The most recent cookbook from the Moosewood Collective, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, is so freakin’ delicious you’ll forget all about the health bit. I recently served up the Curried Red Lentil Burgers alongside the Mango Slaw. It was a fantastic meal. That slaw is so wonderful, it’s my pick for potluck picnics. It’s a little heavy on the prep time–I made a double batch for a group get-together and it took about hour and twenty minutes–but it’s the perfect summertime side. There’s no mayonnaise; instead you have delicious mango, contrasting mint, and a refreshing lime juice dressing. I loved it and all my friends loved it, too. The burgers were also quite good: They tasted wonderfully of curry, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic. And the lentil and brown rice mixture held together so we didn’t get that squished-burger-out-the sides effect. I’m definitely looking forward to everything else that this health-conscious but flavor-dominated cookbook has to offer.
Back in January I resolved to make 2011 the year of sewing. My plan: Put my sewing machine to use, master the art of turning fabric into finished items, and wow my friends and relatives with homemade gifts all year long.
It’s four months into the year, and I’m happy to say that this resolution did not go by the wayside. I’ve been using Lotta Jandotter’s Simple Sewing as my guide because of all the books I looked through, it seems to have the best instructions. Also, it really does have simple projects that are perfect for beginners, plus slightly more complicated projects for once you get that confidence built up. The patterns that are included–already printed out and just waiting for you to use them–are also of great benefit to the novice.
Potholders were my first project and they were relatively easy to do. The trickiest part was executing the last finishing stitch. The pattern called for a topstitch all the way around the edge, but my sewing machine was wimping out. I has used synthetic batting meant for heat resistance instead of the wool batting the pattern called for. This made it just that much thicker and I couldn’t get my machine to sew through it right at the edge. I had to topstitch further in–creating a ridge around the edge–and then hand sew the closures on the sides. They turned out great–not quite as professional as the photos in the book, but I never really expected them to.
All in all, it was a fun and highly successful project and I’m really looking forward to attempting something from the next chapter of the book, which has ideas for of all kinds of great bags. I’ve got my eye on a simple tote that looks like the perfect Project #2.