Tea Latte and Sunday Slaw

Keeping busy, I made an ‘Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw‘ found at Cooking Classy.

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

I doubled the dressing and modified it just a bit by using some sour cream (that I had on hand) along with the Greek yogurt.  Not having greens onion,  I grated a red onion (not too much) into the salad.

It is delicious!  However, I think it will be better tomorrow after it has marinated in the refrigerator where all the flavors will blend together.

A few months ago, we purchased a jar of ground cardamom for a recipe. I am gathering that we didn’t like the recipe because, for the life of me, I can’t remember what I cooked.

Surfing the web, I found one use for this expensive cardamom. It’s called an Earl Grey Latte.

earl grey carmadon latte

I found the recipe at Lark & Linen.

She uses a vanilla bean and cardamom pods. For me, vanilla beans are too expensive to use for one cups of tea.  I made half a recipe using a little more than an 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom.

Add these two ingredients towards the end of the simmer. 

I whisked it to make it a little foamy and to look more like a latte.

After taking the picture, I added a little ground cinnamon to the top.

Because the pods or the bean wasn’t used in my recipe, it didn’t need straining before drinking.

earl grey carmadon latte

It was very good.  The next time making these, I am going to use Almond milk instead of whole milk.

Simply Delicious

Dalla cucina povera.

Today, I made 68-1 inch Italian meatballs.  I froze more than half.  With the rest,  I added them to my version of Italian wedding soup.

Italian wedding soup

Along with the soup, I made another boule from the 5-Minute Artisan Bread recipe.

french boule

Both were delicious and comforting.

Well, that was short and sweet.

See ya later!

Thank you for visiting!

Artisan Bread The Boule

At least once a week, I bake bread.  One of our favorites is the ciabatta (slipper, in Italian).  But, yesterday, I decided to revisit a book I purchased a while back and baked boule (ball, in French). The last bread I baked from that book was an Italian Semolina Bread.

boule

It’s a 5-Minute Artisan Bread riddled with holes and full of flavor. This bread is “quick, easy and rustic” using only white flour, yeast, salt and water. There is no need to knead the dough.

But after seeing how easy it is, you may need to need it more often than not.

You mix the dough in bulk then stash it in the refrigerator until ready for a chewy, delicious loaf of homemade goodness.

The trick lies in not kneading the dough but instead mixing the dough in bulk, stashing it in the fridge, and then forgetting about it until the craving for freshly baked bread descends upon you. When that happens, simply take the dough out of the fridge, lop off enough for a loaf, shape it, let it rest, and then take a moment to slide it in the oven before you casually go about your life. And then don’t come forget to come back later to retrieve the best artisan bread of your life from the oven.  –For the recipe and to read more visit:  Leite’s Culinaria 

After looking at the recipe you might find it a little intimidating since the directions seem to go on and on.  But, I assure you that it is easier than it looks.  Rather than mixing my dough in a container, I used my standing mixer. It mixes as easily as 1-2-3.  Then, I put the shaggy dough into a plastic, loosely covered, container for the 2 hour rise and to store in the refrigerator.  I let mine rise 3 hours.  The book say up to 5 hours is ok.

boule raised dough

The dough lasts up until 14 days in the refrigerator.  Therefore, be sure to use it up before the 14 days are over.  In the book, it says that the dough can be frozen in 1 lb. portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking.

It’s important to note that when the dough is rising and when it is stored in the refrigerator, make sure that the lid, on the container, isn’t airtight. The trapped gasses my cause a ka-boom!

When you are ready to bake, all you do is cut off a piece of dough, (follow directions for this) shape and let rest for 40 minutes before baking.  Instead of using my pizza peel, I used a pizza pan lined with parchment paper.

boule before baking

The results are a chewy,  delicious loaf of homemade goodness riddle with holes.  The prefect bread for dipping and sopping up sauces and gravy.

boule

The book (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) which includes this recipe and many more can found here.

boule

Winter Warmings

It’s been a while since I have crocheted.  The last item I crocheted (a couple of months ago) was this pair of gloves/mitts.

fingerless mitts

There isn’t a written pattern for these. It’s something I had envisioned. They are worked in the round.

As I had mentioned before, I am not good at writing patterns.  Besides, once I make an item, I don’t want to check for errors by remaking it.  I know…sheer laziness.

Towards the end of the day, I have been knitting rather than crocheting.  I am not as proficient when it comes to knitting as I am with crocheting.  When it come to knitting, I am slow and cautious.  Some of my favorite items to knit are socks, dish clothes and a few other easy projects.  In the past, I have knitted sweaters and shawls.  However, I find knitting to be slower than crocheting.  I am so afraid I will drop a stitch.  And, when I do…Aargh!

I started a knitted cowl, but set it aside for now.

cowl
I found the pattern at: in the loop.  There is an English version to download.  I love the simplicity of the look and the ease of the pattern.

