Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Instant Pot Food: Vigo Rice

So far, after about two months, I am still so very happy with the Instant Pot (IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6 Qt/1000W)  that I purchased on Amazon after watching multiple YouTube videos using this piece of equipment. It is worth saving up the money to purchase one. I am only sad that I was unaware of the special cyber sale day in July when they were 50 percent off!  Maybe Black Friday in November will have them available someplace for a good savings if you want to get one.

Anyway, this is a meal I made recently.

Dear One did not want leftovers.  Well, what else is new?!!  I thought with the instant pot I could make a pretty quick and easy meal with no leftovers.  Of course, the possible problem here is that there would not be ENOUGH for a meal....

What I did:

Washed, cut in half and removed the seeds and pithy membranes from one red bell pepper then chopped finely. (Vegetable chunks of any reasonable size are not welcomed by Dear One so VERY TINY pieces need to be provided, and that is tiny pieces PRIOR to cooking!)

Peeled and cut in half one sweet onion.  Rapidly sliced the onion.  (Had accident with the sharp serrated knife...)

Tossed the pepper and all the onion  into the instant pot then added the contents of the Vigo yellow rice package plus 2 cups water.  At this point I was not sure of what settings to use because everyone does things differently with their I-pots.  I pressed the "Manual" button then decreased the time from 30 minutes to 8 minutes.  I think I had already put the cover on and moved the gadget on top to pressure or steaming or whatever it says.  And walked away!

When the pressure had built up (probably about 10 minutes, maybe a little more) the timer started counting down.  When the timer dinged I was so happy. I left the pot in the warming mode for about 5 minutes then VERY CAREFULLY moved the gadget on top to "Venting" and let the pressure go down instantly (more or less instantly because I had let it alone for 5 minutes...) and removed the cover with the steam escaping out the back AWAY from my face.  (Did not want to add scald burns to my face in addition to the sliced finger to go with this meal...!)

Finished Vigo rice supper.  Yay!  It worked.

The rice was beautifully cooked and tasted pretty good.  We will probably have this again.  After I buy more emergency Vigo rice packets...

There was enough for two servings.  NO LEFTOVERS. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Handwork of a Different Kind: Boo Boo

Recently I was doing a chopping/slicing-vegetable project. I was kind of pressed for time, at least in my own mind, so I was hurrying.

Whammo!  Zappo!  Blood started spraying out of my left index finger at about the same time that I felt a searing pain.  Rats!  I had sliced into my finger. 

Quickly I pressed my thumb into the injured finger, thinking it would stop the blood flow.  I still had more chopping to do so I shook of the idea of discomfort and kept going until the onion was completely sliced.  Sadly, there seemed to still be oozing blood that would not stop.  I think part of the problem was that I was using a serrated knife which did a whale of a job slicing through unresisting skin.

Finger sliced with the offending knife

After a while I washed the site well and realized that I had not sliced INTO my finger, I had sliced OFF some of the finger.  Icky!  Really icky!

Well, it did start healing but now, several days later every time I inadvertently tap that part of my finger into something, I know it!  Eventually it will heal completely; new skin will grow; and those quick zaps of sharp pain with recede into nothingness. At least, I expect that will happen.

SO  the tip of the day is:  be slow and methodical when chopping and slicing with a sharp knife.  And especially BE CAREFUL!  It slows up progress towards goal to have accidents.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Munchie Monday: Eggplant Chips!

Have you ever made eggplant chips?  I don't think I have made them before.  There probably is a recipe somewhere but I did not check.

Sarah and her dear children brought us some zucchini, summer squash, and a beautiful eggplant today.  Immediately I knew what I wanted to do.

This is what I did:

Preheated the oven to 350 degrees F.

Took a rimmed baking pan and spread a little basil olive oil on the pan.

Cut the eggplant into quarter-inch coins. Placed the eggplant slices on the pan.  Drizzled with a little more olive oil then sprinkled on some Montreal Steak Seasoning on top.

Baked for 20 minutes.  Removed the pan from the oven and turned over the slices.

