Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Something New

Don't we all like something new for our homes? I think the answer will be a resounding YES. Well I am certainly one of them, even if it isn't anything big. For that reason I want to share my little something with you. Hope you like it as well!

Happy over the HUMP day to you all!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just a little Note....

Does anybody else share these inflictions????

German Cucumber Salad (Gurkensalat)

Since I don't seem to have much to share regarding my crafting front (except I did another 3 long rows on my giant granny), I thought I would share another German recipe with you all. Personally I could eat cucumbers any which way, but this is certainly one of my favorites. Since I live by myself, it is a quick snack that I can whip up in minutes. Luckily I had some nice gardening friends that shared some of their loot with me. Lucky girl I am, right? Well hope you try it sometimes.

1 large cucumber
1 teaspoon salt
1 /4 cup red onion strips (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh herbs chopped
such as dill, parsley or basil (optional)
1/2 cup cider vinegar, wine vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
2 - 3 tablespoons sugar *
*Splenda can be substituted to lower calories or carbs.

This salad can truly become something that folks will comment on at a dinner and request over and over. It has been handed down from generation to generation in our family as a favorite. Also most major cuisines, be they German , French, Asian or Africa or South America , cucumber salad is a favorite. It adds a refreshing contrast to rich foods.
This recipe goes through some of the techniques to achieve two important things in marinated cucumber salad;
1.Crisp and Crunchy
The right crunchiness of the cucumber slices because as there is a natural enzyme in the cukes that breaks down the structure and it's activated when the cucumber is cut.
2. Tart and Sweet Refreshing Dressing

Keeping the dressing from being diluted by the water leeching out into it. I have often eaten bland cucumber salad because there is so much water in it, and it also leeches out and thins the dressing.
I find that if you take part of the skin off they are still very colorful but not as tough So I peel the cucumbers but skip a row as I go around the cucumber.
Slice the cucumbers about 1/8 inch thick. I find that if they are too thin they get soggy fast..
I use a channel cutter that makes nice groves. You can buy them at kitchen
tool stores.
A fork works nicely to make groves also , You can either peel the cucumber or leave it
unpeeled if you want.
If you have an older cucumber you can it in half , and then scoop out the tough seeds.
Then I cut in half and slice wedges.
Ok on to removing some of the moisture from the cucumbers and making them crisp.
The usual way to get water out of the cucumbers is to salt them and let them sit for awhile.
After 15 to 20 minutes you can see the board is soaked. The problem with this is that it is easy to over
wilt the cucumbers and they can become soggy. There is also an enzyme in the cucumbers that tends to break down the structure of the cucmbers that is activated when you cut them.
Cook's Illustrated Test Kitchen did a bit of research and found that you can put the slices between paper towels and let the water wick out of the cucumber. This is also a good way if you want a slat free cucumber salad. If you want you can salt these cukes just a bit and it will hasten the process.
You can see the wet paper towels after about 20 minutes even without salt.
This is the difference with salt and no salt. the one on the left is no salt and the one on the right has been salted. The same amount of slices, but the salt breaks them down much more.
I started out with half a cup of apple cider vinegar
I simmered it, NOT boil as this tends to dull the taste of the vinegar.
I reduced it by half , but 1 / 3 would have done just fine.
Then add the sugar
Add the oil
Add the onions and herbs if you want and taste. You can add salt and pepper if you want and let it sit
in the fridge a bit. I think you will be happy that the slices have a really great texture!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just another Scarf

Good Morning my lovely Ladies! How are you all doing today?

Personally am doing well. Just love the current temperatures around here and am hoping they stick around for a while. It is so nice to just be able to open the windows and let the air blow through the house. It's so refreshing.

