Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu, Part 2

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15

Through the grace of God, and the help/support of my family, Thanksgiving dinner came out really well! Whether or not insanity runs in my family, the result was too tasty to attribute the endeavor to anything other than genius :-)

I began my cooking on Tuesday night, when I made the Gingersnap Pumpkin pie:

Then on Wednesday, I stayed in the kitchen for about 5 to 6 hours and made:

the Rum Raisin Apple Pie

The Butternut Squash Soup, that makes the whole house smell like harvest:
Soup, before being pureed
soup, after being pureed, with cider cream and chives
And then mom's famous stuffing:

Sadly, there are no pictures of putting the turkey in brine, because, well... try putting a freezing cold, 22 lbs. turkey in brine by yourself sometime, and you'll find out :-)
So, we'll move on to the Brussels Sprouts and Apples:
The turkey, after being roasted and sliced:

And finally, the table:

Yep, it sure was a good meal. Thanks to God, mom, and the roaster oven :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu, Part 1

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This year, because I'm living at home; because I'm young and unmarried and an aspiring cook; because my mom was delighted to pass the baton this year; and because I highly suspect there's insanity practically galloping in my family (no, not really, but props if you can guess which movie that reference is from)...

I'm cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for my family by myself (...well, mom will be in the wings ready to give advice when needed).

I told you there was reason to suspect insanity in my family.

The menu will include:
  • Butternut Squash soup with cider and cream
  • Turkey done in brine with oranges and celery
  • Grand Marnier Chestnut Stuffing
  • Candied Yams with pineapple
  • Glazed onions
  • Corn pudding
  • Brussels Sprouts with Apples
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie
  • Rum Raisin Apple Pie
Some of these will be made in advance, but most will be made the night before/day of. Part 2 of this post will come after Thanksgiving, and will include pictures.

If you are interested in a recipe you see here, leave a comment asking about it and I will try direct you to it (the only exception is the stuffing recipe, which is a family secret).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Houndstooth Dog Sweater from Vogue Knitting

"My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet." - Edith Wharton

I have two Bichon Frise dogs, and they make every day just a little fuzzier and happier. I've knitted coats for both of them, but for the older male dog, who's my special walking buddy (he's 11 years old this year, and will easily go 2+ miles a day with me), I decided to make a special, snazzy little coat for walking in cold weather.

Yes, my dog modeled this for me. He's a very patient pooch :-)

To get the pattern, create an account at the Vogue Knitting website. Log in, and go to the Free Patterns section. Scroll until you find the Houndstooth Dog Sweater pattern, and download. Be sure to measure your dog's neck and the length from the neck to the tail along the spine, adjusting the gauge/measurements of your knitting to fit.
Good luck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Variation on Smitten Kitchen's Apple Cheddar Scones

"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn Stand shadowless like silence, listening To Silence." - Thomas Hood

I tried out this addictive recipe for Apple and Cheddar scones from Smitten Kitchen, but implemented a couple of variations.

Instead of using a baking sheet in the oven, I made these on my baking stone, and they came out beautifully. Also, instead of cutting them into large wedge shapes as instructed in the original recipe, which only gives you about 6 scones, I used a round cookie cutter and got 18 instead.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peat Moss and Rain Drops beaded stole

"...For the rain it raineth everyday." - Shakespeare

"A violet by a mossy stone, half-hidden from the eye!" - Wordsworth

This project came together as if by magic. I fell in love with the stole featured on the cover of the Vogue Knitting Shawls and Wraps book, but the pre-beaded, 100% silk yarn they recommended was just too pricey. So, mom gave me permission to go rummaging in her yarn stash and I found a gorgeous, black-green, silk blend, tweed yarn by Rowan, which was a close approximation to the weight and material of the pricey recommended yarn. I also found a stash of abandoned silver-lined beads. All I had to do then was learn how to bead.

For a simple, easy way to learn beading, follow the directions and pictures on this website.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beautiful Holiday Poached Pears

"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies; for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies; Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise." - "For the Beauty of the Earth"

The holidays are upon us, and there's no better way to make your house smell like it than to make these poached pears.

  • 4 Bosc or Bartlett pears
  • 1 bottle of hearty red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Peel of 1/2 large orange
  • Peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
Peel, core and slice the pears, then place them in a saucepan. Add the wine and all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender, about 30 an hour. Remove pears from liquid, then bring remaining liquid to a boil and cook until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve pears with sauce. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Felted Around About Bag

"Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approaches, and neither moth corrupts." - Luke 12:33

This bag may look challenging, but it is rather simple, as far as large, felted bags go. I made this using a variegated bulky weight yarn in red and green, as well as a skein or two of bulky weight Lamb's Pride 100% Wool yarn in a corresponding red shade. Also, for the handles, double the width it says to make in the pattern - their recommendation comes out too thin.

my version of the bag, pre-felting

my bag, post-felting

The link for the pattern is here.

After felting and the bag has dried, sew a lining in a complimentary color to attach to the inside. Also, to make the bag sit up straight, cut a circle out of cardboard to sit in the bottom of the bag, underneath the lining.

Good luck!