toast quilt

Ever since I made our wedding quilt, I’ve wanted to make another. The truth is though, I was a little intimidated. While my first attempt turned out well in the end, it was quite the struggle, and was by no means perfect. The thought of making a larger quilt was even more frightening. Yet, the idea still festered in the back of my mind. Then somewhere on the internet I saw this idea of a tiny quilt made for breakfast and I knew it was the perfect project.

The toast quilt (which I guess is actually called a mug rug) is sort of like a pot holder, except rectangular. In theory you’d put your coffee on there with your toast but I really just wanted one for the toast. It drives me sort of crazy to put toast on a plate unless it’s totally flat, otherwise it slips around when you are putting your spread on. Yes, I’m extremely particular about my toast. Often I’ll just use a napkin, but a quilted coaster is even better.

I had a few fabric samples designed by Jenean Morrison that I scored at Alt Summit, which were perfect for this tiny project. For the rest I used leftover fabric and batting from the previous quilt. I probably should have picked a more appropriate binding but the tan was already cut and ironed so I just went with it. I still need to work on cutting my squares perfectly the same size and also on my binding but I am very happy with my tiny quilt and already want to make more. The truth is it only barely scratched my quilting itch. I’ve resigned to make a full sized quilt, but I should probably do a little more practice first.

Morning Glory

It’s no secret that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I have to admit though, I’m quite the creature of habit. Nearly every morning it’s sourdough toast with earth balance and nutritional yeast. And of course that first glorious cup of coffee.

I’m trying to shake things up a bit. I’m not proposing I give it up, I love it too much, but rather have a bit more variation in my breakfast menu. Recently there have been bowls of oatmeal, English Muffins with peanut butter and bananas. I need more ideas though. Something that can be made in around 10 minutes or so, but enough fuel to make it to lunchtime. (more…)

St. Patty’s treats

Saint Patrick’s day is upon us again and I wanted to get in a quick post to honor it, and also to reflect on the feasting Shawn and I did last year. This year we won’t be feasting for every meal, but we’ll try to squeeze in a few Irish themed dishes. We started early by having some beans and toast tonight, with some apple sage field roast sausage. I’ll try out some new recipes for tomorrow, but why mess with something that is amazingly delicious as it is?

Now, back in February, I mentioned I had a few knitting projects going and that I might just share one for Saint Patrick’s if I finished in time. Guess what…I did! Even with making a million mistakes and having to undo hours of work, I managed to complete the above pictured fingerless gloves. They’re made with organic cotton yarn (in green of course!) that I love. It’s so easy to work with and softer than any not-so animal friendly wool. If you were so inclined, you could knit these yourself as there is a free pattern available, which I’m always appreciative of. These guys are so comfy and also great for keeping warm on a bike ride without losing your grip.

Part of the reason there won’t be extensive feasting this year, is because I’ve been rather busy baking away. I did manage to get some special St. Patrick’s day cupcakes over to Meet Market, so if you need some Saint Patrick’s day treats you can get your own lucky shamrock vanilla cupcake, or some Peppermint Patty cupcakes or even a special green themed “hostess” cupcake with marshmallow cream filling. Get them before they’re gone though, they’ve been selling out awfully quick.

Hope everyone has a lovely Saint Patrick’s day. Eat something delicious. Don’t forget to wear green (or orange). Try not to drink too much. 🙂

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

First of all, welcome to the new home of Cute and Delicious! I’m really excited to start this off with a great recap of some Saint Patrick’s Day feasting.

For Shawn’s birthday this year, I gave him a number of tokens to be redeemed for favors or treats including meals and bike rides. Despite the fact that he has had a few months to use them, he has yet to come up with anything to trade them in for. That is, until Saint Patrick’s day. The first token was used for a full Irish feast day.

We started off the day with beans on Irish Soda bread toast and some smoked apple sage Field Roast Sausage . I’m not usually one to eat particularly hearty breakfasts (although I am a huge fan of toast) but this was a very satisfying way to start the day. The first time I had ever had beans on toast was actually in Belfast, and I’ve only had a it a few times since then. The beans were just slightly sweet and went really well with the soft, dense bread. We’ve tried other flavors of the grain sausages before and, previously, I have not been a fan. The apple sage sausage was perfect though. It had a very light flavor and a subtle sweetness to it.

For lunch, we had a picnic, since I only had a bit of spare time on my lunch break. I tried out the recipe from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen for Colcannon Puffs. I was very excited about mixing kale and potatoes, two of my favorites, and making them into adorable little toasted bites. I was so excited, in fact, that threw the kale in the food processor and blended to a puree instead of chopped leafy chunks. When I mashed it together with the potatoes, I had truly green potato puffs. I loved the texture of these, soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the outside, with a noticeable lightness. My only problem was that they were extremely salty, which is saying a lot coming from me, because I love salt. I didn’t even use salt in the water to make the potatoes so I would definitely cut down the seasoning a bit next time around.

We enjoyed these in the greenery of Griffith Park, along with some leftover beans, toast and sausage from breakfast. Shawn also made a great nutritional yeast cheese sauce to top everything off.

For dinner I busted out my crock pot and made an Irish stew. Sometimes I forget how amazing crock pots are. It’s great to be able to throw all the ingredients in and just let it cook away all day without having to do a thing. This stew was hearty and filling. All the vegetables were soft and flavorful. The other great thing about this stuff is that it’s even better the next day, it thickens up just a bit and makes it even more wonderful. The recipe is kind of a hodgepodge of things but you can check it out below. The only change I would probably make is to make sure the seitan is cut into small pieces so that it doesn’t overshine the vegetables. I would also recommend grilling the seitan a bit before adding so it has a little extra flavor.

Finally, for dessert we had apple bread pudding. The last of the Irish soda bread was put to use in the making of this recipe found in The Almost No Fat Holiday Cookbook. Since the slices of bread were a bit thicker than some pre-sliced bread, the top layer did not come out so much like pudding but a bit more like french toast.  Even still, it was amazingly tasty. A squishy bread pudding on the bottom with a layer of soft green apples, then a firmer flavored bread layer topped with a caramelly brown sugar sauce. I’ve actually never had bread pudding before, which I’m finding hard to believe myself, considering how much I love bread, and I was highly impressed with the way this came out.

At the end of the day I was so full I can’t even tell you. So full of bread and potatoes. The soda bread was by far the best part, especially considering how simple it is to make. I’ll definitely be trying out the stew again, and experimenting with some more crock pot recipes.

Hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patty’s!

Irish Stew
3 cups vegetable broth

1 can potato leak soup

1 package mushroom gravy mix

16 oz sliced mushrooms

1 cup seitan chunks

1 cup burger crumbles

4 small potatoes peeled and cubed

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1/2 cup peas

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2  tsp rubbed sage

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp olive oil

Throw all the ingredients in your crock pot, stir and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.