Monday, January 21, 2008

winter delights

What's the best way to spend a chilly winter weekend? Visiting Three Floyds (a local microbrewery just across the Indiana border), watching The Office with friends while sipping pomegranate martinis, knitting...

Tulip Sweater

Garter Stitch Cardi
(Unique Sheep Superwool, Spruce Sprigs)

Watching the Packers lose to the Giants last night was not part of the perfect winter weekend equation. Oh well... at least I taped the new Northanger Abbey.

cocoa swap question of the week

Now that we're in the thick of 'Winter'... has your knitting changed to match the season? Are you moving on from dishcloths, and tank tops to afghans, hats and mittens? Has your yarn changed from silk or cotton to wool, superwash or heavier cottons?

I always like knitting with wool and wool blends; the change of seasons prompts me to change the size of my project rather than the fiber content. A lap full of wool is delightful in the winter, but awful in the summer. A cold snap prompts me into a mitten and hat knitting frenzy!

Winter is one of my favorite seasons -- sweaters, snowflakes, crisp air, mittens, hot cocoa, piping hot bowls of soup, and fresh crusty bread. Here's a delicious soup recipe, slightly modified from Jeanne Lemlin's Vegetarian Classics.

Indonesian Curried Vegetable Soup

Serves 6-8

1 -2 T. canola oil (I tend to go light on the oil)
2 medium onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp. minced ginger (I use the kind that comes in a jar as it's far easier)
2 C. thinly sliced mushrooms (regular white mushrooms)
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1/8 or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 C. vegetable stock (I use Better Than Bouillon organic vegetable stock base)
14 oz. light coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1.5 C. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 C. finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 C. fine egg noodles (No Yolks)
juice of 1 lemon

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and saute, stirring often, for 10 min., or until the onions are soft and golden.

2. Add the mushrooms and saute 5 min. Sprinkle on the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often.

3. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook 10 min., stirring occasionally.

4. Mix in the green beans, red bell pepper, and noodles. Cook at a lively simmer for 10 min., or until the vegetables and noodles are tender. Stir in the lemon juice just before serving.

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