Friday, October 31, 2014

Olive's Howl-o-ween: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

We went really nostalgic for this year's Howl-oween. While technically DH and I are the same millennial generation, we're enough apart in age that most of my childhood memories aren't his, with the exception of a a few shows like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? I credit this to the long run it had and the fact it was pretty ageless (we watched a few episodes on youtube and thoroughly enjoyed it, partly for the cheese factor.) I wanted something iconic (do you know how many CS costumes there are out there?) and pretty comfortable for Olive. Carmen's red fedora and trench and her yellow* turtleneck fit the bill.
Fun Fact: Season 1 of the game show was not entered into syndication, even though seasons 2 through 5 were. Why? Geography changed too much between Season 1 and 2... the Soviet Block collapsed.

This was a somewhat lazy costume compared to her BUGWB uniform. Lazy in that I used a commercial pattern as a base for the jacket and legwarmers for the turtleneck dickey. The hat was not lazy but I now have a go to for canine fedoras should I ever need it (because everyone needs one of those, right?) The jacket pattern needs more tweaking, you'll notice the fit issues in the profile shots.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Turtle Cake

I try to make a cake for DH's birthday every year. Past few years it's usually been the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake that has become the go-to for my family. However that is very much not new diet-friendly. But DH loves pecans... and he loves chocolate, so why not a turtle cake? Caramel is traditionally made with cream which is never a goo idea for me. So it took a little creativity and internet searching.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moroccan Shepherd's Pie (Vegan and Traditional Versions)

I think I've mentioned before how fantastic our local farmer's markets are. The one we go to is in Falls Church and always has great produce and several stands for fish, meat, cheese, bread, pickles, yarn, and even two soap/skin care stands. We've rarely gotten anything outside of produce but there's a Mennonite family who has a baked goods and meat stand that I knew stocked lamb and DH loves lamb. I've gotten whoopie pies from them before when I didn't want to bake a whole batch but had a craving. I was very pleased, tasted A LOT like home. They also have sticky buns, which are apparently a regional thing? Anyway, lamb, DH loves it, they had it, this seemed the perfect recipe to make that allows us each to have our dietary preferences.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vanilla Bean Maple Applesauce

 Left is purred, Right is left fairly chunky and with a dash ground cinnamon

This is not the kind of applesauce you typically get in the store, for good reason. Now I could have gotten an excellent jarred sauce from the stand where I bought the apples, or the other good apple vendor next to them, but I wanted homemade applesauce. Now that I have it out of my system, I'll pick up a jar or two once these are polished off. That shouldn't take too long. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eggplant Rollatini with Roasted Vegetables

Influenced by Veggie Belly's Vegan Eggplant Rollatini with Couscous and Pinenuts. I can't leave well enough along and wanted more fiber, protein, and texture to the dish. DH wasn't thrilled about the fiber idea, he had a bad run-in with Thai Spaghetti Squash dish I need to tweak a little more, but in the end it worked out. I was going to serve a salad on the side but I think with the all the vegetables in the middle, that's just overkill for the two of us. If I were to make this for a dinner party or for family, I would add a side green salad, maybe some sort of crusty bread, and maybe a chickpea salad.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This was influenced by The Food Lab's Science of the Chocolate Chip Cookie and Half Baked Harvest's Mom's Simple Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. The only other chocolate chip cookie recipe I liked used pudding mix and I needed to use only what we had in the pantry- and allow for experimentation with the Food Lab article I had read that afternoon. This is the result. Poor Olive was going crazy hearing "cookie" mentioned over and over. Note, these are definitely on the cake-y side of the cookie world, if you prefer a gooier, flatter cookie, melt the butter substitute and use baking soda instead of baking powder.