Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Snowlady


Snowlady

4 x 4.5"

$1.50


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Scissors #1


Scissors #2

2 x 3"

$1.50


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Ladybug #2


Ladybug #2

1 x 1-1/2"

$1.00


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Braised Brisket of Beef

This is probably the best pot roast I have ever made. Hubby is not a big meat eater and he had TWO plates . . . LOL. Served with cabbage salad and beet relish. The only thing I did different is that I put a lid on and cooked it in the oven.

https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/braised-brisket-beef-alcohol-free


Quantity : 6 servings
Preparation : 15 min Cooking : 2 h 30 min
410 calories/serving

Ingredients
4 carrots, cut into large pieces 400 g
4 potatoes, whole or halved 800 g
3 turnips, cut into large pieces 500 g
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces 200 g
2 onions, finely chopped 400 g
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1.2 kg blade pot roast
3 1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted 45 g
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil 23 mL
1/2 cup beef broth 125 mL
1/2 cup water 125 mL
3 tbsp tomato paste 45 mL
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g

Before you start
A pressure cooker will reduce the cooking time from 2½ h to 40 min.

Method
Prepare the vegetables: peel the carrots, potatoes and turnips, then cut the carrots, turnips, and celery stalks into large pieces (about 2-3 cm thick). Leave the potatoes whole or cut them in half if big. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Leave the meat whole.
Heat the butter and oil in a pressure cooker or in a thick-base roasting pan over medium heat. Brown the meat thoroughly on each side until golden, 7-8 min total. Take the meat out and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pressure cooker or pan and sauté 3-4 min until translucent. Add the other vegetables and cook 2-3 min, then pour in the broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon, then pour in about 1 cm water. Add the tomato paste and put the meat back into the pan. Add salt and pepper.
If you are using a pressure cooker, cover and close, and bring to high pressure (*Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine when high pressure has been reached). Cook for 40 min. If you are not using a pressure cooker, cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for about 2 h 30 min.
Serve the meat and vegetables with the cooking juices.

Observations
This stew can be made a few days ahead and reheated over moderate heat.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

French-style Flank Steak

https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/french-style-flank-steak


Quantity : 2 servings
Brining : 12 h Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 15 min Standing : 5 min
240 calories/serving

Ingredients
200 g flank steak 
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 23 mL
1/2 shallots, finely chopped 20 g
2 tsp herbes de Provence 1 g
3 tbsp red wine 45 mL
ground pepper to taste [optional]
aluminum foil
1 tsp butter, unsalted 5 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g

Before you start
The steak must be marinated at least 12 hours before cooking.

Method

Marinate
Using a knife, make cross-hatch incisions in the steak then place it into a dish. Add the oil, shallot, herbs, and half of the wine. Season with pepper to taste. Let stand in the refrigerator at least 12 h (up to 24 h).

Grill outdoor or in the oven
Preheat the oven to 195°C/375°F or an outdoor grill to 'medium'.
Take the steak out of the marinade. Drain the steak and pat it dry. Set the marinade aside. Put the steak on the rack of a broiler pan, or, alternatively, put the steak on a grill rack.
Cook in the middle of the oven or on a medium hot grill. The exact cooking time depends on the steak's thickness and on how you prefer it cooked. For a steak of 300 to 450 g, calculate 10-12 min for rare, 15-17 min for medium-rare. For a steak of 500-600 g, calculate about 15 min for rare, 18-20 for medium-rare. It is important not to overcook the flank steak since it will become tough if overcooked.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, then let the meat stand for 5 minutes in order to reabsorb the meat juices.
Meanwhile, heat the reserved marinade in a small pan together with any remaining cooking juices. Pour in the rest of the wine and cook 1 min over high heat. Add the butter, and stir until it has melted, about 1 min.
Cut the steak into serving size portions, add salt to taste, pour the sauce over the steak, then serve
.

Baked Custard


Image result for baked custard

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups milk, scalded
1/2 tsp vanilla
few grains of nutmeg

Add sugar and salt to eggs.  Beat until thoroughly mixed.  Add milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly.  Add vanilla.

