Monday, February 27

Chickpeas: It's what's for dinner.

Mostly because I have chickpeas, and not chicken. :o)

So, inspired by Sarah & Nathania's Make Do March, I'm planning (yes, for the first time in my life) my dinners.  FOR THE WHOLE WEEK!  That is unheard of over here in my little world.  The inspiration from their Make Do March is in the use what you have feature to my dinner planning.  No trips to the grocery store for me (well except maybe to get dog food, Rudder is running a bit low on that)  So, here's what's for dinner this week:

Monday: Chicken Tikka Masala (really more like a Chana-Tikka hybrid if you will) & Bok Choy
Tuesday: Eggplant Parmesan (per Kevin's request) & Bok Choy
Wednesday: Homemade Black Bean Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries (& probably Bok Choy)
Thursday: Homemade Pizza - spinach dough, goat cheese, red peppers, roasted garlic
Friday: I'm not sure yet, but I have a feeling there will be Bok Choy...

Yeah, I have A LOT of Bok Choy to use up.  :o)

So, I had a recipe for Chana Masala, but it looked more complicated that I really cared to do at 7pm, but then I remembered Sarah had posted a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala that was pretty simple so I figured hey, I'm sure I could modify that and make it work.  And it did. 

Here's what I put in:

- 15 oz diced tomatoes (I had diced not crushed like the recipe called for)
- 2ish T of tomato paste (You'll see a lot of 'ish in this, I don't exactly measure...)
- 1 med onion, chopped (Oops! Forgot it!)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (sorta)
- 1/2ish t cumin
- 1/4ish t cinnamon
- 1/4ish t coriander
- 1/4ish t black pepper
- 1/8ish t ground clove
- 1/8ish t nutmeg
- pinch of cayenne (um cajun seasoning because I couldn't find my cayenne)

Mix all of the above together and then if you want more "crushed" tomatoes, use a potato masher just a bit :o)

I heated it on low while I was making the quinoa and roasting garlic.

- 1 can chickpeas, drained

I did this with about 20 minutes left before serving.

Last, Add:
- 1/3ish c heavy cream (yeah, I just poured some in, my guess is it was about 1/3c.)

Instead of rice, I used quinoa because 1) I had it 2) It has good stuff in it 3) I can probably use it in some manner to have for lunch.  I RINSED my quinoa this time.  I assumed it was pre-rinsed from the bulk section, but last time I made it and didn't rinse it, it was super bitter.  Rinsing = better quinoa thus far.

Alright, now for the baby bok choy:

I used this recipe I had pinned (gosh I love Pinterest, I even used it for affective skills instruction today!) as my "pinspiration" for the Bok Choy.

- 6 little baby bok choylettes
- a handful of garlic cloves, whole (really I think its a personal preference of how many cloves)
- some olive oil
- salt & pepper

So first, heat the olive oil over med-high heat til it's nice and toasty.  Add the garlic cloves, reduce heat to medium and let the buggers roast, turning them every so often so they don't burn.  Next, add the baby bok choy and a bit of water (I poured some from my glass... maybe 1/4-1/2c.?) sautee for about 2 minutes, then use a smaller lid to cover and let it steam for another minute.  Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper to your liking, and ta-da!  All done!  :o)

*wishes I had a fancy set up like the food bloggers, but hey, it is what it is* 

 And now, just for fun:

The never-ending game of keep away between Lucy & Rudder

Monday, February 20

Well at least I accomplished one thing this weekend

I had what really seemed like a do-able list this weekend...  However, it is seeming to take wayyyyy longer than expected!  That, and I in true form, am bouncing around from project to project.  Oh well...

I did FINALLY make dryer balls!  I had been wanting to make them for some time now, and the time just seemed right when I was able to find 3 skeins of virgin wool for $1.99 this weekend.  Value Village had the 50% off President's Day Sale, and I found a bunch of strange things to be shared later I'm sure.  Anyways, back to the wool.  It looks like it was hiding in Grandma's closet for a while, not a color I'd usually pick, but hey, it was $1.99 for 3 skeins, and it's just going in the dryer with my laundry, so who cares!

