Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh, his beautiful curls!

We did it! His first haircut. I couldn't be there, but I sent strict instructions to leave as much of his curls intact as possible. It turned out to be a perfect little shape-up. There was no one there to take pics, so Spence had to do a bunch of self-portraits.
Next week: Caroline. She's a little ragamuffin who can barely see through her bangs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ethiopian collards

This one turned out quite good. Even Dawit was stuffing his mouth. (He had gas later.)

1 bunch collard greens roughly chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 heaping tablespoon niter kebbeh
1 small glove garlic minced
1 small hot green pepper sliced (I removed the seeds)
1 cup vegetable stock
salt to taste

Wash and chop greens. Be sure to remove the woody stems. Melt niter kebbeh in a heavy bottomed pot. Add onions and sauté on medium heat for a few minutes. Add garlic and stir the garlic and onion constantly so your garlic doesn’t burn. Cook until onion is translucent. Add pepper and greens. Stir around well so greens are covered in niter, then add a cup of broth. Let the greens simmer on low heat until the liquid cooks off.

Pretty easy.

I'm gonna hold off on the shiro recipe. I got it from Birtukan while we were cooking in Ethiopia but it just didn't turn out great. I need to tweak the recipe.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two lentil recipes

Misr Wat
1 cup red lentils
4 tbsp. nit'r qibe (I'll post this recipe next) or unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. berbere
1 small tomato, cored and chopped (I used canned)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp. spice mix (optional - I got this from Birtukan in Ethiopia)

1. Rinse the lentils.
2. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils, 1 tbsp. of the berbere, tomato, and 4 cups water to the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and the lentils are tender, 45–50 minutes. Stir in the remaining berbere and season generously with salt.

While we're on the subject of lentils, let me share a recipe that I borrowed from my friend Cynthia. My kids loved it.

Lentil Tacos
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed (I just used regular lentils)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
12 taco shells

1. Saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.
2. Stir in salsa. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Niter Kebbeh

Last week I finally tried my hand at Misr Wat (red lentils). The recipe called for either niter kebbeh (a spiced butter) or simply unsalted butter. Which do you think is better? Right! But I didn't have any niter kebbeh, so I made the lentils with unsalted butter. They started out pretty watery but were surprisingly good -- after I finally got them reduced to the right consistency. (I really just like to use the word "reduced" because it shows I can cook something that requires more than boiling water. I know how to reduce!)

Anyway, now that I've dipped my toe into Ethiopian lentils (Hmmm?), I'm ready to dive into some other stuff: lentils again, shiro (I bought the spice in Ethiopia) and Ethiopian collard greens.

To get started, I needed to make some niter kebbeh, which has about 90 ingredients including a couple I'd never heard of and had no idea where to find. Fenugreek, for one. I found it at a health food store in seed form and ground it in my coffee grinder. Then I toasted all the spices. Then I read the rest of the recipe and panicked for a minute when I saw the word "cheesecloth." My friend Cindy told me not to freak out -- I know how to reduce! -- use a coffee filter. So....

I always save the asparagus rubber bands. They have so many uses in the kitchen.

These are the yucky milk solids and spices. They dropped to the bottom just like they were supposed to.

And into an air-tight jar, where it will keep for 3 months in the frig.

Part 2 coming soon...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snowbound...kind of

Dawit got his first taste of snow, and he ate it up. Literally - when he did a downhill face plant. I would have snapped a pic of that if I'd had my camera handy. He shook it off like a boy.

This is Delilah requesting her breakfast. She stares in the kitchen window until one of us feel guilty enough to go out and give her hay.

This is a view of Roaring River valley. Spence has been blazing a trail loop from our house to this pinnacle view. It's a gorgeous 1-1/2 hour hike - y'all should come out and do it with us.

Deer prints?

Bigfoot? Abominable snowman?

I paddled the river above our house yesterday. Caroline got a pre-float ride on the street.

I took some pics of my float, but 4 words is worth 1,000 pictures: COLD FEET, TOO LONG!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Talking and such

It's true what they say about second children talking less than first. Dawit does a lot of chattering and he can say a few words - Dada, Mama, cracker, Dawie (Dah-EE) and milk (mack). But he only says one word on command: mack! He loves mack as much as Caroline loved bilk.

Caroline can carry on a conversation like an adult -- if she's not being shy. Last night on the way home from church, we passed her pediatrician's office. She said, "I don't like going there."

Me: Why?

C: Because they give me shots.

Me: You don't like shots?

C: I don't like it when they give me shots. I like it when they give Dawie shots.

Did I mention her other funny? Last week we were going to the grocery and, recalling Llama Llama Mad at Mama, I asked her to please not pitch a fit in the store. She replied, "I'm not gonna pinch a fit, Mama."