My little buddy

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A week later and it's quilted and bound! I think it turned out well!

It was one of the easiest quilt tops I have ever made.

It's a small one - a table topper, actually.

If I were to make this again, I wouldn't hand quilt it. I'd take the easy route and machine quilt. Only because I am usually in a rush to get it done.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rices of the World

I have to preface this post with how full of useless knowledge I am. I started researching rice and realized I didn't really need to. Apparently my Economic Botany course has stuck with me since my university days. There's space in my brain I could have used for something else.
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Rice is one of the largest global crops, third only to corn and wheat. It's grown in paddies - semi-flooded fields, because rice requires an enormous amount of irrigation. The paddie also cuts down on weed growth, maximizing rice production.

Rice is actually the seeds of the rice plant. The seeds are hulled, removing the chaff, to produce brown rice. Processing the rice further will remove the germ, producing white rice. There are two main types of rice, being Oryza sativa (Asian) and Oryza glaberrima (African), with over 10,000 cultivars or varieties. e.g. O. sativa var indica - Indian rice.

Rice is classified by a few terms:

Long Grain - long, slender kernel that, when cooked is light and fluffy and rarely sticks.
e.g. Basmati rice
Medium Grain - shorter and wider than long grain. When cooked, the grains are moist and tend to cling together more than long grain.
e.g. Jasmine rice
Short Grain - short,plump grains that have more amylopectin in it, so it is stickier, or rather, glutinous.
e.g. Sweet Rice

It's then divided into brown and white rice categories.

Let's move onto the miraculous abomination of Instant Rice. Instant rice is merely white rice that has been cooked and then dehydrated. It's quick and easy. It's also not very flavorful. Because of it's ease, it became popular with most home cooks in the 70's. Because of that, people have shied away from using other, regular rices. Many people don't like them because:
1. they take longer to cook - oooohhh that extra 10- 20 minutes is a killer!
2. they clump together more than instant rice - that MUST be unnatural!
3. they have flavor - surely that's not right!

There is nothing easier to cook than rice. Really! You follow the 3 step instructions on the box or bag - one of which is fill the pot with X cups of water - and enjoy.

I would suggest, for the rice-timid, that Thai Jasmine rice would be the best to try. Don't be worried or intimidated by the name. It's just called that because is it the most popular rice in Thailand. Jasmine rice has a nice nutty flavour and aroma. It's extremely easy to cook and it will compliment just about anything you pair it with. When you're shopping, bypass the Minute Rice and stop at the bagged rice. Search for the following: Jasmine rice or Thai Jasmine rice - it can be labeled either way. When you go to use it, allow yourself an extra 15 minutes - to read the directions and cook the rice - over what you would usually take to make your rice. Then, get back to me on your rice experiment.

Why haven't I mentioned wild rice? Because rice and wild rice are not the same. They do belong the same plant family, but are different species. Wild rice is a Zizania sp. Wild rice takes longer to cook and has a slightly different flavour and texture. If you've never had wild rice, I would suggest something as easy and mundane as Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice Selects - flavour infused rice that is quick to cook (not as quick as instant) and very tasty. That way you'll know if you want to venture further into cooking with wild rice.

And that's it. I'm sucked dry on useless rice knowledge.

Recipe Time!

So, I had SUCH a hankering for curry last night. That being so, I made Indian Korma. Yummy! So good! And I used the Epicure curry dip to make the sauce. Imagine that! For those of you who aren't familiar with various Indian dishes, Korma is a coconut curry sauce. Next, I think I will try Vindaloo, a tomato curry sauce.


Chicken Korma
1-2 lbs chicken breasts, cubed 1"
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp VE Curry Dip mix
2 tbsp minced garlic

Mix all ingredients in a stain proof dish. Allow to marinate for 2-8 hours.

1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
1 celery rib, chopped
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed 1/2"
1/2 tsp dried ginger (or 1 tsp minced gingerroot)
3/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup water

In a large frying pan or wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and fry for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add remaining vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add remaining seasonings and the chicken curry mixture. Add 1/2 cup water to marinating bowl to clean out left over marinade and add to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Serve Korma with Basmati Rice and Naan bread.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Adsense Is Gone!

Why?

Because they suspended my account.

Why?

They didn't like that I encouraged people to click on the ads.

But they left the ad content on the blog. I guess they thought they could get some freebee clicks. So I removed the content myself.

I love how they suspended it when I was 3/4 of the way to a payout. Interesting.

When Your Drawers Are Too Big


This is what happens when your drawers are too big.

Yesterday morning, I picked Lauren up to check her diaper and one of her legs was wet. So I checked it out and sure enough it was pee. I took her pants off to inspect the diaper and what should I find, but pooh on her onesie.

She's just recently moved up a size in diapers and this one was pretty loose on her butt. So much so, that everything had leaked.

So, I threw her clothes in the washer. But what to do for clothes now? I couldn't just let her wander around for 2 hours in a diaper and sneakers! Well, I managed to find this old knit sweater that I used to use on my dolls when I was younger, but it realler didn't cover much. So, I had to whip up a shift to put over her. Shades of Scarlett O'Hara - that fabric is actually from a set of curtains I used to have.

She looks like an orphan or something. The ensemble goes particularly well with the sneakers, huh?

AdSense Update

You guys rock!

My total as of 8AM this morning is $52.07!

Thank you sooooo much!

Now, keep on clicking!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction


This movie was amazing!

I am not a big fan of Will Ferrell's. That being said, he did an amazing job with this role.

And really, how can you go wrong with a supposting cast like Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman!?

Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a hum-drum IRS agent, who starts to hear a woman narrating his life and his iminent death.

Emma Thompson plays a bestselling author who has been working on a novel for ten years and has writer's block - she can't figure out how to kill off her hero. What she doesn't know is that her hero, Harold Crick, is real and he can hear her.

This movie is funny and it's a tear jerker and it makes you smile, because truth really is stranger than fiction...