Monthly Archives: February 2015

“Brother Bought A Coconut, He Bought It For A Dime”

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I have officially lost my mind and I don’t know what happened.

I bought more sock yarn. Not only did I do that, but I’m getting three more sock knitting books. And I’m off to my favorite yarn store in the world next week to get more.

But that’s okay. Really. I gave up smoking a few years ago and I don’t really drink any longer, so good yarn is my drug of choice these days. With everything I’ve been through in the past eight months, I figure I’m allowed to buy as much damn yarn as I please.

Plus, I turned 50 last week. I’m not sure how the hell that happened either, but it did and, like my sock yarn obsession, I’m giving myself a pass on that one, too.

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that I’m being very, very good to myself these days. Besides, it’s fun to knit yourself pretty things. *


So, on Ravelry over the weekend, I posted on the “Fifty And Fabulous” forum that I’d made some coconut tapioca.

Now, stop that. Right now. Tapioca is awesome and it’s especially awesome when your mouth is still a bit sore from six weeks of radiation treatment. And it’s even better if it’s made with coconut milk. Yum.

The only thing I changed from the recipe (which is from Moosewood Restaurant Collective’s “New Classics”, one of my most favorite cookbooks ever) was to swap out regular milk for the vanilla soymilk and add a teaspoon of real vanilla extract.

The original recipe also suggests serving this with fresh mango cubes and sliced strawberries which would have been great if I had a fresh mango and strawberries. If you have it, go for it.

Yum.

Tropical Tapioca

  • ½ cup of instant tapioca
  • 3 cups of milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 14-oz. can reduced fat coconut milk
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  1. Combine everything except the vanilla extract in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Give it a stir and let it sit for about 15 minutes or so. This gives the tapioca a chance to soften up before you even cook it.
  2. On medium heat, bring the tapioca mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and sticking. Lower the heat and, still stirring, let it cook slowly for 5 minutes.
  3. Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let it cool for about 5 minutes or so.
  4. Pour into individual dessert cups or a large heatproof container and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour or so.
  5. Enjoy!

* WordPress isn’t playing nicely with my pictures this afternoon or I’d post the latest picture of Eunice. Sorry.

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“He Grew A Big Zucchini For The Local Flower Show”

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It’s cold, so I’ve been spending the week inside, cooking and knitting, all nice and snug and warm in my sweats and handknit wool socks.

I haven’t been outside since last Saturday and I see no reason to go anywhere when it’s like this. There’s nothing I need from the supermarket, I don’t have any doctor’s appointments, there’s no way you’re getting me to Planet Fitness and goddess knows I don’t need any more yarn.

So I made a big pot of winter squash and bean soup (I’ll post the recipe next week) and while I was poking around in the fridge, found the two zucchini I thought I forgot to buy.

Because you just can’t have soup,  you see. Well, I can’t, anyway. I need a sandwich or a big piece of chewy, multi-grain bread or a salad or…something. Even if it’s a hearty soup, I need something else before I can call it “dinner”.

Mmm...

Mmm…

Soup, just by itself, naked, is called “lunch”, you know.

This recipe for zucchini pie comes from a book I know I’ve mentioned before, “The New England Cookbook“. It’s one of those things that can be an appetizer or lunch or a snack or just the thing you need to have with a bowl of winter squash and bean soup.


Zucchini Pie

  • 2 ½ cups very thinly sliced zucchini
  • About 1 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion (I use scallions since I prefer the taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup of milk
  • ¾ cup of Bisquick (yep!)
  • ½ cup of shredded cheese (the recipe calls for mozzarella, but any good cheese is fine)
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parm
  • 1 Tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes, optional

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray or lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or pie plate
  2. Place the sliced zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Let stand for 15 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
  3. Heat the oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook until slightly browned and soft, about 8 minutes or so.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the milk. Add the Bisquick and whisk until just smooth. Stir in the sauteed onions, cheeses, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Rinse the zuke slices, spread out on a double thickness of paper towels and pat dry. Stir them into the batter and transfer the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or so, until the top if fleck with brown and it tests done near the center. If you’re using the tomatoes, scatter them over the top after the first 15 minutes of baking. Don’t overbake this.
  7. Let it cool and serve warm or at room temperature. I actually like it cold, out of the fridge, with some salsa, but that’s just me.
  8. Enjoy!

Rocks Your Socks Off, Woman

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One of the reasons I wanted to learn how to knit is all down to a pair of knitted socks I saw in a magazine about 10 years ago. I can’t remember if they had cables running up and down them or if they were striped or if they were knitted out of cashmere. The only detail that remains in my memory is that they were hand knitted socks, they were cool and I wanted to learn how to make them because I wanted to be the cool, crafty chick who knitted socks.

