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Friday, November 27, 2009

Buy Nothing Day - November 27

Buy Nothing Day 2009
I know it's amazing to hear someone involved in retail saying that she's honoring this day. I have good reason, as I do believe that Black Friday sales and all the craziness of pushing and shoving and buying the latest thing (that will be forgotten with 2 weeks of receipt on Christmas morning) is not good for any of us.

I prefer to support handmade retail. I am all in favor of Handmade Holidays. I buy handmade (or make my own) gifts to give as much as humanly possible - and for those who say, "please do not make me a scarf or hat or anything handmade, I won't wear it and really don't want it," I try to find something very useful that is important to them and gift that.

But I think the most important thing is to set and follow a budget, to not go overboard on purchases. The first responsibility we have is to our own fiscal health. Loving the people you gift to, means that you love yourself first and don't put yourself in financial jeopardy.

That's my main reason for honoring Buy Nothing Day. The other? I can't stand crowds (well, except for craft and cat show crowds, that is...).
Now. With all that said, what did I do today? Well...I'm still all about the Local Food stuff, even if the summer event is over:

I peeled, chopped and roasted one of the CSA butternut squashes and several small onions in reduced sodium chicken broth...

Then pureed it all. Do you see how full that Cuisinart bowl is? Well, there's a reason they say "in small batches" in most recipes - it's because a bowl filled that full, overflows...ask me how I know?
I admit I am an amateur chef! So without further ado, here is the finished product:

it's Weight Watchers Curried Butternut Squash Soup (3 points per 3/4 cup serving, but when I input it to E-tools? I got 3.5 points for 1 cup...which is good, because I thought 3/4 cup was way too little). It's an excellent recipe, but because it comes from E-tools, I'll have to forego giving you the complete recipe.

(but there are some good Butternut Squash Soup recipes online...just Google!)

I finished off my meal with cooked spinach, and then a Fiber One Apple Cinnamon muffin and applesauce. More than enough food, and very few points - most everything is also a "Filling Food" on the WW plan.

Today was also all about finishing up orders for holiday gifts, and now I can concentrate on filling my Etsy store for those little "somethings" that might make the perfect Handmade Holidays gift for your special person...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still Producing - I'm Thankful for CSA

Unbelieveably, at least to me, the CSA shares continue. This week was a variety, turnips which will find homes elsewhere, as I am NOT a fan, and garlic, sweet potatoes (yummy!), the last of the salad greens, and:
Kale! I was able to fill 2 1-lb freezer tubs with this...The house smells wonderful, but I suspect I might not think that in the morning... *wink*

And butternuts
which will no doubt become soup, tho' I may just cube and freeze it at this point...if I can squeeze much more into my apartment's refrigerator freezer that is!

And then there's this, which to me is incredibly obscene-looking and has the most earthy smell (because, after all, that's dirt hanging on it!)

Ok. What on earth do I do with a celeriac? (I found a soup recipe, but I can't quite imagine what it will taste I going to regret making this?)

Advice is welcome.
And Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Veggie Spaghetti

Last night, I was rifling thru the fridge and cabinets to put something together for dinner after a long, long day in the sewing room.

I was totally starving - I tend to eat a very late breakfast on the weekends, and then just a snack around 3 - you know, the 2 Tbls. of hummus and pita toasts, kind of snack (it's small, but tasty, and healthy!

I realized I'd opened a jar of Barilla spaghetti sauce earlier in the week to take out a couple of spoonsful to top a veggie chicken patty, and remembered that I'd promised to make spaghetti before the end of the week. we are, the end of the week!

So out came the sauce, a package of MorningStar Farms Recipe Crumbles, some mixed peppers and onions (frozen), a small can of mushrooms (drained), three cloves of garlic, olive oil, and olive oil cooking spray. I only used 2/3 of the bag of crumbles, probably a cup of the peppers and onions. About 2 Tbls. of oil.

I tend to forget to toss in the chopped garlic till I'm almost ready to add in the sauce - everything else is sauteed together, and the garlic can burn, so I guess I'm just too leery of throwing it in the pan too soon. That usually means it's still pretty crunchy when I eat the first meal of this sauce. Fortunately, I like garlic anyway I can get it, so it's okay if it's not fully cooked (I am not a vampire, I guess, huh?). The recipe builder on the WW site says the recipe is 8 points for 1 cup of pasta and 1 cup of sauce. I also added about a Tbls of Parmesan cheese for 1 point.

Oh, I use whole wheat pasta, too. Years ago, after my heart attack, I switched completely to brown rice and whole wheat pasta products. It didn't take too long to adjust, and I no longer notice a difference. When I'm out? I rarely order the white stuff, as I don't particularly care for it. I'll even eat Chinese with no rice rather than eating the white!

I'm sure there are some of you who think "Ewwww! Soy "burger?"

Yup. I was a pesca-vegetarian for many years. While I now eat beef and chicken, I rarely eat hamburger anymore. Again, I do think the taste is acquired, and I'm glad it's one I have!

I forgot to take a photo of the completed meal last night, so had to wait to post this till I had dinner tonight! The leftovers are great, btw...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hi! Remember Me?

Oddly enough, I'm still cooking and trying to eat properly on Weight Watchers, but I am not remembering to post much over here! I'm sorry to those few of you who stop by once in awhile...

Last week in the CSA I got several sweet potatoes (in varying sizes), so I peeled them all, coated the bottom of a glass casserole with olive oil spray, then drizzled a tablespoon of real olive oil, two tablespoons of Maple Grove reduced sugar maple syrup and a scant 1/8th cup of water and covered it with aluminum foil (which I also sprayed with oil). Then slid the whole thing into a 400 degree oven for an hour.

I'm usually one who thinks that sweet potatoes need nothing added to be their tasty best: normally I just encase them in foil and bake the dickens out of them. But I've been delighted to find this Maple Grove syrup - it's real Vermont Syrup!! - and have been doing little experiments to check it out. And this was good!

Not so local, but a nice addition to my meal was this bunch of asparagus, just steamed and lightly buttered:

Adding them to a Gorton's Grilled Salmon filet (100 calories, 2 points, and the easiest way to fix good salmon I know) made for a really fine dinner...

I'm toying with some new directions for this blog in the coming year, so stay with me, okay?