Friday, January 29, 2016

Soup’s On

Soup 1

I guess there are those who are lucky enough not to hear all the cool things one can buy these days who haven’t a clue what I was talking about in the previous post.  An Instant Pot is a combination electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan, steamer, food warmer, and many more things I’m sure.

I got the recipe from the Instant Pot site.  First I pressed the saute button.  Then I remembered I need to plug it in first.  I put coconut oil in the inner stainless steel pot and again pressed saute and it started heating.  Dumped in the chopped onions, garlic, and curry powder.  Cooked until I thought it was cooked enough.

Soup 2

I then put the rest of the ingredients in, which included a can of coconut milk, the cubed sweet potatoes, and frozen container of chicken broth I’d made a few months ago.  I ended up setting up a worst case.  Not intentionally.  That is just how things tend to go in my life.  Such as, I probably should have considered doing this last night and taken the chicken broth out to thaw instead of dumping it in as a frozen chunk.  Not the least of the reasons being I splashed coconut milk/curry on my top as it slid in.  When I put all the rest of the ingredients in and it didn’t look like enough liquid so I pulled out the carton of Silk Coconut Milk (for drinking?) I had and tasted it to see if it was still good.  It was, so I added some to the pot.  I’m probably a bit over full here from what the instructions say. 

I set the pot to 10 minutes on high pressure.  It came up to pressure automatically, stayed at high pressure for 10 min, then went to keep warm and let the pressure down as it sat.  I just wait for the beeps.   I did the trial run with water last night, and I have to say that even releasing the steam pressure manually is easy and safe.  That is why I got this.  I’m finding I need cooking appliances that turn themselves off automatically, as I get distracted these days.  I forgot I was toasting an English Muffin yesterday.  It was cold, but not burnt to a crisp, since I used the press down toaster function on the older toaster oven I have and it turned itself off when it popped up.  Hopefully the InstaPot will keep me from burning down the kitchen in a similar situation.

Soup 3

This is what it looked like after I let the steam off and opened it up.  I wasn’t ready to do anything with it yet, so I turned it back on keep warm and put the lid back on.  I ran around and did some errands, one of which was to pick up the rest of my order from Walmart.  Since I ordered this from the Evil Empire, it came bundled free with a Ninja blender/food processor.  I went and got it (shipped separately from the Instant Pot) and blended the soup in it.  No more pictures. though.

The verdict is that it is good.  Especially since I love squash soup and I have never had the nerve to try to make it myself.  It needed less liquid or more sweet potatoes.  I need to stop cooking for an army when I cook as I’m running out of freezer space.  It needed more spice, a common issue with my cooking.  The curry gives it some heat, which I’m enjoying as I somehow picked up a cold the past few days.  All in all, the soup, the Instant Pot and the Ninja blender seem to be keepers.

More cooking with Shadowmoss

I broke down and bought an Instant Pot. Today I make soup. The recipe is for Indian coconut butternut squash soup. I have sweet potatoes (yams) and no ginger and I'm using coconut oil instead of olive oil. Wish me luck.
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Another blogfest picture

Sorting out the email function yet again. This is Ray with his doggie bag.
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Blogfest 2016

Better a bit late than never.  I didn’t take many pictures and then couldn’t find my blog email address to post them directly from my phone while I was there yesterday.  Need to get that part set up better.  Anyway, here is the one picture I did take early on as folks were beginning to arrive.  There were so many cameras out that I know there will be a lot better pictures out there in blogland this morning.

blogfest 16
I had a total blast yesterday.  After I posted the blog I loaded up and went to pick up Croft.  After loading up his stuff amid directions from Norma on how to store the tray of whatever we got for the snack and other important things we headed to Frys and picked up the first cheese tray we found and stuck it in a totally different cooler.  I did try to do it the way Norma had suggested…

The little red car didn’t loose any time heading out to Quartzsite (looked up the spelling this time).  We figured the gas mileage on the way home and  I got 40 mpg on this trip.  Woo Hoo little red car!  I got off at the first exit and cruised slowly through town down to the McDonalds.  We went in and got breakfast and I texted Rod to say we were in town.  He was held up at his ham (amature radio) end of the week prize drawing, but would be out as soon as it was over.  I wanted to look at a couple of class B rv’s I’d noticed on the way through town, so we stopped in.  I let Croft keep the salesman busy, as I’m sure the salesman thought he was smoozing the decision maker of the two of us while I checked them out.  Nice rigs but more than I can go even used.  There was a 2000 Mini Winnie that was only $20k that was in good shape and that is probably the range I’ll end up with.  Nice to see what is around used.

We went to the big tent.  I did some creative parking out along the edge as I’d rather walk than crowd in to get a better parking space.  Croft and I meandered through the maket and tent.  I spent some money on a set of 5 toys, the rubber balls that splat flat when you throw them, then gather themselves up into a ball again.  Sorry, they make me smile and I think I’ll use them to take out my frustrations.  I also picked up a couple of the small folding step stools, one for me and one for Mom.

