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