Strain into buttered custard cups.  Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.  Set molds in baking pan.  Pour enough hot water into pan to reach level of custard.

Bake in slow oven 325F until firm, 25-35 minutes, or until knife put into centre comes out lean.

Chill.

Serves 6 to 8.

Large Mold:  Use 6 eggs.  Bake 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Christmas Refrigerator Cookies



2-1/2 cups sifted enriched flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped candied cherries
1/4 cup chopped or broken pecans
1 ounce (square) sweet milk chocolate, melted.

Sift flour, measure; sift twice with baking powder and salt.

Cream butter until soft and gradually blend in sugar.  Add egg and vanilla, and beat vigorously until smooth and fluffy.  Add flour mixture and mix thoroughly.

Divide dough into 3 portions.  Add chopped cherries to one portion, and nuts and chocolate to the second.  Roll each portion into rolls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Wrap each roll in wrap paper and chill several hours in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake, slice very thin.  Place on buttered cookie sheets and bake in hot oven 400F about 10 minutes or until delicately browned.

Dough can also be placed in a cookie press and pressed into fancy shapes on buttered cookie sheets.  Bake at the same time and same temperature as those that are sliced.

Makes about 8 dozen thin cookies.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018 Craft Space Organization Challenge ~ #8 Paper "Cosmetics"

I have not yet finished Challenge #7.  There . . . I said it out loud . . . LOL.  In my defense, I was looking after my sick grandmother . . . and now I'm sick . . . sigh.  I promise to post photos of my finished Challenge #7 as soon as it is done.

I would love it if you would share your organization photos with us either here in the comments section or in our Facebook group.

Challenge #8


   


It is time to organize our "paper cosmetics": paints, inks, embossing powders, mists, and other products that add a little something special to our pages.

SORT: first go through each of these items and make sure your colours haven't expired.  Are ink pads still juicy?  Are lids still intact? Do paints still mix together when shaken? Are your chalks still intact enough to use?  Sort all of your paper cosmetics into TOSS, KEEP, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Throw out the toss items.  Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them immediately in your garage sale box.  Arrange for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into categories that make sense to you.

CONTAINERIZE: Inks last longest when stored horizontally, upside down (that's why Stampin' Up ink pads flip that way!) on a shelf, in a drawer, or maybe a cassette tape holder?  Paints could be stacked on a narrow shelf, on a tiered rack, in spice racks, etc.  Embossing powders, chalks and other cosmetics could be stored in well-labeled drawers.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your paper cosmetics away where they belong.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pony #2


Pony #2

4 x 4"

$3.00


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Popsicle


Popsicle

2 x 5"

$1.00


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Vegetarian Chili with Tofu

https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/vegetarian-chili-tofu



Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 20 min Cooking : 30 min
290 calories/serving

Ingredients
1 onions, finely chopped 200 g
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 dried chili peppers, minced 0.4 g
1 carrots, finely diced 100 g
1 stalk celery, finely diced 70 g
1/2 green peppers, finely diced 70 g
3 tbsp canola oil 45 mL
1 tsp ground cumin 3 g
1 tbsp brown sugar 12 g
240 g firm regular tofu, finely diced 1 1/4 cup
1 2/3 cup red beans (canned) 420 mL
1 1/2 cup canned tomatoes (diced) 380 g
1/2 cup water approximately 125 mL
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
2 tbsp fresh cilantro [optional] 4 g
1/3 cup Cheddar cheese, grated 24 g

Before you start

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.

Method

Prepare the vegetables: Chop the onion, mince the garlic and chili pepper, finely dice the carrots, celery, and bell pepper.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic about 2 min until the onion is translucent, with occasional stirring, paying attention not to let them burn. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper, then cook 4-5 min, with occasional stirring. Add the minced chili pepper, cumin and brown sugar, then cook 1 min, with stirring. Finely dice the tofu then add it to the mixture, then cook until golden-brown, about 8-10 min.
Drain the beans, rinse them and drain again. Add them to the pan, mix well, add the diced tomatoes and enough water to provide a moist environment. Cover and cook over low heat an additional 10 min, until the carrots are tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro leaves, grated cheddar and serve
.

