Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's a sweet potato miracle!


Last night I was making my new favorite recipe, sweet potato quesadillas, when as I was peeling I realized that the sweet potato i was peeling looked just like a bird. Well, I realized right away that it was an important sign maybe even a minor miracle, I knew that I was being sent a divine message to give the people of the world my sweet potato quesadilla recipe(seriously it is quite tasty, economical, and vegetarian!).

Actually I have to admit that someone made these for me a few months ago and I simply figured out the recipe on my own, as it is quite simple.

Sweet Potato Quesadilla
(serves 3-4)

6-8 large flour tortillias
2-3 medium sweet potatoes (or maybe you call them yams)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
grated cheese of your choice (I like TJ's basque shepheard's sheep, or a good jack but use whatever you want)
4T fresh cilantro
1tsp oil or nonstick skillet

1 recipe Guacamole (follows after SWQ)
1 recipe fresh salsa (follows after SWQ)

Peel your sweet potatoes, cut them into roughly 1" cubes. Put your cubed sweet potato into a small covered saucepan with the 1cup of stock (you can use water), bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes, make sure you do not boil off your liquid, add more as neccessary. Meanwhile make your salsa and guacamole,and open your can of black beans and rinse until water runs clear. Poke the potatoes with a knife to see if they are done, they should be soft! You should have some leftover liquid, don't drain it! Mash it with the potaotes (extra flavor). Gently stir the black beans and cilantro into your mashed potato. Lightly oil your skillet (or use nonstick) and turn your burner to med-high heat. When it is hot but not smoking, place 1 flour tortillia in pan, sprinkle evenly across your grated cheese and then spread an even amount of the sweet potato mixture over the entire surface ( should be about half an inch thick or more). Place another tortillia on top flip it, let the other side brown, take it out,repeat, cut, and serve, yummy. (if you are making them all at once preheat your oven to 300F and transfer your finished quesadillas to the prewarmed oven so that everyone has a hot dinner)

So these are pretty good but they are even better if you make fresh guacamole and salsa to go with them. Now I'm sure that most people have their own favorite recipes for these two lovelies but I'm providing the two that I have come up with over many years of refinement, in case you don't have a favorite or in case you want to try someone else's interpretation.

Some of the quantities are general, use the smaller amount first, taste it and if it needs more add more! everyone has slightly different tasterbuds.



two ripe avocados
Juice from 1-2 lemons (1 will do if its a juicy one)
2T fresh cilantro
1T chile powder
2-3 tsps cumin seed
lots of salt (to taste)

Dry toast your cumin seeds on the stove top until they have darkened in color and start to smell toasty. Grind your cumin to the consistency of fine cornmeal in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder dedicated to spices (you can substitute preground cumin but it won't be the same). Ok now mash all your ingredients together with a fork (or food processor) until your guacamole is smooth.



1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3-4 green onions
lots of fresh cilantro at least 4T and up to 8T
juice of 1-2 lemons or limes
1 fresh serrano chile
2-3T chile powder
3-4tsps freshly ground & toasted cumin seeds(see guacamole recipe above)
lots of salt
and if you like it hot add small amounts of cayenne until it is the heat you want

It is easiest to just put all of these ingredients in a food processor and go. Start with the green onions, cilantro and serrano pepper, pulse 4-5 times. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until fully combined.

You can do this without a food processor, just cut all ingredients as finely as possible and mix together in a bowl, stir to combine. When tomatoes are in season I use fresh instead of canned.

Now you know what to have for dinner...tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

hey big spender!

Big spender that's me, yes it is. Now lookie what I spent it on.


I attended the auction for the very small school where my husband teaches 5th and 6th grade. It's a Waldorf inspired school which apparently equals very cool auction. I spotted the felting kit and boy I was on it, if anyone was taking it home it was for sure gonna be me. It was a little touch and go the last sixty seconds but I shamelessly shamed the parent that kept out bidding me (a little low I know, but man I had to have it). Here are some photos of what I've already made with the glorious roving I won, you can also see some of the fabric beads in action.



