Gogol Bordello

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Christmas crafts

So this year its small salves, soaps, eye packs, bath salts and coasters. I will post them as I make them,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin puddin the lazy way, oh yeah!




So I love me some pumpkin pie, problem is, no one else in the house does. That and I end up eating the whole thing and feel like a fat gluttonous monster. So I decided to hell with it. I'm not making a pie that will end up making me feel guilty with every sweet delicious bite. So I made a lower fat alternative.

Take one pie pumpkin.
Cut it in half, gut it and place it in the microwave upside down in a bowl of water for 10 plus minutes or however long it takes to steam it.
Mash it with a fork in a deep glass dish, add splenda or whatever sweetener you have. I used a combo of splenda and brown sugar
throw in there about 3 shakes of ground  nutmeg, 1 shake of ground clove and a teaspoon of cinnamon and oh yes, a pat or two of butter. Mash it all together.
In a separate bowl whisk  three eggs together with about 1/4 milk. Beat till smooth. Add to pumpkin and fold together.
Cover the top of the dish with a plate to allow for the venting of steam. Place in the microwave for about 8 minutes.
Behold, you have a creamy thick pumpkin custard sans pie crust.
YUM!

For the womenz.

This post is for the ladies so Men, no offense but I don't think you'll find it very interesting.

So I had been thinking about homemade stuff and how much of a throw away society we have and decided to give something a try. When Zoey was in diapers, we did the cloth service for most of the time but eventually went to disposables because of costs and time. We took the lazy way out. I started thinking about the many reasons why cloth is better than plastic, environmental and personal health reasons of course came to mind. Then I realized how much of a hypocrite I am since I myself use disposable items for "that time of the month". Taking matters into my own hands (and looking at Etsy for inspiration) I made my own.

I found them to be WAY more comfortable than the plastic/paper disposable kinds and way more reliable. Since I made mine out of flannel with a denim core, they are way more absorbent and with the button winged closure they don't shift like I thought they would. Maneuvering at home with them is just fine (oxyclean takes stains right out) but having to change them in public creates preparation issues but any Mom out there that's done clothe diapers for kids knows how to manage. 

So there it is, no waste, I got to use fabric I already had so no additional output of money (other than 5 bucks for snaps), they look much cooler than store bought and my netheregions thank me for not forcing irritating chrorinated goodness onto them.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Comfort foods.

So the onslaught of chillier weather and sudden dampness in the air has made me A) want to hibernate and B)  want to eat all the stuff that is bad for me. Mm rich creamy fatness.

We have a few more weeks with out CSA getting delicious fresh local produce and I wanted to take the time this fall to really start getting into food stuff that I have either not done in awhile or not done at all. In order to prepare for another long dreary rainy season, I decided to stock the pantry with as much healthy shelf stable food stuffs as I could afford in one trip to the store.

Some of the things I picked up to help get me through the winter:

Tons of dried beans. (pinto, navy, black etc)
A huge pack of bacon ends and pieces (freezer)
Soup stocks, chicken beef etc
Gluten free Udis bread (only cause it was onsale and can live in the freezer)
freezer jars
pastas
pasta sauces (cause if I dont have access to real tomatoes and have to rely on store bought....I'm gonna eat the Newmans own instead of attempting anything else with those cardboard spheres playing tomatoes.)
and the list goes on.

First thing was first, beans and bacon.

My Mom used to make beans and ham-hocks but I fiind ham-hocks to be a waste of time. Little of the ugly buggers are actually edible and frankly, they take too long. This is why I decided to go with the bacon ends and pieces. For those that have never bought ends and pieces, I suggest you do. I found TONS of thick slabs of bacon meat that separated from the fat easily. It was almost like a bacon meat steak without the fat in places. Beats ham-hocks hand down.

I made a base with 7 large tomatoes (best if you get homegrown, took longer and didn't taste as good with store bought) and chicken stock. I soaked the white beans overnight. The next steps were super easy. I put the stock and the beans on low in the crock pot. Came back 8 hours later and added the bacon ends/pieces, carrots and onions. Another 2 hours later I had creamy rich awesometastic winterific beans. They freeze well too so I can enjoy them later on.

The second project was more complicated, only in time. I decided to make cheese. Not the really excellent cultured kind, just sort of the white creamy spreadable kind. The recipe is as follows:

1 gallon of whole milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
chives or other herbs of choice.

Soft boil milk in large saucepan stirring constantly. This may take 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Drizzle in juice, stirring till curds separate from the whey. Let stand for 15 minutes. Set curds in large cheese cloth line colander and let drain. Rinse curds with lukewarm water. Gather up cloth and squeeze. Put cloth bound curds in nice bundle at bottom of colander (make sure it has a place to drain to) add plate with weight on top and let drain for 45 minutes min. Take curds, place into bowl and add salt/herbs. Knead till smooth or put in mixer using dough hook. Roll into a log and chill for 2 hours. Makes 16 ounces and goes great with sliced ripe tomatoes, olive oil and basil.