My crafting and family life journal

Archive for the ‘Life in NH’ Category

Tabbouleh Bread

Twice a month I take a Friday morning to make bread for my household. This Friday i took advantage of some early spring herbs and made a  tabbouleh bread.  The bread has a great sent, flavor and makes great sandwiches that are piled high with fresh feta or Farmer’s cheese and vegetables.

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Ingredients

2 cup water
1/2 cup bulgar
3 T olive oil
1 T yeast
1 cup warm water (additional)
2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped
6 green onions sliced thinly
Zest 1 lemon
5-6 cloves garlic chopped
6 cups flour (may use white or a white/whole wheat mix)

Instructions

Cook the bulgar in 2 cups of water and the olive oil. Turn pan off when it comes to a boil and cool until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water.

Mix parsley, green onions, lemon zest, chopped garlic, salt, egg, flour, bulgar mixture, and yeast mixture well.

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Allow dough to rest for fifteen minutes. Add more flour if needed to make a soft dough.The dough should be soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky.

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Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes by hand or by machine, until a smooth ball. Place dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise for one hour or until double. Punch dough down. Rest for 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves and place into greased pans. Let rise for 45 minutes or until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Bread is great served with a olive oil and lemon dipping sauce or used on a sandwich of herbed feta cheese, sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumbers.

Pillow talk

i spent the last month make some monogramed pillows for the master bedroom in preparation for the memory quilt that is being quilted for the bed. The pillows are a combination of cross stitch and blackwork. I so love hoe he blackwork makes the colors in the flowers pop that I have started a rather large sampler  for one of the bedroom walls that will use the same technique.

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New bed pillows that should pop on the richly colored quilt they will be placed with

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First anchor block of the alphabet wall hanging …. only 29 more blocks and the border to go… the next block will start to add color.

Ladybug and Daisy

Just finished a blackwork piece that I have been working on for the couple of months, just in time to start working in the gardens during my free time. I am really happy with the finished product.

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This piece and another featuring a hummingbird will be worked into a quilt top.

First project finish for 2017

Just finished my first craft project of the year. This Blackwork project is 160 x 160 on a 14 count lavender fabric. The entire project took about seven weeks to complete.

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HAPpy New Year

12 new chapters 365 new chances.

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Holiday break

We have a nice week long holiday break during which we have to do zero traveling, so I decided that it was time to attach my 8 year old fabric scrap bin. As it turned out there was enough fabric in it to make at least two king size quilts.

I sorted the larger pieces into two pile: remnants that could be turned into 1 1/2 strips for a pencil quilt, and others that could be cut into 2 1/2 inch patches for an English paper piecing project that I have been working on for the past two years.

The remnants for the paper piecing project have been put aside for now ans as the picture below shows I have cut a number of strips for the pencil quilt and have about 50 of the 120 blocks that I will need for the quilt either started or completed.

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I plan on finishing cutting and/or piecing strips and shorting the strips into color categories by the end of our holiday break. If time allows many of the blocks will also be completed and staged for pressing and trimming.

Hope that you are doing something fun for the holidays.

 

Christmas Stocking Complete

For the past few weeks it has rained almost every day which gave me all the incentive needed to finish a few works in progress. Yesterday I finished a needlepoint stocking that took almost a year to complete. Not that the project should have taken that long, but I had no pattern and was using wools leftover from other projects, so needless to say I had many false start before settling on a design and colorway.

In the end I love the pattern (now to document it before I forget what was done), and the beading adds just the right amount of bling for the holidays. Now to move on to the next project in the wings…

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Let the fun begin…

We had our first hard frost a week ago so the vegetable gardens were pulled, last of the pasta sauce made and canned, and the dehydrator loaded. Now that gardening duties are over I have some time to spend on crafts.

There are so many started but unfinished projects in my studio that I have set up a project rotation to finish some of the projects and start a new year long project. Each week I rotate a project out for one in the queue to work on. Hopefully this will help me finish some of the projects this winter…

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English paper pieced top that I have finished about 1/2 the quilting

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Needlepoint project I have been working on for the past 5 years. Finished her dress in the last rotation.

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New long term cross stitch project. When it is done it will be 25″ X 31.5″ and contain 495,000 stitches… I do like challenges.

A stack and whack project waiting patiently to be layer out and stitched.

A stack and whack project waiting patiently to be laid out and stitched.

 

Gathering season

Gathering season has started. The dehydrator is running almost daily and canning will start next week. This year between the mild winter and drought this summer, we have more wild life than I care for during growing season. The deer ate most of the low hang fruit and nuts, a variety of creatures finished off the hazelnuts, pears, carrots, and beets before they were ready to pick. The birds fought us for cherries and blueberries. We really don’t mind feeding wildlife, but we wish that they would share.

Although we lost a fair amount of fruit and nuts this season, the vegetables out did themselves. We have had several harvest of kale, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, kidney beans, cucumbers and herbs. The pie pumpkins came in early and large, and potatoes came in on schedule. Both are sitting in the utility room seasoning before being moved to winter storage.

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For the past week the dehydrator has been working overtime to process various vegetables and herbs for winter soups and stews.

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Yesterday I processed a large batch of kale into a dried powder for use in smoothies and soups.

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A few of the kale stems were also given to the dogs as treats…for some reason our dogs love veggies.

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Apples are also starting to mature, so the first batch of apple cider vinegar has been started in the crock.

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Do you grow your own produce? If so, how are your gardens doing and how do you process the harvest?

