Handwriting, like letter writing, is an over looked skill in an electronic lifestyle. True as well for urban sketching as contrasted to cell phone snaps and selfies.
This year I’ve started practices to improve my calligraphy, letter writing and sketching skills. Shout outs to:
#showmeyourdrills … Becca’s passion to helping us (re) learn pen action
#oliveinks … Wendy is my pen friend, thanks to the annual #incowrimo2017
#sketchingnowbuildings … Liz’s (Steel not me) ten week course helping with the eye hand skills that make #urbansketching much less embarrassing.
So check out my progress on Instagram @lizzardlaw. Let me know here what art you are working on.
I am allergic to a few foods, which is another reason to forgo premade and packaged food. My diet is free of wheat and garlic. I also try to eat organic foods. Don’t get me wrong … There are times I cheat .. But my body pays dearly for this with inflammation and other immune system responses.
Part of cleaning up my diet included learning to make my own mayonnaise. Easy but a bit fickle condiment IMHO.
Continue reading “Saturday it must be Mayonnaise”
Pomegranate and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Well, I did it … I de-pipped a POMEGRANATE and figured out how to use it in a cooked dish. If you can call cookies a “dish”.
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Ghee because the butter was frozen and I didn’t want to wait … probably a bad choice)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (didn’t have it … used white sugar left over from feeding the humming birds … probably adding to the bad choice list)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (link takes to you a description of how to de-seed — piece of cake and no mess after the first cut)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (is there an expiration date on this stuff?)
- 6 oz (3/4 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
Well – I probably had more than 1/2 cup of seeds and probably hit the 3/4 cup chocolate. I am probably not cut out to bake because I am not a precise measure-er and, well, there are those choices noted above.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and FLUFFY. (what does that mean? — I used the Kitchenaid and went until I thought “I guess that’s fluffy…”) Add the egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sweetened butter and mix until a very thick dough forms. (Think the consistency of refridgerator dough but a bit drier).
Use a spoon to fold in the chunks then the pomegranates and distributing both evenly. (ok, again i used the Kitchenaid for the chocolate – but just a spoon for the delicate pips) Form cookies by dropping 1 heaping teaspoon of dough on the sheet two inches apart. (What size is “HEAPING” Golf ball is too big, see below) Flatten slightly then bake until light brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks (if you can wait that long) then serve with plenty of cold milk.
Well, I made mini frisbees. A little too flat and a little too greasy, but taste great. Hoping there will be one or two for SO when he gets home tomorrow. that was the plan any way.
OX-TAIL SOUP PART DEUX:
Followed the previous start, 2 cans of stout, 3 cups of water, onions and celery, oxtail — all in the pot for 35 minutes under pressure. While that was cooking, I coarsely chopped carrots and orange/yellow bell peppers. Thinly sliced some hot peppers. Added a hand full of baby spinach leaves, also cut into smaller pieces. Let the stock release pressure naturally. (I went to the bird food store and bank in this intermission.)
Strain the vegetables from the ox-tail broth. Remove the tail pieces and let cool enough to get the meat off the bone. (Better this time). Put a can of diced tomatoes along with the above noted vegetables into the stew pot; return the broth to the pot; add the meat from the bones. Recover the pot and return to pressure. Cook for 4 minutes under pressure. Natural release again. I’ll let you know how it turned out later.
Friday night … popcorn and movies! ok I did have a little bit of cheese and an egg before the popcorn – that’s a meal, right? Tomorrow, a little shopping and a little cooking. Still have the pomegranates to tackle after all. SO is home Sunday night. What to do when the countdown timer reaches 0?? Do I change the name of the blog?
Chicken broth, left over soup from last night with added chicken, spinach and frozen peas. YUM. Very tired – must be how dark it is outside.
Ok … I confess! I used a cheat starter for my soup tonight. I found a box of CORN CHOWDER in the pantry, which did not list garlic on the label. With the cheat as my inspiration, I chopped up a bit of onion and a YELLOW SQUASH.
Heated oil in the pan then sautéed the onion with a little bit of green chile. After a little bit of stirring I added the squash. Again with the stirring to coat with the oil and to begin to sweat the squash. Then added a little cumin and sage. To this I added the corn chowder and placed the lid on the pot. Checked once and stirred to ensure no stickage.
While that heated through, I chopped up some of the chicken pieces into a large bowl. Added the hot soup on top of the chicken. Garnished with fresh parsley. I’m going back for SECONDS.
The biggest news in the kitchen is that JR landed back in the states, even if his luggage did not. Still not back in New Mexico, but at least is no longer 1/2 the world away. Like the title says … not much else of note in the kitchen here during Week 4 – I made another Rotisserie Chicken Stock, which needs the fat strained off and to be frozen in 2 cup servings. I feast(ed) on chicken off the bone along with left over soup and cumin flat bread. And I cleaned out the freezer, throwing away 2 grocery sacks of miscellaneous, unrecognizable-due-to-freezer-burn items. Shelves are again re-organized — MEATS at the bottom, FRUITS & VEGETABLES in the next bin up, topped by frozen stocks, CHILES, and JR’s pizza. Tossed out old flour and pancake mixes along with the mystery foods. Dumped the ICE and started over, while also fixing the ice dispenser so that it will again CRUSH the ice. (Note: We’ve been stuck with whole cubes for months. GASP) So, I suspect I am ready for the SO’s imminent return. I do wonder how I will translate all the cooking I have been doing into a more vegetarian friendly fare. I am suspecting that I can not and I do like having meat protein again. Though it won’t kill me to add FISH in once or twice a week. I suppose that I can make the meat in a packet separate from the other items if pushed. And he can make his own starch if he feels deprived … Time to reconsider all the cookbooks. A LOVELY way to spend the rest of the afternoon on this wonderful Veteran’s Day holiday.