Cry Baby Cookies!

So funny…..Yesterday I was walking along with my friend Mary, telling her about some California cookies I made the other day.  California in that they have lots of fruits and nuts (I suppose).  I made them because I was having a rough day having gone through some old paperwork of my mother’s and was very sad.  Cookies, just the ticket to pull yourself out of the blues.  Well, Mary has an old cookbook of her fathers from the Navy (where he dad was a cook) and in it are “Crybaby Cookies”, pretty similar.  New name now…..

Image

These cookies are just my chocolate chip cookies with the addition of 2 Cups of chopped walnuts, 1 cup of cranberries, 1 cup of coconut, 1 cup of oats.  Paul’s favorite.

I finished the “wonky quilt” for the girls the other day.  It’s so off kilter, cute kids blanket.  First front shot for when they are feeling wild and then a calmer back.  I stitched “in the ditch” of the back to get it bound together as I wasn’t about to tackle the front with all those crazy ass lines going every which way.

Image

Image

Years and years ago occasionally I would get home from school to find my wicked sluggish brother plunked down in front of the huge box of a tv we had, small screen so he had to be waaay up close.  Anyhow, he would watch ANYTHING, not that there were many choices back then.  One day I came in and saw Queen for a Day….all I remember is this rather large woman sitting on a throne of some sort crying and blubbering over the excitement of having won a washing machine or something.  I clearly remember thinking about how pathetic that is……excited about a household appliance??  What was she thinking?  Now, if it was a years supply of candy or something cool like that, I would get excited.  I took off and went out to play it was too sad for me and I just didn’t understand. 

Pathetic me…..I got something new the other day.

Image

And, now I’m the one stupid happy.  Who would ever think?  Had I known I was going to grow up (is that what this is?) and think this was cool I would have fallen out of that tall tree I used to climb every day.  How sad, this makes me happy.  My kids would say “get a life” as I did to my brother.  To it’s credit….works like magic, sorry I’ve waited twenty years to get a new one!

I’m in a spring beige mode.  I found some lovely Danish cottolin from my stash, half linen, half cotton and so wound a warp and started threading for a 9.5 inch table linen to go in the apartment.  We have a lovely long wooden table Paul built that is just beautiful and would look terrific with a nice thin linen cloth and maybe some tiny vases with short stems of spring flowers.

Image

We use our barn apartment as a short term rental…..airbnb.com very cool site.  There are so many awesome places to stay, all unique and off the grid which is what I love….actually much cleaner than a hotel room.  My favorites are the tree houses.  Check it out!

Winter Dinner

With only two of us in the house now and my problem with scaling back our meals to two and not 20…..we have a lot of leftovers.  What to do?  Everything kind of morphs it’s way back and forth until finally it’s all gone.  Consequently we eat a lot of “mystery food”.  Where did that come from?  What is that and when did we eat that? 

Last night was the end of many meals and it was by far the tastiest!

Image

I cut up a Buffalo roast and slow cooked it most of the day on low in the crock pot.  At some point I added half a jar of salsa…..I know, I saw it on the counter when I came home after Paul’s served himself lunch so rather than put it back in the fridge I added it to the meat which had been stewing in beef stock.  I figured the tomatoes would tenderize the meat.  Late in the day I added a huge amount of sauteed mushroom in thyme, lots of garlic, s&p.  Then I added a few cups of red wine.  It all blended well and smelled awesome.

I already had spicy tomato noodles cooked in the fridge with leftover roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes from previous meals in it (and truth be told a few flakes of sauteed haddock).  Well, all together…..this is what you get.  It was so yummy, very flavorful.  The kick from the noodles was interesting.  I get these from the Christmas Tree Shop of all places, who would know?  $2.49, cheap, two meals at least from a pound.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time this past week working on a quilt for those little girly q’s of ours.  This is it as is but today I’m going to join the back, which is also quilted with yet another pattern, bind and try and finish it up.  I have some serious weaving to get to!!!

Image

My big score was yesterday afternoon.  I stopped at a used store on the way home looking for something else when this leather bag caught my eye.  It was a wreck but I’ve cleaned it and it’s now my new purse……$8.00

Image

I know it doesn’t look like much but in real life, it’s awesome.  Perfect size for all the crap I carry around with me and real leather, not fake stuff.  It has all sorts of leather lined zippered enclosures and other than the front face with the smudge that won’t come off (I think the original owner lived in some scary place and had his/her hand on the clasp at all times) think of it, there is a super story in that bag I’m sure. 

Image

Image

It has a leather label inside which says “Made in Italy for Brooks Brothers” – everything is leather except for the industrial perfectly working zippers.  I can’t tell you although I think Laura, Sydney and my friend Patti can, how much time I have spent lately looking for the perfect purse.  I was up in the $390. region and still couldn’t find it.  This is it!  I may hand sew a ring on each side, on the inside and attach a strap which will live in the bag when I’m not using it.  Paul has some awesome leather the same weight that will work perfectly.  He uses it for rowing grips for oars.

