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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Menu Plan: First Week of Advent

The maple pies we made were definitely winners, I will keep them on our Thanksgiving pie list for next year. How was your Thanksgiving? We only put about two pieces of pie in the freezer for Advent and the Saint Andrew's fast. Out of 15 pies.

We begin the fast this week, but we are not as strict as some people. I do try to keep our Wednesdays and Fridays stricter (with a few exceptions), but more often we eat fish or dairy or egg during this fast. It will be easier to keep the fast this year, since there are no office parties/business parties happening. We will be hanging our stockings on Saturday for Saint Nicholas Day on Sunday. Do you do anything for Saint Nicholas?

This is a time of preparation, both for our Savior's Nativity and Incarnation, and for His coming again. Rich spoke a little about how we should prepare the highway for Him, both for ourselves and to make it easier for others to reach Him. We discussed how we should wait in hope. I wish you a holy Advent, and a heart filled with hope, that is prepared for the Lord.


What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Cranberry Horseradish Relish

I'm posting this a little early, so you have a chance to make it for your Thanksgiving tomorrow, if you wish. This is the erroneously named Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish, a little modified. This was not actually her recipe, but the one she used. It was Craig Claiburne's recipe, I believe. This is Pepto Bismol pink, Barbie pink, and it is delicious. You could cut this recipe in half, but I wouldn't. If you have leftovers, freeze them again, and pull them out to eat with your Christmas roast beef.

Cranberry Horseradish Relish

2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed and sorted, leaves removed
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup horseradish from a jar (you may use less, but not less than 2 tablespoons)

Grind the raw berries, onion and sugar together. I pulse them in my food processor. Add everything else and mix well. Do not add salt to it. I was tempted to do so one year, and it was awful. Put in a freezer container and freeze. Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. It should still have little slivers of ice in it when you serve. Makes 1-1/2 pints.

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Menu Plan: Thanksgiving Week!

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and it is basically all that saves November from being the worst month of the year for me. January has that distinction now, because it is still winter, after the excitement of Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, and it is miserably cold and dark, with nothing fun or interesting to distract us. Rich and I have come up with a modified hibernation plan for humans: We sleep from November 1 to the Friday before Thanksgiving, do Thanksgiving and all of that, and stay awake through Saint Nicholas Day, then go back to sleep through the fourth Sunday of Advent, stay awake through Theophany, go back to sleep through February 13, stay awake for a couple days, then go back to sleep until Holy Week. Then we can be awake with a fair hope that we will not be entirely frozen.

My Thanksgiving dinner is pretty much the same from year to year. We sometimes skip part of it, or add something, but it is basically the same. I try to include foods from the Americas in it. So, we have turkey, potatoes, corn, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, pecans, cranberries, chocolate, bourbon, but I realized that we didn't have maple syrup included, so I am trying to find a way to incorporate that.

We still haven't found any fresh pressed cider to make apple cider doughnuts. This may not happen this year. However, we are getting ready to do our crazy pie per person for Thanksgiving, even if it is smaller this year.


What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Craft On: Mozarab Headband

Finished Mozarab Headband

Some things have changed lately that shifted my priorities on my designs. We have had a hard couple/few weeks with a lot of sad anniversaries, as well as some hard news from family. Also, I realized that Saint Nicholas was rapidly approaching, and poor Mariam has been waiting for a long time for her stocking, so I am working on that a lot more. There will be more photos of that next week, and I hope to have it all ready to hang up by the December 5.

Also, my sample and beta knit for the Mozarab headband are finished and shall be ready to publish next week. You can see it before it was grafted and blocked up there. I will probably have a little sale on it as an introductory promotion, and if you subscribe to my newsletter, I can guarantee that the discount will be higher. See below for details on that. Next week, I will have some other fun news, as well.

I am so excited to tell you that I have been selected as one of the Pattern Academy Fellowship through Eat Sleep Knit. It is such an honor to be included in this great class of designers.

I am almost finished West From Home. We finished Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Farm, and started Hello Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, which we should finish in a day or two.


