I’ve been a little MIA this year I guess. Suffice it to say that 2012 has not been a super-fun year so far. In between sickness and injuries and unexpected expenses and some other rather seriously not-fun things going on this year, we have managed to work on some projects and make some awesome new recipes. Let’s see if I can do a quick recap to get us up to speed, and then I promise to post here more often. I promise to try at least….In December, way back when we still thought we might have a winter this year, we decided to try cheese-making one beautiful, snowy afternoon. I love, love, LOVE squeaky cheese, also known as Finnish Leipäjuusto. I grew up eating this mild baked cheese at Christmastime. My dad knew a lady who made and sold it; you can also buy it at local seasonal fairs and locations. Even though my husband does not care for squeaky cheese (he has lost his honorary Finlander card over this), he has always wanted to make it for me. So we tried it.
Making cheese was a relatively straightforward process, if a bit weird. I hate to say it’s “weird” to do something as simple as to make food, but there’s just something about having a sink full of curds and whey that is…WEIRD. Our Juusto turned out pretty well. I ate it for weeks and we also gave some to my parents for Christmas. I also bought my husband a cheesemaking book for Christmas, and he now wants to make mozzarella this summer, and maybe even more cheeses. Stay tuned for those adventures.
curds and whey in my sink
the finished product
Christmas also was a time of frenzied project-making, as we tried to think of homemade gifts and then get them all made on time. I already posted my niece’s Mini Mail Sack. I loved how that one turned out. We also made two homemade teddy bears. I fell in love with the first, and I couldn’t give him up, that’s how we ended up with two of them. They are named Watson and Bertram. Bertram now lives at my mother-in-law’s house.
My smaller niece and her American Girl doll got matching homemade pajamas. The pants were easy-peasy, but the button-down shirt with the collar and pockets was more difficult. The alternate shirt with the hexagon was SUPER easy 🙂 The doll’s jammies were kind of just thrown together (and they look like it).
We made a lot of good food. Particular favorites that have been added to our dinner repertoire include almond-crusted fish with buerre blanc sauce (to die for!!), homemade whole-wheat tortillas (we usually make cheese quesadillas with them), beef-barley stew with spinach, rosemary chicken, jalapeno coleslaw, and white bean soup with rosemary. These are just some that I can think of right now. I’m planning a post for the next time I make the white bean soup – that stuff was SOO good! Most of these recipes are real food approved, too. My husband and I have continued to eat real food most often, and for one week each month, we follow the rules strictly. The only real purpose of this is just to keep us on track, so we don’t eat out too much or get in the habit of eating too much sugar or anything. We actually don’t notice it much at all anymore unless we have to explain it to someone else! We are acutally in the middle of our March real food week right now.
Buerre Blanc Fish