Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Curried Zucchini and Couscous with Turkey Kofta

Those marketers in the supermarkets know me too well.  They put those special edition cooking magazine right at eye level so that I am sooo tempted by the promise of a quick, easy, delicious - and healthy - dinner on the cover of those magazines.  I rarely leave the grocery store without one. 

Last week's impulse buy - The August edition of Eating Well.  

I figure that these purchases are justified if I can get even one good dinner out of it and Eating Well did not disappoint.  
Curried Zucchini Couscous with Turkey Kofta
After I got the chopping done, it all went together quickly and Hubby was able to grill the Kofta kabobs while I finished up with the couscous.

The couscous has a light curry taste and the veggies and almonds give it a creamy crunchy texture that was delicious!  You could definitely serve this dish, warm, at room temp or chilled.  Next time I would add a few  raisins.  

The Turkey Kofta had just the right spiciness (not hot spicy, just flavorful spicy).  My husband proclaimed it better than the beef kofta we get at our local Kebab restaurant - so I declare it a success!  The secret to grilling a meat like ground turkey is to spray the meat with cooking spray and oil the grill so that you don't leave half of your dinner behind on the grill.

I did get in a bit of sewing today too.  I'm working on the muslin for the stretch knit dress.  Glad I did a muslin.  The first attempt was a size too big even though my measurements would have led me to a size larger!  Hopefully the next muslin will be the one.  I am anxious to get sewing on the real fabric, but want to make sure that I have the fit better first.

Curried Zucchini Couscous
Eating Well - August 2013
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 med. Zucchini diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup couscous
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add zucchini and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.

2.  Add water, lime juice, curry, cumin, salt and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil.  Stir in couscous.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  
Add the couscous and carrot to the bowl with the zucchini; stir to combine.  Serve topped with almonds. 

Serves 4  Serving size:  1 1/4 cup   WW points: 5

Turkey Kofta with Tahini Sauce
Eating Well - August 2013
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh or dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (I used panko because that's what I had and they worked fine.)
  • 5 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus 1/8 tsp divided
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
1.  Preheat grill to medium high.

2.  Combine turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, 4 Tbsp cilantro, 1/2 tsp cumin, allspice, 1/2 tsp salt and cayenne in a large bowl; gently knead together.  Do not over mix.  With damp hands, form the mixture into two ovals on each skewer; use about 1/3 cup for each and place about 1 inch apart.

3.  Oil the grill rack and spray the kebabs with cooking spray.  Grill the kebabs until and instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, about 4 minutes per side.

4.  Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, the remaining 1 Tbsp cilantro, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/8 tsp salt in a small bowl.  Serve the kebabs with the sauce.

***I did not have tahini on hand so I combined some hummus and sesame oil to make 2 Tbsp of a loose/liquidy paste and it tasted great!  It had enough of the sesame flavor that the sauce needed.*** 

Serves 4, 2 kofta and 2 Tbsp sauce,  WW points: 7


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tooth Fairy Pillow for a Sweet "Fairy" God-Daughter

I have two of the sweetest God-Daughters ever!  One of them is a tall, lanky, smart, beautiful blonde almost 8th grader who is my crafting/sewing and animal loving buddy.  
My Sweet God-Daughter #1
The other is a fire-cracker, Shirley Temple clone who is 4 years old already! She is the age when she is trying to figure out all the family relationships and has decided that Godmother is just too ordinary for her.  She calls me her Fairy God-mother and I could not be happier to comply!

So...As I was finishing this Tooth Fairy Pillow project from a Stitchin' Charleston Style from a few years ago...I knew just who it needed to go to!
Tooth Fairy pillow - Designed by Laura Jenkins Thompson
I love the little silk ribbon bows at the corners!
It is made of a beautiful silver-blue dupioni silk that Laura had all pleated up and ready in our kit.  I had finished the smocking and just needed to add the beads and finish up the pillow and trim.  

Laura's original design had the beads evenly scattered around the pillow, but I improvised a bit and have the magic dust flowing out of the end of the wand.  Just a little more magical looking, I think.
The back of the pillow includes a pocket just large enough for a small tooth and a dollar or two from the tooth fairy.  The pocket is edged with the tiniest piping ever!  The cording itself was tiny but add the fact that it was covered with a very slippery silk ribbon...I didn't even attempt to sew it on the machine!  

My favorite part...It hangs on the outside of the newly toothless child's door!