Linking to Yarn Along and Unraveled Wednesday.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Menu Plan: November 15 - 21

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We were able to have our lantern walk last week, which was wonderful! We did not knock on any doors, because our neighbors wouldn't have known what to do with us. But, we were able to talk about Saint Martin and the traditions around his feast, and take that walk with the kids, which was great.

This past week and this week are a hard time in our house. Today is the anniversary of the loss of Rayan, and while we rejoice to have a family saint praying for us and the world, it is still a grief we have, and Rich and I live always as expectant parents. This past Sunday was also the anniversary of my best friend's death, and Monday, we found out that my father had been hospitalized, a couple weeks after being diagnosed with Covid (despite isolating and masking constantly), for pneumonia, and then Wednesday, we found he had been moved to the ICU. We have heard no worse news, so we are hoping no news is good news right now. Please, in your mercy, keep him in your prayers.

In this last week before the big cooking week of Thanksgiving, we are enjoying a lot of things we won't after Thanksgiving, because of the Advent fast. We still haven't been able to find fresh pressed apple cider, which I use to make apple cider doughnuts, that I was hoping to make before the fast. I will make an extra batch for anyone who can get me some fresh pressed cider! Our family does not keep a very strict fast during Advent, but we struggle in our strength with the family of small children and life we have. You will see more vegetarian and fish meals over the weeks past Thanksgiving. We are also heading into more restrictions, so we have stocked up and are preparing. I am so grateful for the work of my husband and children in the garden and at the farm so we can have such a well stocked pantry and freezer. We are still eating garden tomatoes because of Rich storing all the ripe and nearly ripe ones in cold spots on our property where they won't freeze. Whatever we cannnot eat goes to the animals, but we are still able to make fresh salsas, eat tomato sandwiches for lunch, and more.

Because our life has been a bit harder lately, and the winter weather and darkness has brought with it some more exhaustion and stress, I have not been good at posting all the recipes here. I am sorry for that, and should have a couple posts up by tonight. Please keep your eyes open for them, but also please be patient with me. Thank you.


What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Macarona bi Béchamel and Taratoor

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Macarona bi Béchamel

This seems to be the Arab answer to macaroni and cheese. Only without the cheese. It is really tasty, and takes only two pots and rather little time. From start to finish, I can make this in about 30 minutes. This was the first meat food that Jerome ate as an infant. We were at a potluck with my cousin, and he was eyeing the dish, and it pained her to see him looking at it without having a taste, so she told me he wanted it and grabbed him and gave him a little bite. He ate it with alacrity, so she kept feeding it to him.

I like to use smoked paprika to serve this, but regular paprika is fine.

Meat Sauce and Pasta:

2 pounds ground beef or lamb
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 head garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 pound tubular pasta like elbow or penne
2 tablespoons kosher salt
water (1 1/2 cans full)

Béchamel:

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs

paprika, to serve
finely chopped parsley, to garnish

In an ovenproof pot, preferably one that is wide and will fit under your broiler, brown the meat over medium-high heat and break up into small pieces. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, aleppo flakes, allspice, and cook, stirring to mix, about a minute.

Add the tomatoes, and cook down to blend. Save the can to wash out the remaining tomato and to add water to the pot. Stir in the dry pasta, sprinkle with the kosher salt, and pour over about 1 1/2 cans' full of water. Stir and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to low, and cook for about 8 minutes (or about one minute less than the package directions for the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, make the bechamel. Melt the butter over medium heat in another pot. Sprinkle with the flour and mix well, cooking for about a minute or two to eliminate the raw flavor. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook for a few minutes to thicken. Stir in the salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and set aside.

When the timer has gone off, remove the lid from the pasta and sauce pot, and turn on the broiler on high. Cook the pasta and sauce, stirring a little, to finish cooking and make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Gently pour the béchamel sauce over the top, to cover the pasta and sauce in a layer and do not stir into the pasta.

Put the entire pot under the broiler for 5 - 6 minutes, to cook and set the béchamel sauce. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with paprika, then parsley, to serve.

Taratoor

This next recipe is really a guideline, and you will have to make it to your own judgement based on consistency and taste, but this is a good start. I have given a small amount here, but you can scale it up or down based on how much you would like to make. It stores forever in the refrigerator.

