Everything. And then Some.

There was a little of everything going on at my house today.  But before I go on, check this out.  This is the number of steps I walked yesterday.  That's my new world record.

When Sue and I walk, we don't mess around.

With all that walking, I figured I deserved a coffee cake.  No, it's not on my diet, but here's the thing:  I. Don't. Care.

I've been wanting to try this for a while.  It's a Sweet Potato Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze.  I made it exactly as the recipe specified except I substituted butternut squash for the sweet potatoes.  Why?  Because I had some pureed butternut squash in my freezer, and I figured it was pretty close to the same thing.  Since I haven't tasted it with sweet potatoes, I can't say whether it made any difference, but I can assure you that it was good.  Here's how it looked when it came out of the oven:

Essentially, it's a giant cinnamon roll.  You make a yeasted bread dough.  That needs a rise of about 1 1/2 hours.  Then, you divide the dough in half, roll each half into a rectangle, sprinkle it with yummy cinnamon sugar, cut it into strips, and then start winding.  You roll up the first strip, and then just wrap the remaining strips around the center until you've used them all up.  Then, it needs another short rise, and then you bake it.  Then you cool it.  Then you take it out of the pan.  Then you glaze it.  Then it looks like this:

Then you eat it.  Yum.  Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow.  Mine was a little under baked in the center, and so it fell a little bit when I took it out of the pan.  Next time, I won't trust the way it looks.  I'll stick a skewer in the center just to be sure.

That took most of the day, with time for sewing inserted while I was waiting for it to rise.  When I was finished eating the coffee cake (only one piece, not the whole thing--although it was tempting), I started on tonight's dinner.  That was another new recipe for me.  I watched Ina Garten make what appeared to be a really good Winter Minestrone and Garlic Bruschetta on TV last weekend, and I couldn't wait to try it.  

First you fry up some pancetta.

Then, you throw in the veggies, consisting of onion, carrot, celery, butternut squash (there it is again!), garlic, and fresh thyme (I used half the amount of dried thyme).  Then you saute the veggies until they start to soften.

Then you toss in some canned tomatoes and some chicken broth.  Then you simmer it for 30 minutes.   Next, Ina wants you to add some things, including already-cooked pasta.  I used ditalini--a short tube pasta. It didn't make sense to me to cook it separately, however, and so I let the pot simmer for 20 minutes, and then added the dry pasta for the remaining ten minutes.  You need to stir it fairly frequently to keep the dry pasta off the bottom of the pot, but otherwise, it works just fine.

When the entire thirty minutes of simmer time is up, you're going to dump in a can of cannellini beans and some fresh spinach.  I used the braising greens I got at the Farmer's Market last week.  Aren't these beautiful?  It's kale, collard greens, beet greens, and all kinds of yummy, healthy stuff.  (I think it more than makes up for the coffee cake, don't you?)

Also, she adds some white wine and two tablespoons of store-bought pesto.  Ina used regular basil pesto, but I had sun dried tomato pesto already open in the fridge, so I used that.

Stir that all around.  The greens had to cook down some, but that took just a few minutes.  It was pretty thick by this time, and so I ended up adding about three more cups of chicken broth to the six cups I started with.  Looks pretty tasty, huh?  Here's the link to the recipe.  

That's our dinner for tonight, and I'm using some frozen Texas Toast rather than making the garlic bruschetta like Ina did.  A girl can only stand so much cooking in one day.

And throughout the day, I was working on my Laundry Room project.  I try to keep a pretty tidy workspace most of the time, but when I do applique, things get messy.  I tried to keep it down to a dull roar, but things still piled up everywhere.

My little helper cat wasn't there to help me.  He was crashed out next to the fire almost all afternoon.

This is how far I got with this project.  The hardest part is nearly finished now--building the background piece.

The sun is fused into place, and the fence posts and the middle jagged row of grass is also fused into place.  The top border is sewn down with a quarter-inch seam.  The pattern suggested stitching close to the edge like raw-edged applique, but with that piece not fused, that seemed silly to me.  I just sewed a regular seam, and it's a lot cleaner for it.  The darkest grass at the bottom, and the light grass behind the fence posts is not fused, nor are the pink and blue buildings along the sides.  Those will be stitched down along the edge.  As of now, they are all pinned into place, and that's where I'll start tomorrow.

