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11  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Anyone have any good kale recipes? on: July 07, 2007 11:47:25 AM
So, I'm officially addicted to kale.  It's supercheap at the local farmer's market, and so I buy a lot of it.  (About a grocery bag full each week, just for me.  Grin)  I've got several ways to make it -- kale and potato casserole, Asian-inspired kale salad, spicy kale and garlic, kale sauteed with tomatoes and white beans served over pasta -- but I'm getting a little bored.  Anyone have any recipes or inspiration/ideas?  I'd prefer them to be vegan but eggs/dairy are OK too.  (And please no Portuguese soup with veggie sausages...I don't like veggie sausages.  Sad)  Thanks!
12  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Can mods change links to pics? on: July 04, 2007 12:35:04 PM
I'm just wondering -- I've heard rumors that they can but I've still seen a lot of posts that start with "I'm a newbie so I can't post pics..." followed by a link.  Also, is there a polite way to ask someone with more than 10 posts to change a link to a pic?  I'd PM people but I don't have good instructions for how to insert a pic into a post -- I just messed around with Photobucket until it worked right.  Smiley  I feel like it's hurting them because fewer people get to see what they've made, and I want to help out (in my own small way) but don't know how.  Thanks!
13  UNITED STATES / Missouri / STL Area Skills Swap? on: July 04, 2007 09:18:51 AM
Hi Everyone,

I REALLY want to do the Reusable Shopping Bag Challenge, but I don't have a sewing machine, nor do I know how to use one.  Sad  Problem, yes.  Insurmountable obstacle?  I'm hoping not.  I knit well and can do basic crochet, so I would love to trade yarn/needles/"lessons"/knit or crocheted objects for a little time and instruction on a sewing machine.  Or I could buy you fabric or a gift card to a fabric store of your choice.  And bake you a cake.  Because I'm crafty like that. Wink PM me or reply if you're interested!
14  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Rosalind-along? (Illusion DNA Scarf) on: June 20, 2007 01:18:18 PM
OK -- so I know that June's not exactly scarf weather, but I stumbled across this pattern yesterday and I must make it.  Like now.  (I called it "my soulmate" in a blog post...  Grin)  But it looks like it's going to be a long one and I'd love to have some company on the journey.  I'm hoping to buy yarn within the next few days to start this weekend -- anyone else in?   
15  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / En Fuego! (A Saturday Market Bag) on: June 18, 2007 11:46:48 AM

The basics: Saturday Market Bag using the 2-strap, no-bottom-seam modifications by disdressed.  Instead of the garter stitch edging, I crocheted 1 rnd of sc and 2 rnds of dc, then picked up stitches for the garter stitch straps, which I joined using a 3 needle bindoff. And I crocheted a flower using this tutorial. (She notes that her European "dc" is an American "sc".)  I had a hard time seaming the sides of the bag and I messed up the join on the handles (uh, hence the crocheted flower) -- next time I'll probably do the 3 needle bindoff at the top of the handles where it's less noticeable, sew the straps to the bag (ugh), or learn kitchener stitch.

My bag is smaller: about 9" tall and 12" wide, unstretched, not counting the handles. It stretches like crazy but I haven't put anything heavy in it yet to see just how much.

I used about 165 yards of Rowan Linen Print in Blush (the yarn's been discontinued).  The stitch pattern in the colorway that I used makes me think of flames.  (Plus the weather's been superhot and I just wasn't inspired by my heavy wool WIPs.)

And one gratuitous closeup of the flower Smiley
16  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Spicy Basil Bean Dip on: June 16, 2007 08:43:21 PM

Spicy Basil Bean Dip (modified from this recipe)

1 head garlic
1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
3 T oil (preferably olive, but I used canola)
2 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (this is spicy, you can use less if you'd like)
1/4 cup fresh basil (I never actually measure this)

Peel the garlic and slice the end off of each clove. Place the garlic into a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and drain. Place all ingredients except basil into a food processor and process until smooth.  Slice the basil into strips as thin as possible and stir into the dip. (You can put the basil into the food processor with the other ingredients but then you often get big uneven pieces of basil.) Adjust seasoning as desired. Serve with chopped vegetables (carrots, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, cauliflower) and pita chips or bagel chips.