Irish Beef Stew

https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/irish-beef-stew


Quantity : 6 servings
Preparation : 20 min Cooking : 1 h 40 min
530 calories/serving

Ingredients
750 g stewing beef cubes, of about 2 cm
1/2 cup white flour (all purpose) 65 g
1/4 cup canola oil 65 mL
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth 1 L
3 tbsp tomato paste 45 mL
1 1/2 tbsp sugar 18 g
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 23 mL
1 sprig rosemary, fresh 5 g
3 bay leaf 0.4 g
1 1/2 onions, coarsely chopped 300 g
3 stalks celery, cut into 1 cm pieces 200 g
4 1/2 potatoes, peeled then cut into 1 cm pieces 900 g
3 carrots, peeled then cut into 1 cm pieces 300 g
3 tbsp butter, unsalted 40 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
3 tbsp Italian parsley, fresh, chopped 14 g

Method

Cut the beef into 2 cm cubes, if not already cubed, then dredge the cubes in flour.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef cubes and sauté until they are browned on all sides, about 5-6 min. Mince the garlic, then add it to the pot. Add the broth, tomato paste, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary sprig(s), and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 1 h, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables : coarsely chop the onions; cut the celery stalks into 1 cm pieces; peel the potatoes and carrots, then cut them into 1 cm pieces.
Melt the butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté until they are golden, about 20 min, with occasional stirring. Add the vegetables to the beef stew. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until the beef and vegetables are very tender, about 40 min. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary sprig(s), sprinkle with the chopped parsley, then serve.(*) If the stew is too liquid, remove some of the excess broth and serve it separately as a soup.

Observations

This stew can be prepared a few days in advance and brought to a simmer before serving.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Parsley and Garlic Base



Quantity : 375 ml
Preparation : 30 min

Ingredients
1 bunch Italian parsley, fresh 100 g
3 cloves garlic
9 tbsp olive oil (enough to cover) 140 mL
Before you start
A small food processor will be very useful to chop the ingredients.

Method
Only the parsley leaves are used, since the stems are too hard. Wash and spin-dry the leaves. Finely chop them together with the garlic cloves. Put this mixture into a glass jar, cover with a layer of oil to prevent air oxidation, then put the lid on. (The oil quantity indicated below is for reference only). Put the jar in the refrigerator.

Important: Never let the jar stand at room temperature, to prevent any risk of food poisoning.

Observations
Can be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 month; 3 months in the freezer. Remember to top up with oil every time you use it, to prevent oxidation and mould formation.

Mediterranean Beef Burger

https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/mediterranean-beef-burger


Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 15 min Cooking : 15 min
320 calories/serving

Ingredients
4 sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed), finely chopped 2 tbsp
3 tbsp Parsley and Garlic Base (see recipe below)
1 eggs size large
400 g ground beef, extra-lean
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 12 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
2 pita breads 90 g
1/2 Boston lettuce 100 g
2 tomatoes, sliced 240 g

Before you start
These burgers can be cooked either in a pan on the stovetop or using an outdoor grill.

Method
Preheat the outdoor grill.
Finely chop the dried tomatoes, then put them in a bowl. Add the Parsley and Garlic Base, egg, ground meat, and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then mix well until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Form the mixture into flat patties. To prevent the patties from puffing up, make a shallow depression with your thumb in the centre.
Lightly brush the patties with the oil and cook on a hot grill for about 15 min, until the outside becomes golden-brown and the inside loses its pink colour. Turn them once halfway through the cooking. Alternatively, the patties can be cooked on the stovetop. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook for about 15 min, turning them once.
Place each patty inside a half pita bread. Add a few lettuce leaves and tomato slices then serve.



https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/parsley-garlic-base


Quantity : 375 ml
Preparation : 30 min

Ingredients
1 bunch Italian parsley, fresh 100 g
3 cloves garlic
9 tbsp olive oil (enough to cover) 140 mL
Before you start
A small food processor will be very useful to chop the ingredients.

