Monday, November 24, 2014
Let's begin at the beginning. Pot pie, to most people in the US, is a double pastry crust filled with meat, gravy and vegetables. To my family and other families with Pennsylvania Dutch roots, pot pie is a hearty soup of chicken, turkey or ham, veggies, a slightly thickened broth and thick dumpling like home made egg noodles. You can add these noodles to just about any basic chicken or turkey soup and you will end up with pure comfort food.
This recipe was handwritten on the inside cover of my grandmother's cook book. It is a simple dough of flour, fat, eggs, water and salt. This recipe makes enough for a large pot of soup but the ingredients are easy to halve.
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP solid fat (bacon grease is a favorite, or butter, margarine (Earth Balance), lard, coconut oil)
1/2 - 3/4 cup cool water
The old school way to make this is straight on the counter and mixed with your hands. I use a bowl and a fork (and my hands)
Mix the flour and salt, cut in the fat. Pile up the dry ingredients and make a well. Add 2 eggs and 3-4 TBSP of cool water to the well. Slowly incorporate more and more dry ingredients, adding small amounts of water at a time
until a slightly stiff dough forms. Knead for a minute or two until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick (of thinner) and cut into 1 inch squares with a pizza cutter or knife. Dust with flour and allow the noodles to dry on the counter for a couple hours. Toss the noodles occasionally to facilitate even drying. If you need them sooner, you can speed the drying process in a 250 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
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Monday, November 17, 2014
It's baby-palooza in my neck of the woods. So many friends are having babies and I would love for each one of them to have a special hand made gift from me. I love handmade gifts for babies for so many reasons. They are frugal but don't have to look like it. They are a special way to tell the new little one (and mama!) that they are so loved and cherished that you spent a commodity greater than money. You spent TIME crafting a gift as one of a kind as they are. While I am taking that precious time to create the gift I like to offer special prayers for the family. The rhythm of crochet lends itself to prayer and meditation, its the reason so many people enjoy it so much.
As much as I would love to devote hours and hours special intentions for each brand new human.... I have a brand new human of my own to care for (and laundry to fold). I have a go-to baby blanket pattern that I have used many times but I was looking for something new. Something that can be done quickly and without too much counting or thought. I sometimes only get a few minutes to crochet at the end of the day, the last thing my tired brain needs is a complicated pattern. Bonus points its worked up all in one color so I don't have to go back and weave in ends.
I created this pattern for my most recent baby blanket. The pattern is very easy. Repetitive enough that I can work on it without it taking my whole attention but no so repetitive that it's... well, repetitive.
This pattern uses US crochet terms. The finished size is around 30 inches square. You can adjust the finished size by adjusting the foundation chain and the number of rows. Materials needed are: 14 ounces worsted weight yarn (I used Bernat Satin in color Fern), size I crochet hook, yarn needle and scissors.
Double Crochet 3 Together (dc3tog)
Yo, insert hook into the first st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on the hook. You have 2 loops on hook. Yo, insert hook into the next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull thorough 2 loops on the hook. You have 3 loops on the hook. Yo, insert the hook into the next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on the hook. You have 4 loops on the hook. Yo and pull through all 4 loops on the hook.
Ch 134 (or any multiple of 3 + 5)
Row 1: Skip first 4 ch from the hook, *dc3tog over the next 3 ch, ch 2, repeat from * to the end of the foundation ch. Dc in the very last ch of the foundation chain.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in the first ch 2 sp, *3 sc in the next ch 2 sp, repeat from * across, 3 sc in the last space made by the turning ch.
Row 3: Ch 4, skip the very first st, *dc3tog over the next 3 st, ch 2, repeat from * across, dc in the last sc.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 ending on row 3 for a total of 72 rows or until the project is as long as you like.
Sc around all four sides as a simple border. To begin, ch 1 to ease around the corner. Working down the first side work 2 sc around the dc at the ends of row 3 and 1 sc in the ends of row 2, ch 1 to ease around the corner. Along the bottom edge work 1 sc into the remaining loop of each ch of the foundation ch, ch 1 to ease around the corner. Work up the other side as you did the first side, ch 1 to ease around the corner. Working along the top edge, put 3 sc in each ch 2 sp, sl st into the beginning ch1 of the border, fasten off. Weave in ends.
Here is a close up photo of the beginning of row 3 to show exactly where you will start. I hope this helps :)
This pattern and tutorial is my own creations. Please credit me as designer and link to the original pattern or video when sharing. This pattern is available at no charge to you for your own personal use, to make a gift, or to donate. I ask that you do not sell finished items and do not sell this pattern or claim it as your own. Thank you
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Monday, November 10, 2014
This is a simple and delicious mushroom gravy. I like to use this gravy on baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and Salisbury steak. It also makes a great substitute for canned condensed mushroom soup in a lot of dishes, like the classic green bean casserole.
1 1/2 pounds brown mushrooms, sliced or diced
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour (use corn starch for a gluten free gravy)
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Sunday, November 2, 2014
I almost always have kale growing in my garden. It's cold hardy and can be grown from early spring through to late fall. I grow several varieties, curly, Toscano (sometimes called dinosaur kale), ragged, or red Russian. I love them all.
I usually use a mixture of the different types and this recipe is no different.
2 large bunches of kale, stems removed, leaves washed and spun dry
1/4 cup olive oil
2 crisp, sweet apples (Fuju, gala, pink lady), chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces, you can also cut the kale but I find it easier to tear as I wash the kale in a sink full of water. Dry the kale with a salad spinner or blot with a clean kitchen towel. Excess water will dilute the dressing. Toss the kale with the olive oil to coat then massage the kale with your hands for several minutes. The kale will darken and wilt down. Mix the vinegar and honey and toss with the chopped apples (the vinegar will prevent browning). Toss the kale, apples with dressing, and raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving toss in the roasted sunflower seeds.
Because kale is such a sturdy green, this salad keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The seeds may get soggy so add them in just before servings. The raisins may slightly plump in the dressing, I like them this way but if you do not, you can add them just before serving with the sunflower seeds.