Monday, December 22, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

I included recipe in my Christmas cookie boxes. I made a test batch for us of course. I upped the heat because I wanted to actually taste it. Maybe I should have changed the name to something more Texan-y. Pecans and peppers are very Texan. Bluebonnet? Mighty Bears? Remember the Alamo? I think Sweet and Spicy is a perfectly descriptive name for a really delicious treat.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's a Start Oatmeal

This a good basic oatmeal recipe, you can add fruit in the baking or when you reheat it, you can add nuts, yogurt, what have you. Really it is all about ratios. I make some variation every week but alter the volume depending on if DH is eating as well, if we're going out of town, etc. Everything after the flax is just to make a flavored base, I add allspice, clove, etc if I want more of a pie oatmeal, scale back the ginger for DH, stir in a heaping spoonful of nut butter or apple butter, add fruit puree (even sweet potato)...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hearty Cajun Stew

I'm sure some would argue that this really isn't Cajun but I used blackening seasoning and the Cajun Holy Trinity so good enough for now, I guess. I used Serious Eat's Hearty Winter Vegetable as a base. This recipe produces a stew that I'm pretty happy with just broth (it would probably be better if I used SE's suggested broth recipe but I didn't want to buy more produce.) It definitely benefits from a nice sit after the vegetables all cook.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I promise I've been eating reasonably healthy* but most of our dinners lately have been repeats or duds. But I've also been baking. This is the first in a series for my Christmas cookie trays and may be my favorite. DH really likes these and I think I might make an extra batch to bring down to my in-laws since it seems right up their alley too.

We debated cranberries versus cherries and I'm glad we went with cherries, they give a brighter, sweeter pop to the cookies. You could leave them whole if you went with a bigger cookie of course, but at the same time, chopped gives them a more consistent flavor.

This recipe opens up to a lot of variations - I've provided alterations for a vegan version as well as a non-vegan version (what most people expect from a cookie.) It's the mix-ins that make it. It's really just a variation on my Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies but adapted to make it Christmas-y ... and to use up the several cups of mint I have frozen in the freezer (I underestimated the yield of one bunch and so bought extra.) You'll notice a halved amount of fat. I left 1/4 cup out by accident and it worked so I went with it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Finally Finished!: Fox and Friends Quilt

It's not the prettiest quilt ever. Even though in theory the heavier quilting cotton should have held up just fine, there was a lot of easing going on and the hand quilting meant that it got stretched in placed. I really do not like the recommended fabric for the binding (Binding Architextures Cross Hatch in Black.) It jars with that solids and natural theme of the animals. I think a less industrial fabric would be better - there was a camping themed collection last year that might have something that could fit.