My quilting and family life journal

Gifts from the Kitchen

The holidays are in the air… this week I started pulling holiday gift baskets together. This year we decided to give friends and family gifts from the kitchen and a few crafts.

A few of the items we made for gifting are:

The following picture is of the items made this week,.

gifts from the kitchenNow we just need to finish the craft items and start to pack things up for house visits and mailing. … really love this time of the year.

Hope all of your holiday plans go according to plan.

Noodles in Spicy Nut Sauce

Today was so full of work and errands that I needed to make something quick, but tasty for dinner. After a quick look through the refrigerator and pantry, spicy noodles came to mind. The entire dish take about 20 minutes to prepare and is packed with flavor.

noodles with spicy nut sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of noodles of choice
  • 1 cup of your favorite green vegetable, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 1 large carrot, small julienne strips or a large grate
  • 1/3 cup smooth, natural almond or peanut butter
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1/4 cup low salt soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 Tsp siracha sauce
  • 2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbs black sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions

  1. Cook the noodles following the package directions, omitting salt, and using a tablespoon of low salt soy sauce in the water instead.
  2. Heat the veggie broth almost to boiling.
  3. Put nut butter and maple syrup in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of the hot broth and stir until smooth and blended.
  4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, siracha, sesame oil, ginger and garlic, ad stir together.
  5. In a large bowl stir together cooked noodles, green vegetable and carrots.
  6. Pour the sauce,  scallions, black sesame seeds, cilantro and over the top of the noodles. Stir everything together gently, and if need the other 1/4 cup of veggie broth.
  7. The dish can be served hot of cold.

Quilt-as-you-go project update

I finally finished all of the paper pieced blocks for the quilt-as-you-go project I started at the beginning of the summer. It is the first time that I worked with solid kona cotton fabrics and love the way that the blocks turned out. I think the solids will work their way into a few more projects in the near future.

 

2014 quilt as you go blocks

When I started the project I had planned to create 20 unique blocks, but then I feel in love with two of the patterns and just had to create two of each of them…. so much for best laid plans. Now I just need to get the blocks quilted and decide on a border or two to finish the top…. Any ideas for borders?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I have been trying to think of ways to use some of the pie pumpkins from this years harvest and a few of the eggs that our chicken have given us. With the cool weather cheese cake sounded like a good idea, and a low fat, low sugar treat sounded even better. My family loved this trat so much that I thought that I would share the recipe with you.

Pumpkin cheesecake bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free gram cracker  crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil

Cheesecake filling

  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. For the crust:
    1. In a medium bowl, mix together the gram crumbs and the butter.
    2. Line a 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper and pat the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan.
  3. For the cheesecake filling:
    1. Beat the cream cheese ans sugar until fluffy.
    2. Add the eggs ans mix until combined.
    3. Add the remaining cheesecake ingredients and mix just until combined.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 35 minutes or until the middle of the cheesecake bars appears set and no longer jiggles when you move the pan.
  5. Open the oven door and let the bars cool completely before removing from the oven.
  6. Cover and store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Cranberry Chutney

With all of the fresh cranberries and apples that we have in the house at the moment I thought it would be a good idea to start canning a few gift items. This afternoon I made the first round of cranberry chutney for family baskets that we will take with us on the visit to the in-laws in early December,  and a bit for the refrigerator. I particularly love all of the fruit and spices in this chutney, paired with the savoriness of the onion and the crunch of the hazelnuts. It pairs nicely with cheese and crackers or a nice savory stuffing.

jars of cranbery chutney

We will make more next weekend for the baskets for our friends and a few jars for our own pantry. (Susan it will be on the appetizer tray for Thanksgiving :))

Ingredients

cranberry chutney items

  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 firm Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon sticks and salt. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil and cook until the cranberries pop open, about 10 minutes.
    cranberry chutney
  2. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir in the apples, pears, onions, raisins and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring often, until thick, another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and toss in the hazelnuts.
  4. Discard cinnamon sticks.
  5. Refrigerate in tightly sealed jars or can cook in a water bath for 15 minutes.

 

Now that the cool weather has set in and the vegetable gardens have been put to bed for the season,  I have been having fun designing and quilting pillows. This evening I finished another pillow in the lineup that was a combination of counted cross stitch and, machine piecing and quilting.

quilted tree pillow

 

For a change I will be keep the piece for myself. Now I just need to get back to the pile of UFOs in my sewing room….

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Sundays are the only days that we have a hot breakfast in our house. It was so chilly this morning that I decided to make some apple waffles before we went outside to enclose the chicken run in plastic for the winter.

The waffles take a bit of time to make but are well worth the effort. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

apple waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 3/4 cups spelt flour
  • 1 Tbs baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cups plant based milk
  • 1 apple, cored,peeled and shredded
  • 2 Tbs olive oil

Directions

  1. In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  2. In large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
  3. Stir the milk, apple, olive oil, and egg yolks into the flour mixture.
  4. Fold egg whites into batter.
  5. Pour about 1 cup of batter into a hot waffle iron, cooking until golden brown and crispy. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  6. Serve with maple syrup.
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