Thursday, January 08, 2015

Roasted Tofu

First off, let me say that I could never be a vegetarian.  I enjoy eating steak and bacon way too much for that.  However, there are a few recipes that I have made that are meatless that I really, really like.  The first is a black bean recipe I found a couple of years ago to serve to Mom and J's girlfriend, M when they come over for BBQs.  The other recipe is one I developed in a hurry on Christmas Day.  I had planned to make roasted tofu as the main dish for M, but when I looked up the recipe I had used in the past I realized that I had almost none of the ingredients save for the actual tofu.  Grocery shopping fail at it's finest.  Ooops!  So I decided to wing it and come up with something on my own.  The end result was quite tasty if I may say so myself - I even finished the left overs the next day for lunch - so I thought that I'd share the recipe with you! It's quick and easy and uses ingredients that you most likely have on hand in your fridge and pantry right now (except maybe the tofu - if you're like me and only buy it on special, people coming to visit kind of occasions).

Roasted Tofu

1 pkg of extra firm tofu, drained and sliced
3 TBSP orange juice
3 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP soya sauce
1 TBSP grainy dijon mustard (I used a honey dijon blend I had in the fridge)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the sliced tofu in a lightly greased casserole dish or other shallow baking pan and set aside.  Mix remaining ingredients until well combined and pour over the tofu in the dish.  Let marinade for at least a 1/2 hour. While tofu is marinading, preheat oven to 425F/205C.  Roast tofu for approximately 25 minutes (or until the tofu is golden brown in colour).  Enjoy!  Serves 2-4 people. Recipe can easily be doubled.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New Mittens and A Hat

Baby it's cold out there.  Seriously cold.  What the heck, mother nature?!?!  You confound us all with your weird (freakishly) warm weather for a few weeks, then suddenly you remember what a prairie winter is supposed to be like?  How about a happy medium because, really, a 30 degree shift in temp in a matter of days is a pretty big ol' shock to the system!

But.  That's ok.  I'm well prepared.  I laugh in the face of -40C.  Well ok, it's more like teeth chattering than laughter, but close enough.  At least I'm a little more prepared than I was.

I have new mittens and a new hat.  And they're thick, cozy worsted weight wool, so a heck of a lot warmer than the sport weight hat and mitts I had been using previously.  Don't get me wrong.  My colour work mitts are still one of my favourite things, but they just don't cut it in the cold. They were my first pair of adult sized colour work mittens (I'd done a baby pair when baby boy was tiny), so my gauge is pretty loose and the wind whistles through them on a cold, brisk day.

I really want to knit a pair of thrummed mittens, but didn't feel like taking the time to sit down and actually muddle through the thrum part, so chose to knit a pair of traditional Newfoundland Mittens instead.  These may look tricky to the non-knitter, but they are the fastest thing going.  I knit them two at a time (thereby avoiding any second mitt syndrome nonsense) and had them done in three short days.  They are pretty cozy.  A lot more so than the loosey goosey Lilac Mittens, but still not quite what I want.  I wore them to go tobogganing the other day and definitely could have used some sort of liner in them because my hands were pretty chilly.  (although I think my fingers would've fallen off from the cold in the other mitts, so it's at least a start in the right direction!).  I definitely think it's going to be time to tackle thrums soon though.  The Yarn Harlot has a pretty good post about it that I think I'll need to study a bit first.  In the meantime my Newfie Mitts will do.  They're pretty in Plum and Fundy Fog Briggs & Little Regal.

I have a purple hat that matches the colour of the mitts to a tee.  It's a hat I knit as a test knit last year, and it's alright, but it's sport weight and not terribly warm (plus it makes me look like I have a gigantic pumpkin head so not a terribly flattering look).  So I knit a new one.  This time in the same Plum Regal as my mittens and using Alicia Plummer's Snow Squall pattern. It's reversible, which is kind of neat, and cozy. Also being a bit looser means there's less chance of crazy hat hair, although I still think I look like I have a gigantic pumpkin head in it.  Which makes me wonder if it's the hats or if it's actually me… Yikes!  I am considering trying a different sort of style in the near future.  Maybe something along the lines of a brimmed hat.  There's a few I really like on Ravelry.  There's the Lucy Hat or the Magnolia Hat or maybe the Honeysuckle Hat.  Of course by the time I ever decide spring will be on it's way and I won't actually need a new hat...