Fast forward a bunch of years and I’ve done more than a couple of pairs. I’ve knitted socks with cables and I’ve made striped ones and I’ve got cashmere sock yarn, which is like crack for sock knitters. I’ve got individual sock patterns and whole books of nothing but sock patterns. I’ve got sock yarn coming out the wazoo. There’s little knitting needles for knitting socks with thin yarn and bigger needles for thicker yarn. I’ve got all kinds of little sock knitting notions to help me out when I’m knitting socks, which seems to be all the time these days.

See?

See?

I’m just a little obsessed.

Like many other things in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it. And if you’re anything like me, you want things that are more challenging. Time to step it up a bit and move up to the big leagues. You know, knit like a big girl.

Meet Eunice.

Eunice entered my life as a sock pattern in a book full of lots of complicated, complex things when I was a novice knitter and didn’t really know what I was doing. So I looked at it, drooled a little bit, sighed a lot, tried the pattern, cursed and threw things, slammed the book shut and went back to making something a whole lot easier.

One stitch at a time, baby.

One stitch at a time, baby.

I did this for ages, but not this time. And I’m making progress. And hey, no bad language.

Well, not yet, anyway. There’s still a lot of sock left to knit.

Cauliflowers Fluffy and Cabbages Green

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My brain and body aren’t on the same page.

Nope. Not one bit. They’re not speaking, not even the occasional a “Hi! How you doin’?” No texts or tweets or snarky blog posts, sniping away at each other. When one wants to go left, the other swerves to the right. There are no immediate plans to have a cuppa together or to break bread, either.

And it’s not for a lack of trying, either. I mean, I try to listen to both sides, I really do. The conversations usually go like this:

“Okay, so I really need to work on that test knit today and I want to get some work done on those socks I promised Tammy a few months back. And then I really should neaten up the crafting area of the living room because I can’t find anything.”

“Oh, you’re not doing that. You’re so not doing any of that. Here, sit on the couch for a bit.”

“I’ve been on the computer for an hour. I want to do something else. Anything. I’m bored.”

“Nah, you’re not bored. Really. And I saw that yawn, Suzy Creamcheese. Come on, just sit for a bit.”

“I really don’t…oh, this feels pretty good.”

“See? Now close your eyes.”

“I don’t want to nap.”

“Right. Close your eyes.”

“Okay, fine. Just for a…”

Zzzzz...

Zzzzz…

See what I’m up against here? I’m trying to get stuff done, and my body wants me to take a nap. I know I’m only doing some knitting and not doing anything big, like curing cancer (ha!), but still.

I know I’ve already mentioned that I’m an antsy kind of person. Not necessarily impatient, but fidgety. “Nervous energy”, my late grandmother would have said.

Yes, I get it. I need to rest so I can properly heal from everything my body (and mind) have been through over the past couple of months. Sure, the surgery and the treatment are well in the past now, but it’s like my doctor and many, many cancer survivors have told me. Recovery is going to take a long time. Your body’s been whacked upside the head, but good. It still doesn’t know what’s going on and it needs you to rest so it can get back to normal.

Or whatever normal is these days.


If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’ve been yapping about my food issues for a very, very long time now. If not, you’ll be delighted to know that I’ve moved onto soup and that I’m trying to eliminate Carnation’s Instant Breakfast as a major food group in my diet.

Mmm, mmm, good!

Mmm, mmm, good!

So yesterday I made this recipe for cauliflower bisque from Anna Thomas’ “Love Soup”. Since I’m still having some sensitivity issues, this was a good choice because it’s pureed and not heavily seasoned. The only spice that’s in here is herbes de Provence, which I highly recommend getting for this. I know it sounds like something you’ll only use once and then it’ll keep the rest of your herbs company, but it won’t. Trust me on this; a little bit is wonderful in things like pizza sauce, ratatouille…pretty much any recipe that has it’s roots in the Mediterranean or South of France or wants to think it does.

Cauliflower Bisque

  • 1 large white cauliflower
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 lemon, plus more if needed
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium stalks celery
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 2 oz. fresh creamy goat cheese or cream cheese
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • completely and totally optional: buttered breadcrumbs or homemade croutons
  1. Trim the cauliflower and cut into florets. Put into a soup pot with 2 cups of water and the veggie broth. Scrub the lemon and slice off a 1” long strip of the zest (no white pith!) and add to the pot. Juice the lemon and add 2 Tbsp of the juice plus 1 tsp of the salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel, trim and chop the carrots, celery and onion. Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet and add the chopped veggies. Give it a good stir and then add the garlic with a ½ tsp of salt. Saute on a medium heat, stirring often, until they’re soft and beginning to color, about 10 minutes or so. Add the herbes de Provence, stir, and let it cook a little bit longer.
  3. Add the veggies to the cauliflower and let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so (the veggies should be very soft by now). Remove from the heat and let it cool.
  4. Puree the soup in batches with the cheese until it’s completely smooth. Return the soup to the pot and season with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Top each bowl with the breadcrumbs or the croutons. Enjoy!