I read a couple of tutorials, but as a person who rarely reads directions, I just went for it.  This isn't going to be a tutorial.  Number 1, I speak in circles, so I'd probably end up teaching someone how to make a placemat instead of dryer balls.  Number 2, I kinda forgot to take pictures in a "tutorial fashion" as I went along.  Instead, I will just share my pictures.  :o)

Cheap Yarn - yay!

Rolled into small balls

Then tied up in pantyhose, all incognito like  they're ready to rob a 7-11 then into the wash.

Then roll more yarn around so they're bigger.  I went for tennis ball size.
Back into disguise they go.

Why it's oh so very important that you have these pre-felted balls in pantyhose...

If you don't (or if one manages to sneak out) you end up with this...

Ta da!  These suckers have been through every load (in pantyhose) I've done this weekend (maybe 5?)

Closer up of the felted-ness

See, tennis ball size.

So, I'm sure you're really just wondering about the table these dryer balls are sitting on.  [Probably not, but I'm going to tell you anyways!]  This is my left-at-the-condo-when-I-moved-in-2+-years-ago coffee table.  Solid wood top, super scratched and composite bottom.  I still need to get around to that whole painting the bottom thing.  I'm waiting for warmer weather.  Maybe by then I'll have an idea in regards to color...   Anyways, I decided I wanted to make the coffee table top a bit different, and figured hey, it was free, so I'm willing to risk it a bit more.  Several ideas from painting, to mosaic, to just sanding and staining farmhouse style came and went.  I decided to sand, stain, then carve.  Yup, like an old tree out in the woods (but with much less harm and a lot less sap).   Originally I was going to go back over the carved words with stain so it'd be darker, but I kinda like it lighter, so I'm going to keep it as it.  Still need to put some poly on it, but again, best left to warmer weather when it can be done outside.  :o)
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and that the winds long to play with your hair.  Khalil Gilbran

 My mom finds it rather hippie-ish.  Perhaps she's right, but I love the quote.  It's a good reminder as I sit here on my tookus to go outside and play.  :o)  Oh, and I don't have any fancy wood carving tools, so I just used a phillips head screwdriver. 

Ok, I've procrastinated long enough...  Back to painting...

Just a Nikon Girl...

mrseliotbooks on Etsy via Pinterest

... Living in a Canon world.  (I don't know why, but when I think about the Canon camera, I start humming these words to Journey...)  

Anyyyyyyyyways, I've been hiding behind a Canon 50D lately.  

Why yes!  That is paint on my hands!  Are we surprised?  I thought not. ;o)

So what is a born and bred Nikon girl doing with a Canon??  Well, Kevin has most graciously offered to let my shutter happy hands borrow his DSLR so I can keep being my snap happy self, but with a seriously upgraded camera.  I love my little Sony Cybershot, I really do.  It has survived several tumbles, snow baths, is wonderfully light and small for hiking...  Clearly I love them, it is after all my 4th Cybershot (yes, I have a tendency of losing cameras...).  [Anyone else wondering, with my "stellar" camera history, why in the world Kevin would let me borrow his super nice camera???  Yeah, me too...]  Anyways, it's a good little point and shoot, but it just doesn't have the lens, nor the features I'd love to have and sometimes can frustrate the bejeebees out of me.  Well, I'm still learning this how to use this Canon, which can be also frustrating, but it is SO great to see what a difference good glass makes! :o)

So, since I'm a bit behind on the whole updating the blog on things that are being done around the casa, I'll put up some of these for now with promises of project pictures to come. :o)

The Flours [get it, flowers, ah so pun-y] I got from Kevin for Valentine's Day

Evidence that I still have yet to understand Canon's white balance options...

Rudder loves his dummy

Mr. Martini eyes

And now for the Gag Reel...

Tomorrow I'll try to get some project pictures posted.  :o)

PS - This blogger post-formatting-picture-inserting-process and I do not get along...