I also won the coolest kid art project. The 1st and 2nd grade made insect mobiles sculpted out of colored beeswax for the auction. I won one of the butterfly mobiles, I haven't been able to get a good photo yet so no pics, you have to use your imagination.

To change the subject slightly I am a participant in Back-Tack III I really didn't think I would make the sign-ups in time, needless to say I am over the moon that I am participating... so this is just to say expect more back-tack related posts to come.

Friday, April 21, 2006

forced buds

I don't have much to say about these fabric beads, have been slaving over them and I only have around forty. Here is a grouping of a few of them.

fabric-bead buds

I have big plans for these little guys, yes indeed. However the plan involves several hundred more. Where is your granny sweatshop when you need it (just kidding). These will soon be transformed into lovely earrings, the grand plan will have to wait for a larger stockpile. Sigh, sweatshop of one...coming right up!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Green ring queen

Oh look another green post. I've got a bit of a thing for green right now, and I've had a thing for rings for as long as I can remember. In fact I even spent three years of my life learning how to make rings (with metal) but now I make them out of fabric and beads, and elastic, and pretty much out of anything except metal. Witness below, a recent creation that needs a little refining but I think I may be making a bunch of these. Although I am a little dubious that anyone other than myself would willingly wear such an obtrusive impractical ring.


I also collect rings made by others. I discovered the site for cool rings not metal ,Carrotbox, a few months ago and have been addicted ever since. I purchased one of her early handmade glass rings for a steal. She has ,understandbly, raised her prices but her handmade glass rings are still very affordable and worth every penny. I love mine, it is white and what of course!


Even though I am a grown somewhat adult-like woman I can't help but adore childlike cheap candy jewelry. I have gobs of it and I like it better than the real thing, way better. Each to their own I say. Found this little lovely for fitty cents at goodwill, sweet.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Thrifty 60's luck

Well spring has gone to my head a bit, in Oregon we all start to get a little crazy when the sun finally reappears. Like masses of the undead we wander outside in a trancelike daze. Well my spring dazes have been taking me to the thrift store (like I don't go every week already...shhh)I have discovered that spring is excellent thrift hunting season, unlike me, everyone else in Portland is purging and spring cleaning while I simply continue to amass. I have been scoring loads of amazing 60's dress patterns, here is one I have already started working on. I am making it up in a lovely medium green vintage linen.


And to go along with my knitting fever I found some Vogue Knitting magazines from 1960...score! I know it isn't knit but I think I might die if I don't find some polka dot fabric like this and make a similar dress immediately, it is so darling I can hardly stand it!


Inside are many drool-worthy patterns including the white number on the bottom with the applied crochet flower pot. I think I would make it up in navy. Oh and I am not a fan of horizontal stripes (they make us shorter folk look even shorter)but boy these are some lovely specimens.


I have also been finding great pieces of vintage fabric in several yard lengths (I did something to make the thrift fairy very happy). Here are two of my favorites just because they are so bright and so garish.

Well it is another beautiful sunny day today so enough time in front of the computer, I am off for a spring walk.



Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Green Wednesday

thrifted green
Originally uploaded by Good Egg.
I thought I would get in on some of this color fun! I found this set of green glasses at a salvation army in Pasadena CA. I just couldn't resist the combination of fern and ginko leaves (and really, why resist?)

Speaking of household house is currently in a state that can only be described as hoo-ra nest like (a hoo-ra is a mythical southern bird which primarly takes up residence in messy hair or in this case just a giant house-sized mess)
However, this is no ordinary mess born from lack of desire to clean, no my friends, this is a mess with purpose this is a mess that is all business. Craft business that is. The entire house has been rearranged in order to accommodate a larger workspace for me and my tiny sprout of a crafty venture. I am still in the teetering pile sorting stage, but I am hoping to soon progress into the orderly useable workspace stage, wish me luck!