Friday, November 29, 2013

How-To Friday: One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four

We got a ton of sweet potatoes in our farm share the past few weeks, so I decided to make pie. Even after throwing one out (he was a squishy bugger) I still had about seven pounds of sweet potatoes. After checking with my go-to chef, Alton Brown, I found that I had enough for four pies. Since it was just going to be me, Hubs, #2 and #3 for Thanksgiving I wanted to share our largesse. I almost felt like Oprah. You get a pie! And you get a pie! And you too! One went to my uncle, along with #1. Another went with AB to his mom's, and the third went to my neighbor who has never had sweet potato pie before. Shocking, I know.

As of this writing, I have yet to hear anything abut how the pie was received.

1 lb 3 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cumin
5 egg yolks
1 9-inch pie shell
Disclaimer: Alton's recipe doesn't have cumin, but it does have salt, pecans, and maple syrup.

Wash, peel, cut, and weigh your sweet potatoes.

 Steam your taters. Please don't boil them, as that will take out a ton of flavor. I got my steamer basket at Shop Rite super-cheap. It folds up small like that robot from "Batteries Not Included," fits in every pot I own, and it's dishwasher-safe. I used a skillet cuz the more room you can give your veggies, the quicker they will cook. Alton says to steam for 20 minutes, mine were soft at 10.

If you bought frozen pie shells, take them out now while the potatoes are steaming. Unless you just finished making a crust from scratch, you still need to give the dough time to get to room temp before baking. Also, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine steamed potatoes, yogurt, sugar, spices, and egg whites. Beat until potatoes are mashed and everything is blended. You're looking for the consistency of mashed potatoes or guacamole. You don't want sweet potato soup.

Pour pie filling into pie shell, wiggle a bit to level out the top, and shove into your oven for 50 minutes or until the pie reaches 165 to 180 degrees. It still needs some jiggle when you take it out, as it will continue to cook after you take it out.

I only took pics of the first batch. #1 was leaving on Wednesday, I had no idea what time on Thursday AB was leaving, and we only had 9 eggs until Wednesday night. So you will just have to imagine all four pies side-by-side.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why I revamped my blog

Like all my previous attempts at blogging, this one quickly went downhill. I started this in 2010, with an aim to get my thoughts out of my head where they were driving me crazy. It was mostly about knitting, my new hobby, and I think that's a major reason why I let it slide. It gets hard to write about knitting all the time. I don't know how Pam Mackenzie does it. I needed to find something that worked for me, and the blog sat inactive until I could find a solution.

A huge thanks to Autumn Oak. She's in my local knit group and she recently redid her own blog. If you have time, please check it out. I like how she just simplified everything into basic categories. As I was reading through her newer posts, I kept thinking of the six questions we were taught in school: who, what, where, when, why, and how. So I have decided to write my blog along those lines. Each day will address a different question. Gone are the umpteen labels to try to get everything categorized, and here is inspiration for every post.

I also discovered I have to write several posts at once, or when inspiration strikes me, as opposed to trying to write once a day every single day. And Blogger has this cool feature where I can schedule my posts to publish on a certain day, so I don't have to remember to come back and log in to get that day's post up. In fact this is my second post I've written tonight, and I'm not telling which one I wrote earlier. ;-)

As I am just starting on this new format, I can't promise 6 posts every week right away. It may not even be 6 post a week ever. But I hope to have at least one or two a week. And please feel free to let me know if I'm writing too may posts on one question.

Thanks for coming. Thank you more for coming back.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Couch to 5K

I know, it's been waaaay too long between posts. That's what happens when life doesn't just give you lemons, it drops a whole truckload right on your doorstep. So as I pick stems out of my hair, let's get on with the latest.

I have started the Couch to 5K program. I'm following's podcast and so far so good. Today was Week 2 Day 1. I had DH map out a 1/2 mile route on the cul de sacs around our house, and this was the first day I went past three full loops. Yea! I actually did about three and a half, or 1.75 miles, give or take, in a half an hour. And that was with neighbors stopping me to talk when they could obviously see I had my headphones on and was trying to keep moving. Being optimistic, DH also mapped out a 5K route around our house. Both routes, the half-mile and 5K, are all relatively flat with little to no traffic. I also go at a good time (for now), at 11-ish so when I get back I can put DD down for her nap.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. The bike trailer we got in May has an extra wheel and a handlebar attachment so it converts to a jogging stroller. Today was the first day I didn't have to fight with her to either get in or stay in the stroller. In fact, she fell asleep about five minutes before the end of the track.
If you'd like to see DH's maps (Google Earth format), send me an email and I'll send them to you.

On the knitting front, I've gotten good at continental. I watched YouTube vides that helped some, but the real help was having my friend Pam come and actually show me how to do it. I knew how to wrap the yarn around the needle from the videos; watching Pam helped me understand what to do with my other fingers and wrists and helped with my tension.
I've also started a cape for DD and a hat for me. The cape is a super simple top-down raglan that I will eventually write up and the hat was a Ravelry find. I need to finish up my WIPs so I can start working on WIMs and try to get them published.

