gift from Russell

It has been a long day and I am tired but I wanted to share this with you.  Finally!  I know I am slow.  Russell forged this blade and made me this knife.  It works like a dream in the kitchen.  I like how the handle feels.  He tweaked it until he got it just right because I did not like the original handle.  The blade comes from the first blade workshop he took.  It slice horizontally through on onion like a dream.  In many ways, that is my litmus test.  All my knives are sharp enough to cut tomatoes well but do they cut onions horizontally?  This one does.

Another reason to smile.  Maybe I will be feeling more creative tomorrow.


mended apron

My daughters puppy jumped on me and tore my favorite apron.  So I decided to mend it instead of remaking it into something else.

I found some lovely lace to use.  I also decided that I wanted to do a bit of embroidery.

I have been feeling of the need of all the protection I can get every time I step out of the house so I decided to go with a Native American style bear.  I seem to be drawn to them and I have been gotten told that I am protective as a mother bear.

I decided to make a six inch muslin square.  I was thinking about making it brown linen but decided not to.

After lots of stitches, I know have a mended bear apron.  It is beautiful.  Yes, I know it will get dirty but I that is okay.  Using a lovely thing is pretty fabulous.


baked sweet potato fries

One of our favorite meals is bean burgers with sweet potato fries.  It is easy and yummy.  Especially if you have bbq sauce for the fries.

So here are the fries.  I will do the bean burgers tomorrow.

Sweet Potato Fries

1/2 to 1 sweet potato per person (this will depend on the size of the sweet potato)

olive oil



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice in fry shape.  For crispy fries, you will want thin.  For none crispy, you will wish to make them thick.  Put on a baking dish, cookie sheet, oven proof skillet, or pizza pan.  One of my pizza pans is cast iron and it works superb with this.

Drizzle with olive oil.  Toss around.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Just a little at this stage.

Put in the oven for ten minutes.  Stir.  Put in the oven for ten more minutes.  Stir again.  Back in the oven for at least ten more minutes.  If they are as crispy as you wish, pull them out.  If not, stir and back in to the oven they go until as crispy as you like.

Taste one and see if they need anymore salt or pepper.  This is all about your taste.  Serve and enjoy.  Like I said, bbq sauce goes really well with them.  And those are bean burgers in the picture.


chocolate ginger pear crisp (also directions for gluten free)

I read blogs.  I actually got this idea from Lucullian's blog.  I love her pictures, which is really why I read it, but this is one of the few times I thought a recipe was something I was interested in.  I took my most favorite crisp recipe and changed it.  There is just a hint of ginger here.

I do not like oatmeal in my crisp topping, which I know is very common but it is not here.  The gluten free option is rather good.  I usually use a mixture of amaranth, sorghum, teff, tapioca starch and potato starch.  The texture with the gluten free flours is more similar to someone using quick oats in their crisp topping.  It is a cause for laughter.

Chocolate Ginger Pear Crisp

4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ginger

1 cup flour or 5 ounces of gluten free flours 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan, put the chocolate and butter.  Heat on low heat until the chocolate is melted.  Add the sugar and ginger.  Mix well.  Mix in the flour.  Set aside.

In an 8 x 8 square pan (or something similar), put the pears.

Sprinkle the chocolate mixture over the pears.

I try to completely cover the pears.  Sometimes it is harder then others depending who is walking through the kitchen and snitching bits.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden bits or pulls back from the sides.

Serve hot or cold.  With cream or ice cream if you wish but this is decadent enough we did not even try.

Do try to share (grin)


gluten free dairy free mac and "cheese"

It was one of those days at work where you just wish to start drinking before you leave.  Or do what we did and have a dinner party.  It must be something in the air because most people had that type of the day!  

I did come home to the beautiful bouquet above on my door handle.  My daughter loves me!



They watched over me while I made dinner for friends.

I made a mac and "cheese" that I could eat.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Mac and "Cheese"

5 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons potato starch

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

two finger pinch ground paprika, ancho chile pepper, and chipolte chile pepper ground

4 cups hempmilk

8 ounces almond cheese, grated

1 pound gluten free pasta (we like Tinkayada)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Strain.  Put in an oven proof casserole dish.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil.  Add the potato starch, pepper, paprika, ancho, and chipolote.  Cook with the oil until bubbly and smooth.  Add the hempmilk a cup at a time.  Stir in the grated almond cheese.  Pour over the pasta and stir.  Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and a bit golden around the edges.

There you go.  Macaroni and cheese, even though I used shells.  

The party was pretty fabulous.  Lots of laughter.  Thanks all for coming.