I’m off.

blizzard food

I started the day groveling through my fridge looking for something to make on this nasty blizzard day.  Not much in there but tons (like three full bunches of celery) and a pot full of cooked butternut squash we forgot to eat last night.  The celery soup has been on my mind so I set to with that first.

Sauteed two large onions in some butter and olive oil, while mixing around I cubed three potatoes and added that with some salt & pepper.  Chopped up all that celery and added that to the pot with another knob of butter.  Everything was sauteeing up together at this point so I needed to add liquid.  Two containers of chicken stock went in with a bit of water.  Added celery seeds, two tablespoons at least, some chives, what for I’m not sure except it gave it a nice green fleck in the end.  When done I pureed it in the Kitchen Aid and added the squash…..probably 2 cups.  Excellent and will probably be better later after it has sat for while.  Oh, and before serving it to Paul I added some Pumpkin Seed Oil to his cup.  That stuff is great for finishing off a soup!

Image

For the Cornbread I used the Victory Garden Cookbook which is one of my absolute favorites….still.  I believe I have given this recipe before but it’s priceless so I’ll do it again.  But, I will put the picture up first so you get the idea of what is in store.

Image

This bread is wonderful with anything….chili, tea, celery soup and tomorrow my morning coffee.  I have doubled this recipe as I have three freezers downstairs I need to keep happy.  Drives the old man nuts.

1.5 Cups cornmeal

1 Cup Whole Wheat flour (remember Masa Organics)

1/2 C. unbleached flour

8 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

Put all the dry goods in a bowl and mix up.

Melt 2 sticks butter, place in another bowl, add:

1/2 C. sugar, organic raw cane is nice or brown

4 eggs.

2 Cups pureed squash or pumpkin

1/2 C. milk or buttermilk

3 tsp. lemon or lime juice, I use the latter

Mix the dry into the wet bowl, blend well and place in two greased bread pans that have been papered on the bottom or one large pan.

Bake at 350 for about an hour. 

It’s nice, dinner is done, that celery is out of the fridge and the squash is now gone.  Love it.

 

 

 

Yummy Snack for Gluten Free Folks.

These are kind of amazing.  Normally I don’t do much gluten free but I happen to have allot of quinoa in the house from making various salads for customers.  What to do with all that quinoa?  Grind it up and make flour from it then use it as you would flour. 

I’m also obsessed with Almond Butter from Masa Organics.  I put it in my granola, snack bars and anything else….toast for breakfast.  Delicious and to me nothing like peanut butter (although I do like that but just not as much). 

Almond butter Quinoa Blondies

1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted (one stick)

1-1/2 C. almond butter

4 eggs

1 C. light brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 C. quinoa flour (grind quinoa in coffee grinder till flour consistency)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiraardelli double chocolate bittersweet chips)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8X11″ pan then paper the bottom.

Grind Quinoa till you have 1.5 Cups of flour

Melt the butter….place in a mixer with almond butter and eggs, beat till smooth.  Add the sugar, blend again, then add the vanilla.

Slowly pour in the flour which is mixed with the baking powder & salt.  Add the chips last. Spread out in pan and bake 30 minutes or so.

Let cool for about an hour although it’s incredible warm, just may be crumbly.

Next time I think I’ll eliminate the chocolate (I know, horrors of horrors but the fat of butter and chocolate combo give me an instant head ache).  But, I love raisins, cranberries, etc. so I’ll just put dried fruit in or try one of those cosmic alternatives…

This recipe came from Eating Well, April 2013 Pg. 74.  I have altered it which is why I’m printing it here.

This past winter has been a whirlwind for us up here in the North Country.  We’ve been futzing with customer angst and trying to move our boat from one place to the next out of necessity.  I know, Darn, but it’s in Ft. Pierce, Florida now which is kind of nice.  A happy home in the cheapest Marina we could find but…the nicest view, safe harbor, etc.  I have a picture on my phone and will download that so you can see why we have parked it there.  Paul has this dream of cruising the Bahamas this summer…hot, hot, hot.  Our boat is next to the Inlet that take you out for that cruise.

Weaving has been a mainstay for me this winter.  I just finished 7 dishtowels all in twill with a cotton/linen warp and cotton weft. 

Image

Image

Recently I inquired about renting space for another Cafe.  Whew, that was close.  The rent was too high.  No wonder people can’t make a go of these things.  They wanted $30k a year, $2600. month plus utilities and everything else which believe me is a few thousand more.  What can you make that would bring in that kind of money to a 21 seat restaurant?  Zip.  This kind of explains all these guy chef restaurants with lots of Investors.  So many people get involved, pool their money, make it “hot” and charge big bucks.  Then they go on to sell their “specialty”; sauce, vinegar or whatever.  But for those of us that just want to bake and make good food – shit out of luck.  Oh well.  Carry on, do what I love also like weave, knit, visit our grandkids and visit our little boat.  A great life.  It was interesting trying to put my toe back in.  Talk about the world changing…geech.