I brought this to a potluck and it went over really well.  It's also a great change of pace from hummus!
17  COOKING / Dessert / 5-ingredient strawberry cheesecake pie on: June 16, 2007 08:38:26 PM

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie (I got the cheesecake recipe from a woman in my SnB -- I also saw it at the Kraft website. The strawberries are all me.)

1 8-oz package cream cheese (low fat or fat free is fine)
1/3 cup of sugar
1 8-oz container of cool whip (low fat or fat free is fine), thawed (I microwaved it for 15 seconds)
1 premade graham cracker crust
1 lb strawberries, sliced very thinly (about 1/8" thick)

Let the cream cheese soften (mine sat on the counter for about 30 minutes in summer weather), and place in bowl with sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat for 3 -4 minutes, making sure that the cream cheese is whipped (you do not want "chunks" of cream cheese). (I left my hand mixer at home when I moved -- I did it in a food processor and it took about 30 seconds to mix.)

Add the container of cool whip and mix for a few minutes until everything is fluffy. (Again, about 30 seconds in the food processor.)

Spread a small amount of the cream cheese mixture onto the pie crust. Add one layer of sliced strawberries. Alternate cream cheese and strawberries, ending with cream cheese. Decorate the top with strawberries and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. (This is really good, but it tends to ooze a little once it's cut -- and it also doesn't cut cleanly. So have a spoon nearby...)
18  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / What's the best method to seam lace? on: June 16, 2007 11:47:26 AM
I'm making this version of the Saturday Market Bag.  I've gotten to the point of sewing the side seams, and no matter what I try (so far: mattress stitch, backstitch, and single crochet seam) it looks awful.  Any suggestions or links to tutorials (I've checked Google and have found only methods for seaming solid fabric) would be much appreciated!
19  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Tasty Tomato Salad on: June 09, 2007 07:08:07 PM

There are 2 versions of this recipe -- the lazy one (which I make) and the prettier-looking one reserved for special guests. Lazy version first (so that all of us lazy people don't have to read extra words) and then the complicated steps if you so choose.

Step 1: (This one's a pain, but it's necessary, and makes leftovers for next time. Idea courtesy of Mollie Katzen.) Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Open kitchen window, and bring the vinegar to a boil. (Boiling vinegar gives off nasty fumes.) Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until volume of vinegar is reduced by about half, between 20 and 30 minutes. Pour into a small glass bowl or bottle -- vinegar will thicken and become syrupy as it cools.
Step 2: Chop a few Roma tomatoes and put them on a plate. Sprinkle very lightly with salt.
Step 3: Take about a half a package of water-packed firm tofu and cube it. Put the cubes on top of the chopped tomato.
Step 4: Rip up some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over the tofu.
Step 5: Drizzle with a little bit of the balsamic syrup (maybe a tablespoon?) and grind some black pepper over the top.
You can substitute thinly sliced green onions for the basil -- it'll be a totally different flavor but it will still be wonderful.

If you want to make it more complicated, you can slice the tomatoes (rather than chopping them), press the tofu (line a rimmed baking sheet with cotton towels or paper towels, slice the tofu about 1/2" thick and place the slices on the baking sheet, cover with a second baking sheet and then place a weight on top -- a book or some cans -- then wait about an hour), and chiffonade the basil (stack the leaves on top of one another, roll them lengthwise, and slice the roll thinly to get basil confetti). And then do nifty overlapping layers of tofu and tomato, drizzled with balsamic syrup and sprinkled with the chiffonade. And it will be beautiful.  (And tasty too!  Wink)
20  CROCHET / Projects from The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller / "Fishnet Skullcap" in SNBHH? on: June 01, 2007 10:34:09 PM
So I've been pondering making a hat from fishnet stitch.  And in the process of trying to figure out if (a) I could knit it in the round and (b) it would look like a hairnet, I came across this blurb for SNBHH.  (It's repeated on several other sites.)  I'm just curious -- was the Fishnet Skullcap left out of the final edition?  Does anyone know where I could get the pattern if it exists?  (And/or...can I knit it in the round?  Would it look like a hairnet? Cheesy)
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