July, 2014

  1. tofu with Thai coconut SunButter sauce

    July 24, 2014 by Angie

    I have always been curious about the peanut butter based sauces at Thai restaurants but could never eat them because anaphylaxis. I stumbled across a recipe on Vegangela’s site for tofu with Thai coconut peanut sauce. It looked simple enough and I had most of the ingredients already, including a really awesome thing called SunButter. SunButter is sunflower seed butter that I’m told is very similar to peanut butter in taste and texture. It can be subbed 1 for 1 for peanut butter in any recipe, according to the jar, so that’s what I did.

    tofu and sauce closeup

    Verdict: The tofu was phenomenal. I will definitely cook with coconut oil in the future to get that authentic Thai flavor. The coconut “peanut” butter sauce was good but very rich. I dropped small dollops around my dish of tofu and veggies and that was plenty. It does have a lot of fat in it so that explains the decadence. Even though Robbie and I both liked it, I probably won’t make the sauce again due to the high fat content/overly rich flavor. I’m glad I now kinda know what I was missing!

    stir-fried tofu and veggies with Thai coconut SunButter sauce


  2. stir-fried tofu with scallions, garlic, ginger, & soy sauce

    July 23, 2014 by Angie

    For dinner last night I made Kalyn’s Kitchen’s adaptation of a Mark Bittman (VB6 inventor) recipe for stir-fried tofu with scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Robbie went on and on about how good it was, and I didn’t stop him 🙂 I have to agre: it was really, really good. This was the third time I made this but I didn’t get it totally right until last night.

    stir frying the tofu

    I think the trick is not to get the pan too hot before adding the oil then the first ingredients. I’m pretty sure that’s what the instructions say to do but I burned the garlic and ginger the first two times. This time I got all of the ingredients ready to go, got the pan warm, added the peanut oil, then threw in the garlic, ginger, tofu cubes, and white parts of the scallions. It worked out perfectly.

    stir-fried tofu with scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce

    I had some leftover sautĂ©ed Brussels sprouts on the side and Robbie had two pieces of toast. If you don’t make an elaborate side, this main dish makes for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.


  3. half square triangle chevron quilt

    July 21, 2014 by Angie

    Chevrons have been all the rage for some time now. I’ve made three small projects out of half square triangles (HSTs). They’re a relatively easy and versatile way to create quilt blocks. I couldn’t miss out on the (tail end of the) chevrons-made-from-HSTs trend so I made this quilt for my niece’s birthday. I followed this tutorial from My Quilt Infatuation to make the quilt top. I gave it to her a little early so I could see her with it in person. I’m glad I did.

    Caitlin displays her quilt

    Caitlin holding up her quilt. It’s bigger than she is!

    happy Caitlin

    Caitlin and the back of the quilt. I think she likes it 🙂

    Quilt Top Fabrics

    Kona Steel – twenty 9″ squares
    Ty Pennington Impressions Roscoe – four 9″ squares
    Ty Pennington Impressions Plaid –  four 9″ squares
    Pink polka dot fabric from the Lola’s Posies by Lila Tueller Designs collection for Riley Blake – twelve 9″ squares

    Sookie sniffs the chevron quilt

    Sookie checks the quilt out with a sniff sniff.

    Following the tutorial, the first step is to cut out forty 9″ squares of fabric to make 80 HSTs. Below is a photo of my big stack of fabrics.

    stack of 40 9" squares

    Step Two is to pair your fabrics (always a print with the solid gray) in the order you want for the final quilt. I made a diagram for myself then got to pairing.

    Step Three is to sew a 1/4″ seam all the way around each pair of squares. Face them right sides together, I pinned, then I used my quarter inch foot to sew all the way around. You’ll have to do this twenty times.

    sewn square pairs

    Step Four is to slice through each sewn fabric pair diagonally twice to get four HSTs from each fabric pair. Now there are 80 HSTs. The pattern is designed to allow you to skip squaring up each HST but mine were radically different from one another so see Step Five.

    unfinished half square triangles

    Step Five was supposed to be just pressing the HSTs then trimming off the little dog ear ends. Mine were not going to line up nicely so I ended up using the very handy HST ruler my parents got me for Christmas to make all eighty 5 1/2″ square HSTs. It took a lot longer than I would have liked, especially since it wasn’t supposed to have to happen at all.

