Saturday, November 29, 2008

Well, the dinner was amazing. It was a nice twist on the holiday standards, but very very good! A helped me with the gravy and poured too much red wine into it (I bought a $2.50 bottle of merlot that was very drinkable) the green beans were AMAZING! A little on the summery side with the lemon and I tripled the proscutto, oh so good. That’s a dish I will make year round. The potatoes and onion gratin was good but definitely more of a fall/winter dish, but again one I will make again. I recommend that menu to anyone who is having a small holiday gathering or who want something fairly easy. The normal flavors, but not the traditional dishes.

My sewing machine is broken. Actually its just a really bad thread jam in the bobbin/needle section…you know where it goes up and down? I can’t get it undone myself and I don’t know what caused it. I really want to sew!! I want to finish the Christmas quilt I was working on (one more border to put on and then maybe a final boarder all around and backing!! Wahoo!) and I want to get started on R’s Dora quilt. I am going to be making it twin size! She’s in her toddler bed for now but I think we will be getting her a twin size bed soon if not then by her third birthday! I might get started cutting the fabric tonight if I get the chores caught up enough. I let them go for four days and look what happens!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


With Thanksgiving about a week away I have been humming and hawing as to weather or not I would actually make dinner. It's just the three of us and it seems like a lot of work for just three people. This morning I was watching Rachael Ray waiting for R to get up for the morning and she had a Thanksgiving special on and I thought, it’s worth it! If nothing else then for the practice for the year I do host it for family or cook with my mom again. I thought I’d share what I am making and doing for you all so that if you needed a place to start you have it. I think this will be fairly easy and I will make the Onion Gratian a day early and cheat by buying the canned cranberry sauce(I actually like that stuff, especially on my sandwich the days following the feast) a bagged salad (A and I don’t like the same dressings so no point making a big fancy one) and buying a good looking pie (last year I made three pies with only me eating them. This year I will just buy one, or a cake) oh and A doesn’t like home made mashed potatoes so I’ll use the box this time. So here is what I am making. (I need to get my mom’s stuffing recipe, basically you leave bread out for two days to air out in pieces and then sauté up some finely chopped onion-I use a cheese grater to get it perfect- and then stir it all together and shove it on in the turkey!)

Brined Turkey
Onion Gratain
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Pie (of some sort)

10 cups salt
10 cups sugar
8 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
freshly ground black pepper
red wine
2 packages Chicken broth
2 pound(s) green beans, trimmed
2 ounce(s) prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh sage
1/4 cup(s) toasted pine nuts
1 lemon
3 pound(s) Yukon Gold potatoes
2 loaves white bread, left out to dry
1/2 cup(s) (loosely packed) fresh parsley leaves
2 cans cranberry sauce
1 good looking pie
Salad bag
Poultry thermometer

Turkey Brine
5 gallons water
10 cups salt
10 cups sugar
Fill a cooler with water, salt and sugar so it tastes like sweet seawater. Put turkey into cooler and leave in a cool location (garage for example) and let sit for 24 hours. Roast as usual, please note though it should take 15-20 minutes off the roast time. Let sit after roasting before carving.
To Roast
On Thanksgiving morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drain the turkey, scraping off the spices, then transfer it to a large roasting pan and let it return to room temperature. Discard the brine. 4. Add the quartered onion, the garlic and 1 cup of the water to the pan and roast the turkey for 1 1/2 hours. Add the remaining 1 cup of water to the pan and roast for about 1 1/2 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into an inner thigh registers 165 degrees F. Cover the breast loosely with foil during the last hour of roasting to prevent it from browning too quickly. 5. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board.
Red Wine Onion Gravy
Pan drippings, plus butter as needed to make 4 tablespoons fat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine
3 cups broth (turkey, beef or chicken)
Take the roasting pan and add in medium onion chopped/diced and some chopped garlic to the pan. Stir around. Add a few tablespoons flour, stirring to mix it into the drippings season with salt and peper. Add the red wine to deglaze pan (scrape everything off the bottom). Lastly add broth and let sit until thickened up.
Sizzled Green Beans with Crispy Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
2 pound(s) green beans, trimmed
2 1/2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounce(s) prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
4 clove(s) garlic, minced
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup(s) toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans, return to a boil, and simmer until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Wipe out the pan; heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the beans, garlic, sage, 1/8 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are browned in places, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, lemon zest and the prosciutto. Season with lemon juice, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper
Golden Potato and Onion Gratin
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
6 medium (2 pounds) onions, each cut in half and sliced
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
3 pound(s) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
3 slice(s) firm white bread, coarsely grated into crumbs
1/2 cup(s) (loosely packed) fresh parsley leaves, chopped
In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook 1 hour or until tender and deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and cook 1 minute, stirring. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate onions until ready to use.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, toss potato slices with salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Transfer potato mixture to shallow 3 1/2-quart casserole or 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Cover casserole and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Meanwhile, in same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs and cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat; stir in parsley. To serve, uncover gratin and sprinkle with bread-crumb mixture.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