Reducing the UFO pile

One of my resolutions for this year was to finish at least half of my UFO projects before starting anything new. To assist in accomplishing this goal I moved all of the started project out into the open so that they wouldn’t be forgotten ( for those of you who know me, and what a neat freak I am, know how difficult this was…)

The visibility has helped, With the exception of the quilt for the new grandson I have been able to keep my resolution.

A project I just finished this year was a painted needlepoint canvas. What makes this project a special accomplishment is that was in my stash for close to 10 years. I really enjoyed working this piece so I have no ideas why it took so long to finish. Now I just need to figure out what to do with canvas piece….

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July Gardens

Some of the produce in our gardens are really starting to produce and others we are fighting with the voles and chipmunks to get a share. When watering Thursday I noticed that there were a number of holes in the beet bed and some of the greens laying on their sides. Closer inspection noted that voles ate some for the beets and left their greens behind. So I picked the beets mature enough to use, pickling the beets and using the greens for a great pasta recipe found on Chowhound called “Beet Greens and Feta Pasta“. The recipe took all of 15 minutes to prepare and was delicious.

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This morning I thinned the kale bed and harvested about 15-20 pounds of greens and a small bunch of Swiss chard.  Some of the greens were used to make a Coconut Curried Kale and Sweet Potato dish that I found on the Cookie + Kate blog. The dish tasted wonderful and herbs and spices made the kitchen smell wonderful.

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Another portion of kale was used to  build a kale lasagna for the freezer and the balance went into the dehydrator to turn into kale powder for winter soups, stews and smoothies. The Swiss chard picked today will be turned into one of our favorite tarts tomorrow.

Today we finally got around to covering the grapes to protect them from the deer and birds who have been nibbling on the little green globes.

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This growing season we tried a few new varieties. Two that are looking promising are an orange eggplant and scarlet runner beans.

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For the first time our potato plants have developed seed potatoes. The cool evening this season and rich soil in the beds assisted the potato plants in producing a large number of flowers and seed pods.

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Peach Salsa

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I just love having a large batch of fresh, colorful vegetables to work with. Fortunately, peaches are in and the vegetable gardens are producing well, so this morning I made and canned a batch of peach salsa.

Fruit salsa is so popular in my house that this is the second batch that I have made in the last week (all will be gone by next spring).  I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.

Peach Salsa

peach salsa

Ingredients

  • 9 cups fresh peaches, mangoes, or a combination of both, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large sweet peppers, diced
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp dried jalapeno flakes (or fresh hot peppers if you wish. Add more or less to your desired heat level)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T clear gel to thicken

Directions

  1. Mix peaches with lime or lemon juice.
  2. Combine all ingredients in large pot.
  3. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook for five or six minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Ladle into prepared canning jars.
  6. Screw on lids and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

canned peach salsa

A bit of project time

Erma Bombeck said that when life deals you lemons make lemonade. This weekend we were given two days of rain, while we are very happy for the gardens it didn’t allow for any outdoor projects, so we put the project list aside, slowed the past down a bit and turned the weekend into a crafting period.

My partner pulled out the bead loom and started working on a project that haven’t been touched in months and I organized a long-term paper piecing project, and got re-acquainted with my sewing machine by working on a project I started last winter.

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I always have at least one long-term project in the works. This one is a scrappy English paper piecing project that has been underway for about a year and has about another 2 years before the king sized quilt will be pieced. All piecing is being done by hand and the fabrics are from my scrap bags.

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Pieces from a king sized quilt project I started this past winter. I should have all of the house blocks done this weekend.

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My honey’s bead project. About 66 lines done, another 300 to go. Another piece in the Alaskan wildlife series.

First stocking of the year finished

work has been so busy the past few months that ther has been little time for blog posts. Each evening when my mind just couldn’t concentrate on anymore work I would add a few more stitches to a needlepoint stocking I started last fall.

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Today I finished the top…next step is to add the braid, lining and backing. Maybe the next steps will be completed later this summer when it gets to hot to be outside.

Spicy Red Beans and Rice

It appears that the spring is going to be just as unpredictable as the 2015 winter. Last week it was in the 70s and we started yard work, took the plastic off the chicken’s winter run (they are a bit puffed up today since the wind break is down), and moved the veggie seedling trays to the sun porch. Today it was in the 30s with rain that changed to sleet and then to snow and back again.

With all of the lovely weather we were blessed with over the past few weeks I had planned to change to our spring menus and clean the wood stove for the season. The weather today and the what is now promised for the balance of the week actually had me to start the wood stove, and brush off a couple of winter favorites for dinners this week.  Today I made a pot of  vegan red beans and rice with a side of pumpkin cornbread. The red beans have a very rich flavor with just a hint of spiciness created with fresh vegetables,  veggie stock, creole seasoning, and a nice bunch of kale.

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If you like red beans and rice but would like to forego the animal fat in the traditional recipe than you may want to try the following.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of dried rice
  • 1 cup dried red beans, picked over
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp creole seasoning
  • 1 bunch of fresh kale, roughly chopped, or 1/2 cup of dehydrated kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of water.
  2. Rinse and drain the beans.
  3. Add the beans, onion, carrot, celery, jalapeno, creole seasoning, and vegetable stock to a medium-sized crock pot, and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  4. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Cook rice according to package directions.
  6. Add the kale  to bean mixture and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  7. Serve the beans over 1/2 cup or so of rice with a side of cornbread.
  8. Enjoy.
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