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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Grandpa's Potato, Broccoli, and Mustard Greens Soup

From Grandpa:

This is what I cooked for dinner tonight. It is a variation on Mami's great tasting soup. This recipe does not take much time to prepare and is healthy and tastes good. And most important it won praises from a few of my grandchildren.

The morning of the “dinner” (that is this morning)….
I scrubbed the skin of a few potatoes and removed the skin of a large yam (sweet potato) and cut them all to pieces and submerged them in water in a crockpot. I set the crockpot to low heat and left for work. I also put in the crockpot some fresh thyme and spicy oregano in a canister meant for tea leaves along with a bay leaf.
I normally cook the potatoes in the microwave oven but I am aware that cooking starch at high temperature creates some carcinogenic compounds and the crockpot is the perfect solution. The jail for the thyme and oregano permits me to remove the herbs after they have given up their nutrients to the soup.

The evening of the “dinner” (that is NOW)….
I sauteed onions, garlic in canola oil.
More specifically… I cooked the onions in the microwave until they were translucent. I normally saute the onions since they require longer cooking than garlic but this is a shortcut that I sometimes take.
I heated some cumin in a pot for about a minute until I could smell the cumin fragrance.
I added some canola oil (canola tolerates heat  more than most other oils) and chopped (in a vitamix) garlic and sauted for a minute.
I then combined onions and garlic mixture and sauteed for 1 minute.
I added the saute mixture to the crockpot.
I cooked some fresh broccoli in the microwave and added to the crockpot.
I cooked some fresh mustard and kale greens  in the microwave and added to the crockpot.
I added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the crockpot for flavor (dont want to burn the olive oil).

I removed the canister housing the herbs and also the bay leaf and used a hand blender to produce a “soup”.
Added ground pepper and a little salt and some nutritional yeast.

Served it with rice (brown rice and millet) and fresh cole slaw (they type you buy in a bag). For my personal serving I added some chili peppers.

Please pass along to those in your family who are trying to eat more vegetables.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Corn Salad

I created this salad to bring to our Easter Celebration.  My inspiration came from my potato and corn chowder, but the warmer weather demanded something cold.  Since Easter, I have made this salad about once a week at my husband's request.  It usually lasts 2-3 days before I find an empty bowl on the counter.

Salad Ingredients
1-2 bunches green onions
1 leek
1-2 celery stalk
1 red pepper
2 pounds frozen corn
3-5 pounds potatoes
1-2 bunches cilantro

2/3 cup oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice (I used Meyer from our tree)
2-3 tablespoons no-salt garlic and herb seasoning.

1. Cook the potatoes until soft.  Allow to cool, then slice.
2. Slice the onions, leek, and celery into small pieces.
3. Dice the pepper and cilantro
4. Defrost the corn by running water over it in a colander.
5. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl (or two smaller ones)
6. Mix the dressing and pour over the salad.  Stir to combine.

You can serve immediately, but the flavors will be more intense if allowed to sit overnight.  This makes a lot of salad and could easily be cut in half.  It also is open to many other ingredients and combinations.  I have made it with sauteed mushrooms, black beans and cumin, and have omitted the red pepper.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Growth Quilt

Introducing my most recent quilt: New Growth by Poplun.  I started it back in March (even though I already had another quilt in progress).  It promised to be a quilt that could be assembled in small chunks of time, which was perfect for me since I find that I can only squeeze in 10-15 minutes of sewing every few days.

It worked out well because each of the parts could be broken down in to smaller steps as needed.  I had a bunch of fat quarters that I bought last summer that coordinated really well for this quilt.  For the actual quilting part, the pattern reminded me of argyle, so I quilted some diamonds and rows.
If anyone out there is looking for an easy quilt pattern, I highly recommend this one.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dinosaur Booties

Our little toddler, K, is becoming more mobile.  She isn't quite walking, but is almost there.  At home she is barefoot the majority of the time and has never worn a pair of shoes.  As she will be moving around more and more, I thought it would be a good idea to start transition her from being barefoot (or with socks) to something that would be more like a shoe.

I saw this tutorial at Made-By-Rae for these cute dragon/dinosaur slippers a while back.  I even made K a pair of non-dragon booties using the same tutorial back in October, but she has long since outgrown them.

This time I thought she would appreciate the dinosaur look, and she did (I think she thought they were toys).  Although I really like the blue and green booties from the original post, it seemed like a pink version would be fun too.

Some changes from the original design:
  1. I used ric-rac of the super-jumbo variety (which is why there are fewer bumps running down the front of the booties).
  2. For the soles, I re-purposed the feet that I had cut-off some pajamas.  They have a grip pattern so it is less slippery on our wood floors.
  3. I substituted circles of felt  for the eyes, as buttons could be a choking hazard if they came off.
  4. I used my serger to finish the inside edges of the soles instead of a zig zag stitch.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Potato and Corn Chowder

Photos of batch #1, minus the extra veggies
This simple chowder is made from basic ingredients and is easy to make.  I have made it twice and added some extra ingredients the second time (denoted with an *).  I was able to make it for lunch in about 30 minutes.

3-5 potatoes, washed
1 onion, diced
1-2 cups sliced celery
5 mini or 1 large sweet pepper
5-10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon oil
3-4 tablespoons No-Salt Garlic/Herb seasoning
2-3 tablespoons dried parsley*
1 tablespoon black pepper (optional)
6 cups hot/boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable stock*
2 pounds frozen corn kernels
3 green onions, sliced*
2 cups greens (Chinese cabbage), sliced*

  1. Pierce potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave until soft.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, saute onions, celery, pepper, and garlic in the oil until browned
  3. Add the hot water to the pot.  I boiled the water using my electric kettle (that I love!) then poured it into the pot.  Adding the hot water de-glazed the pot and released any stuck-on pieces of vegetable from the bottom.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, seasoning, parsley, and black pepper if desired.  The first time I made this I used the black pepper and it added a bit of spicy flavor.  I omitted it the second time so we could feed it to our 14 month old daughter and not worry about it being too spicy.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked, cut them into fourths or eights and add to the pot.
  6. Add the frozen corn and bring the soup back to a boil.
  7. Add the green onions and greens and cook for 3-5 minutes until the greens are tender
Photo of batch #2 with the added ingredients
The added ingredients from the second batch really add some fresh flavor to the soup.  There is a lot of flexibility with vegetable combinations and levels of spice.  This is another one of the recipes that will help clean out your refrigerator of aging vegetables.
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