should have posted this on Friday

It’s been a while since I have posted here. I have had a few strange weeks at work. My hours have been cut but are now all over the board. It’s a little hard on the body but it’s not as stressful at work than it has been in the past. I open the next two days, but they are the weekend…it’ll be fun!

The most exciting thing that’s happened is I just bought a new pair of shoes. That’s usually an indulgence I don’t need. Especially if they are bought with no real need in mind. These are too frilly to wear to work but not too dressy. I am wearing them now with a pair of jeans and they work well but need a nicer top than what I am wearing.

I gave up on my Christmas craft project that I spent so much money on. It’s not really that I Am giving up on it as much as I can’t find all the things to go with it (lace, trim etc) here and I am losing my patience with it. I think the pressure of a deadline to get everything done in time is making me not want to even use the sewing machine. For now I have packed it all up, put it under my sewing desk and am letting it rest. I started a quick little quilt (a charm pack quilt) and will move onto my Aunt’s quilt since it’s been about two and a half years since we bought the fabric. I am willing to get back to work on the Christmas collection, but I am fine with it if I don’t finish it this year. I will have it PERFECT by next year. Who knows though. This means I will either wrap the bottom of the tree in fabric like I have in the past or I will buy a cheep tree skirt in the mean time.

I am looking for a preschool/day care for R. Just for a few hours a day four to five days a week. I think all she could handle at this point is four or five hours. Eventually we might think about all day daycare but right now we want just a few hours. She’s been pushing my buttons like there’s no tomorrow and I know it’s because I am not stimulating her enough but I just can’t. TO start with we don’t have other kids around, secondly we don’t have the money to buy all those toys and age appropriate tables, chairs, etc. and most importantly with working 35ish hours a week I don’t have the energy and patience to come up with all sorts of activities for her. I love reading books with her and playing (her favorite right now is either playing animals or her as mommy and A or I as the “baby”).

Monday, November 03, 2008

a little bit of everything

I posted a nice little post on my quilting blog, so for more detailed information you can check it out on and look for me (lisapotpie) but basically, I haven’t been sewing, I have been gathering fabrics sort of like bears and squirrels gather food for the winter. Today in fact I am going to go buy four more charm packs for Moda’s Isn’t Christmas Jolly? And some more Very Hungry Caterpillar, have I told you all about what I want to do with that one? I am making a few quilts (three?) and hopefully a nursery set with that collection, so I have to pace myself buying the fabric so it’s not like $300 at once! So far I have three panels and two fat quarters of the number pattern. I also am working on a block of the month quilt through a local quilt shop and will be trying appliqué for the first time on Sat!

Work is going alright. I didn’t get the ASM position, but I am not surprised, I think I am the only one who has shown interest in Butte for that position so I think they are keeping me at bay for other stores so I am available to go but I wish they would have considered me to train and then move me with some time under my belt before moving into a brand new store, but I am staying positive.

Last night A got off work at 10 and took the babysitter home then came into the store to see me. R was a ball of energy, they went home at about 11 and when I got home at 12 (midnight) he said she was just watching a movie in our room…wrong, she was out cold on the bed. I even made the bed over her without her noticing (my light sleeper too!) and I ended up sleeping in bed with her on A’s side and throughout the night she kept scooting closer to me. In the morning when the alarm was going off (she slept through that too!) she was right next to me. Each time the alarm buzzed she moved a little bit and ended up with her feet against my back and her head at the other side of the bed. Silly girl!

Not much else has been happening around here. We had a good Halloween, R didn’t want to wear her costume until we were back inside. Two year old logic I tell you! It was still fun though. We made it to three houses before deciding it was enough. She probably would have been able to handle about three more but we wanted to stop while we were ahead! She thought it was cool though and sorted and lined up all her loot. I remember doing that with my brother and trading candy…he got anything with peanut butter or sour and I got anything fruity! We need another kid sometime so she can have those experienced, but not until we buy a house!