Taking Control

Sometimes one has take control of one’s life.  Whether it is by choice of by unforeseen circumstances.  Some of those unforeseen circumstances could be medical issues that are visited upon one as one ages.  Also, as one gets older, they may experience diminished financial resources after retirement.

Vase

I, along with my husband, have started to take control of our possessions.  We are, and have, been downsizing our material possessions.  While the family has moved on with their lives (a 1,300 mile distance from us), we have decided to move on with ours.  Now that it is just the two of us; we will not be holding on to things that we thought might be passed down.

the courage

Here is a good article I suggest everyone should read,  Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents’ treasures.

Some excerpts taken from that article:

Members of the generation that once embraced sex, drugs and rock-and-roll are trying to offload their place settings for 12, family photo albums and leather sectionals.

Their offspring don’t want them.

As baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, start cleaning out attics and basements, many are discovering that millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are not so interested in the lifestyle trappings or nostalgic memorabilia they were so lovingly raised with.

Being of the ‘baby boomer’ generation, we talked to our family of ‘millennials’ and the ‘Generation Z’ and told them what were doing and they are completely on board. After reading that article, I can appreciate why they didn’t hesitate to agree.

We do not want to burden our family with having to clean out and clean up after us.  However, we also want to live a more simplified life. We want our home environment to be easier to clean and control.

As for medical issues, although they will be with me for the duration of my life, I am grateful that they can be controlled.  These are issues that sometimes happen with the aging population.

Yes, aging!  It can be a depressing time or one can choose to accept it gracefully.

age

But, I am burdened with guilt because some have emailed me with some problems they were having with some of my crochet patterns and I have not responded.  I just haven’t felt well.  I will fully admit, I am not a very good pattern writer.  I can design a pattern in my head and make it become a reality with my crochet hook,  but when I do write it down, and post it,  it’s unintelligible.  I have taken down my posted patterns until I can commit myself to respond to a question.

In the meantime, we are more than happy to make do with what we have and avoid the traps of consumerism.  It feels so good to unburden ourselves from material possessions.

Another Shawl

Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.
–Robert M. Pirsig

Well, maybe not a “great” creativity, but some creativity.

shawl

Last summer, I tossed out most of my left-over yarn.  However, I saved some skeins that had not been used.

At that time of the clean-out, I was adamant that I would never again pick up a crochet hook. I already had to many finished projects tucked away in drawers.  And besides,  yarn is quite expensive when one’s on a budget.

shawl

Days of staring at walls and wondering what to do to pass the time, I gave in and used up some of the saved yarn to make a shawl/shawlette.

I used Premier® Cotton Fair® Solids yarn.

shawl

The pattern for this shawl is called the “Morning Has Broken Shawl” and can be found here.

fairy1

Collar Me Done

I rarely, if ever, wear any of my crochet designs.  I have a couple of drawers where I keep everything that I make. There are only a few things that I do use, like dish cloths, change pouch and a small clutch.  All doilies, that I have crocheted over the years, are all washed and put away.  Until recently, I used to display them around the house on tables.

Knowing that I would never wear a crochet collar or have a need to wear one, I crocheted one regardless.

Crochet Collar

(This photo was taken outside under covering)

I used size #10 crochet cotton and a #6 crochet hook.

crochet lace collar

(This photo was taken inside)

The pattern is from an old pamphlet (“Collar-me-Beautiful” by Mary Buse Melick) I had since the 1980’s.

Crochet Collar

(This photo was taken inside in a different area.  This is closer to the actual color of the collar)

I didn’t know if I should have added a button or leave it as is so that, if worn, it could be secured with a brooch.

This was done right after I finished the dress top.  While I was crocheting it, I wanted to end it, but continued on until it was finished.  It took me about 8 hours over two evening.

bluebird-siggy

Am I Really Finished?

Last year, I was working on a crocheted infant/baby dress when I had lost my passion to crochet or for any handiwork.  I put it aside and put it out of my mind.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked it up again and was determined to finish it once and for all. After working on a couple of rows, I again lost the “umph!” to finish.   However, I pressed on and instead of following the direction, I went off on my own a little.

I ended up with just a top and decided to either make the bottom half out of fabric, or find a crocheted skirt pattern that I liked better.

child dress top

The back is buttoned.  I have pins holding it in place. I have yet to sew on the buttons.

Sheer laziness or something else?

child dress top back

The pattern is from an old issue from Magic Crochet that I found online.

It say that it is sized for a 6 month old, but (after completing the top) it looks bigger.

infant dress

This pattern uses #10 crochet thread and I used a size 6 crochet hook.

Besides handicrafts, I seem to have lost my passion/desire/fondness, or whichever word fits my aloofness at life, for things that were dear to me.

It’s hard to find that spark when depression weighs you down.  

sig summer