Monday, August 26, 2013

Food for Thought

Tuesday evening I played with my favorite autumn side dish: apples 'n onions.  I decided to ignore the entire way I'd been taught to make them and instead work with the ingredients as I would with the skills I have now.

Here's the result:
Caramelized Apples 'n Onions:

1 large Videlia onion, French cut
3 medium to large apples, cored and French cut (I used Kikos)
6 Tbls. butter, divided into 1 Tbls. chunks
a good pinch of Kosher salt (to taste)
3 dashes of cinnamon (to taste)
2 dashes of cardamom (to taste)
3 c. apple juice (you will need enough liquid to cover the apples in your skillet)
1 Tbls. dark brown sugar

- Melt 2 Tbls. butter in a large skillet and saute onions until a few of them begin to brown.

- Add 2 Tbls. butter and the apples and cook until a few apples start to brown.

- Sprinkle cinnamon, cardamom, and salt over the apples and onions and pour enough apple juice over them to just cover the piece.  Raise burner heat to high and bring the juice to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat until apples are cooked through.

- Either use a slotted spoon and remove the apples and onions from the liquid or use a strainer to separate solids from liquid, returning the liquid to the pan.

- Reduce the liquid until only 1/3 volume remains, stirring in the dark brown sugar.  Remove from heat and stir in the last 2 Tbls. butter to finish the sauce.  Pour sauce over apples 'n onions.  Enjoy!

Sometimes it's worth revisiting old recipes and recreating them using new skills and knowledge.

On Wednesday and Friday I took the apples 'n onions a step further.

I started with store bought pizza crusts... I didn't have the time nor inclination to mess with making my own.  Then I made a b├ęchamel sauce and threw in some mozzarella cheese to make it lovely and gooey, a bit of dried chili flake for a kick, and a bit of salt.

Once the sauce was in place I added some apple and onion slices, carefully removed from their caramel sauce.  Then I added some of the smoked pork butt roast from Sunday's dinner.  I topped it off with a 12-year aged white cheddar cheese.

Wednesday's results showed us the idea was good, but it needed more coverage from the toppings.  For Friday's pizza, FH suggested that I cut the pork finer to give better coverage and spread the flavor around more.  We didn't skimp on the cheddar cheese on Friday either.

That's all for this week.  My store-bought pastry treat on Friday didn't agree with me.  To be blunt, I've been recovering from a suspected case of food poisoning all weekend.  Luckily, FH didn't share my treat and was spared being ill.  I think next time I'll just make my own dessert too.

See you next week!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Goldfinch!

The goldfinch's body is finished!

All that's left are the brown sections on the cattail and the rest of the background! My new skein of brown came in this week, so I can make sure I keep the dye lot the same.
I modified the eye so it would stand out more from the black cap on his head and added more white to his tail and some where his legs meet his body. After years of staring at goldfinches I kept thinking something was "off." Then it dawned on me that at this angle, I should see the white feathers on the legs and under the tail. 

Also, I may have decided on how I'm going to finish this piece, but that will require a conversation with my other favorite enabler, Brad, aka the guy who lets me play in his woodshop.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Busy Week...

...means very little crafting got done.  Ah well.  Having lovely company for a few days was worth it!

I did manage to finish the green section on the American Goldfinch needlepoint.

As you can see, I also removed the incorrectly stitched section of the cattail.  I'll have some new pearl cotton for that section in a few days.  It won't take long to restitch.

That's all for this week.  I'm hoping I'll have more time this coming week to work on fun things.  Here's hoping!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Minor Progress

Not much to report for this week.  It was fairly hectic with meetings and social events, so I wasn't home much.  No real time for either minis or stitching.  But I did get the black cap on the goldfinch done and finished up another skein of the background color.  I've also started in on finishing the cattail leaf.  
I decided I am going to remove the woven stitch on the cattail and redo it so the white doesn't show through.  However this means I can't redo it until I get another skein of the correct color and size of pearl cotton.  I'll either have to order it on line or drive to the next closest city to get it.  Paying twice the cost of the single skein for shipping is still cheaper than the gas to drive, but it doesn't sit well with me.  Besides, this way I can browse my favorite needlework shops.

I did figure out a color for the interior walls of the Peach and have one coat in place.  I have overnight company coming this week, so I need to get the second coat in place, paint the trim, and move the shop back to the dresser.  If I have time after cleaning the house, I'll get the windows and door worked on.

That's all for now.  I hope everyone has fun this coming week!