Cute nieceS alert

It happened. We had the ultimate cute niece alert. Now we have two little adorable ones to look at!  I decided that the oldest niece needed a little bit of attention, so I whipped up this little quilt for her.  The fabric is left over from the quilt that I made her when she was born, so hopefully that will add to its meaning some day.

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It’s just the right size for a doll or stuffed animal.  In this case, I expect it will be used for her teddy bear, Chocolate Cake.  Given that she was strapping him into the baby’s swing the other day, I think that’s a pretty safe assumption.

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He’s pretty special to her, and she’s pretty special to us.  I hope she enjoys this little quilt to keep him cuddly!

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Beet orzo with feta

We frequently make this come beet season. Our beets were multi colored rather than deep purple, so usually it’s a little more pink than it looks in this picture.

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We found it…Tasty Kitchen via Parsley Thief
We made it…Substituting almonds for the pine nuts.
We ate it…for about 5 servings. It’s much more filling than it looks!
We thought…The last time we made this, I added olives to mine and that took it over the top delicious.  I think that some vinegar or lemon juice helps to brighten it up some, too.

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Cheddar and greens whole wheat biscuits

I again have no picture to share, because I’ll let the blog I got it from do the talking.  These are a great way to use up the over abundance of greens in your CSA share (do you have that problem, too?!?).  Also, I love cheddar. Especially when it’s white.

We found it…Food in jars, which is also a great source for canning inspiration, fyi.
We made it…As written, since it’s pretty darn flexible.  We had kale, so that’s what we used.  I also threw in some green onions and garlic scapes because we had them.  For flour, we used some rye we had hanging around and the rest just regular whole wheat.
We ate it…We had a friend over for dinner, and we had plenty left over for ham sandwiches as well as still a few frozen.
We thought…I will definitely be doing these again.  They would be a great side for a good many soups.  They’d also be good for breakfast to give you something a little more hearty.

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Miso soup

I have no picture for this soup, though I should have taken one since we ate it in our Japanese style bowls. (c:

We found it…Steamy Kitchen
We made it…As written, except we boiled some soba noodles to go with it.  We added them to the bowls and ladled the soup over it.
We ate it…We made a larger batch, but I’d say her 4 servings is accurate.
We thought…We’ve made cheater miso soup before, but there’s not really a reason to.  This is super easy and tastes just like you’d get from a Japanese restaurant before your sushi.  It is naturally salty, though, so you might want to be aware of that.

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Pizza

This dough is so easy, delicious and mostly whole grain. In order to encourage you to make it, I’m giving you the recipe. It’s a Bittman classic from his Food Matters cookbook.

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You can put anything on pizza.  This is a pesto, mozarella and tomato version.  We also made one the other night with Boston tomato (a sweet and savory tomato jam), sauteed onions and beet greens and ricotta.  The whole recipe makes enough for 2 good sized pizzas, so often we cut it in half if we want less.  Still easy.  Still delicious.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl (if it has a lid, even better).  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of water.  It should look pretty sticky and wet, like biscuit batter.  It might need a bit more water, but add just a little at a time.
  2. Gather dough together and cover loosely.  Let it sit for 6-12 hours.  We usually make it in the morning and it’s ready for dinner.
  3. Stretch your dough out onto an olive oiled baking sheet or floured counter if using a peel and pizza stone.  Add toppings and bake in a screaming hot 500 degree oven until well browned (about 10ish minutes).

You’re welcome.

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Pasta and bulgur with tomatoes and arugula

We made this practically ages ago, bit I kept the picture and remember it being delicious. One of this meals where you’re surprised that such simple ingredients can be so delicious. And it’s super easy so that sweetens the deal!

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We found it….Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, but he put it in Runner’s World, too.
We made it…Using cherry tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes since those are better this time of year than larger ones.  I put olives in mine but let Chris skip them. We almost forgot the arugula which is why it’s less wilted, and I liked it that way.  We didn’t bother to let things sit because we were hungry and impatient.  It was fine and only got slightly better the next day.
We ate it…4 servings.
We thought…This was so simple and really tasty.  The bulgur didn’t seem to make much of a taste difference, but I do think it helped to bulk it up.

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Cute niece alert

Chris and I often give each other cute niece alerts whenever we come across pictures of our niece being, well, cute. Pretty soon we’ll have two cute nieces to alert each other to!
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This quilt is a double Irish chain. I chose it because her big sister’s was the original Irish chain. Don’t worry, there is a triple one in case my sister and brother in law go with 3 kids!

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These aren’t the fabrics I envisioned when I set out, but I like the way it turned out anyway.  The backing is fleece so it’s nice and cuddly for baby. Plus the obligatory ‘made by Aunt Suzi’ label.

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Its been sent off to Washington and so we’re just eagerly awaiting her arrival for the ultimate cute niece alert!  Two of them in one place might be a bit much for us to handle!

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Hot and sour ramen with spinach and shitakes

This is a recipe from one of my fave cookbooks. We hadn’t made it in a while but appreciate that it is easy and tasty!

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We found it…The Best 30 Minute Recipe but also found here
We made it…as written with tofu, but any protein would work. We used 2 tsp of Asian chili garlic sauce in place of garlic and Sriracha and it was plenty spicy.
We ate it…3 times/6 servings.
We thought… quick and easy, even if the ramen noodles aren’t the healthiest. Good use of our tons of CSA greens, too!

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Not our dinner table runner

Chris and I were recently invited to the wedding of a lovely couple. While I wasn’t able to make a full quilt, I did want to give them a little something homemade.  The result is this table runner.

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Their kitchen is red (I think!) and I happened to be working on it in February/March. That meant lots of patterns for hearts floating around, and I figured that was appropriate for a wedding. I used this pattern for the hearts, but didn’t sew them together.  I then just made the borders as I went.

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The back is just stripped, which I think allows it to be reversible for a change.

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The quilting is straight lines in each direction making it dense in the corners. I left the blocks themselves alone to make them stand out a bit more (and because it was hard to quilt them without it looking sloppy!).

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I finished it off with some candles and delivered it with some other little things from their registry.

Overall it was a fun and quick finish. I hadn’t pieced squares on a while, and it’s fun to see them come together. I figure even if they don’t use it all the time, it’ll work for Valentine’s Day and Christmas instead!

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Curried meatballs and apricot rice

Chris and I were browsing at Barnes & Noble on Friday, and I took a peak at a test kitchen book I’d been intrigued by for a while. The cookbook, Simple Weeknight Favorites, is pretty similar to others we have so I left it on the shelf. However, I did a quick Google search for this recipe to see if someone had already posted it. Success!

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It was not complicated but did take some time. I don’t know if I’m ready to make it a weeknight meal yet, but it is worth making again.

We found it…Simple Weeknight Favorites but posted here with one error.
We made it…but it should only have 1 cup of rice in case you try it. We just set aside the extra cup to freeze for a later meal. We did switch to brown rice and it was fine with a longer cooking time. We used turkey, but chicken would be good, too. Other than that we did as written.
We ate it…3 times/6 servings along with a veggie side (we did roasted carrots and parsnips).
We thought…the apricots were tasty, but the meatballs were great (though the onions could be minced so they don’t fall out).

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