Method
Only the parsley leaves are used, since the stems are too hard. Wash and spin-dry the leaves. Finely chop them together with the garlic cloves. Put this mixture into a glass jar, cover with a layer of oil to prevent air oxidation, then put the lid on. (The oil quantity indicated below is for reference only). Put the jar in the refrigerator.

Important: Never let the jar stand at room temperature, to prevent any risk of food poisoning.

Observations
Can be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 month; 3 months in the freezer. Remember to top up with oil every time you use it, to prevent oxidation and mould formation.

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 Craft Space Organization Challenge ~ #7 Embellishments

So how did you make out with Challenge #6.  I'm not a huge fibre user on my pages so I was pretty sure this was an easy challenge for me.  It was fun re-discovering just how much pretty ribbon, floss and washi tape I actually have.



Are you ready for Challenge #7?





Embellishments are some of the easiest things to buy.  Everything looks so good, and you really believe you NEED everything!  Embellishments are also one of the supplies most affected by trends.  Careful consideration is really needed here.

It's also important to find a system that will help you store all of your embellishments in a way that won't overwhelm you, yet also is visible enough that you don't forget to USE them.  

Let's S.P.A.C.E. them.

SORT: As always, bring all of your embellishments together.  Touch every piece that you have and ruthlessly sort through them, deciding what to KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Immediately throw out the TOSS pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them in the garage sale box. Set up a drop-off or pick-up of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort through the KEEP pile in a way that makes sense to you.  Some ideas for sorting your embellishments
1) by category (buttons, brads, alphabets, charms, etc.)
2) by colour
3) by manufacturer
4) by type (metal, acrylic)
5) by theme

CONTAINERIZE: Now that you've decided how to sort your embellishments, the next step is decided how to store them, and how to label them!  Research online will give you great ideas. Talking to other crafters may give you an idea what worked for them.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your embellishments away where they belong.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Top Movies of All Time according to IMDB 2017 ~ #76 Braveheart (1995)

Image result for braveheart

Who doesn't love an epic love story? Action? Adventure? A hero trying to defeat a cruel and evil master? This movie has something for everyone. 



William Wallace's wife is killed by the British and Wallace turns his anger toward starting a revolt against the tyrant King Edward I and trying to free Scotland from his iron fist. The cinematography, costumes and location are all amazing.

Academy Awards

Won
Best Picture Mel Gibson Alan Ladd Jr. Bruce Davey
Best Director Mel Gibson
Best Cinematography John Toll
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing Lon Bender Per Hallberg
Best Makeup Peter Frampton Paul Pattison Lois Burwell

Nominated
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Randall Wallace
Best Costume Design Charles Knode
Best Sound Andy Nelson Scott Millan Anna Behlmer Brian Simmons
Best Film Editing Steven Rosenblum
Best Music, Original Dramatic Score James Horner

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tofu and Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie

https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/tofu-cauliflower-shepherd-pie



Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 20 min Cooking : 30 min
300 calories/serving

Ingredients
5 cups cauliflower, cut into florets 800 g
11 button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced 150 g
2 tbsp olive oil 30 mL
1 1/2 tbsp Parsley and Garlic Base
(https://www.soscuisine.com/recipe/parsley-garlic-base?gpr=55) 23 mL
1 onions, finely chopped 200 g
300 g firm regular tofu, cut into small cubes 1 1/2 cup
1/2 cup canned tomatoes (diced) 130 g
4 tsp tomato paste 20 mL
10 drops Tabasco sauce 0.63 mL
2/3 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium 170 mL
2/3 cup frozen peas 80 g
1/2 cup milk, partly skimmed, 2% 125 mL
4 tsp butter, unsalted 18 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g


Before you start
For individual pies, choose baking dishes which contain about 375 ml or 1 ½ cups when 3/4 full.

