Monday, May 30, 2011

Garlic Scapes!

I noticed last week while doing a walk-thru in the garden these garlic stems with unopened flower heads on them. They formed a U-shape,it could only be one thing, Garlic Scapes! These little flower heads will bloom into a beautiful flower just like onions but then you will get a smaller garlic bulb. The flower will steal all the energy for flower and seed production. If you cut them off then you will get a bigger bulb. DO NOT THROW THESE AWAY! You can use them in cooking such as sauteing them with veges in olive oil, toss with potatoes and bake etc. I am going to try a recipe I learned on one of my favorite podcasts, Earth Eats from Indiana University in Bloomington. Check out these two scape recipes from their website. I am going to make the garlic salt.

Garlic is super easy to grow and doesn't have any pests that I can see. After drying them out for a month they are good for almost a year as long as you store them in a dark place that gets air. I put them in a paper bag left open in the food pantry and they did fine. I think I will punch holes in the bag this time and close the top. The NY Times has an article on heart and anti-cancer benefits of garlic. For the Wiki on Garlic, click here.

Buon Apetit!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Rapture? I went to Renegade!

I heard the rapture was coming on May 21st from a good source, I guess. Who was he? Anyways, I was confused. Surely God wouldn't let us schedule THE Renegade Craft Fair during, or worse, AFTER the rapture....that would be silly.....unless indie crafters and fans weren't a part of the initial procession. Hmmm......I might need to look into that possibility. There was a brief moment when I thought the rapture actually happened. A mother was pushing a stroller without a baby. I gasped! 'Does she know her baby has ascended toward the pearly gates without her?' Then I wondered what kind of woman could she be? God chooses her baby but not her. Ohhh, the harlot! Then I realized I was in her same shoes:P I need to re-think that one. Anyways, I eventually came to my senses and proceeded to have a really good time:)

This Apron is from one of my all-time faves! This is from Craft Chi, an indie designer right here in Austin. She designs her own screen prints, print on fabric then hand sews all of her creations. It is one of my lifes goals to collect her wares for my home. all of her fabric is on linen, my favorite fabric. I guess that's another reason why I am smitten with her creations.
One of my friends and I stopped by Katinka Pinka's booth. Ohh, what a Lace-a-palooza it was! She has such a nostalgic, artful eye. Her booth reminds me of Steam Punk meets pink and lace. I couldn't stop oogling her wares, especially her earrings.

Sublime Stitching was there again this year. Yippee!! I was very good though, I promise;) I didn't buy anymore patterns due to the fact that I have about a third of her patterns already. I really needed embroidery media and they had plenty of that. I chose a set of tea towels and a Renegade Owl Tote Bag to stitch up.

Twinkie Chan was a new craftster to me. I have never heard of her yet, I feel like I have met her before. She is a crochet culinary goddess** She sells her crocheted items as well as her book of crochet patterns, that's what I REALLY fell for. I can't wait to start on her creations. I need to wait to finish my top secret knitting gift first though.

I also picked up a beautiful journal from 'Millions of people happy'. She hand sews the covers and binds them by hand. This particular book laid flat due to the time of stiching/binding she did. The details are truly beautiful. I am a big fan of handmade journals. The bindings they choose are usually historical. These artist work hard in preserving the ancient art of book binding.

The last acquisition was from a couple of re-cyclers, 'ReUseFirst'. They make crafts from found items, mostly paper. This book will come in handy for jotting down notes, from work, when I am having a particularly challenging day........

Craft on my friends..........

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Renegade Craft Fair 2011:)

Renegade Craft Fair is THIS weekend at the Palmer Events Center!! Check out last years post when I went with my two besties;P

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Golf Club Pen

Dave comes up with some unusual stuff. This is the unexpected:P

Visiting Marakesh

I like visiting countries through their cuisine. I don't need a passport and there is no jetlag. Also, I get to skip all that invasive body searching stuff nightmares are made of. I found this recipe in the book World Food Cafe.I checked this book out of the library, the best place to get cookbooks ever! It was free and I was able to try it out before deciding to buy it. I will get this one, it's THAT fabulous.

Off topic, this carton is what my mushrooms came in. It's made of very compostable paper. What a great alternative to styrofoam. If only, we had, more trees...

It is a vegetarian cookbook, very helpful when trying to decide what to do with veges, especially if you get tired of eating roasted veges in olive oil. As good as roasted veges are with olive oil, garlic and herbs, it can get tiresome 7 days a week. I have found vegetarian cookbooks great if you are in a cooking slump. Vegetarians need to use more fresh and inovative ingredients in order to liven up their meatless versions of food that is easily flavored with fat and meat. I turn to these books for recipes and inpiration, then usually, I add meat! It's great:)
I cooked a Tagine from Morocco, which is basically a stew. The ingredients are the same as american cooking, just a different combo than we are used to. I didn't have all the vege ingredients it called for so I substituted for what I had. That is the traditional Italian way and of many countries that do not have super-mega-ridiculous stores. Most people around the world eat locally and in season believe it or not!? Enough endless babble, here's your recipe.

5 T olive oil
2 onions sliced thin
1 lb of cubed beef or pork
1 T black pepper
1 T cumin
1 T turmeric
1 t cinnamon
1 potato
2 sweet potatoes
2 bell peppers
1 C fresh mushrooms, sliced
salt to taste
2 C cooked or canned beans of choice, either shelled or green
32 oz of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
water as needed
handfuls of fresh parsley, cilantro, raisins
1/4 pitted olives
Cooked grains such as rice, Quinoa, tabouleh, couscous or just plain crusty bread.

Harissa for serving, recipe follows.

Heat oil in stock pot, add cubed meat and sear. After meat is almost cooked thru, remove from pot and set aside. Add onions to pot, cook til tender but not brown, add spices, cook one more minute. Add veges, meat, tomato products, beans and water as needed to keep from drying out. It should have a stew consistency when finished. Cook until veges are tender around 30 minutes on low heat with cover on. Add parsley, cilantro, raisins, olives and cook 5 more minutes. Serve over grains or bread and a tablespoon of Harissa on the side.

Harissa is a traditional condiment served on the side in that region of the world. It's like their salsa. Mine did not come out hot but my peppers might have been mellowed. It was absolutely delicious! If you don't want the heat, use less or substitute for a sweeter bepper like bell or banana. I can see using Harissa spread on bread for toasting, toss with veges or pasta. I highly recommend making this for yourself even if you don't cook the above Tagine.

1/2 C diced hot chiles
2 T cumin seeds
3 T coriander seeds
4 garlic cloves diced
1 t salt
Olive oil

The cookbook said to process this in a food proccessor, i didn't think it would work so I used a mortor and pestel. If you have neither, just chop chiles and garlic really fine and stir. I put in enough olive oil for it to be watery but you could make it thicker by using less. Keep in fridge in a glass jar with tight lid. Enjoy!