My son (3rd child)  will attest that the tooth fairy that came to our house by the time that he was losing teeth was somewhat less than...ahem...graceful.  She just might have been so tired that she kept falling asleep and forgetting the lost tooth.  After days of forgetting, she might have "snuck" in a few times before said son was asleep and said something along the lines of "Close your eyes.  This is all a dream.  You don't see me."  Subtle, right?  

With this pillow, all the magic happens outside the sleeping child's bedroom.  Why didn't I think of that before???? 

Tomorrow...I'm working on the muslin for the stretch lace dress...I hope!!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sheer Summer Sweater

You know those times when it is as hot as the surface of the sun and you want to wear as little as possible. We have had a lot of those days lately.  I needed a little something to throw over a tank top that was not going to send my internal thermometer over the top, but would leave me a bit more covered up when appropriate
Just a little something to cover up a bit
I was ordering some fabric from for a stretch lace dress that is currently in the muslin-ing stage and I saw this burnout white knit - perfect for the little bit of cover I was looking for.  

I grabbed this pattern (Vogue 1243) at Joanne's and decided to make version B.  When I got it home and read the directions (imagine reading directions! Ha!), I realized that the pattern is lined and had a dire warning:  Not suitable for knits!!!

Never being one for directions, I forged ahead - completely ignoring the directions and just using the pattern shape.  It was fine!

The solid selvage of the fabric became part of the front band.  I reversed the order of sewing for the center back of the neck band, sewing it so the 3-thread serger seam was on the inside.  I then stitched it down with a small zig-zag so it sort of looks like a flat felled seam.

I used a regular serged stitch for the shoulder and side seams and then finished the arm holes and hem with a tiny turned hem and a zig-zag which gave it a sort of scalloped effect.  
You can see the pretty burnout patter in this picture.  

I love this fabric! It is light as air which means it had some of the sewing challenges you would expect with such a light fabric.  It had a tendency to roll and was so light it was actually hard to hold onto as I was sewing.  Even with the challenges, the sweater was completed in just over an hour from cutting to done.  Don't you just love those kinds of projects! And...I have some fabric left for another little somethin, somethin. 

Next up...A silvery stretch knit dress lined with a stretchy turquoise.

I ordered a couple of fitting classes that were on sale at Craftsy (Thank you Sarah Gunn at Goodbye Valentino for posting about these classes!)  I have the muslin cut from some knit I've had in my stash forever and am working through the fit.  I'm not sure if I need to do a Full bust adjustment yet, but the class did help me to be more confident in choosing a pattern size with my crazy measurements and use the multi-sized pattern to my advantage.

I'll post some in-progress pictures if they are fit to be seen!  Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

T-shirt Quilt Phase 2

I squeezed in a few minutes to piece the back of the t-shirt quilt for my favorite son (He is also my only son. :-)  Phase 2 complete!

I made an appointment with the long arm quilter.  I can't wait until it is all quilted. Then there is just the binding left to complete. I was hoping this would be done in time for my son' return from his Navy cruise, but unfortunately it won't be. Oh well. He waited two plus years already. I guess he won't mind a couple more weeks...

It's hot here on the east coast. Hope everyone is staying cool and dry!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream

My daughter insisted that this dessert was "blog-worthy" and I have to agree!
Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
The peaches sit in a butter/honey/cardamom mix before grilling.  The cardamom give the peaches just a hint of barely-detectable spice that perfectly balances the sweet of the fruit and the creaminess of the yogurt sauce.  

This was a 10/10 for dessert.  It was a bit of a splurge at 5 weight watchers points, but the serving size was huge:  2 peach halves, 2 Tbsp of cream and 1/4 cup of raspberries!

Go ahead...Fruit...yogurt...honey...Splurge already!  Enjoy!

Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
Cooking Light Magazine 7/13

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, meltied
  • 2 Tbsp honey, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 4 medium peaches (Not quite ripe works best), pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp half and half
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries
1.  Combine melted butter, 1 Tbsp honey, cardamon, and salt in a medium bowl.   Add peaches, and toss to coat.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

2.  Heat a grill pan over medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Arrange peaches on grill pan; grill 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.  (We did this on our outdoor gas grill)

3.  Combine yogurt, half-and-half, remaining 1 Tbsp honey , and vanilla in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.  Serve with peaches and raspberries.

Note:  I didn't have half-and half and wasn't going to buy any (for only 2 1/2 tsp!) so I used skim milk and added just a touch of low fat sour cream to give it a little body.  It worked great!