That's all for now. I'll post more in two days after I go jogging again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

20 Meals in 1 Day: Day 1

A few days ago, DD and I were in Shop Rite picking up some small things when I saw the new Rachael Ray magazine. The cover said "Twenty Meals, One Day" so of course I grabbed it. DH is always getting on me about not planning my meals, so I figured this was a perfect opportunity to try out the idea.

Yesterday, I spent an hour in the kitchen prepping pork and veggies. Yes, I kept them separate. Once I had 8 lbs (not 10 as RR says to use) cut up, seasoned, and in the oven I started on the veggies. I bought pre-cut squash so that saved me some time. The peppers and onions went easy, and then sat on my kitchen counter for over an hour until the pork was done. We're not making the tomato sauce, as I'm a lazy mom and have three jars of spaghetti sauce in the house. Tomorrow afternoon I'll do the chicken and rice. I would have done it yesterday, but my feet and back were killing me, and having your oven at 450 degrees for over 2 hours does not make for a comfortable work environment.

So today we had meal #1, Mango Pork, and Watercress Salad. I followed the recipe almost exactly. We're out of honey so I subbed maple syrup, and I don't like almonds so I subbed crushed walnuts, and I didn't buy shallots. DH and I both loved the crunch of the nuts, peppers, and watercress. I loved the sweet tangy dressing. You couldn't really taste the pork. Next time I make this, I'll sub spinach for watercress and add some curry to the dressing. And if I'm out of pork I think tuna would work just as well.

One the knitting front, I'm working on a proposal for Interweave, so everything else is on hold and I really can't talk about it. But don't worry, September is when I (hope to) start my Christmas knitting.

Tomorrow, Fusilli with Chicken and Tomato Sauce.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New news

So I just learned the Old Norwegian, or Twisted German, cast-on. It's supposed to be a nice stretchy beginning for many projects, including socks. I just finished my first "Cable My Big Toes" sock, and the cuff is a little loose for me. I pulled up some videos and gave the new cast-on a try. Won't know til I get to where I can try on the sock if I like it or not.

On the home front, being recording secretary of the PTO is working out ok so far. But ask me after the school year has started and I may have a different answer. With the MOMS Club, WS and I switched positions. I was VP of membership and W was secretary. However, at our first board meeting I show up with the iPad and W shows up with nothing. While I'm taking notes, she jokingly asks if I want to switch. Being me, I say "No prob." And so, with the president's ok, we switch. So now I'm secretary for two organizations. Thank the gods for my iPad. And thanks Hon for buying it.

Between my board positions and our renovation of the house (just flooring for now), I haven't had much time for anything else. Not even a whole lot of time for knitting. And in September there's school, and scouts, and soccer, and birthday planning. So here's to my last few days of "leisure."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yarn Diet

So, got back from Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest. Bought probably about a pound of roving to spin. And five skeins of yarn and a spindle.

I was looking for Tinkerbell green for AK for a bolero and couldn't find anything spun in the right color. However, I saw the perfect shade for $7/2 oz and picked up 10 oz. And then my friend J wanted roving (big WTF) and the stand we were at would give her a free 4 oz bag if she bought two more. So of course I bought two, in this gorgeous red no less, so she could get a discount on her four bags. And of course, now that she has roving, she asks me to teach her how to spin. I took one horrible class last fall and only spun the rest of the roving I got from the NJ S&W. But J's so excited. So I buy a spindle and a IK book on spinning. And somewhere during all this I bought two skeins for $3 each. Back at the hotel, I give a quick and fumbling lesson to J while greatly improving my own technique. So ends Day 1.

We went back cuz I had to buy some more spun yarn. Got some super squishy ultra-pettable angora/merino blend that was naturally dyed in some awesome colors for a dress for DD. Got blocking wires on my way to Sanguine Gryphon. Now, I'm a serious lurker on their website. Love the patterns and Love the colorways. Well, let me tell you, the yarn is as soft and luxurious as it looks on the website. Both some Little Bugga and their new yarn, Mithril. Love, love, LOVE the colors. And Mithril is 560 yds for $20. Really great deal. Bought some bumper stickers and buttons and a MD S&W shirt before heading home.

So, back to reality. Last night, DH said I had to find some place to put all this yarn. Hence the yarn diet. I had to consolidate three stash sites down to two. So I have absolutely no space for any more yarn. And I have so many WIPs and WIMs that even I see the need to destash. Seeing as I've got a boatload of yarn (enough for my own store as my son says) I won't be buying any more yarn until at least after I get the green roving spun.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back to work

So I survived Spring Break. It was actually pretty nice. Got to sleep in a bit while the kids played nicely with each other for about 45 minutes. Now I'm gearing up for two trips.

The kids are going with Auntie to PA this weekend. Not only do I have to pack for both of them, I also have to pack warm and cool weather clothing cuz they're gonna be on a mountain. Not at the top, but high enough where the temp drops 20 degrees when the sun goes down. My aunt has been taking DS for years. This will be the first time she takes DD. Let's hope it won't be the last.

Trip number two is my trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival weekend after next. Just me and J. I'm packing good shoes and an extra bag to bring home swag and other goodies. And booze. I'm thinkin they're gonna up the local prices cuz there's a big event in town. Don't want a lot, but JIC.