As I said yesterday, after looking at Pinterest and Craftsy I wanted to start a whole bunch of new stuff, but I've been good, so good and held back on my first instincts. So last night I went back to working on my Giant Granny Square. Right now I am on round 60 and I tell you, it is starting to go a lot slower. Just one round seems to take forever. But I promised myself I will do at least 90 rounds and therefor I will just be patient (not an easy thing for me) and continue trucking on. I WILL FINISH IT.......(speaking loud encouragement to myself).

Here now is the scarf I just finished, which was a special order. And with that the person who ordered it, got to model it for this post herself. How fun is that? 

Ok, now on to doing a few more rounds today. Have a good one!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pinterest and Craftsy

Yessss, I spend hours roaming around Pinterest, as many of you probably have done so already. Just couldn't help myself. There are just to many beautiful things to gawk at and to admire. The other site I've been looking at is Craftsy, which made me gawk at even more things. I kept thinking, I want to make this and than of course that and so-on and so-on. When would I possibly find all the time that I would need to make even 1/8 of all those beautiful things. At this point I need to remind myself how many unfinished projects I still have and I know I need a reality check. Buuuttt I can look, can't I?

Ok here are a few of the things I really love:

Ok.....I really need to get busy and get back to what I am working on. Have lovely day my Friends! In the meantime check out those two sites and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Question

What a wonderful morning, the temps are just right (for me anyway) and the sun is shining. What more could I want?

This is what I have been working on the last couple of nights. It's slow progress, as my eyes just don't want to see the smaller stitches, but I really like it so far.

 Sorry.....a little out of focus

Now to my Tuesday Question: So far so good on the pattern. It came without scamatics, which I prefer, but just the written pattern. Up until now I understood what I was to do, but now the written pattern doesn't make sense to me anymore. What would you do at this point? Keep playing with it until you figure it out or would you make up your own pattern to make it fit, or maybe would you just leave it alone at that point? I am just really not sure would I should do. I think I would like it a little bit bigger. Your opinions would be appreciated!

See you all later,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Link-Up Monday

Seems like I am a day late, but as the saying goes, better late than never. I had wanted to post for 9/11, but didn't get a chance. So here a few pictures to the Memory of the Victims and their families. My continued prayers are with their families.

Last friday I baked some german bread and I must say it was absolutely delicious. I just love it slightly warm and with butter on it, or sometimes with swiss cheese and salami. Now doesn't that look good?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

German Goulash Soup

Since we been having cooler weather in our neck of the woods over the last few days, it makes me think of making soups and other hearty dishes. This is one of my favorite comfort foods......Goulash Soup. My grandma would always make this soup in the fall and winter month. Hope you will enjoy this recipe as well.

2 lbs. Beef, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 oz. Tomato paste
1 tbsp. Caraway seed
Beef bouillon
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 c. Sour cream
2 med. Onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 lg. Potatoes, chopped
3 tbsp. Paprika
3 cans beef broth (may need more)
1/4 c. Flour
Brown onion until transparent. Add beef and brown on all sides. Add garlic, tomato paste and spices. Add broth and simmer 1 to 2 hours. Add peppers and potatoes and simmer 1 more hour. Add sour cream. Make a paste of flour and broth from soup and dilute slowly to prevent lumps. Add back to soup. Simmer to thicken and let the flavors blend, about 15 to 30 minutes. Makes 6 to 7 quarts.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Question and a little Crochet

Hallo all you lovely ladies out there! How was your Holiday weekend?

It's been a few days since I been here, as I worked and didn't have much time for much else. But I wasn't totally without my crocheting needle and worked on coasters for my house. I chose red, white and black to go with my Coca-Cola collection and they are made out of "I Love This Cotton" from Hobby Lobby. I made 4 from each color and still had most of the ball of yarn left for more in the future. Am thinking about making some potholders to go with it.

Today is a wonderful sunny and cool day. It makes me think of fall, warm colors, falling leaves and apple pie. A new season is near.

So with that in mind our Tuesday Question: Are you crocheting or knitting with the seasons coming up and are you all planning on projects for the holidays ahead? Do you make a list of things to make or with a person in mind?

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