Monday, December 27, 2010

Wok Wonderful Wok

A few years ago I ruined my wok. I am a stir-frying maniac, so I was sad to see it go. What did it in? My love for tofu with a nice, crispy sear on the outside. My previous wok was not non-stick, and the delicious, crispy outside layer of tofu would stick to the pan every time. I never bought one after I threw the last one out, and I've been eating soggy tofu since.

For Christmas my mother-in-law got me a Breville electric (plug-in) non-stick wok. I used it tonight for a healthy tofu, asparagus, and mushroom stir-fry, and I think I am in love with this tofu! Look how browned and crispy it is!

The recipe is from the New York Times' "Recipes For Health" series.

What I am no so happy about is the non-stick "quantanium" coating. Non-stick surfaces are made with PFOA, a chemical that has been labeled a "likely carcinogen" by the EPA and has polluted water sources near where it is manufactured. Purchasing non-stick products has always been a big "no-no" for me because of the amount of PFOA that is used (and eventually discarded) during production.

I really like the results this appliance has shown so far. The heat settings seemed really accurate, and it was quick to heat-up. I'm just feeling a bit guilty at the moment about this pan. Dinner, though? A+!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Starry Night, With Love

I drew and designed this star ornament using a cookie cutter pattern and a book of embriodery. The brown vines are a backstitch and a whipped backstitch. The berries are french knots. The two pieces of felt are held together with a blanket stitch.
I designed two other ornaments, but I haven't ventured to cut out and stitch those yet. My other designs are a bell and a dove. I hope to have those ready for gifts next year.

It has been a great experience learning all these new stitches and designing something on my own. I've given out handmade gifts to my family along with the store-bought gifts I've gotten for them.

I'm looking forward to a few days off! We are having friends over for an Iron Chef supper club tomorrow night. Secret ingredient? Cinnamon!
Christmas Eve is dinner at our house with lots of goodies: pear and arugula salad, beef wellington, rosemary roasted potatoes, roasted asaparagus with parmesan, and a caramel chess tart!
Merry Christmas, everyone! Have a safe and joyous holiday.

Finished Cross Stitch

I had this framed in a wide, rustic wooden frame. I think it turned out nice. My brother and sister-in-law have a baby on the way due in April. I really hope it is a girl so I can stitch some of the cute girl patterns I have!
I've been embriodering felt ornaments as gifts for my family this Christmas. I plan to finish another one tonight and three more by Christmas. Can't wait to show you all my finished star ornaments!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Preview

The decorating phase is over. We still have a bunch of presents to wrap, but I'll tell ya -- it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, December 03, 2010

On A Cold December Night

Tonight we will have split-pea soup and bread and an apple crisp for dessert. Then, we will decorate the tree!

All of that sounds nice and all, but I really wish I was in Portland to get a signed copy of Alicia Paulson's Embriodery Companion. I have been embriodering like crazy lately. Photos to come soon!

Tonight I will make an O Fizz (Oprah's favorite holiday drink) to enjoy while I deck the halls. Lately I keep discovering that I like the same things Oprah likes. Or maybe Oprah likes the same things I like? Its weird. I can't remember ever watching an entire Oprah episode.

Tis the Season! Here's a little Graceland and Elvis... Our "Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas" record would skip at 1:17...

"Lights a glow...ow...ow...ow... "

Love those Christmastime memories!