paleo, we no longer add beans to this dish.  We also try to use more fresh tomatoes instead of canned products.

Start with half a coffee cup of raisins, covered with booze or warm water.  If you're in a big hurry, cook in microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds.  Set this aside.

Chop a small onion, place in large skillet with one pound ground beef, and sautee until meat is almost cooked and onions are clear.  Drain off extra fat, then place this mixture in a large sauce pot.

Cut a large tomato (or equivalent) into cubes, then add to sauce pot.

Open one can each of diced tomatoes and tomato paste, and add to sauce pot.

Add one small can of black olives, one cup of pitted green olives (sliced or chopped), and one can of black beans (rinsed).

Not shown is the mess of spices added at this time.  Lots of cinnamon and some allspice, clove, garlic, nutmeg, cumin, and oregano, or whatever you have.  Also add the raisins and their "special juice."

Heat through and simmer on low heat for about an hour.  We serve it with a dollop of sour cream on top (although I like to stir it in) and a piece of buttered, sprouted grain bread on the side.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Awesome Raw Cranberry Relish!

DH made a cranberry relish for Thanksgiving dinner with friends based on this recipe.  Instead of using two entire oranges, he used one entire orange plus the fresh-pressed juice of one orange.  It was quite a hit at the dinner.  We left some there, but we had another stash of it at home.  That was gone by lunch time today, so I made another batch and took pictures along the way.

I used a 12-oz bag of cranberries, 2 oranges, 1/3 C of sugar (because that's all we had), and a 70 ml coffee scoop for the optional booze (cheap brandy).  The basic idea is to chop the cranberries and oranges separately.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tart Mini-Brownies

How else can I say "less sweet?"  I made the raw brownies again (see previous post here) and wrote down the ingredients.  They are less sweet than previously, but still very good.

Stir these dry ingredients together in a very large bowl:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
2 packets stevia
2 cups pecan dust

Mix these wet ingredients together in a high-speed blender:
1/2 cup pitted dates
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup coconut oil

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together with a hand mixer.  Pat the mixture into a 9" x 9" baking pan and place in the freezer.  Leave it in the freezer until it hardens.

Remove from freezer and cut into small squares.  Place brownies in containers and return to freezer.  We used containers from Talenti brand gelato that we had bought at Publix.

Eat them cold.  There is no picture of the latest batch because, well, we ate them all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday's Supper

DH cooked a chicken and asked me to make the side dishes.  I started the rice in the small rice cooker, and selected one zucchini and one yellow squash.  The rest is here for you in pictures (the first picture includes coconut oil, butter, and cut scallions).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I Wore Today

Remember the skirt I altered?  (click here to see)  I wore it to work today with a thrifted slinky tank top and a thrifted cotton shirt, and here it is:

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I don't go shopping for clothes very often.  I don't get catalogs in the mail.  The only magazines we currently get in the mail are Reader's Digest, Time, and Sew News.  I do visit my favorite sewing sites on the Internet  often - Delphi's Friendly Sewing, Pattern Review, and many sewing blogs.  I just don't feel like I'm getting much fashion information. On the other hand, at this age, I really don't care what other people are wearing - beyond fit - because I like to do my own thing.

I want to share one of my most recent inspirations.  I saw this picture in a coworker's Coldwater Creek catalog.  I think I can sew a reasonable copy of it with knit fabrics and a T-shirt pattern.  Once you see this picture, you can view other (mostly) inspiration pictures in my Styles album:
From Styles

Sewing, One Day at a Time, and a Question

I finished that skirt.  Of course, it could not have been as easy as I thought.  I stitched on an elastic casing made of purchased bias tape - with the ends folded under - and inserted the elastic.  When I tried it on, I decided that I needed to narrow the skirt a bit.

After figuring out how much I needed to cut off, I laid the skirt out on the cutting table and just hacked it off.  I ripped out the casing's lower edge of stitching for about three inches to each side of the cut.  I opened up the casing, pinned the cut edges right sides together, and stitched the seam.  I followed this by zigzagging over the cut edges.  I turned down the casing and stitched it down along the lower edge.

Have you ever had to undo the work you've done on a project?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sewing Mojo Problems

My sewing mojo has been inconsistent lately.

I started to alter a RTW skirt that was too long.  I cut off the waistline casing with elastic and drawstring, then serged the cut edge.  I left that on the cutting table for a long time.

I traced and cut out stretch woven, above-the-knee shorts, but left that project on the cutting table for a few weeks, too.

I traced a pattern to make my DH some knit pajama shorts, then cut it out in a light-weight woven fabric.  I know that a test garment should have similar properties of the final product.  What Was I Thinking?!?  That sat there for a couple weeks, on top of the cutting table, in the mess of tsunami-like piles of stuff.  You know - flat-surface syndrome.

Realizing that files of stuff were not helping my attitude towards sewing, I decided to do something that I Really Wanted To Do.  Read that as:  Make Something for MySelf.  Easy stuff first.

Using the "one step at a time" method combined with the "one day at a time" method, I managed to iron open packaged wide double-fold bias tape, pin it to the top of the skirt, and press the bias tape to the inside of the skirt, which took at least three days.

One day last week, I was wearing a particular skirt that is just simply getting old.  It's made of cheap navy jet knit and I'm not enjoying it as much as I used to.  I decided to replace it.  I bought some navy ponte roma knit, which I really like.  I will probably use the same pattern as the skirt it's to replace, but add some length to it - about three or four inches.  Here's the original skirt:

nl 6343

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Hubby made a huge omelet, and shared some with me.  It had chopped tomatoes inside, and we put sour cream, avocado chunks, and salsa on top.  Here is my less-than-half:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good Food, Bad Food

Warning:  crappy cell phone pictures ahead.

Good Food:  Mix two eggs with sea salt and a small amount of water, put some coconut oil in the small skillet, scramble the eggs in the skillet, spread out on a small plate to cool.  Place in small container and take it to work. Cut a Haas avocado (the small kind), scoop out the avocado into a salad bowl, stir in the eggs, and enjoy!

Bad Food:  Be the designated driver for a trip to the local Ale House with DD, DH, and cousin.  Watch them drink beer.  Order a simple hot fudge brownie sundae.  Watch them help you eat the too-sweet dessert that's too darn big:

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!

Ah, yes, the time when people bring trailers full of motorcycles that still have gas in the tank from their last visit to Daytona Beach.  Whether it was last month or last year is another story.

But anyway, here's the Big Clue.  You will have to look past my van and past my yard full of yellow rain (aka, Fallen trash from golden rain tree):

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nice Thank-You Note

Sheila won these soaps in a drawing I held this past Summer.  She sent me this nice thank-you card which I believe she made herself:

Thank you, Sheila!

Saturday, October 1, 2011