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The Enthusiast

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Updated: 2018-03-05T21:09:06.338-06:00


Post #1000!


(image) Friends, I've had a ball. One thousand posts and four years after I first thought, "what are these blogs I hear so much about?" I look back with total enthusiasm on my time here with you. I am putting The Enthusiast on an indefinite hiatus now, to find out how all the cooking, sewing, movie watching et. al. feels when I do it without reporting on it. I'll leave you with this one last image of what has to be a quintessential baking adventure for me: whole wheat sesame seed banana muffins. Thank you for looking, commenting, and letting me enthuse.

Scrambled Eggs


with fried potatoes and salad.



with fried purple grits (sorry no picture Naunihal! can't seem to get my act together) and broccoli.

Roast Chicken


with quinoa and green beans.



with fried green tomatoes, okra, and cornbread. All (but the cornbread) made by the spouse!

Broiled Steak


with turnips and fried purple grits. Yum.

Mushroom Frittata


with swiss chard and steamed yellow beans.

Fried Blue Grits


Actually, they were more purple; still delicious. We had them with fried red peppers, broccoli, and fresh tomatoes.

Lamb Chops


with quinoa and okra.

Grilled Grouper


with steamed green beans and fried sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes


with okra, broccoli, and scrambled eggs.

Bacon and Potatoes


both leftover, both fried up together as a base for fried eggs and sauteed bok choi. Super good.

Proper Attire Skirt


(image) Here is the "Proper Attire Skirt" from Anna Maria patterns, in Japanese cotton ("Unfocused Dream") from Tessuti Fabrics. It is also my first project made with the assistance of my new serger (a machine that simultaneously cuts and sews over the edges of fabric; very, very handy for sewing and not replaceable by a regular machine). I bought a Brother 1034d entirely on the basis of online reviews, and am so far totally happy with it. It is super-scary to cut and sew at the same time, but also an astonishing time-saver. I am happy with the skirt too; I cut a size 12 (I'm a rtw American 6) but by the time I finished tweaking the fit at the waist and hips it was pretty much a straight ten. So, the pattern sizes big.



with quinoa, turnips, and turnip greens.

Sauteed Vegetables


Red peppers, shiitakes, and salad mix over brown rice. With salad.

Kale Soup


I hate not having soup, frozen in individual servings, on hand. I like it for lunch, I like it for dinner, I like it at work, I like it over rice, I like like like soup. But I haven't had any for a while, so last night I made this one: Mexican chorizo (no match for the Spanish kind I had in mind, but still ok), onions, tomatoes, chicken stock, white beans, and a big mess of torn-up kale.

Crab Cakes


with quinoa, okra, and salad.

Costello Tagliapietra


I haven't kept up with the fashion shows in some time now, but a brief dip back in reminds me of this: for sheer I-want-itness and I'd-wear-that-everydayness, almost nobody beats Costello Tagliapietra for me. The designers are a pair of burly dudes who dress in identical full beards and lumberjack rigs, and who work almost exclusively in draped jersey, and I love them and all their works. Behold from the Spring collection:(image)

Scrambled Eggs


with greens and fried sweet potatoes. Because if it ain't broke, etc.

Grilled NY Strip Steak


with quinoa, turnips, and turnip greens.

Grilled Wahoo


with bok choi and fried sweet potatoes. Wahoo!

Scrambled Eggs


with okra and sweet potatoes. This sounds like nothing, but is delicious and of a color palette that would make you weep with joy.

Roasted Vegetables


Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, onions, elephant garlic, shiitakes, over noodles with tuna.

Grilled Grouper


with quinoa and sauteed greens and garlic. Two cupcakes for dessert.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


(image) There are times, increasingly numerous just lately, when I wonder why I am driven to do what I do. Why is it that the thought of a pound of carrots in the refrigerator won't leave me alone? Why must they absolutely be turned into cupcakes? Why do I always have to make things into other things?

I'm sure the answer is neurochemical in origin, and I'll probably never know it. In the meantime, these are remarkably good. I used Maida Heatter's recipes for cake and frosting, deviating from them only to decrease the sugar in the cake by half a cup, and whip the frosting in my mixer to make it airy. I also dug up my giant icing tip and it does make for a pretty and easy cupcake top.

Why are cupcakes suddenly the thing? I'll bet money there is a single PR agency somewhere responsible for the craze.