Monday, February 27, 2012

YAY! for quick breads!!

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

The first recipe I made was a lemon-poppy loaf (recipe) It was really good, but I should have used an 8x4" pan instead of the 9x5" pan to get a taller loaf.

I then made raspberry linzer muffins for a breakfast-themed potluck.  (recipe) They were really good, and I will probably make them again. 

The raspberry jam filling sank to the bottom, but they were still good!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

YAY! for Black Bean "Falafel"

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!
I made hamburgers shortly after the challenge was announced, but that's something I've done several times before, so not much of a challenge. I also forgot to take pictures. For my second challenge attempt I thought I would make falafel, but I didn't have any chickpeas, so I came up with something completely different: a black bean "falafel" style patty, with Tex-Mex flavors, served in a pita with sour cream, lettuce, salsa, and cheese. Avocado would have been great, but I didn't have one :(

Into my food processor I put 2 handfuls of tortilla chips (I didn't add salt because the chips were salty)
I chopped them small then added:
1/2 small yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
zest of 2 limes
1/2 serrano chili (use more if you like more heat)
about 1/2 tsp each of black pepper and cumin
I blended again and added one can of black beans, rinsed and drained well. I added them last to maintain some of the chunkiness you find in traditional falafel (which uses soaked raw beans)
1/2 an egg might have been good, but they held together pretty well without it. Any more liquid than 1/2 an egg would have made the mix too soft to handle.
I used a #60 scoop to portion the patties, flattened them slightly, and fried them in about 1/3" of 350F oil until browned on both sides, drained on toweling, and served.  
The patties were good, and super filling. I made about two dozen "falafel", which was more than enough for the four of us, and probably would have easily served 6. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

YAY! for Pink!

 After we took the Christmas pillows down the sofa looked naked, so I got fabric to make pink pillows for Valentine's Day. It took a while (I've been busy) but I finally finished all four pillows.
Scrappy string-pieced squares
I made two 16" covers, with a paper-piecing technique from here. I used 1-2" strips of all the fabrics to make a scrappy looking top.
I like the pinwheel look of these two.
For the 14" squares I used only 3 fabrics and cut strips to make 8 identical squares. I then put them together into fours.

One with the lightest fabric in the middle
This one is my favorite!

And one with the darkest fabric in the middle. I'm bad at math, so the 8 "squares" were really rectangles, so I trimmed them down and added a second border to make the 14", which I actually really like. I had planned on a border of the backing fabric, but I like the second border a lot.

I always make envelope back pillow covers, with at least 6 inches of overlap.
I find the cover looks better with more overlap