At the blogfest Sandie Dixon came out to greet me and whle Croft caught up with George and Suzie I went over to Doug and Toni’s rig and talked to Jim and Sandie and them while they polished off a spead of food Toni had put out.  Folks started arriving and signing in and putting on name tags.  As we went around the circle and folks stood up and introduced themselves I would be surprised ‘Hey, I know that person!’ over and over.  Folks like Merikay and Craig, Glenda, Ivan, Mark and Bobby, and so on.  I did meet the ones I was most looking forward to meeting, Pheebs (and Al and Kelly of Bayfield Bunch) and Yuma (with Doug and Dolly of Miss Adventure Travels)  Miss Fergie, Yuma’s older sibling was adorable in a cute dress.  Dolly said the problem when Yuma came to live with them was that Fergie didn’t know she was a dog until then.

I know that others are all typing out their own stories of the day.  I was totally blown away with just how NICE everyone is.  Folks I thought wouldn’t give me much notice at all talked to me for several minutes and I loved talking to them as much, probably more, than I enjoy reading their blogs.  I came away with a few resolutions.  One is to start doing things I can write about.  Time to get out of this rut.  Another is to get serious about dealing with the things I need to in order to get into my own rv and get out there and enjoy the life these folks are so obviously having so much fun living.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Heading to Blogfest

I have directions and GPS co-ordinates.  I’m fixing a second cup of coffee, and getting ready to pack water bottles and peanut butter sandwiches to eat on the way and ham and cheese sandwiches to eat during the day.  I’ll pick up Croft in a half hour as he is riding over with me, and we’ll stop and get some kind of ‘snack’ to share with the group.

I’ve never been to Quartzite (probably spelling it wrong…) when everyone is there, so I’m excited to see what it is all about.  I want to tour the Big Tent and see what all they have.  I envision it like the flea market used to be at Dayton Hamfest.  It should be fun to meet some of the folks whose lives I read about on a regular basis on their blogs.  I may email some pictures to the blog while I’m there.

And so, I’m off.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Info for Ed:

Or anyone else who is interested in learning HTML, web design or coding with free on-line classes.

Try the free site Codecademy.

You sign up with an email, and they walk you through HTML and on up as far as you want to go.  I’ve used it sporatically, more because I have difficulty sticking with anything consistently.

There are others, but that is the one I personnally have used.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Cooking with Shadowmoss

I’ve been reading cooking threads on the message boards I’m on.  One was extolling the virtues of pressure cookers, in particular the new InstaPot.  I have a high-dollar pressure cooker that I bought maybe 10 years ago and used once.  It is a Magefesa, made in Spain and was quite state of the art at the time.  So, I decided that I couldn’t justify buying a new InstaPot when I have all the other stuff (rice cooker, two slow cookers, and the Magefesa pressure cooker), and I should at least start using what I have. 

Another thread had folks listing their favorite cooking sites, and two really interesting Indian cooking sites were listed.  In another thread about how a bread machine had died and asking for suggestions the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes site was mentioned with a link to the recipe with instructions.  You see where all this is going?

I decided some spicy chickpea patties sounded easy enough on the Indian site.  I had a bag of dried chickpeas and a few already cooked potatoes in the freezer.  And, hey, cooking beans was one of the wonders of the pressure cooker.  The few instructions I can put my hands on for the pressure cooker said I needed to first do a run with only water.  I did that and got an idea of how it works.  I also went online for an instruction manual that is sorta the model of mine.  We are starting to literally be cookin’ with gas!  I mentioned something about the potatoes and Mom again handed me the last of her bag of potatoes.  This happened last time is why I had some in the freezer now.

First run with the cubed potatoes in the pressure cooker was a bit shaky, but they turned out ok.  The next run of potatoes (I figured there was an odds on chance I would end up throwing the first on out, so only did half at time) was pretty smooth.  By the time I did the chickpeas, I was almost to where I know what I”m doing.  I  now have large containers in my fridge of potatoes and chickpeas.

Today I tried the patties.  A few mis-steps along the way, and I used up a box of stale herbed pita chips run through the blender instead of bread crumbs.  The patties are 3/4 mashed cooked chickpeas, about 1/4 mashed potatoes, bread (pita cracker) crumbs, and spices.  I know now why so many spices, as I used what I had and it basically tastes like the pita crackers.  Edible and filling.  Just not exceptional.  I’ll take them to work tomorrow, though.

I bought flour and yeast last night.  This morning in between frying the patties I mixed up the 5 Minute bread dough.  I have a loaf now in the oven.  We’ll see soon if this will work, or if another bread machine is in my future.

I’ve used kitchen stuff I havn’t touched in 5 or more years, used up some ingredients that needed to be used, and will hopefully end up with some food that won’t kill me.  It is a work in progress.

The Indian cooking sites, just because I think they are awesome: