trying to cut out marshmallows with cookie cutters was a misery! i gave up. phooey. they may look ugly but they taste good.

in other good-tasting news, i just had some soup, and it was yum. try it!

sweet potato, white bean, and swiss chard soup

1/2 cup dry small white beans (i think they were navy beans?)
a sprig of fresh rosemary
1 onion, chopped
3 or 4 small sweet potatoes (mine were kind of small - you need enough to make about 2 cups mashed
4 big cloves of garlic
1 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed, ribs cut out, and roughly chopped
4 cups stock (chicken, veg, whatever - i used vegan onion bouillion cubes)

combine the beans with rosemary and onion in a stock pot, cover with lots of cold water. let soak for 6+ hours (overnight works)

cut sweet potatoes into chunks of about an inch maximum. toss with garlic and olive oil in a baking dish; season with salt & pepper. bake for 1 hour at 325F.

while potatoes are roasting, simmer the beans over low heat. about 5 minutes before the potatoes will be ready, add the chard.

mash the cooked potatoes; add to the stock and puree until smooth. drain the beans/chard, pick out the rosemary, add the potatoes/stock to the beans.

cook all together over medium heat for about 15 minutes. yum!

i also made baked beans yesterday, here's that recipe too since it's so easy:

baked beans

2 cup beans (i think they were kidney beans? whatever my husband picked up and the bulk food store)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder

put all ingredients in dutch oven. cover with cold water to about 2" above the level of the beans. bake at 250 - 300F for about 12 hours. check periodically to make sure they aren't cooking too hard or drying out; add water as necessary.




or, they will be in a few hours. recipe courtesy of raspberri cupcakes via baking is hot.

also made baked beans this morning - they should be ready for dinner tonight! they are the ultimate comfort food, just because they are so easy.


another box day

that is, a day of cooking inspired by the contents of the organic box (among other things). done so far: sweet potato-chard-white bean soup, meatballs (on top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese), chicken-wild rice-green bean casserole. chicken cacciatore started but not finished. and, we had trout pot pie for dinner, which was really yum. still need to get to my closets though! somehow, that always gets pushed waaay back...

what i really want to do, though, is make snickerdoodles and marshmallows. which raises the question: why didn't i save the "joy of cooking" marshmallow recipe i used in the summer at the cottage?


a challenge!

oh, temptation! i found a sew-a-long that i think i must join. it's called sewing through the decades and the object is to sew something from every year of your favourite period - but which to choose? 1950s? 1930s? must needs put my thinking cap on!

only problem: just yesterday i made up a post-holiday-spending budget for myself, and now i have fifty dollars worth of patterns in my cart at eva dress...


endless, endless...

i am still working on my husband's christmas present! sleeve number one is thisclose to done, but i needed to wind up a fresh skein so yesterday i foolishly brought my knitting to work but no yarn. then last night i wound 4 balls while watching sherlock, and... did not bring any with me today! so again, i have a work-in-progress but no actual yarn to knit with. this is torture!

i will confess however that of the yarn i wound yesterday, 3 balls were yarn for me (my christmas present for my son!) - i'm going to make myself a sweater vest, which i'm hoping will be done fairly quickly. it's only right that i should get a treat for myself too i think!


we're off to see the wizard

the beenster had his fourth this week, and he wanted a wizard of oz cake! icing recipe is below, and it can easily be made vegan. the characters are based more on the graphic novel than the movie, but here's my attempt:

the base is a butterscotch cake, the ice-cream-cone cupcakes are chocolate puddle cake (ice-cream-cone cupcakes are the easiest for pre-schoolers to manage), and the entrance to the emerald city along with the characters are all made from sugar cookies. i used a cut-to-size box to prop up the entrance to the emerald city, and for the characters just made sure their legs were long enough to shove them right in. not bad for a last-minute cake, i think!

fluffy frosting recipe

1 cup milk (almond milk works too)
2 tbs cornstarch
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar

cook milk and cornstarch over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. do not overcook. allow to cool at room temperature.

cream butter and sugar together. beat in cooled thickened milk (this is where i use my hand blender with whisk attachment). it's that simple! you can add flavouring, colour, etc. as well. really light and tasty!


day off

today was my last day off of the holiday season, and i had all sorts of big plans about how the bambeenster and i would spend the day. instead, we spent a couple of hours at the children's walk-in getting a penicillin scrip for an ear infection, and then a fruitless trip to a service ontario kiosk. bah.

i had hoped that at some point over the holidays i would get a day - just one day! - for sewing and organizing the closets, but it didn't happen. i did stay up a bit last night to do some sewing, but guess what? i've lost enough weight that the dress i had basted together a couple of months ago looks not like a demure-but-sexy 1960-ish vavavoom shift, but instead like a potato sack. i took it in about 2 inches but could take it in another 2 easily, except not so easily, because i have darts and pleats and the zipper to contend with. wah.

so to cheer myself up, i dug still deeper into my unfinished sewing projects till i found a pencil skirt i'd pinned together in my skinnier days, and stitched that up. and it fits perfectly! also finished a black wool crepe skirt and a purple corduroy a line and another skirt in a sort of pinky-browny herringbone (not a colour i normally wear, but i like it). i still have a little hand finishing to know, but it's nice to know i have four new skirts to go back to work with!