After that, I'll be able to add the roofs and windows to the houses and then add the clothesline and the clothes.  It's moving right along.  I'm supposed to use twine for the clothesline, but after giving it some thought and staring at the pattern for a while, I've decided to embroider it on using the triple stitch on my sewing machine.

So that's what I did today.  Phew!  How was your Saturday?

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Brown Family said...

I would use the triple stitch, too. Have you discovered how the cloths pins are attached?


Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Beautiful pot of soup; my tummy sat up and took notice and it hardly ever does that anymore. I had a lazy day recuperating from a week of baby-ville. Even took a nap at dinnertime. Considering heading back that way right quick, too. Hoping to sew some tomorrow.

Oh, I picked the binding fabric for Mountain Steps today but did NOT get it ironed or cut; just chosen !~! Does that count as accomplishing Something !~!

Lynne said...

I've never had success with yeast based recipes but that does look delicious. It's too hot here (93°F) to consider that much cooking! Dinner here boils down to meat and salad most nights!

My Saturday was frustrating -- lots of ripping -- but I've finally got both the top and the backing of a twin-size quilt done (5:30pm Sunday).

quiltzyx said...

Oh man! 2 incredibly yummy looking foods today!!! You are always making my mouth water.

I didn't do any sewing today, but I did crochet a Happy Bowl - and sold it! lol Paid for my lunch. :)
I do have a border cut to sew onto the languishing blue & white wedding gift quilt (then I can give it & the backing to Sara & she can get it quilted). Cut the binding for my block for our past Prez's potholder quilt, and bought a pink fleece for the backing of a baby quilt. Need to throw the fleece in the washer now. I may actually get some thing finished this month!

kc said...

mmmmm, that sweet roll looks to die for - I bet it would be great with cream cheese frosting, too, which seems like it would be even easier (no cooking, and just a bit of fresh milk, so no wasting a partial can of evap milk).

Sad to say, but I think we'll pass on the soup - we've had enough soup & jello for the last 3 weeks to last a lifetime, tyvm! But, I guess if we were gonna have soup, that would be good soup to have - sure does look healthy..

Nice how your wash day is coming along (tho that fuzzy little bed looked empty & lonely). And you're gonna need some new kicks if you keep it up, just sayin!

Lyndsey said...

mmmmmm I'm going to have to try the recipes especially the cake but it's going to wait until after Easter. Love the healthy soup. Great work on your quilt. Picasso like Smitty spent yesterday curled up by radiators or on the bed. It's even colder today so he wont venture far and Scamp refused the offer of a walk!

Mommarock said...

Holy moley! That's a LOT! I just found a cool one on my iPhone as a free download. I don't know if you have a iPhone or not but it is called Walk Star. It tells me Duration, Distance, Calories, Speed, and steps. I just put it in my pocket and start it each day and forget it. It gives me "stars" for every thousand steps I do each day. My goal is ten stars. Coolness!

Celtic Thistle said...

You did have a busy day, totally deserving of that Cinnamon Bun!

gpc said...

Wow, busy you! The coffee cake looks wonderful, and adding squash or sweet potato MUST make it healthy, right?! I love adding greens to soup, and a spoonful of pesto makes even bought soup taste home made in my opinion -- one of my quick meals is a can of beans, a carton of broth, and a heaping spoon of pesto, which I make and freeze all summer. Your more-work soup looks extra healthy and extra delicious though!

Diane Wild said...

How many miles does 15,000+ steps translate into? Or, how many steps in a mile? I would've eaten the entire roll, if the truth be told. I sorted the garage for the upcoming garage sale. Lots of tools and nuts & bolts to make decisions on. More to do.

Kate said...

You had a busy weekend! Looking forward to seeing the finish of your new block.

rubyslipperz said...

WOWZA thaz a lodda steps, girl!!!
Do you like the "machine" that counts 'em? I've thought about buying one. But, I'm not sure which one is good?????


Teresa in Music City said...

Yum! I hate I missed dinner! That looks really scrumptious! Looks like you've got a good running start on your little quilt. So, let's see, you got in lots of walking and lots of "running" - and some healthy cooking thrown in.... you've been a very busy girl!!! Yep, you definitely deserve that coffee cake :*D