Saturday, April 30, 2011

Block of the Month

The March block for the "Yours, Mine and Ours" monthly quilting class that I am taking was the LeMoyne Star. This star wasn't as hard to make as I expected, but it was hard to make well. I had no idea how to correct my errors. So, I didn't.

Don't look too closely!

My donation block.

My own block.

Kitty-cat inspected and approved.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hazelnut Milk and Oatmeal Muffins

I have made my own almond milk for years. I like it in cereal and baking, but it is pretty thin so it does not suffice for coffee. Recently, however, I discovered this recipe for cashew milk. It is delicious and creamy. I omit the agave and reduce the oats to 2 tablespoons (otherwise it will thicken in hot beverages, as I learned the hard way). It is the best milk substitute I have found to drink with espresso.

But, I thought I could improve it even more.

I like hazelnut syrup in coffees, why not just make hazelnut milk?

So, I did.

I soaked 1.5 cups roasted (skins removed) hazelnuts in water over night. The next day, I powdered 2 tablespoons of oats in the blender, dumped in the hazelnuts, a tablespoon of maple syrup and three cups of water. I then liquified the mixture for 3-4 minutes and strained through cheese cloth (x 2).

It was delicious.

And a bit grainy.

I was not able to achieve the smooth and creamy texture of the cashew milk. So, it's a no-go for coffee. But, it is delicious in cereal and I used both the milk and the remaining hazelnut grounds/puree to make Oatmeal Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. I used this recipe and replaced the cow's milk with hazelnut milk and the pecans with the hazelnut mash without any further modifications.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Favourite Smoothie

I've been sick.

Super-duper, to-tired-to-read, one-box-of-kleenex-per-day sick.

All I feel like eating is ice cream and milkshakes, but dairy is no friend of mine, especially when I am sick.

So, I made my new favourite smoothie.

The Cashew Date Smoothie.

Sound weird? Yep. But it tastes so good. Sweet, creamy, healthy and delicious. Not a vanilla milkshake, but it does the trick.

To make this smoothie:

(1) Soak 1/3 cups cashews and three dates in water over night.
(2) When ready to eat, drain cashews and dates and remove the pits from the dates.
(3) Liquify dates and cashews in blender along with one banana and 3/4 cup of soy milk.
(4) Once mixture is smooth, add 4-5 ice cubes and liquify again.
(5) Enjoy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Block of the Month

At my Block of the Month quilting club, "Yours, Mine and Ours", the February block was the Rising Star.

I have to say that I had sort of looked down on star blocks prior to joining this club. With all their strait lines and squares, I thought they looked pretty easy. I was wrong. And I have I pile of point-less flying geese to prove it. *Sigh.*

In the end, things turned out OK. For the club, we each make a block for ourselves and a block for a charity quilt.

My block:

My charity block:

I am still loving my charity block fabrics, but I am liking my own fabrics more this month as well. I think that the addition of the dark grey tone really helps to balance the colour values.

Next month: The LeMoyne Star. I am afraid. Very afraid.