Method
Preheat the oven to 205°C/400°F.
Prepare the cauliflower: Cut into florets then boil them 10-15 min until they are very tender. Drain well and set aside.
Prepare the mushrooms: slice them thinly lengthwise. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until the released liquid is evaporated, about 3 min. Add the Parsley and Garlic Base, then cook an additional 2 min, with stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat but keep it warm on the stovetop.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Finely chop the onion then add it to the pan and sauté 3 min until it becomes translucent. Cut the tofu into small cubes, then add them to the pan and sauté 2-3 min, with stirring, until they are nicely coloured. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Tabasco sauce, and broth. Add the frozen peas and the cooked mushrooms. Continue to cook until the mixture is heated through, about 4-5 min. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents to a large baking dish, or distribute it into individual baking dishes.
Pour the milk into a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter and microwave on medium-high a few minutes, uncovered, until very hot. Add the cooked cauliflower and mash it until it is creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place a spoonful of the cauliflower mixture on top of the tofu mixture, then gently spread it with a spoon to cover evenly.
Bake the pie in the middle of the oven until the top is golden-brown, about 25-30 min. Serve.

The Mother by Pearl S. Buck

Image result for the mother pearl s buck review


I am a huge fan of Pearl S. Buck who is an American writer and novelist. She was born in 1892, the daughter of missionaries and spent most of her life before 1934 in Zhenjiang, China.  One of my favourite of Buck's novels, The Good Earth, earned her a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and in 1938 Buck became the first American female Nobel laureate.


The Mother is the story of a poor peasant in a remote village in China who is happy.   Happy with her children, husband, friends, position, neighbours and life.  After a fight with her handsome ne'er-do-well husband, he desserts her and never returns.  To save face the mother concocts a story of how he had found a job in a big city and would be sending them money but it could be a long time before he could return home.  Each lie, bad decision, and moral challenge from then on chips away at the mother's happiness.  In the end there is hope.

Buck writes in a simple, moving style which allows you to love the mother, hate her, cheer for her, and even be annoyed with her.  Bringing to life a character is always an act of true craft and magic.  This may not be the author's best book but it is certainly worth your time and attention.

Monday, February 5, 2018

2018 Craft Space Organization Challenge ~ #6 Die Cuts and Stickers



Challenge #5 is done.  All my die cuts, stickers and alphabets have been sorted and the containers labelled.  
And now I'm ready for Challenge #6.


This week's challenge is to organize all those ribbons and fibres.  There is no "right" way to store your ribbons and fibre.  The most important factor is that the system works for YOU.  First, let's make some S.P.A.C.E.

SORT: Gather together all of your ribbons and fiber, and sort them into piles: KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE.

PURGE: Throw out the TOSS pile.  Immediately make arrangements for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.  Bag up, and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and immediately put these in your garage sale box.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into types/colours of fibre and ribbon.  If your ribbons are in a big wrinkled mess, take time now to give everything a pressing (careful with the heat, some synthetics may melt!).

CONTAINERIZE: Consider the space that you have, and the way that you work. Here are some ideas that work for both ribbons and fibres:

1) on those little cardboard bobbins meant for embroidery floss
2) organized by colour in big clear glass jars on a shelf
3) wound and paper clipped and stored with their coordinating embellishments
4) Cropper Hopper mini embellishment boxes and sorted by colour
5) in small ziploc bags stored in a photo box, or on a big ring
6) in sports cards organizer pages, sorted by colour and in a binder
7) wound on index cards and stored in a photo box
8) loosely tied on a big ring

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your ribbons and fibres away where they belong.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Pork Tenderloin a la Grecque


https://epicure.com/en/recipe/5046

MAKES: 4 SERVINGS

1 lb (454 g) pork tenderloin, cut into two
Sea Salt (Grinder), to taste
Black Pepper (Grinder), to taste
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 small small zucchinis, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp (45 ml) Baba Ghanoush Seasoning (we substituted Souvlaki Seasoning)
Juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400° F (205° C).
Rub pork tenderloin with Sea Salt and Black Pepper.
Heat olive oil in an Fry Pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add pork tenderloin and sear until browned. Flip over. Add vegetables and sprinkle with Baba Ghanoush Seasoning.
Place in oven and roast for 15–20 minutes or until meat reaches a Food Safe temperature of at least 145° F (63° C)
Squeeze lemon juice over pork and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.