Sunday, September 19, 2010

Italian Inspired Phyllo Triangles

The veggies contents of the fridge that needed eatin' on Thursday.


preprepared phyllo, broccoli, spinach, misc greens, green onions, squash, ricotta, cooked red pepers and onions that were used for tacos earlier in the week.

A lot of the ingredients I have are leftovers from making a greek spanakopita. Last time I made that dish I threw away the ricotta because it got bad before I figured out what to do with it. So I am set out to make an Italian inspired spanakopita.


So I chopped up the red peppers and onions as well as the basil and green onions. I cooked the spinach and other greens down just enough and let them drain for a bit. Then mixed it all in a bowl with some crushed garlic about 4 cloves. I also added some marjoram.


I added the rest of the ricotta and 1/4 cup plus if shredded Parmesan cheese.


Then mixed that all together. Now on to the fun part of making the triangles. I melted about 1 stick of butter for brushing the phyllo pasties. I would have used olive oil but we didn't have enough. Also preheat your oven to 425 deg F.

Lay one phyllo sheet on a cookie sheet and brush with butter. Lay one more sheet down and brush with butter again. I used two sheets for each triangle. Then fold the two sheets in half the long way.


Place a dollop of the filling on the bottom. Then begin to fold it into a triangle.




Brush the top with butter and set aside on another baking sheet. Repeat until the triangles are done. Cut a small slit on the top of them. I don't know if this is really necessary or not but I did it. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. I like to turn the pan in the middle so they brown evenly. Take them out and them cool for a bit then devour!


What did I do with the broccoli and squash? Stay tuned for another post someday, maybe.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Raspberry Crisp

Inspired by the recipe found here

1 cup (2 cups would be better) raspberries plus 1-2T of sugar
3T Flour
3T Oats
2T Brown sugar
pinch of salt
4T Butter
1/4 T crushed toasted walnuts

Mix dry ingredients, cut in the butter, add walnuts. Pour berries in to pan then top with crisp mixture.

Bake in preheated 400 deg oven for about 10 minutes.

Oops forgot to take a pic before is was slurped up!

Dye Progress


Just 6 hours later and the avocado pit dye liquor already looks much darker.


Here's what it looked like this morning. From left: 2 jars with avocado pits with water and ammonia, pits with water only, avocado peels with water and ammonia. I started the peel soaking today and it's super dark already.


Yarn I dyed earlier this year then did a post mordant with copper a few days ago. From left to right: Tansy, Osage Orange, Onion Skins. The copper gave the tansy a green cast to it and made it much darker. The Osage orange in much darker and the onions skin is slightly deeper color. What next?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To dye, dye, dye; to dye, dye, dye

is all I want to do, do , do....

With the cooler weather it's a perfect time to dig out all the frozen dye stuff and experiment. Not to mention I bought some other mordants from Carol Leigh's Fiber Studio in Columbia, Mo that I'm dyeing to use.

Wednesday I started with collecting some Black Eyed Susan flowers. I soaked them over night then boiled them and simmered for an hour on Thursday.


The flowers still have quite a bit of color so I plan to boil again and simmer for at least another hour.

The dye liquor looks quite dark.

Then I prepared some mordant liquors. Jenny Deans Natural Dyeing recommends making mordant liquors instead of measuring dye stuff every time you are ready to mordant. I used Carl Leigh's mordant proportions rather than Deans. She used the least amount per pound of fiber. As I understand despite these mordants being heavy metals that most of the mordant binds with the fiber so I can pour the leftover water bath into the garden without harm. Some of the mordants are especially good for certain plants. The only mordant I have not made up is chrome but I plan to soon. It's the one the scares me the most.

These are all in concentrations to mordant one pound of fiber in 24 ounce canning jars. From left to right: Iron: 1 tsp ; Tin: 1/2 tsp (will add Cream of Tatar (CoT)to the mordant bath) ; Copper: 1 tsp


I keep them wrapped in black plastic trash bags to keep them out of the light and store them in dark place in the house. Each has their own color of rubber band. Iron: red, Tin: white, and Copper: green. If you have young kids I suggest a locked cabinet.

Next up are the avocado pits I have been collecting and friends have graciously saved and donated to the cause.


After they thawed a bit I broke them up with a mallet. Sometimes I needed a way to break them up more so I used a drill bit to crack them open.


I added the broken up bits to my food processor to break them up more.


The two 24 oz canning jars each have 10 oz of avocado and 1 Cup ammonia topped off with water. The small canning jar on the right has 5 oz of avocado pits with only water.


I dyed these yarns last year. I'm warming them up to add a post mordant of Copper to see what happens. From left to right: Onion skins, Tansy and Osage orange.

Stay tuned tomorrows results.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Magic

Blocking is magic when you are making lace.



Close Up:

This is my Plume Shawl which I fondly call 7 0f 10 not 7 of 9. I wish I could call is 7 of 9 because that's the kind of geek I am. But I'm making 10 shawls this year and this is the 7th one. It's the 3rd one from my own handspun yarn. 560 plus yards of single ply and hand dyed with acid dyes. I am very pleased with it even though I had to frog back and adjust. I crocheted to the the last row of the edging and came up short. So I frogged back to the 2nd row of the pattern then started the lace pattern but only did 3 triple crochets. ch2 3 triple crochet for the the first edging row. I followed the pattern for the second row.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

We harvested some Sugar Snap Peas and some Snow Peas. We took advantage of Pendleton Farm's free pick Fridays. We pick the peas then they keep half and we keep half for free.