Baked another 25 minutes.  Checked them but thought they needed some more heating.

Baked a final 20 minutes, then turned off the oven, leaving the chips in the oven to cool.

These taste amazing!  They are nice and crispy.  Of course, Dear One does not have any interest.  No problem,  all the more for me!

One note:  the "crumbs" you see on the baking sheet under the eggplant chips are actually the remaining Tajin Classico that I used to make some Spicy Chips that I found on I Sing In The Kitchen blog.  That mixed with the basil olive oil (I took some basil stems and put them in a small jar and covered with olive oil and let it sit for several weeks to infuse...nice flavor.)  made a nice "underpinning" for the eggplant slices.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Food Friday: Black Beans, Onions, Summer Squash, and Garlic

Ok, the headline probably will not catch a lot of positive eyes, but I LOVE black beans.  And onions. And garlic.  And even zucchini and yellow summer squash.

The story here:
The other night I was at the Church.  Sarah had been in the serving area with some interesting-looking food on the counter in a nice clear square container.  The top was off and it smelled heavenly.  I WAS hungry, after all.  When I was back in the serving area a while later there she was with her children.  I asked what the lovely container held (I like the container, too!).  This is what she told me: a yellow and a green summer squash, an onion, 1 clove of garlic, one can of black beans.

This is what I did:

2 small (6-7 inches long) zucchini squash, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
3 1/2 cups home-cooked black beans--about 2 cans

Melted the coconut oil in a 12-inch skillet.  Added the onions and zucchini and stirred a bit then sautéed until they are pretty soft and beginning to lightly brown probably 6-8 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook another minute or two until garlic is fragrant.  Add the black beans and stir until well combined.  Serve or store.

This made three containers that I will try not to eat all in one day!
Finished black beans, zucchini, onions, and garlic.  Yummy!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Garden Fun: Tomato Nose

One of the best things about gardening is that sometimes you get some unusual fruit.  It tickles my sense of humor when our garden produces a fruit like this:

Tomato Nose!

I love this tomato's nose.  I intend to share this tomato with a friend, if I can get to see her before it goes by.  Better hurry....

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Handwork: Three Zippered Bags

Barnyard Quilts is a wonderful place.  The fabric is good.  The staff will machine quilt blankets that customers bring in.  They also have classes.  This last weekend there was a class on making three different zippered bags. 

One of my main vices is the collection of bags. I love bags. I REALLY love zippered bags of all kinds.  I have watched many YouTube videos on making zippered bags, since I much prefer bags that can be closed to keep the contents secure. Even watching all the videos, I did not get many new bags made.  I just needed a little one-on-one assistance, I guess.

These are the bags I made:

The yellow and gold fabric came from Four Pines Quilt shop.  The interior of the small bag shows the oilcloth interior.  The square bag has the same oilcloth interior.  The upright bag on the left has a self lining with the addition of interlining to give the sturdiness necessary to keep the bag upright when you want to fill it up.

The class was very enjoyable.  The teacher was remarkable. 

One pretty funny thing:  one of the young girls taking the class noticed when I was finishing the square bag.  She said, "Oh!  That is the same way you make the market bag!  You MUST make the market bag."

 I told her I like bags.  She said, "Me, too!  I have five purse hooks to hang up all my bags!"  A young woman after my own heart!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More on Toddler Hoodie Project

Yesterday I finished the little green and navy toddler hoodie sweater.  It came out pretty well.   I had hoped to find a 12-month-old toddler to try the sweater on to see if this is actually a true size.  Have not yet found one...

The completed sweater.
 The buttons are the cutest thing ever!  I was so happy to find these ladybird beetle buttons.

Buttons up closer

The detail of the stocking stitch that I was knitting early on, before I learned how to make the Norwegian purl.  You can see how every over row was uneven, making a sort of washboard-like look.  If you look at the hood, you can see that the Norwegian purl makes a much more even fabric.  
Detail of unevenly knit stockinette stitch.
Now to make the charity version for the Yarn Hound!