    HST squaring station

    HST Squaring Station

    80 HSTs!

    Eighty beautiful HSTs!

    Step Six is to make sure you’ve got the HSTs laid out as they should appear in your final quilt then begin sewing them together in rows.

    a row

    Step Seven is to sew the rows together. Above are two rows ready to be sewn together. There’s a lot of seam pressing involved.

    sewing the rows to one another

     Coming together

    The quilt top is complete!

    chevron quilt top

    Finished quilt top

    Now to baste, quilt, and bind. I did straight line quilting that echoes the chevrons. There is a quilting line a 1/4″ below and above each chevron edge, so twenty lines total.

    basted

     Ready to bind

    Quilt Stats
    Finished size: 39.5″ x 50″
    Quilt top fabrics: Kona Steel, pink polka dot fabric from the Lola’s Posies by Lila Tueller Designs collection for Riley Blake, Ty Pennington Impressions Roscoe, Ty Pennington Impressions Plaid
    Quilt back fabric: Kona Steel
    Binding: Moda White Bleached
    Batting: Warm & White
    Quilting: straight line echo
    Label: handmade from Moda White Bleached and scraps of Ty Pennington Impressions Roscoe and Plaid

    closeup of the quilting

    A closeup of the quilting

    quilt back and label

    I added the label last this time by blind stitching it by hand just before washing the quilt. I think I made this label a little too large but overall I think I prefer this to the quilt over it method I used previously.

    Hot Florida Yard

    This is not the best photo of the quilt but I thought the sky looked nice.


  4. indoors grilled corn on the cob

    July 18, 2014 by Angie

    I made some corn on the cob tonight that would blow your mind! I have been craving delicious, spicy, salty, buttery corn on the cob since Fourth of July 2013 when my friend’s dad made the best corn on the cob I have ever eaten. I don’t totally know how he did that but I took some guesses and made the second best corn on the cob I have ever eaten.

    grilled corn and blackened tofu

    Here it is with some blackened tofu. Happy day!

    Ingredients/Directions

    Obtain as many ears of corn as you have hungry people. Pull the husks down to clean the corn and remove the silks. Pull the husks back up and soak the ears of corn in a big bowl or pot of water for 10-20 minutes. Spray a grill pan with oil and heat on medium heat. Kinda flick the ears of corn around to get the water out of them then put them on the grill. Grill them for about 20-25 minutes. Turn them sometimes so every side gets some nice grill marks. When they’re cooked, hold onto the end of each one with a towel and remove the husk. Rub some Smart Balance margarine on the kernels then sprinkle salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne powder, and paprika on top, to your liking. Be so happy.

    grilling the corn

    Corn on the grill. You don’t need to be a BBQ pro to enjoy grilled corn!


  5. sautéed Brussels sprouts with garlic and pecorino

    July 6, 2014 by Angie

    I’m still trying out new side dishes to add to the repertoire and really love this one. It’s this recipe for Brussels sprouts sautĂ©ed in vegetable broth with garlic, onion, and thyme. Because it’s sautĂ©ed instead of baked, it takes a lot less time to make. Once it’s finished, serve and sprinkle with some shaved Pecorino Romano cheese (or leave it off to enjoy a vegan version).

    Sauteed Brussels sprouts with garlic and pecorino

    I think this would make a great Thanksgiving side. It cooks up pretty quickly and won’t be taking up any precious oven real estate. The Brussels sprouts are so tender and flavorful when prepared this way and the fancy cheese on top takes everything to another level. Sookie could smell the cheese from the living room and, the way she was acting, you’d think there was doggie crack in our kitchen. I’ve never seen her so motivated to eat something before. Sadly, I can kinda understand where she’s coming from.