Etsy.com is a fantastic site/community where artists and craftspeople can set up stores and sell their handcrafted goods. It can be difficult to find really good stuff on there at times, but if you dig around there are some gems to be found for really reasonable prices. Supporting independent artists is always a good thing to do, and Etsy makes it really easy, and we need more art for our walls, and…well here we are.
Indigo Blossoms giclee fine art print by Karen Faulkner
Octopus Linocut by Michael Arras
I is for Iguana by She Rides the Lion
- 3 fresh hot italian sausages
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 medium leeks, green + white parts only, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 cup mixed cooked grains*
- Cook sausages in a 4 qt (or so) pot until done. Remove to a plate and slice into bite-sized pieces. Set aside for now.
- Add oil to the pot and heat over med. Toss in the leeks, onion, garlic, celery, pepper flakes, and thyme. Saute for 7-8 mins.
- Return sliced sausages to the pot, and saute for another 2-3 mins.
- Add diced tomatoes with juice. Heat until simmering then turn down to low. Simmer on low for 30 mins or so.
- Add beans and grains and continue to simmer for at least 20-30 mins. Longer is better.
That’s it. Excellent vehicle for cholula sauce and crusty buns.
* I do a 2:2:1 combo mixed grains of quinoa:hulled barley:wild rice. It’s crazy yummy and useful for lots of things.
Dinnertime sort of crept up on us today and Rob has a standing appointment Monday evenings, so dinner had to be quick and simple. Threw this together somewhat on the fly, and it turned out really well.
Grilled hoisin salmon
- 2 salmon filets, however big you think you can eat. We tend to get one normal size one and cut it in half.
- 2-3 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
These are crazy simple. Preheat your grill (yes it’s winter and there’s snow, but we just grill all year) to 350-450 degrees…lower is better because hoisin sauce tends to carmelize quickly so a lower heat gives you more room for error.
Spread the olive oil on one side of a sheet of tinfoil (to keep the fish from sticking). Spread half the hoisin sauce on one side of the salmon filets, put those hoisin-sauced-side down on the tinfoil, then spread the tops with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Plop the whole thing (fish + foil) on the grill for 15-20m — no need to flip them or anything, just let ’em sit. Try to avoid seriously overcooking them, but it’s hard to screw these up too badly.
Spicy cabbage noodles
- 1-2 tsp canola or peanut oil
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp (or so) red pepper flakes
- 2-3 c shredded napa cabbage
- Chinese egg noodles (ramen, enough for 2 people)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
Cook egg noodles according to directions then rinse under cold water until cool (to stop them from continuing to cook and get all mushy). I tend to undercook them slightly since they’ll cook more when being stir-fried.
Heat oil in a wok or saute pan until hot but not quite smoking. Throw in the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and stir fry those for 2-3 mins. Toss in shredded cabbage and stir fry until wilted, another 3-4 mins. Add in cooked noodles and continue stir-frying until those are heated through. Add soy sauce and vinegar, toss until everything is coated and yummy.
Divide cabbage noodles on to two plates and top with salmon filets.
Awesomely Simple by John Spence – Business book outlining six “essential business strategies for turning ideas into action”. I sort of speed-read this on the plane to Mountain View earlier in the week, getting through it in a couple of hours, but I’ll be re-reading chunks of it soon. I’m not really qualified to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to business books, but I’ll put this one down as “worth reading” since I’ve already recommended it to a couple of people.
Moonfleet – Classic (1898) novel by John Faulkner describing a young John Trenchard’s adventures as he joins the smuggling trade, seeks a pirate’s treasure, and grows into a man. A fantastic story, well told and absolutely worth reading. Part of my Project Gutenberg Project. (Other reviews @amazon.com.)
The Forgotten Garden – Recent novel by Kate Morton. Great start that gets a little bogged down towards the middle but eventually leads to an overly telegraphed but satisfying conclusion. A decently entertaining read, but nothing spectacular.
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