Friday, April 29, 2011

Vegetable Seconds Soup....

I have been blessed with a lot of leftover vegetables that either I grow myself or others have no use for. Either they have too many in their gardens, or on their farms, or friends do not know what to do with in their CSA boxes. I am always trying to be creative and learn as much as I can on how to preserve or cook these 'Seconds'. I hate to see food go to waste, more so since I started growing my own. This soup looks similar to the Beet Soup or Borscht I posted about recently but while preparing it, I realized, this method can be used for any surplus of veges.

If you find yourself in such a delightful predicament, simply follow these guidelines and you can turn your 'Seconds' into 'Treasures'.

1) Roast your chopped veges with olive oil and salt
2) Add your veges with stock (preferably fresh or 'put by' stock from freezer) to food processor. Process until smooth.
3) Add contents to stock pot with fresh chopped herbs from garden and seasonings from pantry. I like to use 'seasoning families' so on this one I went to South America for inspiration. I used S&P, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chile powder. I added nutritional yeast, tumreric and cayenne for health benefits.
4) Adjust liquid and seasonings as needed as soup simmers for 1 hr.
5) Let soup cool
6) Freeze in freezer bags in the portions that are useful to you and your family. My family is shy around foods they are not familiar with so I freeze in servings of two in case i can't get them to partake. If that's the case, I have an indefinite source of healthy, organic, local food to take to work. This really beats the cafeteria I have relied on over the years. The cafe at my work is a bottomless pit of over-processed food that isn't really food when you look closer. Even the 'healthy' alternatives they have added recently are loaded with sugar, HFCS, pesticide-laden ingredients and/or smothered in some sauce such as ranch.

For more delightfull info on healthy eating and living, meander on over to A Little Bit Of Spain in Iowa for some All-Natural goodness.I hope this is helpful to you and as Julia Childs would say, 'Buon Apetit!'

Monday, April 25, 2011

Funky Chicken Coop Tour

The Girls, the gardens, the coops, the unexpected.........

One of the nice things about living in Austin is the wierdness factor. Even the mascot to this free, annual event is a chicken with an afro. I am so glad I didn't miss it this year, I was sure to ask for it off this time. I met many interesting bird wranglers and learned a lot about how they sustain their flocks. One of them even started raising dairy goats! I didn't know you could have goats in the city limits, nice to know;P

I noticed some common themes. First, all of the coops were made mostly of found or recycled objects including playhouses, bicycle parts, lumber from demolitions, milk crates, gym baskets etc. Second, the birds were soooo quiet. I heard that chickens were really quiet but I didn't expect silence. Third, the chicken wranglers were also vege gardeners.

One coopster made a nursery under a ping pong table to raise baby hens until they were big enough to join the ladies. Another creative wierdo planted a succulent garden on top of their coop which looked more like a fancy planter than a chicken coop. There was even a hollowed out TV attached to the side of a coop used as a nesting box. It's like watching chicken TV. Very inventive. Thanks Austinites for another fabulously wierd day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Flight, the opera is now showing at the Austin Lyric Opera** Why am I telling you this? Because Craftiness's Fine Quality Pens are sold at the gift shop:) Tomorrow is the last day. You will find more of Craftiness's goodness at the next opera, The Majic Flute, in November.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Craft Stylish

I love Craft Stylish Blog** I am posting about this project so I can find it easier this summer when darling daughter has nothing to do;) Maybe she can make mummy some of these darlings....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Borscht or Beet Soup. Really good, no, really!!

I absolutely LOVE Working Class Foodies!! This recipe I decided to try because I had just harvested a few beets from my garden and I ended up with a few from somebody who had extra organic beets they didn't know what to do with. David 'tolerated' it, he claims he likes veges but truth be told, only raw veges in a salad that he can cover with ranch dressing. I have a secret mission to sneak veges in his food without him knowing.
The ingredient list for this soup is short so it is easy to try. I really like this recipe because it can be hard to find a beet recipe that doesn't have a super earthy taste to it. This soup has a vert mild earthy taste and really shows the sweetness and flavor of beets without the 'dirt' factor. Beets are a SUPER FOOD, well worth experimenting with. Give it a try, for your health and your palate!

Sewing error, no problem!

Dave came up with a new item, stitch rippers:) This makes me soooo happy because I get the 'prototype' and I really need a new one since darling daughter lost used my 'old reliable' one. His stitch ripper is double ended for two different size stitch ripping. Both sides come with safety caps. Thanks hubby!!