1/4 cup tahina
juice of 1 lemon
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
salt, to taste
water, to thin

Mix the tahina, lemon juice, and garlic together with a little salt, maybe a little more. I think 1 teaspoon is a good place to start. It will get thick. Pour in a little warm water at a time and mix well, until it is a drizzly consistency, but still a thickened sauce, not just liquid. Drizzle it on everything. Because it is delicious.

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Sunday, November 08, 2020

November 8 - 14

This past week was rather interesting, wasn't it? We are doing fine here, warm house, and some good news for me as a designer. Our oldest two boys both have jobs now, and we are trucking along on our schooling, though everything seems to be taking a lot more time than it should, and the blog has suffered because of it. I'm trying to catch up on recipes, as well as re-inserting photos. Since we moved the shakshouka to this week, I will post that recipe this week, along with one for taratoor. That one really is a guideline, and is made largely to taste.

We have had some great deals on some fun foods at our grocery stores, and I am looking forward to using them in our menus over the next few weeks. I am also really excited about Thanksgiving, even if it will be a little smaller this year. This is a great time to stock up on inexpensive or free turkeys and hams, and we already have two in our freezer (plus one we butchered of our own). I expect to get at least two or three more this month, and maybe some whole turkey breasts and hams. Even if you can't get a free one, the discounted prices often offered are usually around $0.25 - $0.50 per pound, and it is pretty hard to find any protein at that price, so we always fill our freezers at this time of year. If you can get multiples for free, I would encourage you to also see if you can donate to a food bank or a friend or neighbor in need, or a family that needs encouragement. The sale prices are so good, you might even be able to provide an entire meal for a family or two.

We will be home on Wednesday, and Rich has the day off of work, so we might actually be able to finally do a Saint Martin's lantern walk in our neighborhood. If you would like to make a special treat for that day, please take a look at the recipe for the rolls I am making for breakfast that morning.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, November 06, 2020

Flashback Friday: Saint George

Saint George came out six years ago and it is still one of my most popular ones. It is great for those who do not speak English as a first language, too, as it is primarily charted. Alexander still wears it and says that people ask him where he got it all the time. He even started carrying around my business cards to tell people that I not only made it, but designed it and sell the pattern. This is such a quick and easy to memorize pattern, and it uses a DK yarn, so it does not take long to see progress in it. If you are interested in making one, you can find it for sale at PayHip, Ravelry, and LoveCrafts. As always, if you wish to purchase it directly, please contact me and I will be happy to send you an invoice.

I have some exciting news to share: Eat Sleep Knit chose me as a fellow for their Pattern Academy, and I am part of their new class for the November through April term. I am so pleased to have been chosen, and honored to be included in this class of fellows.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts on patterns like this one (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, November 01, 2020

Menu Plan: November 1 - 7

Since Rich and I fell in love with Croatia, and especially the Dalmatian region, I have been trying to cook more of their food. I have been looking at a particular cookbook, but didn't buy it for ages. However, a cooking friend strongly recommended it, so I finally ordered it and it came Friday! We may be cooking through Dalmatia for quite a while. There were very few recipes that I thought we might not be able to get the ingredients for easily or that we wouldn't like. Their food is like the best of Mediterranean, Central European, and Middle Eastern cooking all mixed together. I also have Croatian Desserts and I have been enjoying that for a little while, and will probably be trying some of those treats for All Saints, too.

We tried to have our All Hallow's Eve movie night, but were thwarted by the movies not coming to us in time, and none of the ones we wanted were available for streaming anywhere. So, the oldest kids set up a candy scavenger hunt for our youngest three, and we gorged ourselves on candy and spent a little time at the Grocery Outlet, with their generous fun, and had a few friends over for an easy dinner.

As today is the Feast of All Saints in the west, we are spending our day in prayer and remembrance, but also using it as a good excuse to eat some more treats. It is also the anniversary of Nejat's baptism Monday, on the day after the Feast of All Souls. We have a lot of blessings in our home this week. The weather warmed up a tiny bit just before the big cold hits us again. We are bundling up and preparing here. I wish you a blessed week!

Just an administrative note: I am going back through my posts from this year to re-enter photos that cannot be hotlinked from Instagram any longer. I'm starting with more recent posts and going backward.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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