The girl kid made sure we harvested one more batch of asparagus. When I got home I looked over our sad strawberry patch and found about quart of fresh berries too.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Ahhh Friday....

Kind of a miscellaneous week. A little bit of walking, a little bit of knitting, a little bit of skate boarding and making plans for the summer.

Last week after taking stock of the stash I started on a stashbusting project or two:


A felted bag made from leftovers of my handspun. It needs a strap. That will just have to wait.


A hat that was going to be a bag. The bling is not a part of the hat but I couldn't resist taking a picture with them still on it. The "jewels" are stitch markers. Maybe I can start a new trend?


I finally started the heel on my socks.
I know it does look like it but I really, really have.


Since temperatures are rising I finished the last square I will knit for a while on my Crazy Blanket. 67 squares so far. So I got quite a bit done. The photo below shows where I was on May 12th.


Remember my Iris Dyeing?


I used some of the iris dye liquor to overdye some onion skin yarn. That the bit on the left that's the lovely olive green. The stuff on the right was only iris liquor. The one in the middle was sort only iris dye liquor. It was meant to be only irises. It's a toned down color because the pink ties I used were dyed and it leached into the iris dye bath. I just harvested the last of my irises and out them in the freezer. There is something about freezing the flowers that helps bring out more of a blue. I'll let you y'all know.

The original plan today was to go harvest some food from a local farm but the kids, one of them balked. When they realized that we were going to actaully get out an do things this summer discussions ensued. We have 13.5 waking ours in the summer maybe more we need to take advantage of it. This does not mean screen time. It mean get out of the house and do stuff!

So on our list to do this summer is Letterboxing. We now have most of the supplies gathered. We still need some log books. Soon, very soon. First I need a beer.

Yes that is bottled beer from Free State Beer! Yum!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dinner is Prepared!

Smoked Chicken Wings from the wings we have been saving up for about 6 weeks or so plus a few more from the store. Also starring: Black and Corn Salsa, Cream cheese dip, Carrots, Hummus, and Chips. There was also a hot dipping sauce for the wings that was even too hot for this family. Everything else was fantastic!


We worked up an appetite picking strawberries.

Local Berries

We picked pounds and pounds of strawberries about 19 pounds in all. It's a lot but it didn't take all that long to do about 45 minutes.

19 pounds of Strawberries

The container on the left was for strawberry shortcake. The rest will be for jams and smoothies and more.


Have some short cake!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nom, Nom, Nom...

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!


Black olives and sauted red peppers on homemade crust. Yummy melted cheese goodness. There was yummy pizza for all that's just one of the pizzas Stephen and I shared. Then for breakfast Waffles.


Multigrain waffles with hand whipped egg whites and yummy local berries. I finally got the farmers market in time to snag the berries. Let me tell you people are serious about their berries.

Nom, Nom, Nom.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


In the jungle of our backyard I found a toad:


The boy kid was able to catch it:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sort of Sweet & Spicy Peanut Pasta Stir Fry

I say sort of because I didn't use pasta and didn't use peanuts. I made this before exactly and it's fabulous. My favorite part is the sauce. I followed the recipe from the February 2010 Merc Newsletter. Follow the link, down load the February 2010 Newsletter. Recipe is on page 7.

I followed the sauce recipe exactly.



I added some cabbage so there would be plenty of leftovers. I added some green onions on top after it was cooked because we had some from the farmers market that needed eatin'


Finally I steamed up some Edamame to top it with on the table since I didn't have any peanuts. My original plan was to have a bit of sliced beef in the stir fry but I forgot to thaw it soooo beef was not for dinner.


No pics of it all together. We ate it over rice rather than on noodles but it is really good over noodles. Try it you'll like!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Italian Lentil Soup

How authentically Italian this is I don't know but I'm going for an Italian taste.

1 - 28oz. can ground tomato
6-8 C - Chicken broth - How much depends on how thick you like your soup. You can also adjust the lentils. I was going for a lighter soup rather than a thick stew so I did about 7 C broth
1 onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
2 stalks celery sliced thinly
1 red pepper chopped
.25 pound spicy Italian sausage cooked then chopped
4-6 cloves garlic crushed
1 T oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 C Lentils
1/2 - 1 C red wine (optional) - Idid use red wine but if I had had some hand I would have.


Heat the oven up to 350 deg F then quickly sear the sausage in an oven safe skillet on the stove. Then place sausage in the oven for 2o min. I cooked up two sausage links but save one back for later this week with pasta.

Sauté up the veggies starting with the onions then adding celery, carrots, and peppers. This will take about 10 min. Add garlic and other spices.

Add the canned tomatoes, broth and lentils. Cook until lentils are tender about 1- 1.5 hours. Add wine some where near the end of the cooking time.

Mmmmm... Smells good!

Serve up with the some fresh bread and a salad.